October 31, 2011. And there goes another month. As you know,
I've made a few boo-boos over the past few years... Bluey and then Das
Busse. And what happens? Up pops a
Toyota camper in great nick, reduced for quick sale @ $8500 and it's
just down the road from me right here in Taree. Thank you very much. Problem
is, I'm unprepared. How's that for great timing? TX Greg found the link
and sent it to me.
How-bloody-ever, I couldn't resist phoning the bloke. Turns out he lives
at Old Bar. He said he looked everywhere for a decent van and most of them
were "junk" at the price he was prepared to pay. He finally found this
one and bought it for $10K. But I guess the novelty has worn off and he
has no further use for it. He says he wants to buy another car. He'll be
in Sydney until Saturday so that gives me a bit of time to sell DB and
figure out how I can scrape the rest of the bucks together. Maybe I can
get a bridging loan from Averil until I sell Bluey. Hmmm. Juggle, juggle,
think, think. However, my luck is improving... just got a note to say I
won a free ticket in the Jackpot Lottery. Hehe.
Meanwhile, DB is attracting quite a lot of interest and inquiries from
potential buyers. One girl from the Central Coast wanted to know if she
could drive it back home. No, darling, it's unregistered. A bloke from
Victoria wanted to do the same thing. Tomorrow is the final day of the
auction. If bidding doesn't reach the reserve, I'm not sure what I'll do.
However, I've decided not to keep DB whatever happens.
NC Art wrote and told me this amusing story: I recall a brother in
law's 40th birthday party which included a gathering of the clan plus friends.
As the mob collected at his house, John asked a bloke to move his vehicle
a ways down the street. Why? Because it was embarrassing to have a motor
rig that costs more than his home parked in front. We rode to the country
club in style, but the owner of said wheels had to stop for gasoline. He
pumped in 75 gallons and still the tank was not full. Whufff! The rolling
palace had more equipment in it than Air Force One, the president's airplane.
Betty and Prince Phillip departed Oz a few days ago after the end of
CHOGM in Perth. The locals put on a big outdoor barbie for the royal couple
as a parting gesture, Aussie style, and invited lots of commoners. Phillip
was wandering around the grounds checking out the scene when he passed
by a bloke with bangers sizzling on a barbie. "Are you sure I can't interest
you in a barbecued sausage?" the cook asked. Hehe. Phillip shook his head
and wandered off again. I don't blame him really... another name for Aussie
bangers is "mystery bags". I suspect the Prince knew there was something
better suited to the royal palate waiting on board the royal jet.
NC Art sent a clip of the Marx Bros - Marco
& Chico in a comic piano duet, which I also found on Youchewb.
If Art went back much further he'd be telling me about apples and serpents.
Beeb time: Qantas will resume flights on Monday after an independent
tribunal ordered a permanent end to the industrial dispute with its union
members. Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline will resume
flights by mid-afternoon on a limited schedule. The move comes after Fair
Work Australia issued a ruling, after hearing evidence from the airline,
unions and the government. I suspect Joyce knew this
would happen when he called for the stoppage. Hehe. He's Irish ya know.
An unseasonable snowstorm hits the US East Coast, killing at least six
people and leaving more than three million homes without electricity. I
guess all you northern hemisphericals are only too aware of that.
A Palestinian is killed in a new Israeli air strike in Gaza, hours after
Egypt apparently brokered a ceasefire between the two sides. It's
a bit like brokering a peace deal between dogs and cats. The trial
of Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak is postponed until the end of the
year, as alleged victims' lawyers call for the judge to be replaced. I
reckon you might have to get a judge from another planet if you want someone
who's impartial. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned of
an "earthquake" if the West intervenes in his country. In a rare interview
with the UK's Sunday Telegraph newspaper, Mr Assad said involvement risked
transforming Syria into "another Afghanistan". The UN has renewed its call
for the repression to end, and China has warned Syria the situation cannot
continue. Remember Col. Gaddafi's warnings before
his overthrow? David Cameron has threatened to withhold UK aid from
governments that do not reform legislation banning homosexuality. The UK
prime minister said he raised the issue with some of the states involved
at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia. Read
the full article here. Russia has not put its clocks back for winter
this year, after President Dmitry Medvedev decided the country would stay
permanently in summertime. Mr Medvedev announced his decision in March,
saying it was in order to relieve the stress of changing clocks. Silly
Russians. You don't have to change the clocks, you only have to change
the time! Gaddafi died a disappointed and bitter man. Oh really?
article you can read here.
Interest in Das Busse is hotting up with lots of questions and a couple
of requests for my phone number. Just now I started DB and it responded
first go despite sitting there for months. I'm letting it idle for a while
to charge up the battery a bit. One day to go (about 2pm tomorrow) when
I'll know if I've got a bunch of wankers or if they're fair dinkum. There's
still only one bid and it's a grand below the reserve. One bloke who wrote
just wanted to say he got ripped off too by a seller who failed to disclose
the true condition of the van. But he's pretty handy and decided to keep
it and do a lot of the restoration work himself. He's not interested in
buying DB but he wished me luck hehe. If I manage to raise the dough to
buy the camper at Old Bar I'll be as poor as a church mouse, but at least
I'll have my little house on wheels REGISTERED FOR 12 MONTHS!
Just got a call from a bloke in South Oz who's willing to have DB transported
over there, and he's willing to deposit two-ish grand directly into my
bank account. He reckons PayPal will take $150 if he pays that way. Hmmm.
He was prepared to buy now but I said I'd leave the auction to run its
course. I'm playing hard to get. Hehe. So lemme see... I've got about 3
grand, plus 2-ish for DB, I can borrow a grand from my pension income so
that's six. Bluey's worth at least 2 grand so that's 8-ish... enough to
buy the Toyota camper at Old Bar! Yeah? Jeez, what a squeeze!
One thing that bothered me a little bit about the new van is the rear
side window on the driver's side. If you enlarge the pic it looks like
the tint film has bubbled a bit. Otherwise the van looks great. And it
has solar plus an independent deep cycle battery! TX Greg is never gonna
let me forget this ya know.
So does this mean I'm gonna rush out into the wild blue yonder and begin
the Odyssey? Not quite yet. I need to save a bit more to have a cash reserve
in case I get into trouble. Meantime I'll have regular daily transport
and the means to do a couple of mini Odysseys locally... maybe a few overnighters
just to get into the rhythm of the rugged outdoor life - eating witchety
grubs, fending off hoards of cannibals and that sort of thing. One place
I'd like to visit for a few days is Crowdy
Bay which is not far from here.
I decided to phone Averil and run the deal past her knowing I'd get
the usual "now make sure you do this, and make sure you do that, and don't
do anything before yadda yadda". But at least she knows the score, so if
I need to ask her for a bridging loan while I sell Bluey she knows what
to expect. Women!
Well, I guess that's enough excitement for one day. All I have to worry
about now is whether or not the new van sells before I can get my sticky
fingers on it. It's had almost 800 views so far and it's only been listed
2 days. Gary
October 30, 2011. TX Greg doesn't like wind-up campers but Oregon
Richie disagrees. That's what I like... a bit of a barney to liven things
up a bit. My past experience with tent-trailer designs had been pretty
good. I encountered little problem with the crank systems and can't
recall any failures and just recalled that a lot of companies put a lifetime
warranty on them. Most problems with were basically just-in new products,
but the basic systems and quality of the tent design seemed very durable.
I sold some that were well over 20 years old and if any had fiberglass
panels THAT might have been cracked and weak but the rest seemed pretty
A wind-up camper or tent trailer or whatever you wanna call it ain't
my preferred option, but it remains an option nonetheless. Just because
I leave my driveway in a particular kinda rig doesn't mean I'm stuck with
it forever. I can change my mind en route. Meanwhile, Greg and Richie do
agree that RV prices in Oz are way too expensive compared to their US counterparts.
Richie reckons prices here are about double what they are over there, and
Greg sent a couple of links: Here
is one really sweet 2001 camper with A/C & loo and it's only $9,995....
That rig would be 30K here... easy. Here's another link sent by Greg
to an Oregon dealer
who specializes in vans, and who does his thing on Youchewb.
I suspect the price differential between Oz and the US is due to population.
Compare 350m to 22m. Hello? There would be far more competition as well
as choice in the US. A similar situation exists between Oz and New Zealand.
The Kiwis pay a lot more for their vehicles than we do.
Late yesterday, Qantas grounded its entire fleet in response to strike
action by a number of unions. It was described as a surprise announcement
and a shock move but I didn't think so. I fully expected it. The union
demands are making it impossible for Qantas to operate. One spokesman for
a Perth newspaper said Qantas's operating costs are 25% higher than some
of its overseas competitors, and yet the unions are demanding higher wages.
The government was initially reticent to step in but it's changed its mind.
In my view, you can't work for an airline that doesn't exist, so the unions
would do well to consider the fate of their members if the company folds
(or is bought by an overseas interest).
Now here's an idea... a Toyota same model as DB with a pop
top selling for $3000. It looks in pretty good nick. Rip out the interior,
fit DB's interior, sell what's left of DB to a wrecker, sell the excess
camping gear and fittings from the new one, sell Bluey and whammo... rust-free
van with a proper fitout. There's only one problem... I just phoned the
bloke and it sold yesterday. Oh well... here we go again.
Beeb time: A Taliban suicide bomber has rammed an explosives-laden car
into a bus carrying members of the International Security Assistance Force
in the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing 17 people. The Isaf personnel - eight
civilians and five soldiers - were all American, the Pentagon says. Canada
says one of its soldiers died. Three Afghan civilians and a police officer
were also killed - in what is one of the worst ground attacks against foreign
troops since 2001. The rest of us are at a disadvantage
because we're sane. Australian airline Qantas grounds all flights
with immediate effect over an industrial dispute, stranding thousands of
passengers worldwide. Relations between the unions and Qantas management
started deteriorating in August after the airline announced plans for restructuring
and moving some operations to Asia. The restructuring is expected to mean
the loss of 1,000 jobs from its 35,000-strong workforce. Go
figure. An unseasonable snowstorm hits the US East Coast, prompting
the National Weather Service to issue a winter storm warning. Condolences
from Oz where it's sunny and warm. A man in Argentina who built
his house and furniture out of plastic bottles has been so successful that
he is now teaching other people how to do the same. Alfredo Santa Cruz
survived during Argentina's economic crash in 2001 by sorting through rubbish
heaps in search of items he could sell but now he has found a new way of
making a living. Check
out the video.
Ohio Jace sent a cute Halloween e-card where you click on various objects
and get all kinds of animation, like crows, a scarecrow, bats and spooky
ghosts. It was very good. Thanks, Jace.
Were you referring to Ruth Buzzi (on Waffle)? I think she played
the little old lady. JoAnne Worley was the loud mouth, maybe you meant
her. The show had a lot of funny ladies including the still beautiful Goldie
Hawn. Yes, it did... a great show. Jace also reminisced about the son
of his mate at work who was killed in Iraq. A local newspaper published
a story about another local lad who was killed recently in Afghanistan,
that brought a lot of sad memories back to the surface for Jace. Yes, the
sadness never really goes away, and the ripple effect goes far beyond those
who lose their lives.
On the subject of unions, Jace supports the good work they do: Peeps
are blaming Unions for our troubles over here too. If not for a Union I
would not be living like I am now, probably would have starved to death
years ago. I agree that one side should not have all the power but
in the case of Qantas the unions are going too far. If their demands make
the company uncompetitive, nobody wins and everybody loses. And I bet if
you walked into the homes of those union bosses you'd find lots of goodies
made in China. You can't have your cake and eat it too, as they say.
Just about to whizz up the road for a few groceries and guess what?
Rumble, rumble, boom, boom. There's thunder outside. Sheesh. An hour ago
the sun was shining and it was glorious!
BACK! The storm was a bit of a fizzle with hardly any rain. The young
bloke at the checkout is seriously short sighted and has to stare just
inches from the screen to see what's going on. I've spoken to him before.
This time I asked him how he deals with watching TV at home and he said
he sits on the floor about a foot or so away from the screen. "So you block
everyone else's view?" I laughed. "Yeah, but I just tell 'em to get over
Here's Dave Allen with some great standup, teaching
a kid how to read the time. One more... Dave
Allen on religion.
God obviously wasn't happy with the piddly thunder storm we had earlier
so he has sent another one. Meanwhile, it's time to do the domestics and
feed the zoo. Gary
October 29, 2011. TX Greg wrote: In all my years in the RV
biz I've never liked tent campers. Way more problems than Das-Busse. Where
the lift bars attach to roof is always a major leak area and now your not
talking rust but wood rot. That area will rot out to a point the lift bar
bolt pulls out. I've seen the cables for the top lift bars break causing
the top to come crashing down on your head. And every time you see a little
storm coming get it cranked down so it doesn't blow over. Sure they're
easy to tow and set-up but for that price why not just buy a tent???
Last time I looked inside a tent there wasn't a lot in there. Hehe.
It's not just the tent you gotta set up, it's everything that goes inside...
and if I'm only gonna camp overnight in some place, I don't wanna spend
half the night doing it. Apart from that, I prefer something that's off
the ground. Ultimately, it wouldn't matter what I bought, it'd be a compromise
one way or another. Nothing's perfect. But I appreciate the info, Greg,
and if I do get a pop-up camper I'll be sure to check the struts.
Life would be so much simpler if I didn't have this crazy idea... or
if I had plenty of dough. Another 8 grand on top of what I paid for DB
could have gotten me something
When I did Averil's shopping yesterday, there was a woman in front of
me at the checkout. After she paid her account, and all her groceries were
in her trolley, she whipped out her mobile/cell phone to make a call, and
stood there while she chatted to someone. Thanks very much. My trolley
had nowhere to go, and I couldn't move out of the way of the next customer.
SOME people. But when I mentioned it to the checkout chick, she took umbrage
because the person on the phone was a friend of hers. *Sigh*
Meanwhile, I found a series of pics on a newsgroup this morning that
I thought were worth uploading... a
1918 Chevrolet in original condition.
Beeb time: International prosecutors have had "informal contact" with
the son of slain ex-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The International Criminal
Court (ICC) said it had held talks - through intermediaries - with Saif
al-Islam about his possible surrender. Prosecutors stressed that Gaddafi's
son, who is wanted for crimes against humanity, would get a fair trial.
Saif al-Islam, who was once the presumed successor to his father, has been
in hiding for months. Fancy being unfortunate enough
to be born the son of a lunatic. At least 37 people have been killed
in crackdowns during protests calling for the downfall of the government
held across Syria after Friday prayers. The deaths took place mostly in
Homs and Hama as protesters called for a no-fly-zone to be imposed, activists
said. Despite the threat of violence, at least 170 protests took place
on Friday, the traditional day of protest. More than 3,000 people have
died in the unrest since protests broke out in March. I
suppose the prayers are akin to a psych-up session before the match.
Sons and daughters of any future UK monarch will have equal right to the
throne, after Commonwealth leaders agreed to change succession laws. The
leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries where the Queen is head of state
unanimously approved the changes at a summit in Perth, Australia. It means
a first-born daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would take precedence
over younger brothers. The ban on the monarch being married to a Roman
Catholic was also lifted. Catching up with the times.
Benny take note. A stuntman has died and another has been seriously
injured on the set of Sylvester Stallone's film sequel The Expendables
2 in Bulgaria. The stuntman, who has not been named, died while performing
a stunt which involved an explosion. The second injured man is reported
to have undergone surgery and is in a critical condition in hospital. Police
have launched an investigation into Thursday's accident which happened
15 miles outside the capital Sofia. I wonder how
that will affect the success of the movie.
A potential buyer of DB just asked a few questions about oil leaks,
water leaks, 12 volt system, etc. I'm glad he did cos I'd forgotten to
include that info. The radiator was reconditioned in 2008. And there are
no oil or water leaks. One bid so far with 3 days to go. The bid hasn't
reached the reserve yet ($2000) but it's early days, and the real action
usually doesn't happen until a few hours before the auction expires. If
I get $2500 or thereabouts I'll be happy even though I'll have lost a grand
on what I paid. That money will go back into savings and I'll go from there.
The thing about advertising an auction for a week (usually with little
or no action until the final stages) is that it provides more time to attract
potential buyers. So far there have been about 500 lookers. I only need
two or three serious bidders to stimulate a bit of competition.
Meanwhile, it's all a bit depressing. Way too much buggerizing around
and not enough action. Gary
October 28, 2011. So here I am again, back to checking out used
campers and whatever on the net. Hehe. One of the ads said "some surface
rust but nothing to worry about". Yeah, right. I won't fall for that one
again. The last time I believed that crap I was quoted $6000 to fix it.
For that kinda money I
could buy something like this.
Not sure what this is all about... some
kind of magical light show. NC Art sent the link. Wait for the initial
ads to pass then watch the show on the facade of a building in Berlin.
Back from Averil's shopping. BOOOOOORING!!! Remember that funny lady
from Laugh-In who used to say BOOOORING in an operatic voice? Ruth somebody.
I've always loved the way she did that. Anyway, Averil gave me a $2 tip.
Sheesh. She's still living in the 50s.
Beeb time: A 13-year-old boy has been pulled alive from the rubble in
south-eastern Turkey, 108 hours after an earthquake devastated his town.
The injured boy was rescued from a collapsed building in Ercis. Just hours
earlier a man was freed from a flattened apartment block and taken to hospital.
But officials say hopes are fading of finding more survivors after Sunday's
7.2-magnitude quake, which killed at least 523 people. So far 185 people
have been rescued but hundreds are still missing. Everyone
loves a miracle. It takes their minds off the devastation. French
President Nicolas Sarkozy says allowing Greece into the eurozone was a
"mistake" at the time, while Athens denies causing the debt crisis. Good
ol' hindsight. Hehe. I know the feeling. The UN Security Council
votes to end seven months of international military action in Libya, carried
out under a mandate to protect civilians. Okay, so
now it's up to the rebels to get their act together. Let's hope they can.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has opened a Commonwealth summit in Perth,
amid tight security in Australia's city. The 54-nation organisation - which
represents some 2bn people around the globe - will discuss economic growth,
climate change and human rights. 2bn? I hadn't realized
it was that many. A daily dose of aspirin should be given to people
at high risk of bowel cancer, say scientists. I've
been taking it for years as a blood thinner and anti-clotting agent.
Australia has unveiled the world's largest gold coin, weighing in at a
massive 1,000kg. The Perth Mint produced it in time for Queen Elizabeth's
visit to the city in Western Australia for the Commonwealth heads of government
meeting. The coin has a kangaroo on one side and the Queen's profile on
the other. It is nearly 80cm in diameter and 12cm thick. Perth Mint CEO
Ed Harbuz said making it was "an incredible challenge, one which few other
mints would even consider". The Australian coin is five times heavier than
the world's previous largest gold coin, made by the Royal Canadian Mint.
"We thought well, we'd better make it so much bigger that it'll stay the
biggest coin in the world for a long time," Mr Harbuz said. Australia's
coin is 99.99% pure and has a nominal value of A$1,000,000 ($1,061,000;
£663,000). The gold itself is worth more than A$50m. Imagine
handing that to the checkout chick for a $5 purchase and asking for change.
Hehe. Gold prospecting in Australia comes back into fashion. In
creeks and hollows that were once the focus of a 19th Century gold rush,
modern-day prospectors have come in search of their fortunes. Nugget by
nugget. Speck by tiny speck. Four hours' drive inland from Sydney, over
the Great Dividing Range that separates this vast continent, the scenery
is classic Australian bush. A
most interesting article about the "new" gold rush. If I ever get this
damn Odyssey happening I'll be taking a bit of poke around as well!
Volkswagen (VW) has said its net profit more than tripled in the third
quarter as demand surged for its vehicles. Nine months into the year, VW
has already exceeded its annual profit for the whole of 2010. Net profits
jumped to 7.2bn euros ($10.1bn; £6.3bn), from 2.2bn euros in the
same period last year. From the humble Beetle to
one of the most successful companies in the world. Bloody amazing.
The Taliban in Afghanistan have issued an unprecedented condolence statement
on the death of a top right-wing Pakistani politician. Maulana Abdul Ghani
died in a car crash on 26 October in the southern Pakistani province of
Balochistan. It is the first time that the Taliban have publicly admitted
receiving help from members of Pakistan's ruling establishment. Pakistan's
leadership has always denied any links to the Taliban. Methinks
me smelleth a rat. Qantas has said the ongoing strikes by members
of three unions are costing the airline 15m Australian dollars ($16m; £12m)
per week. Workers have been striking against Qantas' plans to restructure
the airline, a move that is expected to result in almost 1,000 job cuts.
Industrial action by the members has resulted in the cancellation of 129
flights and delayed another 387. Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce warned
the costs may escalate further. "This drawn out and coordinated industrial
campaign by these three unions is now having a major impact on Qantas,"
Mr Joyce said. Ansett is gone. TAA is gone. Is Qantas
Yes, it's all very well for workers to demand higher wages, better conditions
and job security but when a company is competing on an international playing
field the rules are determined by the market, not Australian workers. If
1000 jobs have to go it'll be a lot less than what goes if the company
folds. Meanwhile, the government is about to step in and sort out the mess.
Unions stuffed the British auto industry. Let's hope the same thing doesn't
happen to Qantas.
I've been feeling a bit brain dead lately... probably due to the Das
Busse thing and going almost back to square one. Oh well... Meanwhile,
it's THAT time again. Bacon, eggs and chips. And then a bit of telly. Gary
October 27, 2011. Pay day, bills paid, yadda, yadda... another
swing on the merry-go-round. BTW, I got an update on how my little bloke
in Nicaragua is doing. Anyel is 11.2 kilos now (about 20 pounds), and he'll
be 3 next January. He likes to play with toy cars so he'll end up another
revhead like Oregon Richie. The really important news is that he and his
family are in good health, he has had all his immunization shots, and they've
just had outhouses installed so they "don't have to do our physiological
needs outdoors". They speak Spanish over there so a World Vision staffer
helps them with letters and translations, etc. According to his latest
photo, Anyel is still as grumpy as ever. Hehe. I don't think he likes having
his photo taken.
