October 31, 2010. Have you noticed we're getting shorter years
lately? That's the way it seems to me. Another 8 weeks and this one's kaputski.
I noticed a vid on Youchewb this morning and was surprised it was made
in 1986 - almost a quarter century ago. I remember it well. The
teen in the commercial had a huge following. But according to one of
the comments, he looks more like cricketer
Shane Warne these days, which is not exactly a huge compliment. Sheesh.
Almost a quarter century.
Back then I had an Amstrad
computer with no hard disk drive. It used floppies that had something
like a few hundred kilobytes of memory. I could type faster than the words
appeared on screen. There was no internet, and the only computers compatible
with mine were other Amstrads. It was basically a word processor... a typewriter
with a green screen and a dot matrix printer. However, I wrote a helluva
lotta stuff on that thing.
The Amstrad cost $1100, which included the software, the monitor, the
keyboard, the printer and the manuals. My next computer, an IBM compatible
286 cost $3000 plus an extra $1100 for a Canon Bubblejet printer. Boom
boom. The 386 had just been released (back in 1991) but the salesman wanted
to get rid of his stock of 286s. When I asked about the 386 he said, "What
do you want a computer for?" I answered, "Writing". So he convinced me
I didn't need the 386 and that the 286 would be fine. WRONG! It's not about
what you're currently doing, it's about the extra things you CAN do if
you're aware of the possibilities. So the 286 became trash in no time.
Ditto with digital cameras. I didn't really understand the value of
megapixels when I got started so I figured who needs more than a couple?
Well, I found out, didn't I. High quality framed prints and posters require
10 or more. So if a salesman ever asks "what do you want to use it for?"
tell him you don't know.
Beeb time: Prime Minister David Cameron says the device in a package
sent from Yemen and found on a US-bound cargo plane was designed to go
off on the aircraft. In Yemen, police have arrested a woman suspected of
posting the packages. She was detained in the capital, Sanaa, after being
traced through a telephone number she had left with a cargo company, officials
said. Needles in haystacks, and you can't arrest
the haystack. China has reassured the US it has no intention of
withholding "rare earth" minerals from the market, the US Secretary of
State has said. China suspended export of the metals, key to some high-tech
industries, to Japan after a diplomatic spat. The US has pressed China,
which has pledged not to use the minerals as a diplomatic weapon, to defuse
the row. Yes, it's all of humanity that contributes
to our overall welfare, not just one country. The toilet roll was invented
in Oz, for example, and imagine life without THAT! Afghan President
Hamid Karzai has criticised the first joint operation by Russian and US
agents to destroy drug laboratories in his country. Mr Karzai said he had
not been informed of Russia's participation - a sensitive issue in Afghanistan
ever since the Soviet occupation ended 21 years ago. He called it a violation
of Afghan sovereignty and international law. Russia said more than a tonne
of heroin and opium, with a street value of $250m (£157m), was destroyed
in the raid. Bugger sovereignty. If sovereignty can't
fix the problem, find another way. A newly-tapped oil field off
the coast of Brazil could contain up to 15 billion barrels of oil, officials
say. If the 15 billion barrel figure were confirmed it would double Brazil's
known oil reserves. Just when you thought it was
Here's a funny
animated film about a tough night at the office.
I've just scrubbed Bluey's plastic bumpers with soapy steel wool, and
I'm buggered. To make it worse, the bumpers aren't much better than they
were. Oxidation and age are the problems. Anybody have any tips? And don't
say exercise. I'm perfectly aware of my lack of fitness. DOING something
about it is another matter. Gary
October 30, 2010. So now a bunch of retired military chaplains
is requesting Obama not to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell because they say
many chaplains who believe that homosexuality is a sin will be forced to
choose between serving God and serving the military. Hello? I thought being
a man of God was all about serving the PEOPLE. Jesus Christ those dingalings
get me riled. What the hell do they have between their ears? If "Thou Shalt
Not Kill" and "Love Thine Enemy" doesn't worry them, why should homosexuality?
In any case, somebody created homosexuality and who do you think that was?
And don't blame the devil cos the devil didn't create anything. Only one
dude is responsible for ALL creation, right? So guess who created the devil?
Fair dinkum, I wonder how some people have the brains to walk.
I rather liked this Craig Ferguson interview
with Sean Diddy Combs.
Speaking of Youchewb, I emailed a guitarist friend and asked him what
he thought of that little Asian bloke playing Classical Gas, whose link
TX Greg sent yesterday. My friend liked it but said "he's no Tommy". Well,
maybe not, but Tommy
is a lot older. I saw Tommy Emmanuel interviewed on Oz TV a while ago.
He can't read a note of music... plays by ear. Here he is live playing
a couple of Beatle songs. The guy's totally mind blowing.
Beeb time: President Barack Obama has said initial examinations of two
suspicious packages bound for the US show they appeared to have contained
explosive materials. He said the packages, found in the UK and Dubai on
two overnight cargo planes from Yemen, were destined for Jewish places
of worship in Chicago. Security alerts are under way in the US, UK and
Middle East. The White House later said Saudi Arabia had provided information
that helped identify the threat. Once upon a time
it was whole armies that went to war. Now all it takes is a couple of loopies.
Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano erupts again violently, sparking panic
and causing ash to rain down at least 30km (19 miles) away. Allah
must be trying to tell them something? A suicide bomber has killed
at least 25 people and injured dozens in a town north of Baghdad, Iraqi
officials say. The attacker is believed to have detonated an explosives
vest in a cafe in the town of Balad Ruz, in Diyala province. The AP news
agency quotes the mayor as saying most of the victims were men playing
dominos and drinking tea in the cafe when the explosion happened. I'm
so tired of hearing about this constant lunacy, but how the hell do you
deal with it? A New York child can be sued for crashing a bicycle
into an elderly pedestrian and causing injuries that led to her death,
a judge has ruled. Juliet Breitman and another child were four years old
when they raced their small bicycles on a Manhattan street and ran into
Claire Menagh, 87. Juliet's lawyer had argued Juliet was too young to be
held negligent. The judge disagreed, ruling Juliet's lawyer had presented
no evidence she lacked intelligence or maturity. Is
it just me or is the world getting nuttier by the minute? Mount
Everest climbers can now surf the internet and make video calls through
a 3G network, Nepalese telecoms firm Ncell says. The company has installed
eight 3G base stations along the route to Everest base camp. There
ya go, Richie. The authorities in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province
say they have been "overwhelmed" by the number of prisoners wanting to
be circumcised to help combat the spread of HIV. Some studies suggest being
circumcised can help men halve their chances of contracting the Aids virus.
snip in time... Afghan militants have been flown into Australia
to train the country's special forces in how to tackle the Taliban insurgency.
Six guerrillas loyal to the warlord Matiullah Khan had been training troops
due to be deployed to Afghanistan, said Australia's defence chief. Well,
there's a twist. I thought we were supposed to be training them!
James MacArthur, best known for playing Detective Dan Williams in the original
Hawaii Five-O TV show, has died of natural causes at the age of 72. For
11 years MacArthur appeared in Hawaii Five-O, one of the longest-running
crime shows in US TV history.
"Book 'em, Danno."
And now for something completely different. Here's a bunch of people
who like throwing each other around. They're so good at it, they won
Britain's Got Talent.
Ohio Jace wrote to wish me Happy Halloween. Lots of creepy cartoon charactes
singing along to "Heard It In The Graveyard". The little guys went trick
or treating for the first time last night. Cody dressed as one of the creatures
from the mega-hit movie Avatar. Steve was some kinda bug and was not too
enthused about going door to door. We have never had beggars here except
for Sean’s clan when they were small so I did not buy treats. I knew the
boys were coming though so gave them my favorite candy M&M’s.
We have M&Ms in Oz but also Smarties,
which have been around for decades. I remember Smarties as a kid. Not sure
which came first tho... M&Ms or Smarties.
I've heard about the ridiculous things banks do but never met anyone
it actually happened to until now. Here's Jace again: Guess what Bank
of America did to me? Sent me a statement for $0.01, which is one penny.
Cost them $0.31 to send it to me. If I do not pay it by the due date it
will cost me $35.00 in late fees. It will cost me $0.84 to send it back.
To top it off it was their mistake. Not sure if I can write a check for
Yeah, some dopey programmer forgot to tell the computer to ignore amounts
below a certain level. Jace should inform his local paper about that. I'm
sure they'd love it.
Since the yanks are out of the running for a podium I will root for
Casey Stoner in the next two (motorcycle) races. The Championship has been
decided, but there is a chance for Casey to take second place if he finishes
well. By this time next month all racing will be on hiatus for the winter
and I will be going through speed withdrawal. Might get to see some Aussie
speedsters on the telly sometime or there is always Aussie rules football.
Aussie rules football? Sheesh, even I don't watch that. Gary
October 29, 2010. I heard on a weather report the other night
that we're in for a wet summer. We're either bitching about not enough
rain or too much rain. But at least it'll mean (hopefully) a quiet bushfire
Jace wrote: From Waffle: Atlantic Hurricanes have only been given
male names since about 1980 and they keep rotating the names over several
years. With really bad storms (like Andrew) the names are retired and a
new one added.
Received this pic (attachment) of Peter Lenz (45) and Austin DeHaven
(right) after Peter won a pocketbike race and Austin finished second. Austin
is three years older than Peter and just won the supersport young gun 2010
National Championship and as you know Peter won the USGPRU West posthumously.
Peter was 9 and Austin 12 in the pic. Peter
Lenz’s page has been updated. He has quite the resume. There are new
photos too and facebook has been updated as well.
Cute photo, yes? Jace went on to mention another round of tornados in
Ohio. It puzzles me why people live in places where the weather can be
destructive and dangerous. If it were me, I'd move out. It rained so
hard here I could not see the grass out the window. When the rain let up
cars were stopped all over the highway out back. No accidents though just
pulled over to the berm or median to wait out the storm. And here's
me bitching about a few clouds and a bit of a sprinkle.
Beeb time: Indonesian officials say they are unlikely to find many more
survivors from Monday's tsunami, with 394 people dead and more than 300
missing. On the one hand we keep telling ourselves
that life is precious, but Nature keeps telling us the opposite.
Microsoft announces a 51% rise in first-quarter profit, thanks to higher
sales of its flagship Windows and Office software. Not
bad for a company that lots of people like to criticize. The firms
drilling a BP Gulf of Mexico oil well had tests showing cement used to
seal it before it blew out was unstable, US investigators have found. The
findings conflict with statements by US oil contractor Halliburton, which
supplied the cement and has said tests showed it was stable. But a presidential
panel on the disaster found that three tests prior to the blowout showed
the opposite. Sooner or later... China has
claimed the top spot on the list of the world's supercomputers. The title
has gone to China's Tianhe-1A supercomputer that is capable of carrying
out more than 2.5 thousand trillion calculations a second. I
heard a bloke on telly last night say that by 2050, China, India and the
rest of Asia will be responsible for 65% of the world's GDP, leaving the
US and Europe with about 30%. Residents of US states from North
Dakota to North Carolina are cleaning up after a fierce storm unleashed
driving rain, blustery winds, heavy snow and 56 tornadoes in just two days.
The National Weather Service said the storm had caused the second-largest
October tornado outbreak on record. Ohio Jace wasn't
kidding. The sight of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin with
apparent bruising to his face has sparked rumours he is ill or has undergone
cosmetic surgery. The famously macho politician, 58, seemed to be wearing
heavy make-up when he was photographed with a dark patch around one eye
on a visit to Ukraine. Not everyone is prepared to
grow old gracefully. Japanese carmaker Nissan is recalling 2.1 million
vehicles worldwide because of an ignition problem. The recall includes
nearly 84,000 Micra and Infiniti models that were built at Nissan's Sunderland
factory between January 2004 and March 2006. Nissan said there had been
no reports of accidents caused by the fault, which can lead the engine
to stall while running. This recall business is happening
a lot lately but I suppose it's better to be safe than sorry. A
study into how much the internet contributes to the UK economy says it
is larger than the construction, transport and utility sectors. Do
you find that surprising? 'Haitch' or 'aitch'? How do you pronounce
'H'? Read the article
Haitch or 'aitch is interesting. For example, we pronounce the H in
hero but not in honor. Hehe. Furthermore, we use 'a' before hero but 'an'
before honor. He is a hero which is an honor. We pronounce the H in horrible
but not in heir. I think it's a horrible thing that he was chosen to be
an heir. Here in Oz you could always hell a kid who went to a Catholic
school because he said 'haitch'. A kid who went to a public school said
TX Greg wrote: Ever heard of a guy named Mason Williams that had a old
famous song called "Classical Gas"? WOW
this kid knocks Mason's socks off playing that guitar!!!
Yep, I've posted links to that kid before, and he's something else.
I'm intrigued by the way he lives completely in his head, oblivious to
everything except his guitar and what's going on in his brain. I was gonna
say I'm a bit like that when... but I won't.
Right. Leftover meatloaf, mashed potato/pumpkin, peas and gravy, just
like... no, better than grandma used to make. Gary
October 28, 2010. Good thing I did the laundry yesterday. There
are a few dark clouds hanging about today. Yesterday we got a high of 29C.
I asked Banister, one of the contributors to Justin's
Blog, to explain "now" to me. How many nanoseconds are there in a given
now? Do we exist in a series of nows or is it just one long now? Well,
I wasn't expecting him to take me seriously but he did, and provided a
fascinating explanation which includes a few personal anecdotes. He's a
How reliable are dreams? I dreamed last night that someone told me I'd
won Lotto. But when I checked my numbers this morning I hadn't. So there
ya go. So much for dreams.
Speaking of funny guys, have you heard of Ray William Johnson? Well,
you have now.
I remember a cameraman/editor going to great lengths to explain what
'jump cuts' were, and that they should be avoided at all costs. You need
a transition between jump cuts. So he said. But Ray William Johnson does
jump cuts deliberately, without transitions, and they work really well.
Which all goes to prove... rules are there to be broken.
Pay day/Bills day and all that routine stuff. In and out. Back to square
one. Yadda yadda. But at least a bloke's got a roof over his head, a bed
to sleep in, food in the pantry and a flash Bluey parked in the garage.
That ain't so bad. Later I'll do the shopping. Same old, same old. Maybe
I should break out of the mold and do something really DIFFERENT. Something
really BIZARRE. Something really RADICAL. Hmmm. Maybe later. Lemme think
Beeb time: Aerial images from the tsunami-hit Mentawai Islands in Indonesia
have revealed the extent of destruction, as officials raised the death
toll to 311. Flattened villages are plainly visible on the images, taken
from government helicopters circling the islands. Rescuers, who have finally
reached the area, say 13 villages were washed away by the 3m (10ft) wave,
and 11 more settlements have not yet been reached. Check
out the images here. Congressional Democrats who cast tough votes will
be rewarded with re-election, President Barack Obama has told Jon Stewart
on the Daily Show. Mr Obama is the first sitting president to appear on
the Comedy Central show, in an interview to air on Wednesday. On the programme,
Stewart challenged the president to answer why, two years after he won
on a promise of hope and change, his fellow Democrats "seem to be running
on 'Please, baby, one more chance"'. You
can read the transcript here. At least 60 people have been killed after
part of a building collapsed on guests at a wedding in northern Afghanistan,
officials say. And no bomber in sight. Prosecutors
in Mexico say gunmen have killed at least 15 people at a car wash in the
west of the country. At least two others were injured in the attack early
on Wednesday in Tepic, Nayarit state. Local media reported that the victims
were mostly young men who lived at a drug rehabilitation centre. Police
say rehab facilities are increasingly being targeted by drug cartels who
suspect the clinics of harbouring members from rival gangs. This
is evil at its most sick. An American car enthusiast has paid £2.6m
to buy James Bond's most famous car - and then vowed to take it for a spin
around the streets of London. The 1964 Aston Martin DB5, which boasts revolving
license plates, ejector seat and bullet-proof shield, featured in the films
Goldfinger and Thunderball. Don't look at me! I'm
not even American! Sales of new homes in the US rose 6.6% in September
to a seasonally-adjusted annualised rate of 307,000. The figure beat market
expectations of a rise to just 300,000. And not before
time! Osama Bin Laden has reportedly tied the kidnapping of five
French people in Niger to France's treatment of its Muslim minority. An
audio message said to have been recorded by the al-Qaeda leader says the
abduction was retaliation for "France's injustice to Muslims". It says
forthcoming French curbs on the full veil are "colonial oppression". The
speaker identified as Bin Laden also tells France to withdraw its troops
from Afghanistan. Bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks on the
US and other atrocities, is America's most wanted man. It
still puzzles me how so many people can follow a lunatic like bin Laden
as they did with Hitler back in the mid 20th century. Rocky and
Bullwinkle creator and animation artist Alexander Anderson Jr has died
at the age of 90. Thanks a stack for the contribution,
Alex. A heterosexual couple are launching a legal bid to become
civil partners. What's their problem with getting married? There
ya go... gay couples are demanding equal rights in marriage and here's
a straight couple
wanting a civil ceremony.
Back from shopping, and a reminder of how cruel nature is. I drove into
Averil's drive to see a magpie eating a dove - obviously a fresh kill.
As I approached, the maggie carried the dove to a safer place to continue
its meal. Averil was understandably upset when I told her. She feeds the
doves with wild bird seed. But that's the way it is, I'm afraid. The world
is just one big menu. "Think about it next time you have chicken for dinner,"
I said to Averil, to which she replied, "shuddup!" My mother refused to
watch nature docos that showed animals killing other animals. But like
it or not, it's a fact of life. And death.
I think I like trees. Trees don't kill things (well, some do but most
don't). Trees just hang around shooting the breeze, sucking up goodies
from below the surface of the earth, minding their own business and providing
shelter for birds and other animals. Trees are cool. If I were God I'd
However, I'm not God so therefore THEY are having steak and onions tonight
and I'm having chicken and chips. And I'll do my best not to think about
Oh... and there's a young bloke at the supermarket who thinks I'm a
bit of worry hehe. A few years ago when he first started working there,
I asked him about his nationality, and he said Filipino. He paused a moment
and then added, "and Australian!" Anyway, I apparently gave him the impression
that I fancied him, and he's been nervously avoiding my eyes ever since.
But today, as I stood in line at a busy checkout, he approached me and
said, "would you like to come to number 7?" Ooer! And then he manned the
previously closed No.7 ready to serve me. Best looking checkout chick I've
seen in ages! And I was the ONLY one he served. After I'd gone, he closed
the checkout. So during our fairly brief encounter, I did my best to allay
his fears... that I wasn't about to rip his clothes off and wrestle him
to the floor. Well, not there anyway. It'll be interesting to see if he's
less intimidated by my presence in future. Stay tooned.
Kitchen time again. Bleh. But somebody's gotta do it. Gary
October 27, 2010. It's a beautiful day - perfect. So I better
do the laundry. Bleh. Disposable clothing, that's what we need. Or maybe
we could do away with clothing altogether. Hmmm. Lemme think about that
a little more.
Just checked Youchewb and found this vid
about the old double decker buses. Yes, I have fond memories of those,
like climbing the narrow stairs at the rear and getting a front seat on
the top deck. It was kinda weird sitting up there pretending there was
no driver. Hehe. They were the days, my friend, and we thought they would
I have to thank FL Josh again for giving me the tip about how to get
around my washing machine's idiosyncratic behavior. She's an old girl with
a few worn out bits but she still works okay provided you nurse her along.
Lindsay doesn't wanna know about it so he takes his and Sue's washing to
the laundromat, which probably costs him the best part of $30. Bugger that.
I can do mine for zip. So it just goes to prove that if you wanna solve
a mechanical problem get a lawyer. Preferably a free one like mine.
