June 30, 2010. Wrote a bit more of chapter 1 of Love Is... The
first chapter is always the most difficult, I think, because certain things
need to be established without giving the whole plot away. I intend to
write one chapter a week.
Chris the fence bloke is here. He replaced all the busted panels in
the colorbond fence pretty quickly, and now he's working on the mail box.
Lindsay said he spoke to one local passer-by who said a bunch of Aborigines
who moved into the hood recently have been causing trouble - lots of break-ins,
etc. So I guess it's only a matter of time before the cops catch up with
them. It's a pity that certain Aborigines who cause trouble give the good
Aborigines a bad name. They're not all tarred with the same brush despite
what many people say. Take young Josh for example. He rose to the rank
of captain of his school, and is now at university studying to be a teacher.
His peers would do well to follow his example instead of kicking people's
This house is pretty secure... security grills on every window, deadlocks
on the doors. The previous owner was meticulous about security... obsessive
even. I heard she drank a bottle of scotch a day so she needed to protect
her stash. Yeah?
Beeb time: The man chosen to take charge of the US military in Afghanistan,
Gen David Petraeus, has warned of an escalation of violence in the coming
months. "The going inevitably gets tougher before it gets easier," he told
the Senate Armed Services Committee, which backed his nomination to lead
the war. The general said troops were engaged in a contest of wills with
the Taliban and promised a more co-ordinated approach. A
battle of wills it is, and wills can be extremely stubborn. Oil
clean-up activities like skimming and controlled burning are halted because
of the arrival of Hurricane Alex in the Gulf of Mexico. Sorry
guys, just passing through, won't be long. US chat show host Larry
King announces he is to end his record-breaking nightly show in the autumn.
Larry who? Sorry hehe... we don't get that show in
Oz (that I'm aware of). Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says
he hopes a series of arrests over an alleged spy ring in the US will not
harm US-Russian relations. Mr Putin told former US President Bill Clinton
in Moscow that US police had "let themselves go" and were putting people
in prison. Ten people have been arrested in the US and one in Cyprus after
an FBI inquiry. The Russian foreign ministry has said the US allegations
are baseless and a throwback to the Cold War. Well,
time will tell. A man who says he is an Iranian nuclear scientist
claims to have escaped after being abducted by US agents. In a video shown
on Iranian state TV, he says he has escaped in the US state of Virginia
and is now on the run. Mr Amiri disappeared a year ago while undertaking
the Hajj in Saudi Arabia. The US has strenuously denied abducting him,
but ABC News reported in March that Mr Amiri had defected and was helping
the CIA compile intelligence on Iran's controversial nuclear weapons programme.
Coming soon to a cinema near you! The Italian
government is appealing to the European court of human rights to overturn
a ban on classroom crucifixes. This case against crucifixes was brought
by a woman who argued that her children had a right to a secular education
under Italy's constitution. Last year the court agreed with the mother,
saying parents should be able to bring up children as they saw fit. Her
victory caused uproar in Italy, where 90% of the population describe themselves
as Christian. I attended a Catholic school and look
at what happened to me! A US surgeon, dubbed "Doctor Death" by Australian
media, has been found guilty of the manslaughter of three patients in his
care in Australia. Jayant Patel, an Indian-born US citizen, worked at a
Queensland hospital between 2003 and 2005. He was also convicted of grievous
bodily harm against a fourth patient. Patel will be sentenced on Thursday.
The bloke should never have been allowed to practice
medicine in Australia... He had already been banned from conducting surgery
in the US states of New York and Oregon.
I've been trying for the past day or so to make this piece work. I think
it works now. Not
an easy piece to write.
Also, I've added a few new images to my Red
Bubble favorites which I think are worth a peek.
Well, this Love Is... story is taking up a fair bit of time so I guess
this Waffle page will suffer a little. Only so many hours in the day ya
know. I haven't even showered or shaved today! What a grub! Blame the internet.
There was a time when I could do all kinds of things in a given day, but
now I'm addicted to the keyboard.
Last day of June... guess what tomorrow is? Hint: somebody's birthday.
June 29, 2010. The kettle went bung this mornng. So I mentioned
to Lindsay that we need a new one. "I'm not paying $25 for a kettle. We
might not be here long after we get back (from England). Who knows?" Well,
there's a revelation that wasn't intended. Anyway, I went to one of those
cheapie discount stores and got an electric kettle for $10 on spesh. Cordless,
auto switch off, and it even boils water!
I also did a bit of shopping and scored quite a few markdowns, so the
savings almost paid for the kettle. Hehe.
I wrote a bit more of chapter 1 of Love Is... this morning and started
to get into a rhythm. So far so good. I'll email copies of each chapter
to a couple of friends as the story unfolds just to get feedback. FL Josh,
Oregon Richie, Ohio Jace, Rio Joao and TX Greg. So be honest, guys. And
I hope you have MS Word.
Lovely and blue today, and not all that chilly. In fact, it's quite
nice in the sun. Which reminded me to check when 3237 will be back in Taree
for heritage steam train rides. Wednesday July 7. But you can't phone the
railway station. Oh, no. You get a central Countrylink number, probably
based in Sydney. So I'll have to go to the local railway station to get
tickets and times. Taree has a staff of one and maybe one or two trains
a day, so it's not exactly hectically busy. In fact, when I caught the
XPT from Sydney to Taree back in 2002, there wasn't a soul at the station!
I had to phone a taxi cos there were none of those either! Dozen madder.
A ride on a steam loco will be worth it. And I'll shoot a li'l movie!
Beeb time: Ten people have been arrested in the US and charged with
spying for Russia. They were allegedly part of an operation where agents
posed as ordinary citizens, some living together as couples for years.
They are accused of conspiracy to act as unlawful agents of a foreign government,
a crime which carries up to five years in prison. Nine of them also face
a charge of conspiracy to launder money, which carries a 20-year prison
sentence. Why didn't they just read the New York
Times to get their information? Unless, of course, the Times doesn't know
all there is to be known, in which case, neither do we. Hmmm. Taiwan
and China are to sign a landmark trade agreement which will remove tariffs
from hundreds of products. Money speaks all languages,
yes? Media mogul Oprah Winfrey climbs back to the top of the Forbes
Celebrity 100 after being deposed by Angelina Jolie last year. The
meek may inherit the earth, but the meek sure don't inherit showbiz fame.
The former US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, who
was fired last week by President Barack Obama, is to leave the US Army.
He was dismissed after criticising US administration officials in a Rolling
Stone magazine profile. Mr Obama has nominated Gen David Petraeus to replace
the sacked general. Imagine that 50 years ago...
black man fires white man. The US Supreme Court has restricted the
rights of state and city governments to enforce controls on gun ownership.
The US's highest court ruled by 5-4 that a ban on handgun ownership in
the city of Chicago was unconstitutional. Justices said the US Constitution
protected the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defence.
civilized society would have no need to keep and bear arms, soooooo...
The US Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by the federal government in
a long-running case in which it sought huge damages against tobacco firms.
Tobacco firms wouldn't exist if there were no consumers.
Yes, we're always looking for somone to blame, What that solves, I'm
Oregon Richie sent a link to Craig Ferguson's interview with Desmond
Tutu, which I can recommend watching. But first, watch
this little clip where Ferguson talks about his impressions of having
met Tutu. And
then watch the interviews. They're in 4 parts. I'm not a religious
person as you know, but I have to say that Tutu is one helluva man.
Where did the day go? Dunno, but it's almost gone. Gary
June 28, 2010. As you know, I've been thinking about my new book.
I figured out the characters and some of the sub plots but not the major
plot. So this morning I went over my notes again and WHAMMO, the lead character's
identity came to me. So then I began writing chapter 1 and WHAMMO the major
plot came to me. You know how it is... every journey starts with a single
step, so I took the step and suddenly I knew where I was headed.
This project is really important because Aussie Odyssey depends on it.
My previous books were valuable lessons in what NOT to do in terms of being
commercially successful. This time, I'm focused on the market place and
what publishers want. At the same time, I won't discard the values I hold
dear. It will be a story about succeeding against the odds, and it will
embrace virtues such as tolerance and understanding. And yes, it will be
a romance hehe.
Actually, when the main elements came to me this morning, I began to
feel passionate about the telling of this story, and passionate is what
I need to feel if I am to write a successful book. A story without passion
is a job, and a job is not what I want. I expect it to take about 6 months,
which is fine. A bit of honest feedback as the story unfolds would be cool
but I don't wanna put it on the net before I submit it to a publisher.
Ohio Jace wrote: There was a biologist on TV saying 1 Trillion creatures
have died in the Gulf oil spill. The blue fin Tuna may need to be placed
on the endangered species list since it only spawns in two places the Mediterranean
Sea and Gulf of Mexico. There are two newly discovered flatfish that live
nowhere else on the planet and are already very rare.
Well, they did say that it was the worst natural disaster in US history
- or something like that. It's a major wake-up call at the very least.
I watched a program last night on Oz TV about the great, great grandson
(give or take) of Charles Darwin, who is in Oz buying up large tracts of
cheap land and dedicating them to the regeneration of endangered species.
He explained that this is the ONLY planet we humans can inhabit, and that
there's NOWHERE else for us to go, so what are we doing fucking it up?
I reckon he's got a point there. Australia has one of the world's worst
reputations for extinctions.
Jace also asked about the proposal for Jewish settlement in Tasmania
during and after WWII: Yes,
it did happen and was taken very seriously.
Earlier today, I put a bunch of lemons in a box (after being spiked
by thorns, thank you very much) and placed it just outside my fence with
a sign, Free Lemons. So I checked just now to see how many lemons had been
taken and somebody took the whole bloody lot including the damn box! What
Beeb time: Leaders at the G20 summit in Canada agree the richest members
will halve their budget deficits within three years. So
who said money isn't everything? Voters in Kyrgyzstan have given
clear approval to a new constitution giving parliament more power, officials
say. With nearly all the votes counted, the election commission said 90%
of voters were in favour of the plan to limit the president's powers. Russian
President Dmitry Medvedev said he feared the move could fuel extremism.
What would you call recent events? Mexican singer Sergio Vega has
been shot dead only hours after he had denied reports he had been murdered.
The 40-year-old singer, known as El Shaka, told a website he had increased
security measures after a number of Mexican musicians were killed. Musicians
performing narcocorridos, songs celebrating the lives of drug barons, often
become the targets of rival drug gangs. Don't ask
me to explain it... I'm just taking notes. The Australian Prime
Minister, Julia Gillard, has announced a new cabinet which focuses on stability.
Key posts at the treasury, finance ministry and resources ministry remain
unchanged. Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was not made a minister but
Ms Gillard said he could be if her Labor party wins the next elections.
"If the government is re-elected, I will be very delighted to welcome Kevin
Rudd into the cabinet in a senior position," she said. If...
yes, if. Stay tooned. England weathered a dramatic late collapse
to beat Australia by one wicket with five balls remaining and seal the
one-day (cricket) series in Manchester. Delete that...
I didn't mean to post it. China's President Hu Jintao has accepted
an invitation for a state visit from US President Barack Obama, the White
House has said. How cordial. A crystal-studded
glove belonging to the late pop star Michael Jackson has sold at a US auction
for $190,000 (£126,000). The glove, worn during the Jacksons' 1984
Victory tour, was among over 200 items on offer, which sold for just under
$1m (£664,055) in total. In that case, I won't
throw away my old undies. The length of a man's fingers can reveal
how physically aggressive he is, Canadian scientists have said. The shorter
the index finger is compared to the ring finger, the more boisterous he
will be, University of Alberta researchers said. I
wish I'd been aware of that before I met some of the people I've known.
Well, the meatloaf is in the oven, and soon I'll throw in the spuds
and pumpkin, and make the gravy. Just the thing for a winter's night. Just
like grandma used to make... 'cept this is grandpa. Gary
June 27, 2010. There ya go... two photo shoots in two days. That
takes care of June. But my legs are killing me after all that bending and
squatting yesterday. It's all in the angle of the dangle, folks. It's called
perspective, and it can make all the difference.
Nice quiet Sunday morning in sleepy Taree. Well, it started out that
way. Just now, two police cars with sirens blaring shot out of the cop
station and whizzed up the road towards Wingham, quickly followed by a
paddy wagon on patrol, also with siren blaring. I have no idea what the
drama is about but it must be pretty serious.
BTW, Chris the fence man was here yesterday to inspect the damaged fence
and mail box. He'll be back next week to make repairs.
Justin's blog has an
interesting article about condoms being issued to school children in Provincetown
- even to first graders. So, being the pot stirrer that I am, I posed the
question: When do we start teaching kids how to use a gun? When it's loaded?
Anyway, this article will no doubt stir up some fiery comments hehe. Nothing
like a lively debate to keep the convo rolling along.
Not a bad winter's day... cool but bright and sunny. When I say cool
it's currently 13C (10am) with a forecast top of 17. Not exactly Speedo
weather but not freezing either. I'll leave that to Oregon Richie and Ohio
Jace. I was 50 before I saw my first real snow, and I've not seen it since.
Frankly, if I never do again, I won't be disappointed.
Beeb time: US President Barack Obama has said North Korea must be "held
to account" for the sinking of a South Korean warship. He said he stood
with South Korean leader Lee Myung-Bak, and condemned Pyongyang's "irresponsible
behaviour". And...? Kyrgyzstan is pressing
ahead with a referendum on a new constitution despite fears it could inflame
ethnic tensions. The proposed constitution would give parliament more power
and set the stage for a general election in September. Several hundred
people died in clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in the south of
the country earlier in June. Same old us and them
problem. I wonder when all humanity will refer to itself as 'we'? I'm not
holding my breath. China's President Hu Jintao has accepted an invitation
for a state visit from US President Barack Obama, the White House says.
got the flick a while ago but I suppose China is more important.
The Vatican has stepped up its criticism of raids by Belgian police investigating
alleged child sex abuse, calling the detention of priests "serious and
unbelievable". Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State,
said "there are no precedents, not even under the old communist regimes".
Vatican continues to insist that it doesn't live in the real world.
China has banned its 2.3 million soldiers from internet blogging, state
media report. A new regulation prohibits the People's Liberation Army (PLA)
from creating websites or blogs, citing confidentiality concerns, the official
Xinhua news agency says. China operates vast internet censorship, dubbed
the "great firewall of China". Nuff said.
Ghana became only the third African side to reach the quarter-final stage
at a World Cup after Asamoah Gyan smashed home an extra-time winner to
knock out the USA. Oops! A top German court
has ruled that it is not a criminal offence to cut off the life support
of a dying person if that person has given their consent.
agree. A cup of coffee each morning may wake you up, but a new study
suggests caffeine might hinder your short-term recall of certain words.
Caffeine made it harder for people to find a word that they already knew
- the "tip-of-the-tongue" phenomenon. No worries.
Do a Google. And now, dear Breth, the answer to the question human
beings have been asking themselves for thousands of years: why
do flamingoes stand on one leg.
One Red Bubbler is from Toronto Canada, and she makes a comment about
the G20 and G8 conferences there... the
chaos and disruption caused by protesters. She says it's like a war
Speaking of Red Bubble, I took a detour down to the river on my way
to the shops and saw this... follow
Right, I've heard criticisms of Australian humor before but this
one really cracked me up.
And now it's getting late... almost sunset time... time to think about
throwing a shrimp on the barbie... except the shrimp will be chicken, and
it won't be a barbie. And I've just turned the heater on. Once the sun
sets, the temperature plummets 10 degrees. Gary
June 26, 2010. Another day older and deeper in debt... so the
song goes (Sixteen tons and what do you get?) Well, it's Old Holdens Show
n Shine day and what happens? RAIN. I hope it clears up before the show
ends at 1:30 this afternoon. Photographing wet cars is cool... no worries...
but getting wet while you're doing the clicking ain't cool.
It's a bit nippy as well... not real cold but a tad fresh. That's winter
Oregon Richie sent a link to a story about a kid with a passion for
news reporting. He
runs a small town newspaper, and has been since he was just 9 years
old. He's 12 now. It's always inspiring to see kids living their dreams.
As to the specialist being away and not being able to see my skin cancer
until August 2, my regular doc says I'll have to join the waiting list
for surgery anyway and that could be some months on the public freebie
system. Obviously, the skin cancer, despite looking a bit of a worry, ain't
life threatening in the short term. *Shrug* I would prefer to keep my leg
Beeb time: Germany's chancellor insists Europe's leaders are making
good progress in talks with the US on bolstering economic growth. Mr Obama
is worried that a series of deep budget cuts announced by European countries
may delay global recovery. Er... yeah. I don't understand
any of that stuff. The US warns North Korea against actions that
could worsen regional tensions amid concern it is set for new missile tests.
N. Korea is playing games, and it's about time we stopped the kiddie talk
and got serious. Michael Jackson's father files a wrongful death
suit against the doctor charged with his overdose, a year after his death.
it's all about...? Pakistan will start monitoring seven major websites,
including Google and Yahoo, for content it deems offensive to Muslims.
think it's also about time we monitored those websites for content deemed
offensive to believers in Santa Claus and Donald Duck. Suspected
Jamaican drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke has pleaded not guilty to US
charges of drug and gun-trafficking. Mr Coke, 41, entered the plea in a
New York court after being extradited from Jamaica on Thursday. Mr Coke
waived his rights to challenge the extradition. If convicted, he faces
life in prison. "It wasn't me, your honor!" Yeah,
right. South Africa's police are investigating after thieves stripped
a police station of all its contents, down to the kitchen sink. The office
was under renovations and ready for re-occupation when the thieves hit,
reports South Africa's Times Newspaper. The robbers helped themselves to
everything of value - including doors, cupboards, basins, cutlery, tiles,
furniture, electrical equipment and mortuary fridges.
not... A Swiss man has been sentenced to five months in jail and
three strokes of a cane for spray-painting graffiti on a train in Singapore.
Oliver Fricker, 32, a software consultant, admitted breaking into a depot
and vandalising the train. The judge called it a serious breach of security.