I told you Oregon Richie was a revhead. He just sent this link to some
footage of highlights of the 2003 Paris Dakar rally through the desert.
Those drivers have to be nuts, but the footage is mind blowing.
Here's another of Richie's links... the Pan Am Pacific Clipper (flying
boat) that had to be rerouted from it's trip to New Zealand after news
of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor arrived, and America was at war.
called The Long Way Home.
Beeb time: Eurozone leaders agree a "three-pronged" deal, including
a 50% cut in Greek debts, which they say is key to easing region's economic
crisis. Ooer! A menage a trois! A five-day
evacuation holiday begins in the Thai capital Bangkok, allowing thousands
of people to flee as flood waters approach. I've
never experienced anything like that and I hope I never do. Former
Argentine naval officer Alfredo Astiz - known as the "Blonde Angel of Death"
- is jailed for life for torture and murder during military rule. Isn't
it amazing what a twisted mind is capable of doing? The Turkish
Red Crescent says 17 lorries carrying aid for survivors of Sunday's deadly
earthquake have been looted. Makes you wonder what
you would do yourself if you were desperate to feed yourself and your loved
ones. The wife of jailed US financial swindler Bernard Madoff admits
to CBS that the couple attempted suicide after his $65bn fraud scheme was
exposed. Which goes to prove that being exposed was
more embarrassing than the crime itself. The head of Libya's transitional
authorities has called for Nato to extend its mission in Libya until the
end of the year. National Transitional Council (NTC) Chairman Mustafa Abdul
Jalil said the extension was needed to help Libyans trying to control surplus
weapons and to deal with Gaddafi loyalists. Yes,
lots of loonies running around with guns is not a good idea. Income
inequality in the US has sharply increased in recent decades, a bipartisan
analysis has revealed. The Congressional Budget Office said income had
trebled for the richest 1% between 1979 and 2007. Meanwhile, a major poll
shows anxiety for the future is high, with a majority saying the US is
"on the wrong track". The findings emerged as police used tear gas and
mass arrests to force Occupy Wall Street protesters out of their camps
in Atlanta and Oakland. I'm certainly no expert in
these matters but it seems to me that the rich getting richer is not a
problem provided the poor don't get poorer in the process. A man
from one of India's poorest states has become the first person to win a
$1m jackpot on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Sushil
Kumar, a computer operator and tutor from the eastern state of Bihar, took
home the top prize on popular game show Kaun Banega Crorepati. The winner's
brother, Sudhir Kumar, said he was well-prepared for the show. He said
the reason that Mr Kumar was so informed was that he was a regular listener
to the BBC's Hindi service. "I never thought in my wildest dreams that
I could do this," he said. The 27-year-old, who was married five months
ago, earns a monthly salary of less than $150 (£93.75). Good
on him... well deserved indeed. And congrats to the Beeb for offering such
a great service. A message in a holy water bottle which was thrown
overboard by a Titanic victim while the ship sank has now been donated
to a heritage centre in Cork by his family. Jeremiah Burke, 19, from Glanmire
in Cork was given the bottle at the quayside in Cobh by his mother before
he set off for the US. As the Titanic sank in the early hours of 15 April,
1912, he threw the bottle and message into the sea. The bottle was washed
ashore a year later in Dunkettle, only a few miles from his family home.
The note, which read "From Titanic, goodbye all, Burke of Glanmire, Cork"
has remained in the Burke family for nearly a century. What
a terrible fate for a young man. Click
here for a photo of the note. At the end of the Korean War,
thousands of prisoners from both sides faced a choice - whether to return
home or remain with their captors. David Hawkins was one of a handful of
American GIs who chose to go to China. A
most interesting article. US efforts to reach out to Iran have been
hurt by confusion over who is running the country, Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton has told BBC Persian. "We're not quite sure who makes decisions
anymore inside of Iran," she said. Mrs Clinton said that she believes the
country is morphing into a military dictatorship. It's
a worry. And so is Hillary's hair. Forty years ago, a London publisher
was working on a groundbreaking sex manual - a "gourmet guide" to sexual
pleasure, with copious and detailed illustrations. But how could this be
done tastefully and legally? Think of The Joy of Sex and chances are your
mind will drift to an image of a man with a bushy beard and a woman with
hairy armpits. Another
most interesting article.
And that's it I'm afraid... a shorty today. Gary
October 26, 2011. DB's ad on eBay is attracting a lot of interest
- probably 99% tire kickers. Hopefully, someone who's able to do a lot
of the work themselves will come along and get themselves a bargain project.
What irks me is that I've wasted a lot of money on both Bluey and DB. If
I'd kept TT and saved all that money, I could have enough now to buy something
decent. Oh well, as Will Rogers said, good judgement comes from experience,
and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.
NC Art forwarded a bunch of Will Rogers' quotes. A couple I really like
are: If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. And... Never miss a
good chance to shut up.
Meanwhile, it's back to the drawing board. It is possible to keep Bluey
and tow something
like this for three or four grand. It would mean limited access to
some out-of-the-way places. On the other hand it would double my carrying
capacity. Here's another
one for a bit over two grand. Or there's something
like this for about 20 grand. I think I'm back to being just as confused
Beeb time: European leaders are to meet in an emergency summit in Brussels
to finalise details of a plan designed to tackle the eurozone debt crisis.
suppose a federation of states with a central government like the USA and
Oz is out of the question. An aftershock has been blamed for sparking
a riot in a Turkish prison in the eastern city of Van, one of the places
worst hit by Sunday's devastating earthquake. The trouble at the Van prison
is reported to have begun when a strong aftershock of 5.4 magnitude caused
panic among the inmates. Prisoners set fire to the jail and fought their
guards because authorities refused to let them out, reports say. A
most difficult situation indeed, and I can empathize with the prisoners'
fears and frustration. Boeing's Dreamliner jet is set for its maiden
commercial flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong, after three years of delays.
like supersonic flight a la Concorde is no longer on the agenda. Probably
too expensive and not enough bums on seats. Profits at the online
retailer Amazon have dropped 73% after the company invested heavily in
the Kindle tablet computer. Well, mine haven't even
started yet. The bodies of ex-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, his
son Mutassim and a top aide have been buried in secret in the desert, Libyan
officials say. A National Transitional Council (NTC) official told the
BBC the bodies were buried at dawn in an unknown location. This follows
days of apparent uncertainty among the new leadership about what to do
with the bodies. Gaddafi's family wanted them buried outside the former
leader's hometown of Sirte. NTC leaders had expressed a preference for
a secret burial. Not exactly what the Colonel had
in mind. The last of America's most powerful Cold War-era nuclear
bombs - the B53 - has been dismantled in Texas. Experts have separated
around 300lb (136kg) of high explosives from the bomb's uranium "pit".
Weighing 10,000lb, the B53 was the size of a minivan and said to be 600
times more destructive than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan,
in 1945. Imagine that... 600 Hiroshimas. Is that
scary or what? Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry has
unveiled a plan to reform the tax code and cut US spending. The Texas governor
said his plan centres on a flat, voluntary tax rate of 20% for incomes
and companies. The plan, called "Cut, Balance and Grow" will simplify the
tax code so Americans can "file their taxes on a postcard", Mr Perry said.
long thought a flat tax is a good idea but I'm certainly no expert in such
matters. The US and North Korea have failed to reach a deal on resuming
international negotiations on the North's nuclear programme, after two
days of talks. US negotiator Stephen Bosworth said the meeting in Geneva
had been positive. But he said there was a long history of differences
between them, which could not easily be overcome.
you only have to look at a picture of Kim Jong-il to see what the difference
is. A rare white wombat has been nursed back to health, in Ceduna,
Australia, after being found alone and unwell a month earlier, according
to local media. Funny
little dude. Check out the vid.
Way way back in 1971 when I was the greatest radio announcer God ever
created (at least that's what I thought at the time - no, not really) there
was a bloke named Bill Withers who sang a song that I still love to this
day. Ain't No Sunshine.
It's late! And the chicken schnitzels are in the pan, and the corn is
bubbling away in the pot! Gotta go. Gary
October 25, 2011. Check out this pic of a
"whole" 300m-ton iceberg (top and bottom) on Justin's Blog.
NC Art sent this pic of Miss Kentucky not knowing how to hold a stuffed
bear while also holding a microphone. How embarrassing.
Last weekend, Brisbane held its annual Zombie Walk where people get
dressed up in ghoulish outfits for the occasion. My Red Bubble mate William
Bullimore was there to capture some of the action. Check out the guy
holding the dead rat.
Stan the Lawn Man is here mowing merrily away despite the showers. So
we chatted for a while and he gave me heaps about Das Busse again. Standing
out in the weather is not doing the old girl any good and she's deteriorating.
Some of the rust is getting worse and I'm nowhere near close to getting
it fixed. Soooo... she's gotta go. It'll mean a loss but so be it. The
bloke who sold it to me painted a rosy picture on eBay and I fell for it.
By the time I saw DB in the "flesh" it was too late to turn back. My bad,
as the Yanks say. Somebody with a bit of handyman nous could probably restore
DB to reasonable condition without spending a fortune. But that ain't me.
Okies, I've been fiddling around with an
ad on eBay for a hour or so, so that's it. DB has to go. I don't want
anyone to fall into the same trap I did so I've told it like it is. It
won't appeal to most people but I don't need most people. Anyway, we'll
see how it goes.
Beeb time: The Turkish government pledges more aid, as thousands spend
a second night in freezing conditions after Sunday's earthquake, which
killed at least 279. And we think we've got problems.
United States diplomats have said that the first day of direct talks being
held with North Korea in Geneva was useful. The talks are aimed at restarting
negotiations on nuclear disarmament. It is the second such meeting in less
than three months. Chief US negotiator Stephen Bosworth said the talks
were moving in a positive direction. I hope so. The
alternative doesn't sound too flash. The bodies of 53 Gaddafi loyalists
have been found at a hotel in the Libyan city of Sirte after apparently
being executed, a human rights group says. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said
the victims - some of whom had their hands bound - died about a week ago.
It is the latest accusation of atrocities in Libya committed by both sides
during the eight-month conflict. If nobody gave a
shit about the death of Gaddafi, why would they care about the death of
his loyalists? A highway in the US state of Utah was temporary closed
after a lorry carrying at least 20m bees overturned, freeing the insects.
The bees were being transported to California, ready to pollinate an almond
crop next spring. Interstate 15 was closed down for several hours while
local beekeepers worked overnight to recapture the bees. "The driver lost
control, hit the concrete barrier and rolled over," said Corporal Todd
Johnson of the Utah Highway Patrol. "Of course, we then had bees everywhere."
time. Two Russian families are united by a terrible event more than
a decade ago. Their newborn daughters were accidentally mixed up in the
maternity hospital and grew up with the "wrong" parents. A
very sad story that I hope eventually has a happy ending. Read
the article here. A single malt distilled in one of Scotland's
most remote distilleries has been named the world's best whisky by a leading
expert. Old Pulteney was crowned World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray's
2012 Whisky Bible. The 21-year-old single malt scored a record-equalling
97.5 points out of 100. The whisky is matured in American oak casks and
bottled at the Pulteney distillery in Wick, Caithness. Whisky expert Mr
Murray tasted more than 1,200 new drams before deciding on the winner.
And he gets paid for that? Actually, it's interesting because the next
street up from mine is Pulteney and I've always thought it was a strange
name. Now I know where it came from - Scotland. Mark Post has been
given €300,000 to make a hamburger, in one year. Easy money, you might
think, but try doing that without using meat that has come from an animal.
interesting article about how we might grow meat in factories instead of
The day has flown, mainly because of the DB thing. It's been on my mind
for a while. Oh well... Time to feed the inmates. Gary
October 24, 2011. I watched part 2 of the history of the motor
car in Oz last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. It brought back memories
of drive-in movies, squealing tires off traffic lights, sex in the back
seat and all that cool stuff. So I spent a while looking for suitable material
on Youchewb but couldn't find anything. Drat. There was a great segment
about a woman who drove an early '50s model Austin A40 in a Redex Trial
over some of Australia's most inhospitable country and roughest outback
roads and returned to Sydney in one piece. Her philosophy was if it ain't
broke, don't fix it, so she just kept driving and daren't check under the
bonnet/hood in case anything was wrong. Peugeot 203s and VW Beetles did
well in those early rallies.
Anyway, it was a great show. I love all that historic stuff about motor
cars and how they impacted on life in Oz. One bloke was reminiscing about
his youth and how he and his mates drove around the town block on Saturday
nights checking out the chicks. "We didn't go anywhere, we just drove around
the block for a couple of hours." Yes, I remember those days very well.
NC Art had this to say about my Bic mechanical pencil: Seems your
Bic writing instrument is a gussied up version of a plainer device, like
see thru barrel, rubber grip and refillable. I use the commoners' version:
no special grip, three leads and non refillable--I think. A pack of ten
for $3,50 in grocery stores. Bic is an international company founded by
one Baron Marcal Bich in France. To forestall being called The Bitch the
products are patented BIC. The French societe bought the American Waterman
Pen Company to operate an American subsidiary for making all manner of
reusable gadgets such as a cigarette lighter instead of a friction match.
Ain't that wonderful?
And non-reusable as well... throw-away stuff like BIC shavers and ballpoints.
I still use a Shaeffer electro-plated gold ballpoint made in the USA given
to me for my 42nd birthday 25 years ago. I think I've only used one refill
so obviously I prefer using a keyboard. But the ink still flows nicely
even after all those years. It's funny ya know - because I'm a writer,
people keep giving me PENS even though I rarely used them. HANDY HINT:
If your ballpoint ink fails to run, hold the refill under running hot water
for a few minutes.
As to the rail tunnel proposed to run between the US and Russia under
the Bering Straits, Art wonders what could be traded: Native Alaska
tribe folk are great at smoking salmon, making mukluks to keep feet warm,
drying strips of beef for chewing (sometimes referred to as squaw candy
but liquor is still quicker). While I was musing, I did an international
survey of my luncheon fruit bowl. There was cantaloupe from Mexico, blueberries
from Canada, banana from Brazil, grapes from California, and pineapple
from Hawaii. The milk and oatmeal cookies spread with peanut butter are
domestic--I think. Alabama and Georgia grow lots of goobers. Meanwhile
Russia has caviar, rockets for launching satellites and Cossack dancers.
Beeb time: A strong quake has shattered buildings near the Turkish city
of Van, killing at least 138 people and trapping an unknown number under
rubble. Casualties are reported to be particularly high in the town of
Ercis, close to the Iranian border, where dozens of buildings fell. Reports
spoke of thousands of residents running screaming in the streets. Fears
rose of a death toll in the hundreds as rescuers worked into the night
to find survivors. Another message from a disgruntled
Allah? Libya's transitional leaders declare national liberation
before a huge, jubilant crowd in Benghazi, where the revolt against Gaddafi
began. Time now to get down to the boring business
of living a normal life. Tunisians flock to cast their votes in
the first free election of the Arab Spring, nine months after the fall
of former President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Out
with the old and in with the new. British PM David Cameron clashes
with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who says he is "sick" of the UK
offering advice on the euro. Hehe. Yes, I suppose
it would be rather annoying. But you can understand the Poms not being
able to resist having a dig at their neighbors. Italian rider Marco
Simoncelli has died after a horrific crash at the Malaysian MotoGP in Sepang.
The race was stopped on lap two when Simoncelli's bike veered across the
track at turn 11 into the path of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi. The
24-year-old had his helmet knocked off and was hit by both other riders.
Simoncelli's death comes a week after British IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon
was killed in Las Vegas following a 15-car crash. Those
guys live on a knife edge, but I guess they know and accept the risk.
A hunt is under way off the coast of Western Australia for a Great White
shark which killed a US diver. George Thomas Wainwright, 32, from Texas,
was diving off Rottnest Island near Perth when he was killed. Fisheries
officials have issued a kill order and laid baited hooks in the hope of
capturing what is believed to be a 3m (10ft) Great White. I
dunno what good that's gonna do. What the hell does a shark know about
right and wrong? New Zealand were crowned world champions (in the
Rugby Union World Cup final) for the first time in 24 years after squeezing
past an inspired France team by a single point. Tony Woodcock's early try
and a penalty from fourth-choice fly-half Stephen Donald were enough to
see the All Blacks home in an extraordinary match that defied all pre-match
predictions. Pretty snazzy for a country with more
sheep than people. A soldier who was decorated by the Queen for
heroism during the Korean War has met her once again, after nearly 60 years.
Arthur Pembroke, 83, met the Queen as she continued her 11-day tour of
Australia with a visit to an officer training academy in Canberra. The
ex-officer last met the Queen when he received the Military Cross during
a Buckingham Palace ceremony in 1953. The monarch chatted to Mr Pembroke
during a garden party held following the ceremony. "She impressed me a
great deal - and has right from the time I [first] met her," he said. What
a lovely story and a wonderful honor for old Arty. Muammar Gaddafi's
website, Seven Days News, says it has published the last will of the deceased
former leader of Libya. The document was reportedly handed to three of
his relatives, one of whom was killed, the second arrested and the third
managed to escape the fighting in Sirte. Read
the English translation here.
When I read the news about the death of another race rider/driver I
figured it was only a matter of time before Ohio Jace wrote again, and
sure enough he did just now. He's a keen follower of motor racing as are
the neighboring kids. They'd arrived earlier to watch the V8 Supercars
race live from Australia's Gold Coast. Jace also mentioned the American
killed by a shark. He was from Houston.
So now I've got all this Latin stuff rolling around in my head... rhumbas,
sambas and whatever. And to make it worse, Oregon Richie sent me a link
to Edmundo Ros and his orchestra. Did I tell you I did ballroom dancing
as a teen? Oh yes... twinkle toes I was. And the dance school offered me
a job teaching ballroom, but I declined cos I was afraid of catching girl
germs. I used to attend the Arthur Murray Academy of Dancing. I keep bumping
into these damn Arthurs for some reason. Anyway, there's only one way to
change the playlist in the brain and that's to listen to a new song. Here's
one of my all-time favs by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. This
one's for Cody.
Yep, time to head for the kitchen again. Home-made burgers and salad
tonight. You'd have to be nutz to buy the ready-made ones from the supermarket.
They taste like they're made from old tires. Gary
October 23, 2011. A wonderful tale about a
dwarf on a bus from Billy Connolly.
And here's what Billy has to say about people
who don't like him.
Did I tell you I use a propelling (mechanical) pencil? Yep. It's
a BIC Atlantis. I bought two... couple of bucks each, and they come
with a phial of spare graphite refills and erasers. I like making notes
in pencil as opposed to ballpoint because pencil can be easily erased.
And when the graphite wears down you just click the button at the top and
presto, new lead. No messy pencil sharpener and shavings. Cool huh? There's
no end to my thrilling anecdotes, ladies and genitals.
Justin was talking about organs (shuddup) and Procol Harum's Whiter
Shade of Pale. Then someone said that song was a steal from Bach before
J chipped in and said it wasn't a direct copy. Anyway, all this organ (shuddup)
stuff got me thinking about my old band days so I checked out Santana's
Oye Como Va on Youchewb. It's had over 9m views. But I noticed on the
comments that a lot of people were making remarks about race, religion
and politics. What? What the hell's that got to do with great music? I
guess some bigots will use any excuse to vent their idiotic spleens. By
the way, Oye Como Va colloquially means "Hey, how's it going?"
Tito Puente wrote the song back in 1963, and here
he is performing it at a jazz festival in 1993.
And remember back in 1961, four blokes dressed in suits and ties came
out amongst all the Be Bop A Lula and did a
thing called Take Five. One bloke described that sax solo as being
as smooth as a dry martini. I remember hearing that tune for the first
time on my dad's home-built radiogram. What would we do without Youchewb?
So wot's happening at the Beeb? The commander of forces who captured
Muammar Gaddafi has given details of the Libyan ex-leader's last moments.
Omran al-Oweib told the BBC that the injured colonel was dragged from a
drainage pipe where he was hiding in Sirte, took 10 steps and collapsed
amid gunfire on Thursday. He said it was impossible to tell who had fired
the fatal bullet. His body - and that of his son Mutassim, who was also
killed on Thursday - have been placed in a meat storage facility in the
city of Misrata. In an exclusive BBC interview, Mr Oweib said: "I didn't
see who killed, which weapon killed Gaddafi." He added that some of his
fighters had wanted to shoot the colonel, but that he had sought to keep
him alive. After Col Gaddafi collapsed, Mr Oweib said, he drove him to
a field hospital where he was pronounced dead. "I tried to save his life
but I couldn't," the commander said. I find it curious
that many people queued up to view Gaddafi's body are yelling "God is great!"
Apparently God is forgiven for being not so great for the past 42 years.
UK Chancellor George Osborne declares "real progress" among Europe's finance
ministers to beat the eurozone debt crisis. I hope
he's right. The Aussie dollar is bouncing up and down like a 'roo on steroids
because of the uncertainty. A Great White shark kills an American
diver in what is thought to be the second fatal shark attack off western
Australia in 12 days. The diver, 32, who has not been named, was diving
alone off Rottnest Island near Perth on Saturday. Welcome
to my world, said the shark. A night of drinking should be followed
by two or three alcohol-free days, according to new advice from doctors
in the UK. What? Speak up, doc! I can't hear a bloody
word you're saying. Band leader Edmundo Ros, the man credited with
popularising Latin American music in the UK, has died at the age of 100.
His performances at the Bagatelle Restaurant in London attracted the Royal
Family and celebrities of the day, sealing his success. The Queen, then
Princess Elizabeth, danced her first dance in public to his music. In later
years he and his orchestra were often invited to play at Buckingham Palace.
Latin music is for dancers. I can't resist the stuff. Russian officials
have backed the idea of a rail tunnel linking Russia and the US. It would
run under the Bering Strait for 105km (65 miles) - twice the length of
the UK-France Channel Tunnel. The tunnel itself has been estimated to cost
$10-12bn and to take 10-15 years to build. How interesting!
Oregon Richie, who loves trains, might live to travel from the States to
Moscow! Check out the
I can't help myself... gotta include Santana's
Evil Ways performed live at Woodstock in 1969. Jeez, I must be getting
old. Was it really that long ago?
