October 31, 2012. The end of another month. Sheesh. How come
the older ya git, the faster time goes? When you get to my age, you start
to measure the past in decades. 1980 seems recent. Even 1970 seems recent.
No one was born after 2000. It's all a myth.
Actually, I was thinking about Cody's friends and wondering how much
of their daily lives from 12+ years ago they remember. As we get older,
our memories become more selective. We remember bits and pieces but certainly
not a lot of the daily detail. So you can imagine what it would be like
for Wingnut or Mark to sit down and read Green Room. I mean who has a word-for-word
record of conversations they had a decade or more ago, particularly from
their early teen years? Spooky, yes?
Poor ol' NC Art is confused again: When you find out what a “post
tropical storm cyclone” is, fer gawd’s sake let me know! I think I
might leave that one to someone who's more familiar with the meteorological
arts than I. Reminds me of Cody once boasting that surfers know how to
read synoptic charts. However, I did see a report on telly last night about
the path of Hurricane Sandy being diverted inland by the presence of a
previous tropical storm, and that the original path of the hurricane would
have been up the eastern seaboard without making landfall.
A Polish teenager who became pregnant after rape should have had
unhindered access to an abortion, the European Court of Human Rights has
ruled. The girl, who was then 14, was forced to have a clandestine abortion
after harassment from pro-life groups led to her being turned away from
hospitals. The court ordered the Polish state to pay the teenager and her
mother 61,000 euros (£49,000) in compensation. Stick that up
ya collective clacker, Romney & Co. (Sometimes my literary eloquence
surprises me, ya know).
Where would I like to be right now? Tathra would be a good spot. I worked
at Bega, the main town, and lived at nearby Tathra. The boss of the radio
station visited me a few weeks ago here in Taree. Anyway, a friend and
his mates often slept overnight on the wharf on weekends and invited me
to join them. The wharf had been condemned back then and was in terrible
shape. But that didn't bother us. Just up the road was the historic Tathra
pub. I'd had a few too many one night and went outside for a bit of fresh
air. There was a German Shepherd sitting on the footpath near the kerb,
so I sat down next to him with my feet in the gutter and introduced myself.
My breath must've been horrendous cos he lifted his nose and turned away.
Hehe. I was shattered. Nobody wanted to know me.
So now I'm thinking what the hell am I doing here when I could be somewhere
else? Taree's not a bad town as far as towns go but it's the lifestyle...
being stuck in a house with a couple of dodos and caught up in a boring
routine. Now, if my house were on wheels, that wouldn't be a problem. You
just park the thing somewhere like in that picture. And when that gets
a bit tiresome, you park it somewhere else. Yeah? November, December, January...
Ohio Jace just wrote: Sandy spared Ohio for the most part. The eye
was around 100 miles from the homestead causing us to miss the snow. We
did not get as much rain as predicted and no flooding. The winds were lighter
too with the highest gust at 44 mph instead of the forecast 60. And best
of all POWER STAYED ON! Unfortunately, that cannot be said for east of
here; billions of $$$ in damages, millions without power or heat, and 40
Jace also brought me up to speed on the gang (getting into more strife
than Speed Gordon as usual) and stuff about motor racing. He reckons they
use American voice overs on some of the Aussie stuff so you blokes can
understand what's going on. Hehe. Jace is also going through the process
of remodeling the homestead. That should be fun. NOT. And he also sent
a pic of an Old Bar beach bum. Here is something you might see on the
Odyssey. Not sure if the guy is really from Old Bar....
His hair's wet but I'm buggered if I can see a wave out there. And judging
from the sun, it's late afternoon. I'm a bit worried about his top tan
line, though. Looks like he's in the habit of showing a bit of crack. To
quote Cody's oft-used phrase, "I notice these things". To which Mark would
reply, "It's the things you notice that worry me." Hehe.
And the $70M Lotto jackpot last night? Ticket F6FB-D716-E181-A7C0
(8 x OZ Lotto Standard) had no winning games. God doesn't like me.
Simple as that.
Now, lemme see. If all goes well and I start the Odyssey in February,
that's the last month of summer, coming into autumn. I wouldn't mind being
during autumn because the city has tens of thousands of deciduous trees
that turn all kinds of wonderful colors. So I think I'll head south to
begin with and check out various places along the east coast from here
down to places like Tathra (near the Victorian border), then head inland
via Cooma to Canberra for the beginning of autumn (gets too bloody cold
towards winter), and then north to Goulburn, the Blue Mountains, Singleton,
Muswellbrook, Tamworth, east to Port Macquarie and up the Pacific Hwy towards
Queensland and the Top End where I'll spend winter. In spring I'll mosey
about Kimberley country in northern Western Australia and make my way south
towards Perth as summer approaches, then across the Nullarbor to South
Oz and Victoria where I intend to take the Bass Strait ferry across to
Tasmania to spend the peak summer period. That's how I figure the first
year but it could all change depending on how long I spend at each camp.
My main priority is to spend winter up north and peak summer down south,
and the moderate seasons like spring and autumn inland or in desert country
where the old mining towns are, or places like Uluru and Cumbak Nudjaday.
Hehe. I made that last one up. There's no way I'll see everything there
is to be seen in any particular area during a short stay, so I expect to
be criss-crossing the continent several times over the years, covering
old tracks but seeing new things. There's also no way I wanna spend lots
of time behind the wheel. Bugger that. I wanna spend most of my time chilling
out and checking out the local scene.
So that's it for Wednesday, and that's it for October. Routine time.
October 30, 2012. Red Bubble has paid tribute to 65 years of
ubiquitous VW Kombi which is ceasing production in Brazil... and the
brilliant advertising by Doyle Dane Bernbach. I remember reading every
word of VW ads in the paper on my way to work every day as a teen. I loved
those ads, and thought the copy was nothing short of genius. I'm sure their
style of prose is still influencing my writing today. I still have a Beetle
and a Kombi bus. They're behind me on the mantle shelf along with Cody
Speaking of cars, NC Art wants to know: What’s the Holden set-up?
An Aussie manufacturer aligned with General Motors or some such? Guess
I could look it up somewheres. Yes,
Like Ohio Jace, Art has problems with his phone line: Hurricane Sandy
is not at fault, but I have no telephone service. And ATT repair service
is manned by robots. Called them on cell phone and discovered the only
things I can say are yes, no, and numbers. This is noon Monday, the day
I was told repair would be made, but so far no action. Somehow I hate that
robot worse than the fully automated petrol pumps. I could give up
my phone land line except that I have a Lifeline medical emergency service
which requires normal phone connection. Modern stuff has advantages but
it has more disadvantages than necessary...or even useful. All in the name
of profits above human considerations. Fie, fie and a pox on them all!
Hehe. There's nothing quite as satisfying as being old and grumpy. Actually,
when you think about outages and modern gizmos that refuse to work as they
should, all that's really happening is that we're being deprived of something
we didn't have before it was invented. Hehe.
And now for something completely different from BR João: International
scientific cooperation is always a good thing. But a team of Australian
and Brazilian researchers will change the world with their discovery made
in Queensland: Honeybees
can discriminate between Monet and Picasso paintings. Well,
it’s more than a lot of humans can do, I think, including the BBC speaker
that calls abstract a figurative painting of Picasso.
How sensible. If bugs can do certain things better than we can, why
not study their secrets and plagiarize them? What are they gonna do? Sue?
I figured out a long time ago that we humans don't actually create anything,
we discover things that already exist: we rearrange things to suit ourselves:
hence the old saying "there's nothing new under the sun". Even white ants
are smart enough to install air-conditioning in their high-rise apartment
blocks. In fact, they're also smart enough to do it for free.
The average human bean ain't too bright, ya know. If humanity relied
on the average human bean to improve its lot, forget it. It takes the occasional
odd-ball geek to come along and figure out how to improve something for
the benefit of his fellows. Otherwise we'd still be swinging through the
trees and eating bananas. I'm often amused by kids who think they're smarter
than previous generations. Oh, yeah? Who gave them what they have? It certainly
wasn't their own generation. You don't have kids working for fashion houses
or computer game companies or skateboard manufacturers. Wise up, kids..
you're just a bunch of sheep with money to spend.
There was an interesting story on telly last night about Malcolm Brown,
a 65 y/o journalist who had worked for years at The Sydney Morning Herald
which, like so many other newspapers, is suffering the effects of competition
from the digital revolution - audiences getting their news and information
from the internet. He was a meticulous journalist with expert shorthand,
and never let his personal bias get in the way of reporting a story accurately
and without favor. He had covered some of the world's biggest stories over
4 decades. But his time had come at the newspaper along with 1500 other
employees, many much younger. He chose to retire rather than be sacked,
but he was sad anyway because he wanted to remain at the job he loved for
many years yet. At his office sendoff, his colleagues said very complimentary
things about him, and thanked him for his wonderful contribution to the
newspaper over a long career. But as he said later, "In a month I'll be
Malcolm Who? There's nothing more ex than an ex-employee." How true, how
true, how true!
Malcolm may be unemployed but he's not the type to sit around and do
nothing. He plans to walk the 500 kilometers to Dubbo in western NSW and
write the stories of those who went before him; the explorers and pioneers
who opened up the vast western plains on the other side of the Blue Mountains.
What a grand plan - to walk in the shoes of those about whom he writes.
That's about as meticulous as you can get. By the way, the title of the
story about Malcolm Brown was 'A Man of his Word'.
Dammit, I just flipped a pancake and it folded in half in mid air and
I couldn't unfold it cos it stuck together! I gotta work on this flipping
business a bit more. Roite, the next one is more betterer... but it looks
like a crumpet with lots of little holes. Hehe. Dozen madder. As soon as
it cools a bit, I'll fill it with boiled egg mashed with mayonaise. Hmmm,
not bad... but a bit leathery. Roite, tellya what I'm gonna do... add a
bit more water to the pancake mix to thin it, and make something more like
a crepe. The second pancake is in the bin with the first (after scraping
off the egg). Bugger the water line on the bottle. Okay, this one's better...
but still not crepe-y enough. Tastes okay tho, and not so chewy. The fourth
one will be better cos I added a bit more water to the mix but that can
wait for another day. What I really should do is make my own crepe mix.
Pancake mix is a bit sweet.
From the Beeb: New York is severely hit by flooding as cyclone Sandy
makes landfall, bringing torrential rain, high winds and storm surges.
I'm sure you've seen the coverage on telly. So they're calling it a cyclone
now? Or is that a Beebie Boo Boo?
International observers say Ukraine's election was a backward step
for democracy, marred by "the abuse of power and the excessive role of
money". I wonder what Kostik and Co think about all this? I haven't
heard from those guys in years.
Assailants force their way into local radio studios in southern Bolivia
and pour gasoline over the presenter, setting him alight. People like
that can't be human, surely.
Poland's Catholic Church has warned that modern Halloween rituals
risk promoting the occult. In a statement on its website, the Church said
that celebrating Halloween could contradict Church teachings and Christianity.
One archbishop said the 31 October celebrations were promoting paganism
to young people. But there's nothing wrong with devils, everlasting
fire and brimstone, Armageddon, winged aliens playing trumpets in the sky
and a near-naked bloke nailed to a cross with a crown of thorns around
Another 10 pledges ($50) were added to the
Donations page today, for which I'm grateful. Each dollar gets me closer
to my goal. In fact, my patience is beginning to run a bit thin. I've been
waiting far too long already! Not only that, there's nothing to keep me
here in Taree... or won't be once the choppers are fixed.
So once again it's time to call it a day and attend to my whatevers.
Thank god for the ABC and a bit of decent telly. And the $70M Lotto draw
tonight? Hehe. I'm not holding my breath. Gary
October 29, 2012. Back in the late '80s I camped at a place on
the south coast of NSW called
Green Patch. I saw a pic of it this morning on Red Bubble. What a delightful
spot. It's at Jervis Bay, a national park owned by the Australian Navy,
annexed from NSW as part of the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra).
And now, let's do a time warp back to the year of the Sputnik and '57
Yep, Elvis, Beach Boys, Sputniks and fins. Holden released a model based
on that design in 1960-62 which was a bit old fashioned by then, but still
popular. Anyway, they were the days, my friend, and we thought they would
Just received an email reminder from Lotto. Should I or shouldn't I?
Hehe. Oh well... It's probably a bit more than I need for the Odyssey
but I could always spend what's left over on er... something or other.
Roite, there goes $10 of my hard earned on 8 tickets. Wish me luck. Bugger
the 70M, just a few grand will be fine.
Honestly, what would a bloke do with $70M? Suddenly I'd be faced with
all kinds of complex and difficult decisions. Do I need that? Friends would
instantly appear outta the woodwork... most I didn't even know existed.
I'd be swamped with unsolicited advice from investment companies. Not to
mention crooks. I don't need that. Give me the simple life. On the
other hand... nah, let's not go there. Hehe.
Not everyone is pro-gambling. The French site of the Euromillions
lottery is hacked, with a passage from the Koran discouraging gambling
posted on its homepage. Yeppers, all that money wasted on gambling
could be put to better use buying bombs and grenade launchers.
Nonetheless, money is a pretty handy concept. I mean it beats the hell
outta taking 3 goats and a cow to the supermarket. In fact, these days
you don't even need to carry it around. You just need a bunch of numbers
in a bank account and a plastic card.
From the Beeb: New York public transport is to be suspended and thousands
evacuated as preparations are stepped up for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy
on Monday. Serious stuff indeed. Serious enough for Obama to put his
Ohio campaign on hold while he attends to the threat of hurricane damage.
After winning his sixth
consecutive MotoGP Australian Grand Prix, Casey Stoner has turned his
back on a $15 million offer to race on in 2013. I'm sure Ohio Jace
and the gang were glued to the telly yesterday for the big race. Stoner
plans to retire from MotoGP in two weeks but there's speculation he might
be lured into racing V8 supercars. He certainly is a wolf in sheep's clothing,
that bloke. To look at him you wouldn't think he has what it takes to be
a tough competitor. He busted an ankle in a race a while ago, then took
a tumble at practice the other day, but nonetheless went on to take out
his 6th successive win at Phillip Island.
Cody must be pulling strings up there. Just got a call from my ISP about
the problem I was having with codysworld, which interrupted my smoothie.
Not only that, I didn't have my bloody teeth in. Obviously, Cody is still
up to his scallywag tricks. BUT, seems the hosting plan is on an old plan
so the guy has upgraded codysworld to a new plan which is 500MB (instead
of the current 100), AND is about $7/mth cheaper. There ya go. So I forgave
the bloke for interrupting my smoothie and phoning when I was without my
teeth, and he wished me a nice day. The new plan will be effective Nov.
Ohio Jace must be psychic. He just sent me a Halloween e-card. It's
a spooky one with ghosts and crows and all kinds of scary things - frightened
the bloody daylights outta me. I voted early (today) now if I could
only get rid of the constant political garbage filling the airways (telly).
The postal box is overflowing too and the phone rings off the hook. At
least it will be over in eight days and then the political will be replaced
with Xmas ads.
I can't remember when I last saw a manned gas station (apart from yonks
ago) so this came as a surprise: We have our first automated petrol
station in town. No attendants whatsoever. Credit card only of course.
Not sure who changes the prices. They vary on a daily basis, sometimes
changing two times in the same day. OIC, totally automated...
no attendant. We still have those with at least one.. a person to process
payments. Not sure about Sydney tho. I'm terrified of ticket machines at
railway stations... I always go to the booth and get mine from a human
being. In Sydney, I get the day pass (pensioner's discount - $2.50) which
allows unlimited travel on all city trains, buses, trams, monorail and
Jace says he has trouble keeping up with Waffle and other things because
of a bad internet connection (and cable TV). With the hurricane on the
way he expects to be without power for some days. Otherwise, things are
cool with the Ohio gang. Thanks for the card, Jace... I really enjoyed
Speaking of Frankenstorm, I watched a movie review show last night and
saw clips of Frankenweenie
which received scores of 4 and 4.5 out of 5 from the show's two hosts,
one of whom "can't stand animated movies" with Frankenweenie the exception.
Yep, looks like a hoot and one I'd enjoy. I rather like animated movies
cos they don't pretend to be anything other than what they are... entertainment.