Beeb time: More than 100 people are killed and many are missing in Indonesia
after a tsunami triggered by Monday's powerful earthquake. If
that happened to a Christian country rather than a Muslim country like
Indonesia it would be explained as Allah's punishment. At least
13 people are killed and thousands flee as Mt Merapi, Indonesia's most
volatile volcano, erupts, hurling rocks and hot ash into the air. And
there we go again. Tariq Aziz, for many years the international
face of Iraq under Saddam Hussein, has been sentenced to death by the Iraqi
Supreme Court. He was convicted in connection with the persecution of religious
parties, a statement said. Aziz, 74, served as foreign minister and deputy
prime minister and was a close adviser to Saddam Hussein. Still
following his leader's example, I see. The proportion of plant and
animal species known to be close to extinction is rising - but conservation
efforts are pulling some back from the brink. You
have to wonder if dinosaurs were still around today, and endangered, whether
or not efforts would be made to save them. The US and Iraq should
investigate claims of abuse contained in files published on the Wikileaks
website, the UN's rights chief says. Navi Pillay said the files suggested
US forces had continued to hand detainees to Iraqi authorities despite
evidence that they had been tortured. "The US and Iraqi authorities should
take necessary measures to investigate all allegations made in these reports
and to bring to justice those responsible for unlawful killings, summary
executions, torture and other serious human rights abuses," she said in
a statement. Cody used to love his enemies. After
belting the crap out of them he'd apologize. The chairman of British
Airways has said some "completely redundant" airport security checks should
be scrapped and the UK should stop "kowtowing" to US security demands.
Practices such as forcing passengers to take off their shoes should be
abandoned, Martin Broughton said. I've always wondered
how you spell 'kowtow'. Modern humans could have reached East Asia
much earlier than believed, according to new evidence. An international
team analysed fossil teeth and part of a jaw unearthed in southern China
in 2007. In the journal PNAS, the scientists say the fragments belonged
to a "modern" human who lived 100,000 years ago. The study is likely to
be controversial: the earliest humans previously known from East Asia were
half this age. Oh, is that all? Makes Moses look
pretty recent. Islamist militants told Abdus Salam he would go to
heaven if he blew himself up. Initially he believed them, and trained to
become a suicide bomber. Now 14, he tells the BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan how
he narrowly escaped a violent death. It's
not a surprising story but you can read it here. Michael Jackson has
come top of the annual Forbes magazine list of top-earning dead celebrities.
too thrilling for Michael but pretty cool for the rellies. Playwright
Joseph Stein, who wrote hit Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof, has died
aged 98 in New York. Almost double Michael's age
but still a drop in the bucket.
How's young Grayson Chance doing these days? Check
I watched a Brit show on TV last night about a music teacher who was
having a lot of trouble getting students at his high school to sing in
the choir. Most of the kids thought it was uncool. It was a true story
- a documentary. One kid with a really nice voice refused to sing above
a certain note because he thought it was kinda girly. Hehe. KIDS! But I
was the same. I was roped into singing in the school choir and told the
teacher a lie - that I was getting headaches from singing soprano. But
in the story last night on TV the teacher finally managed to convince quite
a number of the kids to give the choir a go, and to make them feel good
Who makes the rules about what's cool and what isn't? The geniuses?
The guys with the highest IQ? The most talented? No, of course not. The
guys who make the cool/uncool rules are the LCDs... lowest common denominators,
and they bully everyone else into remaining mediocre. The bully's decree
is 'thou shalt not excel' (or be smarter than me). Gary
October 26, 2010. FL Josh wrote: This (Irish Ghost) story
happened a while ago in Dublin, and even though it sounds like an Alfred
Hitchcock tale, it's true.
John Bradford, a Dublin University student, was on the side of the
road hitchhiking on a very dark night and in the midst of a big storm.
The night was rolling on and no car went by. The storm was so strong he
could hardly see a few feet ahead of him. Suddenly, he saw a car slowly
coming towards him, then stop right next to him.
Without thinking about it, and desperate for shelter, John got into
the car but as he closed the door, he realized there was nobody behind
the wheel and the engine wasn't running. The car started moving again,
heading slowly down the road. John looked ahead and saw a curve approaching.
Scared, he began to pray, begging for his life to be spared. Then, just
before the car hit the curve, a hand appearing out of nowhere through the
window, turned the wheel allowing the car to negotiate the curve. John,
paralyzed with terror, watched, then the hand disappeared just as suddenly
as it had appeared. It never touched or harmed John in any way.
Suddenly, John saw the lights of a pub down the road, and gathering
all his strength, he jumped out of the moving car and ran to it. Wet and
out of breath, he rushed inside and started telling everybody about what
had just happened, crying as he did so. A silence enveloped the pub as
the people saw the emotion and realized he wasn't drunk.
Suddenly, the door opened and two other people walked in from the
dark and stormy night. They, like John, were also soaked and out of breath.
Looking around, they saw John Bradford sobbing at the bar, and one said
to the other.....
'Look Paddy....there's that idiot that got in the car while we were
I love Irish humor, and I admire the Irish for being such good sports
about it. There are many cultures that would be seriously offended by having
themselves sent up, because they take themselves far too seriously. The
Brits send themselves up all the time and their humor is wonderful.
Actually, after watching a few vids on Youchewb of Orson Welles, I got
the impression that he took himself too seriously. He was hailed as a genius
and the consumate actor, but I think he made the mistake of believing his
own publicity. I watched a clip of him playing the part of a wealthy benefactor
in the company of Thomas Edison and another inventor who came up with the
idea of alternating current, which Edison rejected as being unworkable
and too dangerous. Edison invented direct current. Anyway, Welles' speech
was delivered in such a way that I couldn't help being constantly reminded
that he was acting, and that his style was all about contrived spontaneity.
In other words, I saw Welles playing the part rather than Welles being
convincing. But that's just me. I don't always agree with the experts.
For me, an actor's job is to convince his audience to forget who he
really is and to believe who he's pretending to be. Welles didn't do that
I can't act to save myself. I'm hopeless - at least in a physical sense
on stage. But as an author when I wrote Daniel's Diary, I managed to convince
Cody and others that Daniel was not me. Nor were any of the other characters.
Hehe. I'm still dumbfounded by that. Years ago, I recorded a radio series
called Little Alice Who Lost Her Fairy Story. It was about Alice who fell
out of her book in a big library and couldn't remember which story she
belonged to. So she went about visiting all the other fairy story characters
in an attempt to find her own. I wrote the series and played all the parts/voices
including narrator. There was no multi-track recording available back then
so I recorded each episode in one hit, and used short music stabs to give
me time to go from voice to voice; the wolf to grandma or goldilocks or
a little pig or which ever character happened to be involved. Sheesh...
that was 35 years ago. And do I have any copies of the recordings? No.
I never kept anything. I lived for the moment and never gave a thought
to one day being 66.
Beeb time: The US has voiced concern about Iran's "negative influence"
on Afghanistan, after Afghan President Hamid Karzai admitted receiving
cash from Tehran. "The government of Iran has been assisting us with five
or six or seven hundred thousand euros once or twice every year, that is
an official aid," he said. He said he had discussed the issue with former
US President George W Bush. "This is nothing hidden. We are grateful for
the Iranian help in this regard. The United States is doing the same thing,
they're providing cash to some of our offices." Hmmm.
The numbers of people killed by cholera in Haiti has slowed, the government
says, as aid agencies seek to stop the disease from spreading in the capital.
at least that's something to be thankful for. The 33 miners rescued
after 69 days trapped underground in Chile have been feted by President
Sebastian Pinera during a palace reception in Santiago. Each miner was
given a medal to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Chile's independence
from Spain, which was celebrated while they were trapped. The 33 also played
a football match against their rescuers and government officials. The government
team won 3-2. That was cute... a football match between
the rescued and their rescuers. A nice touch, even if the rescued did lose.
Germany's diplomats were more deeply involved in the Holocaust than previously
known, according to an official German government report. The government
is considering making the 900-page text mandatory reading for all its diplomats.
The report, commissioned by the foreign ministry, says diplomats were willing
participants who spied on Jewish fugitives from the Nazis. One of the authors
said: "The German foreign ministry collaborated with the Nazis' violent
politics and especially assisted in all aspects of the discrimination,
deportation, persecution and genocide of the Jews." The historians discovered
the travel expenses of one senior diplomat who went to Serbia in 1941 to
help organise the killing of Jews. The expenses form said simply: "Liquidation
of Jews in Belgrade." How utterly callous.
The US says it did not "turn a blind eye" to torture in Iraq, in response
to allegations raised in files published by whistleblower website Wikileaks.
Gen George Casey, who was in charge of US forces in Iraq from 2004 to 2007,
said all soldiers were instructed to report any allegations of abuse. And
then what happened to the reports? We know they existed because Wikileaks
has just leaked them. Sony Walkman (Senior) has reached the end
of side two. Its batteries have run out. The rewind button is broken. Lovers
of music overlaid with hissing have reacted with sadness to news that Sony
has ceased production of its celebrated portable cassette-playing audio
device. It is survived by its neater, slicker, more junior MP3 descendant.
But following its birth in 1979, an astonishing 220 million units were
sold - testament to the device's status as a 1980s icon no less memorable
than shoulder pads, Filofaxes and David Bowie starting to produce rubbish
albums. Is it really THAT long ago? A seaside
city in Italy is planning to ban miniskirts and other revealing clothing
to improve what the mayor calls standards of public decency. I
gave up wearing mine years ago. A patient lost a testicle during
an operation because the surgeon cut it off by mistake, a General Medical
Council (GMC) hearing has been told. Dr Sulieman Al Hourani was only supposed
to cut out a cyst, but removed the whole right testicle instead. Sarah
Prichard, counsel for the GMC, said the mistake was made as a nurse helping
the surgeon turned her back to get a stitch. When she turned around the
testicle had been removed. Gives a whole new meaning
to the expression, 'having a ball'.
I had to laugh at something Banister wrote on Justin's
blog: he referred to male genitals as hydraulic equipment hehe. He's
an engineering student.
Yesterday I mentioned no hurricanes named Gary. Well, I did a search
and discovered that Gary
is not on the official list.
Actually, in the interests of alliteration, I would suggest all hurricane
names begin with H. Harry, Helen, Herman, Horatio, Harold. Even Hurricane
Jose works. Yeah? Maybe even Hurricane Hobbit. But I had a friend who referred
to every stiff breeze or draft as Hurricane Dora. The slightest movement
of air was always Hurricane Dora. If his hair got messed up outdoors in
the wind he blamed Hurricane Dora.
I just caught up with Q&A, a question and answer program on Oz TV,
by watching it on iView. It was broadcast live last night but I was bye
byes. Anyway, the guest was former PM John Howard who was quizzed by a
television audience, and also by web cam, about his prime ministerial decisions
during his 12 year reign. I thought he handled himself pretty well. But
there were the usual idiot remarks by anonymous Twitterers, and one of
the TV audience, a long-haired nitwit, decided to claim his moment of fame
by throwing his shoes at Howard. How original. The host of the show was
most apologetic but Howard was quite bemused, and held the arm of the host
as he asked him to calm down. Anyway, it all goes to prove that anyone
in public life has his share of supporters and critics. They both go with
the territory. Even in private life they both go with the territory. And
I think it's a big mistake to take take other people's opinions, for or
against, too much to heart. What others think of you matters but what matters
most is what you think of yourself. Amen.
In fact, come to think of it, bullies in schools have nothing on the
bullying - or attempted bullying - that goes on daily in parliament. Do
those guys have thick skins or what? They wouldn't survive if they didn't.
And now for something completely different... two athletes who will
blow your mind, Martin
Well, that's it for Chewsdee. Time to make a meatloaf. Oregon Richie
said he had a meatloaf sandwich the other day but I bet it wasn't as good
as my meatloaf. And I'll bake spuds and a bit of pumpkin to go with it.
And make some gravy. And I'll give a bit to Averil. Gary
October 25, 2010. John
Vandeven, the fire chief and Red Bubbler who visited me recently, took
some pics of the goods train derailment that happened at the border of
NSW and Victoria the other day. It's since been discovered that a faulty
wheel caused the accident, and not the newly-laid track itself. The force
was so great, it ripped up 7 kms of concrete sleepers. How could a faulty
wheel have escaped detection by maintenance workers?
I suspect that maintenance work on rolling stock used for freight is
not as thorough as it is on passenger carriages. You know those beauty
contests like Miss USA and Miss World, etc? Why isn't there one for large
railway corporations called Miss Carriage?
Raining again. But at least the rain we're getting is not like the rain
they get in the tropics, like the highlands of Papua New Guinea. A Red
Bubbler who spent some time in PNG (he works for a mining company) said
it rains ALL the time, and that everything is constantly wet and humid.
I bet the mozzies aren't complaining.
Speaking of complaining, Stephen Fry was the reluctant adventurer again
last night on a show about Madagascar and the lemurs that live there. Stephen
doesn't like camping hehe, and he doesn't like being away from internet
communications with his wi-fi. But he fell in love with the lemurs, particularly
one species called Aye Aye - a nocturnal lemur that is as ugly as all get
out but kinda cute in its own weird way. It has a long middle finger that
it uses like a woodpecker uses its beak to detect what morsels may lie
hidden in tree trunks. Tap, tap, tap, anyone home?
One of the many interesting things about lemurs is that they are primates
that evolved differently to their cousins in Africa when Madagascar separated
from the mainland millions of years ago. We also have examples of unique
evolution here in Oz because of its geographical isolation. I find it interesting
that Australian Aborigines hadn't changed for 40,000 years, and I can't
help wondering if they ever would have if Europeans hadn't arrived. Actually,
full-bloods haven't changed since European settlement but that's only a
bit over 200 years, a drop in the bucket.
Beeb time: The death toll from a cholera outbreak in Haiti passes 250,
health officials say, with more than 3,000 cases reported. Has
anyone told God what's going on down here? Tropical Storm Richard
has strengthened into a hurricane over the Caribbean Sea as it heads towards
Belize and southeastern Mexico, officials say. Has
there ever been a Hurricane Gary? I suppose it's only a matter of time.
The leaking of new documents from the Iraq war is likely to increase pressure
on governments to release details of civilian casualties in future conflicts.
It is clear from these military logs that raw data about casualties in
Iraq is there. The claim by the former US commander in Iraq, Gen Tommy
Franks, that "we don't do body counts" is therefore demonstrably incorrect
at a local level. The fat lady ain't sung yet, and
it'll be interesting when she does. Stay tuned. The dismembered
body of a young albino boy has been found in a river on the Burundi-Tanzania
border, reports say. The boy, aged nine, was taken from Makamba province
in Burundi by a gang that crossed the border, the head of Burundi's albino
association said. Albino body parts are prized in parts of Africa, with
witch-doctors claiming they have special powers. Superstition
is alive and well in the 21st century... and not only in parts of Africa.
Pope Benedict XVI has urged Israelis and Palestinians to push for peace
in the Middle East and not to give up hope of a settlement. He spoke at
the Vatican at the end of a two-week meeting of Catholic bishops from around
the world. Peace would be the best way to stem the emigration of Christians
from the Middle East, the Pope said. Hello? I would
have thought the emigration of Christians from the Middle East was in the
interest of both Palestinians and Israelis. Anyway, if Benny is serious,
why doesn't he participate personally in negotiations instead of making
lame statements from the safety of his gold-plated bunker? "I took
off my hijab, and I threw it on the floor and my brother got really mad.
It's the worst thing I could have done to offend my religion, aside from
burn or tear the Koran. "My mother, she kind of stood still, and started
listening, and it was very liberating that she finally wanted to hear what
I had to say. I told her about my sexuality and I said 'that's right, I
do meet girls, and I love it' and I told her that she had been hurting
me really badly, and I will never forgive her." The
story of a gay teen forced into marriage against her will by her family.
Wikileaks has released almost 400,000 secret US military records, which
suggest US commanders ignored evidence of torture by Iraqi forces. What
is your reaction to these new leaks? The documents also reveal many previously
unreported instances in which US forces killed civilians at checkpoints
and during operations. Check
out public feedback to this BBC version of the story.
My own impression of the Wikileaks story is that there would be no point
in releasing 400,000 documents if they weren't newsworthy, with something
in the public interest - perhaps even sinister - to divulge. And I seriously
doubt if treason and/or risk to combat troops was the motive behind the
leak. What on earth could the Wiki people possibly gain from a publicity
stunt that has no legitimate basis? I could be wrong, but I doubt it. In
fact, after watching the Youchewb vid that's linked here, I doubt it even
more. Loose lips sink ships, but
exactly whose or what ships are we talking about here?
Desensitizing. It's a very interesting word that explains a helluva
lot about the darker side of human behavior. Gary
October 24, 2010. Here's a nice piece on Youchewb where Orson
Welles talks about his encounters with Churchill.
Orson once said that he wished people would talk to him rather than
talk to Orson Welles. I'm pretty sure it was Orson who was the first guest
Michael Parkinson managed to acquire when he started his Brit chat show
decades ago. He flew to the US and visited Orson at his home. Parky was
understandably very nervous. Orson invited him inside, saw the prepared
notes Parky had in his hand and asked what they were. "My questions, Mr
Welles." "Give them to me." Orson tore the notes to shreds and said, "Now
Fortunately, I've never been introduced to Queen Elizabeth, and never
had to worry about adhering to royal protocol. I think I'd have some difficulty
addressing someone as 'Your Majesty'. I feel the same way about addressing
a judge as 'Your Worship' or 'Your Honor'. I believe Australian courts
accept 'Sir'. Actually, I remember American sitcoms from the 50s and 60s
and hearing sons address their fathers as 'Sir'. I thought that was most
odd. I even have trouble addressing someone as Mister unless it's in jest.
It's the Irish rebel in me - or maybe the Aussie rebel. Or just plain rebel.
It's not raining in Taree at the mo but according to the radio it's
pissing down all the way up and down the coast, and heading this way. Bleh.
I saw a report on TV the other night about flooding in parts of the Murray/Darling
river system. 10 years of drought and now floods. When it rains...?
Beeb time: The first cases of cholera are detected and isolated in Haiti's
capital, Port-au-Prince, raising fears over the outbreak that has killed
more than 200 people. Reminds me of the leper colony
scene in Ben Hur - that was 1959 when I was 15 and I've never forgotten
it. Iraq's prime minister criticises the timing of the release by
Wikileaks of almost 400,000 secret US military documents about the conflict
there. The authorities are saying the leak is irresponsible
but I suppose we'll have to wait to see whether that is so or not. Meanwhile,
I'd like to know how 400 thousand classified documents managed to get into
the hands of Wikileaks. The founder of whistleblowing website Wikileaks
has defended the release of almost 400,000 classified US documents about
the war in Iraq. Julian Assange said the "intimate details" of the conflict
were made public in an effort to reveal the truth about the conflict. The
"war logs" suggest evidence of torture was ignored, and detail the deaths
of thousands of Iraqi civilians. And there you have
the other side of the coin. At least 13 people have been shot dead
at a house party in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, officials
say. A group of gunmen burst into the party late on Friday and began shooting,
police said. At least another 10 people were injured. Police said the victims
were aged 14-20. The attackers escaped with no arrests made, a state prosecutor
said. Ciudad Juarez has been wracked by such shootings as violence among
drug gangs has escalated in recent years. Everyone
involved in the illegal drug business has to share the blame, and that
includes users. A US surfer has relived the horror of a fatal shark
attack on his bodyboarding friend in California. Matthew Garcia said he
first heard a desperate cry for help from Lucas Ransom as they surfed together
at Surf Beach on Friday morning. Mr Garcia then saw the shark flashing
out of the water and biting his friend's left leg off. The surfer eventually
managed to bring Mr Ransom to the shore, but the bodyboarder bled to death.
was just 19. The elegant writing style of novelist Jane Austen may
have been the work of her editor, an academic has claimed. Professor Kathryn
Sutherland of Oxford University reached her conclusion while studying 1,100
original handwritten pages of Austen's unpublished writings. The manuscripts,
she states, feature blots, crossing outs and "a powerful counter-grammatical
way of writing". She adds: "The polished punctuation and epigrammatic style
we see in Emma and Persuasion is simply not there." Never
underestimate the value of a good editor. MPs in Poland are debating
the future of IVF treatment amid warnings from the Church that it should
be banned. I propose that man interfering with nature
is in fact nature interfering with itself. If man is not nature, what is
Yes, the illegal drugs biz. No users, no sellers. It's the same with
child porn. No market no industry. Users and peddlers alike are guilty.