And remember Rick Wakeman? Wow, could that bloke tickle
the ivories or what? Incredible! And what about his Journey
To The Center Of The Earth? I have the album on CD with the narration
and everything. It's awesome.
Yes, I know... today's Waffle has been a concert with a bit of comedy
thrown in for good measure. But what the heck. It's all good fun and I
wonder how many of you are familiar with the musos I've followed down through
the years. Anyway, it's THAT time again, dammit. This cooking gig is a
pain in the ass sometimes. Gary
October 22, 2011. Here's a bit of fun from the Two Ronnies about
the new neighbors after moving into town. I love all that head-swiveling
Corbett does when he's confused.
Justin posted a true story about his great grandfather who one day up
and died. A dapper gent was he, and much loved in the town where there
was a grand turn-out for the funeral. And grand it was. The
organist was at his finest. As they wheeled Old Teddy down the aisle,
the clever lad up in the choir loft was improvising at his best - only
a few of "the bene addicti" were able to discern the original to today's
funeral procession. Indeed, t'was Procol Harum's song "A whiter shade
of pale. . . . ." Justin's dad (who told the story) said it was "hootingly
appropriate for so he was."
Apparently, the organist had a cheeky Irish sense of humor and was oft
given to spontaneity. One time, while Father was walking up and down the
aisle sprinkling holy water on the congregation, the organist launched
into Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head. Father wasn't amused, and sent
the organist packing. The following Sunday, the organist was happily tickling
the keys at the church down the road whose pastor recognized real talent
when he heard it. And so the legend lived on.
Meanwhile, it seems certain groups in the US, including One Million
Moms, are campaigning to keep Ben and Jerry's Schweddy Balls ice cream
out of their supermarket freezers because it might upset the little kiddies
and lead them astray. TX
Greg sent this link.
Ya know, religious and righteous people believe in God, right? And they
believe that God created everything, right? So that must include all our
wobbly bits. What was God thinking when he created those things? And what
was he thinking when Adam first bonked Eve? Believers don't wanna contemplate
that. Hehe. It's like contemplating what we did before we invented toilet
paper or, indeed, toilets. Or soap. Or toothpaste. Or deodorant.
I was just thinking about the little flat I moved into after my world
fell apart in the mid '90s. It was in a block of 8 in Petersham, Sydney.
Directly opposite my flat lived a middle age couple. The wife cornered
me one day and told me about a local doctor who was stalking her. He would
park his Porsche across the road and spy on her apartment. I believed her
at first, only to discover after I'd reported the incident to police that
she was psycho. Next door to her flat lived Lindsay and Sue. Nuff said.
Adjacent to my flat were two young sisters from Borneo, one of whom was
desperate to marry an Australian citizen so she could stay in Oz. I thought
she was just a friendly girl who loved cooking and sharing her food with
me. Hehe. Oops! Down below on the ground floor were a bunch of Fijians
who were into drinking lots of karva. But they were okay - although one
of them delighted in telling me stories about the old days in Fiji when
cannibalism was practiced. Opposite them were two young heroin addicts
and thieves. One night, one of them threw metholated spirits over the other
and set him alight. Next door to them was a female drug dealer who fitted
her flat with lots of barred windows and a security door. And in the fourth
downstairs flat was a married couple with a young child. They were okay.
Right next door to our building was the Boarding House, a 19th century
Victorian mansion where Lindsay worked. All the tenants were psychiatric
outpatients. Yep, that was quite an experience... and I'm not sure all
that much has changed since.
Mind you I was kinda used to loonies by that stage. My ex biz partner
was a psychopath, and most of the people who worked on the TV series were
whacko. The bloke who operated a video edit suite in Petersham (which was
the reason I moved there) was and still is nuts. Matter of fact, dear Breth,
if you were to ask me who I've met in my life that was 100% sane I think
I'd have to pass. Hehe. NC Art comes pretty close but even he's not the
By the way, Oregon Richie made this comment about the demise of Gaddafi:
news about Muammar the Libyan despot is of course not a huge surprise and
a bit nauseating as well. Yep... that's how it ends. Saddam
in his rat-hole, Hitler in his bunker with a cyanide pill and pistol, the
shot-up corpse scenes of various South American druglords and warlords,
Cambodian killers, NAZI criminals hanging from ropes, and on and on and
on. Begging for mercy, indeed. I would bet that just infuriated
his attackers even more. Mussolini hanging from wires with his mistress
in the streets of Rome.... yeah. Predictable indeed. I wonder
if NOW the Libyan government... such as it is, will return the infamous
Pan Am "Lockerbie" bomber to western gallows if even he's still alive.
Beeb time: Libya's authorities have come under pressure to give a full
account of the death of ex-leader Col Muammar Gaddafi. The US said they
should do it in an "open and transparent manner". The UN called for a full
investigation, after video footage showed Col Gaddafi captured alive -
and then dead. His burial has been delayed with officials divided about
what to do with the body. A post-mortem is expected. What
an ugly son of a bitch he was with those beady little black eyes.
All US troops will leave Iraq by the end of the year, President Obama announces,
bringing to an end a nine-year military campaign there. I
guess that'll take the focus off Afghanistan for a while. Eurozone
finance ministers approve the next tranche of Greek bailout funds in a
bid to save the country from a potentially disastrous default. As
one commentator said, if Europe doesn't stay united it'll go back to the
bad old days of everyone hating each other. BP has won approval
to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, 18 months after a well blowout
killed 11 workers and caused an environmental disaster. Regulators approved
plans for drilling to depths of up to 6,000ft about 200 miles off the coast
of New Orleans. US officials said in a statement: "Our review of BP's plan
included verification of BP's compliance with the heightened standards."
The Gulf's Kaskida oilfield could contain up to 3m barrels of crude. Money
talks, yeah? So does oil. In November 2010, an Afghan border policeman
with an excellent record of service killed six US soldiers as they all
sat down for tea during a routine training session. Why did he do it? A
study of his life story - and his mobile phone - provides only a few clues.
the article here. Two US senators have proposed a plan to offer visas
for foreigners buying homes worth $500,000 (£314,000) or more. Democrat
Chuck Schumer and Republican Mike Lee, sponsoring a bill, say it is a move
to increase housing demand. "Our housing market will never begin a true
recovery as long as our housing stock so greatly exceeds demand. This is
not a cure-all, but it could be part of the solution," said Mr Schumer,
a Democrat from New York. It's the other way around
in Oz. We're about 200,000 homes short. The US Senate has blocked
a key piece of President Barack Obama's jobs bill that would have imposed
higher taxes on the rich to help create jobs for teachers, police and emergency
workers. Senators voted 50-50 on the legislation, 10 short of the 60 votes
needed to allow debate on the measure. The proposal is part of Mr Obama's
$447bn (£283bn) package designed to kickstart the flagging US economy.
you don't tax the rich, who do you tax? Go figure.
Remember that bloke in Ohio who owned all those exotic animals and set
them free before shooting himself? He lived just 30 minutes away from Ohio
Jace who says he's been in trouble with the law for years, including a
year in prison. Currently in Ohio if you do NOT breed, show, or sell
exotic animals in Ohio you do not even have to report ownership of such
animals. Your dog needs a license, but not your Lion, or Cheetah, etc.
The state can not even tell you where or how many such places there are
in the state because they DO NOT know. Sounds like a bit of a worry.
you want to keep a native exotic animal (bears) they have to be registered
with the ODNR, which means they have the right to inspect the premises
where the animal is to be kept. That does not apply to non-native species
(lion, tiger). Remember that pic Oregon Richie sent the other day?
Maybe it wasn't taken in Africa... maybe it was taken in Ohio:
Jace goes on to say that the $3m motor home whose link I posted the
other day is "ugly enough to scare the mozzies away". Hehe. Averil told
me yesterday that the house opposite mine in Hegarty St Glebe was auctioned
this weekend with a reserve of $920,000. She saw it in the paper. What
am I supposed to do? Burst into tears?
Love him or loathe him, Alan Jones is a most controversial figure in
Oz, and our most popular talk-back radio announcer. He has very strong
opinions, including those on climate change and the credibility of our
PM Julia Gillard. I'm not sure you can watch this interview with him outside
of Oz but give it a shot. It's
Time to feed the zoo again. Seeya tomorrow. Gary
October 21, 2011. Lots of ones and twos... 10212011. NC Art commented
on Waltzing Matilda: Poor swag man couldn't out run the police and lost
the jumbuck that he seized with such glee. Such is life on the road. The
guitar rendition of Waltzing Matilda is a good one. Thanks for the link.
Yep, Tommy Emmanuel is one heck of a guitarist... self taught, can't
read a note of music. Here
he is live in Budapest introducing his "band" before launching into
Blue Moon. One of the commenters suggests Tommy has a brain implanted in
his thumb. :o)
On the subject of Korea's Got Talent, Art has this to say: That Korean
lad's voice was as good--even untrained--as some I've heard singing at
the Metropolitan Opera. I hope he has a chance to make up for a shitty
existence sleeping in toilets for so many years. Yes, as one of the
judges said, "I just want to see him happy."
And on Royalty? Too bad Her Highness must make do with accommodations
in government house. How republican! A visit to Toronto once coincided
with the Queen Mum's arrival years ago. All Toronto was agog to see her
colors flying over a downtown hotel where the top floor was kept reserved
for her and her entourage. Canadians are not more royalist than Aussies,
I think, but the reverence for this amazing woman was palpable throughout
the province of Ontario. Touching, really. Our host, the hard headed boss
of Toronto Hydro & Gas which controlled billions of public dollars,
was no exception; his voice changed tenor when he spoke of the Queen Mum.
Yes, everybody loved the Queen Mum, and I heard she owed her longevity
to keeping a bottle of gin hidden in the cupboard under the kitchen sink
hehe. I believe she enjoyed a regular tipple. Art probably remembers her
during the war when she regularly visited bomb sites during to Blitz to
empathise with ordinary Londoners and offer her condolences. She was indeed
a lady of the people.
Beeb time: Libya's Col Muammar Gaddafi was killed in crossfire in an
assault on his birthplace of Sirte, officials say. Acting Prime Minister
Mahmoud Jibril said he had been shot in the head in an exchange between
Gaddafi loyalists and National Transitional Council fighters. He confirmed
that Col Gaddafi had been taken alive, but had died before reaching hospital.
Nato's governing body, meeting in the coming hours, is expected to declare
an end to its Libyan bombing campaign. Video footage suggests Col Gaddafi
was dragged through the streets. It is unclear from the footage, broadcast
by al-Jazeera TV, whether he was alive or dead at the time. Apparently
he was begging his captors for mercy. How pathetic. The Basque separatist
group Eta announces to the BBC a "definitive cessation of its armed activities",
a move hailed by the PM as "a victory for democracy". It's
a victory for common sense. Potatoes have gone from nation-building
superfoods to national pariahs. Why? An
interesting article about the much (and unfairly) maligned spud. Cash-strapped
car maker Saab has secured a $70m (£44.6m) investment from a US private
equity group. North Street Capital is paying $10m for 2.38 million new
shares in Saab's parent company, Swedish Automobile. It is providing a
further $60m as a loan. This is the second deal between the two firms in
less than a month. The Connecticut-based investor agreed to buy the carmaker's
Spyker luxury sports car business for 32m euros ($43.9m, £28m) on
29 September. Bit different to the billions it took
to keep Ford, GM and Chrysler afloat. A digital camera that allows
photographers to focus their pictures after taking them has gone on sale.
Rather than recording a single version of an image, the Lytro captures
data about the intensity and direction of all the light entering its lenses.
That information can be reorganised later with the option to change which
parts are blurred and which are sharp. The "light field" technology was
developed by company founder Ren Ng while he was at Stanford University.
How about that? Bloody amazing.
Well, the Colonel certainly hadn't planned on such a wretched ending
to his 42 year reign - being found hiding in a drain. Neither did Saddam
Hussein nor Hitler nor so many other pathetic despots. And there was Gaddafi
with a bullet wound to the head begging for mercy. Days ago he was desperately
trying to rally his supporters to fill Libya's streets with rivers of blood.
But before we get too excited about Gaddafi's demise, let's hope one lunatic
is not replaced by another.
think it's time for a bit of Aussie stand-up in a pub.
As to the Aussie accent, here's
Adam Hills to explain a few things. I have to say I don't end sentences
with an upward inflection. Many old school newsreaders used to emphasise
the noun instead of the adjective. A brown dog would become a brown DOG
instead of a BROWN dog. And they would always emphasise the last word in
a sentence. "Gaddafi was found hiding in a stormwater DRAIN." It was a
mechanical type of newsreading where the eyes absorbed the words and the
mouth spat them out without going via the brain. I was guilty somewhat
of that technique when I read commercials.
Shopping's done. Averil has her bits and pieces... and we had our little
chat. She mentioned Betty asking to be driven around the grounds of Government
House in a golf buggy to check out the kangaroos. Hehe. Makes a change
from corgis. Just checked Canberra weather and it's very nice... mostly
sunny with tops in the mid to high 20s C (pretty much the same as here
in Taree). So Betty's probably having the time of her life. Averil also
commented on Betty alighting from the Royal aircraft that brought her to
Oz. It didn't land at a commercial airport so Her Madge had to walk down
a flight of stairs that were wheeled up to the plane. But even at 85, Her
Madge managed the steep descent with no problem at all, unassisted no less.
Not bad for an old girl, and a lot more dignified than the emergency escape
And now, ladies and genitals, it's time for the same old, same old routine...
cooking for the zoo. Bleh. Gary
October 20, 2011. And here we are again. TX
Greg sent a link to a $3m motorhome. Hello? How much? That's a tad
out of my range, Greg. He says it's got at least a 4' long wiper blade.
After you've checked it out, imagine that parked beside a creek way out
in the sticks. How absurd would that look? Nah... I think I'll stick to
By the way, the savings plan for DB's restoration ain't going too well.
Things keep cropping up... the computer crash, the purchase of a stand-by
Acer netbook, the mouth lesion, the latest power bill and various other
things. You know the story... one step forward, two steps back. I got three
numbers in Lotto last night but that ain't enough. Bleh. Oh well... just
keep pluggin' along. It's either dream or no dream, and what's the point
of no dream?
Yes, speaking of Mark Knopfler (which we are now), here he is with another
of my favs Chet Atkins playing an
acoustic version of Lennon's Imagine.
And here's Tommy Emmanuel, Oz guitarist. When Banjo Patterson wrote
the lyrics to Waltzing Matilda back in 1895 (Australia's unofficial anthem),
not in a million years would he have
expected it to sound like this.
And now it's heart strings time. Check out this homeless
kid who steals the show on Korea's Got Talent. And all the while he
appears totally bewildered by all the fuss.
Pardon my reminiscing here, but does anyone remember the Spencer Davis
Group and young Steve Winwood with Keep On Running? Here's a paste from
Youchewb comments: The Spencer Davis Group played at a little club called
Burtons in Uxbridge in the 60's, one evening they announced 'we are going
to play a new song, never played in the UK before', and then played this....
my Dad was there :) And this one: A teenage, whiter than white Brit,
with a voice like a southern blues belter......what a gift! Yes, most
extraordinary. I used to play this song at Long John's Disco when I was
the DJ there in 1967. Here's
the TV clip from 1966.
Jeez, I could go on and on and on but I better not. Nuffs nuff.
Beeb time: The Greek parliament gives initial backing to the latest
austerity bill as police and protesters clash in Athens. Seems
to me they don't have a lotta choice. The Welfare State can't afford the
welfare any more. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives
in Kabul for a visit aimed at encouraging the Afghans to continue efforts
for reconciliation with the Taliban. Yes, apart from
anything else, it's cheaper than war. Police have shot and killed
dozens of exotic animals that escaped from a private zoo in Zanesville,
Ohio. Sheriff Matt Lutz said he personally gave the order to shoot the
escaped animals, including grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, tigers and
lions. The animals' owner, Terry Thompson, was found dead at the zoo, and
police believe he killed himself. Among those killed were 17 lions and
18 Bengal tigers. US nature TV host Jack Hanna said the killing of the
tigers was especially tragic as there were only about 1,400 remaining in
the world. Six animals - three leopards, one grizzly bear and two monkeys
- were captured and have been sent to the nearby Columbus Zoo. One wolf
was also found dead, leaving just a monkey unaccounted for. How
bizarre. Apparently Ohio's regulations about keeping exotic animals are
pretty lax. One of the most powerful satellites ever built has headed
into orbit on a Russian Proton rocket. The Viasat-1 spacecraft will deliver
broadband services to customers in the US and Canada. With a total data
throughput of some 140 Gbps, the satellite has more capacity than all other
communication satellites over North America combined. The
internet is here to stay, folks. The film River Phoenix was working
on when he died is to be finished and released, 18 years after his death,
the director has announced. George Sluizer told The Hollywood Reporter
he hopes to release Dark Blood next year. The filmmaker said he plans to
ask Phoenix's brother Joaquin to record the film's voiceover because "the
voices of both brothers are very much alike". Phoenix died of a drugs overdose
in 1993, aged 23. The story concerns a widower living on a nuclear testing
site in the desert, who comes to the rescue of a couple of honeymooners
when their car breaks down. I was a fan of River
Pheonix but I suspect the drugs started to affect his brain.
Here's a 1991 interview
is visiting Oz. The royal visit coincides with CHOGM (Commonwealth
Heads of Government Meeting) in Perth soon. Meanwhile, she's being chauffeured
around in a Range Rover, which is a change from the Royal Rolls she used
to whizz around in in the old days. Oz has been toying with the idea of
becoming a republic for a few years now (it's currently a Constitutional
Monarchy) but many Aussies still regard Betty with great affection. Whether
that affection will be transferred to people like William and Kate after
Betty abdicates or dies, remains to be seen. I personally have no problem
with Oz being a Constitutional Monarchy and am quite happy for it to remain
so. For all intents and purposes we're an independent nation. All ties
to Mother England are largely ceremonial. It's the old apron strings thing
ya know... mom's cooking and all that. Anyway, there's a serious lack of
palaces in Oz and she's had to make do with Government
House in Canberra, which are pretty flash digs by Oz standards. If
they'd asked, I could have loaned them Das Busse for a week or so. Meanwhile,
Betty will get a taste of Australian wildlife... there are lots of kangaroos
hopping about the grounds of Government House.
Just watching the TV news about the Queen in Oz. Our PM Julia Gillard
didn't courtsey when she shook hands with Her Majesty... she's a republican.
But a couple of girls in the crowd held up a big sign, "We Love Lizzie!"
Meanwhile, it's time to feed the zoo. Crumbed prawns and chips with a squeeze
of lemon. Boom boom. Gary
October 19, 2011. Do you think I can get that I'll Be Gone song
by Spectrum with the harmonica out of my head? No way, Jose. It just keeps
going around and around. But I do love that harmonica. Spectrum was known
as a "progressive" rock band... whatever that means. NC Art reckons old
songs are making a comeback: Old tunes seem to be in vogue. Harry Belafonte
is flogging a new album on TV and was a guest on Jon Stewart's Today show
last night. Stewart started humming one of his old songs, and the civil
right's activist joined in a duet. I didn't know he was still alive. Likewise,
Tony Bennett is still in the game and appeared in an earlier show. To my
ear he was always a quarter off-key, but sang a few lines and he's near
90 I think.
Good old Harry. Isn't he the Hole In The Bucket Dear Liza person? Art
reckons I should get back into radio. Hehe. Nah. It's a wanker's game.
The problem with being a radio announcer is that you're expected to be
interested in EVERYTHING. One time a bloke asked me what the current cricket
score was and I didn't have a clue! Sport schmort.
And on the subject of Oregon Richie's comment: Oregon Richie spoke
of the Jerry jets' fuel limitations. True, and a fine discovery for Brit
and American fighter planes. The jets had to head for a landing field which
presented helpless and slow moving targets. Fine with me, because with
the jets firing the damned things would cut up a bomber in flight and be
gone before anyone could get one in his gunsight.
I would have been hopeless in the military. I can't even gut a fish
let alone drop bombs or fire a gun at someone. One time, when I was 16,
a group of drunken teens walked
into a milk bar where my mate and I were playing a pin-ball machine.
One of the drunks tilted the machine while my mate was playing, so I pushed
the guy and said, "Whaddaya thinkya doin'?" "Wanna make something of it?"
"Yeah... you and me...outside... now!" Well, I almost had the kid bluffed
but his mates talked him into accepting my challenge. Damn! So we stepped
outside into the street and the kid belted the crap outta me. But there
was a consolation. My mate took me back to his place and gave me lots of
tender loving care... and a couple of bandaids. Made me feel pretty special.
Hehe. But when I arrived home I got no such sympathy from my mother. There
I was all black and blue and bandaged and all she could say was, "Serves
you damn right!"
I just posted one of the pics of the Motor
Rail on Red Bubble thinking that maybe one of the arty-farty types
might think it was okay. Hehe. Guess what?
Beeb time: Jubilant crowds in Israel and the Palestinian territories
celebrate Gilad Shalit's historic swap for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.
home. A 48-hour general strike is expected to bring Greece to a
standstill as parliament votes on another round of tough austerity measures.
don't understand how you're supposed to fix being broke by spending more.