I also enjoy the caricatures of players which remind me of Gary Larson's
depictions of "average" people hehe.
I've mentioned this before but we don't traditionally celebrate Halloween
in Oz. However, that seems to be changing. There's a section of the local
supermarket dedicated to Halloweenie stuff like masks and skulls and pumpkins.
Cody used to have Halloween parties in Safrica back in the late '90s and
early 2000s. I suppose Aussie retailers have figured they can make a buck
out it, and I'm sure American movies with a Halloween theme have influenced
the younger generation in countries like Oz. I have to say though, I don't
like the idea of kids knocking on doors expecting money.
Well, shortly I'll be jumping in the ute to whizz out to the dental
prosthetic's rooms for a fitting or whatever he has in mind . He took the
molds last time. So I'll upload this Waffle when I get back.
Back! He's a million miles an hour, that bloke. So I told him so...
"It wouldn't take you long to get around a golf course." Then he told me
the story of how he played 9 holes of golf in 37 minutes when he was in
his mid 20s ("when I was fit... very fit"). He's probably late '40s now.
I can also tell you that dental prosthetists who moonlight as nightclub
singers (and also run an entertainment agency) are not short of a quid.
He drives a Mercedes. My new clippers - not too white - will be
ready for pick up Friday 9, the day before the full extraction. He wanted
me to pay on the spot but that's impossible even with the Medicare rebate,
so he said "we'll work something out". He also suggested that having 20+
teeth extracted will be done with general anaethsetic, not local. I certainly
hope so! It doesn't sound like a whole lotta fun. So there ya go. So far,
so good... ish. Gary
October 28, 2012. Boing, boing, boing...
Steve W is worried about the camper being 10' tall. I had a ute for
towing a 2 tonne boat around Oz and had air bags - they certainly helped
with height alignment but do nothing for handling and cornering. Sway bars
are very important for heavy loads. The weight on my tow ball from the
2 tonne boat, because of the balance of the trailer, was 120 kgs which
is not great. Without any counter balance of the wheels of a trailer, the
weight over your rear axle will be much greater. This is what concerns
Here's what TX Greg had to say about it: Well you could tell peeps
your new home is in a penthouse suite, hahahaha
I read a couple of forums last night on the web and most owners of slide
ons/ins recommend one or the other, or preferably both air bags and an
anti sway bar. Most of the forums were American where they drive bigger
trucks carrying bigger campers, 2000 to 3000 pounds dry weight (not including
the wife, one bloke wrote hehe). You can add 500 to 1000 pounds once the
camper is fully loaded. Mine is about 700 kilos (about 1500 pounds) which
would be about 2000 loaded. One bloke said the combination of his truck
and camper was 12' tall! He likened it to a tractor/trailer combo. Sway
is the common problem in high winds or dips in the road. They say air bags
and sway bars are essential... particularly sway bars. As to high winds,
this kid ain't driving in those, thank you very much.
The Freeway was made to fit the early-mid 70's Ford Falcon tub-back
utes. The floor box is narrow enough to slide between the wheel arches
of the tray, which sits lower to the ground than a tray-back. Mine has
had storage boxes fitted to either side of the floor box, and then another
full-width storage box fitted below that which raises the height of the
total unit about 12". Add another 12" being the difference between a tub-back
and a tray-back, and you have a combo that's about 2' higher than the original
design. However, there are heaps of campers designed to fit tray-backs
these days that are at least 6' tall to allow interior head room. So mine's
only a foot taller... and there's not much weight up top anyway. Just gotta
make a note of low overhead bridge heights as I approach them.
My idiot ex-biz partner was so desperate to get me to Canberra about
20 years ago (just after I sold my little house in Glebe), he borrowed
a friend's mini truck - a flat tray with a tall box on top - to cart my
belongings to his house in Canberra. He loaded all my gear, including my
wine collection which weighed a ton, without giving much thought to proper
weight distribution. As a result, the loaded truck was dangerously top
heavy. I watched it sway as it left my drive in Sydney and wondered if
it would ever make it to his place. It did, but only just. He later told
me harrowing tales of how hairy the trip was. But, like I said, he was
desperate to get me to Canberra. I departed a few days later in my Kombi
with my remaining possessions crammed to the rafters.
NC Art wrote: Yep, be careful with your new China Clippers. It’s
comical but embarrassing to leave them in the burger sandwich after taking
a big bite. This morning my little coterie did our civic duty and voted
for a bunch of saints and sinners. We opted to vote early, and used my
handicapped car sign to do the deed curbside. No lines, no getting wet
and such inconveniences. We feel SO damned virtuous. That Liberace movie
was news to me. I do remember his TV concerts and his flamboyant stage
Art also sent this pic of a highly imaginative design for a downspout:
TX Greg sent this one:
I just tried drawing a circle with the index finger of my left hand
while drawing a square with the index finger of my right. That ain't easy
either. I saw a thing on telly the other night about kids and multi tasking.
Computer generation kids can do their homework, follow chat on twitter
and facebook, watch Youtube and listen to music all at the same time. No
way I can do that, Jose. I can't even listen to music when I write.
BR João wrote: Next weekend I’ll go to Rio de Janeiro to visit
my brother and his wife. Like you she had a problem of cancer in her mouth.
Due to an early diagnostics the problem is now surpassed. Good news for
me. But what I want to say is another thing. Like me, they are low middle
class. She could never afford the cost of surgery, hospitalization and
complex exams. Like you she could do all this things in a public hospital
without pay a cent. And here’s the point: how could someone be against
public medicare unless they’re real rich? What produced the present economic
crisis in the world was the end of many economic regulations and consequent
dishonest operations of banks, not welfare state. I hope American people
think of this when they vote next month and don’t give up their right to
unrestricted medicare. It’s a right, not a privilege, and a state duty.
Yes, I'm fortunate to live in a country where welfare has a high priority.
This is an important difference between the law of the jungle and human
civilization. Humans have evolved empathy for their own kind. At least,
some of us have. I guess there will always be those whose attitude is 'I'm
alright, Jack, bugger you'. I heard a story on radio recently about the
way Aussie diggers captured by the Japanese during the fall of Singapore
were treated when forced to work on the Burma Railway. They were given
meager rations, barely enough to keep them alive. As a consequence, many
died of disease and/or malnutrition. It would have made more sense if the
Japanese had fed their workforce properly. Dead men can't work. But the
Japanese attitude at the time was that soldiers who surrendered rather
than commit harakiri (the honorable thing to do to avoid capture) didn't
deserve to be treated with even a modicum of respect. Fools.
The key to any nation's prosperity is twofold: free education and free
From the Beeb: The US economy grew more than expected in the three
months to September, official figures showed. The world's largest economy
expanded at an annualised rate of 2% in the third quarter, the Commerce
Department said. How will Romney reconcile that with God's will? That's
the funny thing about prayers. If God answers them, you thank him. If he
doesn't, you thank him anyway cos he knows best. Meanwhile, what
is Romney saying? He's saying the economic growth is welcome "but it's
not enough". In other words, nothing Obama could pull outta the hat is
Capital Hill is a 15 minute "news" program on weeknight telly at 5:30pm
where an interviewer talks to two guests representing each side of politics
in Oz. It's pointless watching it cos the pollies spend the entire 15 minutes
trashing each other's policies and ignoring the interviewer's questions.
Oh yes, before I fergit, I saw a kid at the supermarket yesterday wearing
a shirt. Printed on the front was 'Just Another Stupid T-shirt'. Hehe.
And now, dear Breth, who is more likely to watch the American sit-com
Modern Family? Democrats or Republicans? Find
out here. Can't say I'm a fan of sit-coms apart from very few exceptions.
Honeymooners comes to mind, and Yes Minister. Otherwise they're just
half-hours of endless corny one-liners.
Does caramel go well with banana? I'm glad you asked that question because
I happen to be drinking a smoothie at the mo with precisely those two flavors.
Mmmmmmmm! With milk and plain yoghurt. No malt this time cos I wanted to
see how the banana and caramel would work. It's even got a frothy top which
is giving me a milky moustache. Mmmmm, that's veeeery good! Actually, I
went to the supermarket yesterday and checked out the fresh fruit section
to see if there was anything besides bananas and strawberries that might
work in smoothies. Nah, not really. Some things would work quite well as
tropical fruit drinks without milk... such as kiwi fruit, rock melon, blueberries,
orange, apple but there's all that boring peeling business that I can't
be bothered with. I know caramel is not exactly bursting with vitamins
and minerals BUT... I like it. Hmmm... silly me forgot to add a pinch of
cinammon. That would have worked well. Banana, milk, plain yoghurt, caramel
and cinammon. There ya go.
I wonder how maple syrup would go. Or golden syrup. They've been in
the pantry for ages. There's vanilla essence as well. Shredded coconut
maybe? I wonder how shredded coconut and chocolate would work together
in a smoothie. Maybe not. But coconut milk instead of ordinary milk might.
Hehe. Instant coffee is another one I'd like to try in a smoothie... kinda
like an iced coffee with a pinch of nutmeg. Hot coffee is different. I
don't drink instant. Bleh. I use ground coffee in a plunger.
And that's it for G's Culinary Corner. In fact, that's it for the weekend.
Mondee tomorrow and my second appointment with the prosthetist. I suppose
it'll be a fitting even though my gums aren't nude yet. One of the advantages
of living in a country town is that everything's "just up the road". Gary
October 27, 2012. I think I'm coming to terms with having all
my teeth extracted. It's a pity Nancy was determined to save them, otherwise
it would all be over by now and I'd have a mouthful of shiny new sparklers.
One good thing is that I'll never have to worry about toothache or dental
work again for the rest of my life. And with a bit of luck, I'll be able
to speak properly again and enjoy an occasional pizza! Just so long as
I remember to place my hand over my mouth when I cough. Red and white missiles
flying through the air at McDonalds is not exactly my idea of decorum.
I've also been thinking about 2WD versus 4WD in the new ute. 4WD would
be handy I guess, but 2WD will take me to 90% of places I wanna go. 2WD
flat tray utes are also more plentiful in the used vehicle marketplace
and cheaper. Sooooo... I can always upgrade at a later date when I've had
the chance to save a bit more. Getting started is the numero uno priority.
Well, a new movie to be released next year about the life of Liberace
will star Michael Douglas as the flamboyant pianist and Matt Damon as his
lover. I hope they don't bugger up a great story. Liberace took himself
very seriously as a young concert pianist but was shattered by critics
who berated his flamboyance and mannerisms rather than focus on his considerable
musical talent. So he thought if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. As a result
(to use his own words) he laughed all the way to the bank. He was one of
the greatest entertainers of all time, and I hope the movie does him justice.
From the Beeb: Mitt Romney promises "real change" against President
Obama's "status quo", in a speech following better-than-expected US economic
figures. I hope Obama is smart enough to capitalize on Romney's promise
of "change"... something like changing back to the GWB era.
Meanwhile, people in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington
and a coastal county in North Carolina have other things to worry about
as fears grow that Hurricane Sandy could merge with a winter storm to create
what has been dubbed "Frankenstorm". The US Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia
was reportedly sending a whole fleet of ships out to sea to avoid the storm.
A very quiet Satdee, ladies and genitals, especially since my Waffle
correspondents have gone on strike. Not much on the Beeb as well. It'll
probably be a different story on the Odyssey, with lots of things happening
every day. Actually, I spent a while checking out utes today and discovered
that the Ford Courier is actually a Mazda Bravo. Its 2.6 liter 4-banger
produces 95kW which is just under 130 horses... not exactly huge but probably
adequate. That's about 30 horses more than Bluey had. Anyway, with the
kinda budget I have, I can't afford to be picky. Adequate is better than
The thing that worries me is that once the camper sits on the tray,
it will be 10 feet tall (a tad over 3 meters). Sheesh! Gary
October 26, 2012. Well, the dental prosthetist was not the kinda
bloke I expected. Open neck shirt, shorts, long socks and running shoes.
Lively personality, outgoing. Turns out he moonlights as a club singer.
AND he remembers me from yonks ago when I worked for ABC radio up here
on the north coast. I did the bite/squishy thing and he told me there was
no way I was gonna keep any of my teeth. The radiation kills the roots
(I think it's the roots) which means even if they stay in for a time, eventually
they'll come loose and fall out. Soooooo, it's Goodnight Irene. Now lemme
see, I'm missing 4 upper front, and 4 molars. That's 8. Adults have a total
of 32, so that means 24 teeth have gotta go. Sheesh. I'm not sure I wanna
think about THAT.
Yep, I thought there was something different about that bloke when I
walked into his waiting room. It was after 5 so he was attending to customers
at the front desk. He was all jolly and bright with a ready smile. And
there was an empty Bose box in the corner... some kind of speaker stand.
When it was all over, we were back at the reception desk while he made
another appointment for me (next Monday). Silly me asked what kinda songs
he sang on stage. Hehe. So I was there another 15 minutes listening to
him deliver a sermon on good/bad music and the industry's woes.
From the Beeb: A New York City policeman has been arrested for an
alleged plot to kidnap women, rape and torture them and then cook and eat
their body parts. Gilberto Valle is being held in custody without bail
on charges that include kidnapping conspiracy and unauthorised use of law
enforcement databases. No women were hurt, but the 28-year-old used police
records to gather data on potential victims, officials alleged. Magistrate
Judge Henry Pitman said the charges against the officer were "profoundly
disturbing". There's an understatement if ever there was one.
There was a program on telly last night about a medical breakthrough
in N. Carolina where medical researchers were able to grow a bladder from
a man's tissue sample and transplant it back into him to replace his failed
one. They can do the same thing with other organs as well, although complex
organs such as kidneys require a lot more work. How sensible. Interchangeable
bits. It had to come, right? It just makes so much sense.
Roite. That's the X-ray outta the way! I was sitting with a couple of
old blokes in the waiting room chatting away, and one of them announced
that Ford in America had closed its operation. What? I knew that a Ford
factory that makes vans in the UK was going to close but the US? I questioned
him but he was adamant. Silly boi. See how people can stuff up the facts
after hearing a rumor or part of a story? Anyway, he's just splurged on
a new Nissan something or other... top of the range with all the latest
technology and... and... leather seats. Funny innit, it's hard to beat
good old-fashioned cow hide no matter what kind of space-age materials
technology comes up with.
And speaking of space-age, the Swiss are doing something about cleaning
up space junk. More than half a century of sending objects into space
has left the Earth surrounded by junk. Bits of long-dead satellites, spent
rocket stages and other debris orbit the planet at almost 18,000 mph, each
chunk a potential hazard to working satellites or astronauts. The Swiss
have a plan, however. Scientists at the Swiss space centre at EPFL, the
federal institute for technology in Lausanne, want to send a "janitor satellite"
into orbit, to sweep up debris and
permanently remove it from orbit.
Good thinking, 99. It's not the Monster from Mars we have to worry about,
it's the Monster from Earth.
Question: after having all my bities and masticators removed on the
10th (looks like the 3rd's not gonna happen) will I be in a fit state to
travel by train to Sydney to see the doc on the 12th? According to the
dental clinic, yes. According to Lindsay the drama queen, I'll be in agony.
I prefer the clinic's version. Besides, I don't wanna move my Sydney appointment
because the Pacific Jewel will be in town, and I'm desperate to get some
shots of that thing.
I'll be taking that exact same shot from Circular Quay railway station
before I wander around the promenade, getting different angles... some
from the right of the pic near the Opera House with the city skyline to
the left of the ship, some from the left of the pic looking directly at
the bow, and some from on board a ferry. She's a big girl, yes? Apparently
these modern ships don't need tug boat assistance to dock. They use various
side, forward and reverse thrusters to maneuver the thing into perfect
position. Then they use velcro strips to attach it to the wharf. Hehe.
And there's no big wood and brass helm anymore, just a little joystick.
See what monkeys can do with a bit of evolution thrown in?
Oregon Richie commented on the pic of Coober Pedy I posted the other
day. He called it an "ancient old Aussie town". It's literally out in the
middle of nowhere and if it weren't for the opals, there'd be nothing there
except lizards and scrub. I'm really looking forward to visiting those
icons of Oz mining history - Coober Pedy, Lightning Ridge, Kalgoorlie,
Sofala, Hill End plus the bigger cities like Broken Hill and Mt Isa. When
I think about all there is to see in Oz, I wonder how the hell I'll manage
it. Hehe. Oh well... just press on regardless.