As to authors and editors, there are drivers and mechanics. Drivers
win races and mechanics fix problems. Green Room was co-authored by Cody
and me, and I did the editing. I couldn't have done it without Cody. What
I'm saying here is that Jane Austen's editor couldn't have done it without
her input. I read somewhere that John Steinbeck used to give his publisher
hell with his hand-written notes, misspellings and bad grammar. But Steinbeck
had the ideas; some would say the genius. I do my own editing, usually
some time after I've written something. For me, editing is like wisdom
in hindsight. You can't edit something that doesn't exist.
I wonder if Leonardo da Vinci had a publisher. He used to write everything
backwards... from right to left. It's called mirror writing, and I can
do it (running writing) as a left hander. I have no problem visualizing
the shape of the letters in reverse as I write but, oddly enough, once
they're written I can't read them unless I hold the piece of paper up to
the light or hold it in front of a mirror. How weird is that?
Mid afternoon and the rain has arrived. It's not torrential though.
Just your regular run-of-the-mill rain... enough to water the weeds and
make them grow like hell. Thanks very much.
I cooked pork loin chops and boiled spuds with butter and parsley for
THEM last night, so I thought it was a wonderful opportunity for me to
go junk. While I was shopping for Averil, I spotted a frozen cheese burger
in the frozen foods cabinet next to all the pizzas and other rubbish, and
I thought, "Oh, that looks nice!" Well, it did on the packaging. Totally
yummy. Just put it in the micro on its special base and in 2.5 minutes,
scrumptious cheeseburger, with two slices of cheese and two grilled meat
patties with sauce on a sesame seed bun. Yeah, right. It was bloody horrible.
I do admit to liking McD's and Hungry Jacks. But that frozen instant
stuff is nowhere near as good. NOWHERE. It's at least 8 years since I had
a McD's. Actually, I'd like one right now, to be honest. Mmmmm. McD's recently
released the premium Angus beef burger. Guess what? We've been eating Angus
beef in Oz for the past umpteen years but no one called it Angus. Hehe.
So McD's got clever and did the bagpipes thing and their sales went up
20%. So then Hungry Jacks figured it was a pretty cool idea and copied
it. And now everyone's raving about Angus beef which is the same beef they've
been eating forever. Marketing, mate, it's all about marketing.
Oregon Richie just wrote to say he's been driving me nuts for 9 years
now. Is it really that long? Richie has an aversion to short sentences.
I have to read his emails at least three times to understand what the hell
he's going on about. Jeez, 9 years. FL Josh is a bit of a worry too. He
loves analogies. When he begins a sentence with "It's like saying..." you
know you're in for a long session. Why can't people be brief and to the
I had a neighbor in Sydney who loved to chat. Nancy. When she cornered
me in the backyard of the block of flats we lived in, and started telling
me the history of her entire family, I waited for about a minute or so
and then checked my watch. "Time's up," I'd say. "That's your quota for
today." She used to go beet red and threaten to explode. Then she developed
the habit of wandering into my office. I used to leave all the doors open,
including the front door of the flat, which was next door to hers. I'd
be snoozing and she'd yell, "Are you awake?" Sheesh.
What is it about me and women? Back then it was Nancy, before that it
was my next door neighbor Kim, and now it's Averil. I think I need a can
of women repellant.
And so ends a dreary Sunday in Taree. Kitchen time. Gary
October 23, 2010. Okay, so the young Brit mountaineer who climbed
Everest used a SAT phone to call his mom, and not a cell phone. Thanks
Richie... picky bastard.
Justin's blog posted
an article about relationships again. Same old, same old... it takes two
to Tango. So who wants to Tango? So old grumpy party-pooper here commented
that all those kinda articles promote the idea that happiness can only
come in pairs. Phooey. I'm old enough to know that Mr or Miss Right - Mr
or Miss Wonderful - can one day become Mr or Miss Yukko. So what happens
then? You're back to solo.
Now lemme say something about solo. The 'It Gets Better' campaign designed
to help suicidal teens cope with bullying and other pressures says "you're
not alone". That's the same as saying that being alone is a bad thing.
Is it? Not to me, it's not. Being alone is cool. I like being alone. As
long as psychologists, counselors and whomever keep saying that being alone
is a no-no, people who are alone will feel disadvantaged, or worse - that
they have no hope of surviving on their own. I believe that people who
are alone should be told it's okay, that independence is a good thing,
that surviving solo is a very worthwhile technique to master.
Why do some people elect to sail solo around the world? It's not because
they want to live the rest of their lives as a hermit, it's to test their
abililty to survive on their own, to rely on themselves when the going
gets tough. And when life dishes out its inevitable dramas over the years,
the person who has learned to rely on himself will pull through.
I can say this much: If I'd known 40 years ago what I know now, I could
have saved myself a lot of frustration.
Beeb time: The biggest leak of military records in US history, released
by Wikileaks, shows commanders did not investigate torture by the Iraqi
authorities. That's the thing about democracy - bureaucrats
sooner or later become accountable. Here's
what Hillary has to say about the matter. An outbreak of cholera north
of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, has killed almost 200 people and left
at least 2,600 others sick, officials say. Poor souls.
Why is it that some countries seem to stumble from one disaster to the
next? A UN human rights rapporteur has said continued settlement
construction will probably make Israel's occupation of Palestinian land
irreversible. Richard Falk said the peace process aimed at creating an
independent, sovereign Palestinian state therefore appeared to be based
on an illusion. He said the UN, the US and Israel had failed to uphold
Palestinians' rights. I think the word 'illusion'
is appropriate. Commercial space travel takes a step closer with
the opening of the runway at the world's first spaceport in the US state
of New Mexico. I dunno how the hell I'm gonna cope
with that. I can't handle riding in a bloody elevator. The message
that announced the trapped Chile miners were alive and well is now the
copyright of the man who wrote it. Jose Ojeda penned the note "Estamos
bien en el refugio los 33" ("We are okay in the refuge, the 33 of us")
which was discovered attached to a probe 17 days after the mine collapse.
The message brought hope to the nation and was seen on many flags, mugs,
and T-shirts during the rescue operation. A blank
check to a fortune. Several people have been attacked in Uganda
after a local newspaper published their names and photos, saying they were
homosexual, an activist has told the BBC. What really
should happen is that the newspaper is shut down and its proprietors and
managers jailed for inciting hatred. The US has announced a $2bn
(£1.3bn) package of military and security aid to Pakistan over five
years on the final day of US-Pakistan strategic talks. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton unveiled the deal, which is subject to Congressional approval.
seen TV news footage of the printing presses churning out lots more American
One of the Mormons yesterday said something about talking with God and
I, being the smartass I am, said God doesn't understand my Aussie accent.
So the Mormon said, "God understands all languages." So much for my feeble
attempt to bring a little humor into the convo. Anyway, that got me to
wondering what language God used to communicate with Adam and Eve in the
Garden of Eden. Did they get a quick lesson in Hebrew or something? I mean
the Bible tells us that God spoke to A&E about various things and I'm
just wondering what language he used. The problem religious people have
with my curiosity about such things is that they think I'm poking fun at
them. But all I want is a reasonable answer to a reasonable question. For
example, I'd like to know how the bloke who wrote the Bible knew what happened
in the Garden of Eden when there were no witnesses. Did he interview God
personally? And if he did, how come Benny can't get a personal audience
with the Creator these days? It seems rather curious to me that God was
willing to speak with the ancients from the Old Testament, and make personal
appearances, but has since gone into hiding.
Oh well... some things are meant to remain inexplicable, I suppose.
October 22, 2010. Friday again. Are you sure there are seven
days in a week? I think someone's pulling our collective leg. Maybe there
are if you're traveling in a covered wagon but not if you're doing Mach
Technology is doing Mach II. I checked an electronics brochure yesterday
and I don't have a clue what some of the stuff is all about. All those
hand-held gadgets with Bluetooth (what the hell is Bluetooth?) and whatever
else, and phones with slide-out qwerty keyboards. Like who has fingers
that small? I see kids these days walking along the street checking out
a small screen and exercising their thumbs. Not so long ago they held the
thing to their ear but not now. They walk along almost oblivious to their
surroundings, checking out a screen and thumbing important messages like
"how r u?"
And now, just to add to the confusion, Google has released new phones
that do a whole bunch of weird stuff. I gather it's all about staying in
touch. Who the hell wants to stay in touch? Tourist brochures keep telling
us how to "get away from it all" but people like Google and Apple and whoever
else are telling us we should get closer to it all. Closer to what? Twitter?
Mind you, it's not all crazy. That young Brit mountaineer who climbed
Everest recently got to the top and used his cell phone to call his mom.
That was cute. A friend of mine did a similar thing years ago when he climbed
a local mountain near Canberra. "Hello, mom. Guess where I am?"
Beeb time: French unions call two more days of action - on 28 October
and 6 November - to protest at the government's pension reforms. Is
the age pension a right or a privilege? Prior to the beginning of the 20th
century, there were no pensions in Australia. Dozens of people in
Haiti have died and hundreds are ill from an illness as doctors test for
a possible outbreak of cholera. Another reason to
be thankful I live where I live. The codes used by the US president
to launch a nuclear strike were lost for months during the Clinton years,
a former high-ranking US military officer says. "Hillary?
Have you seen those damn nuclear codes anywhere? I can't find the damn
things." There are oases of water-rich soil that could sustain astronauts
on the Moon, Nasa scientists say. Water is H2O, right?
I presume the moon and earth were once joined, so it's interesting that
the two planets evolved so differently. US broadcaster National
Public Radio has fired news analyst Juan Williams for saying on Fox News
that he gets nervous if he sees Muslims on a plane. Williams, who has written
several books on the US civil rights movement, made the remarks last week
on chat show The O'Reilly Factor. NPR said in a statement that Williams's
contract had been ended on Wednesday. Which all goes
to prove that you should never say publically what most people are thinking.
It may not be politically correct. Jewish settlers have started
building more than 600 homes in the West Bank since a building freeze expired
last month, an Israeli pressure group says. The pace of building is four
times faster than before the ban was put in place, Peace Now says. Recently
relaunched Middle East peace talks could collapse over Jewish settlement
building on occupied land. Which is a fact the Israelis
are acutely aware of. Which means...? The producers of The Simpsons
have contradicted the Pope's official newspaper by declaring that the animated
family are not Catholic. It comes after the L'Osservatore Romano stated
that Homer and Bart were followers. But Al Jean, executive producer of
television show, said the pair only considered converting for one episode
- The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest - aired in 2005. Check
out the video here. Israel's version of Dancing With The Stars is to
include the show's first same-sex couple in the new series. TV presenter
Gili Shem Tov, who has a female partner in real life, said dancing with
another woman felt "natural" to her. When I was DJ
at a Kings Cross disco in the mid 60s, same sex couples danced with each
other all the time! No biggie! US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
posted a video on YouTube on Tuesday. But her message wasn't intended for
heads of state, diplomats or monarchs. It was for troubled gay teenagers.
Mrs Clinton's video is the latest high-profile contribution to the fast-growing
It Gets Better YouTube channel, a project started by Seattle-based sex
columnist and author Dan Savage to provide hope and support to vulnerable
and possibly suicidal gay teenagers. Pardon my cynicism,
but how can someone like Hillary be an expert on suicide - unless they've
been there? Cody, on the other hand, was an expert because he came within
seconds of "offing" himself. A man thought to be the first person
in the world to drive a car using a mind-controlled robotic limb has been
seriously hurt in a car crash in Austria, according to local media. Christian
Kandlbauer, 22, was found in the wreckage of his Subaru, which caught fire
after smashing into a tree. "Looking at the state of the wreck, it's a
miracle he got out at all," a police officer was reported as saying. It
is not known whether his bionic arm played any role in the accident. Hmmm,
back to the drawing board.
I've been thinking about this Don't Ask, Don't Tell business, and the
issue of sexuality in the military. So I spoke to Averil about it. She
served as a two-striper in the Australian Army, and old Kev served in the
Australian Air Force during World War II. That's how they met. She agrees
that gays and straights sleeping in the same quarters could be a worry.
The military currently segregates the sexes in certain situations, like
toilets and sleeping quarters, so what the hell are they gonna do about
gays and straights? For that matter, what the hell are they gonna do about
gays and gays?
There's another issue: if two gay lovers are serving in the same unit
engaged in battle in the field, and each one is preoccupied with the welfare
of the other - as lovers do - could that distract their focus from the
unit as a whole?
It seems to me that the acceptance of gays in the military is not just
a matter of equal opportunity and treatment; there are other aspects that
require consideration. While wars are being fought in places like Afghanistan,
it's probably not a good time to be rearranging the rules.
Well, a couple of Yanks arrived at the door just now and did the God
thing. Nice young blokes but they gave up on me after about 10 minutes.
Hehe. Oh well... no commission for those guys. They were both very healthy
and fit specimens, which made me wonder if that has something to do with
being selected as missionaries by the Church of Latter Day Saints. Not
everyone who answers their front door is gonna be accommodating and pleasant,
so I guess those young men need to handle situations that might prove a
little bit tricky.
They were both good looking young blokes, clean cut, well-mannered and
courteous, which also made me wonder if there was method in the Mormon's
One of them talked about the "spirit". So I asked why I wasn't conscious
of my spirit. "If I am my spirit, where is it? If I get Alzheimer's or
dementia, and my brain goes bye-byes, where's my spirit? Why aren't I aware
of it?" He used the analogy that it's like driving a car and the engine
conks out. The driver is still there but the engine doesn't work. Sorry,
I don't buy that. In the case of a human being, unlike a car, the engine
and the driver are one and the same. They are not separate.
Chicken's in the oven, spuds are in the oven, so it's just a matter
of letting the convection heat do its thing. Gary
October 21, 2010. Did you watch the speech made by the bloke
who shot himself? I posted the link yesterday. So there was Adolph thumping
his chest and yelling his message to an audience of sycophants, applauding
at appropriate intervals and doing their 'Sieg Heil' routine. It's a worry,
yes? But people haven't changed. Audiences are still doing the same thing
I think today will go down as one of my most lazy. It's almost 3pm already
and I've done very little... except make a few comments on Justin's blog
and pull ONE weed out of the driveway. Now if I did that every day, I'd
end up pulling 365 weeds a year. On the other hand, by the time I got to
the 365th, most of the others would have re-sprouted. See what I mean?
Gardening is a waste of time. While ever birds crap all over the place,
you're fighting a losing battle. I mean who the hell plants weeds in his
yard? Nobody, right? So how do they get there?
Beeb time: An appeals court has ruled the US military can temporarily
reinstate a ban on openly gay people serving, in a move adding to disarray
on the issue. The decision came eight days after a judge struck down the
"don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays serving openly. The legal moves
come as the Pentagon studies how gay people can be properly integrated
into the US military, an effort that would entail dramatic changes in policies
on insurance, housing and even protocol at military social events. Yes,
I can understand the military's dilemma. It's not just a simple case of
equality. A US man has pleaded guilty to supporting a Somali Islamist
militant group and encouraging attacks on the writers of cartoon show South
Park. Prosecutors said Zachary Adam Chesser, 20, was outraged by the cartoon's
perceived mockery of the prophet Muhammad. Chesser sought twice to travel
to Somalia to join al-Shabab, which the US designates as a terrorist group.
The American Muslim convert faces up to 30 years in prison. So
it's cool to fly planes into a building and kill thousands of people but
it's uncool to mock Muhammad. I don't get it. The UK's finance minister
will take to the airwaves to defend his £81bn spending cuts programme
amid claims it will hit some of the poorest hard. You
can't spend what you ain't got. I found that out the hard way. A
Belgian woman convicted of murdering her fellow skydiver and love rival
by sabotaging her parachute is due to be sentenced. If
you had your time over again, darling, would you do the same thing? I don't
think so. US officials have confirmed they intend to sell $60bn
(£38bn) of arms to Saudi Arabia, including helicopters and jets.
The state department said details of the deal had been sent to Congress,
which now has 30 days to object. If completed, it could be the most lucrative
single arms deal in US history and could support 75,000 jobs. The state
department said Israel, traditionally wary of arms deals involving Arab
states, was not expected to raise objections. How
could Jews possibly object to making money? Online marketplace eBay
has reported better-than-expected profits, with earnings boosted by growth
in its payment service PayPal. Both great ideas.
Archaeologists have found a "fantastically preserved" 5100-year-old door
in the Swiss city of Zurich. The door, which is 153cm (5ft) high and 88cm
wide, was among the traces of at least five Neolithic villages believed
to have existed at the site. 5ft high? There ya go.
King penguins do not form long-term homosexual pairs despite same-sex "flirting",
one of the first evidence-based studies has revealed. The scientists suggest
that these same sex displays could be caused by an excess of males or high
levels of testosterone. I've heard of fairy penguins
but this is something new. Obviously these guys don't have to worry about
homophobic penguins giving them a hard time.
Time for kitchen duties. But first, here's a link that Oregon Richie
Ferguson and 'the Guest Who Changed His Life'.
October 20, 2010. Interesting little trip yesterday out to Lansdowne
and Coopernook. I spent some time on line looking for a pic of the burned-out
house before the fire on various historical sites etc, but couldn't find
anything. So then I decided to check out Google street view and hey presto!
There it was in all its former glory. Incidentally, Les asked me yesterday
if I ever check out the internet. "The internet? I live there!" I think
he said he had 3 laptops in the house... his and his wife's, and they all
went up in flames, including all the info collected over the years.
I do have my own personal nightmares about that kinda thing. What would
I grab first in the event of a fire? You get one guess.
So where to next? Well, I've been promising myself for ages to go back
to the Green Cathedral
on the shores of the Great Lakes to take better pics of the cathedral
whose walls are tall palm trees and whose ceiling is made up of the green
fronds of palm leaves. It's a magical place. And all the pews are made
of hewn half-logs. The altar is a pile of rocks. Further south is Seal
Rocks where I'd like to take better pics of the lighthouse there, among
other things. It's a bit of a hike so it'll take a bit of planning. Maybe
even an overnighter. Don't rush me.
I just spotted a pigeon in Averil's backyard doing his 'hey-check-me-out'
dance to a lady pigeon who seems totally unimpressed hehe. I know the feeling.
Ohio Jace wrote: I was watching the MotoGP race, Sunday that Casey
won; live. Not sure what time it was over (15 or 16 hours ahead) there
but it was 1 am here. I am not disappointed he won, but was rooting for
the Yanks Colin Edwards, Ben Spies, and Nicky Hayden in that order.
Everyone needs their national heroes, and we in Oz are lucky to have
guys like Casey Stoner. I think it's a bonus that he doesn't look the part...
way too naive and innocent to be a hard-nosed competitor. Looks can be
deceiving, yes? The kid's dynamite.
We also watched the taped auto race from Panorama Mountain (V8 Supercars)
NSW. The race was 1000 km and ran over 6 hours, but we got to see it condensed
into less than 2 hours. There was one serious crash and a ROO on the track.
It survived but was very close. There was a goose on
the track during the motorbike race as well.