Caning in Singapore involves being struck with a wooden stick on the back
of the thigh, which can leave permanent scars.
not a big deal for people who eat brains from the skulls of live monkeys.
The Vatican has expressed shock at raids, including the "violation" of
a cathedral crypt, by Belgian police investigating alleged child sex abuse.
As well as searching a couple of main Church offices and a cardinal's home,
police had drilled holes in two archbishops' tombs, said the Church. Prosecutors
said the raids were over alleged "abuse of minors committed by a certain
number of Church figures".
Shock, violation and abuse,
Just got a message from a Youchewb friend (Cody) who suggested I watch
this little gem. Well... what can I say?
Okies, the Old Holdens shoot went okay. Didn't get drenched but there
was rain still on the shiny cars which proved to be interesting photographically.
It wasn't a big display but big enough to be worthwhile, and I bumped into
a couple of old friends there. Check
out the pics here. Anyone notice TT's bro in there?
Well, not a bad day. At least I got to press the shutter button a few
times and had a bit of fun. In a week or two (not sure exactly when) I'll
be doing it again when ol' Puffing Billy returns to Taree. That should
be cool, especially if I can score a ride on the thing. Ya know, I rode
on old trains twice a day, every day, for many years as a kid and took
it for granted. And now? Yeah... it's a whole new thrill. Hehe. It's the
same with the old Holdens... they were a dime a dozen back in the old days,
and now they're turning heads again. Actually, I remember the days when
a new model Holden made the front page of the daily newspapers. Yeah, it
was a BIG deal!
And now it's chef time again. Rump steaks. Gary
June 25, 2010. Back from the Winter
Orchid Show. As expected, it was held indoors at the Uniting Church
complex so the ol' flash kept firing. However, some of the pics turned
Well, yesterday was a momentous day for Australian politics. In less
than 24 hours, the Labor party movers and shakers managed to oust Kevin
Rudd as PM and install Julia Gillard as the new PM. I have to say that
I felt sorry for Rudd when he made his speech. He was holding back tears
with obvious difficulty. And I admit that I was rather impressed with the
way Gillard handled herself when interviewed by Kerry O'Brien on the 7:30
report. Aussie politics are gonna be pretty interesting over the next six
months, not to mention entertaining, before the next election. Opposition
leader, Tony Abbott, is gonna be dancing around in the ring with a feisty
redhead... and now he has the added challenge of criticising a woman as
opposed to a man, which will make things far more complex if he wants to
avoid being seen as sexist.
Yep, no matter who you vote for, Aussie politics sure ain't gonna be
dull for a while. Hehe.
Beeb time: US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has told the BBC that
the world "cannot depend as much on the US as it did in the past". He said
that other major economies would have to grow more for the global economy
to prosper. Not sure what he means by 'depend'.
A bomb blast at the offices of Greece's public order ministry in Athens
has killed a close aide to the minister responsible for counter-terrorism.
Police said the victim had opened a parcel bomb. The explosion happened
only metres away from the office of the minister, Michalis Chryssohoidis,
who was unhurt. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said the bombing
was a terrorist attack. So far no group has said it was beind the bomb.
is cowardice. And that's all there is to it. Suspected drug lord
Christopher "Dudus" Coke arrives in the US after being extradited from
Jamaica. Your time has come, Dudus. Don't expect
any sympathy. Australia's new Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has
assured US President Barack Obama that she supports the military campaign
in Afghanistan. She said she had told him by phone "he should expect to
see Australian efforts in Afghanistan continuing". Australia has about
1,550 soldiers in Afghanistan, mostly training Afghan National Army recruits.
Gillard's father received news of his daughter's rise to PM he said, "Let's
hope she doesn't become another Margaret Thatcher". Hehe. Mining
companies in Australia have expressed hope of reopening discussions about
a controversial mining tax with the country's new prime minister. Julia
Gillard, who has been sworn in as Australia's first female premier, said
she was "throwing open the government's door to the mining industry". Her
predecessor, Kevin Rudd, had slumped in the polls after proposing a 40%
tax on mining profits from 2012. Mining giant BHP Billiton said it was
"encouraged" by Ms Gillard's comments. That proposed
mining tax was the straw that broke Rudd's back. LaToya Jackson
has claimed her brother Michael was murdered because he was "worth so much
more dead than alive". Speaking during a TV interview, the singer demanded
what she called "the truth" surrounding the star's death in June 2009.
Earlier this week music trade magazine Billboard reported that the royalties
accumulated since the star's death had earned the Jackson estate $1 billion
(£677 million). In an interview with GMTV she said: "Personally I
think it is a slap in the face, not just to Michael but to the entire family.
It's totally unfair, it's wrong and it was not an accident. "Asked whether
she believed the star was murdered, she added: "I never had a doubt."
Ohio Jace just wrote about a 10-year-old American kid who refuses to
take the Pledge of Allegiance because of these final words: ...with
liberty and justice for all. Check
out the CNN link, and be sure to watch the video.
Jace also says they had a 5.0 earthquake which originated in Canada
but was felt in Ohio: ...severe thunderstorms, and tornado warnings.
There was wind damage but no confirmed tornados. The quake caused no damage
just frayed nerves. I can imagine! The earth hasn't quite cooled down
yet, ya know. There's still a lotta bubbling and hissing going on under
that crust we're all sitting on. Maybe we arrived a little early.
Anyway, tomorrow I'm off to see the Old Holdens show n shine, which
should be good. It's nice to see those old girls still trundling around
the place, and it'll be even better if I can score a decent pic or two.
June 24, 2010. Started making notes for Love Is... today... lead
characters, etc. Not sure about the plot yet, but I ain't gonna stress
about it. I'll just make a few notes each day until I feel ready to launch
into chapter 1. I've decided to write the story in the first person, though...
from the point of view of Bobby Stevens, the main character.
The primary motivation for writing the book is to make a buck. This
time, I'll be mindful of the commercial aspect to being a novelist, and
what publishers look for. I really don't like my chances of getting this
damn Odyssey underway while my income is limited to a pension. Soooooo...
maybe a book that sells a few thousand copies can fix that. Motorhome,
here I come!
Joao wrote: Australia 2 X 1 Serbia, a beautiful Socceroos’
victory. It’s a pity they didn’t pass to stage 2 but their last game showed
that Australians already have a good football. I’m waiting for them in
the next World Cup in Brazil. Socceroos rule! Joao included this graphic
he made hehe. He's a clever boy, ya know.
Well, it's good news that the Socceroos managed to redeem themselves
after that embarrassing loss to Germany. "The Socceroos held onto their
lead (over Serbia) and departed the 2010 FIFA World Cup with the respect
of the football world intact once again, despite finishing third in their
group," says Match Review.
In and Out day today... money in, money out. So I've been shuffling
a few numbers around on Netbank. Remember the days of writing checks and
putting them in envelopes and licking stamps? Gone! You don't get money
any more. You get numbers. So a bunch of numbers are added to your bank
account, and you distribute them according to your bills. When I was a
kid, we were given a brown envelope on paydays with actual money in it...
notes and coins. And when I worked overtime, we were given "tea money".
Tea was the common expression then for dinner - the main meal of the day.
So I'd get about 12 shillings for tea, spend about 2 bob on a sandwich
and a drink, and make 10 bob profit. Hehe. Jeez, 12 shillings these days
is $1.20. That wouldn't even buy you a sandwich. Back then it was worth
20 times more.
Beeb time: The top US military commander in Afghanistan is removed from
his post after his criticism of leading Obama administration officials.
of speech has its limitations, I suppose. Julia Gillard becomes
Australia's first female prime minister after former PM Kevin Rudd stands
aside from a party ballot. I never liked Rudd the
Dud but Julia Gillard? Bloody hell. That's even worse! Bring on the next
election! Oil is gushing unhindered into the Gulf of Mexico after
an underwater accident at the site of the current major leak. BP was forced
to remove its containment cap after an underwater robot bumped into the
venting system, the US coast guard say. Gas had risen through the vent
that carried warm water down to prevent ice-like crystals from forming
in the cap. Without the cap, the only means of collecting the oil is a
ship at the surface that sucks up oil and burns it. BP said on Wednesday
evening it had begun "operations... to reinstall the cap", Reuters news
agency reports. BP's Bob Dudley, who has taken over from chief executive
Tony Hayward as manager of the company's spill response, said a few hours
earlier he expected the cap to be working again within a day. Well,
if there's a silver lining to this big black cloud it's that it's unlikely
to ever be repeated. Drug use is moving away from cocaine and opiates
and towards synthetic drugs such as amphetamines, the UN says. In its World
Drug Report it says it expects that soon there will be more people using
synthetic drugs than opium, heroin and cocaine together. Seems
to me that if we were to rid the world of all evil, we'd have to rid the
world of human beings. An award-winning lawyer and activist has
been jailed for three years in Syria, human rights groups say. Mohannad
al-Hassani, head of the Syrian Organisation for Human Rights, was tried
for spreading false information and "weakening national morale". Hassani
has defended a number of pro-democracy activists and campaigned for the
repeal of the law used to jail him. Democracy? Ooer!
That's a sin against Allah! A "blue period" Picasso has fetched
£34.7m at auction in London. The 1903 painting, Portrait of Angel
Fernandez de Soto, was expected to fetch between £30m and £40m
at the sale where total receipts could reach £230m. The Picasso,
described by Christie's earlier this year as "one of the most important
works of art to be offered at auction in decades", was owned by the Andrew
Lloyd Webber Art Foundation. :-/
So Australia has its first female Prime Minister. That would be cool
if it weren't Julia Gillard. Newspaper reports say she should capitalize
on her "honeymoon" prime ministership and hold an early election. Sooner
the better I say. I can't stand the woman. But what I think isn't necessarily
representative of what the nation thinks. Heaven forbid if Julia becomes
the darling of Oz politics! I might even move to NZ.
Right... shopping's done. The checkout chick said, "You don't normally
buy this much!" So I explained that I was also shopping for my neighbor.
"And you can blame her for all the cakes and biscuits and sweets." The
woman behind me in the queue said, "Are you sure?" Hehe. "YES, I'm sure!"
Averil does have a sweet tooth ya know... loves all those things. Then
I noticed that the woman had a block of Nimbin cheese amongst her groceries.
Nimbin is hippy country up north of here. So I looked at it and said, "That
might have funny stuff in it." "No," she said, "I've tried it... no funny
stuff. But it would probably sell better if it did!"
Nimbin was just getting started as a hippy colony back in the early
'70s when I worked at a radio station up that way, but I never visited
the village. I'll make up for that on the Odyssey. It's a bit more respectable
these days but still has its dropouts and counter culture. Should be pretty
That time again. T-bones for THEM and whatever for me. I'm easily pleased.
It keeps the peace. Gary
June 23, 2010. Back from the doc. The biopsy of the splotch on
my leg revealed.... eeek! Skin cancer. That's one the doc missed about
2 years ago. He thought it was eczema, and then the pharmacist said it
was a fungal infection. Hmmm. So I've been referred to a specialist, David
Simons, who operated on my previous skin cancers, and a hernia. But he's
away for a month so the earliest appointment is August 3. And that's just
for a look see. The actual op could be any ole time. It will require the
cancer to be dug out and repaired with a skin graft. So it looks like 2/3
days in hospital. How delightful.
Well, I suppose when you've done a few miles, things start to deteriorate.
Old Kev, before he passed on, said, "The two most important things (as
you get older) are your peepers and your legs." Kev wasn't an intellectual
so he missed something that I would have included. Hehe. By the same token,
if your legs go, you notice it. If your eyes go, you notice it. But if
your brain goes, you're unaware of it.
And now back from the pharmacy with a bunch of medication repeats and
a stack of "low-adherent" bandages. The one I used to cover my lesion stuck,
so the nurse had to buggerize around this morning trying to unstick it
before she could remove the stitch. Yeah, well, what the hell do I know?
Anyway, I'm gonna need a lotta bandages before I get to see the specialist
in 6 weeks.
Beeb time: Police in Jamaica arrest suspected drug lord Christopher
"Dudus" Coke, wanted in the US, after a long manhunt. People
who profit from the misery of others ain't on my Christmas card list.
US President Barack Obama was angered by a magazine profile in which the
top military commander in Afghanistan criticised senior administration
officials, the White House says. President Obama said General Stanley McChrystal
had shown "poor judgement". The general has been summoned to Washington
over the Rolling Stone article, for which he has apologised. In the article
by Michael Hastings, entitled The Runaway General, Gen McChrystal is characterised
as facing up to a key enemy in the war in Afghanistan: "The wimps in the
White House." Many truths are uttered in jest, yes?
A US federal court judge has blocked President Barack Obama's six-month
moratorium on deep water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The moratorium
was put in place in the wake of the massive oil spill triggered by an explosion
at a rig in April. The judge said the lengthy ban was "invalid" and could
not be justified, as the negative impact on local businesses was simply
too great. And that's what is generally referred
to as the other side of the coin. The President of East Timor, Jose
Ramos Horta, is due to open a new embassy for his young country in Canberra
- a gift from the people of Australia. The embassy has been financed through
charitable fund-raising. It is thought to be the first time one country
has gifted an embassy to another. Hmmm, I wonder
what Indonesia's comment will be. Indonesia has 210m more people than we
do, and they're right on our doorstep. Oops! Michael Jackson's estate
has made more than $1bn (£677m) since his death a year ago, according
to estimates by trade paper Billboard. Are there
any ATMs in Heaven? A former captain of supersonic jet Concorde
says it was a "beautiful piece of engineering". Efforts are being made
in France to get one of the retired jets off the ground after seven years.
Captain David Rowland, President of the Royal Aeronautical Society, told
BBC Bristol that Concorde was a "delight" to fly. "The smile spread across
my face the first time I flew it and it's still there," he said. Yep,
just like the Super Constellation, the Concorde is a classic that should
When I lived in Petersham, quite near the Sydney airport flightpath,
I saw a Concorde coming in to land from a distance. The noise of those
jet engines, even from some miles away, was deafening, far far louder than
any modern jet aircraft. I also saw a Constellation flying. It too was
some miles away, but I could still hear the deep drone of those massive
radial engines... a much more pleasant sound than the Concorde's jets,
I might add.
Yes, a lot has happened in a little over a century since Wilbur and
Orville did their thing with the Kitty Hawk in 1903: The craft soared
to an altitude of 10 feet, traveled 120 feet, and landed 12 seconds after
Not the most thrilling of days but I did manage to recharge the Sony
battery in readiness for the orchid shoot on Friday. Orchids schmorchids
you may say, but I'm after that ONE killer shot that makes it all worthwhile.
And now it's you-know-what time. Gary
June 22, 2010. How come time flies faster when you're a sexagenarian
than it does when you're a kid? I mean everything else slows down so why
doesn't time? I don't get it.
FL Josh wrote and re-sent the link to the Youchewb vid of the dog eating
with its "hands". This
one works and it's very clever. BTW, I've written to my ISP to ask
about why my replies to Josh bounce. I don't have that prob with anyone
else for some weird reason.
Weather today is D for Dreary. Cloudy and wet. But it's not very cold,
for which I'm thankful. Oregon Richie wrote to say that a lot of people
he knows are expiring. Yes, it happens. You get to a certain age and start
noticing that your friends and associates are dropping off like ten pins.
once you're into your 50s and 60s you're getting closer to perch time,
and it's something you think about. A lotta peeps throw on the Nikes and
jog around the block but I'm afraid I'm too lazy for that. I'll probably
do more walking and maybe even cycling on the Odyssey out of necessity,
but it won't be for health reasons. My interest in photography will also
take me places I otherwise couldn't be bothered going. But that's different
to jogging around the block. Jogging for the sake of jogging is BORING.
If I'm gonna go somewhere I wanna come back with pics and a story!
There was a documentary on TV recently about old war vets in Britain
who spend their final days in a military nursing home. One of them said
he was reticent about making new friends there because they keep falling
off the perch. He was being serious, and I can well understand his concern.
These days I tend to limit my attachments to things like laptops and cameras
which are replaceable.
Speaking of TV programs, I watched Travel Oz last night but missed almost
all of a story about Connie, the super constellation still flying the skies
of Oz. It brought the Queen to Broken Hill way back in the 50s, and also
Elvis Presley to Australia. A ticket for a round-the-world trip on Connie
cost the equivalent of a year's salary back then, which would be over $50,000
these days. Hehe. Anyway, I did a check on Youchewb and found this historic
footage of a corporate
video made for TWA back in the early 50s (in 3 parts).
Beeb time: Faisal Shahzad pleads guilty to all charges in connection
with an attempted car bombing in New York's Times Square. No
problem, Faisal. Allah will take care of you. The man running the
$20bn fund to compensate victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill promises
to speed up the payment of claims. 20 billion. That's
more than the GDP of some countries! Bloody mindboggling. The UK's
most senior diplomat in Afghanistan, special envoy Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles,
is leaving his post. The diplomat has been critical of Nato and US policy,
and said talks with the Taliban should have greater priority. That's
more or less what Chamberlain said about Hitler. The wreckage of
a plane carrying a group of Australian mining executives in West Africa
has been found, Cameroon's information minister said. Nine or 10 bodies
had been found, he said, as hopes faded for survivors. One of Australia's
richest men, Ken Talbot, was on board, with five other Australians, and
one US, two British and two French nationals. Yes,
folks, it's a long way down when you're in one of those things.
Three Australian commandos and a US soldier have been killed in a helicopter
crash in southern Afghanistan, Nato officials say. There was no indication
of enemy involvement. Australia's armed forces chief, Air Chief Marshal
Angus Houston, said the three men killed were from the Special Operations
Task Group. It is the country's deadliest single incident in the nearly
nine-year war. Nine years and still counting.
Teaching stroke patients to sing "rewires" their brains, helping them recover
their speech, say scientists. By singing, patients use a different area
of the brain from the area involved in speech. That
means I'm in big trouble. The quest to live longer is one of humanity's
oldest dreams and three isolated communities seem to have stumbled across
the answer. So what can they teach us about a longer life? Read
the article here.
Nine years so far in Afghanistan. WWI lasted 4 years - the "Great War".