What do the strikers hope to gain? A woman who allegedly chained
four mentally disabled adults in a Philadelphia basement had identification
documents for as many as 50 people, it has emerged. Police allege Linda
Ann Weston, 51, stole disability benefits, and say the documents suggest
her fraud extended far beyond the four known victims. Weston previously
served a prison sentence for starving a man to death.
what a nasty piece of work she is. US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton has made an unannounced visit to Libya aimed at showing support
for the Libyan people and building ties. Mrs Clinton was in the capital
Tripoli for only a few hours - the first US cabinet-level official to visit
since Col Muammar Gaddafi was ousted. She said she hoped that Col Gaddafi
would be captured or killed. I wish she'd do something
about that hair. Republican presidential hopefuls have clashed sharply
in their latest televised debate in the economically depressed state of
Nevada. Herman Cain - who has jumped in the polls despite having never
won an election - came under heavy fire in the opening minutes for his
9-9-9 tax plan. The fiercest exchange was between Mitt Romney and Rick
Perry on immigration. All are vying for the Republican nomination to challenge
Democratic President Barack Obama in 2012. The games
people play. Ho hum. The US Senate has blocked a proposal by the
Obama administration to limit potatoes in school lunches. The lawmakers
also backed an amendment which bars putting any limits on serving other
vegetables in US schools. The administration's proposal had envisaged that
pupils would have no more than two servings a week of potatoes and other
starchy vegetables. Government health officials say pupils should have
more diverse diets, because they get enough potatoes already. I
honestly don't remember a single potato being available at our school tuck
shop. These days I dunno what I'd do without my spuds. A handwritten
letter from Sir Paul McCartney inviting a mystery drummer to audition for
the Beatles is to go under the hammer in London next month. The 1960 letter
offers the audition on condition the drummer be available for a two-month
trip to Hamburg, Germany. Pete Best was the group's drummer at the time,
who was replaced by Ringo Starr two years later. Christie's said the letter
was expected to fetch up to £9,000 ($14,000) at the auction on 15
November. Dated 12 August 1960, the letter was discovered inside a book
by an anonymous collector at a car boot sale in Bootle, Liverpool. Sir
Paul wrote it in response to a notice in the Liverpool Echo from the drummer
advertising their availability. "We would like to offer you an audition
for the position of drummer in the group," the musician wrote. "You will,
however, need to be free soon for a trip to Hamburg (expenses paid £18
per week (approx) for 2 months). If interested ring Jacaranda club and
ask for a member of The Beatles. Yours sincerely, Paul McCartney - The
Beatles". Three days later, on 15 August, The Beatles travelled as
a five-piece along with Stuart Sutcliffe to Germany for their gigs. Jeez,
fancy that... 18 quid a week. Hehe. I was almost making that myself as
a clerk in the Public Service!
Have you ever seen those ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics? They're
actually pretty easy to figure out if you know how. And Ronnie Barker
is an expert Egyptologist.
So how do I get that song I'll Be Gone outta my head? Easy. Watch another
one. I got a zillion favs but how about this one... Mark Knopfler with
Dire Straits and Sultans
of Swing. Art will probably be expecting lots of trombones and saxaphones.
Hehe. Sorry Art.
Back in my old band days, our line-up included a Hammond
organ with a big Leslie rotating speaker. Remember those? It weighed
a ton and was a mongrel to transport but what a sound! In this clip of
Santana's Evil Woman you can see the Leslie rotating in the top left hand
corner. Oh, there's so much good music around it's hard to choose. Mind
you, there's also a lotta crap. But you know what they say... one man's
crap is another man's jelly bean. I just made that up ya know.
I had my little walk today. Sheesh. Maybe I should get another dog.
Trouble is they walk too damn fast. Maybe I could get an old one. With
arthritis. Yeah, that'd be cool. We could just stand at the front gate
watching the traffic go by for half an hour and then come back inside.
Sounds cool to me.
Well, it's time to think about the kitchen agenda again. FOOD. You know
those things in hospitals? The tall things they hang plastic bags of stuff
off and stick tubes into your veins? I need one of those. I could be continuously
intravenously fed with whatever while I'm doing more important things.
Anyway, since I don't have one of those, I'll have to cook dinner. BTW,
that chickeny thing with garlic and butter in filo pastry last night was
very noice. I think there was a bit of spinach in there as well... something
green anyway. Don't tell me it wasn't spinach cos I don't wanna know. Tonoit
we're having genuine Thai chicken rissoles made by a 17 y/o Aussie girl
who works at Eddy's Chicken. But they've got Thai stuff in 'em... so they
reckon. The chicken's not Thai though... just your basic owyagoinmatenoworries
chook. I think I better go now before I embarrass myself. Gary
October 18, 2011. I remembered something about "air-ya-goin'?".
A mate of mine in Orlando said the key to mimicking the Queen's English
when she says "Oh, hello!" is to say "Air-hair-lair" without pronouncing
the 'r'. Hehe.
I realized today that the link I placed on the post of the Motor Rail
pics yesterday went straight to the photo album instead of via the Journal
entry. If you'd like to read what I wrote in the Journal, click
As expected, Oregon Richie enjoyed the historic footage of the 1945
Freeman Field Airshow: Film footage of the 45 airshow was pretty damned
cool, too. Great stuff, with a lot of variety including the captured
German machines. Interesting that they showed a V-2 rocket and a
buzz-bomb, too... and the two-engine jet fighter. There is a fantastic
Spitfire and Bf 109 over at the air museum in McMinnville and very different
engineering design methods and engines, and the Spit just rocks in contrast
to the German fighter, which also was restrained in battle by poor operating
range... not enough fuel to keep it up there long enough.
Now about 'H'. I use 'an' before 'historic' even though the 'h' is pronounced.
But I use 'a' before 'hotel' or 'house/home'. H is a funny letter. It's
pronounced in some words but not in others... such as 'hour' and 'honest'.
Hehe. It's all a bit inconsistent really. But that's English for ya. For
example, you get a silent 'b' in plumber but not in slumber or number.
And why is it that hyperbole doesn't rhyme with superbowl? Or Penelope
with envelope? I give up.
Nonetheless, English is the closest thing we have to an international
language. I believe there are more words in the English language than any
other due to its having plagiarized words from several other languages,
including French, German, Latin and Greek. Makes sense to me. What you
don't have, steal. But what about French where everything is either male
or female? Le homme, la femme. What if something is gay?
Beeb time: Israel's Supreme Court has backed a prisoner swap with Hamas,
rejecting petitions against freeing more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners
in exchange for captured soldier Gilad Shalit. Families of victims of attacks
by militants wanted a 48-hour delay on the swap, which is due to begin
on Tuesday. I guess Israel figures another thousand
ants in an ant nest ain't gonna make much difference. Click
here for an in-depth article about the reasons behind Israel's 1000 to
1 asymmetry. L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, 88, is to
be placed under the guardianship of members of her family. A French judge
made the ruling based on concerns about Mrs Bettencourt's declining mental
health. The family are reportedly concerned about her health and management
of her fortune, estimated at 16bn euros (£13bn: $20bn) by Forbes
magazine. And to think all that money was amassed
by appealing to the vanity of women. I'm obviously in the wrong business.
Three suspects have been charged with chaining four mentally disabled adults
in a basement in Philadelphia and collecting their disability benefits.
Police found the victims after investigating reports of squatters. The
room was too short to stand up in, one victim was chained to a boiler,
and the only food in the room was a container of orange juice, police said.
One suspect, Linda Ann Weston, previously served eight years in prison
for starving a man to death 1981. Police officially charged Weston, 51,
Gregory Thomas, 47, and Eddie Wright, 50 with multiple charges, including
criminal conspiracy, kidnapping and aggravated assault. Authorities are
looking into additional federal charges, a spokesman told the The Philadelphia
Inquirer. "We're going to find every crime possible in the crime code to
put on these individuals," said Lt Raymond Evers. You
have to wonder who is the more mentally disabled, the victims or the criminals.
What a shocker.
I just noticed this clip on Youchewb featuring Oz PM Julia
Gillard answering questions about Julian Assange which may be of interest
I heard a song the other day somewhere... can't remember where... but
it's been rolling around in my head ever since. I remembered it from years
ago and kinda knew some of the lyrics but not the title of the song, so
I made an effort on Google and Youchewb to search for it and FINALLY found
it. Turns out it's a song from '71 by Aussie group Spectrum - their first
attempt at getting a recording contract and it went to No.1. It's
called I'll be Gone, and I love the harmonica.
Someday I'll have money
money isn't easy t' come by
By the time it's come by
I'll be gone
I'll sing my song and I'll be gone...
Bloody Averil. I phone her to say I'm doing a bit of shopping and to
ask if she wants anything. "No, I'm pretty right for everything," and a
minute later she changes her mind. So I arrive at her place with two frozen
pizzas and she says, "They're not small ones!" So I tell her they're small
ones . "No they're not. They're big ones." So I tell her the big ones are
bigger. "These are smaller ones." "Yes, but they're not small small." "Darling,
just put it in the oven and it'll be fine." Sheesh. Why me?
And just now a barefoot kid knocked on my front door selling sunscreen.
"Oh, there's a small person at my door," I said as I opened it, and got
the biggest toothy grin you ever saw. But I didn't buy any sunscreen. No
shortage of excitement here, folks.
Anyway, time for domestics. Filet steaks and onions for THEM and I bought
myself a chicken thingy with butter and garlic wrapped in filo pastry for
ME. That'll do the trick. Oh, and here's the latest on little Keiran's
shiny red shoes. I spoke to his mom Stephanie at the mall and she said
they were white until he decided to paint them with a bright red texta
color pen. So there ya go... Keiran is an innovator. Gary
October 17, 2011. A bunch of cyclists spot a small
Renault trying to pull a large caravan up a hill with disastrous results.
Meanwhile, I posted the pics I took yesterday of the Rail
Motor arriving in Taree (together with a few shots of the XPT and the
station. Check out the Coke bottle painted on the dispensing machine...
is that phallic or what?)
I figured it was only a matter of time before Ohio Jace wrote after
Casey Stoner clinched the Motogp championship... made all the more relevant
for the young bloke because it was his 26th birthday. I find it curious
to say the least that such a baby-faced young bloke can be such a determined
rider. Racing has its hazards of course, and Jace tells me that Dan
Wheldon (33 years old) was killed in a 15 car crash on lap 12 of the final
IZOD indycar race in Las Vegas. The race was red flagged to clear the track
and repair the wall, track, and fence. Two hours later officials announced
the race would not be restarted due to the death of Wheldon. The remaining
19 cars made a five lap tribute to end the season.
I watched part 1 of a great documentary last night about the history
of the automobile in Oz. Quite a number of attempts were made to successfully
build an Aussie car over the years but it wasn't until General Motors in
the US sent a rep to Oz to close the Holden plant that something amazing
happened. The rep was so impressed with Holden's operation in Oz he decided
to keep it going. Holden was an assembler of imported GM car parts back
then but also an innovator. I didn't know this but Holden took the '37
Oldsmobile and redesigned it to become the world's first fully-enclosed
was called the "Sloper" and my older bro had one.
But it wasn't until after the war that the GM rep convinced head office
in the States to build a car specifically for Australian conditions. A
bunch of Aussie and American designers and engineers working in collarboration
in Oz took a '35 Chevrolet design and re-worked it with higher ground clearance
(for outback roads), tougher suspension and various other modifications,
plus a few more curves and aerodynamic improvements, and produced
the first Holden in 1948. It sold like hot cakes. In fact, for many
years 50% of cars on Australian roads were Holdens. The demand was so great
there was a waiting list, and quite often a used Holden was more expensive
than a new one!
It wasn't the first Australian built car though, not by a long shot.
An earlier attempt was called the
'Australian Six' but only 500 cars were built.
But back to Jace and his love of racing: On a good note last weekend's
V8 supercars (Bathurst) was telecast live in the U.S. for the first
time ever; all 1,000 kms and 6 hours of it. It's supposed to be the most
dangerous race in the world. This year it was fairly tame with only one
serious crash with the car ending up in flames. NO roos this year either.
Earlier in the season another car was rear ended at the start and exploded.
Both cars were full of petrol at the time.
The main reason I mentioned the documentary about the history of automobles
in Oz was because it also contained footage of Australia's obsession with
racing and speed. One clip from the '30s showed a race car losing control
on a dirt track and ploughing into a group of spectators standing at the
side of the road. Bodies went flying everywhere. The driver sat motionless
in the cockpit for a while, undoubtedly unable to comprehend what had happened...
and probably in shock. That was the beginning of the term 'accident' in
motoring to describe an event that was nobody's fault.
Jace says all is well with the Ohio gang, including the youngest: Ryan
is four months old now and starting to respond to sounds by moving his
head in that direction. He will raise his head and look around when lying
on his tummy and is fascinated with his tiny toes, tries to pull them off
his feet. Meanwhile, everyone is getting older including "old man Sean"
who was 14 when Jace first started writing me. Sean is a qualified teacher
but is working his father's old job until a suitable teaching vacancy becomes
available. Times are tough.
Beeb time: Forces loyal to Libya's interim authorities say they have
entered Bani Walid, one of the last towns still loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi.
been a lot tougher than I think most people expected, but at least they're
making progress. Salvage teams in New Zealand resume efforts to
pump the remaining fuel from the cracked cargo ship the Rena, stranded
off the coast. Bad weather has been delaying operations.
A 100-year-old Briton has become the world's oldest marathon runner after
finishing a race in Canada. Fauja Singh, from Ilford, east London, ran
the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in eight hours, 25 minutes and 16 seconds.
The record-holder "hit the wall" at 22 miles but soldiered on for another
two hours and finished in 3,850th place, ahead of five other competitors.
Mr Singh, who took up running 11 years ago after his wife and son died,
trains every day by running 10 miles.
Jeez, I don't
think I could run 10 yards. Singh reckons tea, ginger curry and being stress-free
does the trick. An anti-capitalist protest in London's financial
district is continuing for a second day, with protesters gathered outside
St Paul's Cathedral. And they were all wearing sandals
and waving bunches of flowers.
I'm not sure what socialism is but I suspect it's a society where everyone
has a rickshaw but nobody drives a Bentley.
How about an old Beatles song... yeah? Good
Speaking of memories, NC Art sent me a link to footage of the Freeman
Field Airshow back in 1945, 4 months after the German surrender and
1 month after the Japanese surrender. Art says he was tempted to jitterbug
to the music but remembered his busted vertebrae. Hehe. Oregon Richie is
into all this kinda thing and will enjoy it I'm sure. BTW, I remember all
that music as well and I'm only a chicken. My eldest bro who's 81 says
his knees are gone due to all the jitterbugging he did in his younger days.
Well, time to get stuck into rustling up some grub for the troops. Gary
October 16, 2011. NC Art wrote: At 360,000km [223,693.7mi]
I'm surprised the thing (Bluey) fires at all, back or forward. Anyway,
the catalytic converter is less a suspect than the engine timing. Don't
know about Nissan, but a Toyota I once owned had a problem with timing
chain and cost outrageously to adjust. Service manager claimed the reason
was the timing chain was so hard to get to and required taking a bunch
of stuff off the car. That was the dealer's story; later my independent
repair guy said that dealer was a pickpocket.
Well, I had the timing chain replaced shortly after I bought Bluey.
The engine made a noise like a ship's chain pulling an anchor off the sea
bed. The mechanic said it was a big job..."A big big biiiiiiiiiig job".
And he charged accordingly. But that's the risk you take when you buy a
car for $350. I also had the exhaust replaced. However, Oregon Richie agrees
about the catalytic converter: Not sure what may be going on with el
Bluey but it could also be something with the air pump, too.... which is
supposed to squirt in some air to help burn those remaining petrol fumes.
I had a big problem with the MG Midget with that and we just took the drive
belt off the air pump.. and I had removed the cat converter. So some
unburned gasses are popping along in there somewhere.
Yes, the sound of the "backfiring" is not very loud... just a few pops
if I rev it out in second. As to mileage, one of my mobile techie's vans
(Ford Transit) has just clicked over 500,000 kms. Richie reckons most modern
engines are good for 3 or 4 hundred thousand miles if they're serviced
properly. Bluey doesn't use any oil or blow any smoke. With vehicles of
her vintage (20+ years) it's the hoses, various rubber/plastic components
and gaskets that become brittle and need replacing. Next are bolt-ons like
radiators, starter motors, pumps and alternators.
Meanwhile, Das Busse started first go again. I have to move it away
from the clothes hoist before I can do the laundry. The damn thing won't
fit in the garage with the tiltadoor, and Bluey's in the other one with
the rolladoor. As to Ronnie Corbett being a bit long in the tooth, Art
has this to say: And why the surprise that Ronnie Corbett is still sapient?
I was 15 in 1940 and still sharp as a, ah, er...or something.
Beeb time: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has promised to
punish rioters after a peaceful mass rally in Rome descended into street
battles. Riot police fought militant protesters who had joined the crowds
taking part in a global protest against banks and politicians in the city
centre. At least 70 people were injured, three of them seriously, property
was damaged and cars and bins set on fire. Most of the other protests in
82 countries passed off peacefully. Inspired by the Occupy Wall St movement
and Spain's "Indignants", demonstrators turned out from Asia to Europe
and back to New York for an event organisers said on their website was
aimed at initiating "global change". And that's what
happens when you push the common man a little too far. 10 things
we didn't know last week. One of them is about how
really good sex can wipe your memory. Right,
well that might explain why I can't remember a damn thing.
Not a lot happening on the Beeb at the mo. However I did have to rearrange
the load in the washing machine to get it to spin properly.
I hope to get a few shots of the motor rail that's in town this weekend
when she returns to Taree from today's "food and wine" trip to Coffs Harbor.
She's expected in Taree at about 4:30. Meanwhile, here's
a short clip of a motor rail in Victoria.
And here's Ronnie Corbett again, this
time in the kitchen in a cook off with celebrated F Word chef Gordon Ramsay.
Ronnie's wife makes an appearance too.
And now, the Two
Ronnies in The Barber Shop. A bit long but brilliantly done.
Yes, it's the "Red Rabbit", so the station master called it. But it's
running late. I walked into his office and said, "I could be sitting here
like a dill waiting for the train that never came!" So he phoned a bloke
up the line a bit and asked him when the motor train passed through there.
Then he calculated when it would arrive in Taree, taking into consideration
other traffic to which it needs to give way. It's only a single line up
and down the coast. The Yanks offered to build us a second parallel line
during WWII but the government at the time said the cost of maintenance
would be too high. Silly buggers. The diesel motor rails are known as "tin
hares", hence "Red Rabbit". And if you think "air-ya-goin?" is history
in Oz, think again. That's exactly what the station bloke said when his
mate up the line answered the phone. Hehe. So I popped back home to let
the zoo know that dinner will be a little late tonight. The train is due
at about 5:35 so I should be back home about 6. The train is the newly
refurbished red one, which I was hoping it was... it's a tricky looking
thing. By the way, I got there a bit early and the XPT arrived at 4, so
I got a pic or two of that, including one of the driver hosing the windscreen...
from the outside. We're not that dumb down here ya know.
It'll be too late to put an album together today, so I'll do it tomorrow.
October 15, 2011. I watched a Brit panel show called Would I
Lie To You. One of the guests was Ronnie Corbett so naturally there was
no shortage of "short" jokes. Ronnie was talking about being on the golf
course early one morning when another panelist interrupted with "So you
wouldn't need a tee then?" Then Ronnie continued with his tale and said
he was wearing his big flat golfing hat with a wide brim when the greenkeeper
came up and said, "These bloody mushrooms are popping up everywhere." Hehe.
Ronnie must be getting on a bit now... he was about 15 in 1941/2. Still
sharp as a tack though.
Satdee again, and cloudy and wet. Bleh. But it looks like becoming more
summery about mid week. I reckon we've had enough rain for a while, thank
you very much (although those living inland could do with a helluva lot
more). Meanwhile, Bluey is due for a service at 363,000kms. The odometer
reads 353,400 hehe... 400kms since the last service in April. But I'll
have it serviced anyway. I'm pretty sure there's something wrong with the
catalytic converter. The exhaust backfires a little bit. I mentioned that
to Nissan last time but they said they couldn't find anything wrong. Otherwise,
the old girl is running pretty well.
Beeb time: A gun battle in the Libyan capital Tripoli between forces
loyal to the transitional government and gunmen they say support fugitive
ex-leader Col Muammar Gaddafi has now ended. It was the first serious confrontation
in Tripoli since the city fell to the forces of the National Transitional
Council (NTC) in August. The fighting started after a demonstration by
Gaddafi loyalists. I suppose after 42 years of Gaddafi
rule there will remain a few hangers on, but you have to wonder why they
bother. US President Barack Obama has said he is sending about 100
US soldiers to Uganda to help regional forces battle the notorious Lord's
Resistance Army. Although combat-equipped, the troops would be providing
information and advice "to partner nation forces", Mr Obama wrote in a
letter to US Congress. A small group is already in Uganda, and the troops
could later be deployed in other central African nations. The LRA is blamed
for mass murder, rape and kidnapping in the region. But
apart from that, they're pretty good blokes. A Catholic bishop in
the US has been charged with covering up suspected child abuse in his diocese,
in the first case of its kind in the country. Bishop Robert Finn, of Kansas
City in Missouri, is accused of failing to alert police to a priest who
allegedly kept graphic computer images of minors. Church officials are
alleged to have conspired to destroy the evidence. Bishop Finn has apologised
for his handling of the case but denied any wrongdoing. Hello?
Sounds a bit suss to me. Iran has denied that government officials
had direct contact with the US over allegations it plotted to kill the
Saudi ambassador on US soil. A US state department spokeswoman insisted
the meeting had taken place. The US alleges that two men with ties to Iran's
elite security forces were part of the plot. Iran has labelled the claims
it was involved in the plot a fabrication, but US President Barack Obama
says "facts are there for all to see". Facts? Since
when has Iran been concerned with facts? Prosecutors say they will
seek the death penalty in the case of a man who allegedly went on a shooting
rampage in a hair salon in Seal Beach, California. Scott Dekraai, 42, has
been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
He was arrested a short distance from the salon - where his ex-wife worked
- moments after Wednesday's attack. Mr Dekraai carried three guns and wore
a bulletproof vest when he entered the salon, shooting several victims
in the head and chest at close range. He allegedly then walked outside
and shot another victim in the parking lot. By all
means shake your head but don't expect to make sense of it. US retail
sales rose by 1.1% in September, with vehicle sales showing the biggest
gain, but grocery store sales fall. Richie will be
pleased about that.
Bit of drama yesterday. A middle age bloke who lives in one of the flats
on the far side of Averil's house is obviously separated from his missus,
and has his two young sons stay over on weekends. I heard the youngest
throwing a tantrum yesterday afternoon so I checked through the kitchen
window. He was absolutely livid and mad as hell at his older bro. He tried
unsuccessfully to climb the tree out front of Averil's house a couple of
times and each time he failed, he ripped off a strip of bark and threw
it at his older bro. He also chased his older bro a few times. I had no
idea what was causing all the fuss until a bit later when dad arrived home.