I saw a clip of the roo on the Bathurst track. No road sense, those
things. Boing, boing, boing. And I was surprised as well as relieved to
see the driver of that serious crash walk away from the wreck totally unscathed.
I'm also surprised that those two racing events were being watched by enthusiasts
in Ohio. It is indeed a small world these days.
Okies, Beeb time: A suicide bomber who killed seven CIA agents at a
base in Afghanistan in January had not been properly vetted before gaining
entry, the CIA says. Oh, really. How do they figure
that? The US military starts accepting gay recruits after a judge
struck down the "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning openly gay people
"Serving" being the operative word,
hehe. Sorry. More than one million people have taken to the streets
of France in a sixth national day of action against planned pension reforms,
officials say. Strikes have hit transport and education, 4,000 petrol stations
have run dry and police have clashed with protesters in several cities.
Shops were looted in Lyon and cars were set on fire in a Paris suburb.
President Nicolas Sarkozy appealed for calm but insisted he would press
ahead with plans to raise the retirement age. The
pension age in Oz will rise from 65 to 67 in the near future and there's
been no protest here. Then again, we're not French. A Saudi prince
has been found guilty of murdering his servant at a hotel in central London.
Bandera Abdulaziz, 32, was found beaten and strangled in the Landmark Hotel,
Marylebone, on 15 February 2010. The Old Bailey was told the assault by
Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud had a "sexual element" and he had attacked
Mr Abdulaziz many times before. Ah ha, the plot thickens.
The "don't ask, don't tell" policy - which stops people revealed to be
gay serving in the US military - is currently the subject of legal action
as its opponents battle to have it declared unconstitutional. Here
two men forced out of the US military under the policy give their side
of the story. I recommend the read. Veteran
US actor Tom Bosley, most famous for playing all-American father Howard
Cunningham in the 1970s TV series Happy Days, has died at the age of 83,
his agent says. After Happy Days, Bosley had a string of roles in TV shows,
most notably as a crime-solving priest in The Father Dowling Mysteries.
there's an end of an era and a sad loss. Mexican security forces
have seized 105 tonnes of marijuana with a street value of at least $340m
(£214m) - the biggest such haul in the country in years. It's
encouraging to see the goodies notching up a few wins. Iran says
that some Western companies are refusing to refuel its planes in Europe,
an act it says is illegal under international law. Foreign ministry spokesman
Ramin Mehmanparast warned that Tehran would "confront" such measures. The
UN imposed fresh sanctions on Iran in June for failing to halt its nuclear
enrichment programme. Oh? I can't wait to see what
he means by "confront". One third of the world's population will
be online by the end of the year, according to United Nations statistics.
The number of people online has doubled to two billion in the last five
years, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) said. Of the 226m
new net users that have come online this year, more than two thirds are
from developing countries. In my immediate neighborhood,
I'm one of only two people I know who is online. Sir Elton John
has described today's songwriters as "pretty awful" and says he is "not
a fan" of TV talent shows. The singer told the Radio Times he refused to
be a judge on American Idol "because I won't slag anyone off" and also
found TV boring. He also defended his decision to perform at the wedding
of right-wing US talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who has been accused of
homophobia. "I'm a builder of bridges and knocker-down of walls," the 63-year-old
said. Fair enough.
However I don't agree with Elton that TV is boring. It can be, of course,
but not necessarily. And I don't think it's fair to say that today's songwriters
are awful. That's a pretty sweeping statement. By the same token, I do
agree that the 60s, 70s and 80s produced some awesome music which is as
fresh today as it was then.
And now, ladies and genitals, before I depart for the kitchen to cook
garlic prawns and potato gems (pommes noisettes in French), here is a stirring
speech made by a man who shot himself. Gary
October 19, 2010. A Russian cop spots a car with one headlight
out, so he stops the car and speaks to the driver. Next thing you know,
pack of wolves appears. Eeeek!
Back from a little trip out to Lansdowne and Coopernook and
a couple of surprises.
Which means, ladies and genitals, there's no time for the usual Waffle
so that will have to wait until tomorrow when I get lazy again. Gary
October 18, 2010. Lovely day. Sunny, blue and no wind. So what
am I doing in here? Mind your own bloody business. You shouldn't be looking.
I watched Stephen Fry on telly last night on one of his adventures.
Last week it was the Amazon, and this week he was traipsing around the
African savanna checking out rhinos, elephants and monkeys. He's not a
terribly fit person - and well into his 50s - so he was having some difficulty,
occasionally uttering unflattering remarks about the rugged terrain. They
played a trick on him during one expedition. They spotted a lone white
rhino way out in the scrub and decided to leave their vehicle and take
a closer look. Fry was quite nervous about being on foot as they quietly
approached the horned beast, and spoke in whispers. As the ton of adult
rhino drew closer, Fry became more alarmed. He was ready to scamper up
the nearest tree at short notice. But the rhino turned out to be tame...
hand-raised and used to humans. Hehe.
I don't believe these New Zealanders ya know. I think we should build
a big wall right along the east coast of Oz. Check
Did you enjoy the fountain shot? That cracked me up big time.
Beeb time: About 12 of the 33 miners freed after 69 days underground
in northern Chile have returned to the mine to attend a ceremony celebrating
their rescue. A service of thanksgiving was held at the mouth of the San
Jose copper and gold mine where the miners were trapped. The miners were
mobbed by reporters on their arrival at the camp, despite their complaints
about media intrusion. The media is paid to intrude.
Didn't they know that? The US military has assembled a 120-member
team to prepare for the expected publication of some 400,000 Iraq war documents
on the Wikileaks website. The documents are thought to concern battle activity,
Iraqi security forces and civilian casualties. The Pentagon said it wants
the documents back to avoid potentially damaging information being released.
to whom? Saudi Arabia has warned France it is the target of an imminent
al-Qaeda attack, French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux has said. He
said Saudi intelligence agencies spoke of a threat to Europe, and "France
in particular", from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. France is already
on high alert following warnings of possible attacks aimed at France, Germany
and the UK. The Eiffel Tower was evacuated twice in September over security
alerts. We really need to get rid of this al-Qaeda
mob. But it seems no one knows how. Pope Benedict XVI has officially
recognised Australia's first saint, Mary MacKillop, a Melbourne-born nun
who worked with needy children. MacKillop, who died in 1909, clashed with
senior clergy and was briefly excommunicated, in part for exposing a sex-abusing
priest. Thousands of Australians are in Rome to witness the ceremony. And
here's the new prayer: "G'day, Mary full of grace, 'owyagoin' no worries..."
Conservative activists calling themselves the Tea Party arrived on the
political scene in 2009. Candidates backed by the anti-establishment movement
won several victories over mainstream Republicans in primary contests ahead
of November's mid-term elections. Read
interesting comments from four Tea Party supporters.
Oregon Richie talked about taking a spin on his Honda 599 around the
hood: Wheeled down around the state park and the precious around-town
loop that is really perfect for a thrilling short ride. Straight
and level uphill portions for your basic rev up and a whole lot of twisties
which are fun to lean into and throttle-roll out of. Which reminded
me of Casey Stoner's Australian MotoGP win yesterday at Phillip Island,
his home track. Casey
always looks like a kid with a big cheesy grin but don't let that fool
It's getting rather late. After a bit of shopping, I took Averil's stuff
next door (toilet rolls and bird seed... hehe) and stayed for a bit of
a natter so now it's getting close to 5pm. I spotted Stephanie with Brendan
and Keiran at the mall, and stopped for a chat. Brendan has shot up overnight.
He's almost as tall as me, and probably taller than young Josh. I had to
pacify Keiran though, who looked a tad peeved. "Your turn is coming, mate,
don't worry about it." Little Keiran is not amused by everyone leaving
him behind... except his mom, of course. At 40+ she's stuck where she is...
October 17, 2010. The weather has improved, and will continue
to improve during the week with warmer temps, so I reckon I'd better get
myself organized and take Bluey for a spin somewhere.
So there I was bitching about the $300 bill from Chris the rust bloke
until I received the quarterly account from the energy company for almost
$500. A bloke can't win. Bills, bills, bills. It's cheaper to be dead.
Ya know, $500 a quarter is $2000 a year, and for that I could buy 2 solar
My eldest bro said something interesting yesterday on the phone about
turning 80: "I don't feel any different to how I felt at 70!" Sheesh...
I haven't even reached 70 yet. Well, it's all in the genes. Old Kev next
door fell off the perch at 82. His legs were gone, his body had wasted
away. He was incontinent. And yet he lived a healthy lifestyle... never
smoked, didn't drink all that much. And there's my bro John (ex smoker
and still loves a drink) riding bicycles and leading an active life
at 80. In fact, he's still working as a hairdresser. Hehe. Bloody amazing.
Tarzan would be proud of me. I'm just back from filling the big green
bin with prunings and weeds. I got bitten on the foot by some bug, and
then I found a big green caterpillar attached to my shirt. Eeeek! I'm not
good at this gardening business, ladies and genitals. I love OTHER people's
gardens, and I watch gardening programs on telly, but I draw the line at
actually DOING anything. The main reason I made an effort today is because
part of the garden is threatening to block the driveway as well as the
entrance to Bluey's garage. Everything green is going mental.
I think it's time for a bit of comic relief. Here's a Brit
TV ad for crisps.
Beeb time: Attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have
"utterly failed", Chancellor Angela Merkel says. In a speech in Potsdam,
she said the so-called "multikulti" concept - where people would "live
side-by-side" happily - did not work. Mrs Merkel's comments come amid recent
outpourings of strong anti-immigrant feeling from mainstream politicians.
A recent survey showed that more than 30% of Germans believed Germany was
"overrun by foreigners". We get the same sentiment
here in Oz about foreigners initially. When Greeks and Italians and other
Europeans came here in their tens of thousands after WWII they were referred
to as "wogs". Now they're as Aussie as the next bloke. Ditto Asians and
other nationalities. I think the same can be said for the US and Britain.
An explosion at a coal mine in central China has killed 20 miners and trapped
another 17 underground, officials say. Rescue efforts are underway at the
pit in Yuzhou, Henan province, which state media said had been hit by a
"sudden coal and gas outburst". Here we go again.
I heard on the news last night that a lot of Australian technology was
used in the Chile mine rescue. An Anglican congregation in Kent
has become the first to take up the Pope's offer to leave the Church of
England to convert to Catholicism. The Pope has created a special enclave
in the Roman Catholic Church for Anglicans unhappy with their church's
decision to let women become bishops. Naughty, naughty...
can't have bishops with boobs. Only blokes are allowed to wear pointy hats.
Funny that neither Jesus nor his apostles wore pointy hats... nor red shoes
for that matter. An Iranian judge has sentenced a man convicted
of robbing a confectionery shop to have one of his hands cut off, Iranian
media report. The judge also sentenced the man to one year in prison. Police
arrested the man in May after finding $900 (£560), three pairs of
gloves and a large amount of chocolate in his car, Fars news agency said.
ol' Allah. What a wonderful guy. China's ruling Communist Party
is meeting in Beijing to draw up its next five-year plan for the economy.
The agenda is secret but analysts say that instead of seeking a high rate
of economic growth, China's leaders want to close the gap between rich
and poor and between coastal and inland areas. So
what does that mean? Make the rich poorer or make the poor richer? Hehe.
Technology may stretch the capacity of the fibre optic cables used to carry
data sooner than has long been thought, according to a report in Science.
The capacity limit has until recently been in the preparation of the light
signals that pass through the cables. But the report reviews recent laboratory
results showing data rates that are more than half the ultimate limit of
fibre optic cables. It calls for urgent research to develop higher-bandwidth
cables. Meanwhile, here in Oz the labor government
is rolling out billions of dollars worth of fibre optic cable, the biggest
infrastructure project in the country's history. The auto industry calls
it built-in obsolescence. The liberals want wireless broadband, which makes
more sense to me. New technology allowing phones to sync with all
sorts of other devices is creating a wealth of opportunities for developers.
Dan Simmons reports on how this technology is being used, with everything
from watching movies on the big screen from files downloaded on phones
through to an app which allows you to operate almost anything on a car.
stuff... watch the vid here.
Well, here we are with all this amazing modern technology but I go back
to watching the bread, milk and ice being delivered by horse and cart.
The technology back then was a whistle - the kind you do with your teeth
and tongue. The bread cart entered the street and stopped in the middle
of the road. There was very little traffic - if any at all - so it didn't
matter. Then the driver filled his basket with loaves from the rear of
the cart and delivered them to the houses on each side of the street. When
his basket was empty, he whistled the horse which ambled up the road a
bit while the driver took more loaves from the rear of the cart. The horse
knew the routine. No brake, no engine, no pulling over to the kerb - just
wait for the driver to empty his basket and then move up the road a few
more yards until the basket was empty again. Hehe. I took it for granted
back then but it would be an amazing sight today.
The postman arrived twice a day on his red bicycle... once in the morning
and again in the afternoon. His whistle was the metal kind with a pea.
And all the ladies would hear it and wait with anticipation at the mail
box. Sounds like a thousand years ago but it's not. And one wonders what
life will be like in another half century.
Oregon Richie sent a link to a WWII
Spitfire display accompanied by the classic Vera Lynn song that inspired
Britain at the time. The aircraft scenes were great, and of course the
sound of the Merlin V-12 engines can be a mechanical symphony for sure.
I've been reminiscing again... checking out Google street view of the
old house where I was born and raised, and the corner shop where I used
to buy a pint of milk in a billy can and twirl it around on the walk back
home... never spilled a drop. The mulberry tree on the corner where I'd
find silk worms and put them in a shoebox with some leaves. All the neighbor's
houses... the Williamsons, the Purcells, the Stricklands, the Gondoffs,
the Kemps, the Hopleys, the Moorhouses, the Hickeys. All gone. No more
barefoot kids in the street playing cricket, using old butter boxes as
wickets and fence palings as a bat. No more battered old pre-war Chevs
parked at the kerb. But my tree is still there. My big camphor laurel that
I climbed every day right up to the top branches where I could see over
the roofs of surrounding houses and miles into the distance. It's still
there. The corner grocer is now a fruit and veg shop. The butcher shop
next door is something else. I remember when it had sawdust on the floor
and carcasses marked with pink lettering hanging by hooks on stainless
steel railings, and a huge block of wood in the middle that was used to
chop the meat. The butcher wore a blue and white striped apron, and had
a leather holster on his hip filled with razor-sharp knives. All gone.
October 16, 2010. Wind in the Willows? Actually, it's Wind in
the Gum Trees at the mo, and not a particularly pleasant day to go leaping
about outdoors. Not that I do all that much energetic leaping about these
days. Oregon Richie suggested that even if there are no events of interest
happening locally, I could always fire up Bluey and take a bit of a drive
in the countryside for a picture-taking exercise. But not today. I can
see the treetops through the window and they're doing all kinds of aerial
gymnastics. I just saw Averil through the kitchen window, out in the garden,
and I yelled at her to get back inside. She said, "Oh, isn't it a terrible
day! I almost got blown away!" Now THAT would have made an interesting
Ohio Jace wrote to say that young Peter Lenz is still winning motorcyle
racing championships despite his recent death. His accumulated points still
have him "up there" in the winner's circle.
Jace also mentioned England's Tom Daley: You mentioned bullying in
school on Waffle. Remember Tom Daley from the Beijing Olympics he had to
change schools due to bullying. Kids threatened to break his legs. He was
14 at time and all of 105 pounds. Speaking of Tom did you get the chance
to see his
double gold winning performances in the Commonwealth Games? He is 16
now and maturing nicely. Not sure how tall he is but he is definitely ripped.
No, Jace, I didn't watch the performances... not a sports fan. But I did
notice on the Youchewb vid that Tom got a big hug from Matthew Mittcham,
the Aussie diver who took silver and is openly gay. Hehe.
And how is Ohio Sean doing? Well, if little brats are your thing, he's
having a ball: Sean is chaperoning his sister’s class tomorrow on their
trip to the Zoo. He does not get paid, but will have a chance to be around
30 seven year olds, first on a school bus and then running around the zoo.
I reckon Sean deserves a bravery award. Either that or a few sessions
with a shrink.
Beeb time: Twenty-eight rescued miners are secretly released from hospital
in northern Chile, two days after their ordeal came to an end in the glare
of the world's media. Glare is right, and it ain't
over yet. One of five US soldiers accused of the premeditated murder
of Afghan civilians is to face a court martial, the US army says. I
was gonna say war can bring out the worst in people, but on the other hand,
it happens anyway. The US should not use the weak yuan as a "scapegoat"
for its own economic problems, a Chinese government spokesman has said.
At a regular briefing, commerce ministry spokesman Yao Jian said China
would continue to reform its currency policy, but at its own pace. Speaking
of which, the Aussie dollar is now 0.99 US. A Pennsylvania town
has offered prospective homeowners a bargain: a free house, if they take
it away. East Manchester acquired the three-bedroom ranch-style house for
the land underneath, which it needed for future expansion of municipal
facilities. Officials deemed it cheaper to give the house away than raze
it or refit it for rental. Anyone who can move it and clear the land can
have it, they said. Now that's a bargain in anyone's
currency. A competition is drawing to a close in South Africa to
find new ways to use the vuvuzela. Some ideas submitted so far include
turning the plastic horns into chandeliers, lamp shades, bird food dispensers
and table stands. The winning design, to be announced later this month,
is to be produced and sold through a local retailer. Just
so long as they don't make a noise! Feisty, anti-authoritarian,
a lover of the bush, a friend of Aborigines and a champion of a "fair go"
for the needy. Were Australians to come up with the qualities they most
wanted in their first saint, many would find themselves describing Sister
Mary MacKillop. But while faithful members of the Catholic Church in Australia
are claiming her as their own, victims of clerical abuse say she should
become their patron saint. The daughter of Scottish immigrants, who was
born in Melbourne in 1842, she devoted her early life to teaching children
in the small South Australian community of Penola, where she came to be
regarded as something of an educational pioneer. It was in Penola that
she also founded an order of nuns, Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart,
who were dedicated to helping the poor and opening up more schools in the
bush. There ya go... Australia's first saint. It
shoulda been me but, hey, I can wait. Yes, she founded the order of the
Sisters of St Joseph, also known as The Joeys. I remember them well. They
taught me at my local school during my formative years. Swiss complete
the world's longest tunnel. The 10m-diameter drill-head tore through the
rock to cheers and applause from watching workers. The 57km (35 mile) Gotthard
rail tunnel has taken 14 years to build and is not likely to open before
the end of 2016. But it is expected to revolutionise transport across Europe,
providing a high-speed link between the north and south of the continent.
Eventually, trains will travel through it at speeds of up to 250km/h (155mph).
Journey times between Zurich and Milan are likely to be slashed by as much
as one-and-a-half hours. Wow, that's about a mile
a year to construct.. about 11 meters a day. Australia has denied
accusations that its athletes participating in the Delhi Commonwealth Games
vandalised their tower in the athletes' village. Indian media said the
athletes were angry because their cricket team lost the Test series to
India on Wednesday. In a statement e-mailed to the BBC, the Australian
high commission said there had been "some spirited celebrations involving
the Australian team and a number of other teams" at the athletes' village.
"We can confirm that in the course of those celebrations a washing machine
was damaged, though it remains unclear who did the damage, what their nationality
was, and whether it was deliberate or accidental." The statement denied
that the athletes were protesting against their team's loss in cricket.
perfectly normal behavior in Oz to throw washing machines out of windows.
I don't understand the fuss.
I got distracted when I did a search for the Joeys and found a History
of Lakemba, which is the suburb of Sydney where I grew up. Here's a pic
of the Magnet
Cinema. I used to line up at the ticket office and pay 11 pence (cents)
for a ticket to the Saturday matinee - front stalls. My mom gave me two
bob which meant I had 13 pence left over to buy lollies. Ah yes, The Three
Stooges, John Wayne, Tom & Jerry. The theater was demolished after
the introduction of television to make way for an Amoco service station.