Mind you, there are lots of places in Oz I won't spend much time, if
any. Most of city suburbia, for example. BORING! I'll be fairly selective
about places I choose to do a photo/vid story on... those with a bit of
history and/or character. However, there are some "boring" things I'd like
to include, like my old school, the house I was raised in, radio stations
I worked at, and pubs I disgraced myself in hehe (no shortage of those).
Otherwise, it's adventure 1st, everything else 2nd.
Aaaaaanywaaaaaaaay, it's time for a wrap. I'm kinda tempted to fry up
a batch of chippies tonight. Hmmm. Gary
October 25, 2012. Well, just paid the quarterly power bill which
ripped the fork outta my fiscal nightie. At least the next one is 3 months
away. Also, the cash advance on my pension used to bolster what I needed
to buy the camper is now paid off. AND NO MORE CAMERAS! Actually, I'm elegible
now to get another advance on the pension so that's another grand towards
the new ute when the time comes. Basically, there are 3 more things I need
before cast off:
1. Flat tray ute
2. Gas bottle and fittings checked/renewed
3. Deep cycle battery, 1000w inverter (at least) and electrical wiring
I'd like a second battery and solar panel but that can wait.
Lindsay just spoke to Cherie's next door neighbor Ken who said she'd
been dead for 5 days before she was found on Tuesday. A fumigator was there
yesterday and will be back again today. Charming. Ya know, I often joke
about owyagoin but that was Cherie's regular greeting... with a strong
nasal twang more like air-yagoin (minus the 'r' sound).
Just when you think everything's rosy something comes along to upset
the applecart. I just checked Codysworld and discovered disk space usage
has more than doubled. ??? The site just sits there. Nothing's been added
for years. It appears that certain files are duplicated for some reason
that's beyond me. The techie tried to explain it but I still didn't understand.
Apparently occasional maintenance is required to delete stuff that pops
up outta the blue for god knows what reason. I wouldn't have a clue where
to start so I've asked TX Greg to check it out.
Greg wrote. Seems like my ISP has stuffed up and accidentally more than
halved the disk space I pay for, which explains the sudden overuse. Bloody
hell. All that waiting time on the phone and buggerizing around has wasted
a couple of hours. After reading Greg's mail, I tried phoning a second
time but gave up after waiting time went from 8 minutes down to one minute
and then up again to 8 minutes. Bugger it. So I wrote instead.
Not much happening at the Beeb except that Obama will make history by
being the first president to vote early. What if he votes for himself and
then changes his mind before November 6? Seems that "Romnesia", "horses
and bayonets", and other Obamaisms are making the rounds of social media,
which may play a role for the first time in an election. I don't think
Romney has said anything funny yet. Has he?
Shortly, I'll be off to the dental prosthetist to bite on a big squishy
thing hehe. Kinda like getting your fingerprints taken except it isn't.
So that'll make this the shortest Waffle since I was crook in hospital.
They were bad, bad days. Sometimes I could only manage a few sentences.
Anyway, let's see what tomorrow brings. Gary
October 24, 2012. More thoughts from NC Art about racial politics:
true blood Americans should be a mite keerfle about dissing other “races.”
Those who’ve been here long enough just may have a bit of native American
and/or African genes. A quadroon could often pass for white, and an octoroon
has easy passage. How could I be sure that none of my ancestors scattered
a few yard children about the landscape in 250 years of sojourning in the
New World? Hmmn. Hispanic and Latino are often used interchangeably,
but most of our southern native friends do speak Spanish and the term Hispanic
should be reserved for those whose native language was a product of Spain.
Relative few Latinos can claim that origin. That world preference for Obama poll is eye opening
for undecided U.S. voters—or should be! But any care for the good
opinion of mankind is just foreign to our lofty opinion of ourselves. That’s
a shame, but maybe some day a shred of realistic humility will make an
intrude on our jingoist arrogance. We haven’t been called the Ugly American
for no reason.
The first time I saw the term ethno-centric used to describe Americans
was when an email friend back in the late '90s used it to describe his
fellow countrymen. He was a young college student mad about Harleys and
planning to travel the world to broaden his horizons. Since then, Oregon
Richie has often referred to his countrymen as obsessed with their own
importance hehe. Richie has traveled to many parts of the world and takes
a keen interest in world history. He's a huge fan of Winston Churchill.
And now Art is referring to the 'Ugly American'. Well, I don't think Americans
have a monopoly on ethno-centricity. The Germans and Japanese weren't exactly
too friendly towards the rest of the world back in the '30 and '40s. The
Brits, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and French spent a lot of their time
colonizing various parts of the planet during recent centuries. The Romans
were pretty busy in that department too, as well as the Vikings. And so
Aussies had the opposite problem. Until fairly recently, we were so
geographically and culturally isolated from the rest of the world, we developed
the 'cultural cringe' - a deep-seated inferiority complex. Owyagoinmatenoworries.
When Frank Sinatra toured here in the '50s he performed at the Sydney Stadium;
an overgrown tin shed. So did many other international stars including
Johnny Ray, The Beatles and The Stones. It wasn't till the late '60s that
we had a proper Opera House, followed by the Sydney Enterainment
Center in the '70s. Then the big one came in 2000... the Sydney Olympics
staged at Olympic Park, Homebush Bay... several acres of industrial wasteland
and polluted swamp converted into a showpiece as good as anything in the
world, and probably better than most. I fully expected the opening ceremony
to be a joke - Slim Dusty singing A Pub With No Beer, and a bunch of kangaroos
hopping about the central arena. Instead, it was an extravaganza the likes
of which I could never have anticipated. It stunned Australia and it stunned
the world. Down Under had finally come of age, and there wasn't a single
Aussie whose heart wasn't filled with pride. What a night that was! Even
now it brings a tear to my eye. Several, in fact.
Meanwhile, BR João writes: All I wanted to say is that we
can’t talk about votes of Blacks, Whites and Latinos; remember elementary
school: you can’t add bananas to oranges. And that Latin culture is common
to all Western countries. But let’s talk about something much more interesting.
I watched a documentary on television about Kakadu National Park in Northern
Territory. It’s an incredible beautiful place, full of different kinds
of birds and other animals. I hope you can go there in the Odyssey though
I think it’s a place more suitable for a boat than for a camper. Another
of my favorite places is Alice Springs, where some people live literally
underground in old mines not for need but for option. Their “houses” have
everything a house usually has and a temperature much more agreeable than
outside. Wow, what young boy (or girl) didn’t dream of living in a cave?
I think I’m more anxious about the beginning of AO than you – he, he, he.
You're thinking of Coober Pedy in South Oz, João. It's an opal
mining town famous for its underground dwellings as well as its opals.
Alice Springs (The Alice) is further north, in the geographical heart
of Oz, not far from Uluru. And yes, I plan to visit all those places including
Kakadu where the jabiru flies. Not too far off the beaten track, though.
Did you hear about the famous newspaper reporter who's tired of the
lack of hard news these days, giving way to too many "soft" entertainent
stories? Yes, folks, star reporter at the Daily Planet Clark Kent has had
knows what Lois will have to say about this.
Back from a chat with Averil and giving her stuff I couldn't eat...
breakfast cereal, sultanas, muesli bars. She told me one of our neighbors
died the other day. Cherie. Took a while for anyone to notice so she was
pretty ripe apparently when the landlord arrived with the cops yesterday.
I've known her for over 10 years and she was forever telling me she only
had weeks or months to live. She was a hypochondriac with just about every
disease known to medical science. I suspect it was emphysema that finally
did her in. I'd often see her resting after walking a short distance. So
that's another one down.
Averil certainly loves to hold the floor when she's got some news. Hehe.
I thought she was never gonna stop! She has a habit of going off on tangents,
which is infuriating. She spent as much time telling me about Cherie's
new tomato plot and garden stakes as she did about Cherie's demise! I think
Cherie was in her early 60s, reasonably well preserved... buxom blonde
who always wore her hair in a pony tail, and black tights down to just
below her knees. She fancied herself as a good sort. Her IQ was somewhere
between zero and 1.
Just phoned Nancy my dentist. She's had advice from 4 specialists about
the tooth with exposed bone and they all say the same thing, the problem
will get worse as the radiation wears off. They all recommend a total extraction.
The bloody lot. So, at least I succeeded in getting a bit of action happening.
I've been sitting here for weeks wondering what the hell's going on. It's
all been a bit of a mess. The radiation doc in Port Macquarie led me to
believe I would lose all my teeth. Then Nancy said they could be saved
and I've had work done on those I still have. Now we're back to square
one. They've pulled a few strings so I have an appointment with a dental
technician tomorrow at 5pm for dentures. I also need an X-ray done at the
local hospital. Then I have an appointment with Nancy on Saturday November
3. She's asked a specialist Liam to be there as well and between them they'll
work out if I need a full extraction or partial. He will perform the extractions.
It's not Nancy's field of expertise. All I really care about is being able
to eat pizza again!
The big worry has been the federal government's decision to end the
Chronic Disease Dental Scheme on December 1, after which time the work
can't be claimed on Medicare. I could never afford to pay for all this
stuff! It would cost thousands! So there ya go... I've got Nancy in a flap
trying to organize everything to happen before December 1. Even my appointment
on November 3 has been brought forward from November 10, which means they've
had to shuffle a few patients around. Now, imagine if I hadn't made that
So guess who's gonna be a gummy old geezer for a while? Gummy Gary.
At least it'll be over, and out of the way of all Odyssey considerations.
So what's on the menu tonight? Fish, I reckon. Out of a box. Sometimes
I dunno how I stand the excitement. Gary
October 23, 2012. NC Art reckons João is a nitpicker:
is over fond of nitpicking and splitting hairs. His Portuguese rendered
into English is amusing however. We Americanos kinda know that Latinos
include Spanish speaking immigrants from several nations and tribes from
south of the border, mostly Mexican, but also several spots in Central
and South America. He mentions two groups in Mexico, but skips over the
Inca, Olmec, Toltec, etc. And we make a fuss, not a fuzz over inconsequentials.
So sue Los Estados Unidos del Norte, or Norteamricanos. Mejicos call themselves
Sudamericanos, citizens of Los Estados Unidos del Sur. We call them Mexicans;
they prefer a softer sounding Meshica pronunciation. So the king’s English
is a frigging mess, whoever the kind is. And Spanish is the common language there, but
there are still old tongues, and extremely varied. Some villages in southern
and central Mexico do not speak or understand the lingo of another village
20 miles away. And Joao’s spelling gives yet another variation on that
Latium name Amerigo Vespucci. But that Italian voyager gets various lettering
also. Christopher Columbus is also Cristof Colombo and Christoph Colombo.
Genoans never agreed just who the hell this guy was who was bankrolled
by Spanish Queen Isabella to go to India and steal spices, beautifully
dyed cloth and anything else lying about. He thought an island population
he found were Indians and never set foot on the North American part of
a pretty big continent. Ain’t history a blast?
And yes sad, but the fuss is that this still a very race driven country
hence all the references in voting or even local politics, etc. I'm confused
to João's comment on Native America Indians being extinguished.
Smaller in numbers yes, some still living on reservations, but not extinct.
I think João's use of 'almost extinguished' means severely curtailed
rather than obliterated. Australian Aborigines suffered a similar fate
at the hands of British colonialists. It
was worse in Tasmania where the entire population of Tasmanian Aborigines
was 'extinguished'. It was quite legal for British settlers to dispose
of Aborigines with a rifle.
When I was little my mom told me I was "one drop Cherokee Indian".
A few months later I fell off my bike and cut my leg. I looked up and asked
my mom " Did I lose my one drop Cherokee???" hehe. Made
me think of this old song..........
In my case, I think I'm one drop Irish and several bottles of Guinness.
Anyway, kiddies, I won't have any of this bullying in Waffle Class.
If you wanna bash the crap out of each other, do it in the playground.
That's what playgrounds are for. Meanwhile, I read where the first Native
Americans were actually immigrants from China.
Immigrants at Central Station, 1951
It was sad to hear
The train's whistle this morning
At the railway station.
All night it had rained.
The air was crowded
With a dampness that slowly
Sank into our thoughts -
But we ate it all:
The silence, the cold, the benevolence
Of empty streets.
Time waited anxiously with us
Behind upturned collars
And space hemmed us
Against each other
Like cattle bought for slaughter.
With blankets and packed cases -
Keeping children by their sides,
That watched them.
But it was sad to hear
The train's whistle so suddenly -
To the right of our shoulders
Like a word of command.
The signal at the platform's end
Turned red and dropped
Like a guillotine -
Cutting us off from the space of eyesight
While time ran ahead
Along glistening tracks of steel.
That Vincents sign was everywhere... billboards, enameled signage, radio,
TV, newspapers, magazines. "Take Vincents with confidence for quick, three-way
relief" (from headache/toothache, colds, fever, etc). APC stood for asirin,
phenacetin and caffein, which was a very potent mix, not to mention dangerous.
It was also extremely addictive and caused kidney damage in many users
as well as death. Once the link was established, APC as a compound was
banned. I was at the stage where I couldn't start the day without a Vincents.
The competition was Bex, same thing but cheaper. It inspired a hit stage
play based on the common phrase, "A Bex, a Cuppa Tea, and A Good Lie Down."
The other day it was 37C. Today it's flat out getting to 20. And it's
windy. So what's the story? Who knows.
The camper is now beginning to feel more like a little house than a
plaything. I had a bit of a poke around again, lifting cushions and inspecting
storage boxes, opening drawers and cupboards. There's tons of space...
nothing wasted. The only thing missing is a bathroom... that'll be in the
pop-up tent outside (unless the camp ground has its own facilities). I
expect most of my daylight hours (and warm evenings) will be spent outdoors
under the awning or wandering about the place. One of the external storage
boxes has power points. All very civilized. You can get 1000, 2000, 5000
watt 12V inverters so with a couple of solar panels and a couple of deep
cycle batteries, you can run just about anything within reason.
So, the more I think about it, the more comfortable I am with the idea
of "downsizing" my current living space and not having a permanent address.
Actually, I will have a permanent address... this one. Getting stuff delivered
from buying online might be a bit tricky unless I sweet-talk the local
post office or general store or whatever. I do all my banking, bill-paying,
etc online so that won't change. I have a mobile phone instead of a fixed
line so that's not a prob. Any more issues? I don't think so. Well, for
some things, like my driver's license and car registration, I'll need a
permanent mailing address. They don't do email.
And there goes another Chewsdee... almost. There'll be lots of talk
about the Romney/Obama clash tonight on telly, for sure. Gary
October 22, 2012. BR João writes: In the commentaries
on US presidential elections is common to see references to the vote of
Whites, Blacks and Latinos. Astonishing! In their obsession with races,
US invented a new one, Latinos. What are those they call Latinos?
The majority of “Latinos” in US are Indians from Central America
and Mexico. In this region European colonist found structured and big populations,
like the Aztecs and the rest of Mayas. They were not almost extinguished
like the rest of North American Indians. The so-called Latinos in US are
American Indians, or, in the alternative and euphemistic term, Native Americans.
Ah, maybe here is the problem, if they are Native Americans how to deny
them the right to live anywhere in America? The rest of the “Latinos” are
mixed people of Europeans, Africans and Native Americans. Spanish and Portuguese
didn’t mind miscegenation.
Race is a concept not recognized by Biology. For all human beings
the gender and the species (classifications recognized by Biology) are
the same, Homo sapiens. (I know, this sapiens is a joke, but blame Linnaeus,
not me.) Anthropologists use the term ethnic to refer to defined groups
of population. Latin as an ethnic term could refer only to the small population
of Latium, a region of ancient Italy from where Rome emerged. Romans’ idiom
was Latin, the language spoke in Latium.
The culture of Rome, base of all occidental culture, is called Latin
due to Roman idiom. So Latin or Latino are cultural classifications. Sixty
per cent of English words, for instance, has Latin origin, included the
name United States, but English speakers usually don’t know this. America
is a Latin name, since comes from the name of Italian navigator Americo
Vespucio who visited the coasts of Brazil in 1501-2 working for the king
of Portugal. He convinced the German cartographer Waldseemüller to
give the name America to the continent he visited, presently South America,
the original America. (The Library of Congress bought the last existing
exemplar of this map.) Only two decades after the name America was extended
to present North America by European cartographers.