WWII lasted 6 years. But back then you knew who the enemy was. You bombed
the crap out of Germany or Japan. But not now. We're not at war with Iraq,
we're at war with insurgents. We're not at war with Afghanistan, we're
at war with the Taliban. Shades of Vietnam - the Viet Cong. So who the
hell do we bomb the crap out of? The big question, of course, is how much
longer can these wars last? I've heard Aussie spokespersons say it will
be some years yet, but exactly how many they don't specify.
The only way the human race will enjoy lasting peace is to agree to
disagree, to be tolerant, and be content to share the world. But, given
the nature of humanity, and its long history of bickering, I don't like
the chances of that ever happening. So, in the face of such depressing
pessimism there's only one thing to do... make a cheese and egg jaffle
Meanwhile, I'm kinda itching to get OUT THERE and do a little happy
snapping, which I haven't done in a while. Although I've done orchid and
old Holdens shoots before, there's always something new to learn, and some
new way of photographing a familiar subject. You can take 57 shots of a
particular subject and end up with 56 also-rans and one standout. I suppose
that's the carrot at the end of the stick for photographers... that one
elusive shot that makes it into the Hall of Fame.
I'm also contemplating writing another story - a book. I've come to
the realization that my stuff so far ain't mainstream - the wrong genre
as the publishers keep telling me. So maybe I'll play their game. A romance
- boy, girl. BUT with a twist hehe. I'm not terribly motivated but maybe
that will change. I'll start by making notes about the characters, plot
and sub plots, and when I get the bones (structure) of the thing organized
then I'll start writing. I won't publish it on the net tho. Publishers
don't like that.
However, the working title is 'Love Is'. Love is what? you may ask.
Well, read the book. The plot - at this stage - is to create two central
characters who are perfectly normal, Romeo and Juliet, but who happen to
have a bunch of rellos and friends who are anything BUT normal. Therefore,
I hope to please the publisher who wants something commercially viable,
the reader of romance stories who wants - well, heterosexual romance with
all its normal accoutrements, and those members of the reading public who
want something 'different'. It's gonna be tricky but I'll give it a shot.
Actually, it could be very interesting... I've got a few ideas rolling
And now... yes, you know what I'm gonna say already. It's that time
of day again. Anyone who thinks it takes five minutes to write all of the
above can think again. It takes all day - on and off. Actually, I watched
an interview last night with Les Murray, a famous Aussie poet, of whom
it's said, "He writes like one of Botticelli's angels". He was asked some
very interesting questions about inspiration, among other things. Most
fascinating. He said of poetry: "It condenses things that prose takes much
longer to explain." That in itself is poetry. Yeah? Well said, Les. Read
the transcript here.
Din dins time. Gary
June 21, 2010. Yes, I know... going on 66 and still carrying
on like a teen. It's a worry.
So I've been thinking about taking the Sony out of mothballs and using
it for the orchid shoot this Friday. It's only a 5MP camera but it has
a whizz bang Carl Zeiss lens - great for close-ups. I haven't used the
Sony for months... probably a year. Poor thing. Orchids are the most amazing
flowers... truly spectacular, and I'm hoping I have enough experience now
to do a decent job. I tried before and didn't do so well... all kinds of
dumb mistakes. Oh well...
Guess who's a member of Red Bubble? Joao! He's been a member since January
and I've not heard a peep until today when he commented on my newspaper
delivery pic, and gave me a bit of cheek about the Socceroos hehe.
Get clicking, Joao, we wanna see more pics of Brazil!
FL Josh wrote and gave me a Youchewb link to a dog eating with its "hands"
but the link didn't work. Maybe the clip was removed from Youchewb for
some reason. Anyway, I replied to Josh's mail but it bounced ... AGAIN.
Dunno what the prob is.
Actually, that reminds me of a camping trip I took to Kangaroo Valley
with a mate and my dog Kelly. We went into town and dined at the local
pub... out on the terrace, al fresco. So I plonked Kelly on a chair at
our table and she ate with us... T-bones. I carved hers up, by the way,
so that she could eat without tearing the damn thing to pieces and making
a mess. At the time, it all seemed quite normal to me... two guys and a
dog sitting at the same table eating dinner. But I suppose it did look
a bit odd to some observers... although I can't remember any of the other
diners being particularly perturbed. Mind you, it was Kangaroo Valley hehe.
AND... I can't wait to get back there one day.
I think that kinda behavior was the reason my mother thought I was a
bit strange. She was often critical of my idiosyncrasies. My brothers agreed
with her assessment - that I was the weirdo of the clan. My father was
cool, though... I'm pretty sure he never realized I was actually his kid.
And come to think of it, maybe he was right.
Beeb time: Governing party candidate Juan Manuel Santos has won the
final round of Colombia's presidential elections. With almost all the votes
counted, Mr Santos had won 69% of the ballots and was more than 40 points
ahead of his rival - Green Party candidate Antanas Mockus. Mr Santos shares
outgoing President Alvaro Uribe's tough line on security. In his victory
speech, he told the country's main rebel group, Farc, that their "time
had run out". He said there would not be "the slightest chance of negotiations"
with the rebels and demanded they unilaterally release the hostages they
hold. They won't, of course, so it's get tough time.
Actions speak louder than words, Mr Santos. A BP document has revealed
the company estimated that 100,000 barrels of oil a day could, in theory,
flow from the ruptured Gulf of Mexico well. Mr Markey - a senior Democrat
and chairman of one of the committees investigating the Gulf spill - said
the document raised troubling questions about what BP knew about the size
of the spill and when they knew it. "First they said it was only 1,000
barrels, then they said it was 5,000 barrels, now we're up to 100,000 barrels,"
he told NBC's Meet the Press programme. BP says the worst-case scenario
figure of 100,000 barrels a day was irrelevant because it was based on
what might happen if the well's blowout preventer was removed, which the
company had no plans to do. So what's the latest
news about the cleanup? Anyone reporting on the cleanup? Yoo hoo! Wakey,
wakey! Rank outsiders New Zealand pulled off one of the biggest
World Cup shocks of recent tournaments by holding defending champions Italy
to a memorable draw in Nelspruit. Oh dear. The Socceroos
performances to date have been bad enough, but don't tell me the EnnZedders
are in with a chance! That's even more embarrassing! Thousands queued
for the opening of the Harry Potter theme park, where they were greeted
by the films' stars, including Daniel Radcliffe. The Wizarding World of
Harry Potter opened at the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida on Friday.
Universal Orlando spokesman Tom Schroder said 5,000 people were waiting
to get in before the park opened. Radcliffe said the park, based on JK
Rowling's hugely successful novels, was the "next part of the Potter legacy".
about Einstein and Galileo, people much prefer Donald Duck and Harry.
Yep, the Taj Mahal, pyramids, cathedrals, mosques, theme parks... they
all have something in common ya know. But I'm not gonna say what it is
cos there's a distinct possiblity I might be struck by lightning.
TX Greg wrote to say that he's very proud of how Codysworld turned out,
and thanked me for allowing him to be part of it. Hello? He did a fantastic
job, of which I'm sure Cody would heartily approve - not to mention Steve.
I think Greg's involvement has made a huge difference, and I thank him
for his dedication. Greg also brought to my attention that the site was
finished just in time for Cody's birthday, July 1. Not a bad kinda prezzie,
Last night, I was deep frying chips when the handle and basket decided
to divorce. So there was a basket fulla chips in boiling oil, and me holding
a handle with nothing on the end of it. Not good, ladies and genitals.
Not good. I used two tongs to lift the basket outta the oil but it was
all a bit precarious, and the grip wasn't enough to give the chips a good
shake Drama, drama, drama. Anyway, I finally managed to save the chips
but I was gonna throw the basket and handle away. Then I thought, no, I'll
take a shot at fixing it. The handle was attached to the basket by two
pop rivets, which had worked loose because of all the shaking over the
years. I do my chips like a Brazilian uses maracas to play Samba de Amigo.
Shake, baby, shake. I know my chips are cooked to perfection if they sound
like a maraca when shaken. Chick chicka boom boom. So I de-popped the rivets
and found a couple of self-tapping screws from somewhere (I hoard things
in jars) and voila... fixed. And now I'm thinking of calling my chips chick
chicka boom booms instead of chips. Fish 'n' chick chicka booms booms.
How's that? Is this fossil awesome or what? Joao will be sooooo jealous!
Well, this IS the Waffle Page ya know.
And now it's - yes, you guessed it... that time again. The sun is setting,
the air is becoming quite brisk, and it's time to think about closing doors,
turning on the heater, and donning the chef hat. Pork chops and spuds for
THEM, which is an excuse for me to pig out on something Asiany. I love
Asian food but they don't. Well, bugger 'em. Actually, that's not true.
There's a lotta Asian stuff I wouldn't eat in a fit. Gary
June 20, 2010. Sunday! And not a bad one, either. 19C today and
sunny. I hope the weather stays nice for the next few weeks. Next weekend,
I'll do the orchid show and the Old Holdens Show. About a week after that,
the old steam loco, the 3237, is due back in Taree so I'm planning on getting
a ticket to ride! Stand by for a bunch of pics and a new mini vid.
Rather than go through the complicated and boring fixit thing with AVS,
I deleted the whole shebang and downloaded the program again. So I hope
it works. Haven't tried it yet. As a backup I have Windows Movie Maker
but that's a freebie and not as comprehensive as AVS, which has all the
bells and whistles. Bells and whistles... get it? Steam loco? Yeah.
wrote a little ditty last night for Red Bubble. And just now I posted
a pic of newspaper
delivery in Taree.
Young Albert wrote from Denmark to tell me he scored A+ in all his exam
subjects. How's that for cool? I suspect the world will soon have an Incan
science genius. Albert is into science. But he's also into psychology.
So we might have an Incan Einstein, or we might have an Incan Freud. Hehe.
For those of you who are a little confused, Albert was adopted as a Columbian
baby and raised in Denmark.
Well, TX Greg - the cheeky bugger - decided I deserve an award for all
the "hard work" over the last 10 years, and talked Daniel into presenting
the award. He even convinced Daniel to get all dressed up for the occasion
in a tux. Years ago, I created an award for Cody and he got all emotional
about it. I didn't think it was all that special but he did. And I'm pretty
chuffed about this one too. Cody would have hosed himself laughing at the
graphic hehe. And
if anyone dares tell me that it's a good likeness, I'll break his nose.
Beeb time: BP CEO Tony Hayward comes under fire for taking time off
to go boating instead of dealing with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. What's
the difference between a boardroom and a deck on a boat? Talking is talking
no matter where it takes place. Besides, time out refreshes the brain.
A former Rwandan army chief is in a critical condition after being shot
in Johannesburg in what his wife said was an attempt on his life. Being
shot is an attempt on his life? Well, there ya go... ya learn something
new every day. US president welcomes China's suggestion that it
will allow a rise of the yuan, which many in the West say is undervalued.
folks, we must have a level playing field... whatever that means.
Gunmen have killed the mayor of a Mexican town on the border with the United
States. Manuel Lara Rodriguez, 48, was shot dead in Ciudad Juarez, where
he had fled a month ago after receiving death threats. He was the mayor
of Guadalupe Distrito Bravos in Chihuahua state. Guadalupe is at the centre
of a wave of violence involving rival gangs smuggling drugs to the US.
Hundreds of its residents have been killed and it is listed among the most
dangerous towns in the country. Those gangs need
to be taught a serious lesson... and quick. And if you happen to be an
American citizen who uses illegal drugs, and who is reading this, you're
just as much to blame as anyone else. Denmark came from behind to
defeat Cameroon in a pulsating match that ensured the African team became
the first to be knocked out of the 2010 World Cup. Go
Albert! Australia overcame the first-half dismissal of Harry Kewell
to battle for a draw against Ghana that keeps their slim hopes of reaching
the World Cup second round alive. It was an impressive display from the
Australians who had been lambasted by their national press after a meek
opening performance and suffered the hammer blow of having a key man sent
off for the second game in a row. The Socceroos could still emulate their
2006 effort of reaching last 16 in South Africa if they defeat Serbia in
their final game on Wednesday, while Ghana need only a point against the
Germans to advance. Go Aussies! Daphne Brock
was one of a number of women, now in their 90s, who visited Germany in
the 1930s as part of their cultural education. They were aristocratic teenage
girls at the time and their experiences in Germany in the years leading
up to the war provide a unique insight into the rise of Nazism. Daphne
tells Rachel Johnson about the "terrifying" experience at a Hitler rally.
to Daphne's voice over during an interview, right to the very last sentence.
So, now the criticism of BP is about the CEO spending time on a boat.
BP's critics are really on a trip... an obsessive mission to hang the accused.
I'm not a supporter of BP per se - I really couldn't give a damn about
the company - but it annoys me that some people are more intent on venting
spleens than fixing the problem. It's like those old Hollywood Westerns
where the crowd gathers in the main street. It's not the guilt or otherwise
of the guy with the noose around his neck that concerns them, it's the
hanging they wanna see - a public spectacle. Yeah? It's as plain as day
to me. The critics want blood. And then they go back to their houses and
feel good about about having watched a man strangled to death. Gimme a
break. The real issue here is the gulf cleanup. Focus on that. Justice
can come later.
Incidentally, if anyone disagrees with my point of view, by all means
say so. I'm not adverse to criticism. It's just that this Waffle Page allows
me to say what I think without interference from a boss, and I'm having
a whale of a time. I think most people are compromised at some point in
their lives. Don't say that in front of the wife. Don't say that in front
of the children. Don't say that in front of the boss. Don't say that on
the air. Etc, etc. So you can imagine how intoxicating it is to have the
freedom of my very own blog such as this!
I am aware of the risk (if that's what you call it) of expressing views
that may offend some readers of this blog. By the same token, I'm not running
a popularity contest here. Frankly, I don't see the point of being the
person some others would prefer in order to attract the numbers. That would
be a lie. And I don't like telling lies. What you see is what you get.
Actually, for some months now, young Albert has told me that he wanted
to change his name. He wanted to be somebody else - to assume a different
identity. He even set up a blog with a false name and said he was 20. So
I told him that was a load of bullshit, and that he should present himself
to the world as the person he is. No apologies. No excuses. No pretending.
So lately his email to me is signed "Me". Hehe. That's the way, Albert.
Tell 'em to go jump if they don't like it. This is me and this is what
you get. You no like? Too bad, baby.
In essence, if you wanna know who your real friends are, be ......................
(fill in blank space).
I realize, of course, that for some people it's too late. They've spent
years, even decades, creating a false persona that, if dismantled, would
destroy their personal world. Go figure.
And now to something completely different. I've often heard that breaking
an egg into a jaffle iron works pretty well, but I've always been suspicious
of the outcome. Eggs are all runny, right? However, today I decided to
give it a shot. Old fashioned jaffle irons used over a campfire or on the
stove top are now called toasted sandwich makers, and are electric. But
anyway, the principle is the same. Two slices of bread with crusts removed.
Spray internal surfaces of jaffle iron with cooking oil... just a little
bit. Place one slice of bread inside. Break egg into cup, stir with fork
to mix yolk and white. Pour a little onto slice of bread. Wait for bread
to soak up egg, then add a little more until all egg is positioned without
spilling. Add topping of cheese, and a little ground pepper. Top with second
slice of bread. Close jaffle iron. Cook until nicely browned. Yum! I had
one for lunch. I figure it cost me probably 30 cents.
Cody used to talk about toasted sarmies, and I suspect he was referring
to jaffles made with an electric sandwich toaster. They're pretty good,
but out in the bush with a camp fire or gas cooker, the old fashioned jaffle
iron is the way to go. Even here at home I use an old fashioned jaffle
iron with the extra long handles (cast iron) on the stove top. It's gotta
be 40 years old or more, and as good as the day it was made. It's the kinda
thing you never wash. No, no, no. Keep it well greased, scrape off the
crusty bits if necessary, but NEVER wash it. (No undies jokes, please).
Okay, the sun's disappearing and it's a bit chilly again (despite being
a pleasant day), so the heater's on. Soon, I'll take the condoms off the
sausages and use the mince to make rissoles... chopped celery, onion and
a bunch of goodies... and crumbed. Yum. Serve with fried eggs and chips.
I'm here to tellya, dear Breth, that if I'd been around when J. Christ
was doing his thing, and he'd tasted my rissoles, there would have been
Jeez... imagine Saint Gary at the Pearlies. I'd be letting all the scallywags
Right... time to get my act together. Kitchen time. Checkyaslater. Gary
June 19, 2010. Posted the last of the Codeman chapters today.
So that's it. MrB is over, Codysworld is done, and now it's onto whatever's
A bunch of hooligans - drunk and high on something - were outside last
night making a helluva racket. This morning I discovered they'd trashed
my new colorbond side fence - four panels seriously buckled. They also
tried to trash the letter box but Chris did a pretty good job of securing
it. It's a bit bent but still there. So I reported it to the cops - malicious
damage. Not much else I can do. Like I've said before, there's no law against
idiots giving birth to more idiots, so there'll never be a shortage of
BTW, when the constable asked for my birthdate she said, "Oh, that's
my mother's birthdate!" "Really? So she's almost 66?" "Yes, she is!" "Well,
there ya go."
Averil phoned later and asked me if I knew about the fence. "I don't
know if it was them or not but whenever new Aborigines move into the area
there's always trouble." I suppose she has a point, but on the other hand
there are no Aborigines in Afghanistan or Pakistan. I didn't say that,
though. Trouble makers can be any color or creed. In my view, it's all
about what's between their ears and has nothing to do with anything else.
I really do believe that the human brain is just a lump of putty that can
be molded into whatever shape the moulder desires - just like a piece of
pottery. The sad thing is a lump of putty is always at the mercy of the
molder. And who might that be? Show me a lump of putty that molded itself.