I remember that too. I also noticed a
pic of Hopalong Cassidy who visited Lakemba in 1954. I was there aged
10 and saw him in person. Here's
a pic of the main drag, Haldon Street, circa 1920. My parents moved
there in 1936 so it wouldn't have looked much different when they settled
into their little bungalow at 40 Garrong Road. I remember the horses and
carts that delivered bread, milk and ice when I was a kid during the '50s.
Incidentally, my eldest bro turns 80 tomorrow.
Well, well, well, I never expected to see a photo of the Magnet Theater
again! Just phoned my bro John to wish him happy birthday for tomorrow
and told him about the History of Lakemba site. He said he worked at the
milk bar across from the Magnet. He also worked at Lakemba's other cinema,
the Royal as an ice cream boy. His best mate was the lolly boy with his
tray of Minties and Jaffas and crisps and whatnot. John remembers all the
details so his brain's still working pretty well. He says he'll give me
a ring when I turn 80. Hehe. "So have you retired from hairdressing yet?"
"No, not yet... one day." He still plays lawn bowls twice a week, and rides
his bicycle around town. I was talking to his wife Pat and heard him in
the background say, "Tell him I'm on steroids."
I thought tomorrow was also Mark's birthday, but Ohio Jace reckons Steve
said it was October 8, not 17. Either way, Mark is 28 now. I was whizzing
around in an orange '72 Superbug was I was 28.
Junk food tonight... sausage rolls and chips for HIM and me, and scrambled
eggs, tomato and chips for HER. She doesn't like pastry. I used to make
my own sausage rolls but when you can buy 'em on spesh for about $3...
well, you get the picture. Not as good, but what the hell. Gary
October 15, 2010. Do you realize it's just weeks from another
Christmas? How come the same length of string gets shorter as you get older?
How's my leg wound going? Not too bad. It's dry and no longer weeping...
all without antibiotics. It's still healing, albeit slowly, but getting
there. My immune system is working pretty well, it seems (despite the wine).
My doc is always pleasantly surprised when the result of my annual blood
test reveals that all my vitals are just fine and dandy. Hehe. Must be
the leprechaun in me.
Pretty quiet day... cloudy again and wet... nothing much happening around
here. Just checked the events calendar on the local council web site and...
bleh. There is the Akoostik Music Festival at Wingham on the weekend with
an attempt at the biggest acoustic guitar band ever assembled but... well,
I think I'll pass. I attended one a few years ago when Smokin' Joe Robinson
headlined. It was pretty cool but not exactly a photographer's nirvana.
So what did we do on a day like today before computers and the internet?
We played Monopoly. Or maybe Snakes and Ladders. Or we read. Or we visited
the kid next door and played with his toy soldiers. My mate had toy tanks
that fired matchsticks. Pretty cool. So on wet days we spent hours bombarding
each other with matchsticks. "You're dead!" "No I'm not! You missed!" "I
did not! I hit you fair and square!" His father had a Hillman Minx and
one day I was a backseat passenger at 45 mph. Whoa! My dad never did any
more than 35 mph.
Beeb time: Three of the 33 men rescued after 69 days trapped in the
San Jose mine in Chile are to be discharged from hospital and allowed to
go home. Officials refused to identify who among the group are being allowed
to leave. But they said that all the miners had responded well to treatment
and many more of them would go home on Friday. Let's
hope they can put all that trauma behind them and not suffer nightmares
or other kinds of stress. Soldiers who survived a deadly shooting
rampage at Fort Hood army base in Texas have begun giving testimony. US
Army psychiatrist Maj Nidal Hasan is accused of killing 13 comrades and
wounding 32 in the 5 November attack. The potential
enemy that lurks invisibly between every pair of human ears. Hillary
Clinton has admitted Washington is "worried" over the scale of the UK coalition
government's planned spending cuts on defence. The US secretary of state
told the BBC that Nato must be "maintained", as it was the "most successful"
defensive alliance "in the history of the world". What
price insurance? Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has received
a hero's welcome in southern Lebanon, close to the Israeli border. Tens
of thousands of people waved Iranian, Lebanese and Hezbollah flags as he
spoke in a stadium in Bint Jbeil. They cheered as he praised what he called
Lebanon's resistance against Israel. Hitler and Stalin
used to get hero's welcomes too. The US administration has asked
a judge to stay her order lifting a ban on gay people serving openly in
the US military, pending an appeal. District Judge Virginia Phillips issued
an injunction forbidding the military from enforcing the 17-year-old ban.
In another development, the Pentagon said it had issued guidelines to troop
commanders to comply with her order. The "Don't ask, don't tell" policy
allows gay people to serve, but only if their sexuality is not revealed.
Although the Obama administration favours scrapping the policy, it would
prefer it be done in Congress rather than through the court system. The
US Justice Department filed the stay request in California on behalf of
the administration. If there were more gays in the
military we'd have parties instead of wars. Commonwealth Games chief
Mike Fennell hailed Delhi 2010 a success despite the event getting off
to a troubled start. The Games overcame concerns on security and infrastructure
to end with a lively closing ceremony, as the hosts' mantle was officially
passed to Glasgow 2014. Click
here for the medals tally. A UK campaign to build a truck-sized, prototype
computer first envisaged in 1837 is gathering steam. More than 1,600 people
have pledged money and support to build Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine.
Fascinating article which
you can read here.
Okies, I've been thinking about my next book. Yes, I know... I've had
some ideas already. But that's okay. It's known as evolution. Rome wasn't
called Rome on day one ya know. So the title is WHO THE BLOODY HELL DO
YOU THINK YOU ARE? It's been something that's bothered me for some time.
Anyway, I just wanted to write that down so I don't forget it. More about
Writing a book is hard work, and I'm not a big fan of hard work. So
in order to write a book, it's gotta be something that grabs my imagination
and inspires my fingers to keep doing their little tap-dance on the keyboard.
It's like the difference between writing a speech and having a conversation.
Writing a speech is hard work. It requires a lot of research, analysis
and planning. A conversation flows naturally without much effort. So the
book will be a conversation with the reader. Kinda like thinking aloud...
a bit like a Waffle with chapters.
And here we are again... 5pm... time to think about COOKING. I wonder
if the internet will ever get to the stage where you can order a pizza
and it pops out of a slot at the side of the laptop. That would be so cool.
October 14, 2010. Here's a must-watch
vid with Muhammad Ali completely taken in by Freddie Starr. It's brilliant.
I'd never heard of this Frankie Starr bloke until now. Here
he is with Frank Bruno.
It's been one of those days... pay day, bills, day, shopping day, yadda
yadda, so I've almost run outta time.
Let's do a quick Beeb: Chile's president says the country will never
be the same again after the extraordinary rescue of the 33 miners trapped
deep underground for 69 days. Chile is a very religious
country and, no doubt, the rescue will be hailed as a miracle. Delaware
Republican Senate hopeful Christine O'Donnell has sought to play down past
controversial comments as she faced her Democratic rival in a debate. She
and Chris Coons are competing for the former seat of Vice-President Joe
Biden in November's mid-term elections. Ms O'Donnell said remarks she had
made about witchcraft, sexual abstinence and evolution were not relevant
to the race - a position Mr Coons contested. She is seen as a rising star
of the conservative Tea Party movement. Too late,
darling. The genie is out of the lamp. US Defence Secretary Robert
Gates has warned a court-ordered halt of a ban on openly gay military personnel
could have "enormous consequences". A day after a judge halted the "Don't
ask, don't tell" policy, Mr Gates said he preferred that Congress, not
a court, settle the issue. Under the policy, gay people can serve in the
military but face expulsion if their sexuality is revealed. A legislative
bid to overturn the ban failed in the US Senate last month. Supporters
of the ban say allowing gay people to serve openly in the US military would
lower troop morale and hinder military readiness. I'm
at a loss to understand how they figure that. A group of 23 Communist
Party elders in China has written a letter calling for an end to the country's
restrictions on freedom of speech. The letter says freedom of expression
is promised in the Chinese constitution but not allowed in practice. They
want people to be able to freely express themselves on the internet and
want more respect for journalists. Sounds like a
move in the right direction.
Sorry about the short Waffle today but that's the way it goes sometimes.
October 13, 2010. Well, a little more blue in the sky today,
so the weather's improving... for now. Meanwhile, a lot of farmers are
bitching about the proposed lowering of water allocation along the Murray/Darling
river system for irrigation. They say it will cost jobs and food production,
and cause Oz to import a lot of its produce. Well, my simplistic view is
that the No. 1 priority is the health of the river system. Everything else
comes second. At the mo, the river system has accumulated a build-up of
salt and other contaminants that are not being flushed into the ocean.
Prolonged drought coupled with overuse of water for irrigation has almost
brought the system's flow to a halt. Without a healthy river there's no
In any case, there's been a lot of talk about farmers moving to the
Kimberley region in northern Western Australia. That's where the rain is.
Heaps of it. And there's enough land to satisfy everyone for generations
to come. But farmers have their traditions... 'my father was here and his
father before him', etc, etc. Farmers are reluctant to leave their long-established
properties and start afresh. So much for the pioneering spirit of the early
settlers. See what happens when you get comfy and set in your ways?
I just watched a vid on Youchewb about cooking in the bush. It's an
ABC TV thingy called The Occasional Cook, so viewers outside Oz won't be
able to see the vid, but
can read the recipe here. The bloke decided to cook bacon and eggs
for breakfast on a camping trip but didn't wanna go to all the trouble
of frying and buggerizing around. So he got three strips of bacon and laid
them flat in a star shape on a cutting board. Then he placed a largish
mushroom upside down in the center of the bacon strips with the stem removed.
He broke an egg into the mushroom cup, then topped it with slices of tomato
sprinkled with salt. Then he folded the outer lengths of bacon inwards,
draping them over the mushroom and tomato, to form a ball - called the
Bacon Bomb - which he placed into a Dutch oven over the hot coals of a
campfire. 15 minutes later, bacon and eggs bush style. Sounds good to me!
Beeb time: The first of the 33 miners trapped deep underground for more
than two months in northern Chile has been rescued. Florencio Avalos, 31,
was winched up a 624m (2,047ft) shaft in a custom-built capsule, wearing
an oxygen mask and a belt monitoring his vital signs. The operation began
at 2318 (0218 GMT) with a technical expert being lowered down, and is expected
to take 48 hours. Earlier, President Sebastian Pinera said he hoped what
began as a possible tragedy, would end as a blessing. "I know tonight there
will be tears of happiness in all Chilean homes," he told reporters. "We
made a promise to never surrender, and we kept it." Good
news is always welcome. A US judge declares a nationwide halt to
enforcement of the US ban on gay people serving openly in the military,
in a landmark ruling. Yeah... get rid of that ridiculous
rule. If gays are serving anyway, why the hell not be open about it?
The moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is to be lifted,
the US government has confirmed. The six-month ban was introduced in the
aftermath of April's BP oil spill, but calls had been growing for it to
be ended because of its economic impact. Ah ha! The
good ol' reliable economic impact trick. The Euro 2012 qualifier
between Italy and Serbia in Genoa was abandoned after Serbia fans continued
to throw flares on to the pitch and light fireworks. The kick-off had already
been delayed by 45 minutes as police struggled to maintain order in the
Marassi stadium. When the game finally began, more flares and fireworks
were thrown on to the field and the referee stopped the match after only
seven minutes of play. Incidents like this make me
so glad I'm not a sports fan. The Australian outback pub made famous
by the 1980s film Crocodile Dundee is up for sale. The Walkabout Creek
Hotel, in the small town of McKinlay in the state of Queensland, was made
a popular tourist attraction by the film. The pub is packed with memorabilia
and photographs from the hit film. It is a popular stopping-off point for
tourists who travel between Brisbane and Darwin. It's
on my list. Google's engineers have tested a self-driving car. But
could motorists ever really let go of the wheel? No more pile-ups, no more
road rage, no more exasperated cursing as you stall at the lights. Reading
the paper during the morning commute, enjoying the scenery rather than
staring at the tarmac, cutting your transport costs down to a fraction.
the full article here.
Yes, speaking of sports fans. When I was a kid, sometimes people would
ask me if I knew what the latest cricket or football score was, and when
I shrugged my shoulders they looked at me as if I were some kinda freak.
Took me a long time to figure out who the real freaks were.
You know Craig Ferguson's desk? The one he sits behind when he interviews
guests on his show? Yeah, well, one of his guests, the Price Is Right's
Bob Barker, got
mad and smashed it.
October 12, 2010. Another gray day. One wonders what one would
do about prolonged dreary weather if one were touring Oz. Look for sunny
climes? They could be a squillion miles away like they are now. Oh well,
I suppose it boils down to making the best of whatever situation you happen
to encounter... which is the case no matter where you are.
South-east Queensland has been getting torrential
rain lately, with flooding. So much for their advertising slogan: "Beautiful
one day, perfect the next". Hehe.
Beeb time: The US commander in Afghanistan, Gen David Petraeus, orders
an investigation into the death of a kidnapped British aid worker in a
rescue attempt. The outcome of the investigation
may prove nothing useful, but I guess he has little choice. US doctors
begin the first official trial of using human embryonic stem cells in patients
after getting the green light to use them for spinal injuries. Good.
Palestinian officials reject an offer by the Israeli government to halt
settlement construction if the Palestinians recognise Israel as a "Jewish
state". Life is full of surprises, yes? The
US space agency (Nasa) has been given a new direction, one that will seek
to put astronauts in orbit using privately-run launch services. The change
comes into effect with the signing by President Barack Obama of the Nasa
Authorization Act 2010. Nasa's Administrator Charles Bolden told reporters:
"Our nation's leaders have come together and endorsed a blueprint for Nasa,
one that requires us to think and act boldly as we move our agency into
the future. This legislation supports the president's ambitious plan for
Nasa to pioneer new frontiers of innovation and discovery." Go
NASA! Jeez, imagine life without new frontiers and exploration! How boring!
A piano player who has no arms and plays the instrument with his toes has
won the nationally televised China's Got Talent competition. Liu Wei, who
lost his arms in an accident at the age of 10, won the contest with his
performance of You're Beautiful, originally by James Blunt. He told the
judges: "At least I have a pair of perfect legs." Awesome!
I put a link to the Youchewb vid at the end of Beeb time. The Russian
military has come up with an inventive way to deceive the enemy and save
money at the same time: inflatable weapons. They look just like real ones:
they are easy to transport and quick to deploy. You name it, the Russian
army is blowing it up: from pretend tanks to entire radar stations. The
decoys are a hundred times cheaper than the real thing, which means Moscow
will save a lot of money by blowing up its own weapons. Didn't
the Brits do something like that during WWII with fake airfields? I watched
a program on telly recently about the Nazis and their obsession with high
quality. They built the best tank in the world but because it was the best,
using superior materials and craftsmanship, it took a long time to build.
The Russians, meanwhile, built cheaper tanks much more quickly (I think
it was called the T38 - and copied the Henry Ford principle of mass production).
It outnumbered the Nazis to the point of defeating them. Kinda like a handful
of Goliaths against a plague of Davids. The Dalai Lama has criticised
China's opposition to the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to jailed dissident
Liu Xiaobo. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said the Chinese government
did "not appreciate different opinions". A cynic
might say that the Dalai Lama is not accepting China's opinion because
it's different to his. Dame Joan Sutherland, one of the greatest
operatic sopranos of the 20th Century, has died in Switzerland at 83. The
Australian star, who retired from the stage 20 years ago, had been in poor
health following a fall. Dame Joan made her debut at London's Covent Garden
in 1952, going on to appear in productions around the world and making
numerous recordings. Dame Joan was dubbed La Stupenda for her vocal range
and stage presence after a 1960 performance at Venice's La Fenice opera
house. She sang at the Sydney Opera House when it opened in 1973, and bowed
out with her final series of concerts there in 1990. Her final stage appearance
in opera was alongside Luciano Pavarotti in a production of Die Fledermaus
the previous year. Dame Joan... one of the greatest
of all-time Aussie icons. Close to a billion people in the world
are undernourished, with child malnutrition cited as the biggest cause,
according to a new report. That's 3 times the population
of the US, or all of India. How do you wrap your brain around that figure?
And what do you do about it?
Here's the Youchewb
vid of Liu Wei playing the piano with his toes - China's Got Talent,
with English subtitles.
I'm hoping to get Bluey back today. Imagine spending whatever on stuff
you can't see. You know those auto shows where guys exhibit their cars
with bonnets/hoods raised so everyone can see all the gleaming chrome bits
and four-barrel thingies? Yeah... well I can understand where they're coming
from. Bluey will look no different when she arrives home today from what
she looked like early yesterday. But my bank balance will.
Just saw an old labrador pooch ambling across the road, taking its time,
bringing all the traffic to a halt as it casually made its way to the other
side. Probably too arthritic and ancient to bother caring.
It's just past 5pm. So where's Bluey? I couldn't wait any longer so
I phoned Chris the rust bloke. "I just gotta put the battery back in and
that's it. I'll bring it around." Well, how's that for service? Home-delivered
Bluey! I do like to deal with 'the man' ya know... not the receptionist,
not the guy at the front desk, not the media spokesperson, but 'the man'
himself, the guy who actually does the job. That was the way I operated
when I had my own biz. When a client phoned, he spoke to me. When he briefed
me about a job, he spoke to me. When the job was finished, he spoke to
Right, Bluey's back, $330 which I more or less anticipated. Actually,
I thought it might get up to $400. So that's cool. And Chris tidied up
a few little cosmetic things as well. And now it's kitchen time! Gary
October 11, 2010. Back from delivering Bluey to Chris, the rust
bloke. He's established his new business now with a big shed full of body
shells. I showed him the bits of rust I found and guess what? He found
more hehe. He knows where to look... under carpet, behind rubber seals,
and various nooks and crannies. Oh well... I guess it's gonna cost more
than I thought. But at least he gave me a lift home which saved me a fairly
longish walk. He reckons I might get Bluey back tomorrow.
I guess I could have saved myself a lot of grief by keeping TT but that's
all wisdom in hindsight. I quite like Bluey, and being a van she is a more
practical car for my purposes, with a lot more room to carry stuff. And,
for what it's worth, she's more economical. And... she's a manual, which
means I can do my Fangio thing.
Incidently, Holden won 1st, 2nd and 3rd at Bathurst's Mount Panorama
1000 yesterday, Australia's most popular and best known V8 Supercar race.
Back in the good old days during the 70s, there was everything racing...
Minis, Jaguars, Chryslers, Holdens, Fords (American, English and Australian),
Beemers and god knows what else. Now it's just Holden and Ford. Bleh. By
the way, Peter Brock (aka Peter Perfect, and King of the Mountain) who
won the Bathurst 1000 nine times, started his racing career as a young
bloke with an Austin A30 fitted with a Holden motor. Crazy kid. Hehe.
Here's an interesting vid about people who felt inferior and downtrodden,
but then turned their lives around. It
Gets Better. As someone said a looooong time ago, honesty is the best
policy. On the other hand, someone else said, it's easier said than done.
Oh well... take your pick.
YES, it's another dreary and gray day. So much for the driest continent
on earth. 10 years of drought and now this. I watched a jolly good program
on telly last night with Stephen Fry hosting a documentary about the Amazon,
and in particular manatees, also known as sea cows, and apparently mistaken
by early mariners as mermaids. A bit of wishful thinking there, I imagine.