So I don’t know the reason of all that fuzz “Americans” make about
I always thought Latinos had something more to do with cha cha cha than
dominus vobiscum. The first vinyl LP I bought was Ray Conniff and His Latin
Rhythms... Besame Mucho, Spanish Nights, etc, so I figured Latinos had
something to do with Latin music, and the languages of Spanish/Portuguese.
All very confusing. But then I'm easily confused. And now even moreso because
I'm visualizing American Indians on horseback surrounding a bunch of covered
wagons and yelling dominus illuminatio mea or something.
If I'm understanding João correctly, the term Latino has more
in common with pasta and pizza than Sitting Bull. So if Sitting Bull didn't
speak Latin, why would he be labelled Latino?
Like João, I keep hearing American references to the Latino and
Black votes in the US Presidential election, but I've never really understood
what the Latino vote actually means. I figured it had something to do with
I must say, when I watch gardening programs, I'm amused by people who
insist on referring to various plants and flowers by their botanical names.
Imagine Shakespeare writing "a rosa rubiginosa by any other name smells
as sweet". I suppose scientific names given to flora and fauna help to
simplify the confusion brought about by the world's diversity of language.
The other thing that becomes very apparent when you watch gardening
shows is that the stuff that comes outta the backsides of cows, horses,
chickens and whatever eventually ends up on our dinner plates. David Attenborough
was on telly last night doing his thing at the Kew Gardens hot house in
England, the largest in the world. It's an amazing place with an enormous
range of flora housed on its 300 acres. Kew director Sir William Hooker
commissioned Decimus Burton to begin work on the glasshouse in 1859. With
voracious Victorian collectors bringing back ever more species from around
the globe, Kew needed somewhere to house its growing collection of semi-hardy
and temperate plants. The Temperate House was officially opened, unfinished,
in 1863. Because costs had soared during construction, it was not completed
for another four decades.
In some of the scenes, you'd swear Attenborough was on location in some
exotic rainforest in Peru or Africa rather than just up the road from the
local tea house. Most of the show was about the various tricks used by
flowering plants to convince insects to act as couriers for their pollen.
Some of their techniques are nothing short of genius. Actually, most gardeners
will tell you that plants have a symbiotic relationship with their carers;
that they are aware of the affection and attention they receive from their
human "friends" and respond accordingly. Who among us doesn't enjoy a stroll
through a park or garden?
If those glasshouses look like the upturned hulls of ships it's because
that's what the design was based on. The design and construction was considered
a technological marvel of the time.
I don't think gardening will be on the minds of Romney and Obama at
the mo. Pruning, maybe. Or even some burning and slashing. It's the final
debate tomorrow Oz time - foreign policy - but I can't see them ignoring
the economy because that's the key issue. Anyway, it should be pretty lively
even if it is a bit too late to change the minds of most American voters.
I don't think there will be any surprises no matter who wins. It could
go either way. Four years ago, with Obama challenging the likes of McCain
and Palin, it was a no brainer. Not this time. Jeez, if Romney thinks Obama
didn't get the last 4 years right, imagine the mess McCain and Palin would
Oregon Richie has already cast his vote: I did all my voting tonight,
which is done by mail in OR and it'll go into the PO box tomorrow.
It did not take a long time to do, actually. No, I imagine it didn't.
I've heard about 40% of votes are made early and/or by mail and that most
of those are expected to favor Obama.
As to the Odyssey, Richie also writes: I don't see much point in
any saber-rattling about setting a specific date for the AO since it'll
be when it'll be, and I do recognize some fiscal realities AND practical
that go along with that. Still, one would not wish to construct any
barriers or too many conditions about that sort of thing or chances are
they will never be ideally met and there you are, which is not out there.
So. I'm confident you'll figure it out, even if it comes down to
being on "a wing and a prayer", so to speak.
Yes, I think you're right... a wing and a prayer, which is pretty much
the way I've done everything in my life. Most folks retire, sell their
million-dollar homes, buy a $300,000 motorhome and toddle off into the
distance with a million still in the bank. Either that or they're young
and fit backpackers who make a few bucks along the way picking fruit or
working odd jobs and sleeping rough. This old geezer is trying to put together
a reasonable combination of camper/ute and a few home comforts on a VERY
tight budget. But it'll happen. And as TX Greg once said, the view from
a small Winnebago looks just as good as the view from an expensive motorhome.
I mean who the hell needs caviar and champagne when you can have grilled
cheese and tomato on toast and a beer?
Nah... I'm not worried about the wing and a prayer thing. It'll be no
more difficult to survive on the road as anywhere else. For starters, I'll
have my house, solar power, next to no rent to pay, and a permanent income
(albeit basic). That'll do. Anyone for a goanna sandwich? Farmer Brown
also donated a watermelon when he wasn't looking.
And that's it Ls and Gs, time to vacate this chair and swap it for the
TV chair and a bit of catching up with world events. That little digital
TV I bought for $130 works well ya know, and is also about the right size
for the camper. And it's a DVD player. Gary
October 21, 2012. Malt! I almost forgot about malt! As a kid,
I was crazy about milk shakes (hanging out at the local milk bar, playing
pin ball and listening to the juke box) and I particularly liked double
malt in mine. Do they still sell it in supermarkets? I'll check. As to
cinnamon, NC Art reckons be sure you use genuine Ceylon cinnamon; it
has less of the strong, biting experience and is a healthy condiment
in resisting some forms of cancer.
There ya go. I didn't know about Ceylon cimmananananan. The one I used
is Dutch... they were busy in the East Indies at one time taking advantage
of the spice trade and cheap labor. Art also says the electric car pictured
yesterday is a Chevy Volt. Figured it was. Holden and Ford in this country
are into lots of re-badging. Raise a Ford or Holden bonnet/hood and you
see Nissan, Izuzu, Opel or whatever. The only two cars made in Oz now are
the Holden Commodore and the Ford Falcon. Not sure about Toyota's Camry.
Art goes on: Today’s newsrag informs us that the onset of puberty
has dropped a full year. Stunning, huh? White males average is now nine
years of age. Blacks and Latinos hover around the ten year mark. Females
are a bit younger today, but not significantly. And the earliest symptom
of puberty is growth of the testes. Who knew? And that jogged my memory
of Wingnut, who doesn’t seem to fit the pattern exactly. At 11 going on
12, he is um, precocious, banging his wang and Cody’s and other grommets,
expressing a steadily thickening fluid, and generally ‘doing it’ several
times a day. We are privy to his first lone pubic hair, his gleeful pride
in showing off his descending testicles and then at 12 his voice has not
yet changed. That part, like most of Wingnut’s antics, is atypical, what?
Must be something in the Cape Town water. Oh well, like that whole mob,
a bit unbelievable.
Dunno about unbelievable. Remember when Mark warned Cody he'd better
watch the Grommet because he'd probably try to steal Steph? Wingnut also
had a good relationship with Mr T... he had a certain maturity beyond his
years. Yep, he was atypical. Steve often said he was like a little boy
in some respects and an older teen in others. My favorite memory of Winger
was the way he'd come home from a game of rugby, one sock up, one down,
grass stains and mud all over, and make sure Cody saw all the battle scars
before he went home to shower. Hehe.
TX Greg wrote: Remember me writing about our State Fair Big Tex.
It was the last week of the fair and yesterday (Friday) morning an electric
short set him ablaze. I still remember being about 5 years old and looking
up at him and hearing that "Howdy Folks". Tons
of memories for millions gone in just few short minutes.
Well, strictly speaking, it's Tex who's gone, not the memories. I read
some of the Youtube comments suggesting building a new Tex while others
said it wouldn't be the same. Reminds me of Cody and Mark's graduation
from high school and Cody trying to console Wingnut sulking under a tree:
"It's not the same," he pouted. The poor little grommet felt abandoned.
But he survived, like we all do. In fact, he survived to stand in Cody's
room one day and say to Steve, "It's like he's still here, 'cept we can't
Roite. Back from shopping with my malt, strawbs and plain (Greek style)
yoghurt. Anyone would think I'm on a health kick. The malt is not plain
malt... couldn't find any, so I settled for Nestle's Malted Milk which
is a powdered supplement with vitamins that you add to milk. It does contain
about 1/3rd barley malt though. I'll keep it pretty simple. Milk, yoghurt,
malt, 3 strawbs, and see how it goes.
Ready for the taste test? It's the color of a strawberry milk shake,
which figures. Here goes. Hmmm. Nice but a bit subtle. Needs either a bit
more strawberry or a bit more malt. Probably malt. Back in a tick. Yes,
that's better... remembering that I used to order double malt as a kid.
Needs something else though to bulk it up a bit more. Seems like yoghurt
doesn't work the same as ice cream... not as creamy. Actually, half a banana
would probably do the trick. On the other hand, it might overpower the
strawberry. Maybe I'm being too picky. It's pretty damn good the way it
is. One advantage the yoghurt has over ice cream is that it's not as sweet.
I'm not too crazy about overly sweet things. Anyway, it's bloody filling!
I've only had one glass and I'm not sure I can handle another. I used one
glass of milk so the rest of the ingredients gave it the bulk of two.
But it'll be back to junk tonight. I'm donning the chef hat and serving
up snags, onions and fried eggs... with gravy.
Here's a pic I took the other day in Tuncurry I titled God's Next Door
The view from the apartment tower is over a huge lake, the bridge (to
Forster), marina and breakwater that leads to the Pacific Ocean. I reckon
I could handle retiring to something like that. Behind me is a park beyond
which is the Fisherman's Co-op where the daily catch from scores of boats
is stored on ice and sold. The building also houses a seafood restaurant
with the best (and freshest) fish 'n' chips in town. I've seen the servings
and they're enormous! They also sell oysters, lobsters, prawns, crabs,
calamari and pretty much anything else that lives in the sea... or used
And thar goes the weekend. Not too thrilling but that's the way it goes
sometimes. Even the Beeb is hard up for news... however, I noted that it
did mention the demise of Big Tex. So, boils and goils, till we meet again,
it's seeya later mate, no worries. Gary
October 20, 2012. Satdee again! I forgot to mention yesterday
what Steve W wrote about patience and fishing: Fishing is not about
patience but about perseverance……..there is a difference as I am the most
impatient person around but I will always persevere. Perverse……perhaps!
Yes, perseverance, or as Oregon Richie says 'keep your eyes on the prize'.
I think one of the reasons I persist with the Odyssey is because my father
conked out without having seen much of anything. Maybe I have my mother's
mother's genes. She used to take trips on cruise ships. From what I understand
she died penniless at 90+ cos she blew all her dough having a good time
hehe. I didn't really know the woman. She gave me a copy of 'They're A
Weird Mob', a novel written by John O'Grady under the pseudonym of Nino
Culotta, an Italian who came to live in Oz and thought we Aussies were
a bit strange. The book was made into a film in 1966. Anyway, that's about
all I remember of my grandmother. I didn't really know the other one either,
except on rare occasions when we visited her place she would give us kids
toffee apples. Oh yes, and her backyard. It was just an expanse of bare
lawn. Not a tree in sight, and nothing to climb.
Steve also recommends a good whizzer: I would highly recommend a
good juicer. You could just about live on freshly juiced fruit and veges.
The only pain is cleaning the bloody thing afterwards, but it is worth
The hand-held one I have is simple. You just detach the blade section,
rinse it under the tap and that's it. It has a metal guard that covers
the blades so they don't damage the jug that holds the contents. Anyway,
I'll try it today - banana, milk, cinamon, honey, ice cream. If I wanted
to make it healthier, I could add a scoop or two of Sustagen, a powdered
supplement full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. I think I'll try without
today, and with tomorrow.
Steve also reckons juicer/blenders use a lotta power. Do they? They're
only on for a few seconds. The motor in the hand-held is 200W. I won't
be connected to town power in the camper most of the time so maybe I'll
have to put all the ingredients in a bucket, take off my shoes, and do
the ol' grape stomp. Hehe. Ew!
ZYX also wrote: After reading today's AO, I feel compelled to make
these comments: Yesterday is history so forget about it. Tomorrow is just
a promise, so don't hold your breath. TODAY is all any of us can be sure
of.....so make the most of it. Regrets? Doubts? Fears?.....
If today is all we have, let's not waste it on those things. You were once
a writer, an Author. Sooooooo
Actually, we can't even be sure of today, Gerry. We don't all fall off
the perch at midnight ya know.
Holden is about to release the new long-range
Holden Volt, the first electric car of its kind in Oz. I'm pretty sure
it's a product of GM in the US, and fully imported. It'll probably be a
long time before electric cars are common though. Proper refueling infrastructure
doesn't exist all over the country yet. And it still takes many hours to
charge a battery. However, the Volt is sensible because it allows the independent
use of battery and/or regular fuel.
I personally recommend levitation as the best way to get around. I've
done it many times in dreams, effortlessly rising from the ground and gliding
around the sky. Forget all about that arm-flapping business. There's none
of that. Levitation is a wonderfully soothing experience, and it costs
And now, ladies and genitals, the big moment we've all been waiting
for has arrived. (Drum roll). Mr Kelly raises the glass of Smoothie to
his lips aaaaaaand.... ooer! There's a quizzical look on his face. Is there
something wrong Mr Kelly? "A tad too much cinnamon." But??? "Otherwise,
Yes, I overdid the cinnamon just a bit. But I'm rather impressed by
how easy and fast the little processor is. At first I didn't hold the jug,
so the damn thing did a whirly gig. The suction is also much more than
I expected... once power is applied (lower of two speeds) it sucks the
processor down to the base of the jug. But it's all over in a few short
bursts. Magic! So now I'll be able to buy all kinds of fruits and vegies
and not have to worry about a bit of bruising. Strawbs at the mo are in
over supply and cheap. Actually, I think I might have overdone the honey
as well... a tad sweet for me. I'll flick the ice cream as well and use
plain yoghurt. But I think I can say my first attempt at a smoothie was
a success. Now, it's just a matter of creative imagination. Chicken legs,
bacon rashers, T-bones... Hmmm, I notice it's quite filling as well.
Now I'm wondering if All-Bran, milk and some fruit (even sultanas) can
be whizzed into a drink rather than served as breakfast in a bowl. No chewy
or floaty bits... just straight down the screech. I'll give it a try. The
limibilities are possitless.
Hot and strong westerly winds and 37.2C (99F) at the mo. Dat's hot!
A good day to be inside. Back to a more respectable 28C tomorrow.
From the Beeb: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has
derided US President Barack Obama, saying his rival has "no agenda" worthy
of a second term in office. Well, there ya go, Romney is fulla surprises.
Meanwhile, Obama reckons Romney is suffering Romnesia. The third and final
debate next Monday should be pretty lively now that the gloves are off.
A car bomb in Beirut that killed 8 people including Lebanon's head of
internal intelligence has been blamed on Syria. The Turks are not too happy
with Damascus either. Bashar al-Assad must be a lunatic to be courting
trouble from his neighbors when he's already got his hands full with Syrian
So there ya go, dear Breth, the world is still nutz. I'm thankful to
the Kellys who sailed on a tall ship to the Great Southern Land back in
the mid 19th century otherwise I wouldn't be here, and I think I'd rather
be here than somewhere else. We might be a little crazy Down Under, but
it's not a bad kinda crazy. Gary
October 19, 2012. Do you really give a damn about what I have
for breakfast? Or what I think? Or what I do? On Catalyst last night, they
talked about the I generation; people who communicate via the internet
using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc, and how the trend brings
narcissism to the surface in those obsessed with tweeting and blogging.
They edit their lives into an allegedly interesting precis of an otherwise
dull existence and present it to the world as representative of who and
what they are. Almost every sentence ends in LOL. Hehe. LOL ain't in my
Don't believe me? I just did a search of AO to be sure. :-P
I often write stuff and wonder who the hell might find it remotely entertaining.