After a few minutes, dad was standing on a small step ladder under the
tree, using a fishing rod to poke at something in the branches. I thought
it might be a stranded bird or something. Then the older bro had a go at
whatever it was they were trying to dislodge. Finally, dad took over again
and down came a ball on the end of a long string... some kinda toy. I gather
the older boy had swung it around earlier and got it tangled in the branches.
He probably thought it was funny, and teased his sibling, which would explain
why the younger boy threw a tantrum and tried to climb the tree. Hehe.
Sheesh... all that nonsense over a ball on the end of a string. Yes, dear
Breth, no shortage of riveting dramas in Taree.
The forecast for tomorrow is sunny with a top of 24C. Sounds pretty
good. So what should I do? The laundry? Ummm. I'll think about it. There's
a 600 class historic motor rail leaving Taree at 6am, due back at 4:30pm.
I suppose I could take a few pics of that.
Anyway, it's time now to think about more mundane things like din dins.
Lamb chops for THEM and pizza pigout time for me... a wood-fired, four-cheese
job. I think I'll chop up a bit of tomato and a few olives to tart it up
a bit. Gary
October 14, 2011. Yep, the burgers last night were a big hit.
Very nice indeed. Even Lindsay said, "We should have those more often."
I don't think the cow was all that thrilled about it but don't blame me.
NC Art has tried to send me De Belles Photos, but the email attachments
failed to arrive ... twice. So,
I did a Google and found this. Scroll through the pics... they're amazing!
There are a few other De Belles sites with other pics, so do a Google if
you wanna check 'em out.
However, Oregon Richie's two pics managed to arrive okay:
Flying over Africa I presume... and this one...
Beeb time: A French inquiry into attempted rape claims against ex-IMF
chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been dropped. The prosecutor's office
said the evidence suggested sexual assault - a less serious offence than
attempted rape, with a shorter statute of limitations. Writer Tristane
Banon had accused Mr Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape in 2003. Her accusation
emerged while Mr Strauss-Kahn was accused of rape in New York; that case
was later dropped. Prosecutors said in a statement that "it is clear that,
for lack of sufficient proof, a prosecution may not be initiated over the
count of attempted rape, but facts that could be described as sexual assault
have meanwhile been recognised". Under French law, the statute of limitations
for attempted rape is 10 years, but three years for sexual assault. As
they say in politics, if you throw enough mud, some of it will stick.
Standard & Poor's has cut Spain's long-term credit rating by one notch,
from AA to AA-, because of weak growth and high levels of private-sector
debt. The ratings agency added that the country's high unemployment would
remain a drag on the economy. Last week the Fitch agency cut Spain's rating,
a process that can raise a country's borrowing costs. I
still haven't figured out who they're borrowing from. Isn't everyone broke?
A former hedge-fund manager has been sentenced to 11 years in jail in New
York for one of the biggest insider trading cases in American history.
Raj Rajaratnam, 54, was also fined $10m (£6.4m). The Galleon Group
founder made well over $50m from illegal trades, said the judge at the
Manhattan federal court. Sri Lankan-born Rajaratnam was convicted of 14
counts of securities fraud and conspiracy charges in May after a two-month
trial. Hmmm. I've met a few people like him.
A plane crash in northern Papua New Guinea has killed 28 people on board,
officials have said. Four people, including the two pilots, survived the
crash, witnesses and media reports said. Investigators said the Airlines
PNG Dash-8 was flying from Lae to Madang when it went down in dense forest
about 20km south of Madang. Most of the passengers on board the twin-propeller
plane were believed to be families travelling to attend a graduation ceremony
for Madang university students. The pilots, from Australia and New Zealand,
are believed to be among the four survivors. What
a terrible way to celebrate a graduation ceremony. I feel so sorry for
those students. Herman Cain has stormed to the front of the pack
of Republican presidential candidates. So what is the appeal of the former
pizza company boss and will this surge of popularity last? Judging by the
attention paid to him by primetime television comedians this week, Herman
Cain is the man of the moment. He's a man with no electoral experience
and a CV which includes Baptist minister, mathematician, a director of
the Federal Reserve Bank and radio talk show host. He's also long been
a favourite of the Tea Party and the evangelical community, so he's the
ultimate validator of the Republican conservative movement. Oh
dear... Read the full article here. Australia is dropping a controversial
asylum plan and will now process asylum seekers onshore after the government
failed to secure support for key legal changes. PM Julia Gillard needed
parliamentary backing for legislation allowing her "Malaysia swap" plan
to go ahead. But she could not secure enough votes to get the legislation
passed. Australia's asylum policy has been in crisis since a court ruled
a plan to swap refugees with Malaysia unlawful. I
can't stand that woman. She irritates me big time. I'm sure if an election
were held now, she'd be wiped off the planet. Eighteen-year-old
country singer Scotty McCreery becomes the first American Idol winner to
top the US charts with a debut album since 2003. I'm
not a big fan of country but the kid's cool.
Click here for
McCreery's audition on American Idol.
You know you live in a country town when you nick round to the barber
shop on a Friday afternoon and there's a "Back at 3:15" sign in the window.
Another bloke in the street said, "He'll be back in 10 minutes. I just
phoned him. I've got his number." Must've been his mobile number cos Mark
doesn't have a phone in the shop. So I decided to wait. Then the bloke
waddled off, only to return a few minutes later. He jumped into his Ford
ute and drove up the road. Hmmm. I guessed I was first in line. But no.
The Ford returned and parked in the same spot. And guess who was in the
passenger seat? Mark. The bloke had gone to pub and brought Mark back to
the shop. "You've been to the pub?" I asked as I followed the two into
the shop. "What kinda haircut am I gonna get?" The other bloke was almost
as bald as a badger and wasn't in the chair for long. When Mark finished
with mine, he asked what I thought. "Fabulous!" I said. "I look civilized!
Doesn't look like a country haircut at all... looks like a city job." "Yep,"
he agreed, "A city job for a country price." And then he charged me $16.
When I left, there were two more blokes waiting. Mark is never short of
And here we are again, another revolution of the planet so the blokes
on the other side can get a bit of sunshine while we get to prove once
again that stars actually exist. Chicken and cheese schnitzels tonight
with corn on the cob. The cob kinda dried out a bit in the fridge but it'll
puff up again in boiling water. No wukkers. It's called reconstitution.
Maybe if I sat in the bath long enough it would happen to me. Ya think?
October 13, 2011. My dad used to play banjo (so my mom told me).
Never heard or saw him play, but I love the banjo anyway. Here's
Billy Connolly plunking out a chewn.
Right, pay day/bills day. All's well for another couple of weeks. I
watched an interview with the British couple who won 101m pounds sterling
($160m) in the lottery. Quite ordinary folk, really. Not now, though. They're
giving quite a bit of it away to 20 friends. Hehe. Drawing up a list of
20 friends would be difficult because I'm sure they now have about 20,000
they didn't realize they had. I think the main problem with deciding what
to do with all that loot is the sheer size of the list of options. All
of a sudden there are a thousand possibilities whereas before there were
only a few. So how do you prioritize a thousand possibilities? Hehe. Be
careful of what you wish for, yeah?
I reckon a nice camper and enough dough to keep me fed and comfortable
would do me. Speaking of a nice camper, Terry my Red Bubble mate, who loves
traveling around Oz, posted a pic of his recent camp site. He
loves the Aussie bush and the outdoor life.
No, I'm not bothered by fancy cars or fancy houses or fancy clothes
or any of that stuff. However, I am currently being bothered by a dove
sitting on my TV antennae chirping the same damn chewn over and over and
over again! Honestly, if he doesn't shuddup soon I'll scream.
NC Art mentioned "pretty old Fords" the other day. This one's a Chevy
posted on Red Bubble, and has an interesting little story behind it.
It's shopping day today (including Averil's) so let's get the Beeb outta
the way: A Nigerian accused of trying to bomb a US-bound flight on Christmas
Day 2009 has told his trial in Detroit that he is pleading guilty to all
charges. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 24, told a judge he was admitting all
eight counts against him, including terrorism and attempted murder. Abdulmutallab
was badly burned when a bomb sewn into his underwear failed to detonate
fully, prosecutors say. Serves the dickhead right.
I hope his 27 virgins are all old and wrinkly by the time he gets his reward.
Reports that Col Muammar Gaddafi's son Mutassim has been captured spark
celebrations in Libya, although there is no official confirmation. Seems
to me that the Colonel and his family have left it too late to appreciate
what Karma does to assholes. Six people have been shot dead at a
hair salon in the Los Angeles area, authorities say. The shooting took
place in the city of Seal Beach, California, in a retail area off the Pacific
Coast Highway. Three other people were shot and are in a critical condition,
Police Sgt Steve Bowles confirmed to the Associated Press news agency.
Police say they have a suspect in custody after arresting a man nearby.
Multiple weapons were seized. Multiple weapons, huh?
Well whaddaya know. The US city of Harrisburg - capital of the state
of Pennsylvania - has filed for bankruptcy, making it the first state capital
to do so. Harrisburg faces debts of $300m (£190m) and has struggled
to pay for services. The move comes as the state legislature considers
a takeover of the city and the implementation of a "rescue plan". The
first state capital to do so? Wot dat mean? Changes to the rules
on succession have moved closer after (British PM) David Cameron shared
his plans with the 15 other countries who have the Queen as their monarch.
The PM wants to scrap the ban on spouses of Roman Catholics ascending to
the throne and give girls the same right of succession as boys. But he
needs the 15 other Commonwealth nations to agree to the changes. No
tykes on the throne? Oh dear... I wasn't aware of that. Shoulda been though...
Betty is head of the Church of England. A 1939 letter from Albert
Einstein warning of the "calamitous peril" to Jews posed by the Nazis has
been sold at auction for nearly $14,000 (£9,000). The Nobel-winning
physicist's letter to a New York businessman, Hyman Zinn, sold for double
its estimate at auction in the US state of California. In the typed letter,
Einstein praises Zinn for his work in helping Jews flee persecution in
Adolf Hitler's Germany. Einstein himself fled Germany for the US when Hitler
came to power in 1933. Good thinking, 99. Imagine
the loss of one of the greatest minds of all time to the Nazi extermination
of Jews. The US has imposed sanctions on an Iranian airline it says
flew members of an elite force linked to an alleged plot to kill the Saudi
envoy to the US. The US Treasury says Mahan Air ferried operatives from
Iran's Quds Force and Hezbollah across the Middle East. Under the sanctions,
the airline's US assets will be frozen and US firms barred from doing business
with it. And not before time. Dramatic footage
has emerged of a South African mountain biker Evan van der Spuy being knocked
off his bike by a charging antelope. The clip, which was filmed by Evan's
colleague, Travis Walker has already been viewed more than a million times
on YouTube. Check
out the vid here. Singer Paul Simon has announced plans to celebrate
his 1986 album Graceland by touring the record next year. The 69-year-old
intends to reunite with the musicians who played with him 25 years ago,
including South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. In 1987 the
album, which featured the single You Can Call Me Al, was named record of
the year at the Grammys. This July, Simon - formerly of folk-rock duo Simon
and Garfunkel - played a gig with trumpeter Hugh Masekela and Ladysmith
Black Mambazo in South Africa. Love Simon's stuff.
Check out You Can
Call Me Al at a live concert in Zimbabwe. Funny innit... a white Jewish
boy showing the natives how to do their thang.
Oops! Got another returned email from AOL (Richie). No, it's cool...
it was one I sent a few days ago. Hopefully this morning's got through.
I don't need all this dumb shit. TX Greg told me how to check it if it
happens again though... and he said it had nothing to do with "disk cleanup".
Oh yes... shoes. I saw little Keiran on his way to school this morning
and he was wearing bright red shoes... shiny like patent leather but probably
plastic. So I gather that's the latest thing in teen cool. He looks like
something out of the Wizard of Oz.
Back from shopping. Shopping, shopping, shopping. It's such a pain in
the ass. But I saw another Das Busse in the parking area, same vintage
but bigger... about 2' longer with a larger kitchen/storage area and longer
pop-top. Oh well... there's only me in mine so it's no biggie.
Lindsay said he feels like a burger tonight so no worries. But rather
than buy the boring ready-mades at the supermarket (that taste like cardboard
anyway) I bought good quality ground beef and made my own. I didn't have
all the things needed for a genuine Elvis Burger so I kinda cheated a bit
and used what I had handy. That'll do the trick, and they look pretty good.
Nice BIG plump ones. If you wanna make your own Elvis Burger, check out
Jamie Oliver's recipe. He's not a Yank... he's British. And he doesn't
drive a Cadillac, he rides a Vespa hehe... close enough. But
it's a great recipe and Jamie's a great chef.
The ground beef was on spesh for a bit less than 6 bucks. Add an egg,
half an onion, some breadcrumbs, a few herbs, a bit of mustard, some cheese
and whatever, mix, shape, and there's a tasty, satisfying meal for about
2 bucks each. WITH CHIPS! I made the burgers in advance so I could chill
them in the fridge for about an hour before frying. Apparently they firm
up better if you do that.
So that's it, ladies and genitals, time to attend to the domestics.
October 12, 2011. Sorry about yesterday. My ISP hosting service
got mixed up with my new plan. Instead of doubling my space, they halved
it which meant I was waaaaay over the limit. Instead of my former 1GB,
I had 500MB. It was supposed to be doubled to 2GB. Every time I tried to
update the site yesterday it refused to take any more info. Not only that,
it emptied the file I was trying to update (which was why you got a blank
page). Hopefully, they'll fix the prob today. Soooome people!
It was a frustrating exercise for a while cos I couldn't figure out
what was going on. Then I checked my cPanel info and saw the reason for
the problem. It was time to cook dinner, and the last thing I needed was
Lindsay to start bitching, so I used my mobile (cell) phone to call my
ISP and did the cooking one-handed while I waited on the queue. Have you
ever seen a one-handed chef in action? "We're experiencing more calls than
normal. Thank you for your patience. Your call is important to us and will
be answered as soon as possible." To make matters worse, the techie couldn't
solve the problem there and then cos the relevant departments were closed
for the day. Coulda been worse... coulda been a Friday.
And now? Two more returned mails... one to Richie and the other to Art.
And just to add to the confusion, Art forwarded something about De Belles
Photos, and the photos didn't arrive. Woe is me.
As to 'coulda', how often have you heard people use 'of' instead of
'have', as in 'could of' or 'had of' or 'must of'? They mistake the abbreviated
versions using 've as short for 'of' instead of 'have'. Bloody drongos.
So 'coulda' saves all that confusion. Coulda shoulda woulda buddha.
I need a laugh ('laff' in Merrica). This
Gabriel Iglesias bloke is awesome with the voices and sound effects, and
is a brilliant story teller.
And if you've never undergone a prostate examination, you might be interested
in what happens according
to Billy Connolly.
Beeb time: The US says it has broken up a plot by agents linked to Iran
to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington using explosives. Two
men originally from Iran - one a naturalised US citizen - have been charged
with counts of conspiracy, Attorney General Eric Holder said. The plot
was "conceived" in Iran by the Quds force, part of Iran's Revolutionary
Guard Corps, he added. The state department has listed Iran as a "state
sponsor" of terror since 1984. Mr Holder said the alleged plot was a "flagrant
violation of US and international law" that had been "conceived, sponsored
and directed by Iran". Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency called
the charges a "propaganda campaign" by the US government against Tehran.
The allegations were "a comedy show fabricated by America", Iranian foreign
ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told the semi-official Iranian news
agency, Fars. Yeah, right. Pull the other leg. We
often get boatloads of Iranians seeking refuge in Oz, but we never get
boatloads of Americans. Israel and Hamas reach a deal to free hundreds
of Palestinian prisoners in return for releasing Israeli soldier Gilad
Shalit, snatched by militants in 2006. Another example
of Middle East lunacy. Republicans in the US Senate have blocked
President Barack Obama's jobs bill in a procedural vote. Forty-six Republican
senators joined with two Democrats to filibuster the $447bn (£287bn)
bill. Republicans opposed the measure over its spending to stimulate the
economy and its tax rise on millionaires. Reacting to the vote, Mr Obama
said: "Tonight's vote is by no means the end of this fight." He challenged
lawmakers to "explain to their constituents why they're against common-sense,
bipartisan proposals to create jobs". Simple. Republicans
don't want Obama to get a second term. What's good for America is not necessarily
good for the Republicans. The captain of a cargo ship that has grounded
off New Zealand and is leaking oil into the sea has been arrested and charged,
officials say. The captain was charged with "operating a vessel in a manner
causing unnecessary danger or risk". The 775ft (236m) Rena ran aground
on a charted reef off the North Island port of Tauranga a week ago. Officials
say the fuel oil leaking from the ship has caused the country's worst environmental
disaster in decades. MNZ said the Rena's captain, 44-year-old Mauro Balomaga,
had been charged under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act. He faces
a fine of $7,800 (£5,000) or a maximum prison sentence of 12 months
if convicted. They've gotta be joking. A $7,800 fine
or a few months in prison for causing the country's worst environmental
disaster in decades? What a joke! Australia has expressed concern
over reports that an Iranian actress has been sentenced to jail and 90
lashes for being in a film critical of Iran. Marzieh Vafamehr starred in
the 2009 Australian film My Tehran for Sale, about an actress whose work
is banned. Reports of her sentence appeared on an Iranian opposition website
although authorities have not confirmed it. Australian Foreign Minister
Kevin Rudd urged Iran "to protect the rights of all Iranians and foreign
citizens". Bloody hell, what century is Iran in?
Well, I just phoned tech support at my ISP again to try and sort out
this bouncing email problem and the bloke told me to change this and that,
and then to try it again. So we'll see what happens. I figure it's probably
got something to do with deleting "unwanted" files from my hard drive (during
cleanup) to increase available space. The process probably changes/removes
Then I phoned the accounts department and asked what they were doing
to solve the problem with my web site. While I was on the phone, they fixed
it. They said they accidentally upgraded the site using the old hosting
plan instead of the new one. I checked my cPanel again and I now have 2GB
of space, of which I've used 910MB. So there ya go... that should do me
for a while. Anyway, 2GB is bugger all these days.
But getting back to what century Iran is in, I heard a Jewish bloke
on air the other day talking about the fact that he's a Jew but not religious.
He married a Christian, and his kids aren't religious either. He said,
"I don't want to obey laws that are 3000 years old." I'm with him. Why
should bearded scribes scratching on parchment thousands of years ago,
using feathers dipped in ink, have a monopoly on truth? They hardly knew
their asses from their elbows. And there you have Pope Benny and the Catholic
hierarchy running around in party frocks and funny hats waving incense
around. It's beyond a joke. It's a farce! But that's okay. Farces make
lots of money and employ lots of people. Hehe. Madam Zara's Fortune Telling
Tent will always be guaranteed of doing good business at the county fair.
Whip out the crystal ball and a pack of Tarot cards and in rolls the dough.
Richie just wrote so the email is working again. And I wasn't hit by
lightning after all the naughty things I said, so things are looking up.
I quite like watching gardening programs on telly, not because I like
gardening... no. Too lazy for that. But I'm always intrigued by how nature
works, and how natural recycling performs its magic. Fill an old drum with
food scraps and lots of other organic material, throw in a bunch of worms,
cover with a hessian bag, water regularly and voila... the worm "castings"
(poo) and natural decomposition turn the material into sweet-smelling,
nutrient-rich soil that makes plants thrive. Isn't that wonderful? Nothing
is wasted in nature, and waste itself can be turned into black gold. Keen
gardeners love to make their own compost and derive great pleasure from
witnessing the results on their own gardens. And now they're teaching young
kids in school about gardening and how to grow AND EAT their own food.
Once kids learn to appreciate nature and how things work, they no longer
turn up their noses at fresh fruit and vegetables. Maybe that's why Asian
food is so yummy... Asians love to tend their gardens and grow lots of
goodies. And they sure know how to cook!
Speaking of cooking... back from my little walk around the block and
now it's time to feed the zoo. Gary
October 11, 2011. Ever
heard of Angelo Tsarouchas? I hadn't before this morning. Very funny
The Youchewb vids of WWII British warplanes yesterday brought back memories
for NC Art: The newsreels took me back aways. Unfortunately both of
them froze about one minute in, but still the RAF stood alone to defy Nazi
fighters and bombers--and at horrible cost in young aviators' lives. Damned
determined lot, they were! When I got to that tight little island there
was little danger from manned Jerry warplanes. Their rockets were still
busting up London real estate, but not to any great extent. A V-2 flopped
into a neighborhood one night while I was asleep in a London hotel. Rattled
me awake right rudely.
I'm no computer expert but the freezing of the vids might have something
to do with RAM. I had mine boosted a while ago. Even so, I still have problems
with things running slow if I spend a lot of time watching vids. Anyway,
it seems fish 'n' chips didn't appeal to Art during his stint in Britain,
and neither did Shepherd's pie hehe. But he did fancy Steak & Kidney
pie. It's all to do with the quality of the ingredients in my book. Sydney's
most famous fish 'n' chip restaurant was Doyle's
at Rose Bay. People queued up for ages to get a table, and the fish
was always freshly caught. When I had my little house in Glebe, the local
fish 'n' chip shop/restaurant was Frying Times, a very popular eatery run
by a co-op of young blokes, one of whom took great delight in teasing the
hell outta me. It was a BYO so the bottle shop across the road did a roaring
another pic of Doyles looking back toward the city. How's that for
fish 'n' chips?
The old Ford pics also brought back memories for Art: Pretty old
Fords. When two hail storms in one hour made my spiffy little Studebaker
too ugly to look at, I bought a '48 Ford which had been re-engineered into
a hot muscle car. Twin Dynetone mufflers, ground cylinder head to boost
take-off velocity, etc. I wore it out completely and still got $100 for
it. All it needed was a radiator, engine, and differential, he he.
Now, did Art mean pretty old Fords or pretty old Fords? I'll give that
a bit of thought. No wonder Francois can't understand English.