Ohio Jace wrote. Seems like little Sean Cody doesn't like peas. Neither
does Jace for that matter. I wonder why that is? I quite like peas, and
I just love pea and ham soup! However, the peas used in soup are those
really hard ones that need to be soaked overnight. Green peas fresh from
the pod (uncooked) are nice too; kinda nutty. And those snow peas (sometimes
called sugar peas) used in stir fries are totally wicked. Anyway, the Ohio
gang are all doing quite well and enjoying the summer weather. Today in
Taree ain't too bad... sunny and 18C. Hehe... Jace and Oregon Richie are
always bitching about their harsh winters, and I can't blame them for thinking
winter in Taree is a joke. How-bloody-ever it would be nice if the temp
was somewhere between the mid and high 20s.
I noticed in a brochure today from a local electronics store that the
Fuji Finepix S1600 Ultra Zoom is just $278. Whoa! 12MP, 3" LCD, 15 x Optical
zoom, 28mm wide angle and HD movie mode. Now that's pretty cool. Unless
you're a pro or really serious amateur, that camera can handle just about
any situation you could think of. And for less than $300, it's a steal.
Yes, I know... I've got 4 cameras already, 2 of which are Fujis.
Have you checked out my favorites
on Red Bubble lately? I've added a few stunners.
Beeb time: The UN announces a flash appeal for Kyrgyzstan, where it
says 400,000 people have been displaced by inter-ethnic fighting. It's
easy to say, isn't it... 400,000. Takes just two seconds. BP denies
claims by one of its partners that its handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil
spill amounts to "gross negligence". I can't imagine
that an experienced company like BP, with an international reputation,
could be guilty of "gross negligence". Something went terribly wrong yes,
but BP is not a backyard operator. I really do believe that BP's critics
are getting far too carried away with their need for vengeance. I mean
this is becoming a town square hanging from the Wild West. Supporters
of Burma's detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi mark her 65th birthday,
as world leaders call for her release. Release by
whom? Those she would destroy? Hehe. Drinking several cups of tea
or coffee a day appears to protect against heart disease, a 13-year-long
study from the Netherlands has found. Those who drank more than six cups
of tea a day cut their risk of heart disease by a third, the study of 40,000
people found. My father was a major tea drinker but
he suffered a heart attack at age 64. I suppose it could be argued that
if he hadn't drunk so much tea, he might have suffered a heart attack much
earlier. Anyway, he survived to age 76. A high-profile former Roman
Catholic priest in Italy has been charged with sexual abuse. Pierino Gelmini,
85, is alleged to have abused 12 young people at a drug rehabilitation
centre he had founded. He denies the charges. Mr Gelmini left the priesthood
two years ago to defend himself. Here we go again.
Poseidon Adventure director Ronald "Ronnie" Neame has died in hospital
in Los Angeles at the age of 99. The British film-maker, who died on Wednesday,
never recovered after suffering from a fall, said family friend and BBC
correspondent Peter Bowes. London-born Neame also worked as a cinematographer
on films including Blithe Spirit and In Which We Serve. He directed The
Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, starring Dame Maggie Smith. She won the best
actress Oscar in 1969 for her portrayal of the inspirational teacher of
six young girls. Neame also co-wrote screenplays including Great Expectations
and Brief Encounter. Can't ask much more of a bloke
than that. Singer Phil Collins has received the prestigious Johnny
Mercer Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame gala. The singer, who has
sold over 100 million records as a solo artist and with the band Genesis,
said writing a popular track is "a complete accident". Yeah,
I guess it is... you never know what works until after it works.
The US has carried out its first execution by firing squad in 14 years.
Convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner, who had spent 25 years on death
row, was executed soon after midnight local time (0600 GMT), after a final
appeal had been rejected. And it's goodnight from
Fair dinkum, I really don't understand this popular mentality of trying
to crucify BP. For God's sake there's a crisis that needs urgent attention
while all these people are busy finger-pointing and playing the blame game.
That's not gonna solve anything! Get together and combine forces to fix
this damn thing! Help BP do its job and stop fucking around with dumb politics
and point-scoring! Jesus Christ, people annoy me!
It's getting to that time again... sun's going down, heater's on, and
I'm about to head for the kitchen. Or is that TO the kitchen? Dozen madder.
I'll end up in the kitchen anyway whether it's for or to. I'm pan frying
scotch fillet steaks and onions for THEM and I'm having a steak and Guinness
gourmet pie. And then, it's telly time... the usual Saturday night crap.
Talk to any TV station programmer and he'll tell you that everyone goes
out on Saturday night, so there's no point in scheduling quality programs.
Hehe. You don't need to be a genius to be in the television industry, ladies
and genitals... just a dickhead who thinks he's a genius. Gary
June 18, 2010. I think my ISP is down. At least I hope it's them
(or the local phone exchange) and not a prob with my computer or modem.
Weatherwise it's a nice day. Yesterday was down to 13C but today is
a more respectable 17... and sunny. I really need to get OUT THERE before
the end of the month so that I have something to post on Aussie Odyssey's
June Journal. I'm getting a bit slack in my old age. Hmmm... just checked
the local council events calendar. There's an old Holdens show-n-shine
Saturday 26th. Yeah, that would be cool. And there's a winter orchids display
FL Josh wrote about the BP oil spill in the gulf. Seems they have similar
problems in the board room.
Beeb time: BP chief executive Tony Hayward has been told by an angry
US Congressional panel his firm ignored dangers when drilling in the Gulf
of Mexico. House committee on energy and commerce chairman Henry Waxman
said BP's "complacency" before the 20 April rig explosion had been "astonishing".
He accused Mr Hayward of "stonewalling" for failing to answer his questions.
As a public relations exercise for BP, the hearing was a disaster, a BBC
correspondent says. Venting spleens ain't gonna clean
up the mess, guys. Get real. Work together. Kyrgyzstan interim leader
Roza Otunbayeva has flown to Osh in the south of the country after the
worst ethnic violence in two decades. At least 191 people were killed in
fighting between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks around Osh and Jalalabad. About
400,000 people have been displaced by the unrest, with many Uzbeks fleeing
into Uzbekistan. The Red Cross (ICRC) has described the situation as an
"immense crisis". Us and them... same old, same old.
The US state of Utah is preparing to put convicted murderer Ronnie Lee
Gardner to death by firing squad, the first such execution in 14 years.
The US Supreme Court rejected a final appeal, meaning Gardner - who has
spent 25 years on death row - will die at 0005 local time (0605GMT) on
Friday. Gardner, 49, chose the firing squad as his method of execution
before it was banned by Utah in 2004. He will be only the third man put
to death in that way in the US since 1976. Barbaric...
both him and his executioners. A sailor has returned to shore after
spending more than three years at sea without touching dry land. Reid Stowe,
58, docked in Manhattan after his 1,152 day voyage, and was greeted by
his girlfriend and 23-month toddler who he had never seen. Mr Stowe left
in the 70-foot (21m) two-masted sailing boat in April 2007. Guinness World
Records say they are looking into the claim that the trip sets a new record
for the longest voyage. Which all goes to prove...???
Slowly but steadily, a decade-old business around the dead and universally
despised dictator Adolf Hitler is emerging as a small-scale industry in
India. Books and memorabilia on the German leader's life have found a steady
market in some sections of Indian society where he is idolised and admired,
mostly by the young. The numbers are small but seem to be growing. Don't
be surprised. If it can happen once, it can happen again. Thousands
of tonnes of food are binned annually in the UK because of confusion over
use-by dates. But those willing to overlook the labels are finding big
online discounts on food past its prime. Yes, I do
that all the time. Stuff that's approaching its use-by date at the local
supermarket gets marked down, and if I happen to be Johnny on the spot,
I snaffle it. I scored 4 kilos of spuds the other day for half price. I
reckon I save $20 to $30 a week by buying mark-downs.
Yep, our weekly grocery bill averages about $90 - or $30 each - which
works out to be $4.30 a day per person. And that includes household cleaning
stuff, toilet stuff, bathroom stuff, food, beverages, etc. We don't starve...
we enjoy steak, chicken, fish and all the usual goodies... even some not-so-usual
goodies. Being a good shopper with a keen eye for specials, and a versatile
cook helps. :o)
Speaking of cooking. Yeah, it's that time of day again... almost. Which
leads me to ponder how much I'll spend on food on the Odyssey. If I get
lazy and buy take-away or dine in restaurants/pubs, it'll cost me a fortune.
But if I cook at "home" I'll spend virtually nothing. I can easily whip
up a decent meal for a buck or two. No, no, no... not THOSE kinda bucks...
although that remains a distinct possibility. "Yoohoo! Burgers anyone?"
Hmmm. Getting a bit carried away there. However, I am conscious of living
cheaply so that I can save money. After all, I'm not gonna be fit enough
to travel Oz forever, and there will come a time when I'll need to settle
down and rest my weary old bones with some sort of permanency - which will
require a few dollars in the kitty. Down there for dancin', yeah? Then
I'll do a Quentin Crisp and say, "If you wanna hear my stories, it's your
treat for dinner." Gary
June 17, 2010. Today I reformatted the Codeman chapter about
Mark's visit to CT for Cody's 19th birthday, which was destined to be his
last. It was written in late June, 2001, almost 9 years ago. But it seems
eerily current, as if time will forever stand still for that special occasion.
Ah, I remember now... the reason I dumped Windows Movie Maker in favor
of AVS was because I had a lotta trouble uploading WMV to Youchewb. Well,
as I write this, I'm giving it another shot. I used Windows Movie Maker
to make another vid... the same one that I had trouble with using AVS.
It all works perfectly on my comp but whether or not Youchewb accepts it
remains to be seen. Fingers crossed. It's a random series of photographs
I've taken during the past whatever, put to the music of Tommy Emmanuel,
a brilliant Aussie guitarist.
Okay, at this stage it looks cool... 10 minutes to go... 5 minutes to
go... 1 minute to go... 100% completed. Yes! It worked! Woohoo! Check
it out, baby.
Back from shopping.... AGAIN. But I scored a few specials. We'll be
dining on chicken schnitzels with cheese and hash browns tonight. Dunno
what I'd do without the convenience of Bluey. Pensioners like me are not
supposed to be able to afford a car... but I manage cos I don't party.
Onya, Bluey... you're a good girl.
Beeb time: US Congressmen prepare to grill BP boss Tony Hayward, a day
after the firm agreed a $20bn fund for victims of its oil spill. And
why didn't Congress grill BP before the event? Go figure. Vultures know
when it's time to attack. Israel's deadly assault on a ship carrying
aid to Gaza increases the chances of a regional war, Syria's president
tells the BBC. Forget it, baby. I don't like the
way Israel acted either but it's not wise to pick a fight you can't win.
Days of communal violence in Kyrgyzstan have sparked an "immense crisis"
in the area, the Red Cross (ICRC) says. Some aid has begun to arrive in
the region, but the ICRC says refugees are running short of basic supplies
such as food, water and shelter. Tens of thousands of people have fled
their homes because of the violence between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. Once
again, I have to say that living in a country like Oz has spoiled the hell
outta me.The United States is expanding its sanctions against Iran
because of concerns about its nuclear ambitions. Washington said the individuals
and institutions targeted were helping Iran to develop its nuclear programme.
tooned. Pop star Prince is to receive a lifetime achievement honour
at the Black Entertainment TV (BET) awards later this month. "Prince is
dynamic. Prince is genius. Prince is music," said BET president of programming,
Stephen G Hill. Well, there ya go, I must have missed
Yes, I still believe that all this finger-pointing at BP for the mess
in the Gulf is an attempt by the finger-pointers to distance themselves
from all responsibility. Ya know, BP was there because it was ALLOWED to
be there. I mean if you invite guests to your party and they trash the
joint, whose fault is that?
Last night's forecast said today was gonna be nice, like 20 C. Yeah,
right. God had something else in mind. Like cloudy, drizzly and cold. So
I put the heater on just now... 4pm. Bit early but bugger it. Actually,
when it was really cold in CT, Cody used to describe it in inches hehe.
Yes, that kid was a one off. I know his story off by heart, but even 9
years down the track, I still shake my head in disbelief when I read his
own accounts of his life. He was outrageous... but he did it with style...
Cody's own inimitable style.
There's a site on the net that has a link to Codysworld. I really like
the words written by the webmaster:
You might know that if you lost someone you loved very much you try
to hold on to your memories, pictures and anything else that makes you
remember....and not forget.
You might have heard that some parents leave their sons or daughters
room intact.....even years after their death.
The friends of Cody did the same.
- after their friend died at the age of -only- 19 they decided to
keep his personal webpage online.
Its a pretty special tribute to a friend: check it out.....
Spoke to Averil today, and Sue was there... wife of Stan the Lawn Man.
Sue and Stan recently arrived back from a caravan holiday up the coast
in Queensland, So Sue got chatting (and she loves a chat) about attending
the reception for Jessica Watson, the young girl who recently sailed solo
around the world in the pink yacht. Sue needed to take a pee, so she went
to a row of porta loos. When she'd finished her pee, she noticed two feet
under a gap in the door of one of the loos. They were in a peculiar position
so she bent down to take a closer look. Then another pair of feet became
visible. By this time, Stan had arrived and asked what the hell she was
looking at. "There's four feet in there," she said, pointing to the gap
under the door of the loo. "And they look like their doing something weird.
I don't know if they're male or female." Stan checked out the scene for
a while, then got bored and wandered off. But Sue stayed. She was curious
to know who the feet belonged to. "They were too big to be female," she
said to Averil and me. Stan eventually came back and told Sue to forget
it - that they were due to be somewhere else. By that time the two pairs
of feet were in a standing position but the occupants of the loo had failed
to emerge. So the mystery of why four feet were in the same porta loo will
remain unresolved hehe.
And that's it for today, boils and goils... schnitzels in the pan, hash
browns and corn fritters in the oven, and almost time to eat! Gary
June 16, 2010. Yesterday's visit to the doc resulted in the doc
inspecting my splotch and saying, "What have you done?" Yeah, like it's
my fault? Blame God! Anyway, he thinks it might be cancerous so I'll be
back at 3pm today to have a piece removed and sent for a biopsy. Ultimately,
I'll need a skin graft. Oh well... at least he didn't turn up with a chain
When I told Lindsay, Chicken Little emerged to say the sky was about
to fall in. "You won't be able to go around Australia!" So I told him I've
had lots of skin cancers removed, and it's only localized anyway. It's
not like I'm riddled with the stuff... not yet.
Beeb time: Barack Obama vows to 'make BP pay' for damage caused by the
Gulf of Mexico oil spill, in his first Oval Office TV address. I
still think the market for petroleum products needs to share some of the
blame. If it weren't for the insatiable demand for oil, there would not
have been a spill. The Bloody Sunday killings were unjustified and
unjustifiable, the Prime Minster has said. Thirteen marchers were shot
dead on 30 January 1972 in Londonderry when British paratroopers opened
fire on crowds at a civil rights demonstration. Prime Minister David Cameron
said he was "deeply sorry". Yeah, right, almost 40
years down the track. They should have been sorry on the day itself.
Mexico places new restrictions on the use of the US dollar, in an attempt
to limit money-laundering by drugs gangs. Once again,
it's supply and demand. If there was no demand, the drugs gangs would have
no power. So who is to blame? Sperm whale faeces may help oceans
absorb carbon dioxide from the air, scientists say. Australian researchers
calculate that Southern Ocean sperm whales release about 50 tonnes of iron
every year. This stimulates the growth of tiny marine plants - phytoplankton
- which absorb CO2 during photosynthesis. The process results in the absorption
of about 40,000 tonnes of carbon - more than twice as much as the whales
release by breathing, the study says. Poo is cool!
Maicon produced a moment of pure Brazilian magic to set the five-time champions
on their way to victory in their opening game against North Korea in Johannesburg.
The Brazilians, ranked number one in the Fifa rankings, were expected to
cruise past the team in 105th place in their Group G encounter. But on
a difficult evening they had to wait until the 55th minute to break the
deadlock as the North Koreans proved more than capable opponents. Jeez,
and the Socceroos are up against these guys? Sheesh. People with
plenty of a B-vitamin in their blood appear to be at a reduced risk of
lung cancer, even if they smoke, a European study suggests. High levels
of Vitamin B6 and the amino acid methionine cut the risk by half, a study
of 400,000 people suggested. These occur naturally in nuts, fish and meat
or can be taken as supplements. I've been taking
B complex supplements for donkey's years.
It's Oregon Richie's first day today at his new job with a Hyundai dealership.
He was previously into ATVs and motor cycles. So I thought about how it
is to be 50+ and involved in a whole new routine. I think we all get comfortable
with familiar circumstances, especially as we get older. Old habits die
hard, as the saying goes. So it'll be interesting to see how Richie settles
in to his new environment, with new people and new ways of doing things.
I think younger people are more adaptable and find it easier to assimilate,
but we'll see.
And that got me to thinking about the Odyssey, and how my current cosy
routine will be a thing of the past. EXCEPT MY MORNING CUPPA! There's no
way I'm gonna start the day without my morning cuppa. There's also no way
I'm gonna survive without my laptop, internet connection and fav websites.
As to whatever else is associated with the life of a vagabond, and how
I handle it, remains to be seen. Hehe. I've gotta be crazy.
AVS finally answered my request for help. They need more information,
like what I had for breakfast, and I'm pissed off about having to write
a looooooong diatribe about what I did, when I did it, how I did it, exactly
when the fault(s) occur, and whatever else. It's all too hard. So I checked
my free version of Windows Movie Maker. I don't remember why I decided
not to use it instead of buying a copy of AVS. Anyway, I'll give Movie
Maker another shot and see if it works okay. If it does, AVS can go pack
sand. Stay tooned.
Meanwhile, I'm farting around using up time until I depart for the doc's.
(And yes, I'm wearing clean undies). Not much I can do until I get back.
And even then it'll be too late to start a major project. Grrrr.
BACK! And I weigh a little less. Sooooo, if the sample turns out to
be malignant, it's off to hospital for maybe two or three days. WHAT???
I asked the doc if he was serious and he said yes. Bloody hell. On the
other hand, if it's not malignant, they'll have to figure out some sort
of medication to clear up the "lesion". This getting old business is a
pain in the butt - BIG TIME.