But I write it anyway. Like so many others, I became a radio announcer
because I sought attention. Lots of DJs did... many of them social misfits...
people who believed if they associated themselves with pop stars on vinyl
some of the fame would rub off. And it did. When I arrived in town for
my first job in country radio, I honestly expected the local press to be
at the hotel to interview me. Hehe. I arrived at the station next morning
to be told by the boss that the only reason I was hired was because I was
"the best of a very bad bunch" (of applicants).
I think I've been around long enough to be well past the narcissistic
stage. However, I'm still driven by the need to perform even though I've
got Buckley's of ever becoming famous for it. In any case, I'm not sure
being famous is the point. Fans are scary. They expect too much. At the
mo, I can sit here minus dentures, combed hair or shoes and tap merrily
away at the keyboard knowing I'm invisible. The real world is far more
demanding than the virtual.
To woo Cody, I created Daniel. My association with Daniel was enough
for Cody to also consider me his "soul buddy"; the "Awesome Old Dude".
It was a bit like a DJ associating himself with stars on vinyl. But Cody
knew very little about me. The focus was almost entirely on him and his
friends, and he lapped it up. He was the center of attention. Was he narcissistic?
I believe he was. So was Steve. So was Wingnut. So was Mark. Typical teens
who believed the world revolved around them. Cool with me. My job was to
tell their stories, not mine.
And so it is with the Odyssey. The message far outweighs the importance
of the messenger, but the association is still there. It's where I go,
who I meet, what I see, as well as a relatively interesting presentation
thereof, that matters.
I've seen fame by association a million times during my "career" in
media. Guys I knew when they were nobodies who associated themselves with
football teams, politicians, actors, singers and other celebs who then
went on to become just as famous as the stars they brown-nosed. Yeah, the
ol' who you know trick.
So I suppose it's fair to say I've still got something to prove...
something to justify my existence. For most people my age, having grandkids
is sufficient justification. Then there are others who don't see a need
to justify anything, like L&S.
Steve W wrote to say he's not angry with me. He's just sticking a rocket
up my arse to get me moving, and believes that setting a firm date will
help. He appreciates the variables involved though. Well done for getting
"John Laws and Porta Potti in the one paragraph. Try for the one sentence
next time please? Steve is obviously not a fan of JL. Shock jocks like
JL and Alan Jones and Ray Hadley (one of the brown-nosers I mentioned earlier)
use the same technique... alienate a large section of the public in order
to galvanize a loyal band of followers. Works every time. Mr Nice Guy doesn't
get anywhere in the commentator business.
For rock and rollers, the trick is to upset the moms and dads so the
kids will love you.
Meanwhile, NC Art finally managed to work something out with his printer/scanner/fax:
just for the halibut, codwalloper, or other ugly fish, here’s the friggin
picture I bled and died over. A JPEG PIRATE JAKE! This wondrous program
by Microsoft comes with lots of new bells and whistles, most useless, but
it is very fast in screwing stuff up as in FUBAR. Feast your eyes on it
and delete as you wish. Pissed, Art
Yes, learning new programs can be infuriatingly frustrating (or vice
versa). BTW, Art called it a Pirate Jake because I told him JPEG was named
after Jake, a pirate with a wooden leg. Hehe. I love the house, though.
How elegant. Most impressive. Meanwhile, do I spy with my little eye something
that starts with K out the back? Looks a bit like a Volkswagen Kombi but
it's probably something else.
Also from the Beeb: The Boy Scouts of America has disclosed 14,500
pages of secret documents on men suspected of sexually abusing children,
after a lengthy legal battle. The Oregon Supreme Court ordered the files
from 1959 to 1985 to be released, despite the Boy Scouts' objections.
Any surprises there?
I haven't been a well little Vegemite today, ladies and genitals. Not
sick but tired. Drained. Maybe it has something to do with diet. A couple
of things I bought recently I'll have to ditch, or give to Averil. Anything
that crumbles or needs to be chewed is all too hard. I haven't tried the
mashed egg in mayo on a pancake yet. But the All-Bran crumbles into little
bits that bury themselves in awkward crevices, and the tiny dust particles
stick to my lips and refuse to budge. The raisins (being dried) require
too much chewing. I can handle a banana okay, though. Pitiful, isn't it?
It takes a dry mouth like mine to make you realize just how important saliva
Maybe I should get one of those food whizzers that make health drinks.
Now there's an idea! I just did a quick Google and saw quite a few smoothies
that use all kinds of yummies. No chewing and no crumbly bits! I reckon
a food processor would work okay in the camper too, with two deep cycle
batteries and an inverter. It wouldn't draw much power. Fact is, I have
a hand-held one in the kitchen. I bought it for whipping but its blades
are not suitable. They're designed for chopping and blending. Perfect!
It's been sitting there unused for years. If it doesn't do the job properly,
a better one is only about $40 or so. Soooo, it's back to the shops tomorrow
Bloody hell, it's past 5:30pm and time to fly. Gary
October 18, 2012. You'd think a piscatorially inclined person
like Steve W would know how to exercise patience: I read your waffle
every day, religiously, (though without any thought of God) but for fucks
sake……..stop the Waffling and start planning. Set a date - that's the most
important thing, without that it could continue for years. Ok, here's the
challenge, February 1, 2013. You need a target……..not a wish list. Stop
procrastinating and fucking around - it's your life and it aint getting
extended by the time you spend testing lenses and apertures. You know how
to respond under pressure being live on radio - this is not that pressure,
just decide the date and do it. 1st February 2013 …….that's the date……and
Ooer! I think Steve's mad at me. Setting a date is very sensible. However,
there are a few variables I can't control. On the 12th of next month, I
have an appointment with Dr Clark, the cancer specialist in Sydney. What
will he have to say about my recovery so far? I won't know until then.
Meanwhile, my dentist is buggerizing around, waiting for the nod from a
Sydney specialist (in radiation therapy) about a tooth with exposed bone
at the base. If you ask me, he's procrastinating in order to avoid being
held accountable for his professional advice. He's probably worried about
being sued. Problem is, the government has now put a time limit on my dental
procedures. After December 1st, the work won't be claimable on Medicare.
That's less than 6 weeks away which could mean goodbye new dentures. AND
THEN I have an appointment on Feb 11 with the radiation doc in Port Macquarie.
What will he have to say about my recovery?
3 years ago I bought Bluey. Big mistake. Then I bought Das Busse. Bigger
mistake. Now I have a camper that won't fit my ute. Hehe. But it's not
a mistake... just a temporary inconvenience. However, the camper arrived
not because I'd set a date on getting one. It arrived because, out of the
blue, the opportunity to buy a decent one at the right price presented
itself. It's a similar situation with the new ute. So there ya go, setting
a date ain't gonna make a shred of difference to the variables. All I can
do is bait the hook and leave it to the right fish to come along when it
sees fit. I've had enough of catching old rubber boots and puffer fish.
Mind you, despite not being able to set a firm date at this stage, February
is what I'm aiming for. Then, every 5 months or so, I'll need to return
to Sydney and Port Macquarie for checkups with the docs, and that'll be
the case for the next 4 years.
John Laws, a Sydney talk-back radio pronouncer is always talking about
"Keeping The Dream Alive", which is what I'm doing. Despite being unable
to turn the dream into reality at this point (or indeed for the past 5
years), I keep talking about it because I don't wanna let go of it. I believe
that having a dream is just as important as realizing it. Without it, what
would I have left? Perish the thought. Currently I have a collection of
good cameras because I have a dream. I have a great camper because I have
a dream. I have a ute (albeit the wrong kind) because I have a dream. I
have a web site because I have a dream. And a porta potti. I have a future
because I have a dream. And I have Steve W jumping up and down in the one
spot because I have a dream.
What's the bet when I finally leave this driveway for the last time
I get a flood of emails saying "Congrats! I knew you could do it!"
NC Art was a bit mystified by the pic I posted yesterday: The photo
is a decided oddity. A structure the size of a hen house. Signs indicating,
apparently, that it is a car dealership for Ford and/or Chevrolet. Gasoline
sign for Pure, Esso, Standard, Phillips, etc.—most of which no longer existing
as separate brands. A large expanse of space on all sides, occupied by
two forlorn vehicles. Anachronism, by appearance. So what’s the untold
Good question. I have no idea. It was posted on an auto newsgroup with
no explanation. I thought it might be something to do with the preservation
of parts of Route 66 but the photo is titled The Little Log House, Prairie
Village, Minnesota. Maybe it's some kinda re-creation, tourist park thingy.
Kinda weird, though. It's called Chevrolet Garage but has an early post-war
Ford police car parked on the apron. The big Ford sign appears to be next
door, closer to the camera, and perhaps all that remains of a dealership
adjacent to the Chevrolet Garage. Is Route 66 in Minnesota? I dunno.
testing his technological learning skills on a new scanner/fax/printer,
trying to save a scan of his old house in JPEG format without success.
I received it as a PDF. But I can tell you that it's a beautiful old house,
the kinda thing you'd expect to see in Gone With The Wind. (Update: Art
succeeded but only in this small format). The house was 87 years old
when I bought it and built in 1883, one of three on the same general plan
in Morganton, N. C. A dozen or more families were reared in it apparently.
For years after I moved in people would mention that they or their parents
once lived there. Several owners made additions for convenience—bathrooms
and heating system—such as they were. Electricity was an after affair also.
When I first saw the pic, I thought how it would have made a splendid
"haunted house". It has that look about it. So I wasn't surprised when
Art wrote: Another bit of lore concerned the only woman in North Carolina
convicted of murder and hanged. Her name was Frankie Silver who killed
her drunken, philandering husband and burned most of his body in the fireplace
and buried the remains under the flooring of their cabin near the town
of Morganton. Local historians placed the hanging tree in my front yard
three blocks from the jail and county courthouse. The tree was very old
and became a victim of a lightning strike while I lived there. The trunk
was more than six feet in diameter, and I counted more than 150 annular
rings on the stump after I had it removed. I estimate more than 250 years
of age, but I got tired of counting after 150. There was one sturdy branch
perfectly suited for a hanging! I hated to see that stalwart oak sawed
up and hauled away.
I think that's a perfect recipe for a story about Frankie Silver's ghost
wandering the halls at night, don't you? Actually, I checked out a pic
on Red Bubble yesterday of what little was left of a house, now overgrown
by vegetation. The photographer said he felt as though he was being watched
as he took the pic, and glanced over his shoulder several times. Overly
fertile imagination, if you ask me. I don't believe in ghosts... hopefully
they feel the same about me.
Back from shopping. The checkout chick was talking about those "green"
bags we're encouraged use instead of plastic ones... "but ours are biodegradable
so you don't have to feel guilty". I'm also biodegradable, I told her.
In fact, at only 55 kilos (121 pounds), I'm degrading quite rapidly. Anyway,
the point of the convo was that I'd only brought one bag with me which
wasn't enough. So she went on to say "you wouldn't believe what I find
in some of the bags customers bring into the store". I didn't really wanna
know but she told me anyway. "One time I put my hand into one - and I remember
whose bag it was - and there was staphylococcus in there. I get pimples,
so I must have touched them after putting my hand in the bag and an hour
later my face was out here (hand in front of face). I had to get six needles
in my face! But your bag is clean. I won't touch bags that aren't."
I also bought an adjustable roasting rack, not because I'm gonna roast
anything, but because I need a flat rack for the tray that fits under the
gas grill in the camper. It's the only rack I could find of the right size.
The fact that it's adjustable is irrelevant. Flat is all I need. But at
$9 it's cheap enough. It's also sturdy and chrome plated, which matches
the tray. Yeah. All that buggerizing around just for grilled cheese on
Back from trying the fit. The two pieces weren't made for each other
so it's not 100%. I'll have to settle for 99.999.
Yes, 121 pounds ain't too flash. When I had the stomach tube, I could
pour lots of that high nutrition stuff straight into my gut. But there's
only so much of the goo I can stand to drink. One a day is it. The main
issues are my inability to chew properly, old dentures that no longer fit,
gums that get sore quickly if food requires any more than minimum mastication,
and a lack of sufficient saliva. Other than that, everything's fine and
dandy. If it weren't for the fact that I'm fading away to oblivion, I wouldn't
care. Having to run around in the shower to get wet doesn't bother me at
all. Sooo, I bought some breakfast cereal and sultanas today. All-Bran
has been around for ages (keeps you healthy on the inside) and I've always
liked it. The only way I can eat certain things is if they're in milk or
lots of gravy or juice or whatever. Come to think of it, I should have
bought some bananas to go with the All-Bran. I'll get them tomorrow. I
also bought some snags and spuds and Eddy's chicken rissoles and fish cakes.
And more Pancake mix. And eggs.
How I long for a simple egg sandwich... boiled egg mashed in mayonnaise
with shredded lettuce on buttered bread! How divine! It's the bread that's
the problem... soaks up too much saliva. But maybe the mayonnaise will
be wet enough. Yeah? I'll give it a shot. Hmmm. What if I made a thin pancake
and rolled it up with the egg mixture and lettuce inside? Good thinking,
99. I'll give it a shot tomorrow.
But for now, it's seeya later alligator time, and more of the chow mein
which is taking me forever to get through. Even the prawns are tough to
chew. Poor ole G, he's such a sad case hehe. The old dear will be lucky
to see the bloody week out. Actually, I don't bitch about my lot as a rule.
I figure if that's the way it is, that's the way it is. My brain still
works (after a fashion) and my fingers still do their thing. Speech is
a bit of a worry but hopefully that'll get better in time. And with a bit
of luck, my egg, mayonnaise and lettuce pancake tomorrow will prove to
be a success! So there's always something to look forward to.
Which reminds me, I haven't checked the Beeb yet. Whoa! Here's something
amazing... a photography award for
US officials have arrested a man for plotting to detonate what he
thought was a massive bomb in front of the Federal Reserve building in
New York. Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, of Bangladesh, travelled
to the US with the intent of planning a terrorist attack, the FBI said.
Mr Nafis is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction
and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda. The consensus
of opinion I'm watching now on The Drum is that the bomb attempt won't
affect the election outcome (as 9/11 did for GWB).
Anyway, it's time for me to do the Bondi Tram trick and shoot through.
October 17, 2012. Yesterday I asked a question about how the
damn system works. Here's what NC Art reckons: Humans were first hunter/gatherers.
Inexorably, the next stage became accumulators. Hunting stuff, gathering
stuff, and piling up stuff. Of course police were then needed to guard
the stuff from freeloaders, outlaws and in-laws. What a cycle. But we all
should remember a once simpler life. Before I married and got civilized
I could take off on a train with one small brief case carrying a book,
a spare pair of undershorts and a toothbrush. Good enough for a weekend
or two weeks. Ah, but now I need so much stuff...at least until forced
to do without most of it after an airline loses all but your carry-on bag
with book, undies and toothbrush. Circle squared.
Yes, the problem lies in accumulation, and not in hunting and gathering.
Australian Aborigines were very sensible. They never built fences around
their food, or even houses for that matter. They followed the example of
other animals and simply survived off the land wherever they roamed. Imagine
that... 40,000 years with no inflation. As to houses and rising prices,
Art adds: I recently found a photo of my last house, and if I can learn
to use a new copier/fax/printer/scanner I’ll shoot you a copy. In 1970
I paid $14,500 for it, spent twice that on nailing it back together before
moving in, and sold it in 2004 for $175,000. Of course, the purchase price
and initial fixes were just a fraction of on-going repairs and maintenance,
much of it in “sweat equity.” All in all, I doubt the final sale price
realistically covered all that went into it. Figure in inflation and it
became a losing proposition! But it was a place to live and big enough
for many large parties. So, plug in satisfaction and I’ve got nothing to
The main difference between Art's house and my little "workers cottage"
was that mine wasn't big enough for large parties. But I had them anyway.
Many a time I've checked a house/apartment one final time just to make
sure it's been emptied of all my belongings (accumulations) before moving
on to the next abode. It's rather poignant to witness all that remains
of a home now minus its soul... bare rooms, bare hallways and bare walls
that echo footsteps. What was once a home is now a house. What was once
alive with the chatter of voices, laughter, television or radio, doors
opening and closing, footsteps on stairs, a car arriving in the drive is
now starkly silent; an empty shell, the victim of total exodus. That's
why I've been putting bits of stuff in the camper... to give it more of
a homely feel and a sense of belonging. After all, once this joint is empty,
the camper takes over. And guess what? Accumulation gets the flick.