One of the manatee characteristics I discovered (and so did Fry much to
his discomfort on location) was the frequent proficiency with which the
animal produces the most appallingly putrid farts. Fry is the quintessential
intellectual, master of language, a walking encyclopeadia, but enjoys his
home comforts and is no hero as an adventurer. His cerebral agility doesn't
extend to his physical agility, and he managed to put a foot wrong on a
boat and break his arm in 3 places. Can you imagine David Attenborough
doing that? Well, at least Fry brings a little humor to his adventure documentaries.
Why he reluctantly volunteers to participate is beyond me, but I'm glad
he does. He's the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time, which
makes it all the more interesting.
Beeb time: Anti-gay protesters have fought running battles with police
in an effort to disrupt a Gay Pride march in Belgrade - the first in the
city since 2001. Rioters threw petrol bombs and stones at armed police,
who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. The office of the ruling
Democratic Party was briefly set on fire, and at least one shot was fired.
Calm was eventually restored but more than 100 people, mostly police, were
injured, with another 100 arrested. Sunday's march was the first Gay Pride
parade in Serbia since a 2001 event was broken up in violent clashes provoked
by far-right extremists. Extremists believe that
God created everything except the bits they don't approve of. What numbskulls.
The Israeli cabinet has approved a controversial bill that would require
all non-Jews taking Israeli citizenship to swear loyalty to Israel as a
"Jewish and democratic state". I beg your pardon?
How can it be strictly Jewish and democratic? That's a contradiction.
A Republican politician in the US has been criticised after pictures of
him dressed in a Nazi uniform emerged on the internet. Senior Republican
figures have now sought to distance themselves from Rich Iott, a House
candidate from Ohio. Mr Iott admitted being a member of a group that re-enacted
SS battles. But he said he had been involved in re-enacting from many different
eras and did not mean "any disrespect to anyone" in the US military. Oops!
Thirty years after the disappearance of baby Azaria Chamberlain, whose
parents always claimed she was taken by a dingo, Australia is preparing
a new inquest to try to resolve the question. Azaria's mother, Lindy, was
found guilty of murder in 1982. But she was later exonerated after a piece
of the baby's clothing was found in an area full of dingo lairs. But even
after three coronial inquests, two appeals and a Royal Commission, the
certificate currently lists the cause of death as unknown. Azaria's father,
Michael Chamberlain, has been pressing for a new inquest, citing new evidence
of dingo attacks on humans and the killing of a nine-year-old child by
two dingoes in 2001. I can appreciate why the Chamberlains
want this matter resolved once and for all. Virgin Galactic's suborbital
spaceship, Enterprise, has made its first solo test flight, in California.
The spaceship was carried to an altitude of 45,000ft (13,700m) by an aeroplane
and then dropped to glide back to the Mojave Air and Space Port. Enterprise
will soon be taking people prepared to pay $200,000 (£126,000) on
short hops above the atmosphere. The British billionaire behind the project,
Sir Richard Branson, was on hand to witness the drop test. When it eventually
enters service, Enterprise will be carried to its launch altitude by the
"Eve" carrier plane before being released in mid-air. Enterprise will then
ignite its single hybrid rocket engine to make the ascent to space. What
a wonderful opportunity for a serious photographer. A run-down housing
estate in Sydney that has become a symbol of Aboriginal disadvantage is
to be torn down in an effort to revitalise an area that was once at the
heart of indigenous political activism. "The Block", as it is known, began
as a bold social experiment in the 1970s. The final draft has yet to be
approved but the plan is to build 62 apartments for indigenous residents
as well as student accommodation, a gym and a cultural arts centre. Tenants
with drug-related convictions won't be allowed in. The area will be renamed
The Pemulwuy Project after a celebrated indigenous warrior. A
friend of mine bought No. 11 Eveleigh St. Redfern, a 2-storey Victorian
terrace, back in the mid 70s for $11,000. Imagine that. It was a nice house
too. But he moved out when the Aborigines started moving in, and bought
a house in Brisbane. US soul singer Solomon Burke, who wrote the
classic song Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, has died at Amsterdam's
Schiphol airport aged 70. The former preacher turned singer had been due
to perform at a well-known club in the city on Tuesday. Burke leaves behind
21 children and 90 grandchildren. Well, he certainly
went forth and multiplied! Letters written by former South African
president Nelson Mandela during his 27 years in jail reveal the agony of
being separated from his family. Excerpts of the letters, which go on sale
on Tuesday, show his frustration as his wife and children are harassed
by the apartheid government. They are being published in a book, Conversations
with Myself, which incorporates an archive of diaries and private recordings
as well as letters. A letter to Winnie Mandela in August 1970 shows his
anger at his family's plight. "I feel I have been soaked in gall, every
part of me, my flesh, bloodstream, bone and soul, so bitter am I to be
completely powerless to help you in the rough and fierce ordeals you are
going through," he wrote. But his enemies lived to
rue the day they opposed him. A Leicester boy has achieved a perfect
10, as he celebrated a very special birthday. George Lippitt, from Thurcaston,
turned 10 at 1010 BST on 10/10/2010. Beat that!
And now for something completely different... a
day in the life of a mosquito.
Okies, let's check the weather
forecast for 1964 in the good ol' US of A with Captain Sandy. CAPTAIN
In 1948, Oz technicians were experimenting with this new
fangled television wonder that "might one day come to Australia". Eight
years later, it did, and I was 12.
Meanwhile, the chicken marinated in garlic and chilli is in the oven
with the herbed spuds, and pretty soon we'll all be tucking in to din dins.
October 10, 2010. 10-10-10. There ya go. It would have been more
relevant on October 10, 1010 but we'll have to settle for what we've got.
Next year we'll have 11-11-11 and the year after 12-12-12. You can forget
about 13-13-13 though.
Albert from Denmark wrote again after a long hiatus. He's at a new school
now and very busy with his studies and part time job at the supermarket.
I've learned not to cage my feathered friends. If they fly away, fine.
If they return, fine. It doesn't have to be every day or week or whatever...
just whenever they feel like it. I can't help wondering if Steve will write
again. It wouldn't surprise me all that much if he did say g'day outta
the blue sometime, and bring me up to speed about his life.
The weather's still dreary here... gray and showery. According to the
forecast, it's gonna be showery all damn week, and Bluey's got an appointment
with the rust bloke tomorrow morning. Before European settlement and the
logging of forests and clearing of land for farming, virtually the whole
of the eastern coast of Oz was rainforest. Hello? What kinda forest was
that? Yeah. RAIN. Not as bad as Papua New Guinea to our north, though.
A Red Bubbler has just returned from there and he said it rained about
90% of the time.
The dentist across the road has a lot more energy than I do. He and
his wife are busy in the garden pruning things. All I do is think about
Beeb time: The evacuation of 33 miners trapped underground in Chile
is likely to start on Wednesday, the country's mining minister says. Pretty
soon, we'll discover the answers to all the burning questions such as where
do they put their poo. The man expected to be the next leader of
North Korea has appeared in front of the world's media for the first time.
Kim Jong-un went to an outdoor performance in Pyongyang with the current
leader, his father Kim Jong-il. They were greeted by an ecstatic crowd.
to me that North Korean crowds are easily amused. Breaststroke star
Leisel Jones won a record-equalling 10th Commonwealth Games gold medal
as Australia continued to dominate the pool in Delhi.
actually quite embarrassing. Oz is so far ahead it's ridiculous.
The Hungarian village of Kolontar has been evacuated after new damage was
discovered at a burst reservoir that spilled toxic sludge on Monday. Prime
Minister Viktor Orban said it was "very likely" that an entire wall of
the reservoir would collapse, releasing a fresh wave of chemical effluent.
Mr Orban also said there would be "very severe" consequences for those
to blame for the disaster. The buck stops with the
boss, and the boss is the PM. The former editor of Indonesian Playboy,
Erwin Arnada, has been arrested on the island of Bali. Police had been
looking for Mr Arnada, who ignored orders to surrender after being sentenced
to two years in jail for indecency in August. He had first been tried in
2007 and cleared of all charges. But the FPI and other Islamist groups
lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court, which found him guilty of public
indecency after publishing a handful of issues of Indonesian Playboy, which
contained no nudity. No nudity? So what's the problem?
You know, all religious people believe in God but they conveniently
forget that God created nudity, and it was man that created clothing. Hehe.
Such a silly world, but ya gotta laugh. If you took it all too seriously
you'd go nuts. Hmmm. What did I just say?
So, how is my leg wound progressing? Well, it still looks a bit ikky
but it's improved quite a bit since the other day, to the point where I
think I might be able to skip the antibiotics treatment. It's still weeping
a tiny bit, but not much, so maybe my natural immune system is doing its
job. Maybe it was the frankfurts and chips. Actually, I think it's the
use of a loose open-weave gauze bandage that allows air to circulate that's
responsible for the improvement.
Justin just posted a
story about a street gang that tortured two gay teens and a man in NYC.
It was described as vicious hatred. Well, that kind of vicious hatred is
not restricted to street gangs. Oregon Richie sent this link to an article
bullying in Ohio. It's enough to make you weep. Gary
October 9, 2010. Fl Josh hasn't written neh, neh, neh, neh,
neeeh, neh yet, but he will. My GP checked out the pic of my wound
on the web and said it looks like it's infected, and I'll need a course
of antibiotics. "Keep an eye on it", the medical center receptionist said
over the phone, "and if it gets worse, phone again Monday." My doc is back
from vacation on Wednesday but he's already booked up to buggery, so they'll
have to squeeze me in.
Meanwhile, it's another gray and dreary day. So what do you do on dreary
days? You check Youchewb hoping to find something interesting. Here is
a little production by College Humor Originals about the human vagina...
of the funniest things I've ever seen.
I've also been watching a number of clips featuring former Oz Prime
Minister Paul Keating - Mr Acid Tongue. A most interesting and colorful
character who had the ability to demolish the opposition in parliament
with his razor-sharp wit and humor. When Keating was PM and John Howard
was leader of the opposition, Keating gave Howard heaps. "How ya goin',
Curly?" he would say to the balding Howard, hehe. He often used words like
'desperate', 'tragic', 'miserable', 'pathetic' and similar derogatory adjectives
to describe his parliamentary opponents, and always with a twinkle in his
eye and a cheeky smile. He often had the gallery in stitches. But it didn't
do him any good. Howard won the election in 1996 and served as PM until
2007, making him the second-longest serving PM in Australia's political
history. Keating said at the time of his defeat, referring to the electorate,
"where did they all go?" Nonetheless, Keating was by far the most entertaining
and witty of all PMs in my view.
Keating was interesting. He left school at age 14 like I did. He was
a Canterbury-Bankstown boy like I was. He managed a rock and roll band
like I did (he had the Ram Rods and I managed the Climax). He was born
in 1944 like I was. He's self-educated like I am. But he became PM and
I didn't - not that I aspired to politics. My skin's too thin.
Beeb time: China issues a strong protest after Norway's Nobel Committee
awards its 2010 peace prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. No
surprise. Autocracies and dissidents don't get along
too well. The 33 miners trapped underground in Chile should be reached
within 24 hours, though they will not be rescued until next week, officials
say. Progress, that's what matters most. Arab
League ministers give the US the one month to rescue deadlocked direct
talks between Israel and Palestinians. Miracles do
happen, I guess. The death toll following the spill of a large amount
of toxic red sludge from an industrial plant in western Hungary has risen
to seven, officials say. That's regrettable enough
but the apparent apathy towards securing the sludge in the first place
is an absolute disgrace. The US airline regulator has warned carriers
shipments of lithium batteries may ignite if exposed to high heat in flight,
risking a "catastrophic event". The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
said the batteries, widely used in consumer products, could ignite in a
fire, overwhelming suppression systems.The FAA said a US cargo flight that
crashed last month near Dubai carried a shipment of lithium batteries.
Police have arrested 57 people over child pornography allegations Spain,
including business owners and local police officers, the authorities say.
Those detained in recent days include a gardener who had filmed relatives
aged seven and 14 in sexual poses. Another 47 people have been placed under
investigation as part of the same inquiry. The police said they carried
out almost 100 raids across Spain after uncovering a file-sharing network.
get the impression that the internet has brought child pornography to the
fore in recent times, but it must have existed in one form or another in
the past, probably for countless millennia. Hollywood star Johnny
Depp made a surprise appearance at a school assembly in south London after
one of the children wrote to him with an invitation. Beatrice, nine, sent
a letter to the actor asking for piracy lessons to help lead a mutiny against
the teachers. He astonished pupils at the school in Greenwich by agreeing
to visit them as Pirates of the Caribbean character Captain Jack Sparrow.
out the video here.
Justin's blog has an interesting
discussion going on about the building of a mosque in close proximity to
Ground Zero in NYC.
Oz is still leading
the medal tally at the Commonwealth Games in India... by a long way.
I vaguely remember something about Oz doing pretty badly in various Olympic
competition some decades ago, and a decision was made to set up a special
Sports Academy in Canberra to train promising athletes to elite status,
all sponsored by the Australian Federal Government. The Academy has been
a phenomenal success in recent years, so much so, that the Brits have copied
our strategy and plan to give us a run for our money at the 2012 Olympics
hehe. Bastards. That's plagiarism! Obviously we bloody colonials are getting
up their jolly olde collective nose.
South Africa is not doing too badly... it's in the top 5.
John Lennon would have turned 70 today. Here's
You've seen the pics I've taken of my little expeditions into the various
pockets of rainforest around here on the Mid North Coast, but here's a
of the bush sounds I hear when I'm walking the tracks. One of them
is the whip bird which has the most amazing call that resonates throughout
the forest. Here's a reminder of the trip I took to
Falls back in October 2007 when I was just a mere lad.
T-bones, baked chicken or frankies and chips? THEY chose frankies and
chips. Hehe. Oh well... and I was looking forward to having a gourmet steak
and Guinness pie while they tucked into T-bones. Never mind. I'll have
that pie tomorrow night. They are soooo good... a tad expensive but worth
it, and besides, they were on spesh at 2 for $6. Yeah, so I bought 2, and
they're in the freezer.
I just tried to watch Stephen Fry live at the Sydney Opera house on
the net but the connection is a bit slow at the mo and the audio was breaking
up a bit, so I'll try again later. But I did catch a bit of it. He selected
a woman from the audience and asked her to be his official timer: "I've
only got 45 minutes on stage and I may become intoxicated by my own verbosity,
so I want you to keep your eye on your watch and let me know when my time
is up. However, at the end of the 45 minutes, if I happen to be perched
on the verge of a brilliant punch line, then shut the fuck up." Hehe. I
loved his use of the word 'perched'. Gary
October 8, 2010. Gray and dreary... one of those days when you
don't feel particularly inclined to do anything. Justin reckons it's the
lack of lumens from sunlight. I reckon it might have something to do with
color as well, or the lack of it. Gray is not very inspiring.
On the other hand - and isn't there always? - some photographs that
use shades of gray rather than color can be very attractive as well as
Dr Josh from Florida wrote: You are going to have a heck of a time
doing the odyssey if you have to do it with a wooden leg. Do you
have termites over there? Dr Josh is worried that my wound is showing
signs of infection or even blood poisoning. No... the wound looks a bit
ikky, and hasn't healed properly yet, but it's not THAT bad. I suspect
the healing process was hindered initially by the use of a plastic waterproof
(and airproof) bandage. When the specialist surgeon saw it 2 weeks after
the op, he blew his stack and described it as a 'hot house'. But he said
the biopsy of the removed skin and flesh showed that all malignant material
had been successfully eliminated. And he apparently didn't see anything
wrong with the wound when he removed the initial bandage. If you can't
trust your doc to know what the hell he's doing, who can you trust? Meanwhile,
I'll keep an eye on it and change the bandage each time I shower.
My main regret is that my GP failed to recognize the cancer 2 years
ago when it was barely 1 centimeter in diameter. He thought it was eczema,
and the ointment he prescribed only made it worse. But no one's perfect.
My GP has learned something, and so have I. I remember what he said when
I first showed it to him: "It's perfectly circular... a most interesting
shape." Shape? Who cares about shape!
Beeb time: Global currency wars pose "a real threat" to economic recovery,
the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has
warned. In an interview with the BBC, he said currency disputes showed
countries were not co-operating as well as they had during the financial
crisis. Mr Strauss-Kahn told the BBC that there were signs that countries
were trying to use their currencies "as a weapon". "The willingness of
the countries to work together, which was very strong at the climax of
the [financial] crisis is not as strong today," he said. Not
sure I understand all that stuff, but I do know that the Aussie dollar
has almost reached parity with the USD. Zimbabwean Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai accuses President Robert Mugabe of violating the constitution
and unilateral decision-making. So what else is new?
Peruvian writer, journalist and one-time presidential hopeful Mario Vargas
Llosa has been awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in literature. So
that's the reason I missed out? I'm not Peruvian! Toxic red sludge
from a spill at an industrial plant in Hungary has reached the River Danube,
officials say. They said alkaline levels that killed all fish in one river
were now greatly reduced, but were being monitored. PM Viktor Orban called
the spill an "ecological tragedy". There are fears the mud, which burst
out of a reservoir on Monday, could poison the Danube. Countries downstream
from Hungary, including Croatia, Serbia and Romania, are drawing up emergency
plans. Those emergency plans should have been drawn
up a long time ago. Think ahead, boys, think ahead. Migration from
poorer to richer countries has slowed down sharply as a result of the international
recession, a report commissioned by the BBC says. Migration to richer countries
has been on the increase for the last 30 years. Not
sure I understand why keeping up with the Joneses should mean moving in
with the Joneses. Hollywood film studio Metro Goldwyn Mayer has
begun plans to file for bankruptcy protection in an effort to rid itself
of $4bn (£2.5bn) of debts. The studio is asking more than 100 of
its creditors to approve a plan that will see it enter chapter 11 bankruptcy
while it restructures. Creditors will get a 95% stake in the company as
part of the deal. Really? How the seemingly invulnerable
giants of industry have fallen lately. The commander of Canada's
largest air force base is to plead guilty to the murder of two women and
the sexual assault of two others, his lawyer says. Col Russell Williams
once acted as pilot for Queen Elizabeth II and was in charge of Base Trenton
in Ontario - Canada's busiest air force hub. His lawyer told an Ontario
court he would plead guilty to all charges. Col Williams was accused of
burgling 47 homes, starting in 2007. Most of the targeted homes were in
the same street, with one home burgled nine times. The Ottawa Citizen newspaper
reported that police had seized 500 items of women's underwear from Col
Williams's home in Ottawa. "He was able to lead an elaborate double life
and was able to keep it successfully concealed," said a senior officer.
doesn't get much more bizarre than that. But concealed from whom? Not himself,
obviously. More than 1,000 teachers have been sacked in Kenya for
sexually abusing girls over the past two years, the authorities say. Senior
government official Ahmed Hussein told the BBC that most of the victims
were aged between 12 and 15. He said a nationwide confidential helpline
set up to help victims had revealed that the problem was much more widespread
than previously thought. And that applies not just
to Kenya. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written to the
Pope, thanking him for condemning an American pastor's threat to burn the
Koran last month. In his letter, Mr Ahmadinejad also called for closer
co-operation between Iran and the Vatican. My guess
is that Mr Ahmadinejad is a pretty good chess player, What a cheeky bugger.
India has condemned "racist and bigoted" remarks by a New Zealand TV presenter
who made fun of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's surname. TVNZ breakfast
show host Paul Henry broke into laughter a number of times as he mispronounced
the surname - which sounds closer to "Dixit" in English. He told viewers
Ms Dikshit's name was "appropriate because she's Indian". What
Okies, shopping's done for us and Av... I even got a dollar tip. Hehe.
And then outta the blue, Chris the rust bloke phoned. "You still want those
bits of rust cut out?" I thought he'd forgotten about me. I guess he must
be going though a slack period. Fine with me. So Monday morning I'll turn
up with Bluey, explain the bits I want done, and go from there. No spray
painting... the rusty bits are not external. Should be a one-day job. But
if you don't stop rust in its tracks, you end up with a major problem.