I had to laugh at the nurse. I mentioned to the doc that I was wearing
new undies as I dropped my jeans, and sat on a chair. Then the nurse asked
me to lie on the operating table, but she was worried that I'd take a tumble
because my jeans were around my ankles. However, the doc explained to her
that I was accustomed to having my pants down hehe, and I had to tell him
to shuddup. "Don't tell them EVERYTHING!" (He had a university student
from Sydney with him). So it was all very jolly as he explained to the
student how I was gonna be carved up. I'm hearing all this medical talk
and felt like saying, "Hey, I'm not a corpse yet!" So the student did the
carving and stitching and here I am. I go back next Wednesday to have the
stitch removed, and to find out whether or not I'll need further surgery.
Yep, kitchen time again. THEY are having rump steak with onions and
I'm having a gourmet pie... steak simmered in Guinness. I had one a while
ago and it was awesome. They were on spesh the other day so I bought 2
for $6. Gary
June 15, 2010. Chewsdee. FL Josh wrote about laces: You referred
to shoelaces that don't stay done. There is a reason that happens.
A properly tied shoelace is a square knot with loops, and it does not come
undone. Some people were improperly taught how to tie their shoes
and they tie a granny knot with loops and they don't stay tied. The
way to tell is if the loops naturally lie pointing right and left, it is
a square knot with loops and if they lay up and down, along the axis of
the foot and leg, it is a granny knot with loops.
There ya go. Don't ever say you don't learn things on AO.
Ohio Jace also wrote: From Waffle: you poor folks down under thinking
13C (55F) is cold. Many here would not even have the heaters on at that
temp. That is still Speedos weather here, or for those of us too old to
wear Speedos, shorts and T’s.
Jace goes on to say: It was 31 C and very humid today (Sun) as we
sat in the outdoor stadium to watch our favorite neighbors graduate from
Ohio State. This was the largest graduating class ever with over 8,500
peeps doing the honors. I decided not to wear a suit, just Dockers and
a dress shirt. Some of the graduates were wearing shorts under their gowns
so…. This was only the second time we have ever been in the stadium; the
first time was the graduation of our two (sons); ages ago.
That must've been nice. I've never been to a graduation. I know that
Jace and June have a very special affection for their neighbors... almost
like one big family. Oregon Richie also went to a graduation party at his
neighbor's place the other day and had a great time. So here I am at 65
and never been to one. What have I missed out on? I had to do a Google
for Dockers tho... men's pants with an anchor logo, some sort of "hello
sailor" thing. I remember June telling me that Jace had a nice butt, so
maybe it has something to do with that... sailor's pants always show off
the butt... so I've heard. :-P
A year or two ago, my doc diagnosed a red splotch on my leg as eczema,
and he recommended an ointment. Then a pharmacist said it was a fungal
infection and recommended a different ointment. Well, the damn thing has
gone berserk and I suspect it's ulcerated. An hour ago I managed to peel
off the bandage without screaming too much and then phoned the doc. He
was too busy to take the call so I spoke to a nurse, and she's booked me
in for a dressing at 4:30. Bleh. Well, at least the doc will be present
to inspect the dressing. If he walks into the room carrying a chainsaw
I'll start to get worried. I'm falling apart, ladies and genitals. 5 minutes
ago I was 30. What happened?
Let's do a Beeb before I have to go through all this shit: US President
Obama asks supporters to back a campaign for clean energy, as he visits
areas affected by the BP oil spill. Better late than
never, I suppose. Funny how people come up with solutions after a disaster...
but not before. Thousands of ethnic Uzbeks have massed at the Uzbekistan
border in an attempt to escape violence in Kyrgyzstan which has left at
least 138 dead. Reports suggest that Uzbekistan is considering closing
its borders as the build-up continues, despite requests by the UN to keep
it open. The United States has called for a "co-ordinated international
response" to the violence. At least 1,761 people have been injured in four
days of clashes. People who live in counties like
the US and Oz have difficulty understanding that kind of mentality because
we're just one big melting pot. A clash between rival gangs in a
Mexican prison leaves at least 28 inmates dead, in another day of drug-related
violence. Sounds like it's safer on the outside.
Showering may be bad for your health, say US scientists, who have shown
that dirty shower heads can deliver a face full of harmful bacteria. Tests
revealed nearly a third of devices harbour significant levels of a bug
that causes lung disease. Levels of Mycobacterium avium were 100 times
higher than those found in typical household water supplies. M. avium forms
a biofilm that clings to the inside of the shower head, reports the National
Academy of Science. Is there anything we do that
doesn't have some sort of risk?
That business about the Aussie Socceroos losing 4-0 to Germany yesterday
is sooooo embarrassing. The commentators say it could have been 8-0 if
Oz hadn't been so lucky. "It could have been a major embarrassment instead
of just an embarrassment." Seems the Oz team is too old... experienced,
yes, but too old. The average age of the Germans is 26. They're fast, quick-thinking,
and well trained. I suppose the Socceroos will do their best to regroup
and improve their tactics, but there's not a lotta confidence in their
ability to beat Ghana in the next round. Oh dear. It'll be a bloody miracle
if the Socceroos get their act together. Mind you, if they do... you'll
hear the bloody cheering "over there".
Stan the Lawn Man is here making his usual racket. He and his missus
are back from a couple of weeks holidaying on the Queensland coast. "Shoulda
stayed there," he said. Hehe. Maroochydore
is one of his fav places. Just checked and it's 21C (70F) there at the
mo. Stan agrees with Ohio Jace that Taree doesn't suffer a harsh winter.
Stan was a farmer near Goulburn in NSW where it gets into the minuses.
He told me about riding a motorcycle on his farm in sleet, which is like
riding through airborne razor blades at high speed. "I had to keep my head
down to avoid having my eyes sliced to ribbons, and I almost hit a fence."
No wonder he sold the farm and moved here. No sleet in Taree, folks.
I just showed Lindsay my new invention... a red milk bottle top covering
my wound and held in place by packing tape hehe. He wasn't impressed. But
the bottle top stops the tape from sticking to the wound, so when the nurse
removes it, voila... no problem. I've just showered and washed it clean.
I expected it to sting like buggery but it didn't. Jeez, I'm brave! Where's
You know that thing when you hear a song on the radio and the damn thing
plays over and over and over again in your head? Yeah, well Stevie Wonder
won't go away. He's singing "I just called to say I love you". Great song.
One of many, actually. The guy's a genius. BUT... sheesh.
One of the Codeman chapters I reformatted and posted today was one where
he hadn't written for 6 weeks, and then got the guilts. Hehe. I suppose
I must've been frantic at the time. But such dramas tend to sort themselves
out in time, which is something we should keep in mind when we're going
through a tough period. Retrospect can give us a much clearer perspective.
Yeah? But it takes patience, and perhaps a thing called faith.
Well, it's getting close to the time I have to fire up Bluey and head
out to the doc's surgery. I wonder what the nurse will say about my milk
bottle top invention? Then I'll get back here to cook fish 'n' chips for
the kiddies. Gary
June 14, 2010. Shopping, shopping, shopping. Shopping is like
dusting or mowing lawns or doing the dishes. They never stay done! I hate
things that don't stay done. Like shoelaces that keep coming loose. Or
a runny nose when you've got a cold. You see, people keep adding to the
kitchen grocery list. It never ends.
However, I managed to get a shot of the local
courthouse and put it on Red Bubble just for something to do. I also
a little piece for Red Bubble as well. And at the supermarket I used
the auto checkout, which I NEVER do... but one of my fav checkout chicks
was manning the thing so I got all brave and gave it a shot. I still don't
like it tho.
Chick? Manning the auto checkout? Yeah, well... whatever.
My Brazilian mate Joao wrote about the World Cup: German beat Australia.
But I don’t think it was a bad result, it was only a predictable result.
German is one of the best teams in the world (in World Cup numbers it’s
the second best). And the best team that already played in the present
Cup – I saw all the matches and can say this. The referee was too hard
with Cahill. It’s a foul that deserved a yellow card, but not a straight
red one. I hope Aussies could win Ghana and Serbia and pass to the round
of 16. I’ll be supporting them with all my enthusiasm (but without any
vuvuzela). GO SOCCEROOS!
Isn't Joao a sweetie? I'm not really a follower of soccer (or any sport
for that matter) but events like the World Cup and Olympics make even me
sit up and take notice. And vuvuzela? I had to do a Google, and discovered
that a vuvuzela is one of those noisy plastic trumpets that everyone (almost)
uses to make a bloody racket at sporting events. No thanks.
Beeb time: Israel sets up an internal inquiry, with two foreign observers,
into its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last month. It's
not the sort of publicity you need, guys... especially if you wanna be
seen as the goodies. You've even got the Red Cross offside. UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon expresses alarm at the scale of inter-ethnic clashes
in southern Kyrgyzstan. Inter-ethnic. There ya go.
Tribes. Us and them. Germany provided a real signal of intent with
a thrilling demolition of 10-man Australia to get their 2010 World Cup
campaign off to a flying start. Coming into the tournament without injured
talisman Michael Ballack, doubts over the future of coach Joachim Loew
and the second-youngest squad in the competition, many might have expected
Germany to struggle in South Africa. But if their effervescent display
in Durban is anything to go by, the three-time champions could be real
contenders for the title come 11 July. Has the fat
lady sung already? Am I missing something here? President Obama's
comments about the BP oil spill were not "anti-British", the American ambassador
to London has said. Obama administration officials have used the old name
"British Petroleum" when making criticisms of the firm - sparking controversy
in the UK. US ambassador Louis Susman said Mr Obama had used "British Petroleum"
perhaps once, but was keen to say "BP". "Tip toe,
through the eggshells, to the shadow of an oil spill, and tip toe through
the eggshells with me..."
Well, I suppose the focus is on the World Cup in Safrica. Naturally,
I'm rooting for Oz but it doesn't look too flash at the minute. As we all
know, the Germans can be very determined chaps.
Anyway, it's time for din dins. I'm doing the leftover chicken chopped
and added to pea and ham soup, along with diced ham and a handful or two
of peas. But Lindsay doesn't want diced potato added. Why? Buggered if
I know. So I'll do grilled cheese on toast fingers instead.
These guys have gone from eating crap at the old boarding house and
not complaining to being picky with me as the cook. And I'm getting pretty
pissed off about it. Grrrr. Gary
June 13, 2010. Just back from chatting to Averil. Sat on her
front step in the sun rather than going inside cos it was WARM. She was
sitting just inside the door, also in the sun. When I left after about
an hour, she said was my face was pink hehe.
Well, tried a few more things with this damned AVS software but couldn't
solve the problem with the audio track breaking up. But I sent a message
to AVS letting them know what I did. Hopefully that will help them solve
little bloke might look pretty ordinary but he's a butcher bird, and
his song is just wonderful. I hear these guys' melodies every morning,
and there's quite a variety of tunes in their repertoire. Their pitch is
perfect even down to complex semi-tones. Never heard them in Sydney but
they're quite plentiful up here on the Mid North Coast.
TX Greg added more stuff to Codysworld today... interviews, The Continuum,
Codeman wall and Cody Movie.
Check the bottom of the page for the links.
Beeb time: Kyrgyzstan's interim government has given security forces
shoot-to-kill powers in a bid to stop ethnic fighting which has taken nearly
80 lives. It also declared a partial mobilisation of the army to
combat "destructive forces and criminal elements". Thousands of ethnic
Uzbeks have been fleeing what they say are ethnic Kyrgyz gangs in the southern
city of Osh. Almost 1,000 people were also hurt in the worst unrest since
President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's overthrow in April. Russia says it does not
plan to intervene despite a Kyrgyz request. Is it
the old European tribal thing? I thought that kinda mentality went out
with the stone age. On the other hand, maybe the stone age never went anywhere.
Pakistan's intelligence service has direct links with the Taliban in Afghanistan,
a report claims, but Pakistan denies it. Nothing
about Pakistan surprises me (unless they win the cricket). A top
US Coast Guard official has said that BP's plans to contain oil gushing
into the Gulf of Mexico from a blown-out well do not go far enough. Rear
Adm James Watson gave the oil firm 48 hours to identify "additional leak
containment capacity". And if they don't? I mean
who else is gonna go in there and fix the damn thing? JC? Japan's
Hayabusa probe returns to Earth on Sunday, releasing a capsule into the
atmosphere that scientists hope will contain samples from asteroid Itokawa.
If the 40cm-wide conical disc survives the blistering heat of the descent
and can deploy a parachute, it should touch down in Australia at about
1400 GMT. Just about everything else from Japan has
ended up in Oz so why not the probe? Restaurant critic Egon Ronay
has died at the age of 94 after a short illness. Ronay, who was born in
Hungary in 1915, wrote his first guidebook in 1956 after managing several
restaurants and contributing to the Daily Telegraph.
that's what I call a life well spent... all those years eating and drinking
in restaurants! Bliss! England's pack threatened to earn them a
remarkable victory in the first Test but Australia held on to win in Perth
despite being butchered in the scrum. Neh, neh, neh,
neh, neeeh, neh. Rescuers in the US state of Arkansas are searching
for more than 20 people missing after floods swept through campsites in
a national park. At least 18 people were killed in the floods on Friday
and more than 20 others taken to hospital. Rescuers say bodies may have
been washed away and the search for the missing could take days if not
weeks. How awful... camped out in the bush enjoying
nature and whammo. Disaster. Goalkeeper Robert Green suffered a
World Cup nightmare as England were forced to settle for a disappointing
draw in the opening game of their campaign against the United States. Stay
tooned. A 16-year-old US girl who ran into problems trying to become
the youngest person to sail solo around the world has been rescued in the
Indian Ocean. Abby Sunderland was picked up by a French fishing vessel
some 2,000 nautical miles off the Australian coast, maritime authorities
said. It is not clear yet whether the 16-year-old will be taken to Australia
or the French territory of Reunion near Mauritius off eastern Africa. So
it could be either "owyagoinmate" or "bon jour, mamselle". We hear
a lot about the Taliban but
who are they?
Yes, another cold evening, so I got my hospital table... one of those
little tables on wheels that slides over the bedside and positions itself
to allow bedridden folks to eat their breakfast or whatever. You
know the ones? I got it years ago from somewhere or other. Until about
half an hour ago it was in the spare room piled with junk. Now it's minus
the junk and alongside my bed with the portable TV sitting on it, ready
for tonight. I think it's gonna become a permanent fixture, at least during
winter. I'm thinking it'll probably be handy in the van as well... as a
table for the laptop.
You know I'm a huge fan of Dudley Moore, but was he a comedian first
and musician second, or a musican first and comedian second? You
be the judge. Then again, you
may want to change your mind. What a terrible tragedy that he met his
end with a brain disease. But at least he used it well while he had it.
And now, ladies and genitals, it's that time of day again... din dins.
Lindsay wanted scrambled eggs and chips. The chips are home made but I
must confess that I didn't lay the eggs. If I ever decide to give it a
shot, I'll do a video. I've also decided to throw in a couple of leftover
rissoles for good measure. Sayonara and hooroo for now. Gary
June 12, 2010. Worked on the new vid today... got all the stills
organized, added the transitions (fades) and then added the sound track.
The sound track breaks up during replay. Why? Who knows. I downloaded the
sound track again in case there was a problem with the first download.
No problem. Plays fine in Windows media. But on the vid? Same problem.
It breaks up. Why? I dunno. Wrote to AVS help. When will they answer? Who
knows. I can't begin to tell you how frustrating this is. Meanwhile, I'll
put the project on hold till I can figure it out... one way or another.
Meanwhile, just got a note from AVS to say that my request is being
attended to. Okay, I'll cool my heels. Grrrr.
You hear about people being busted for child pornography on the news
but it's not often you recognize the culprit. Last night on ABC TV news
there was a story about Andy Muirhead, presenter of the popular ABC TV
series 'Collectors' and breakfast presenter on ABC radio in Hobart Tasmania.
He is also a well known stand up comedian. I'll bet that revelation has
floored quite a few people. Police raided his house and seized computer
equipment. He's been bailed till August 2 when he'll face the charges in
Beeb time: UK PM David Cameron will discuss the Gulf of Mexico oil spill
with US President Barack Obama, as pressure increases on BP. Jeez,
talking about fiddling while Rome burns. At least 16 people have
died in the US state of Arkansas after floodwaters hit campsites in a mountainous
national park, state governor Mike Beebe says. Two dozen people were taken
to hospital and some 30 others remained unaccounted for. Helicopters are
taking part in the search in a remote, mountainous area in the state's
south-west. The operation is focused on campsites along the Little Missouri
and Caddo rivers in the Ouchita Mountains. Just what
a bloke preparing for an Aussie Odyssey needs to know. He tried
once, he tried again, he tried a third time - but each attempt to break
the shop window rebounded on him. The still unidentified burglar was throwing
a rock at a shop in Wellington, New Zealand, which sells skateboards and
streetwear. But the rock just kept bouncing back and knocking him on the
head until he, and a watching accomplice, gave up. Police say they hope
the experience has knocked some sense into the burglar. I
could make a rude remark about N Zedders but I won't. The World
Cup has opened amid jubilant scenes in South Africa, but Nelson Mandela
missed the event after a car crash killed his great-granddaughter. Zenani
Mandela, 13, died when the car taking her home from a pre-competition concert
in Soweto overturned. The car's driver was arrested and charged with drink-driving.
very sad indeed. A 16-year-old US sailor who went missing while
sailing solo around the world has been found safe and well. Abby Sunderland's
yacht was spotted by an aerial search team in the southern Indian Ocean,
midway between Australia and Africa. A Qantas Airbus A330 search plane
- scrambled from Perth early on Friday - spotted the teenager's boat, called
Wild Eyes, and made contact with her. Now THAT'S
a search plane! A 90-year-old woman from West Yorkshire has amazed
her fellow golfers by hitting a hole in one. Mary Tattersall made the 181yd
(165m) shot on the second hole at Shay Grange Golf Centre in Heaton near
Bradford. The pensioner, who has only been playing golf for two years,
said she felt amazed and stunned to have achieved the feat.
took up golf at age 88 hehe. Bloody hell!