A spokesman for a real estate company in Sydney on telly last night
said the days of investing in property for profit are over. These days
it's a long term investment in accomodation and security for raising a
family. The story included one young family forced to sell their house
of 4 years because of rising interest rates and an inability to meet the
mortgage repayments. They bought when interest rates were at rock bottom.
As the spokesman pointed out, if you buy when interest rates are at their
lowest, there's only one way for them to go. When buying a property, unless
you factor in the probability of sickness, accident, unemployment, rising
interest rates, kids reaching school age, etc, you're asking for trouble.
When I first bought my little house in Glebe, my furnishings were bean
bags and a mattress on the floor. My fridge was a used $50 caravan fridge.
I had a $20 washing machine and a used half-size wardrobe. Oh, and a $20
Yesterday, I bought a ticket in Lotto's $30M jackpot. Let me just say
that the rest of the prize winners only had $29,999,977.30 left to share
TX Greg has been having some thoughts about what I wrote yesterday:
"I'd kill to know what thoughts will be running through my mind that first
Well as you leave the driveway you should sing, "hi ho a gawking
we will go" hahaha.
Seriously though you should look back at what Daniel told you two
years ago... "As you embark on your new odyssey, yes one door closes yet
another door opens. A new morning, a new adventure."
We all get into that comfort zone or rut. You've been living and
putting up with S&L for over ten years now, yet it's been your zone
and yes this will be a big change. Perhaps you're still wondering if this
is really the right choice. That is a very hard question to answer. But
even you once said you could park your rocking chair on the front veranda
and watch the world go by or you can get out there and do what you can,
while you can. I admire that you have this dream, whereas me I'll take
the rocking chair, hehe.
I'm beginning to realize how much of the world goes by your front veranda.
Not much. There's only one way to see more of the world, and that's to
get a mobile veranda. What I can tell you from experience is that a cuppa
outdoors in the morning tastes a lot better than it does indoors... unless,
of course, it's being seriously diluted by several inches of rain. One
of my main motivators is Red Bubble where I constantly see images taken
during early mornings or at sundown. One bloke the other day drove for
hours to a location where he arrived before sunrise, and left his camera
on B setting for 6 minutes to capture an image using only the faintest
of light. Others have done similar things at night to capture star trails
across the heavens as the earth revolves. Now there's no way I'm gonna
wake before sunrise and drive for hours to take a bloody photo. A much
more civilized way of doing things is to wake at dawn, walk 10 steps, take
a pee, take a pic, go back to the camper and climb back into bed. All over
in 5 minutes. Even Cody's Dawn Patrols were only a stroll away. Very sensible.
I have no desire to travel the world (not even if I could afford it).
To return home with a bunch of pictures of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the
London Bridge, the Changing of the Guard and a bowl of fruit on Art's dining
room table is not exactly my idea of photography. I prefer country towns
and mountains and beaches and forests, and old rusted cars and abandoned
houses and interesting faces. And mining towns and Aborigines and didgeridoos
and clinker-built row boats. What's more I wanna be close to those things
and be able to touch them. I wanna be part of the experience. And you don't
get all that from sitting in a rocking chair on a stationary veranda.
I'm 68, not 78 or 88. I'm only 3 years past retirement age (albeit still
recovering from cancer). But I'm not about to cycle around Oz hehe, or
climb mountains or drag myself by my fingernails across the Simpson Desert.
I fully intend to stay within my physical limits and just potter about
at my leisure. I'll leave the pitching of tents and the carrying of backpacks
to the young and foolish. While they're swatting flies and trudging narrow
trails up steep inclines, I'll be perched on a bar stool in an air conditioned
pub sipping a chilled ale (and probably chatting up the bartender depending
on how many ales I've had). If I wake one morning and think, "Oh, bugger
it, I really don't feel like packing up camp and moving on," then I won't.
No boss, no itinerary, no timetable, no rules, no worries.
In the bathroom, I heard a few snippets from the second debate between
Romney and Obama. It's clear those two guys don't like each other. I hope
they didn't do all that hand shaking and shoulder slapping and smiling
like they did last time. How pathetic. Anyway, I gather from the report
that they're going hammer and tongs, talking over the top of each other,
ignoring the mediator and even the audience at times, and even appearing
physically aggressive at close quarters. Apparently there was a hush in
the press room at one stage when it looked like Romney and Obama might
come to blows. Hehe. Good. That'll liven things up a bit.
And what's this business of having their wives on stage doing the big
embrace? Can't the boys stand on their own two feet?
I agree with Mardell. Obama made up some lost ground but not enough
to be declared the winner of the second debate. The third and final debate
is less than a week away but unless either contender makes a serious boo-boo,
this election will be about as close as it's possible to get. Even Ohio
is equally divided.
I like writing and photography, yes? According to this
report from the BBC, I could be a bit nutz. But you already knew that
So how was the chow mein last night? So so. At least the vegies weren't
overcooked. But the meat wasn't as tender as I'd like. I still have a problem
chewing, dammit. However, there's plenty left over so I'll use it up. I
also had one of those lemon sorbet thingies I bought the other day. Sorbet
schmorbet. Crushed lemon ice confection was more like it. Bleh. For lunch
today I had rice cream and sliced peaches. Sheesh. How exciting.
Anyway, it's getting close to skedaddle time, Ls and Gs. I suspect I
won't have this kinda timetable on the Odyssey. I mean if there's a bunch
of surfers outside playing handball would you really expect me to be inside
the camper Waffling? One of them might fall over and need a bandaid or
something. I'm pretty good at sticking bandaids on. TX Greg sent a pic
today of a bloke about to receive urgent medical attention.
Speaking of pics, I haven't posted one today. How about this one? Gary
October 16, 2012. My quarterly electrickity bill arrived yesterday...
almost $700. Wow! For that I could almost buy a solar panel. So that's
one bill I won't have to worry about on the Odyssey... or rent. I watched
a program on telly recently about boarding houses in Sydney operating below
acceptable health and hygiene standards, renting poky, cockroach-infested
rooms without proper cooking or bathroom facilities for $150 a week to
desperate people who would otherwise be homeless. There's been a surge
in such places since the explosion of house prices in recent times. No
shortage of assholes out there willing to take advantage of the unfortunate.
Maybe someone can explain to me how this damn system works! I bought
a house just over 30 years ago for $31,000. A pittance by today's standards.
But my neighbor Frank bought his 30 years before mine for less than $1000,
which meant I paid over 30 times what he paid. 30 years later, my house
sold for $700,000 which is 23 times more than I paid, or 700 times more
than Frank paid 60 years ago. Where does it end?
Speaking of money, Youtube wrote yesterday to say that some of my vids
are proving popular and invited me to "monetize" my account. Now, there's
an interesting word... "monetize". It basically means allowing advertising
on my stuff. If some of my vids were attracting big numbers I might think
about it but not at the mo. It's not worth it. I'll keep it in mind though
if/when an opportunity to shoot something with the potential to go "viral"
comes my way.
Money, money, money. It's a bugger of a thing. We're all slaves to it.
Even people who have oodles of the stuff are slaves to it. One of Averil's
neighbors boils only enough water to make one cup of coffee hehe. Whereas
Lindsay has this idea that the kettle should be filled to absolute capacity.
He doesn't realize that boiling enough water to make a dozen cups of coffee
costs more. I'm not about to enlighten him because I can't be bothered
arguing. "I've always done it this way," is his standard response to everything.
Yes, ladies and genitals, one of these days I'll be far away from all
this bullshit... probably wondering how the hell I put up with it for so
many years. But then I'm not Robinson Crusoe in that regard. Lots of people
tolerate situations that are not to their liking... loveless marriages,
employment they loathe, oppressive regimes, etc. Maybe it has something
to do with the devil you know.
Oregon Richie wrote of the Odyssey: I believe it will pan out to
be one of the most important things you shall ever do, and certainly among
the more adventurous and rewarding.
I think that's putting it mildly. Flitting about the country as a radio
announcer was adventurous, I suppose, although to me at the time it didn't
seem so. I was young and carefree back then, unafraid of the future. Then
I was toppled off my perch and brought crashing back to earth with a thud.
That kinda knocked the wind outta my sails. Mr Invincible became Mr Insecure.
However, despite all that, I have a feeling that once I'm on the road
my fears and doubts will dissipate and I'll focus on the job at hand. That
has happened to me many times before in front of a microphone or on a stage,
or in a studio directing professional actors. Did you see the footage of
that Austrian bloke Felix Baumgartner standing at the doorway of his capsule
before making his daredevil plunge to earth 24 miles straight down? Once
in the air (what little there was of it), it was time to accomplish what
he had set out to do. No turning back. Yeah? For me, it'll be giving my
notice to quit this house, selling up all my stuff (and sending the crap
to the tip), making final adjustments to the camper and its contents, sleeping
for the last time at this address, and then heading out the drive to wherever
my nose leads me.
Just received a newsletter from Nicaragua and a letter from little Anyel
Antonio with his photograph... all dressed up in his Sunday best and wearing
white shoes. There's also a colored-in drawing of his hand, which is about
the size of my palm. He's looking less grumpy as he gets older - not altogether
jovial, but reasonably content - in fact he reminds me of my younger bro
when he was that age. He'll be four next January. According to his mother,
he's healthy and loves to play, so he's a happy kid. The community continues
to receive medical aid, education, training in hygiene and nutrition (cooking)
and various other assistance to improve their lives and set them on a course
As to my own nutrition tonight, Meals on Wheels arrived with a special
dish of combination chow mein which Sue doesn't want. So I'll have me a
feast of beef, prawns, chicken, vegies and dried noodles. Sounds good to
So where will my first camp site be after I leave here? Not far, that's
for sure. It also depends on the season whether I head south, north or
even west. If I head north, there are a couple of camp sites on the coast,
including one at Diamond
Head beside the beach. It's all very civilized with showers, loos,
fireplaces, etc. And how long will I stay? Ask me next morning. I'd kill
to know what thoughts will be running through my mind that first day.
On the other side of the highway, inland a bit, is
Coopernook Forest campground. So I suppose the idea will be to visit
various towns and/or localities, check out the scene, take a few pics,
and then drive to a nearby campground to spend a day or two assembling
an album or editing a video before I move on.... interspersed with eating,
drinking, napping, gawking and generally buggerizing around. Or something
Back to Felix Baumgartner for a sec - when he was interviewed he said
being "up there" in the stratosphere, at the very edge of space, was very
humbling; that his prime objective at that moment was not to achieve his
mission but to simply remain alive for the sake of his loved ones and friends.
His comments made me think of how we humans can get carried away with our
own perceived importance. I'm visualizing Hitler at the mo, shaking his
fist during impassioned speeches to the faithful, dressed in his Nazi uniform
and standing tall in his jackboots. And what is he now? A joke. A psychopath
universally denigrated for his follies. So many of us forget who we are;
disposable members of a passing parade of mortal ants who believe that
some deity "out there" actually gives a damn about a speck of dust amongst
trillions of billions of specks. We compare ourselves to our immediate
vicinity, and to the relative importance of other ants around us. We measure
time in days and months rather than in billions of light years.
However, it's all relative, isn't it. If Becky thinks Richie is Christmas,
then for all intents and purposes he's Christmas. When Felix Baumgartner
stood at the doorway of his capsule, poised to leap from a height of 24
miles back to earth, he was faced with the reality of who he was and what
was truly important to him.
Not sure what my point here is, but I do get a bit peeved when I see
Bishops parading around in their party frocks and funny hats, convinced
that they are representative of all that's real and of great consequence.
Ditto anyone else who deems himself superior to his fellows.
Anyway, be that as it may, for this amateur philosopher and old geezer
it's time to call it a wrap and attend to some beef, prawns, chicken and
noodles, and a bit of telly. Gary
October 15, 2012. I can hear Lindsay tipping rubbish into the
wheelie bins before taking them out to the street for tomorrow morning's
collection. He places them at the end of the driveway despite the fact
that I'm leaving shortly to visit Forster Tuncurry for a video shoot. So
I'll have to move them... AGAIN. As we say in Oz, he's not the full quid.
I watched the final episode last night of The Great Southern Land, a
show about Oz shot mostly from the air as well as satellite. Last night,
the host did his commentary from a police helicopter, a motorized paraglider
and a hang glider. It was the hang glider that really got me. He described
it as an old bed sheet held together with bits of wire. He didn't fly it
himself, however. He hitched a ride with an experienced pilot. So the two
of them took a running jump off a cliff and away they went (despite every
instinct telling him it was a crazy thing to do). The flight was over the
coastal area of southern Sydney and the
Royal National Park, the second oldest national park in the world.
Yellowstone was the first. It's a huge area of natural bushland bounded
on the east by soaring cliffs that rise vertically from the crashing waves
of the Pacific. In the background you could see the metropolis which looked
more like a small village in comparison to the immensity of the park. The
hanglider was accompanied by an unseen companion which did the filming,
and also received the host's running commentary from his radio mic. Only
an eagle with its giant wings taking advantage of the thermals could have
been more graceful in flight. It was magic. Effortlessly magic. And when
it came time to land, they headed back to a beach where the glider slowed
to a gentle halt, and all it took to return to terra firma was a few quick
steps. Bloody remarkable. Here's
a shot of the new coastal road that runs along the cliffs down to Wollongong.
The hang glider flew over that as well. Yes, folks, I'll be driving along
that road one of these days.
Also on the show was the Gold Coast in southern Queensland, and how
(back in the '70s) the city was designed to withstand onshore erosion by
the sea. But all the development of the nearby hinterland into a maze of
lakes and canals and housing estates has seriously restricted the natural
habitat of local wildlife, including snakes. The snakes actually survive
quite well because people leave their garbage lying around, which feeds
rats and mice, which in turn feed... yes, you guessed it. One bloke on
the Gold Coast earns a good living as a snake catcher. He gets about 15
calls a day. One call took him to a house where there was a snake in the
bathroom. The owner was still barefoot after being rudely interrupted when
he went to use the shower. The snake catcher took a look ("watch your feet,"
he told the owner as he opened the bathroom door) and said, "Yep,
it's an eastern brown." Eastern browns are the second deadliest snakes
in the world, and have enough venom to kill 16 healthy adults. But it was
no match for the snake catcher with his stick and bag. And experience.
And big boots. He had it bagged within 2 minutes and out the front door.
Later, he released it back into the bush. "Enjoy the rest of your day,"
he said. Hehe. Earlier, during the catch, he explained that all snakes
can be aggressive if cornered because they think you're going to eat them.
Fair enough. Meanwhile, if you're contemplating a holiday on the Gold Coast,
keep your eyes peeled.
I was just about to toddle off when I discovered my mobile phone needed
BACK from Forster Tuncurry. Actually, I have been for a couple of hours.
I was buggered so I took a nap. There was a terrible wind blowing, and
I discovered that easterlies blow from the east, not towards the east.
Yes, I know, I'd make a great sailor. In any case, any mental images I
had of luxury boats casting mirror-like reflections in calm blue water
were dashed. And the beaches? Flat as a pancake, choppy and populated only
by a few brave souls. There were certainly no board riders. At about 2pm
I was hungry and thirsty so I bought a little tub of ice cream. $4??? Sheesh.
I can buy 10 choc coated ice creams on a stick for less than that at the
supermarket. But I got a few shots. The Nikon is amazing. You just dial
in a year and whammo!
That was the old ferry/punt that took traffic across the lake that separates
Forster (on the south) from Tuncurry (on the north). Not sure what kinda
cars are in the top shot but the bottom one shows two Vauxhalls, a late
'40s convertible approaching the ferry and an early '50s leaving. And this
is the bridge that replaced the ferry. The top one, you nincompoop. There's
a hump at the far end where there's a deep channel for larger boats. Not
sure how much of the Great Lakes system is navigable but I suspect most
of it is... you can hire house boats there.
And here's something I just discovered... The first Amish community
to settle in Oz settled in Nabiac, which is just down the road from here
(Motorcycle Museum). I've been there! It's quaint for sure, but I didn't
realize it was Amish.