Beeb time: Up to 10 times more oil than originally estimated is now
thought to be leaking from a cargo ship stranded on a reef off the New
Zealand coast, officials say. It's a worry. Now if
cars ran on hydrogen, it wouldn't be a problem. Steve Jobs' immediate
cause of death was respiratory arrest, as cancer spread to other organs
in his body, his death certificate reveals. I hope
the poor bugger didn't suffer too much. US shares rise sharply as
investors take comfort from the pledge by French and German leaders to
protect European banks from the debt crisis. Investors
want profit without risk. Is that called an oxymoron?
Hmmm. Not a big news day according to the BBC. There was one story about
a bloke using his cellphone to take a photograph of his daughter eating
an ice cream at a parlor. He was questioned by a security guard and asked
to delete all photos from his phone. A couple of years ago, I was taking
pics of a guy with lizards, snakes and small crocs at the local shopping
center. A security guard approached me and said a woman had complained
that I was taking pics of small children in the audience. She was correct
- I was. Sheesh. What
the hell's wrong with a kid petting a lizard? The world's gone nuts.
Apart from that, I was using a big camera with a long lens, not a little
cellphone. I certainly wasn't trying to hide what I was doing. Anyway,
the security guard was pretty cool about it and didn't ask me to delete
Meanwhile, my ISP responded to my query about returned mail and suggested
I set my outgoing mail server to smtp.comcen.com.au. Guess what? It already
is. That's the default. Sheesh. Next! BTW, it's AOL that refuses to "talk"
with Comcen, not the other way around.
Well, that's about it for another Chewsdee. Filet steaks, mash and onions
for THEM and leftover rissoles, mash and onions for me. Oh... there was
a bit of drama early this morning. I waddled to the loo at about 4am, pushed
the door open and guess who was sitting on the throne with a
horrified look on her face? Sue. What a way to start the day. Not hers,
October 10, 2011. NC Art clicked on the pic of the tailor's chariot
yesterday without success. So
here's another one. It's a 1950/1 Ford Custom. I remember my older
bro talking about single and twin spinners. He was a master of useless
information, and still is. But the Ford model I really like - my all-time
fav - was the one just after the war... the one the young bloke polished
in Karate Kid. What
a gorgeous machine!
Yes, if I had a car like that I would never sell it. NEVER.
Art had this comment to make about the Matthew Shepard story on Justin's
blog: Our reprehensible representative Ms. Fox uses willful ignorance
to pander to the lowest common denominator of bigots. She has been regularly
ridiculed for outrageous lies and thrives on it as examples of the "elite
lame stream press," a phrase popularized by Fox News opinionators such
as Bill O'Reilly. Takes all kinds, even old gay sinners, ya think?
And Oregon Richie had this to say: I did view the article about Matt
Shepard and remember all too well the US Congresswoman who made those coarse
and crass statements about her version of hate-crime legislation.
Of course, the pair who tortured and murdered Matt were far more than simply
homophobes and their use of drugs affecting already sick brains is one
horrific and jolting episode in a long history of jolting episodes.
Pretty damned sick. The boy certainly had a tortured enough life
as it was.
Yes, sick minds. Unlike sick bodies, sick minds are not always recognizable
until too late. My ex-biz partner had a sick mind and I was too stupid
to see it. By the time I did, it was all over bar the shouting. As to "takes
all kinds", yes, hehe. I had a friend who said that about me many years
ago as he stepped off the bus. I never saw him again. Over the years, I've
had many people accuse me of being strange, weird, odd, stubborn or whatever
else. These days I just shrug. I'm too lazy to argue. Besides, more often
than not, my accusers are not the full quid themselves, and even if they
were, so what.
Just checked the weather for the next week... sunny, mild, maybe a shower
or two. Sounds pretty good. I'm running out of excuses not to go for a
drive and bit of happy snapping.
Beeb time: At least 23 people have been killed and scores injured in
the worst violence since Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted
in February. Clashes broke out after a protest in Cairo against an attack
on a church in Aswan province last week which Coptic Christians blame on
Muslim radicals. We must remain mindful of the fact
that Muslims don't have a monopoly on being radical. Libyan interim
government forces say they have captured a key bastion of Gaddafi loyalists
in Sirte as street fighting continues in the city. Ho
hum. Get it over and done with, chaps. Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney
has married American heiress Nancy Shevell at a ceremony in London. The
couple posed for pictures outside Old Marylebone Town Hall register office
after being showered with confetti by wedding guests. Ms Shevell, 51, from
New York, is an heiress to a haulage fortune. She is Sir Paul's third wife
after Linda McCartney died in 1998 and he split from second wife Heather
Mills in an acrimonious divorce in 2008. When asked how he felt after tying
the knot for a third time, Sir Paul told waiting reporters: "Terrific,
thank you. I feel married," adding, "I feel absolutely wonderful." Well,
why not make hay while the sun's still shining? I could say something about
Oregon Richie but I won't. Crews are racing to extract oil from
a leaking ship stranded on a reef off New Zealand, ahead of gale-force
winds and swells forecast for Monday. The MV Rena container ship, has already
leaked 20-30 tonnes of oil since it struck the Astrolabe Reef, in the Bay
of Plenty, on Wednesday. Officials fear that, if the ship breaks up in
the bad weather, 1,700 tonnes of fuel could be released into the area.
all these modern navigational aids, how can a ship run aground on a reef?
I don't get it. Human error? Probably. US pianist Roger Williams,
who topped the Billboard charts in the 1950s with his solo performance
of Autumn Leaves, has died in Los Angeles aged 87. Williams, the only performer
to have a US number one with a piano solo, had been suffering from pancreatic
cancer. The musician was known as "the pianist to the presidents", having
performed for US leaders from Harry Truman to George W Bush. Ex-First Lady
Nancy Reagan called him "a great pianist and a great American". In an interview
in 1995, Williams said that he liked listening to and playing all genres
of music. "The only thing I have against rock'n'roll is the volume," he
said. Hehe. Yes, I quite like his stuff and always
have. One reason optimists retain a positive outlook even in the
face of evidence to the contrary has been discovered, say researchers.
A study, published in Nature Neuroscience, suggests the brain is very good
at processing good news about the future. However, in some people, anything
negative is practically ignored - with them retaining a positive world
view. Yep, that's what I reckon. We're all just a
bunch of chemicals. Police in the US state of Ohio have arrested
four men suspected of assaulting a 74-year-old member of the Amish community.
He is one of several Amish people in the state who have had their hair
and beards forcibly removed in apparent efforts to humiliate them. Jefferson
County Sheriff Fred Abdallah said two more people were being sought. Suspicion
has fallen on a breakaway Amish group rejected by the mainstream community.
The Amish, who call themselves the Plain People, generally shun modern
conveniences such as electricity, televisions and cars. And
evolution. But it just goes to show that even within fringe groups, there
are breakaway fringes... people who believe their fringe is better than
the other guy's fringe.
Yes, chemicals. Mix one with another and you get a particular reaction.
Boom, boom. People who begin a sentence with "I think" should probably
change it to "My chemicals tell me..."
Just phoned my mobile techie about the new external hard drive. It's
saving all my files in some sort of zipped fashion and I can't understand
it. Anyway, it was the boss who answered the phone. The young bloke Beau
who did the installation is in hospital having a donated cornea transplanted...
obviously from someone who no longer exists. Spooky!
Which reminds me of something I thought about before my mouth lesion
was pronounced non-malignant. It had occurred to me that I might be destined
for a permanent exit before I'd expected it and, naturally, I thought about
death and mortality and all that stuff. I concluded that death is it. The
End. Kaput. Finito. Fade to Black. And then I thought about this desire
the living have to "be remembered". But what is the point of a compliment
if you're not around to hear it? Hehe. All the eulogies and tributes made
about people after their demise fall on deaf ears... unless you count the
people in attendance. Shakespeare, for example, has no idea he's still
being lauded as one of the greatest literary geniuses of all time. Tutankhamun
has no idea we're ogling his remains after thousands of years. Hitler is
not aware of being one of the most reviled lunatics in history. Cody doesn't
know his web site is still on the web. When we attend a person's funeral,
guess who's missing?
It occurred to me as I was thinking these thoughts that it's important
to make some kind of contribution to the species during our lifetime; to
use our time on Earth constructively. But it's only important to us while
we exist. After that, it's of no consequence to us at all. Agree or disagree?
And another thing... I disagree with the expression "Beauty is in the
Eye of the Beholder". I think it should be "in the Mind of the Beholder".
The eye is just a lens.
I uploaded a couple of new pics to Red Bubble with stories more interesting
than the photographs themselves. That
Was Then, This Is Now. And Don't
Just spotted this old Movietone
Newsreel from WWII about how the Brits won the battle of the skies
with their Spitfires and Hurricanes against Nazi bombers and Messerschmitts.
NC Art didn't even get a mention! On the other hand, he wasn't there until
1944/5. Here's another newsreel about British
wartime aircraft production.
And here's another Youchewb vid I came accross by accident, but I'm
glad I did... a
most fascinating interview with Billy Connolly in 5 parts. Make the
time to check it out. Now do what you're told or I'll come back in my next
life and haunt you.
And now, if you'll pardon me, I have fish 'n' chips to eat. Gary
October 9, 2011. Seems like my latest attempt to reply to Richie's
mail failed. According to the mail system, AOL refused to talk to my email
client. But my replies to NC Art get knocked back as well, and he doesn't
use AOL, so buggered if I know. I just forwarded the Returned Email message
to my ISP so we'll see what happens.
NC Art commented on the iconic Coke bottle: Some 30 years ago, the
folks at Coca-Cola decided the bottle was old and tired, so the smartasses
designed a new one. It was a grand flop because Coke lovers wouldn't buy
the thing and raised an unholy stink about it. Back to the old shape that
fit the hand so well. C'est le guerre as the Frenchies say.
C'est la geurre is also the name of a New Zealand racehorse that won
the New Zealand Derby by 4 lengths in 2008. :o)
Art is a lot more adventurous than I about trying exotic foods: My
wife was horrified when I ordered shark steak at a yacht basin restaurant
in Seattle. I told her, "If the shark would eat me, I will eat the shark."
The thing was tasty but a bit tough. Likewise, I found squid quite palatable
when fried lightly and seasoned with mild tartar sauce. Note: If you buy
scallops at the market, you may be sautéing sliced squid arms/legs/tentacles--whatever
the hell those appendages are.
I'm sure people who buy cheap fish fingers and other manufactured fish
foods are eating shark without realizing it. As to squid and calamari,
forget it. I can't handle the look of it. I said to a fishmerman friend
after he had demolished a plate of calamari, "I dunno how you can put that
stuff in your mouth!" Quick as flash he said, "You should talk!" (a reference
to my sexual orientation). So I shuddup after that. Another trick of his
after he'd had a few too many drinks was to put a raw baitfish in his glass
of wine and swallow the thing whole. Bleh. One time we were loading whole
tuna onto a boat to burley an area off shore to attract great white sharks.
It took two guys to carry just one of those huge tuna but not my fisherman
friend... he carried a couple all by himself. He and I co-wrote a fishing
series for television... our boss used to call us Mills and Boon.
Beeb time: Street fighting rages in Sirte for a second day as Libyan
government forces battle pro-Gaddafi loyalists and civilians queue up to
flee. I'm with them... I can't stand noisy neighborhoods
either. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said that he will
step down from power within the "coming days". Mr Saleh has appeared to
be ready to resign several times, but pulled out of deals to stand down
at the last moment. He returned to Yemen unexpectedly last month from Saudi
Arabia where he had been receiving treatment after his office was shelled
in June. He is faced with protests and an insurrection by renegade army
units. He has also repeatedly refused to sign a transition deal brokered
by Gulf states, and first presented in March, whereby he would hand over
power to his vice-president in return for immunity from prosecution. Immunity
from prosecution, huh? Is that an admission of guilt or what? At
least 14 people die in Syria after security forces open fire on mourners
attending the funerals of people killed in violence on Friday. How
sick is that? Michael Jackson's three children join thousands of
the late pop star's fans for a memorial concert in Cardiff. Prince Michael,
14, Paris, 13, and Blanket, nine, watched acts including Christina Aguilera,
Smokey Robinson, Leona Lewis and boy band JLS. They took to the stage dressed
in outfits reflecting Jackson's career and were greeted by rapturous applause.
The Michael Forever gig honoured the star who died in 2009, aged 50. Jeez,
two years already. At least MJ had kids to carry on the legend.
The Mexican navy has arrested eight suspects in the murder of 32 people
whose bodies were found in the eastern city of Veracruz on Thursday. They
are also accused of the murder of 35 others whose corpses were dumped on
a main road near the city last month. The navy blamed the killings on a
drugs gang known as the New Generation, which is involved in a battle for
territory with the rival Zetas cartel. At least 12 suspected members of
the Zetas have also been arrested. Take
a look at the video of these pathetic creatures. One of the
runaway hits of this past summer in New York has not been on Broadway -
instead it has been at a most unusual park which is attracting millions
of visitors from all around the world. The disused elevated railway track
that runs through downtown Manhattan now offers commuters and tourists
alike a peaceful escape from the chaos on the busy city streets below.
a brilliant idea! Check
out the vid.
Actually, I've not ridden the
raised monorail in Sydney but I can imagine it would be interesting
to gaze down on all the frantic activity below as you breeze along unobstructed
above the melee. It's also a neat experience to sit at a table in a coffee
lounge near the front window, happily detached from the madness, and watch
the passing parade out in the street.
Not everyone was in
favor of the monorail when it opened in 1988. Sir Peter Abels, boss
of TNT who built the thing, said it would be there for 20 years. My, my,
how quickly 20 years pass. It's still going and I expect it will be for
a helluva lot longer yet. Funny thing about time... look ahead 20 years
and it seems ages away. Look back and it seems like yesterday. The
old red rattlers were in service for 60 years. I traveled on those
old trains to work and back every week day (except vacations) for 9 years,
which works out to be well over 4000 trips... many more if you add incidental
But the trip that blew me away the most was when I walked up the road
(as a little kid) and got lost, so I sought help at a tailor's shop and
asked directions. The tailor told me to wait while he closed his shop and
me home in one of these. Oh, wow. I sat in the back on a big leather
seat that seemed huge to me. My feet couldn't reach the floor. No wonder
I've never forgotten it. Compared to my father's truck, that thing was
Lindsay remarked on the T-bones last night. Said they were terrible.
So he's going to shop at the butcher's next time and buy them himself.
He says he knows the bloke. Oh? "Yeah, I've had a few chats with him."
To my knowledge, Lindsay has bought meat from the butcher about twice in
the 10 years we've been here, so he obviously knows the butcher intimately.
Time to call it another day. Yeah... that makes sense. Another day.
What else would you call it? I got another email from an old radio colleague
today who reminded me of how corny things were back in the 50s and 60s.
you remember Faron Young? I couldn't believe this vid when I watched
it. Hehe. How embarrassing.
Meanwhile, it's 13 years since Matthew Shepard was attacked by homophobes
and left for dead. Justin
posted this article. Gary
October 8, 2011. Oregon Richie says my replies to his emails
are not getting through. This morning I received a message that AOL had
refused to "talk" to my ISP. So I phoned my ISP and the guy pressed a few
buttons and said "try it again". So I did. Stay tuned. Oops! And now I've
got one returned from NC Art. I'll try again.
Lots of fiddling around this morning so it's midday already and I've
only just started the Waffle page. AND it's raining again. How dreary.
NC Art comments on yabbies/crayfish: In the streams and farm ponds
of my youth crayfish were common, but too small to bother eating. Also,
my father considered them unfit for human consumption. The creatures thrived
and grew large in Gulf Coast waters such as New Orleans, with its swamps
and bayou. And they tasted quite good if you had time to tackle a tub of
them for a belly full. One Maine lobster, however was a fully satisfying
meal. The crayfish ranks just above fried rattlesnake which is not worth
the struggle. Taste is similar to chicken, but an ordeal to tease out tiny
bits of flesh from a pile of bones. After an hour of rattlesnake resistance
I could have eaten a plate sized T-bone steak for dessert. Rattlesnake
is a delicacy in desert regions in the American Southwest.
Never dined on snake (or lobster or crayfish or Balmain Bugs for that
matter). Australian Aborigines used to catch goannas and throw them on
the fire. They say it tastes like chicken. Yuck. They were also fond
of witchety grubs, eaten raw - straight down the screech. Double yuck.
However, I am quite partial to prawns, especially fried in garlic. Art
also mentioned oysters: A great treat in New Orleans is the raw oyster
bar some hotels would offer all you could eat for $1.00. I looked for excuses
to visit New Orleans, especially if I could finagle a trip on the public
dime as a city councilman. On one trip, our city attorney was shoveling
in the oysters, but suddenly excused himself. Seems he had slid a bad oyster
in his mouth but it was down the gullet before he could react. He spent
a lot of time in the loo that night. Charming. A friend once said,
"How can you not like oysters if you've never tried one?" So I did. And
that was the first and last. Art went on to talk about Cajun: Cajun
cooking in Louisiana is one hot experience. Everything that wiggles
or grows winds up in some pot along with a helluva lot of HOTT peppers.
Shrimp and rice; okra and fish or lamb; whatever. It's all tasty if you
can handle a flaming tongue for an hour! I'm also quite partial to
spicy stuff like cayenne, chilli, garlic, curries, etc. I really do like
Indian food... and most Asian... anything with a bit of extra oomph.
Beeb time: The forces of Libya's transitional government have fought
their way into the centre of Sirte, one of the last cities loyal to ex-leader
Col Gaddafi. Columns of smoke rose above the city as government forces
fought their way in, street by street, until they reached the Ouagadougou
conference centre where pro-Gaddafi loyalists are holed up. At least 12
people were killed and more than 190 injured, doctors said. Thousands of
civilians have left Sirte but many have remained behind. The two sides
battered each other with mortar shells, rockets and tank fire in what transitional
government forces have described as the final assault on Sirte, some 360km
(225 miles) east of the capital, Tripoli. Ya gotta
know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. But some people don't.
The famous cannabis-selling coffee shops of the Netherlands are facing
new tighter restrictions. The Dutch government is reclassifying high-strength
cannabis to put it in the same category as hard drugs. It says the amount
of the main active chemical in the drug, THC, has gone up, making it far
more potent than a generation ago. It means the coffee shops will be forced
to take the popular, high-strength varieties off their shelves. Dutch politicians
say high-strength cannabis, known as "skunk", is more dangerous than it
was before. In the future, anything containing more than 15% THC will be
treated the same way as hard drugs, such as cocaine and ecstasy. If
people were satisfied with reality, there'd be no Donald Duck. Microsoft's
$8.5bn (£5.4bn) takeover of internet phone service Skype is approved
by European authorities. Heard of it. Never used
it. A UK ticket-holder has won £101m (117m euros) on Euromillions
- the third largest lottery jackpot in UK history. It is not yet known
if the prize has gone to a single person, a couple or a syndicate, the
National Lottery said. It is the second major Euromillions win in the UK
this year - in July, Colin and Chris Weir, from Ayrshire, won a record
European lottery prize of £161m. Silly people
buying lottery tickets. Don't they realize they have no chance of winning
anything? Ten years after the war started, all major stakeholders
in Afghanistan - the US government, Nato, the Afghan government, its neighbours
and even the Taliban - are all on the clock. They know when the war will
end, or at least the foreign piece of it. This, as some predicted, interferes
with mission accomplishment, achieving a political resolution that ends
the insurgency and politically stabilises Afghanistan. Success in Afghanistan,
and more importantly next door in Pakistan, requires doing something right
now: putting more time on the clock. This doesn't require changing the
Obama administration's existing mission, rather negotiating its successor.
The sooner the better. Yes, I agree. It ain't over
till the fat lady sings. Read
the full article here. Dutch National Railways is introducing
emergency plastic bags for passengers to urinate in as part of its first-aid
provision on some commuter trains. Spokesman Jeroen von Geusau told the
BBC "wee bags" would be installed on commuter trains without toilets. He
said the bags were for use in emergencies such as power failures. "When
you have to wait three or four hours on a train, then it is quite logical
you have some people aboard who need to go to a restroom," he said. Yep,
when ya gotta go, ya gotta go. The US economy added 103,000 jobs
in September, ahead of many economists' expectations. But the jobless rate
was stuck at 9.1%, according to latest data from the Department of Labor.
improvement is welcome. Oscar-nominated
actress Diane Cilento, who was once married to Sean Connery, has died
aged 78. The star, who passed away at the Cairns Base Hospital, close by
her Queensland home, rose to fame in the early 1960s opposite stars such
as Charlton Heston. She was nominated for a supporting actress Oscar for
her role as Molly in the 1963 movie Tom Jones. There
ya go... I had no idea she was an Aussie. That pic would have been taken
in the early 60s when the Opera House was still under construction.
Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the Coca-Cola bottle and Christ are history's
top iconic images, according to an Oxford professor. Martin Kemp has collated
a selection of 11 images for his book Christ To Coke - How Image Becomes
Icon. A print of Che Guevara, the US flag and Nick Ut's photo of a naked
girl fleeing a napalm attack in Vietnam were also included on the list.
He said he wanted to explore why iconic images have "achieved their status".
He added: "The 11 images here are as secure and universal in their iconic
status as any cultural products can ever claim to be." I'll
paste the list below, but I'm surprised the VW Beetle didn't make it.
TOP 11 ICONIC IMAGES:
2. The Cross
3. The Heart
4. The Lion
5. Mona Lisa
7. Napalmed and Naked
8. Stars and Stripes
9. Coke: The Bottle
here for the pictures.
And that's it for Satdee. T-bones and onions for THEM and I'll pig out
on bolognaise pizza with extra olives. Gary
October 7, 2011. When I mentioned my extraneous hair invasion
the other day, TX Greg responded with this link to a Youchewb
vid about 'second puberty'.