It's June. I don't remember June being this bloody cold but I've just
turned the heater on... 4pm. That's ridiculous. But it's too damn cold
not to. Must be a cold front or whatever the damn things are called. I'm
not looking forward to the power bill in a few months, I can tell you that.
I just checked my Journal entry for June last year. June 30, 2009. June
(winter) weather continues to be pleasant - fine and 23 C today - so I
had a little chat with myself and convinced myself to take Bluey for a
run in the countryside... Lansdowne, to be precise, which is a short drive
north of Taree and to the west through lovely rural countryside. 23C?
Not today, bro. It's probably more like 13. Winter is not my scene at all.
Anyway, the rump steaks are frying in the pan and my PIE is in the oven,
so it's time to attend to my kitchen duties and feed the troops. I wish
there was something else I could add but it's been a pretty ordinary day.
June 11, 2010. Well, today is not as hectic as yesterday and
I've managed to get a few things done. Made a bit of progress with the
latest movie project but it's not finished yet. Getting there, though.
It's harder than you think!
I gave a lift to old Ken yesterday when I saw him walking home. "It
was my birthday yesterday," he said, "and I turned 77." Whoa! But he's
doing okay, and walks uptown twice a day. His next door neighbor Joan is
86 and also walks uptown a couple of times a day. Averil is 76 but her
legs have packed it in. It's the luck of the draw. My eldest bro is 80
and he was up on the roof fixing something recently... still rides a bicycle
and works (as a hairdresser) twice a week.
Winter's here with a vengeance. Last night's temp was down to single
digits so I went to bed early and watched my little portable TV. Daytime
temps aren't too bad... late teens. I bought that little color TV about
2 years ago in anticipation of the Odyssey, or at least a bit of camping
overnight locally. BUT I'M STILL HERE! It was a waste of money really cos
analogue TV reception will be entirely redundant by 2013. It's all digital
now. Even Averil bought a new digital TV a few weeks ago. So I might as
well get a bit of use out of the portable before it becomes junk.
Beeb time: As many as 40,000 barrels (1.7m gallons) of oil a day may
have been gushing out from a blown-out Gulf of Mexico well, doubling many
estimates. The US Geological Survey says that flow rate could have been
reached before a cap was put on the well on 3 June. BP's chairman has been
asked to meet Barack Obama next week, amid assurances from the UK and US
that bilateral ties will not be affected by the crisis. UK PM David Cameron
and President Obama will discuss the spill at the weekend. What
a waste of a precious commodity! Ya gotta be more careful next time, guys.
Nelson Mandela's great-granddaughter has been killed in a car crash after
a concert on the eve of the World Cup. Zenani Mandela, 13, died when travelling
home after the concert in Soweto, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said. No-one
else was hurt. There's a bloke whose been around
for almost a century through thick and thin, and there's a girl whose made
it to only 13. There's nothing fair about life. A US teenage girl
sailing solo around the world is thought to be in distress in a remote
area of the Indian Ocean. Californian sailor Abby Sunderland, 16, was last
heard from at about 1300 GMT on Thursday before emergency beacons were
activated, her brother said. An aircraft was scheduled to depart from Perth,
on Australia's western coast, on a four-hour flight to Ms Sunderland's
location, Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokeswoman Carly Lusk said.
Abby. In a bit of strife there, darling? No worries, mate. Never fear,
the Aussies are here." Drug enforcement officers in the US say they
have arrested more than 2,200 people in an investigation targeting Mexican
trafficking rings. The joint operation lasted almost two years and culminated
on Wednesday with more than 400 arrests across 16 states. Officers also
seized considerable amounts of methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin. Good.
Keep up the good work, chaps! Uganda police are investigating after
a marijuana plantation was uncovered in the garden of a convent. A regional
police chief told the BBC that plants covering one acre had been found
and uprooted in the southern Masaka district. Two nuns and two porters
have been questioned. One of the nuns has been quoted by local media as
saying the marijuana was used to treat farm animals, such as pigs. Southern
regional commander Emmanuel Muhuirwe told the BBC News website that only
the porters had been arrested - not the nuns. Holy
smoke! South Africa is preparing for the start of the biggest football
tournament on earth, the World Cup, which gets under way on Friday in Johannesburg.
It is the 19th staging of the showpiece event and will be the first time
it has taken place in the continent of Africa. Cody
was a rugby fan but I think he would have been pretty excited about this!
Google is "almost certain" to face prosecution for collecting data from
unsecured wi-fi networks, according to Privacy International (PI). The
search giant has been under scrutiny for collecting wi-fi data as part
of its StreetView project. Google has released an independent audit of
the rogue code, which it has claimed was included in the StreetView software
by mistake. But PI is convinced the audit proves "criminal intent". Oops!
This is bad news! I hope the best thing since sliced bread doesn't mean
we gotta go back to square one and start slicing our own bread again.
Pope Benedict XVI has strongly defended the Catholic Church's rule of celibacy
for priests, speaking to 10,000 priests in St Peter's Square in Rome. He
called it a sign of faith in an increasingly secular world. Good.
The last thing we need is a lot more little Bennys running around.
Drinking three or more cups of tea a day is as good for you as drinking
plenty of water and may even have extra health benefits, say researchers.
Tea not only rehydrates as well as water does, but it can also protect
against heart disease and some cancers, UK nutritionists found. Experts
believe flavonoids are the key ingredient in tea that promote health. Yes,
folks, I couldn't do without my morning cuppa.
And speaking of the World Cup, Joao wrote today. Coincidentally, he
was also mentioned in the Codeman chapter I reformatted today, when Cody
told me about a Brazilian guy who offered to translate Cody's stories into
Portugese. Cody was pretty chuffed about that. Tomorrow (maybe already
today in Australia) the Football World Cup begins. I’m happy cause Australia,
South Africa and Brazil are there. Here’s a “votive”
graphic of my three teams in the Cup. Tchau. João
Okies, chicken's in the oven, spuds are in the oven, and in an hour
from now they'll all disappear into 3 hungry tummies. WITH GRAVY! BTW,
I mentioned the Archibald fountain in Hyde Park, Sydney, the other day...
a nice pic posted by a Red Bubbler. Oh, and young Cody Simpson has
posted a new vid on Youchewb of his rise to fame. There's
an Aussie kid going places. And good on him! Gary
June 10, 2010. Whoosh! Gone! Got paid, paid the bills, did the
shopping, and now it's 5pm. I also had a bit of a fiddle with my latest
movie attempt... a selection of my pics put to music but it got a tad complicated
and I realized it wasn't gonna be done in 5 minutes... which is the usual
limit of my patience. Sooooo, I'll have another shot at it tomorrow. It
needs to be interesting and entertaining, so whether I like it or not,
I'll have to spend a bit of time on it.
Sorry about the lack of Waffle today, folks, but that's the way it is
sometimes. There are only so many hours in the day. Gary
June 9, 2010. Just had a quick peek at Youchewb and found this
guy composing music on his piano. Awesome!
I reformatted two more Codeman today, one of which was chapter 112,
one of the classic tales of the Cape Town scallywag... and out came the
tissues. You have to laugh at Mark's predicament though hehe. There he
was minding his own business and cruising along when Cody walks into his
life, and things would never be the same again - to put it mildly. Of
all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, he walks into mine.
I think the same can be said for everyone whose life was touched by Cody.
He was unique, and will forever remain so. I realized the other night
that you were like no other person that I’ve ever met or will ever meet
in my whole life, Mark wrote. And he was right.
It's a bright sunny day with blue sky, but there's a bit of wind chill.
Bleh. Winter is NOT my favorite season. I know it's necessary for the birds
and the bees and all that nature stuff but I STILL don't like it. Up north
in Oz there are only two seasons... the wet and the dry. During the north's
so-called winter (the dry), you get temps of 30 C during the day. Hello?
Sounds okay to me. Lemme check Cairns at the mo: Yep, sunny, min 21, max
28. And Darwin? Sunny, min 21, max 31. Here in Taree we're not even getting
those mins as our max! Mind you, I prefer Taree's summer to that of the
tropics. Summer humidity in the tropics (at least for me) is unbearable.
It ain't called the wet season for nuthin ya know. So the trick is to do
what the migratory birds do... move with the seasons.
Beeb time: Iran faces its toughest sanctions for failing to comply with
UN demands over its nuclear enrichment, the US says. The Security Council
is to vote on a fourth round of sanctions to tighten financial curbs on
Iran, while expanding a limited arms embargo. US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton said they were "the most significant sanctions that Iran has ever
faced". But Iran's president warned his country would not agree to nuclear
talks if the sanctions were imposed. Is that what
they call a Mexican standoff? Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich
"didn't take a dime" but trusted the wrong people, his lawyer said as the
trial began. Mr Blagojevich faces 24 charges, including attempting to sell
President Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat, racketeering and attempted
extortion. But apart from that he's a fine upstanding
citizen. At least two tonnes of cocaine with a street value estimated
at $1bn has been seized in The Gambia, bound for Europe. In addition to
the huge haul of drugs, the Gambian authorities have arrested a dozen suspected
traffickers, and seized large quantities of cash and arms. And
here I am at 65 and never even seen a grain of the stuff. China
has defended its right to censor the internet in a document laying out
the government's attitude towards the web. It says the country has the
right to govern the internet according to its own rules inside its borders.
Websites, blogs and information deemed sensitive by the Chinese government
is routinely blocked using a range of technological tools, dubbed the Great
Firewall of China. The 'country' has the right? And
what constitutes 'the country'? A handful of unelected bureaucrats?
A Polish law that can force some rapists and paedophiles to undergo chemical
castration has come into effect. The legislation, passed by Polish MPs
last September, applies to men who rape children or immediate family members.
those cases, I believe castration should begin at the neck. A woman
from Cwmbran, Torfaen took out a bank loan and lived on beans on toast
for a year to pay £1,800 in vet bills after her pet chicken injured
its leg. Vicky Mills, 24, was heartbroken when Lily, a Rhode Island Red,
got her leg trapped in a barbed wire fence. Despite the costs, Mrs Mills
told her vet to try to save the limb rather than have her put down. When
the treatment failed, she paid for an amputation.
that love or lunacy? On the other hand, maybe love and lunacy are the same
thing. Snakes may be declining across the world, according to a
global study. Researchers examined records for 17 snake populations covering
eight species over the last few decades, and found most had declined markedly.
For reasons that are not entirely clear, some populations shrank in number
abruptly around 1998. And if you're not unhappy about
that, how would you feel about an increase in the rat population?
For those of you who haven't seen the battle of the
snake versus the rabbit on Youchewb, check it out.
Unelected bureaucrats? Hmmm. Well, I suppose parents are unelected bureaucrats.
Kids are brought into the world without their consent and bossed around
by a couple of people who consider the kids too dumb to make their own
decisions. Maybe dictatorships are run by people who figure what's good
for the family is also good for the country. Religion thinks the same way.
Do what you're told or go to hell. You don't have a say in the matter,
I just downloaded a piece of classical music that runs 1:45... Canon
D and Gigue for wind quartet by Pachelbel. No, I've never heard of it either.
But it sounds okay for a musical backing to a series of my photos made
into a short vid. Later, I'll go through all my shots and choose 30-ish
images to include. Not sure how the whole thing will turn out but there's
only one way to find out! If it scrubs up okay, I'll post it on Youchewb.
If not... er... I'll go back to the drawing board.
And here we are... kitchen duties. Rissoles, chips and fried eggs. The
supermarket didn't get a delivery of sausage mince yesterday so I bought
sausages instead, which I skinned. It's like peeling condoms off willies.
All very phallic, really. Then I added chopped onion, chopped celery, mixed
herbs, ground pepper, a few shakes of dried garlic, and a teaspoon of curry,
formed them into rissoles, rolled them in bread crumbs and voila... Kelly's
Rissoles. Mucho better than plain sausages, lemme tellya. Gary
June 8, 2010. Still no winning numbers in Lotto... not even a
minor prize. But ya know, the odds are in my favor of winning something
substantial provided I live for another 2 or 3 thousand years. Hang in
there, mate - that's the key.
Oregon Richie sent a link to Craig Ferguson's late late show opening,
which I thought was very funny. The guy has a superb sense of delivery
and timing. But before I paste the link, I'm reminded of something from
my mid teens. There was a guy at the office where I worked who had the
ability to get away with the most outrageous behavior... like putting his
hand up the girl's dresses. One day I overheard his answer to someone's
question: "How do you get away with doing that stuff?" And he said, "I
just pretend I'm drunk." Now that was about 50 years ago but it stuck in
my mind. And I thought of Craig Ferguson who battled alcoholism for many
years. So I figure he uses the same technique... stay sober but pretend
you're drunk. That way, you can capitalize on the funny stuff you do when
you're drunk and uninhibited, but remain sober and in control of your wits.
here's Craig doing his thing.
Baby oil day today. I rub it into my hair and scalp early in the morning
and wash it out early afternoon. It keeps my scalp relatively free from
psoriais. I look like I walked underneath a flock of pigeons with diarrhea
but it's worth it.
Now there's an interesting word: diarrhea. The problem with dictionaries
is that you need to know how a word is spelled before you can look it up,
which can be infuriating. And if you type what you think is the correct
spelling and use spellcheck, you get "no suggestions" if it's not recognized.
But with Google, you type in what you think are the first few letters and
whammo, up comes a list of possibilities. How cool is that? Who the hell
needs a dictionary? This is heaven on a stick as far as I'm concerned.
Answers in an instant... bewdiful!
Just checked a couple of brochures from local electronic stores - the
price of notebooks and laptops is amazing! And so are the deals on wireless
internet connection. One superseded notebook is only $399! It's all happening
Beeb time: Ten Nato soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan in the
deadliest day in months for the International Security Assistance Force
(Isaf). In the worst of several attacks, five US soldiers died in an improvised
bomb blast in east Afghanistan, the US said. Five other Nato troops were
killed in a spate of attacks across the country's restive South and East,
where Isaf is battling the Taliban. The militants have been waging a battle
to overthrow the US-backed government. Makes you
think about insecticides. If they were truly effective, they would become
redundant. But they never do. South Africa has deported 10 suspected
Argentine football hooligans who police say were planning to disrupt the
World Cup. The men, part of a larger group of about 80 fans, were arrested
at Johannesburg airport and found to be on an entry blacklist. South African
police have said the move shows security preparations ahead of the games
are paying off. Good. Piss the dickheads off before
they cause trouble. US Coast Guard chief Thad Allen has warned that
cleaning up marshlands and other habitats affected by the Gulf of Mexico
oil spill will take years. Adm Allen also said oil giant BP needed to do
better at getting money to people and businesses affected by the spill.
An estimated 11,000 barrels of oil a day are now being funneled from the
leak by a new containment cap, he said. President Barack Obama told Americans
they would "get through this crisis", despite the damage to the economy.
right... it's just a matter of when. And it's a lesson learned the hard
way, as many lessons are. UK scientists claim to have developed
laser technology able to sense hidden explosives. The technology could
help to detect landmines and roadside bombs and to improve airport security.
step in the right direction. But I think someone with a bit of clout like
Pope Benny should ask God for the secret to a dog's nose. The US
is looking for "new ways" to address Gaza's humanitarian crisis amid tensions
over last week's deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship. Vice-President
Joe Biden said the US was working with Egypt and other partners on fresh
ways "to address the humanitarian, economic, security and political aspects
of the situation".
Human beings need to find ways
to co-exist. The only alternative is confrontation. And we don't want that.
In a bad mood? Don't worry - according to research, it's good for you.
An Australian psychology expert who has been studying emotions has found
being grumpy makes us think more clearly. In contrast to those annoying
happy types, miserable people are better at decision-making and less gullible,
his experiments showed. While cheerfulness fosters creativity, gloominess
breeds attentiveness and careful thinking, Professor Joe Forgas told Australian
Abso-bloody-lutely. Couldn't agree
more. Now you can all go to buggery while I think about what I'm gonna
Okies, all scrubbed and showered and clean. The interesting thing about
the baby oil in my hair is that while most of it is washed away (with ordinary
soap) some penetrates and stays, making my hair all soft and bouncy and
yummy - just like on the TV ads. Now all I need is a face lift.
Right, din dins time. Averil and I are sharing a pizza... double everything.
The joint was packed! It's cheap chewsday ya know. So I'm back from getting
the pizza and doing a little shopping for THEM. THEY are having chicken
burgers with hash browns and corn fritters. Rush, rush, rush. I hate rushing.
I whizzed around the corner of my street in front of a cop car, and I was
almost certain he'd pull me over. But he didn't. He was on his way back
to the cop station for coffee, which fortunately for me was more important
to him than booking some old geezer with a lead foot.
And that, ladies and genitals, is that. Gary
June 7, 2010. Goodness me, 1:30pm already and I haven't even
started to waffle yet. Actually, I'm wondering how much Waffle I'll be
doing on the Odyssey. At the mo, I pretty much have all day to spend at
the comp, but I expect that to change on the road.
TX Greg is working
on several things for Codysworld - the Continuum poem and my interviews
with Cody. There's also a note written by Oregon Richie back in 2003 guaranteed
to bring back a few mems for him. Greg will create the links next weekend
- meanwhile he gave me a sneak peek. Greg also sent this little gem the
other day. Code would have certainly loved it. Hehe.
Beeb time: The EU could play a bigger role in ensuring aid gets into
Gaza and weapons are kept out, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner
has said. He urged Israel to accept an international probe into the deaths
of nine activists on a Turkish aid ship. He spoke alongside UK Foreign
Secretary William Hague, who said Europe would maintain pressure on Israel.