Anyway, a second trip at least is needed to the area to get some better
material for a vid. I really should get my act together and arrive early
for still waters and lovely reflections. So the vid's on hold. Tellya what,
I would love to have had the camper there to retire to when I get a bit
tired, or to refresh myself with a drink/snack... and maybe take time out
to check the pics before embarking on a second or third shoot. Now THAT
would be civilized. None of this driving back and forth business and spending
$4 on a piddly ice cream. Not only that, if for whatever reason the conditions
for photography are less than ideal, I can camp overnight and give it another
bash the next day.
Meanwhile, I gotta remember... easterly winds blow to the east, not
from the east. Roite.
It's almost 6pm now which means you-know-what. I didn't do any shopping
so dinner is a choice between scrambled eggs with cheese or steamed fish.
Hmmm. And then some telly to catch up on world events. Oh, almost forgot!
BR João wrote today: I loved the corked Isetta. More interesting
than to drive it must be to drink all the wine necessary to get that amount
of corks. And the surface of the car is like a connoisseur’s wine cellar
with all those maisons names. Instead of Titanic, it will never sink. Isetta
was the first car all produced in Brazil, between 1956 and 1961… if we
could call it a car. They’re funny, at least I thought that when I was
a young boy and could saw them in the streets. Volkswagen assembled the
“beetle” here since 1952, in 1959 began the real production of it and Isetta
tended to disappear.
Yes, I remember fitting a new clutch made in Brazil to my VW Kombi...
much cheaper than a German one! And the engine was Mexican. Gary
October 14, 2012. Goodness, gracious me! It's almost half way
through October. So tell me, does time actually move on or does time stand
still while everything else around it moves on? Another thing I wanna know
is did God wear ear muffs when he lit the wick for the Big Bang?
NC Art, a man of great experience and wisdom, wrote: A glance at
your bird of paradise photo impressed me with the soft focus in background
and foreground. Then I read your comments in the same mode. Good shot,
my man! Incidentally, my son recently spoke of a digital camera which can
produce sharp focus and depth of field. Seems the smarty-assed device reads
focal length at several points and makes rapid multiple exposures for an
allover sharp-focused image. Why didn’t you think of that 30 years go and
See what I mean about experience? Art said soft focus and I said blurry.
Now I feel awful. The Nikon has 11 focus points that you can see in the
viewfinder. Pretty amazing stuff. And that's entry level? You can also
choose manual focus instead of auto but, as one reviewer said, why bother
except in unusual circumstances? There's also focus lock where you can
use auto to focus on a particular object, press the shutter half way to
lock it in place, re-compose and then press the shutter all the way down
to take the picture.
Art also wrote: I watched the Biden-Ryan debate and Biden won hands-down
in my opinion. Both blokes told some whoppers, but Biden nailed Ryan without
a comeback several times. Could I be prejudiced? ME? Heehee.
Interestingly, Art's opinion is shared by Oregon Richie: Depends
on who you listen to in order to tell who "won" the VP debate. I
don't think Ryan did, and he got caught with his phony pants-down a few
times. MSNBC commentators made the note that he's not "really a liar....
he's a fibber... now Romney is a liar, but Ryan is growing into being a
liar.....". Social Services....? The Supreme Court ?
Womens' rights and their own choices? Education ? Tax load
on the middling peeps class? Sheeeeet... makes me shudder if they
get to move in to the big white house. I think Biden was just being himself,
and they can complain all they want, which is a real wild position to take
considering how rude, crude, and overlording to the point of foul bully
tactics that Romney shelled out when he was on the stage......
Meanwhile, if most peeps feel the way I do, Wednesday's second debate
between Obama and Romney will (or should) attract a huge audience due to
the pasting Obama got after the initial debate. If anything, Obama's poor
first performance has stimulated interest in the contest. Is he down for
the count or will he rise from the canvas to send Romney to the ropes?
Remember Steve's encounter in the ring with the school bully? And Cody's
encounter in the ring with Alan? And Mark's encounter in the ring with
a boxer who had Mark's measure until Mr T gave Mark some timely advice?
I watched another story about coffee grown in Oz last night. We produce
about 1% of the world's coffee but it's very high grade and sells on the
international market for about five times the average. It's sold in Asia,
the US and Europe at a premium for connoisseurs. I've never tried it...
probably too expensive for me. By the way, we make two kinds of coffee
here... one for left-handers and one for right. The one above is for lefties.
There was another story about an experimental facility in the South
Australian desert that harnesses solar energy, uses it to generate electricity
and heat which in turn operates a large hot house where tomatoes and capsicums
(bell peppers) are grown. At the same time, it draws bore water from an
aquifer, de-salinates it, uses the fresh water for the hot house and packages
the salt for sale as a biproduct. The experiment has been so successful,
plans are underway to expand its capacity to grow many thousands of tons
of fresh produce. The technology is also being sold to various countries
that have a similar water-shortage problem, such as the Middle East and
parts of Africa. Although the various technologies used in the plant are
nothing new, this is the first time they've been used in a complementary
fashion to run a completely independent and self-sufficient large-scale
agricultural facility in a desert. Pretty snazzy, huh? I love watching
Land Line... it's fulla cool stories like those. Nudja one was about young
girls/women being lured to outback towns to become bush pilots. But that's
On Gardening Australia, there was a story about a bloke of Italian heritage
who loves weeds. He was taught as a kid by his mother to harvest certain
weeds in the backyard to use in salads and cooking. It's important to know
the difference between poisonous weeds and edible ones, of course, but
he actually cultivates certain weeds in his own garden. "Weeds will always
be with us," he says, "so why not make the most of them and eat them?"
Makes sense to me. Actually, one of the more common weeds is mint. And
who doesn't love the flavor of mint?
An Australian native that has been used by Australian Aborigines for
thousands of years is lemon myrtle. But it's only fairly recently that
it's been cultivated for use in all kinds of foods as a flavoring as well
as in medicines, and exported around the world. Seems it's only just beginning
to occur to Europeans that there's a good reason why Aborigines have survived
in Oz for at least 40,000 years.
With a bit of luck, I'll be at Forster Tuncurry tomorrow videoing luxury
cruisers and bridges and beaches and tall apartment blocks and pelicans
and fishermen and who-knows-what. The forecast is for sunny and 25C which
is pretty good, and easterly winds which means offshore - good for surfing.
The smaller Fuji has an 18x zoom so if there are a few surfers out there
I'll use that. Forster Tuncurry is in complete contrast to Taree. The former
is a tourist/beach/boating environment in an area called the Great Lakes
District and the latter is a commercial hub surrounded by farming communities
and rainforest in The Manning Valley.
While I was shaving in the bathroom, I heard a woman on radio talking
about her four children. She said one of her boys came home from school
one day to announce that he'd learned in class about "doing it" to make
babies. He told his mother that he was horrified to learn that she and
his dad had "done it" four times! "Well, two of them are twins," she said.
"Okay, so you did it twice and then once more for a really long time."
Hehe. Here I am at 68 and I still can't imagine my parents "doing it" to
make four boys. Okay... three and a bit.
Had a little chat with Averil today and showed her my new Nikon. She
was most impressed and, naturally, put her greasy fingers all over the
screen. She enjoyed the last lot of videos as well. We spoke about a number
of things including all the positive press our Prime Minister Julia Gillard
has been receiving overseas for standing up to the "sexist" leader of the
opposition in Parliament, Tony Abbott, whom she calls a mysonigist. She
says she's tired of the sexist insults and won't take it any more. She
likes to remind us of how often she's been offended by various remarks
from male politicians and male talk-back radio hosts. Well, darling, if
you can't stand the heat, get outta the kitchen. As to being offended,
so am I. Often. Every time I see that woman on TV I cringe. She's a liar.
She's a cheat. She's got a big bum, a long sharp nose and wears old school
ma'am clothes. Her critics call her a witch and a bitch. I agree. And I
don't care who knows it. The sooner that woman and her minority government,
supported by independents, are voted out of office and into political oblivion,
the better. That droning voice of hers drives me nutty. What's more, Averil
And now, dear Breth, once again it's time to ask Pete and Dud to perform
the honors. Gary
October 13, 2012. Yesterday, we got a burst of winter - cold
and wet. But
it was worse south of here. The Blue Mountains just west of Sydney
turned white with snow. Snow also fell in many other areas out west and
on the southern tablelands. On the south coast, rain and gale force winds
were the order of the day. But we're back to normal spring weather today,
at least up here on the mid north coast... with warmer weather on the way.
It's almost 6 months since I bought the camper. Back then I had to shuffle
a few bucks around and borrow 2 grand to rake up enough to meet the $4700
I needed. Remember the auction? I was the highest bidder until the final
few seconds when I was pipped by another bidder. $4700 was the highest
I could go. But the next morning I got a note from eBay to say the high
bidder had reneged on the deal, and I'd won the auction by default. Anyway,
next pay day will be the final payment on the (interest free) $1000 advance
I got on my pension. The other grand is about half paid off. So the camper
is almost mine. Mineminemineminemine! Progress, dear Breth, progress.
NC Art was impressed with the didgeridoo and its players: WOW, those
blokes honking the primitive wind instrument sure gotta have stupendous
wind control! It’s another form of human’s innate sense of rhythm. Say
it is the music of the spheres, and according to researchers, every primitive
society has that sense of musical beat which corresponds to the background
noise of the universe. Sounds okay to me.
Yep, even atoms have rhythm. And the beat goes on. Art also wrote: About
the Ukraine vendetta against gays, logic is not conducive to enjoyment
of prejudice. I just got a robo-call from Mike Huckabee, former governor
of Arkansas and Southern Baptist preacher. He started a spiel about a constitutional
amendment defining marriage. Naturally his view is informed by the Bible,
I guess. None of this hell spawned gay horror, y’know. What a dunce, but
As to the VP debate yesterday, I saw grabs on TV and heard various comments
from observers. Most agree that Ryan held his own against a more experienced
Biden but it was pretty even. Maybe Ryan by an eyelash. The worrying thing,
of course, is the way the polls are going, with Romney making up ground
and even leading in some state polls. I think a lot hangs in the balance
for next week's debate. Obama really needs to pull a rabbit out of the
hat. Gary Bauer, the Republican guy who ran back in 2004 was interviewed
on Planet America last night and kept referring to Obama politely as "the
first president of color". To me, he was avoiding the word black as if
it had unsavory connotations. Some people refuse to call a spade a spade.
From the Beeb: US Republican candidate Mitt Romney says Vice-President
Joe Biden made misleading remarks in a TV debate about the Libya consulate
attack. Isn't that par for the course in politics? Anyway, Romney should
A few years ago, I attended a horse jumping event at the Taree Showground.
There was horse crap all over the place. On another occasion, I went to
a Wingham cattle show. Crap everwhere, one of which I managed to step in.
Another time, I visited Timber Town, the re-creation of a 19th century
village where teams of bullocks roam the streets pulling a sled. Crap galore.
So I was thinking about the stable where Jesus was born. According to most
nativity scenes, camels, sheep, a donkey and an ox were present. Also,
one has to wonder about Joseph and how much midwifery experience he had,
particularly in unhygienic (not to mention unsanitary) conditions.
Furthermore, I Googled "manger": A manger or trough is a feeder of
carved stone, wood, or metal construction used to hold food for animals
(as in a stable). Mangers are mostly used in livestock raising. The word
comes from the French manger (meaning "to eat"), from Latin manducare (meaning
It's a bit like Hollywood westerns, isn't it. Lots of horses wandering
about the main street of town but not a dollop of crap in sight. Ladies
carrying parasols and wearing long dresses down to ground level crossing
cleanly-swept streets devoid of mud or manure. I wish my questions had
occurred to me during scripture classes at school instead of now.
A while ago I bought some "Oaty Slices"... breakfast bar thingies with
all kinds of goodies glued together with honey that you can eat on the
run. But the first one soaked up all my saliva and then crumbled into little
bits that secreted themselves into every tiny nook and cranny in my mouth
where they were determined to spend the term of their natural lives. Even
vigorous brushing failed to help. But it tasted good. So this time I got
smart and decided to have one in a bowl with milk. Some of the bits are
still playing hide and seek but the milk is helping to flush most of them
out. All this buggerizing around is an attempt to gain weight, which I'm
sadly lacking at the mo. If the floorboards in this joint weren't carpeted
I'm sure I would have disappeared by now. I really need to bulk up. Anyway,
it worked... kind of.
And what will my new Nikon do? I figured I'd better take a pic of something
given that I've had the damn thing for almost a week. This is a macro shot
of a Bird of Paradise flower in my backyard.
I'm rather impressed with the way the auto focus has blurred the very
near foreground and the background but left the petals in focus... all
at very close quarters. Now if you drew an eye just under the center petal
on the husk, you'd have a live one!
Tellya what, tho, I'll be glad to leave all this lawnmowing, gardening
and weeding behind. I quite like gardens and flowers BUT I'm too involved
in other things like writing and photography to spend time digging holes.
I enjoy watching gardening shows on telly and find them most informative
and entertaining. Not only that, I also appreciate the pleasure and satisfaction
gardeners derive from their hobby. But I'd rather be shooting the video
than planting or pruning. And that, ladies and genitals, is the whole point
of traveling Oz... to point a lens barrel at stuff. In fact, I sat for
a while in the camper again today thinking about how it might be next year
if everything goes to plan.
Meanwhile, my immediate plan is to turn on the telly and watch a few
of my fav programs (yes, Gardening Australia is one of them) and then stuff
my gob with a meat pie. Till we meet again... nah... I'll
let Peter Cook and Dudley Moore sing it. Gary
October 12, 2012. President Fossil
"I dunno why they don't just scrap everything and put me in charge
of the whole damn planet."
Nuff said. Oregon Richie also wrote: Gadzooks !! You trying
to tell us that the WHITE HOUSE did not answer you directly? And
sent you packing to the campaign site? Hmm. Well.. that could
make good press, too... a citizen of OZ vitally concerned about the US
political scene. And it WILL make a diff... worldwide. I just
don't trust the current R folks one bit... they will say, do, amend, bullshoot,
and whatever it takes to get POWER and then Lord knows what may happen.
And NC Art commented on "funny terms": IQ means intelligence quotient,
so wot the ell is QI, Quantum Intelligence? Oh well. As for opium and its
cousins, the stuff was freely sold at drug stores (chemist shop or apothecary)
back when I was a lad. Cough syrup and various ‘tonics’ were laced with
laudanum, an opium derivative. When the stuff was outlawed the pharmacists
made some great tonics and syrups that were about 50 proof alcohol depending
on age of the patient. People were very happy with the results. He he.
Of course that didn’t last too long. Earlier the U.S. tried total prohibition
and we all know how well that worked. One result was the income tax because
liquor and the saloons made up 40% of the federal revenue to run the government.
OOPS! On repeal of Prohibition the income tax kept right on being collected.
“Oh what fools these mortals be,” quoth Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Well, the Good Book says to take a little wine for the stomach’s sake.
Well, QI (Quite Interesting), hosted by Stephen Fry, is a British comedy.
So there ya go. Fry asks the panel a series of obscure questions, most
of which they get wrong, and in the process end up with embarrassingly
low scores well into the minuses. One question the other night was what
do chickens and atomic bombs have in common. One panelist correctly answered
that a cache of bombs was planted underground in England in anticipation
of a Nazi invasion and chickens were used to keep the sensitive components
warm. They were given enough food to last a week, apparently, and then...
well... they were dispensable.
As to legal drugs, I always wondered why the US had places called drug
stores where you could go for a soda. In Oz we had chemist shops (also
known as pharmacies) and milk bars (sodas, milk shakes, candy, burgers,
juke boxes and pinball machines). But the two were separate. The Happy
Days gang always hung out at the drug store. What the...??? I was an avid
fan of milk shakes as a kid... double ice cream and malt. Meanwhile, I
agree with Puck.
From the Beeb: The Syrian plane forced to land in Turkey was carrying
Russian-made equipment and ammunition for Syria's defence ministry, says
Turkey's PM. Ah yes, life is full of surprises, yes? On the other hand,
sometimes it's not.
Here's another one on the "not surprising" list: The Lebanese Shia
militant group Hezbollah has admitted launching an Iranian-made drone that
was shot down over Israel last week.