Francois also responded to my mention of his being crazy, and insists
that life would be boring without some craziness. I agree. However, Francois
says I get a zero in geography: I've never climbed in the Pyrénées
which are very far (for France) from Nice where I lived: more than 500km
at the spanish border... I climbed in the Alps which are at the border
of Italy, then Italy/Swiss... Really not the same: Pyrénées
reach just 3400m, Alps 4807m at the Mont Blanc, very famous mountain I
climbed many times (I lost the count) by some tens ways... or the Materhorn
you'd see in the background... In
my site I put only some pics of rock climbing taken near Nice for the most.
NC Art also commented on things mountainous: G'day GaRy, National
Geographic mentioned that Blue Mountains are not mountains at all, but
layers of silty deposits laid down over millions of years. The "canyons"
are hellishly deep rifts covered lushly with eucalyptus trees, giant ferns,
and streams that host yabbies, giant Australian crayfish. A sacred
place in the Blue Mountains called Mt. Warning is also mentioned in your
"Green Room" book. or have I got this all bollixed up?
Bollixed would seem an appropriate term in this case. Hehe. The Blue
Mountains are just west of Sydney. Much further north up the coast, near
the NSW/Qld border is Mt Warning, so named by Jimmy Cook, captain of the
Endeavour back in 1770, because of its proximity to Danger Reefs. Mt Warning
is known as Wollumbin by the local Bundjalung Aboriginal tribe. It was
the closest thing I could find to Table Mountain/Cape Town/beaches, etc.
Some years ago I was advised by a lawyer friend in the US to write Green
Room. I was hesitant at first because I wasn't keen on reviving all those
memories and reliving the death of my best friend. But I relented because
"you'll regret it if you don't". NC Art had a similar experience with a
friend of his: Yesterday I had a phone call from a college mate who'd
been silent for three years. We lost track of each other for 50 years,
got back in touch, met once, then silence. I saw his name on Facebook,
posted a note and got the call after a week. Weird. Sadly Dick has Parkinson's
disease now, and his long-time companion is taking care of things. Dick
refused to acknowledge his sexual orientation until his mid thirties, when
he met his lifetime friend, a student in a class he was teaching at university.
I urged him to write his beautiful story. Now he has waited too long.
getting back to yabbies. They're also called Balmain Bugs in Oz, and
are a real delicacy. I've never had one. They're kinda like mini lobsters...
fresh water crayfish. They're quite common in creeks and shallow rivers.
I believe that deep sea "lobsters" caught off the coast of Oz are actually
crayfish. The difference between the two species has something to do with
their claws (I think). Otherwise, it's six of one, half dozen of the other.
If you think that Balmain Bug in the pic is big, check
out the crayfish I photographed a couple of years ago aboard a local
fisherman's boat. The guy posed with those monsters before throwing them
back... too big to keep because, as he said, they are "breeders". Lobsters
below or above a certain size have to be returned to the sea by law. Same
thing applies to fish. It's probably a good thing it doesn't apply to people
being rescued by lifesavers hehe.
There are two council blokes outside. One's mowing the nature strips,
and the other is wandering around with a noisy blower, blowing all the
grass clippings off the pavement. Hehe. Not a bad job.
Beeb time: After 10 years in Afghanistan, the US still lacks the knowledge
to bring the conflict to a successful end, retired Army Gen Stanley McChrystal
has said. Gen McChrystal said US and Nato allies were barely over half-way
towards reaching their goals in the country. "Operation Enduring Freedom"
was aimed at tracking down Osama Bin Laden after 9/11 and eliminating the
Taliban. The UN says more than 10,000 Afghan civilians have died because
of the fighting in the past five years alone. More than 2,500 international
troops have been killed - most of them American. The conflict has already
surpassed Vietnam to become the longest war in US history. On
the other hand, there are those who say walking away now would be a waste
of all the effort and lives so far, and to relinquish imminent victory.
Who do you believe? A Pakistani commission investigating the US
raid that killed Osama Bin Laden says a doctor accused of helping the CIA
should be tried for high treason. Dr Shakil Afridi is accused of running
a CIA-sponsored fake vaccine programme in Abbottabad, where Bin Laden was
killed, to try to get DNA samples. He was arrested shortly after the 2
May US raid that killed the al-Qaeda chief. The commission has been interviewing
intelligence officials and on Wednesday spoke to Bin Laden family members.
Pakistan, which was deeply embarrassed by the raid, has described the covert
US special forces operation as a violation of its sovereignty. So
what was the US supposed to do? Ask Pakistan's permission? I suspect Bin
Laden would still be alive today if they had. World and business
leaders pay tribute to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who has died at 56
after battling pancreatic cancer. The problem with
posthumous tributes is that they arrive too late for the person to whom
the tributes are directed. The South Pacific community of Tokelau
says it will jump to the other side of the international dateline, following
a similar move by Samoa. A tiny New Zealand-administered territory of three
islands, Tokelau lies to the north of Fiji, approximately half-way between
Hawaii and the Australian coast. It lies to the east of the line, putting
it 23 hours behind Wellington. Once it jumps it will be the first part
of New Zealand to see the sun rise. Jovilisi Suveinakama, general manager
of the Tokelau Liaison Office in Samoa, said it was a logical move closely
linked to the Samoan decision. "We usually have a situation where New Zealand
calls us on Sunday, their Monday, and there is nobody in our office and
likewise we do call them on our Friday, there is nobody in the office because
it is Saturday, so we'll be seeing some very practical benefits in terms
of this dateline change," he said. Makes sense to
me! US President Barack Obama has said his jobs act would insure
the American economy against another downturn, even while the situation
in Europe worsens. He told reporters at the White House that lawmakers
think "long and hard about what's at stake" before the bill goes to the
Senate next week. Mr Obama has been touring the US in recent weeks to promote
his $447bn (£290bn) American Jobs Act. Republicans reject a proposed
tax rise on wealthier people to pay for it. Don't
ask the poor people... they're broke. Libya's ousted leader Col
Muammar Gaddafi has called on Libyans to come on to the streets "in their
millions" to resist the nation's interim leaders. In an audio message broadcast
on Syrian-based Arrai television, he says conditions in Libya have become
"unbearable". There's a pretty good reason for that,
Colonel, or haven't you figured that out yet? Death is life's best
invention, so said Steve Jobs. Listen
to his voice here. US singer David Cassidy has sued Sony, claiming
he has not been paid royalties for sales of Partridge Family merchandise
which bear his image. The 70s TV show made Cassidy, 61, an international
star. A string of spin-off merchandise included lunchboxes, magazines and
board games. Cassidy told broadcaster CNN that Sony had breached his 1971
contract which gave him 15% of sales. He is demanding "in excess of millions
of dollars". I remember his pic in Rolling Stone
magazine when we
all got a glimpse of his pubes. Hehe. Thank god he wasn't 61 back then!
I've added a few new
favorites to my Red Bubble page if you're interested. I don't favorite
all that many... just a few now and then that jump out at me.
Guess what? Yes, it's THAT time again. An easy one tonight... fish cakes
and chips. And a squeeze of lemon (that I just picked off the tree). BTW,
last night's rissoles were yummy. I only buy what I need so yesterday I
bought ONE stick of celery and ONE small carrot. Hey, I don't want a whole
bunch of the stuff! One stick of celery and one small carrot, plus an onion,
is all I need to chop and mix with the beef mince. And a sprinkle of herbs.
Besides, if the supermarket is willing to sell them loose, that's fine
with me. What the hell would I do with a kilo of carrots? Anyway, last
night's meal cost about $1.50 per head, and there are two rissoles left
October 6, 2011. Francois wrote: It's Canyoning in french...
And I did this beautiful sport some tens years ago, often in family: that's
one the activities I'm sorry to not be able to do anymore. Anyway this
memories are good ones: Thanks to your friend NC Art to make me think again
to this... There are wonderful canyons everywhere in the world, even here
in NC (New Caledonia). Canyon= clue in french and btw this
pics are 25 or 30 years old and I scanned them some 10 years ago when
I quitted France, so the pics aren't very good: maybe you can spot me on
2 pics anyway... I hope good news from your doctors.
Thanks, Francois. As I wrote Oregon Richie this morning, there's nothing
I can think, say or do to change whatever outcome is in store for me, so
I'm just rolling with the flow and not worrying too much about anything.
Que sera sera, oui? As to canyoning, I've never done it but I did go caving
(spelunking) when I was about 20. It was at a place called Wombeyan and
the caves were sink holes that zig-zagged their way down through the cliff
tops and eventually emerged far below on the cliff face. At one place,
deep underground, we arrived at a large cavern. At one end, there was a
small hole just big enough for a person to crawl through. So we tied a
rope to the feet of one of the guys and sent him through the opening to
see if it led anywhere. If it didn't we could pull him back with the rope.
Hehe. Sheesh. Anyway, as it turned out, the small tunnel led to a huge
cavern with lots of stalactites and stalagmites, so we all took turns
(there were about six of us) to crawl through the tunnel on our bellies.
Bloody hell, I must have been crazy. I would NEVER do anything like that
these days. Too much of a wuss. Eventually, one of the guys became claustrophobic
and we headed back to the surface where we camped for the night. I still
can't believe I did that. Just the memory scares the hell outta me.
I believe the Wombeyan
Caves have been opened up to tourists with walkways and access much
improved. I was there in the mid 60s when nothing had changed for tens
of thousands of years. We didn't see another soul when we were there.
By the way, Francois was quite a famous mountaineer in his younger days,
climbing the Pyrenees. He was crazy back then and nothing's changed since.
I just saw on Justin's blog that Apple co-founder Steven Jobs died on
Wednesday aged 56. “Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the
source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives,”
the company said. “The world is immeasurably better because of Steve..."
Just goes to show you don't need to live a long life to make a big difference.
The pic on Justin's blog is of Steve making a speech, with his right
index finger raised. Isn't the index finger wonderful? We can wag it at
someone when we're chastising them, we can raise it to make a point, we
can use it as a thermometer to test the temperature of something, we can
use it to wipe our butts, we can use it to press buttons and turn lights
on, we can use it for all kinds of unmentionable things... the list is
Back from the doc. The lesion is not malignant. Nasty, yes, but not
malignant. Just to be sure, she wants to check it again in 6 weeks. Then
we can make a decision about having it surgically removed at the local
hospital. No chemo, no radiation, no traveling to Newcastle. So I said
to her, "Are you serious?" And she said, "Yes." I said, "What about all
my neighbors? They're making funeral arrangements! What am I gonna tell
them? They'll be sooo disappointed!" She's Indian, and wasn't sure if I
was joking or not. Hehe. Meanwhile, it looks like I'll be hanging around
this planet for a bit longer yet.
Beeb time: Steve Jobs, co-founder of US computer giant Apple, dies,
aged 56, after a career that transformed digital technology with a series
of innovations. There's a man who will go down in
history as one of the great innovators. Thousands of protesters
have marched on New York's financial district, with rallies also held in
other US cities. Powerful unions gave a high-profile boost to the long-running
demonstrations, as their members joined the rally in lower Manhattan. Students
at several US colleges walked out of classes in solidarity. The activists
have vented grievances over the 2008 corporate bailouts, high US unemployment
and home repossessions, among other things. Blame
the system, not the victims, they said. Former Alaska Governor Sarah
Palin declares she will not run for the White House in the 2012 presidential
elections. There ya go, a bit of good news for a
change. A form of cloning has been used to create personalised embryonic
stem cells in humans, say researchers. Genetic material was taken from
an adult skin cell and transferred into a human egg. This was grown to
produce an early embryo. Stem cells have huge potential in medicine as
they can transform into any other cell type in the body. Do
you get the feeling this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg?
Afghan intelligence officials say they have arrested six people who they
believe were planning to assassinate President Hamid Karzai. The alleged
plotters had recruited one of Mr Karzai's bodyguards and had possible links
to the militant Haqqani network, the officials said. Analysts say the arrests
may be seen as part of a plan to discredit Pakistan. Relations between
the two countries are tense over alleged links between Pakistan and Haqqani
militants. Yes, not the happiest of neighbors, which
could be a bit of a worry. A recording of Michael Jackson bemoaning
his unhappy childhood has been played to the trial of the doctor charged
with his death. In the audio recorded six weeks before the star's death,
an apparently drugged Jackson tells Conrad Murray about his plans to stage
a series of concerts. Jackson says the shows in London will be for children
as he did not have a childhood. Personally, I think
it's a mistake to be obsessed with what you don't or never had. What you
have now, and what you want in the future is what matters. Dozens
of stone-throwing youths have clashed with police in Athens as public sector
workers went out on strike in protest at Greece's austerity measures. The
24-hour strike saw flights and ferry services cancelled, government offices
and tourist sites closed, and hospitals working with reduced staff. Many
strikers expressed frustration and anger at the cuts. I
don't get it. How is that gonna solve the problem? A third of post-9/11
veterans say the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been worth fighting,
an opinion poll by the Pew Research Center suggests. The view by 33% of
those veterans was shared by 45% of the general public, according to the
research. About six out of 10 veterans said the US should focus less on
foreign affairs and more on its own problems. Half of post-9/11 veterans
thought the Afghan war worth it, while 44% said the same of the Iraq conflict.
Among members of the general public, 41% thought the Afghan war worth it
and 36% believed the same of the Iraq war. Of course,
we'll never know what the situation would be now if the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan had never taken place. The Murray-Darling Basin, in
south-east Australia, is the country's breadbasket. But following more
than a decade of drought, the government wants farmers there to cut their
water usage drastically - proposals that have provoked a furious reaction.
Australian farmer John Ward says he has one thing on his mind as he drives
around parts of New South Wales these days. Water. It's
like the situation in Greece... you can't use what isn't there. But I've
seen documentaries about farming more efficiently with less water, and
I'm confident that a solution will be found. If a cactus can do it, so
can we. A tourist killed when a helicopter crashed into a river
in New York City, injuring three others, had been celebrating her birthday.
Sonia Marra, who died in the tragedy, had gone to the US to celebrate her
40th and see her family again for the first time in years, said a colleague.
Ms Marra had been employed at a fruit and vegetable market in the Sydney
suburb of Glebe, said colleague Joe Galluzzo. The trip to New York had
been a surprise gift from Ms Tamaki, Mr Galluzzo said, and Ms Marra had
been excited about being reunited with her family, whom she had not seen
in years. Glebe, my old stomping ground. What a terrible
end to a birthday surprise. The nest of a biting venomous spider
has been found in a Buckinghamshire garden and council officers have warned
residents to be on the alert for more. Milton Keynes pest controllers have
dealt with the nest of a false widow spider but believe there may be others.
The nest was found in Bletchley and officers warn the spiders give a bite
which is not lethal but is painful. God, that wouldn't
even make the news here in Oz. Those kinds of spiders, such as redbacks,
are as common as muck over here.
Almost 5pm and time to think about kitchen duties. Lindsay said he fancied
some rissoles tonight. I could have bought ready-made ones but they're
not the same. So silly me said I'll make my own. It means buggerizing around
with chopping carrot, celery and onion, and mixing it all in with the beef
mince, and adding herbs and a bit of this and that, and then shaping and
crumbing them, but... they taste good. I'll serve them with mash and gravy.
October 5, 2011. NC Art is aware of the latest cancer research:
Gay, G'day who? Never mind... no one's perfect... Aussies and a
gang of other researchers are zeroing in on nasty cancer cells. Another
approach is a possible treatment which targets malignant cells, binds to
it and shuts down its blood supply. To keep up its vitality and division,
the cell creates a network of arteries. Some promising counter measures
have been developed in the last few years. Sounds like the Ozguys are working
toward something similar--target only the abnormal cells and keep it from
Art has also been taking a peek at Oz: National Geographic magazine
has a nifty story and pix on "canyoneering" in the Blue Mountains. Looked
hairy, scary, but beautiful. The sport is a combination of spelunking and
rappelling, I guess. Yep, the
Blue Mountains are quite spectacular. It was a mammoth struggle for
early explorers Wentworth, Blaxland and Lawson to find a way over the mountains
but once they did, it opened up the whole of the vast western plains to
farming and gold mining. Even these days, it's fairly common to hear of
campers and hikers getting lost in the Blue Mountains and having to be
rescued. They're not all that far out of Sydney actually... about 60 miles
The other day I put the goggles on and checked the bathroom mirror for
extraneous facial hair. I was horrified to see the stuff taking over my
nostrils, and producing small forests in my ears. My eyebrows were threatening
to bury the rest of me under a haystack. So I whipped out the little scissors
and did a bit of snipping. I have no idea why hair does that as one gets
older. I'm happy with the stuff on my crown but I really don't need it
elsewhere. The thing is, my vision ain't as sharp as it useta was and unless
I wear my glasses in the bathroom I fail to notice the hairy assault. I'd
hate to think what the checkout chicks think. Hehe.
Beeb time: China and Russia veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning
Syria over its crackdown on anti-government protesters. Surprise,
surprise. That would be like the pot calling the kettle black. A
tearful Amanda Knox says she is "overwhelmed" at being back on US soil
after her acquittal for the murder of UK student Meredith Kercher. What
a dreadful ordeal that must have been. A helicopter has plunged
into a river in New York City, killing a woman and critically injuring
two other people. Witnesses described how the privately owned Bell 206
aircraft spun out of control after take-off and fell into the East River
near 34th Street in midtown Manhattan. Joy Garnett, a witness on a nearby
dock, told the Associated Press that the aircraft had risen about 25ft
(8m) off the ground, before spinning two or three times and dropping into
the water. The helicopter flipped over, its blades sticking up out of the
water, and was "obviously out of control", she said. Mayor Bloomberg said
"a tragedy like this just breaks your heart", adding that the passengers
had come "to see the best of our city". Click
here for the full story and video. The Italian government's credit
rating is slashed by ratings agency Moody's from Aa2 to A2, amid rising
market concerns over the eurozone debt crisis. It's
all beyond me. I'm fiscally challenged. Apple has unveiled the latest
iteration in its iPhone range, but there was no sign of the widely rumoured
iPhone 5. The iPhone 4S, as the model will be known, boasts an improved
camera and significantly extended battery life. It has the same look and
feel as the existing iPhone 4 which was launched 15 months ago. However,
Apple said that updates to iOS meant the phone would boast some "200 new
features". I still haven't seen the first one yet!
The leaders of Afghanistan and India have signed a strategic partnership
agreement during a visit by President Hamid Karzai to Delhi. Mr Karzai
met Indian PM Manmohan Singh, who said violence in Afghanistan was undermining
security in South Asia. He also said that India would "stand by Afghanistan"
when foreign troops withdraw from the country in 2014. Mr Karzai's visit
follows a series of attacks which have damaged ties between Kabul and India's
rival, Pakistan. Correspondents say the increasingly close relationship
between Kabul and Delhi will be viewed with some suspicion by Pakistan,
which sees Afghanistan as its backyard. Not exactly
a surprising development. India and Pakistan are not the best of friends,
and they both have nuclear weapons.
Yes, but what does an iPhone actually DO? I checked on Youchewb and
there are a lot of bogus links. God knows what kinda bugs I ended up getting
in my laptop... I had to reboot. Frankly, if I caught the bastards who
upload such crap I'd happily strap them to an ant nest and film their agonizing
deaths. In any case, if an iPhone doesn't do everything a regular laptop
does, I'm not interested. No full-size qwerty keyboard, no Gary. One vid
I managed to watch showed the iPhone with a laser keyboard that projects
onto a flat surface like a table. Is that true? It also showed a screen
that projects onto a vertical surface. Really? I dunno what to believe
However I do believe in TX Greg. I found his old email about cleaning
up my hard drive, and did the whole thing again. I had 22GB of free space
and now I've got 32. Hehe. It's who ya know ya know.
I'm starving. I didn't have any lunch. AND I'M STARVING! It's 5 o'clock.
I'm tempted to snack but I better not. It's almost time to cook din dins.
Junk tonight. Party pies and party sausages rolls and CHIPS for me and
HIM, and scrambled eggs and chips for HER. She doesn't like pastry, silly
girl. The party pies and sausage rolls were on spesh so... I couldn't resist.
A dollop of tamaaaaata sauce and Bob's yer uncle.
I received a bill today from the mob that did the biopsy tests. They're
hoping to get paid before I cark it. It's the same with the doc. I have
to pay then and there before I leave the building hehe. So much for making
me feel confident about my chances of survival. Oh well... we're only here
for a bloody minute anyway... candles in the wind. If I'd had any brains
when I left school I would have gotten into the funeral biz. Showbiz is
And that's about it for today, ladies and genitals. Oh, by the way,
I phoned my old boss Chris Maitland last night to inform him of the demise
of my previous boss Alan Ireland who died aged 88 from natural causes.
Chris, like me, is ex-radio but still takes a keen interest in the goings
on of former colleagues. Anyway, we chatted for over an hour... well,
I did... and he asked me (when he managed to get a word in) if I was still
doing any voice over work. I sound pretty flash over the phone ya know.
No... afraid not. I lost my confidence long ago and just don't have the
whatever to get back into it again. Pity. It's a very lucrative way to
make a quid and I could easily make enough to fix Das Busse if I did. Incidentally,
Das Busse started first go again today after sitting idle for several weeks.
October 4, 2011. Heard of Dame Edna Everage? Here's the man behind
the wigs and glasses (and the other characters), Oz
comedian Barry Humphries.
Chewsdee. This Thursdee is when I see the specialist again for the results
of the biopsy and a letter of referral to have scans done of my head and
neck. I used to get quite of few of those in gay bars years ago. But this
is different, of course. I suppose it'll be another couple of weeks before
the results of the scans are delivered to the doc, and arrangements are
made for whatever treatment she deems necessary. BTW, I watched a story
on telly last night about a couple of Aussie researchers who have made
a major breakthrough in the treatment of cancer... something that targets
the cancer cells without interfering with nearby healthy cells. In other
words, your hair doesn't fall out. Previous chemo used the gattling gun
Oh, looky here. I just discovered where the Ten
Commandments came from.
The recent exchange of emails with my former colleague at Radio 2KY
is bringing back a lot of memories. I learned that my old boss at KY, a
scallywag if ever there was one, died recently aged 88. He was quite a
character, and we got along very well. Bosses and I rarely saw eye to eye,
so Alan was an exception. And in some ways he was a kind of father figure
to me. Every time I did him a favor he'd slip me twenty bucks hehe. I've
already told the story on the Scrapbook but I'll tell it again. One afternoon
I was on air and rang his office to say there were no ads scheduled between
5 and 6. "Don't worry about it. I'm working on it." During the news, he
came into the studio with a press ad torn from a newspaper. It was only
about 4 inches square with a bit of text. "These people are sponsoring
the next hour. Just ad lib around that." Hehe. He was kidding, right? No.