Israel, which blockades Gaza over fears of rocket attacks, has ruled out
international involvement in any probe. Will the
Middle East be any different in another 50 or 100 years? Doesn't look like
it. Two men arrested at New York's John F Kennedy Airport have been
charged with conspiring to commit an act of international terrorism. US
authorities say they intended to join a jihadist group in Somalia and kill
American troops overseas. Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 20, and Carlos Eduardo
Almonte, 24, were held before they could board separate flights to Egypt
and then continue to Somalia. They must be wondering
whose side Allah is really on. Tornadoes and thunderstorms have
killed at least seven people in the US state of Ohio, officials say. At
least 50 houses were destroyed and many more damaged in north-western Ohio,
local firefighter chief Todd Walters told AP news agency. Several people
were taken to hospitals as the storm left an eight-mile (13km) path of
destruction, hitting Lake Township particularly hard. The extreme weather
also affected parts of Illinois and Michigan. I hope
Jace and the Ohio gang are okay. We had a smaller taste of that kinda weather
just north of here recently. Scary stuff. A containment cap on a
ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico is now funnelling off 10,000 barrels
of oil a day, BP's chief executive Tony Hayward says. The amount has risen
since Saturday, and implies more than half the estimated 12,000 to 19,000
barrels leaking each day is now being captured. The spill has been described
as the biggest environmental disaster in US history. Mr Hayward told the
BBC that BP would restore the Gulf to its original state. Progress
at last! The Australian police have been ordered to investigate
Google for possible breach of privacy while taking pictures for its Street
View service. Australia's attorney general said he had asked police to
probe the internet giant following complaints that Google had gathered
personal data from some unencrypted wi-fi services. Google has admitted
doing so, but apologised, saying it was in error. Careful,
guys. Don't kill the goose that laid the Golden Google. The most
tweet ever tweeted has been announced by broadcaster Stephen Fry. Fry,
whose musings on micro-blogging site Twitter have attracted 1.5 million
followers, announced the winner at the Hay Festival. The winning tweet
read: "I believe we can build a better world! Of course, it'll take a whole
lot of rock, water & dirt. Also, not sure where to put it." Marc MacKenzie,
41, from Canada, said he was "pleasantly surprised" to win. Nice
one, Marc. One of Britain's rarest stamps has been sold for £400,000
by a Jersey-based stamp dealer. The 1904 6d Pale Dull Purple (I.R. Official)
was sold to an anonymous private buyer by Stanley Gibbons Investment. The
stamp was issued on 14 March 1904, but was withdrawn almost immediately
after issue. Only 19 sheets were ever printed and on withdrawal, almost
all were destroyed. For the man who has everything.
Sheesh. Pope Benedict XVI has called for an urgent international
effort to resolve tensions in the Middle East, at the end of a three-day
trip to Cyprus. The Pope used the trip to draw attention to the plight
of Christians in the region, whom he said were being both persecuted and
ignored. Persecuted and ignored? Yeah, right. How
do you do that? Honey has been known for its healing properties
for thousands of years - the Ancient Greeks used it, and so have many other
peoples through the ages. Even up to the second world war, honey was being
used for its antibacterial properties in treating wounds. But with the
advent of penicillin and other antibiotic drugs in the twentieth century,
honey's medicinal qualities have taken a back seat. But that might be about
to change - thanks to one New Zealand based researcher. Interesting story
- read the article here.
Ohio Jace must have read my mind when I referred to the tornadoes there:
from Waffle you mentioned tornadoes and how rare they are in OZ. Ohio (where
they are fairly rare too) had a series of them over the past three days.
Seven peeps died in Ohio Saturday. The closest (not confirmed) was only
11 miles from home. The worst of the damage was in the northwestern part
of the state. Other states were hit too of course.
Locally, we have been under a flash flood warning since Friday due
to a string of thunderstorms (4 Friday afternoon, 3 overnight, and 5 Saturday
afternoon and 1 early Sunday morning). There would have been even more
storms if they had not merged together as they crossed the state. Considering
all the rain, we only had 1.75 inches locally, but a lot more to the north,
which swelled my creek to overflowing and the river to flood stage.
Jace also commented on my piece about Albert: From Waffle I think
Gymnasium is the European equivalent to the U.S. High School system. After
completing primary school, which can go as long as 10 years the student
enters into a 2 or 3 year program to prepare for University. High school
in the U.S. starts at age 14/15 and goes 4 years with graduation at 17/18.
Didn’t Cody and gang go to grade 11 and then continue only to the matrical
year if they were going on to University or is the final year Matric for
I think Safrica has the same system as we do in Oz. Primary to year
6, junior high from years 7 to 10 (School Certificate), and senior matric
from years 11 to 12 (Higher School Certificate). Kids of 15/16 can leave
school after year 10. If they choose to, they can attend technical college
to study a trade. In my day, high school was years 7 to 9 which was the
'Intermediate Certificate', and senior matric was further 2 years which
was the 'Leaving Certificate' or 'Matriculation'. From there, elegible
students attended university. If I'd gone through to Matriculation I would
have turned 16 that year, about 2 years younger than most students. But
I turned 14 in year 9, passed the Intermediate, and shot through like a
Bondi Tram. Byeeeeeeee!
Again from Waffle. Is that guy in the Hyde Park Fountain (Video)
showing his Willy? That would be a no-no in parts of Yankieland.
Also is that the same fountain Shannon posed in?
I'm glad you said 'posed', Jace - I thought you said something else
there for a minute. Yep, that's
Apollo depicted in the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park, Sydney, the
one in which Shannon stripped down to his Speedos. Across the road (College
St) is St Mary's Cathedral. Adjacent to St Mary's is (was) the Registrar
General's Department (of births, deaths and marriages, and also land
titles) which is where I started work as a beardless 14 y/o wide-eyed,
freckle-faced kid from the burbs. I remember well buying my lunch at a
sandwich shop and ogling the nudies in the fountain. It was the first time
I'd ever seen naked statues. Hehe. But they all had little weenies... even
the big muscular guys wrestling some kinda beasts had weenies. The
women, of course, were much more discreet about their naughty bits. That
was my introduction to the big, wide world. And look at me now - a bloody
Actually, it's just occurred to me why all those statues in the fountain
are naked... THEY'RE WET. Makes sense, right? Ya can't have fully clothed
people in a fountain! There ya go... it's taken me 65 years to figure that
out. Not quick, but I get there eventually.
Well, sunset time, and time to think about din dins again. For a bit
of a change I bought beer-battered fish cocktails and Pommes Noisettes
to go with them. Yep, that'll go down well, with a squeeze of lemon. Adios,
amigos (cya round like a rissole in Oz). Gary
June 6, 2010. I forgot to mention yesterday that Ohio Jace wrote,
and he mentioned those poor brown pelicans (an endangered species) covered
in oil in the Gulf area of the US. I saw the images on telly and felt soooooo
sorry for those poor creatures. I was tempted to grab a bucket and detergent
and catch a flight to Lousiana. Our local pelicans are living in paradise
by comparison. In fact, compared to a lotta places around the world, the
mid north coast of NSW IS paradise.
Jace also wrote: There is a species (of pelican) in South Africa
that has found a new food source. Over fishing has depleted their normal
source of food so they adapted, finding the young of Albatross an easy
meal. Normally, only one Albatross parent would leave the nest to fish,
but they too are finding it hard to find food, so both parents are leaving
the nest and the young are unprotected. The Pelicans are taking advantage
of the situation and scooping up the chicks to take back to feed their
Yes, Nature can be cruel. No, that's not correct. Nature is nature...
neither cruel nor kind. Life does whatever it needs to do in order to survive,
and it has nothing to do with our human concept of fairness.
According to Jace, the Ohio gang is doing okay, including the pair involved
in a motorcycle accident a while ago... bruised and battered but slowly
on the mend.
Albert from Denmark wrote: Oh first of all, to mention my exams.
I've been through .. seven exams so far. 3 left, I've only got my grades
for two of them, and that's been two times A+ So it's going really great
:D couldnt be better in fact ^^ A+? Is that all? Bloody disgrace if
you ask me. You'll have to lift your game, Albert. :o)
It was Albert's last day of his current school before he moves on to
what he calls 'Gymnasium' over there - I guess it means college. It
is a bit empty not seeing your class any more. Since I was 8, every day
I woke up and saw the same 22 people every day, and bang like that - It's
over. Forever. I'm not gonna see them again. They are all going different
places, some even other places in the world.- I'm still jealous of my mate
going to Australia, I'd love to do that, but then again, that's me in 3
years, so I'm not too bothered.
Yes, forever. But forever is not a vacuum. It's a space filled with
other things and that's the way the continuum works. Yeah? It's hard to
leave certain things behind but, in many situations, it's also the only
way to move forward.
Beeb time: An aid ship intercepted by the Israeli military while trying
to break the blockade of Gaza has arrived in the Israeli port of Ashdod.
Israel says its soldiers boarded the Irish-owned Rachel Corrie from the
sea and did not meet any resistance. The incident comes five days after
nine people were killed in clashes when troops boarded a Turkish aid ship,
prompting international criticism. Turkish officials have released details
of autopsies carried out on the nine dead activists, saying a total of
30 bullets had been found in their bodies. One of the activists was shot
four times in the head, the officials said. Go figure.
BP's latest effort to stem the Gulf of Mexico oil spill captured 6,000
barrels in 24 hours, a US official says, raising hopes of success. Encouraging
news, and not before time. A film that broke box-office records
in India has won nearly all the top International Indian Film Awards -
often called the Bollywood Oscars. The comedy 3 Idiots, starring Aamir
Khan and directed by Rajkumar Hirani, won 16 out of 27 awards, including
best director and best film. Has anyone seen an Indian
film? What are they like? A court in Cairo has upheld a ruling urging
the government to consider stripping of their citizenship Egyptian men
who are married to Israeli women. Not all of us live
in the second millennium ya know. Hundreds of dogs and their owners
have descended on the Sydney Opera House for a concert specifically for
canines. Organisers say the event, the work of American musician and artist
Laurie Anderson, is the first of its kind. Ms Anderson called it "an inter-species
social gathering on a scale never seen before in Australia". It featured
the cries of whales and high-pitched electronic sounds inaudible to human
ears, accompanied by a bass guitar and violin. As
an April Fool's joke when I was a DJ on a radio station, I told listeners
that I had a record specifically made for dogs, that wasn't audible to
humans. So I shut down the station for 60 seconds. When I resumed normal
broadcast, I got a flood of calls from listeners saying their dogs really
enjoyed the record. Hehe. Yeah... boom boom. Next!
How about that business of stripping Egyptian men of their citizenship
for being married to an Israeli woman? They must think the last pyramid
was built yesterday. I really don't understand why so many cultures and
religions place such great emphasis on the ancient past. I mean if pyramids
were so important why aren't we still building them? Why aren't we still
feeding Christians to the lions and watching gladiators murder each other?
Why aren't we still burning witches at the stake? Why aren't we still convinced
that the earth is flat? I get the feeling that some cultures and religions
are paranoid about losing something if they let go of the past. Well, in
one respect they're right... they'll lose their ignorance.
You see, dear Breth, if the headlines in tomorrow's Sydney Morning Herald
read something like: MAN CRUCIFIED - RISES FROM DEAD, we'd all go, "Yeah,
right." But because it's believed to have occurred 2 thousand years ago,
it's credible. Oh? Why is that? If it happened back then, why not now?
Why hasn't someone parted the sea lately? Why hasn't anyone put a bullock
on wood and prayed to the Lord to send fire? Or assembled a bunch of trumpeters
to fell the walls of a city? You know what I'm saying here? If those things
happened today they'd be dismissed as fantasy - or worse. On the other
hand, if you pluck some crazy idea from ancient history, it's accepted
There was a group of people in town recently with a stall at the local
mall... MYSTERIES OF THE ANCIENTS REVEALED. Oh? By whom? And what did the
ancients know that we don't? To put it another way, what does a grade 6
student know that a grade 12 student doesn't?
Don't mind me, folks... just thinking aloud.
I received a note the other day from my power company that said I'll
be moved from 5% renewable energy to 10%. There ya go... 10% from wind
and solar. That's a move in the right direction. On the Odyssey, of course,
it'll be 100% gas and solar... there's no other option when you're out
in the sticks. Which reminds me, I still gotta save up to buy a solar panel
and deep cycle batteries, and they ain't cheap.
Have you checked to see what I've added to my RB favorites lately? Naughty
you! So check.
Meanwhile, if you feel like a little trip around my old
home town of Sydney, click here. It's an amateur vid but not too bad.
June 5, 2010. Satdee. Another one. They keep popping up like
a field of gophers. Boing, boing, boing.
Just witnessed an interesting motoring scenario. I stood on the verandah
and watched a learner driver practice reverse angle parking. The car behind
stopped, but the car behind that one decided to overtake on the inside
as the learner was getting ready to reverse park. Hello? How dumb can you
get? And that third car was driven by a supposedly licensed driver! They're
out there, ladies and genitals... they're out there.
It's a funny situation in Taree. We have parallel parking and angle
parking (wide streets). But the angle parking, depending on which street
you're in, can be either rear to kerb or nose to kerb but not both. Why?
Who knows? Bureaucrats don't always make a lotta sense ya know.
More shopping today, dangit. It never stops! Lindsay has this annoying
habit of writing stuff down on the list just after I've been shopping.
And how do I react? I say nothing. There's no point. He's a dill. I've
known that drongo for 12 years or more and we've never had an intelligent
convo. Not one. He's incapable of it. In some respects, it's a blessing.
Hehe. The less I have to do with L&S the better.
And now to politics. Australian politics are in a mess. We've got Rudd
the Dud in charge and as if that's not bad enough, Julia
Gillard is his deputy PM - the painted lady with red hair and those
AWFUL fingernails. I can't stand her. And to make the situation even worse,
the treasurer is Wayne
Swan, with a nose like someone rolled a bit of putty and stuck it on
his face. I can't stand him either. The three Labor stooges - Rudd, Gillard
and Swan. The Liberal party is not doing much better and by default a lot
of voters are turning to the Greens whose leader Bob
Brown is the world's most boring person with a monotone to match.
One bloke I rather like is Joe
Hockey, the shadow treasurer. He's a generously proportioned chap with
a cheeky Aussie sense of humor and ready smile - as well as a quick mind.
He challenged Tony
Abbott for the leadership of the Libs but lost. Abbot is not a bad
choice but I still prefer Hockey. Meanwhile, if the current leadership
of the various parties stays the same for the next federal election later
this year, I'll vote Liberal even though I'm not all that enthused. My
main concern is that Rudd gets the flick.
Beeb time: US President Barack Obama has said it is "way too early to
be optimistic" as he makes his third visit to the oil-hit Gulf of Mexico
coast. Earlier BP expressed confidence that a new cap placed over the ruptured
well in the Gulf would capture most of the leaking oil. But it said it
could take 48 hours to know if the system was stable. Mr Obama has been
briefed in Louisiana by Adm Thad Allen, the US official leading the disaster
response. Number 1 priority is to get the thing fixed,
and then they can play politics. If you've ever observed ambulance guys
and paramedics, they attend to matters that require the most urgent attention
and ignore the rest. Israel insists it will stop the latest aid
ship sailing towards Gaza, amid continuing anger over its blockade of the
territory. As Golda Meir, former PM of Israel once
said, "We have nowhere else to go." About 80% of al-Qaeda's leaders
in Iraq have been captured or killed during the past three months, says
the country's top US commander. Only eight of the group's 42 chiefs in
Iraq remained at large, Gen Ray Odierno told a Pentagon news conference.
But he cautioned against complacency, saying that, even with the setbacks,
al-Qaeda was trying to regroup and would remain a problem for years. "I
will never take my eyes off of al-Qaeda," said the general. Very
sensible. Just when you think your garden is free of weeds, guess what?
Scientists have claimed that eating soy could help prevent men from developing
prostate cancer and from going bald. US researchers found a molecule produced
in the intestine when soy is digested stops a hormone which can fuel prostate
growth or cause baldness. Writing in the journal Biology of Reproduction,
they said the finding could explain why Japanese men, who eat more soya,
rarely have prostate cancer. Okies, I don't eat soy,
I have a full head of hair and no prostate cancer. Boom boom.
This photography business is getting outta hand ya know. I can't go
anywhere without whipping out the Fuji and snapping at something. Other
people see bell peppers but I see PHOTO
OPPORTUNITY! Yeah... it's a worry. But they are pretty, and I love
all that red. Once again there was sufficient available light for the flash
not to fire. Flash pics are not desirable - the light is too harsh and
not evenly distributed.
Many Red Bubblers take their work very seriously, and love to boast
about their features and accolades - which is understandable. Typical me,
though, does it for a bit of fun and I don't take it all that seriously.
I simply don't have that competitive streak. But I do appreciate being
able to share my stuff with others, and the opportunity to get a bit of
feedback which helps with the learning process. Even just observing the
work of other RBers teaches me a lot. However, if you asked me to get up
at sparrow's to shoot a sunrise on a beach I'd tell you to go to buggery.
Lindsay is not too thrilled about tonight's dinner... Italian meatballs
in diced tomatoes with basil and garlic, and mash potato. "Do you want
a sprinkle of Parmesan on the meatballs?" "Nah." Why do I bother? Good
question. I think it might have something to do with maintaining the status
quo for the time being.
So there ya go. Life wasn't meant to be a picnic... apparently. But
it does have its moments. Hehe. Gary
June 4, 2010. Is there a carburetor specialist in Taree. YES!
I just checked the new phone book and gave them a call. Everything about
Bluey (except for a few little rust spots I gotta fix) is just fine. But
that carby prob is driving me bananas. The first guy buggered it by installing
a kit the wrong way, and Nissan doesn't wanna know about fixing someone
else's problem. Besides that, only the head mechanic there knows anything
about carbys but he's not a specialist. I could live with it but I'd rather
not. Even if I sell Bluey, I don't want a potential buyer bitching about
a faulty carby. Sooooo, that's the plan. The rust spots can wait a little
I thought the weather here in Taree was pretty ordinary but it's nothing
compared to what's happening further north at Lennox Head... roofs blown
off, caravans overturned, trees felled... scary stuff. Tornadoes
are a rarity in Oz.
Cars are interesting to me but I'm not what you'd call an enthusiast.
However, I was rather taken with a Citroen prototype I saw on a newsgroup
this morning, so much so I downloaded a few pics and
created an album. I think Citroen might be onto something special here.