A stitch in time, mate.
And there goes another Friday. Bolognaise tonight, with all the goodies
like celery and mushrooms in the mix, and a bit of ground pepper and Tabasco
to liven it up. There's nothing worse than LAMO bol. Gary
October 7, 2010. I happened to search Blue
Water Dreaming on Google and found a segment from the TV series I was
involved with back in the '90s. Involved with? I was one of two guys who
put the whole concept together. Then I got moved sideways. "Would you mind
if I became executive producer?" my biz partner asked. "It's only a title."
So I agreed. Silly me. Anyway, the clip shows the kinda thing we were doing,
traveling around various places promoting boating, tourism, fishing (including
big game) and high profile personalities. I didn't get to go on many shoots,
and missed out on the Caribbean shoot as well. Boats aren't my thing, anyway...
and I don't eat lobster.
Not sure why but I don't like being away from home and everything familiar.
And that's why something like the Odyssey suits me. Doesn't matter where
I am, I'm home. Yeah? Maybe I was a tortoise in my last life.
Here's a pic Justin
posted on his blog.
Speaking of Odysseys, there's a young family touring around Oz (or were)
so I checked their web site and journal.
I found this entry titled Great Balls of Fire:
It is with great sadness that I have to announce that our trip has
come to a very premature and firey end.
The whole incident is still a bit too raw for me to write up the
full story but in brief, we lost EVERYTHING – car, caravan and all contents
– in a freak accident at Banka Banka Station on Saturday 12 September.
I’ve noticed the incident has been discussed and debated on a few
forums already – some with incorrect information – so here is the short
We wanted to start the generator but it had no fuel in it. It was
a hot day and when Scott opened the jerry can the fumes travelled and unfortunately
reached the gas fridge we had sitting nearby. The pilot light on the fridge
ignighted the fumes and the rest is history. Scott and I were burnt – Scott
much worse than I – from the initial explosion. We attempted to put it
out but the bed was on fire and it spread very quickly – not to mention
all the fuel there so it was pretty much an impossible task. Scott got
us away to safety and the gas bottle went soon after.
We would like to thank Fiona and Alex at Banka Banka Station for
everything they did for us. Everyone was so amazing. Many thanks also to
the medical staff from Bootu Creek and the couple that were camped next
to us (I’m so sorry I can’t recall your names), The RFDS, the doctors and
nurses at Tennant Creek and Alice Springs Hospitals. An extra special thank
you to Dave who drove me and the boys to Alice Springs to be with Scott!
We have many photos which I will upload shortly, unfortunately all
trip photos have been destroyed.
Hmmm, the perils of camping out. But a month later they added this,
titled Back in the Saddle:
It’s been a month since the accident and Scott and I have healed
well. We’ve both been discharged from the burns unit and now only have
the scars to show for it all.
We’ve had many a discussion about where to go from here. And as the
weeks have passed its been easier to see us back on the road – that was
something I wasn’t too sure about in the early days. But we both agreed
that we can’t let the freak accident from keep us from finishing off the
trip. One thing is for sure though, there will be no jerry cans on
our next rig. I’d rather boil in the heat or freeze in the cold – no gennie
needed for us.
Once we heard that the insurance was paying out we headed straight
out and looked at vans. We stayed clear of the expandas and rapids.
I don’t think either of us would be able to sleep in one again – knowing
how fast it went up in flames…
And the great news is we’ve found a van. It’s a Paramount Intrepid
and it has pretty much everything we need already.
Now all we have to do is get the car all set up – we’re taking Scott’s
trusty old Land Rover Discovery. She’s not the Beast (a '91 80 Series
Land Cruiser) but the Disco should do the job.
Fingers crossed we should be back on the road in a few weeks…
Reading through some of the journal entries, I discovered that apart
from kangaroos and koalas, Oz wildlife includes lots of mozzies and flies,
as well as noisy young campers. I kept getting the impression that the
author of the journal wasn't too thrilled with the vagabond lifestyle.
Mind you, he did have two things in tow that I don't have... two little
kids and a caravan, as well as a missus. I've been places where the flies
are thick, and the mozzies are prevalent. Flies are attracted to flat farmland
where there's plenty of livestock and dung, and mozzies are attracted to
wetlands where the water is still. I imagine that experienced campers know
the places to camp and the places to avoid.
And here's what the author has to say about getting your car serviced
by a mechanic out in the bush: Just after lunch time Scott went to pick
up Beast – it was only 100m down the road – and returned in an awful mood.
$1000 just to change the oil, change the brake pads and replace some O
rings in the ACSD. Scott then fixed a hose on the turbo and we were getting
ready to take the boys to the Fun Park again. Scott suddenly had a horrified
look on his face – 3 nuts were missing from the rear right wheel and the
3 that were still there were so loose he could unscrew them with his hand.
The mechanic came round and he tried to blame the rattle gun when really
he just didnt know what he was doing. Scott took it back around to them
and sat over their shoulder as they replaced nuts and studs. He was
not a happy boy. He has vowed to fix/replace/change/tune anything else
himself from now on – labour doesn’t cost $90 an hour and at least he knows
its done right!
Not a pretty picture, yes? Mind you, I've had my share of dodgy mechanical
repairs here in Taree as well.
Speaking of not pretty, I showered and plucked up the courage to remove
the second bandage on my leg. The first one was described by the surgeon
as a 'hot house' so he replaced it with a bit of paper tape a week ago.
Fifty bucks thank you very much, see ya later. Well, the wound is not looking
too great after 3 weeks, so I took a close-up pic, posted it on Aussie
Odyssey (unlinked) and sent the URL to my GP asking for his assessment
and advice. I won't link it here cos it's too ikky. But I can tell you
that the wound is about 4 times the size of the original lesion.
Beeb time: A commission investigating the response to the BP oil spill
in the Gulf of Mexico has strongly criticised the White House in a number
of areas. The Obama administration blocked government scientists' efforts
to inform the public of worst case scenarios, a draft report said. Officials
were said to have been too optimistic about handling the disaster, one
of the worst in US history. I remember saying that
BP would not have been there if they hadn't obtained PERMISSION to be there.
Militants torch about 40 oil tankers carrying fuel for Nato in two separate
attacks in Pakistan, as the US apologises for a cross-border helicopter
raid. Jesus, what a mess. Anti-apartheid figurehead
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is retiring from public life, as he reaches his
79th birthday. Who the hell replaces people like
Tutu and Mandela? US federal agents have arrested more than 70 Puerto
Rican police officers on drugs-related charges. In all more than 120 people
have been charged, including prison guards and soldiers. The US justice
department said the arrests followed "the biggest police corruption investigation
in the history of the FBI". And so the battle continues.
It's a war that can never be won. Engineers drilling to reach 33
miners who have been trapped underground in Chile for over two months say
they have just over 100 metres (328ft) to go. But the main drill has had
to slow down because it is passing close to a mine tunnel, and there is
a risk of collapse. The engineers expect to reach to the trapped miners
in the next few days. Journalists will soon be waving
their open check books in the faces of the miners. US First Lady
Michelle Obama beat heads of state, chief executives and celebrities to
be named the world's most powerful woman by Forbes magazine. I
wonder what they mean by 'powerful'? Commonwealth Games day four,
top 5 gold medal tally. Check the chart at the end
of Beeb time. How Oz manages to do so well given its relatively small population
never ceases to amaze me. Jurassic Park actor Sam Neill has criticised
New Zealand's government for getting involved in an ongoing row over The
Hobbit. Production on Peter Jackson's movie is in jeopardy after unions
urged actors to boycott the films over pay. On Monday, prime minister John
Key said the government was holding discussions with the key parties. But
Neill told a local newspaper: "The last thing we need here is for the situation
to be politicised." In September, Jackson warned that if the dispute continued
then the two-film Lord of the Rings prequel could be filmed outside his
home country. In an open letter he said the wrangle was a "grab for power"
and an attempt by Australian "bully-boy" acting unions to exert influence
over New Zealand's film industry. All I can say is
I'm a fan of Sam Neill and not a fan of union bullying. Award-winning
US documentary maker Marshall Flaum has died at the age of 85 from complications
following hip surgery. Flaum, whose career spanned 55 years, collected
five Emmy awards and was twice nominated for an Oscar. His extensive work
on films with naturalist Jacques Cousteau during the 1970s resulted in
two Emmy awards. You may not be familiar with his
name but you would have seen at least some of his work. A chimpanzee
famous for smoking cigarettes has died at a South African zoo, aged 52.
Charlie the chimp started smoking when some visitors to Mangaung zoo, in
Bloemfontein, threw him lit cigarettes. Zoo spokesman Qondile Khedama said
Charlie had become an institution, entertaining thousands of visitors every
year with his antics. An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause
of death. For years, zookeepers had been trying to get the chimp to kick
the habit, and they discouraged visitors from giving him cigarettes. But
Mr Khedama said he did not believe the addiction had ended Charlie's life
prematurely, as he had lived around 10 years longer than the average chimp.
Well, there goes another Thursdee. Last night I watched a lip
sync vid by a couple of lunatics that I enjoy. I favorited one of their
vids some months ago, and I favorited this one too. They're crazy, but
it's a cool kinda crazy, and just what the world needs now. Gary
October 6, 2010. TX Greg wrote: I know how you don’t like
to fly in planes, but
you’d look good in this….
That's a pretty nifty gadget. I thought at first that it must be an
American invention but when I checked the clip with the voice over, I noticed
the pronunciation of Jit instead of Jet. Ah ha! A New Zillander! Then I
checked the company history. Yep, New Zilland. The craft is still in its
early stages of development. For one thing it takes both hands to fly the
thing which precludes any other activity such as rescuing another person
from an abseiling accident or at sea. Still, it's a wonderful achievement.
I often have dreams of being able to defy gravity and move effortlessly
and weightlessly through the air with no apparent assistance other than
sheer will. I wonder what that's all about.
If I miss a program on telly I catch up on line with iView. Just now
I watched the latest episode of QI, which was both amusing and interesting.
What makes the loudest noise in the ocean? No, not whales. It's crustaceans,
little prawn-like creatures that produce bubbles that pop by snapping their
nippers closed. There are trillions of them all popping away, and if they
happen to be close to shore they can keep whole towns awake at night with
all their bloody racket. Basically, QI is a program about all the things
you didn't need to know but find interesting anyway.
Ya know, if my friend Howard reads Green Room and says, "this is awesome,
let's make a movie" - actually, that's not what he'd say - he'd use TV-speak
and say, "this has got legs, let's make a movie", how the hell am I gonna
find a spiky-haired teen actor with a ready smile, a willingness to beat
the crap out of anyone who pisses him off, a talent for surfing, swimming
and boxing, and a soft side that melts the hardest of hearts? I forgot
cheeky... throw in cheeky as well. On top of that, how the hell am I gonna
find a blond boy-god like Steve? How am I gonna find a handsome hunk with
a bad 'tude like Mark? Or a grommet like Wingnut? Sounds impossible. If
this project ever sees the light of day, the casting will be a nightmare.
Beeb time: Officials are linking a recent increase in US drone missile
attacks in Pakistan to efforts to disrupt a suspected al-Qaeda plot to
attack European targets. Well, you know what they
say about prevention and cure. Emergency services in Hungary are
trying to stop a torrent of toxic red sludge flowing into major waterways,
including the River Danube. A state of emergency has been declared in three
western counties after the chemical waste burst from a reservoir at an
alumina plant. Four people are known to have died, with 120 injured. Six
more are missing. At least seven villages and towns are affected including
Devecser, where the torrent was 2m (6.5ft) deep. The flood swept cars from
roads and damaged bridges and houses, forcing the evacuation of hundreds
of residents. The sludge - a mixture of water and mining waste containing
heavy metals - is considered hazardous, according to Hungary's National
Directorate General for Disaster Management (NDGDM). Oh,
dear, this is very serious indeed. We cannot afford to poison our waterways.
UN peacekeepers in DR Congo arrest a Mai Mai rebel leader over the mass
rape of hundreds of civilians in the east of the country. That's
something that simply defies (and always has) my comprehension: how anyone
could possibly gain satisfaction from the rape of another person.
The man convicted of an attempted car bomb attack in New York's Times Square
has been sentenced to life in prison. Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-born
US citizen, pleaded guilty in June to 10 weapons and terrorism charges.
At his sentencing in Manhattan, Shahzad told the judge "war with the Muslims
has just begun", with the US facing "imminent" defeat. Obviously,
that's what they believe. It's also what makes them so dangerous.
But back to waterways. We've had a 10-year drought in Oz that brought
the Murray River to its knees. Recent rains, however, have restored flow.
Salinity is still high but the increased flow looks like flushing the river
system into the Great Southern Ocean and re-establishing the wetlands with
their thriving eco system. The frogs are back, folks! The existence of
frogs is a joyous and reliable barometer of the health of a river system,
and it's wonderful to see them back...er, hear them back. That's one kind
of croaking I don't mind in the least.
The Murray River (River Murray in South Australia) is Australia's
longest river. At 2,375 kilometres (1,476 mi) in length, the Murray rises
in the Australian Alps, draining the western side of Australia's highest
mountains and, for most of its length, meanders across Australia's inland
plains, forming the border between New South Wales and Victoria as it flows
to the northwest, before turning south for its final 500 kilometres (310
mi) or so into South Australia, before emptying at Lake Alexandrina. As
of 2008, the Murray River only receives 36% of its natural flow, it is
perhaps the most heavily irrigated and agriculturalised river in Australia.
Not a terribly exciting day today, dear Breth. I took a few photos of
the house across the road which is fronted by a huge, tall hedge of trimmed
bottle brush trees bursting with flowers, but the sun was too strong and
the pics turned out to be rather dreary. Oh well... Maybe later. And I
really must get back to Old Bar to take more pics of those kite surfers,
next time with a long telephoto lens and tripod. Promises, promises. I'd
like to have another shot at the acrobatic kids on the skateboard rink
as well. Those daredevils have no fear.
Meanwhile, it's back to kitchen duties: crumbed prawn cutlets and....
you'll never guess... CHIPS! Home made this time... much better than the
bought ones. Gary
October, 5, 2010. I mentioned 'now' yesterday. Later I watched
an interview with a successful stand-up comedian in Oz who was a Vietnamese
refugee together with his family back in the 70s. At one point during the
interview, he quoted his father as having said, "There are only two times
in life: there is now, and there is too late."
He was at university studying law when he tried stand-up as a part time
job. Eventually, he gave up his law studies to become a full-time comedian.
The interviewer pointed out that stand-up was a very precarious way to
earn a living, and asked if he ever regretted giving up law. "When you've
spent several months at sea in a leaky boat hoping to gain refugee status
in a foreign country, nothing else can scare you," he answered.
A few clips from his stand-up routine were shown during the interview:
know, when you're a refugee and you don't have any money, you can't go
into a bar and walk up to a girl and offer to buy her a drink. You have
to offer her yours and say, "Would you like a sip?" Hehe.
Last night, I thought about who I could send copies of Green Room to,
and a couple of names popped into my head... both film producers/directors
with whom I worked in the past. Did a Google and found one of them, Howard
Rubie, and phoned him this morning. Yes, he's looking forward to reading
a copy of Green Room. We chatted for maybe half an hour about old times.
I told him I wasn't expecting anything. If he thought the book had potential
as a movie or TV mini series, fine. If not, fine. No pressure. The thing
is, I own the copyright so if Howard thinks the book has potential as a
film, then he doesn't need to deal with a greedy publisher or whatever.
I call the shots. I could also write the screenplay. Sooooo, let's see
what happens. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and all that stuff. I really
don't know many peeps in the TV/movie biz but Howard does. He knows them
all, and he's well respected in the industry. He's a quiet man, softly
spoken and polite... unlike most of the showbiz types I've met.
So there ya go, maybe the fat lady ain't sung yet.
Beeb time: At least eight al-Qaeda militants - some of whom were German
nationals - have been killed in a drone attack in Pakistan, officials have
told the BBC. The suspected US drone fired two missiles at a house owned
by a local tribesman in the Pakistani region of North Waziristan, the officials
said. At least three of the dead were said to be German - of Arab or Turkish
origin. In recent weeks, security sources have spoken of a Pakistan-linked
al-Qaeda plot to attack European cities. Welcome
to the era of robots, dear Breth. A Vatican official has said the
awarding of the Nobel Prize for Medicine to British IVF pioneer Robert
Edwards is "completely out of order". Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of
the Pontifical Academy for Life, said the award ignored the ethical questions
raised by the fertility treatment. He said IVF had led to the destruction
of large numbers of human embryos. And what did the
Vatican have to say about the destruction of millions of Jews during WWII?
Sir Norman Wisdom, famous for his slapstick film roles has died at the
age of 95, his son confirms. Oh dear, another one
gone. Around 400 fans, celebrities, friends, and family members
have bid a final farewell to actor Tony Curtis at a funeral chapel in Las
Vegas. Funeral attendees bowed their heads and clasped their hands during
a series of Jewish prayers. Jamie Lee Curtis, Curtis's daughter from his
first marriage with Psycho actress Janet Leigh, became emotional as she
described her father, saying he was a "little mashugana" - using the Yiddish
word for crazy. "All of us got something from him. I, of course, got his
desperate need for attention," Ms Curtis said. Born Bernard Schwartz on
3 June 1925 in New York, the actor served in World War II before taking
on the name Tony Curtis when he began his film career in 1949. I
saw a clip of Stephen Fry the other night saying, "I'm gay, Jewish and
bi-polar. How could I not be a success in Hollywood?" A Brazilian
clown has had the last laugh by winning a seat in Congress with more votes
than any other candidate in Sunday's elections. Tiririca, or Francisco
Oliveira Silva to give him his real name, was elected as a federal deputy
for Sao Paulo with more than 1.3 million votes. Tiririca, or "Grumpy",
had slogans such as: "It can't get any worse." I'm
all for more comedians in politics. The world is desperate for a good hearty
laugh. Winston Churchill has become the first prime minister to
enter the album chart with a record marking the 70th anniversary of the
Battle of Britain. Reach For The Skies, by the RAF's Central Band, featuring
Churchill's rousing World War II speeches set to music, was a new entry
at four. The legend lives on! Credit-card
company American Express is being sued by the US government over claims
of anti-competitive practices. Serves the bastards
right. The Taliban have infiltrated the Afghan army and police,
a recently-retired United Nations official has warned. Dr Antonio Maria
Costa, former head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said Taliban sleeper
cells had been set up inside the security forces. They had already carried
out a number of attacks and were planning further attacks on Nato-led troops,
he said. If the UN had infiltrated the Taliban we
would think that was cool. One message I'm getting loud and clear is that
the Taliban is not stupid.
The weather has improved a bit, and looks like continuing to improve.
What that means for me I'm not sure. We'll see. Meanwhile, the day has
slipped quietly by as I watched a couple of vids on Youchewb, including
an interesting doco about the finding, rescuing and restoration of the
first Qantas jet, a Boeing
B707 which was also the first 707 exported by Boeing from the US back
in 1959. The restoration was done by Aussie volunteers and the plane eventually
flown back to Oz from England (where it was graveyarded for scrap) to be
exhibited at the Qantas museum in Queensland where the company began operations
back in 1920. During the restoration process, the crew met another owner
and enthusiast of the old 707, none other than John Travolta who has one
parked at his home in Florida. He uses it regularly to fly around the world.
So now it's time to do the kitchen thing. Salad tonight... chicken,
roast pork, pastrami, tomato, onion, lettuce, beetroot, pickle, cheese,
and all that stuff. Gary
October 4, 2010. Another wet and dreary day. Bleh. So much for
the long weekend. For me, however, being retired, every weekend is a long
one... a very long one hehe.