So I ad libbed my heart out and the switchboard lit up. Alan was most impressed
and shortly thereafter I was given the breakfast shift. Those were the
days. Crazy but fun.
Another cloudy and dreary day, but not raining for which I'm thankful.
Weather for the rest of the week is all over the joint. But at least the
temperature will improve a bit. This is supposed to be the driest inhabited
continent on earth! Yeah, right. However, inland it's a different story.
Dryzabone out there.
Beeb time: Amanda Knox and ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito have been
cleared of killing UK student Meredith Kercher following a successful appeal
in Perugia, Italy. Miss Knox, 24, and Mr Sollecito, 27, had been convicted
in 2009 of murdering the Leeds University student, 21, from south London,
two years earlier. American Miss Knox sobbed as they were freed after nearly
four years in jail. So now what happens to the original
prosecution and judge? Eurozone ministers delay a decision on giving
Greece the next instalment of bailout cash, after Athens fails to meet
this year's deficit target. I guess it only takes
one flat tire to stop a whole bus. Afghan President Hamid Karzai,
in a thinly veiled attack on Pakistan, has said a "double game" is being
played in the fight against militants. Mr Karzai said Pakistan had not
co-operated on security issues "which is disappointing for us", but insisted
talks with Islamabad should continue. I get the feeling
Karzai would have preferred to use a stronger term than "disappointing".
Two Somali men have been sentenced to life in a US prison for their role
in the deadly hijacking of a yacht off the coast of Africa in February
this year. Muhidin Salad Omar and Mahdi Jama Mohamed were sentenced at
a federal court in Norfolk, Virginia. The hijack left all four American
yachters dead. They were part of a 19-strong gang that seized the boat
south of Oman, hoping to ransom the passengers. More sentences are due
in the case on Tuesday. Bastards. Fair-skinned
people who are prone to sunburn may need to take supplements to ensure
they get enough vitamin D, say experts. It appears that those with pale
skin, while not deficient, may still be lacking in the essential vitamin
that the body makes from sunlight. The Cancer Research UK-funded team say
that even with a lot of sun exposure, those with fair skin may not be able
to make enough vitamin D. And too much sun causes skin cancer. That's
me, folks. Australia's trade surplus surged in August as exports
of coal and other minerals increased despite concerns of a global slowdown.
Shipments from Australia grew 8% from the previous month, while imports
rose 3%, the statistical bureau said. That resulted in a trade surplus
of 3.1bn Australian dollars ($2.9bn; £1.9bn), the second-largest
on record. And our dollar's down to 96 cents (and
expected to drop further) which will stimulate exports even more (as well
as tourism). The surviving Beatles have paid tribute to George Harrison
at the London premiere of Martin Scorsese's new documentary about his life.
Sir Paul McCartney called the guitarist, who died in 2001, "a great man"
and "an all-round good boy". Scorsese told the BBC he had been drawn to
tell Harrison's story because of the outlook of his lyrics. "For years,
his music seemed to be dealing with themes that I connected with," he said.
"I found comfort in them and a hope and a special experience listening
to his music. I was fascinated by him." The four
mop tops were all remarkable individuals, and it was even more remarkable
that they got together to form a band.
I love pretty much everything George Harrison did but
particularly this one. I also thought it was cool when he joined up
with the Traveling Wilburys, along with Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan and made
great music like
The End of the Line.
Well, I think it's time to throw a chicken in the oven (plucked and
marinated, of course) and a few spuds. Gary
October 3, 2011. Labor Day. Actually, it's more like non-labor
day cos it's a holiday. Anyone (except the self-employed, of course) working
today is probably on double pay. It doesn't apply to carers unfortunately.
TX Greg wrote: Speaking of festivals it's the opening week here for
the State Fair of Texas. I can still remember as a little one seeing and
hearing Big-Tex say "Howdy Folks". A
behind the scenes look at the voice....... I should sneak in there
one of these days and do a "owyagoin, mate, no worries". Greg also mentions
the big thing about the fair is all the deep fried foods. Last
year they had deep fried butter, haha
NC Art writes: With but one exception my family members were
born with high IQ's. I was short-changed, barely tipping over the dunce
level, a condition I frequently found useful as reliable excuse. A few
years ago a friend described me as a very erudite gentleman and I didn't
even need to Google the word for a definition! Yes, but you have a
good memory, Art, and an appetite for knowledge. It's the old story of
the hare and the tortoise. Guess who won the race?
Art also wants to know how Green Room is doing on Kindle. As far as
I can tell, it's not. It's just sitting there doing nothing. It has
become a test of my mental faculties in identifying B stories characters
by new names. Why not Kyle, Steve, Mark, Paul et al?Also, a transplant
of the whole mob scene from S.A. to Ozland is a bit disorienting. If
you think it's disorienting for you, Art, imagine what it was like for
me having to relocate everyone and, at the same time, remember all their
new names. I also had to be mindful of things like changing buddy to mate,
substituting Africans for Australian Aborigines, etc. But for anyone reading
Green Room without having read the original stories, it's not a problem.
The change was necessary because it was published as an abridged version
for general consumption (as opposed to being exclusive to my old web site),
and Steve insisted on it for the sake of anonymity. He was understandably
concerned about the possibility of the Ts reading about the son they never
knew, as well as other characters having their private lives revealed.
However, I do admit it wouldn't be too difficult for anyone familiar with
the original circumstances to put two and two together after reading Green
Beeb time: Greece says its budget deficits in 2011 and 2012 will fail
to meet targets, as EU and IMF inspectors ponder allocating a new bailout
instalment. From the glory days of ancient Athens
to a basket case. Whatever happened to guys like Onassis? Streams
of civilians have been fleeing the Libyan city of Sirte, ousted leader
Muammar Gaddafi's birthplace. Travelling in vehicles packed with belongings,
they have been queuing at checkpoints leading out of the city. Transitional
authority forces say they are observing a truce to encourage the remaining
civilians to get out, before launching a final assault. It's
weird to see a war being fought with pickup trucks and utilities.
A short train ride from central Madrid is a scruffy plot of land covered
in weeds and surrounded by wire fencing. In just a couple of months work
is expected to start to transform the site into Spain's first ever retirement
home for gay and lesbian residents. Spain has been at the vanguard of Europe
in terms of gay rights in recent years, but activists say reforming laws
has been easier than changing attitudes. Read
the full article here. Texas Governor Rick Perry - who is seeking the
Republican nomination for US president - has said he would consider sending
American troops into Mexico to combat drug-related violence. "It may require
our military in Mexico working in concert with them to kill these drug
cartels and keep them off our border," he said. Any deployment of US military
forces on Mexican territory would almost certainly be unacceptable to the
Mexican authorities. Mexico lost around half its territory to the US after
a war in the 1840s, and has since been very protective of its sovereignty.
Perry knows best. Eastman Kodak denies that it plans to file for
bankruptcy protection, despite hiring a legal firm well-known for handling
such cases. The Box Brownie brought photography to
the masses, but it never really succeeded in becoming anything more than
basic. I've had Kodak cameras that were very good but the brand has never
been able to shake the Box Brownie reputation. Mixed-race people
once faced discrimination and hostility in Britain, so how much have things
changed? A most interesting
article and definitely worth a read.
I've been following progress of the local courthouse/police station
renovation and construction for most of this year, taking pics on weekends
and sometimes during the week. Today I discovered the gate to the work
area unlocked. So what did I do? Yeah. But I didn't do anything naughty.
I stayed just inside the fence and took a few pics. I suppose I should
have gone for a bit of a wander but... well... you know. At the mo, they're
fitting windows and working on the interior floors, etc. Looks like it'll
be a few months before the joint is finished. The project design is a bit
strange really. On the one side you have a
19th century courthouse (a pic I took a few years ago) and right next
door a 21st century, two-storey police station. Even the colors don't match.
Just got back from shopping and Lindsay reminded me we need more toilet
paper. His timing is impeccable. Anyway, there are 3 rolls left. "That
won't last long... not the way me and Sue are shittin'." Charming, yes?
Kitchen time again. Pork chops for THEM and... well, I dunno yet. I'm
easily pleased. Maybe macaroni. Gary
October 2, 2011. Raining again today, and quite heavily. As you
know I didn't venture out to the Old Bar Festival yesterday because of
the lousy weather. If I had I could have taken a pic or two of a
light plane stuck in a Ferris Wheel.
I saw the story on national TV news last night. The pilot said he decided
to abort a landing at the nearby airfield and then tried to gain height
for another run. But he didn't see the Ferris Wheel until too late. It's
not normally there. It's brought in for the festival and sits on the back
of a large truck. The airfield is quite busy during the festival, with
joy flights being run by ultra lights and small helicopters. There are
also quite a lot of powered hang gliders. Anyway, it's very fortunate that
no one was hurt in the accident, apart from having their wits scared out
of them. They won't forget that experience in a hurry. The pilot was interviewed
later and became quite emotional when he talked about seeing those two
little kids trapped in the car after slamming into the wheel.
I think it was about 11am or so when I heard several sirens whizzing
past my house in Taree. One of them was an emergency rescue truck. I figured
something serious was going on but had no idea of what until I watched
the news last night. Hearing anything about Taree or Old Bar on the national
news is very unusual indeed. So there ya go... a bit more excitement than
the festival organizers had anticipated.
shot of the trapped ultra light. And another
one. And another
one. It appears most of the Ferris cars were empty. If it had been
a nice sunny day, there may have been a major tragedy.
Meanwhile, here we go again with daylight saving. It's only eastern
Oz that has it, excluding Queensland, which makes it all a bit difficult.
Cross over the border between NSW and Qld and there's one hour difference.
If you work on the Gold Coast and live in Murwillumbah, you need to leave
home an hour late to get to work on time. If you watch Brisbane TV, you
tune in at 8 to watch the 7 o'clock news. Banana benders reckon daylight
saving fades the curtains and upsets the cows at milking time.
Beeb time: The US state department has issued a travel alert to Americans,
warning of a heightened risk of violence worldwide in the wake of the killing
of key al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki. The US-born radical Islamist cleric
was killed by US drones in Yemen on Friday. The state department warned
his death would provide motivation for retaliation against US interests.
Also killed was US-born propagandist Samir Khan, with unconfirmed reports
a key Saudi bombmaker also died. In issuing its worldwide travel alert,
the state department said: "The death of Awlaki, in the near term, could
provide motivation for anti-American attacks worldwide from individuals
or groups seeking to retaliate against US citizens or interests because
of this action."
Yes, tit for tat. Those bloody drongos
forget that the Yanks have a helluva lot more tat than their tit.
Syrian forces have regained control of the central town of Rastan after
days of fighting with defectors who had joined protesters, state media
say. Earlier, human rights activists said troops had taken much of the
town after the defectors had pulled out of the town in restive Homs province.
Dozens of tanks and armoured vehicles had entered, reports say. Meanwhile,
opposition members have met in Turkey to forge a united front against President
If you fail to control the hearts
and minds of the people, Bashar, then you don't really control anything
at all. An ultra-light plane crashes into a Ferris wheel north of
Sydney trapping four people for hours, but no one is seriously hurt, Australian
officials say. There ya go, it even made the BBC.
About 2,000 Bulgarians protest against Roma and what they see as links
to organised crime, amid ethnic unrest ahead of presidential elections.
that young Bulgarian bloke I knew? I wonder whatever happened to him. Last
time I heard, he was talking about a scholarship to study in California.
He was a pretty bright dude. Actually, I remember him telling me his IQ
was 145+ or something like that, and shooting me down in flames cos mine
was only 129. The default retirement age in the UK has been fully
abolished after being phased out from April this year. New legislation
stops employers from compulsorily retiring workers once they reach the
age of 65. However, research by law firm Norton Rose suggests one in 10
firms plans to offer financial incentives to encourage workers to move
on at a certain age. The charity Age UK welcomed the legislation but said
age discrimination was still prevalent in the workplace. Read
Andrew Webster's story. The sale of tobacco from vending machines has
been banned in England, with anyone caught selling cigarettes in machines
facing a fine of £2,500. The Department of Health said the ban had
been introduced to prevent under-age sales to children and to support adults
who were trying to quit. The rest of the UK is expected to implement a
similar ban next year. Yes, Big Brother knows what's
best for you, so just shuddup and do what you're told. Australian
swimmer Kenrick Monk has admitted lying to police over a broken elbow he
suffered earlier this week. Monk, who won a relay gold at last year's Commonwealth
Games and hopes to compete at the 2012 Olympics, had said he was deliberately
struck by a car while out training on his bicycle. But he has since confessed
that he was injured when he fell off a skateboard. "I was embarrassed.
I didn't know what to do. I panicked, I freaked," said the 23-year-old.
"Basically to know that I've just fallen off a skateboard, something that
a 10-year-old can ride." He was tearful as he admitted
the lie, but that doesn't excuse his attempt to avoid the truth.
A girl who worked at 2KY when I was there back in the mid '70s wrote
after finding something I posted on the Scrapbook page. She eventually
got into journalism and worked in radio, television and print. Her name
is not familiar to me but I'd probably recognize her if I saw her. Anyway,
we've been swapping emails and reminiscing about the old times and some
of the characters we knew. They were certainly amazing days, never to be
repeated. Scallywags have apparently been banned from the industry.
Would you like another Ronnie Corbett monologue? Yeah...
Oregon Richie just sent this link to Obama's
speech at the Washington Convention Center during the Human Rights Campaign
Dinner. I passed it on to Justin as well. Go get 'em Barack.
Well, here we are in the middle of spring and it's like winter. I've
had to turn the heater on the last few nights and it's on again now. A
couple of years ago I went out to the Old Bar Festival and it was sunny
and bewdiful. I had my cowboy hat on and sun screen! There were a couple
of young guys out there shirtless (I just happened to notice). So what's
with the global warming thing? Warming? I've gotta turn the bloody heater
on to get warm!
Din dins time. Lindsay walked into the kitchen to tell me he heard on
the news this morning that they're thinking of closing the Old Bar airfield.
Some people are up in arms about the Ferris Wheel accident. The Ferris
Wheel is there for 3 days out of 365 but they want the airfield closed
for the entire year and all the years after that. It's been there for 80
years. Lindsay agrees that it should be closed. And with an IQ barely equal
to his shoe size, why wouldn't he? I better cook dinner before I explode.
October 1, 2011. It's the Labor Day long weekend, and it's WET.
I'm sure the Old Bar Festival organizers will be thrilled, as well as thousands
of holiday makers who've had their plans ruined. Those Kombis come from
all over NSW and interstate for this event, poor buggers. And it's not
just gonna rain for one day. Oh no, rain is forecast for the next 4 days.
The old airfield at Old Bar will be one big soggy mess.
The weird thing about that grass strip is that there's no building there...
no office or anything like that. You just land, park, and toddle off into
town. I think there's a wind sock but that's about it. The field was used
as a refuelling stopover during WWII, but I think it goes back to the very
early days of aviation when flights were a series of hops. Obviously someone
is in charge of keeping the field mown and tidy, but I dunno who. If NC
Art had known about it, he could have landed his B thingy there in '44
and entertained the locals.
There's a more sophisticated airport in Taree, with proper tarmacs and
a terminal, but I'm not sure how long it's been in operation. It's big
enough to handle small commuter turbo props like
the Saab 340 which flies into and out of Taree twice a day. The local
aero club also uses the airport for its base.
I was right about Oregon Richie enjoying Ronnie Corbett's Jungle Joke
yesterday. Richie is into short wave radio and all that kinda thing. Good
clips 'n snips this morning on WAFFLE and the "Ronnie" one was a classic
!! Or did I get that right? Perfect English and short-wave
radio indeed..... !! That whole thing was pretty funny with that
classic flat-humor and such and the "rough neighborhood" he spoke of.
The thing is, if one is British and cultured, one
never refers to the lavatory. Hehe.
I've long been a huge fan of Ronnie
Corbett's armchair monologues. He always sat in his favorite chair
and made you feel like you were the only person in the audience... just
the two of you having a chat, except he did all the chatting. A most amusing
man indeed and a wonderful story teller.
Beeb time: US President Barack Obama has said the death of senior US-born
al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen is a "major blow" to the organisation.
Yemen said Awlaki was killed in Jawf province, along with several of his
associates - US officials said US drones had carried out the attack. Awlaki,
who was of Yemeni descent, was a key figure in al-Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula (AQAP). He is believed to have been behind a number of attempts
to attack the US. Mr Obama said that as a leading AQAP figure, Awlaki had
taken the lead in "planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans"
and was also "directly responsible for the death of many Yemeni citizens".
He said Awlaki had directed attempts to blow up US planes and had "repeatedly
called on individuals in the United States and around the globe to kill
innocent men, women and children to advance a murderous agenda". His death,
said Mr Obama, "marks another significant milestone in the broader effort
to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates". There's something
terribly wrong going on here. Allah is letting his side down badly. Hey,
Allah, baby! Things ain't goin' too well for al-Qaeda. What's the matter
wit you? You payin' attention or what! Afghan President Hamid Karzai
has said his government will no longer hold peace talks with the Taliban.
He said the killing of Burhanuddin Rabbani had convinced him to focus on
dialogue with Pakistan. Former Afghan President Rabbani was negotiating
with the Taliban but was killed by a suicide bomber purporting to be a
Taliban peace emissary. Yep, you can't reason with
the devil. Serbian authorities have banned a gay pride parade planned
for Sunday in the capital Belgrade saying they fear it will end in violence.
A number of counter-demonstrations have also been banned. Last year, several
people were injured in clashes between police and far-right groups trying
to stop the parade. Organisers have criticised the ban, saying Serbian
authorities have capitulated to extremists. Officials insist it is to protect
public safety. Correspondents say homophobia is widespread in Serbia. Irinej,
the head of the influential Serbian Orthodox Church, labelled the planned
event a "pestilence" and a "parade of shame". Jesus
Christ was anything but orthodox, but why let some bearded hippie ruin
a perfectly good religion? A man on the run from New Zealand since
a bank mistakenly deposited millions of dollars into his account has been
arrested in Hong Kong. Police say Hui Gao - a New Zealander of Chinese
origin - was handed over to Interpol after he was stopped at the border
between Hong Kong and China. Two years ago, he asked Westpac Bank for an
overdraft of NZ$100,000 ($77,000; £49,000). But it mistakenly put
NZ$10m into his account. The bank discovered its error within days but,
by then, more than NZ$6m had allegedly been transferred to other accounts.
many of us would be tempted to do the same thing? A baseball fan
in Taiwan dropped his toddler daughter while trying to catch a foul ball.
Cameras at the televised game between the Taipei Brother Elephants and
Taoyuan's Lamigo Monkeys, also caught the fan's wife shouting at him afterwards.
Mr Bai later said "I was going to catch the ball using one hand but ended
up lifting both hands and dropped my daughter." The girl said she slightly
hurt one leg but was otherwise unhurt. Check
out the vid here.
NC Art comments on the "uncommonly religious": Religion is a fine
thing, but does tend to become too high and mighty--or tries to. So with
the Puritan movement, never happy enough to practice great piety in private
and public, decided that anyone not of that mind must be punished by civil
authority which was there to do the will of God--as prescribed by Puritans.
Even Oliver Cromwell, one of the faithful, didn't measure up always. He
threw a party when his daughter married a despised Catholic Frenchman.
Oh the horror! Thus, this pious bunch of people could never be truly content;
they harbored the suspicion that just maybe some one, somewhere, may be
Oregon Richie agrees: I have heard a lot about that lately... particularly
among these LDS Mormon types. Talk about a narrow focus, and talk about
prejudice, and talk about endless role-playing, and talk about turning
against a stated-loved-and-close-friend when they even think for a second
that they may be leaving the fold or questioning one iota of it.
It's pretty sickening, really. I called one of these aspects of doing
such things during this mortal life with the guarantee of "celestial heaven"
to be, and I quote myself... a "rip roaring crock". I did not have
to point out what the crock contained, but anybody can get the message
Yes, some people - whether religious or similarly biased in a particular
ideological direction - see themselves as chosen by divine ordination to
rescue sinners from the clutches of the devil, to convince the great unwashed
of the error of its ways, and to herd us all into some kind of heavenly
corral. They are nothing more than delusional, self-appointed minders and
arbiters of other people's business.
I mentioned the "Very interesting" German guy from Laugh In to TX Greg
the other day. haha
yes indeed I remember as a kid watching Laugh In...
It was also "very interesting" to see Peter Sellers in that clip. I
remember the story told by British interviewer Michael Parkinson of his
encounter with Peter Sellers. Sellers agreed to be interviewed after he
and Parkinson lunched together for a bit of a natter and familiarisation,
but then reneged hours before the show was about to go to air that night.
He said he couldn't be interviewed as himself because he had nothing to
say. So Parkinson said, "Who would you like to be interviewed as?" And
Sellers replied, "A German soldier." The interview went ahead, and
Sellers was hilarious as the German soldier. Then he loosened up and went
on to be himself. In part 1 of the interview, Sellers gets half way through
a joke so you'll have to watch part 2 to hear the rest of it. But you won't
be disappointed. And you won't be disappointed with parts 3 and 4 either.
What a remarkable talent Sellers was. A genius. Ironically, he was brilliant
at being everyone but himself. Spike Milligan (who worked with Sellers
in The Goons) was another comic genius who suffered terrible bouts of depression.
And speaking of Eccles...
Isn't that sweet? It even has cute little cottage windows. I think NC
Art was into typesetting. If you look at those last two lines of text in
the ad, you'll notice that the words in the top line are spaced wider than
their counterparts in the bottom line to achieve correct justification.
Incidentally, don't bother writing to Art for a catalogue because he's
run out of them.
And here we are again... tender foive, which means I'd better start
thinking about feeding the natives. Good ol' bacon, eggs and chips. Gary
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