Okies, Beeb time: A fire in a densely populated part of the Bangladeshi
capital Dhaka has killed more than 100 people. It began after an electrical
transformer exploded, engulfing housing blocks and shops in flames. Nimtoli
district is crammed with buildings and roads are narrow, making access
for the emergency services difficult. The BBC's Mark Dummett in Dhaka says
the city is one of the most densely populated cities in the world - and
Nimtoli is its most crowded district. He says many people live in badly
constructed multi-storey buildings with no fire escapes or safety equipment.
your blessings, bro. BP is to lower a cap on to the Gulf of Mexico
leaking well - the second phase of its latest attempt to stem the flow.
wish them luck... for everyone's sake. The prime minister will visit
Cumbria later as police continue to investigate the 12 killings carried
out by gunman Derrick Bird. David Cameron, who will be accompanied by Home
Secretary Theresa May, is to meet senior police officers. Bird, 52, also
wounded 11 people before shooting himself in the west of the county on
Wednesday afternoon. Mr Cameron said on Thursday there should not be a
"knee-jerk reaction" to changing gun ownership laws.
Jan Gray wrote. His latest biz is dental drill repair, and he's just
fitted out the first of a fleet of 10 vans to run his mobile repair biz.
The guy's nutz. He thinks big but he doesn't stop there. He goes out and
makes it happen. Actually, I think he's scary as hell. I can imagine his
wife being terrified to ask him what he's been up to when he arrives home
each night. "Hello, darling. I'm home." "Shuddup. I don't wanna know."
its expensive though that van is $120K on the road fitted out and stocked
but that’s life I guess.
Strongtorquedental? What's the bet he wishes he'd thought of drillguys
in the first place? On the other hand, this 'formerly' thing could be an
advantage. I mean who's to know I wasn't formerly Alexander the Great in
my last life? Or Tutankhamun? Or Hopalong Cassidy? So I could print my
Aussie Odyssey biz cards as Gary Kelly (formerly Jesus Christ) for example.
Cool, huh? Yes, folks, I'm full of wonderful ideas. It's the genius gene
Anyway, back to firearms. I hate the things, particularly when they're
in the hands of Joe Blow who can snap at any time and cause unspeakable
heartbreak. There are those who insist that gun ownership is the inalienable
right of every citizen, and that's their prerogative. But not for me. I'm
a wuss. I've even gotta think twice about grabbing the Mortein. On the
other hand, don't ever mess with me when I'm holding a fly swatter.
Come to think of it, why do we hate bugs so much? I think it's because
they're weird - like they're from another planet. Way too many legs, and
they're small. When was the last time you found an elephant between the
sheets? It just doesn't happen, right? But when you peel back the covers
and spot some creepy crawly you freak. And by the time you grab the swatter
it's gone. But where? You could tear the whole bedroom apart and never
find it. So you spend the rest of the night wondering where the hell that
bug went. And every time there's the slightest noise or something touching
your skin, you leap outta bed and check. Nothing. No bug in sight. But
you know it's there, somewhere... lurking. You don't get that problem with
I know I've mentioned it before, but I love that story about Cody and
his mates on a hike when Wingnut decided to put a lizard in Mark's sleeping
bag. Hehe. Mark was afraid of nothing... Mr Tough Guy... except when there's
a lizard in his sleeping bag. He shot outta that tent like a speeding bullet.
Anyway, we've reached that time of day again... kitchen time, time to
throw the proverbial shrimp on the proverbial barbie. But it's not a shrimp
and it's not a barbie. It's scotch filet steaks and onions and chips...
home made chips, of course. And hopefully, there'll be no little tornadoes
visiting Taree tonight. Eeek! Gary
June 3, 2010. Oregon Richie was the only one to answer my question
yesterday about why I'm "me". And... why are you YOU ? Just 'cause
you are, Gary. Every experience and every thing you ever did, and
every job you ever took, ever webpage you opened, and even every phone
call you ever made in your whole life brought you to where you are and
are sitting RIGHT at this moment. For me... I rather acknowledge
it as further proof of the ol' Jurassic Park "Chaos Theory". It's chaos,
I tells ya !!
Right. Well, that's cleared that up. :-/
Not a very pleasant day today, ladies and genitals... cloudy, wet and
ikky. To make it worse, I've gotta bit of shopping to do. Bleh.
Back from shopping. I spotted one of the checkout chicks shopping and
said g'day. "Shopping is such a pain," I said, "but chatting with you guys
makes it bearable." Then I asked her about working for Woolworths, and
if the company had a rule about staff behavior after hours out on the town.
"None of their business," she said. "Actually a few of us get together
sometimes and have a night out." Then she smiled and added, "Oh, yeah,"
which I took to mean they party pretty wild hehe.
Earlier this morning I saw a pelican fly over my house with a few lazy
flaps of its wings. Then it glided all the way over the rooftops to the
river... so gracefully and without effort. The smaller birds are always
flapping like mad to keep aloft but not the pelicans. It's a breeze for
them and their huge wingspan. Later, I drove down to the river and took
pics of the pelicans. Nothing spectacular but they make an
interesting subject, and you never know when they're gonna do something
unusual. A fisherman there wasn't too pleased though. "Piss off ya bastard,"
he said to one of them.
Glided. Now there's an interesting word. If the past tense of hide is
hid, why isn't the past tense of glide glid? And why is the past tense
of ride rode? I give up.
Beeb time: Hundreds of activists from the Gaza-bound flotilla receive
an enthusiastic welcome in Turkey after being expelled by Israel. And
who's rooting for Israel? No one that I'm aware of. Investigations
into what made a taxi driver embark on a rampage which left 12 people dead
in Cumbria may centre on a family row, reports suggest. Derrick Bird, 52,
went on a three-hour shooting spree which began near Whitehaven and ended
when he turned the gun on himself in woods near Boot. It is being reported
Mr Bird may have been involved in a dispute with his family over a will.
Eleven people were also hurt as he drove around targeting victims. How
do you explain such utter madness? I guess you can't. Six astronauts
are set to lock themselves into a mock spaceship in Moscow to simulate
an 18-month mission to Mars. Perhaps not all that
dissimilar to the long sea voyages early explorers took to discover new
lands on planet Earth. Prosecutors say they are investigating the
leader of Germany's Roman Catholic bishops on suspicion of aiding and abetting
the sexual abuse of children. Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg is
suspected of allowing the re-appointment of a priest accused of child abuse
in 1987. She'll be right, mate... three Hail Marys
and you'll be forgiven, no worries. A lightning bolt has struck
nine people waiting to see the Old Faithful geyser erupt at Yellowstone
National Park in the US state of Wyoming. All the visitors were on the
boardwalk or walkways around the geyser when the single lightning bolt
struck. Yeah, that stuff is frightening as hell.
I drove through a serious storm one time and those damn bolts were zapping
all over the place. Sir Paul McCartney has performed at the White
House after picking up an award from US President Barack Obama. The former
Beatle, 67, played as part of a concert in his honour, having been presented
with the third annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Among the songs
he performed for the Obama family was the ballad Michelle, with lyrics
directed to the First Lady. Bloody amazing... the
kid from Liverpool at the White House. Former US president George
W Bush has created an account on the social networking website Facebook.
Mr Bush's Facebook account was given the thumbs up, or "liked", by over
20,000 users within its first few hours. Well, well,
well... apparently we ain't heard the last of GWB just yet. One
of the largest collections of Sir Winston Churchill memorabilia, including
an unsmoked cigar, has sold for nearly £600,000 at auction. The items
were sold by US publishing magnate, Steve Forbes, who amassed them over
three decades. That's pounds, dear Breth... British
pounds. An Australian Rules football team has suspended one of its
star players for saying that homosexual players should not reveal their
sexuality. Writing in a newspaper column, Jason Akermanis said it was too
controversial to have an openly gay player, and urged them to "stay in
the closet". His club, the Melbourne-based Western Bulldogs, has banned
him for two games. Akermanis the dill. The
Volkswagen camper van celebrates 60 years of production this year - and
for its generations of fans, the love affair is far from over. They lie
on their backs in oil, get pulled from side to side by their brakes and
greet steep hills with a nervous sigh but when you are truly in love nothing
really matters. The owners of vintage VW camper vans are a dedicated bunch,
lavishing care, attention and money on their beloved wheels. They are the
first to admit their "Combis" stop badly, weigh a ton, are underpowered
and prone to electrical failure - but despite the faults, they remain a
magnetic pull. Campers have been the vehicle of choice for globe trotters,
festival-goers, surfers and rock stars for six decades. I
owned one for 7 years and cursed the damn thing a million times... but
I had great affection for it nonetheless. Read
the full story here.
Yes, it was all pretty remarkable when men first set foot on the moon,
and that was over 40 years ago. I was 24. And now it looks as though I
might live to see men on Mars... from a safe distance, that is. Seems to
me that modern monkeys are destined to populate the solar system and perhaps
beyond. If that's the case, the evolution of mankind is still in its infancy.
We've only just started.
The other night I saw on telly a program about Aboriginal cave paintings
that showed a particular kind of bird (emu type) that became extinct 40,000
years ago. Hello? And Adam and Eve were here 6,000 years ago? Yeah, right.
It's getting dark, and all the cars have their headlights and wipers
on in the rain. They're all heading home to their warm houses and comfy
living rooms, and kitchens, and the smells of cooking, and their loved
ones, and their televisions showing their favorite programs. Home is a
welcoming place on cold, rainy nights after a day's work. Makes me wonder
about camping on the Odyssey. Maybe home can be something other than what
we think it is. Stay tooned.
Right, time to think about feeding hungry mouths. Gary
June 2, 2010. Just over a decade ago, when I lived in Petersham,
Sydney, broke and desperate, my computer died and I had no way of replacing
it. So a mate of mine, Jan Gray, appeared outta the blue with a computer
made of bits and pieces and gave it to me. It had a 1GB HDD. Woohoo! Well,
that old thing kept me going back in the early days of MrB. So about 12
years and several computers later the phone rings. "G'day, it's Jan Gray."
Hehe. Somehow he'd tracked me down. Jan has always been very entrepreneurial.
He was into hand-made soap when I first met him. Why? Because no one else
was selling soap at the local markets. Boom boom. Later, he ran an employment
agency specialising in IT. Next he was running a pizza restaurant. And
now? Well, soap + IT + pizza = dental tools. Yes? Maybe not, but Jan doesn't
see things the way most of us do. If repairing dental tools can make a
quid, then why not? BUT... that's not all he's into. How
about this? Yes, custom rods. The bloke's a lunatic. But I forgive
him because he saved my ass back in '98. Mind you, he does have a panel-beating
background so he's familiar with cars (as well as women).
Here's a Youchewb vid of a Toyota
V8 engine he's building for a '40 Ford.
I'm convinced that people don't understand writers. Writers lock themselves
away and live in their heads. Being a painter ain't so bad... at least
an observer can see a room full of canvases and paintings and paints and
rags and easels and general mess. But when people observe a writer they
see a person sitting at a computer... and that's it. In the old days, a
writer would sit at his desk pounding a manual Olivetti and have papers
all over the place including several in the waste paper basket. But that's
all changed since the advent of computers. There's no paper, no waste,
no mess - no evidence of any physical activity. To the observer it looks
like the writer isn't actually doing anything. Oh well...
Beeb time: Israel says it will release and deport all foreign nationals
seized on board an aid flotilla trying to break its blockade of Gaza. More
than 100 Arab nationals were due to leave early on Wednesday, with Israel
aiming to complete deportations within 48 hours. At least nine pro-Palestinian
activists died when Israeli commandos raided the six-ship convoy early
on Monday. Israel says its troops acted in self-defence, but campaigners
deny this. Amid ongoing diplomatic concern at the incident, US Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton called the situation in Gaza "unsustainable".Yes,
well that's one way of putting it. The US government has begun criminal
and civil investigations into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Attorney General
Eric Holder has announced. He would not say which companies or individuals
were being targeted. Earlier, BP launched a new attempt to try to contain
the spill from its well using undersea robots to cut off the fractured
pipe and seal it with a cap. BP said the spill - the largest in US history
- might be capped within 24 hours, but success was not guaranteed. I
don't get it. Who's the criminal? BP for drillling or the government for
allowing them to do it? The White House has said it "welcomes the
demise" of al-Qaeda number three and Afghan operations chief Mustafa Abu
al-Yazid. US officials say they believe he was killed recently in the tribal
areas of Pakistan in an American drone attack. One
drone kills another drone. Former US Vice President Al Gore and
his wife Tipper are separating after 40 years of marriage. The 2000 Democratic
presidential candidate and his wife cited "a mutual and mutually supportive
decision", in an email to friends. Mr Gore, Bill Clinton's vice president,
won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change. Mrs Gore
is a longtime advocate on mental health issues. The couple married in May
1970. People grow, which can mean growing apart.
I really don't understand this "until death do us part" vow. How can anyone
make a vow for life? Fish are being threatened by rising levels
of man-made noise pollution. So say scientists who have reviewed the impact
on fish species around the world of noises made by oil and gas rigs, ships,
boats and sonar. Rather than live in a silent world, most fish hear well
and sound plays an active part in their lives, they say. Yep,
silence is golden, as they say. And I do long for the day when I'm out
in the middle of nowhere hearing only the crackling of my camp fire.
Homer Simpson has been named the greatest TV and film character of the
last 20 years, according to a Entertainment Weekly survey. The cartoon
character, best known for his love of eating, beat schoolboy wizard Harry
Potter to the top slot.
Don't blame me. I wasn't
on the voting panel. Three judges have been shot dead at a court
in China's southern Hunan province by a man armed with a submachine gun,
reports say. Three other judges were injured before the man, who was also
carrying two more weapons, killed himself. Xinhua said the man had been
motivated by revenge - he was reported to have divorced his wife three
years ago and was unhappy at the way the court divided their wealth. Nothing
I can add to that.
Speaking of campfires and silence and being in the middle of nowhere,
I still wanna know why I'm me. Why not someone else? I really don't understand
what causes one of trillions of eggs being matched with one of trillions
of tadpoles to become me. Was I me before the egg and tadpole met? And
if so, what kinda me was I? Or did I become me after they met? Does anyone
out there have an answer? If my mother had married another man (she told
me about a tailor who was interested in her) would I have been me with
a different father? Or would their child have been someone else entirely?
In fact, why wasn't I born as one of my brothers instead of me? Same eggs,
same sperm, different individuals. Just to complicate matters and make
the puzzle even more mysterious, where does "me" go when dementia sets
I think most individuals at one time in their lives question who they
are and what the hell they're doing here.
Another thing that puzzles me is so-called free will. Who controls the
brain? Do I control my brain or does my brain control me? And if my brain
controls me, then who am I? Hehe. I had a thought the other day... if some
people could see themselves as I see them, they would not want to be who
they are. Similarly, if I could see myself as some others do, I would not
want to be me. All very weird, yes?
Anyway, as a mate of mine back when I was about 20 said, "You think
too much." Maybe he was right. I give myself headaches. Maybe that crackling
campfire in the middle of nowhere contains the secret to mental bliss,
rather like Cody's dawn patrols, sitting on his board on the back line,
watching the sun rise over Table Mountain and just "chilling out" - Cody's
version of meditation.
Well, kitchen time again. Porterhouse steaks for THEM and Asian thingies
for me. Gary
June 1, 2010. Well, well, well, here we are, June 1. Ol' eagle
eye here was bringing the wheelie bin back in from the street when I spotted
something unusual in my grapefruit tree. So I rushed inside and grabbed
the camera. How many people do you know who've managed to capture
4 locusts sunning themselves on a grapefruit? None, right? So now you
can tell all your friends you actually know someone who HAS.
How's that for a claim to fame?
Just got a note from TX Greg to say that he's posted all the Steve stories
on Codysworld. Today is a holiday here, does that mean I get holiday
pay, haha :) Cheeky bugger. TX Greg introduced me to ground coffee.
Before that I used to drink that horrible instant stuff. Now I wouldn't
touch instant with a barge pole.
What's for lunch? Noodles, of course. I just love 'em... but they fog
my glasses. Grrr. Okay, let's check the Beeb:
UN Security Council members condemn Israel ahead of an emergency session
on the Gaza aid flotilla raid, amid world fury. Oops!
Can you pedal this bike backwards? China ramps up efforts to become
a supercomputing superpower, as one of its machines is ranked second fastest
in the world. I suspect it's gonna be a very different
world in another decade or two if China continues its march... which I
have no doubt it will. India's economy grew at an annual rate of
8.6% in the three months to March, largely thanks to growth in manufacturing,
official data has shown. That marked an increase on the 6.5% growth seen
in the previous quarter. And there's another one
on the march.
Not much of a news day, I'm afraid. But it does strike me that all empires
eventually go the way of past empires, such as the British, the Romans,
the ancient Greeks, the Persians, the Incas, etc. It seems to be the natural
cycle... the new replacing the old.
So you thought film was dead and buried? A Red Bubbler mate just posted
a lovely B&W shot
of Brisbane city, taken with a Rolleiflex camera using Kodak film.
He's doing a photography course at university and is taking his art very
seriously. Good on him. I, on the other hand, wanna know everything in
5 minutes and am way too impatient to learn anything properly. William's
been doing architectural photography lately which is quite an art in itself.
Surprisingly, during my time on RB, he's favorited a couple of my attempts,
and has complimented me on aspects of my images I didn't even realize were
there. Hehe. More ass than class, that's me.
Actually, it's true ya know. I've had psychologists and various other
academics remark on stuff I've written, and they've mentioned things I've
never heard of. "Oh? Did I really do that?" I mean I left school at 14.
Hated the place and couldn't wait to flee. So much for my mother wanting
me to be a lawyer or a journalist. And my father? Well, he gave me impression
he didn't even know who I was.
Another slow day, and my brain is not pumping out very much... although
I did manage to add a bug pic to my portfolio hehe. You get days like that,
though, when the cells just wanna have a little vacation and stack up a
few zeds. Gary
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