I dutifully wound up my pocket watch this morning, as usual. It's keeping
perfect time so far. But I worry about the quality of the spring. So many
old pocket watches don't work any more, probably because the spring broke.
You've seen it on cartoons. BOING! Goodbye spring. Averil has one that
belonged to her father or grandfather... not sure. But it's very old, and
doesn't work any more. On the other hand, I suppose I don't need to worry
about how my pocket watch will be performing in 100 years.
Which brings to mind the cover of a vinyl LP I saw in a used record
shop many years ago. The title was THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW. Actually,
they were both now, just as I'm writing this now, and you're reading this
now - two different nows but now nonetheless. Hehe. Everything is now.
Nothing else exists. It might have existed, and may very well exist on
the morrow, but the present is ever present. We're born now, live now,
and die now.
Among the collection of used LPs was one that had a picture of the band
on the front. One of the guys had his enormous schlong sticking out of
his fly. I thought that was pretty unusal for an LP cover. I'd never seen
anything like that before. But there he was, proudly displaying his claim
to fame. That pose must've been a relic from the old Woodstock days.
Interesting to me, perhaps not so interesting to you. John Laws is retired
now but his radio career spanned 50 years. I worked with him back in the
mid 60s and again in the late 70s and early 80s. He was a legend in Oz
and probably the best known talk-back
radio man in the business.
Back from slaving over a poem... a
tribute to Tyler Clementi and other victims of bullying such as Matt
Shepard. I spent quite a bit of time on it trying to get it right but even
now I feel that it's not adequate. Perhaps there's no such thing as an
adequate tribute to those unfortunate boys.
The Oz Air Force has just retired the old F1-11 fleet after 30+ years
and replaced it with the Super Hornet, which has been a controversial choice.
Some say the equivalent Russian fighter/bomber can run rings around it.
Meanwhile, here's a pic of an
old Mustang coming in for a landing as a Super Hornet prepares for
Beeb time: Brazil's presidential election will go to a second round
after Dilma Rousseff failed to gain the 50% of votes needed for an outright
victory. With 98% of votes counted, President Lula's former cabinet chief
has 47% with Jose Serra trailing on 33%. The two will contest a run-off
vote in four weeks' time. A strong showing by the Green Party candidate,
Marina Silva, who polled 19%, may have cost Ms Rousseff a first-round win.
a re-run of the recent Oz election with the Greens and independents holding
the balance of power. Suspected militants have attacked a depot
(in Pakistan) where dozens of tankers were being filled with fuel for Nato
troops in Afghanistan. They say 27 tankers were set on fire in the attack
close to the capital Islamabad. Six people were killed in the attack early
on Monday morning. This is the latest in a series of attacks on convoys
travelling by land through Pakistan to supply Nato forces in Afghanistan.
militants? The Dutch anti-Islamist MP Geert Wilders is to go on
trial in Amsterdam on charges of inciting racial hatred against Muslims.
If found guilty, Mr Wilders could face up to a year in jail or a fine of
up to 7,600 euros ($10,000). Mr Wilders will stand trial on five charges
of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims, including calling
Islam fascist and likening the Koran to Hitler's Mein Kampf. He campaigns
for a stop to Muslim immigration to the Netherlands, a ban on the construction
of new mosques, and a tax on headscarves. Inciting
hatred against Muslims? I thought Muslims were doing a pretty good job
of inciting hatred themselves. After all, we're the ones accused of being
infidels and enemies of Allah. The 2010 Commonwealth Games have
begun with a spectacular opening ceremony in Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Athletes from the 71 competing nations joined in a parade that began with
2006 hosts Australia and ended with India. Prince Charles and Indian president
Pratibha Patil announced the Games open, but organising committee chair
Suresh Kalmadi was jeered by the crowd. The build-up to the Games had been
blighted by concerns that venues and accommodation may not be completed.
However, the glittering opening ceremony, which charted both the heritage
and present-day experience of India and featured about 9,000 performers
Let's hope the games are a huge success
and prove the critics wrong. Germany has been celebrating the 20th
anniversary of its reunification. Chancellor Angela Merkel led the official
celebrations, hosted by the northern city of Bremen and attended by tens
of thousands of people. Capitalist West and communist East Germany merged
on 3 October 1990, nearly a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall which
Is it only 20 years? Seems longer than
that...almost ancient history. I remember buying goods marked 'Made in
West Germany'. Rutgers University in New Jersey has held a candlelight
vigil for a student who killed himself after two fellow students allegedly
filmed him having sex with a man. The hour-long silent vigil was held on
the university's campus in New Brunswick, with students hugging and holding
hands in a show of unity. Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from a bridge
on 22 September.
It's a pity Tyler wasn't capable
of shrugging off the exposure as no big deal - because it WASN'T.
Let's take a little break to check out a short
film of the family album of a bloke who worked for Qantas during the
'50s. Here's another short family story of their participation
in Australia's aviation history.
Din dins time. But before I go, I saw a story on TV the other night
about an Australian army doc who has done some pretty brave things in third-world
countries, helping people in need, saving lives, and peforming surgery
in the field. He's back in Oz and is determined to ban smoking. He says
it's criminal to allow tobacco to be consumed when 100,000 Aussies die
each year due to tobacco-related illness. What I wanna know, and I'm almost
famous for asking silly questions, is how much cheaper is it for governments
to keep citizens alive for a further 10 or 20 years on tax-payer funded
pensions? Maybe the answer is so obvious I've missed the point. Gary
October 3, 2010. FL Josh says ABC TV programs are not available
on Youchewb outside of Oz. Give this one a try anyway. Greg Grainger is
a bloke I worked with years ago at Radio 2UE. His documentary series Travel
Oz is a pretty good show. Greg is a bit of a worry but that's beside the
point. This episode contains some extraordinary footage of a
personal and up-close encounter with a whale shark.
I remember Greg approaching me at 2UE with that big grin of his about
some idea he had but I can't remember what it was. He was probably thinking
outside the square at a time when I was content to remain within the square.
Don't rock the boat and all that. Oh well...
Meanwhile, it's a wet and dreary day again, so Old Bar is off the agenda
as far as I'm concerned. It's disappointing for the participants though.
Some of the Kombi owners drive hundreds of kilometers to be part of the
show. But, no rest for the wicked... I still gotta do some shopping despite
the poor weather. Bleh.
Beeb time: The US government is to issue a travel alert, warning its
citizens to be vigilant while travelling in Europe because of the threat
of an al-Qaeda commando-style attack. US and UK officials have confirmed
that updated guidance will be issued because of the current terror threat.
A UK official said the travel advisory would not be country-specific. It
would also not go as far as advising against travel to Europe, the official
said. The advisory will be issued in response to intelligence on an al-Qaeda
plan to assemble teams of gunmen and send them into crowded places to kill
western civilians, similar to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai. Well,
there ya go. Allah apparently approves of murdering innocent civilians
according to al-Qaeda. How twisted can you get? The Palestinian
leadership has said it will not continue peace talks with Israel unless
a freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank resumes. Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas met political leaders after settlement building
resumed this week. "The leadership confirms that the resumption of talks
requires tangible steps, the first of them a freeze on settlements," said
senior Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo. All
the talk in the world is useless without compromise. Thousands of
people have been attending a rally in Washington DC in support of jobs,
education and civil rights. Organisers called it a One Nation rally, hoping
to rekindle enthusiasm for the liberal causes that brought President Barack
Obama to office. Five weeks ago, conservative activists held a huge rally
at the same spot to denounce the administration. But it was the crowd itself
that offered a rare sight; liberals and progressives have kept a relatively
low profile since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, says the BBC's
Iain MacKenzie in Washington. You can't afford to
rest on your laurels, chaps. The louder the opposition shouts, the louder
you gotta shout. Environmental campaigners 10:10 have withdrawn
a film showing a teacher graphically exploding two of her students who
refuse to reduce their carbon emissions, after complaints. In a statement,
the group apologised to anyone offended. In the film, which was subsequently
posted to Youtube and which contains disturbing images, a teacher invites
her class to take part in the environmental campaign. Two children, who
do not want to, are asked why. The teacher tells them: "Fine, it's absolutely
fine. It's your own choice." But moments later she presses a button and
the children explode into a mess.
Here's the clip on Youchewb.
And there's another example of people with a cause becoming fanatical.
It's true ya know, some people become so obsessed with their cause they
assume the right to intimidate anyone with an opposing view. Right is on
their side, and all that crap. In other words, they resort to bullying.
Back from shopping and Bluey only got a little bit wet. I bumped into
a neighbor there and we chatted about various stuff including WHEN I might
leave on the Odyssey. Yeah. Me and my big mouth. So then she suggested
that L&S didn't really exist; that they were just a figment of my imagination.
Hehe. "You should write a book about looking after two non-existent people,"
she said. Hmmm. Maybe that's not a bad idea.
As I drove down Manning Street, which has rear to kerb parking, the
woman in front activated her left indicator and pulled over to the left.
No worries. So I moved to the right (remember we drive on the left here)
to overtake. Then, with her left indicator still blinking, she suddenly
swerved to the right which caused me to stomp on the anchors. She had decided
to reverse in a straight diagonal line to the kerb. To reverse park properly,
you are supposed to pull up parallel to the kerb, turn the wheel to full
left lock, and reverse into the parking space. But according to her, what
she did was perfectly logical. She used her left indicator to signal her
intention to turn left, and yet she veered to the right - but only because
she wanted to go left AFTER turning right. Hello? I'm convinced that the
only way to avoid such dingalings is to drive defensively, and expect all
other drivers to do the opposite of what they signal.
Actually, the NSW road toll got off to a pretty bad start this long
weekend: 7 dead in this state and 15 nationally. One police officer attending
the scene of a fatal accident lamented, "I really don't know what more
we can do to get drivers to take it easy." Well, I suppose we could make
it harder to get a driver's license in the first place. But I guess auto
manufacturers would bitch about that, not to mention everyone else in the
T-bones, prawn cutlets, pork chops, spag bol or sausage rolls and chips?
Guess what Lindsay chose? I knew he would. Sausage rolls hehe. That's cool.
I still have a couple of battered frozen flathead fillets leftover from
when they were away in England, so Sue can have those. WITH CHIPS. Gary
October 2, 2010. The plan was to whip out to Old Bar today and
check out the vintage cars (and whatever else) but, ladies and genitals,
the weather is not cooperating. It's cool and drizzly. So the trip is on
hold for the mo.
Trust me, this animation clip of a
monkey and bananas is brilliant. You gotta watch it.
I gotta stop this ya know... spending so much time on Youchewb. It's
Degeneres has this to say about the suicide of a young man after being
"outed" on the internet. I found the link on Justin's blog. You might like
J's take on the subject.
Beeb time: US testing that infected hundreds of Guatemalans with gonorrhoea
and syphilis more than 60 years ago was a "crime against humanity", Guatemalan
President Alvaro Colom has said. President Barack Obama has apologised
for the medical tests, in which mentally ill patients and prisoners were
infected without their consent. Mr Obama told Mr Colom the 1940s-era experiments
ran contrary to American values, Guatemala said. The US has promised an
investigation. They were indeed dark days all over
the world for many reasons. And then, to make it worse, I was born.
Chile's mines minister says an attempt try to rescue 33 trapped miners
will begin in the second half of October - earlier than previously predicted.
will be some interesting stories told by those men about how people cope
with that kind of confinement for an extended period. Stand by for the
movie. There is a 60% global shortfall in funding for malaria control
this year, according to a report by UK and African experts. I
saw something on TV recently about breeding mozzies that are genetically
modified or whatever, and that are released into the wild population to
render it useless in terms of spreading disease. Something like that.
Privacy concerns for Google's Street View may now extend to penguins, following
the service's extension to a seventh continent - Antarctica. The Antarctica
imagery is so far limited, showing panoramas of the coast and penguins
of Half Moon Island. Google says its service now covers 25 nations on all
the world's continents. Street View has expanded massively since its launch
in 2007 but has encountered a number of protests over its data collection.
a pic of a house identical to mine at 3
Hegarty St. Glebe. Mine was No. 15 in a row of terraced cottages. Seems
like the median price of a property in Glebe now is a million buckeroonies.
I sold mine for $165,000 20 years ago. Sheesh. You could buy a pretty wicked
motorhome for a million, and have some change left over. US President
Barack Obama has announced the resignation of his hard-hitting chief of
staff Rahm Emanuel, who is poised for a bid to be mayor of Chicago. The
US president described Mr Emanuel as "one of a kind". "We could not have
accomplished what we've accomplished without Rahm's leadership," Mr Obama
said. I believe that Emanuel is a pretty colorful
character who uses even more colorful language. Police across South
America have arrested more than 600 people in a wide-ranging anti-counterfeiting
operation, says Interpol. Products worth $50m (£32m) were seized
in more than 300 raids in 13 countries. The goods included fake satellite
receivers, sports shoes, toys, car parts and soft drinks. I
still find it difficult to visualize crooks as having been cute little
babies at one time in their lives. What happened? A Chinese rocket
carrying a probe destined for the Moon has blasted into space. A Long March
3C rocket with the Chang'e-2 probe took off from Xichang launch centre
at about 1100 GMT. The rocket will shoot the craft into the trans-lunar
orbit, after which the satellite is expected to reach the Moon in about
five days. Chang'e-2 will be used to test key technologies and collect
data for future landings. The latest launch, to test key technologies and
gather data, is China's second lunar mission China says it will send a
rover on its next mission, and it also has ambitions to put humans on the
surface of the lunar body at some future date. Deja
vu. A 26-year-old piece of software at the heart of PCs is about
to get an update that will make for boot-up times of mere seconds. Damn!
I use that time to boil the kettle, make a cuppa and take a pee!
I've just been checking out cameras on eBay for the hell of it. No,
didn't buy anything. But I've noticed that Fuji cameras are generally cheaper
than their more popular cousins like Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. And yet Fuji
is a great product. I have two, and I'd be happy to have a third. Anyway,
it's just that I'm charging the Sony battery at the mo and was curious
to see what the old Sony is worth these days. Not much, I suspect. But
it's still a good camera even at 5MP which is sufficient for a large, high
quality print. Mega pixels have gone through the roof lately but about
10 is really all you need, even for a printed poster.
Obviously, I didn't venture out to Old Bar today because of the weather.
The forecast is for similar weather tomorrow so it looks like the Old Bar
Festival this year is a bit of a flop, which is a shame. But you can check
out the Kombi pics I took
I was there in 2008. Here's another series of
of classic cars from the same year of the festival.
Soooooooooooooooooooooo, that's it for today, another Satdee. Fish 'n'
hash browns tonight, with a squeeze of fresh lemon from our very own tree!
October 1, 2010. Are we going forwards or is it just that we're
standing still and everything around us is going backwards? Anyway, goodbye
September. Let's start the new month with a pic of a grumpy
And here's one of the entrance
to my Doc's surgery. He charges an arm and a leg so it's no wonder
he can afford the flashest digs in town.
Justin's blog has some
interesting posts about teenage suicide, one due to bullying and another
as the result of an idiot prank. What a crazy world we live in.
Recently, FL Josh and I discussed the question; what is life all about
(and he lost). Well, thanks to Youchewb, I've just discovered the
How long ago did you watch the video of Michael
Jackson's Thriller? It's no wonder that guy was King of Pop. All these
years later, it's still totally awesome. There was only one MJ.
But there's also 10 y/o street dancer Tyler
Patterson on Britain's Got Talent. And doesn't he have a wonderful
Is there no end to the stuff available on Youchewb?
Okay, let's check the Beeb: A court in India says a disputed holy site
in the city of Ayodhya should be split between Hindus and Muslims, but
both sides plan to appeal. No surprise to me. We
live in a world of Us and Them and always have. Tributes are paid
to the actor Tony Curtis, who has died at his home in Nevada at the age
of 85. Curtis's daughter Jamie Lee Curtis praised her father saying he
"leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings.
He leaves behind children and their families who loved him and respected
him and a wife and in-laws who were devoted to him. He also leaves behind
fans all over the world," she added. Of course...
ya gotta fall off the damn perch before you get tributes. Hehe. I suppose
if you asked younger generations about Curtis you'd get, "Who?"
Four major energy companies are pulling out of Iran in order to comply
with US sanctions, the State Department says. We
now cross almost live to our Oregon correspondent, Richie: So far as
Iran goes... there must be some concept and proper WORD that is blend between
sanction and strangulation but I'm not sure what it could be. Sanctulation?
The developed and "civilized" world is going to erect an economic fence
around you, you bloody extreme fanatical wacked-out sanctimonious buttheads.
A New Jersey college student has leapt to his death a day after authorities
said two students secretly filmed him having sex with a man and broadcast
it over the internet. Tyler Clementi's wallet was found on the George Washington
Bridge on 22 September after two witnesses saw someone jump from the structure,
authorities told the AP news agency. Mr Clementi's body has been found.
Two students have been charged with illegally filming the 18-year-old.
one of the stories I mentioned that Justin posted on his blog. Such a terrible
tragedy. Opium production in Afghanistan has almost halved in the
past year, a United Nations report says. The sharp drop is largely due
to a plant infection which has drastically reduced yields, says the UN
Office on Drugs and Crime. But it warns that production is unlikely to
stay low, with rising prices tempting farmers to cultivate more opium poppies.
Afghanistan produces 90% of the world's opium, the main ingredient in heroin.
Well if the Taliban is not in control of the country, who is currently
sanctioning the growing of opium poppies? Japan's government has
imposed the biggest tax increase on cigarettes the country has ever seen.
The price of the most popular brands is rising on Friday by about 40%,
from 300 yen ($3.60; £2.30) to 410 yen ($4.90; £3.70). The
aim is to encourage smokers to quit, in a country with a reputation as
one of the most smoker-friendly places in the industrialised world. It
hasn't worked in Oz. A pack of ciggies here is about $20 so Lindsay tells
me. I don't smoke ready-mades. I roll my own.
But back to that young man who suicided after being secretly filmed
having sex with another male, and then having it broadcast on the internet.
Who killed him? I'll tell you who killed him. The homophobes killed him.
He was obviously distraught at being "found out" by his family and friends
who he had anticipated would admonish him, and possibly ostracize him,
for his unseemly conduct. They are the ones who killed him. And this is
the problem. While ever sex, and especially sex with another person of
the same sex, is treated as some kind of weird and disgusting activity,
this kind of guilt will persist. Let me quote again Ohio June's comment:
IT'S ONLY SEX.
If the kid had been secretly filmed taking a crap or vomiting, would
he have suicided?
Meanwhile, here's a good reason not to make fun of others. They might
up making fun of you.
And while you're at it, don't
get too greedy.
Hmmm, lots of links there and maybe you don't have time to check them
all. Oh well, you can come back another day. And that's it for the first
day of October 2010. Oh... yes, the pocket watch is still ticking away
merrily and keeping good time. I wind it every morning. I just love mechanical
watches, and all those intricate cogs and wheels and bits and pieces that
work together so precisely and harmoniously. They are a marvel of mechanical
engineering and a great credit to the people who created them hundreds
of years ago.
A man named Christian Huygens invented the pendulum clock. He first
came up with this new item in 1656. The idea of the pendulum clock was
simple and is still very popular today. As the pendulum swings left and
right, it turns a wheel with many teeth on it. This wheel turns the hour
hand and the minute hand on the clock face. On the first clocks on this
design, the pendulum needed to swing over a larger area of about 50 degrees,
but as time progressed and the clocks improved the pendulum needed to swing
less, only 10-15 degrees.
But it was an ancient Greek who invented the
world's first mechanical clock.
Din dins time. Split chicken marinated in garlic and chilli, roasted
with herbed spuds. One pan. Too easy! Gary
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