However, I do find this surprising, not to mention disturbing: The
Ukrainian parliament could give final approval next week to a bill that
aims to outlaw "pro-homosexual propaganda" - any "positive depiction" of
gay people, gay pride marches, or even the screening of a film like Brokeback
Mountain. If passed, the bill would prevent anyone sending out a message
that there is nothing wrong with being gay - whether in a newspaper editorial,
a public speech or parade. This bill's authors have cited films like Brokeback
Mountain as an example. Check
out the photo at the head of the article.
So there ya go, dear Breth... there's everything wrong with being gay
but there's nothing wrong with being homophobic. If that doesn't defy logic,
I dunno what does. Remember
US vice-presidential candidates Joe Biden and Paul Ryan are set to
meet in their only debate, as polling suggests the US election race is
tightening. Vice-President Biden and Mr Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman,
will clash for 90 minutes in Danville, Kentucky. Democrats are hoping to
change the narrative after what was widely seen as a poor debate performance
by President Barack Obama last week. Mr Obama said on Wednesday he had
been "too polite" to his rival, Mitt Romney. What an understatement.
Pity there's so much traffic noise out front. A butcher bird was sitting
on my fence happily singing his tunes (of which there are several). I grabbed
the little Olympus digital recorder hoping to capture the sound but all
I got was cars and trucks. Bleh. Oh well... one of these days. Butcher
birds are great mimicks. I've heard them copy the sounds of other birds
and even animals. But they also have their own repertoir which is amazingly
complex and musically proficient. Maybe over thousands of years of evolution,
the sounds they copied became the basis for their own "compositions". I
suppose humans have done a similar thing with the evolution of musical
We had the Vienna Boys Choir here in Oz recently. During a meet and
greet session they were introduced to a group of Aborigines in traditional
body paint and dress. Guess what fascinated them most? "The man with the
big pipe." Yep, the
ol' didge. Notice how the player uses cyclic breathing - in through
the nose and out through the mouth, simultaneously - so that the sound
is continuous... no pausing for breath. The original didgeridoos were logs
found in the bush, hollowed by white ants. They needed to be a certain
length, thickness, etc., so not every log would make a good didge. I suppose
the ones sold to tourists these days are made by machine in China.
NC Art forward this short story: Wives don't forget old boyfriends...
Husband takes his wife to a disco on the weekend. A guy on the dance
floor is living it large - break dancing, moon walking, back flips, the
works. The wife turns to her husband and says: "See that guy? 25 years
ago he proposed to me and I turned him down." Husband says: "Looks like
he's still celebrating."
Looks like the wind is beginning to settle down a bit but for most of
the day the tree tops have been doing calisthenics and the wind has been
howling. Not the kinda day to be outdoors, Ls and Gs, unless you happen
to be aboard a yacht in the Sydney to Hobart race or an Eskimo who's run
outta milk. Actually, come to think of it, are there cows up there in Alaska?
Where do Eskimos get their milk from? And don't say the corner store.
Speaking of milk, dairy farmers in Oz are going broke because the two
main grocery chains, Coles and Woolworths, with about 70% of the market,
have been engaged in a milk price war for a year or two, selling homebrand
milk at a loss. Consumers are rejecting higher priced branded milk in favor
of the cheaper homebrand which basically proves that the average Aussie
couldn't give a stuff about his fellow countrymen trying to make a living
on the land. I'm alright, Jack, bugger you.
The big supermarket chains are biting the hand that feeds them. If enough
dairy farmers are forced out of business, and milk becomes scarce, guess
what? Yep, the price of milk will rise, perhaps even skyrocket. And consumers
will have no one else to blame but themselves. “Oh what fools these
mortals be,” quoth Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Mind you, I just bought a camera from a business operating out of Hong
Kong so I shouldn't talk. Traditional retailers in Oz are really feeling
the pinch from online retailers, especially those from overseas. This is
the brave new world, old chap. Get used to it.
Has the Biden/Ryan thing happened yet? I'm looking forward to Planet
America's analysis of the debate tonight on telly. Has there been a President
Kelly in the US? I think it's high time there was. How many US presidents
have Irish roots? Wanna guess? One, two, three? How many? Are you ready
for this? 22. Does that include the current president? Yes it does. Does
that include the previous president, George W? Yes it does. And the one
before him? Yes it does. Don't
And what about Mitt Romney? Does he have Irish roots? No. He's
Well, I better shut that laughing monkey up and get outta here. It's
time for you-know-what. Gary
October 11, 2012. Saw this on an auto newsgroup this morning.
Not only is it a novel car, but also a novel way to "paint" it... with
corks. Wouldn't you just love to whizz around town in that for a bit of
Speaking of cars, here's a '39 Rolls I've never seen before. It was
built just before war broke out in Europe, when automobile production was
halted for the duration. It's interesting to contemplate what the evolution
of automotive design would have been like had the war not intervened.
Jim M wrote in regards to viewfinders versus LCD screens: I have
the same problem with my cam. When outdoors try looking at the screen without
your glasses. Also, I think my photo-gray glasses make seeing the screen
more difficult. Best of luck! Yep, tried that, Jim. Still no good.
Remember those early wild-west photographers who dove under a black sheet
to take a pic? Maybe I should try that! Nah, I'll stick with the viewfinder.
I find it far superior for accurate framing and panning.
Well, well, well, the last place on Earth I expected oil to be to discovered
is the one famous for Guinness and Gnomes: This report from the Beeb: Ireland
is on the verge of securing revenue from oil that could run into billions
of pounds. Providence Resources Plc, an Irish and UK company, has confirmed
its Barryroe site, 30 miles off the Cork coast, should yield 280m barrels
I wonder if it's green?
Just watched a couple of vids on Youtube about the Nikon D3100. Both
were British. One said the Nikon was selling for 550 pounds in the UK which
is about 860AUD. Mine cost 448AUD delivered. However, I'm still pissed
off about not being able to use the viewfinder for shooting video. Mind
you, shooting video is not the primary purpose of the camera. It's a DSLR
which means you're supposed to take award-winning, arty-farty stills.
Anyway, it's cloudy and dreary today, with showers. Admittedly, we need
the rain pretty badly. Further south, there are flood warnings and gales.
But the sun is due to pop out and warm things up again next Monday which
is the day I have in mind for the Forster Tuncurry shoot. I won't use the
Nikon for video but I'll take it anyway.
I wrote to the White House the other day after being disappointed with
Obama's performance at the the first Presidential debate in Denver. I gave
him Ali's advice - dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Thank
you for writing. Based on the content of your message, it appears
that your message is intended for the President’s re-election campaign
rather than the White House. If you would like to contact the President’s
campaign, you may write to Obama for America, P.O. Box 803638, Chicago,
IL, 60680 or the campaign’s questions and comment form is available at
Thank you, again, for writing.
Snail mail will be too slow, and the web site is for American citizens
only. So that screws that. Anyway, I'm sure I'm not the only one to stick
a rocket up Barack's butt after he allowed Romney to crap all over him.
If he doesn't give Romney a pasting next week, I'll scream. Meanwhile,
housing sales in the US are up, Barack's "likes" on internet social media
are up (from an average 30,000/day to 100,000) but the polls say the gap
in the ratings is closing. It's anyone's race, apparently, which means
whoever wins, half of America is gonna be pissed off. That's democracy
for ya, and that's what we go to war for. I dunno why they don't just scrap
everything and put me in charge of the whole damn planet.
BTW, I heard on telly last night - an episode of QI to be precise -
that drugs like heroin, cocain and whatever is in ecstasy were legal from
the 1880s through to the early 20th century in the UK. You could go into
a respectable department store in London and buy a parcel of goodies to
send to your son or brother or husband fighting on the battlefields of
Anyway, prohibition doesn't work. People have been snorting, ingesting,
smoking and chewing things since Eve told Adam that apples were forbidden.
It's the nature of the beast. If it's naughty, it's cool.
Time to exit stage left, ladies and genitals, and attend to the usual
domestics. Oh yes, and another thing I learned on QI last night... lumber
jack is a Canadian term for what they call in Oregon a tree-feller (as
opposed to a tree fellow who hugs them). There are no lumber jacks in Oregon.
Isn't that a fascinating tid bit of information? I'm off! Gary
October 10, 2012. I just included the Same Sex Marriage vid on
the Journal page
in the hope that Google's robots will include it in searches and attract
a few more views. It hasn't exactly set the world on fire yet. It's not
the type of material best suited to what the Odyssey is supposed to represent
but... it's my Odyssey.
TX Greg commented on the Red Bubble pic of the Sydney Harbor Bridge
yesterday: If you were just looking at the picture of the bridge, then
you missed something really neat, the old detailed ornate railing :)
The old railing was precisely the reason I liked the pic, Greg. I'm
a great believer in adding something to the foreground of most pics to
enhance depth and also to provide the viewer with a sense of scale. And
isn't 'ornate' a great word?
Oregon Richie also wrote to say he and Becky are happily settling into
married life. They're still measuring anniversaries by the week hehe, so
I'd say the novelty hasn't quite worn off yet.
I'll whizz down to the river soon to practice shooting video with the
Nikon. Hopefully there are some pelicans there and maybe a fisherman or
two to attract them. I'm keen to try shooting action using the screen instead
of the viewfinder while keeping the subject in frame, which can be difficult
in daylight (if not downright impossible). If I'd known the Nikon couldn't
shoot video using the viewfinder, I wouldn't have bought it. With a bit
of luck, my cowboy hat will help shade the screen. I've also noticed that
the lens hood causes vignetting on the 18mm setting, but it's not too bad.
Anyway, practice makes perfect, as they say. I'd go now but Lindsay wants
me to wait till Meals on Wheels arrives. The poor little dear is still
Well, I've been doing some serious thinking, ladies and genitals. I
don't like using the LCD screen for shooting movies. It's too difficult
to see detail in bright daylight. I figure the camera is built to appeal
to moms and dads who like to shoot stuff of their kids' birthday parties
or whatever. Indoors stuff, or out in the backyard, not the kinda stuff
I shoot. Also, the setting I was using resulted in files of about 35MB
for just a 10 second clip! Whoa! So I wound it back a notch. Fact is, I'm
not so sure I wanna shoot in HD anyway. Did anyone find anything wrong
with the vid of the Kombi Fest? That was shot in standard 640x480 with
So I've been toying with the idea of putting the whole Nikon shebang
back in the box and selling it "as new" for what I paid, which was a pretty
good discount price. The only thing that stopped me was that a couple of
things are still on their way... spare batteries and a camera bag. So I
wrote a question to the guy who operates the camera forum asking if all
DSLRs with interchangeable lenses restrict shooting video to using the
LCD screen. If that's the case, I might as well keep the Nikon. It's probably
the only DSLR I'll ever need, even if I do buy an extra lens or two in
the future. Meanwhile, I could continue to use the Fuji for shooting vids.
I'm also thinking that this obsession with shooting vids I have at the
mo might fade after a while. Not everything is good subject material for
a video, and good quality stills still have a legitimate place on this
site (as well as Red Bubble, calendars, prints, postcards, albums etc).
Just back from a little shopping where I parked next to the Ute's slightly
younger sibling. Mine's a '93 and the sibling is somewhere between '96
A week ago I watched a show on telly about homeless peeps in Sydney
featuring Poh as the chef who improved their free meals. Last night, she
accompanied a group of wild young ladies taken on one of those wilderness
camps for young offenders by a strict but fair guide. There was lots of
hiking with backpacks, sleeping under canvas in the never-never, cursing
and swearing, spitting the dummy, abseiling and various other tasks all
designed to teach the girls self-respect, team spirit, trust and self-reliance.
Poh was there to take care of the grub and to occasionally give the girls
a bit of friendly encouragement. On the seventh day, the group walked to
a steep ridge which they climbed (with their 20kg backpacks), a total of
18.5 kilometers from their previous camp. When they reached the summit,
they witnessed one of the most
spectacular views over the Flinders Ranges I've ever seen. It was breathtaking.
Before the climb, the girls were asked to pick up a small stone and carry
it. "That stone represents all your troubles," said the guide. At the summit,
they were asked to place the stone somewhere on a rock. "Now that's where
you're going to leave your troubles," said the guide.
The girls were left for an hour or two just to sit alone in silence
and admire the view, while they contemplated their wilderness experience
as well as their lives back home, and where they would like to make changes
for the future. Not one of the girls had a negative thing to say. Those
seven days in the bush had had a profound effect on them. And they thought
Poh's food was pretty good as well. Her menu had encouraged them to eat
more nutritious food than they were used to at home. No more packaged and
When they reached a designated spot back on level ground, a bus arrived
to take them home. They were all cheerful and happy, albeit smelly. "The
bus stinks," Poh laughed. "They haven't showered for a week!" BTW, that
linked pic of the Flinders is from the web... not the show.
And here we are again, after a day of soul searching about the Nikon...
where it's time to look in the fridge for something packaged and processed
hehe, and retire to the "soft" chair for a bit of telly. Gary
October 9, 2012. Who's the dummy who looked up the Nikon User
Manual to figure out how to attach the neck strap to the eyelets? Nikon
must think it's so simple and obvious that it doesn't need illustrating
or explanation. Hehe. Oh well... So I bit the bullet and gave it a shot.
Not sure if I've done it properly but it seems to work okay.
I also tried the lens hood from the Fuji accessories and it works fine.
So do the other attachments; the filters and the macro and tele adapters.
The macro/wide-angle almost gives the 18mm setting a 180 degree view! Not
quite, but getting close. It should work really well on wide shots of mountains,
valleys, city scapes, beaches, etc... and even compact interiors such as
Back from the local electronics store where I asked the young bloke
about the Nikon charger and the power adapter. I was prepared to buy another
adapter but he (as I suspected he might) managed to fit the two together.
It took a bit of pressure, which was something I wasn't prepared to do
in case I bent or broke something. Hehe. So there ya go, all is well in
the Nikon department. The User Manual in Japanese, by the way, is a minor
downside of buying an imported product. The upside of that is that I saved
a bundle... and no import duty. The CD User Manual is in English so no
worries. I'm all set to go... almost... still waiting on the 16GB memory
cards to arrive.
Incidentally, I used the money I received from the sale of the Remington
shaver to buy a Nikon camera bag... 3 main compartments and lots of pockets.
Oh no!!! The menu is in Japanese! Oh... it's also in Russian, Chinese,
Arabic, Swahili and whatever else. Silly me pressed the up and down buttons
on Language instead of the right button. Now it's in English. Whew! Had
me worried there for a minute. Have you ever watched one of those demo
vids on Youtube? They scroll through stuff at a million miles and hour
and press buttons furiously so that you have no idea what the hell they're
doing. BTW, the battery charges from scratch to fully charged in just 90
minutes, which is much faster than the rechargable AAs. They take all day
Remember when the postie blew his whistle to let you know he was coming?
These days, he rides a little 90cc motorbike with squeaky brakes. Serves
the same purpose... and sure enough, my two memory cards were in the mail
box. One thing you notice about this camera is how well everything is made.
All the little compartment doors open and snap-close with wonderful precision.
If this "entry-level" Nikon is designed to impress a newbie sufficiently
to get him to stick with Nikon cameras and lenses for life, it works for
So now I have no reason to postpone Forster Tuncurry any longer (except
for weather). However, the Nikon is a whole new ballgame compared to my
other cameras. For starters, it seems I can't shoot movies using the viewfinder,
which I prefer to use because the monitor in daylight can be difficult
to see. Dammit. Also, using the monitor (Live View) chews up the battery.
So I'm going to have to practice shooting stuff down by the river to make
sure I know what I'm doing before I head out to Forster Tuncurry.
The limit to one uninterrupted scene is 10 minutes (the electronics
get hot). Not a prob. There's no way I shoot scenes that long anyway (unless
it's an unusual circumstance like an interview). I'm an editing man, and
I shoot short scenes to maintain an interesting pace. In many ways, this
camera is for dummies; peeps new to SLR photography. You can select 'Guide'
and it'll ask you what kinda photo you wanna take, and then take you through
a step-by-step procedure to recommend various manual settings to achieve
the best result (rather than always relying on 'auto'). I thought it was
gonna be a piece of cake; a 5 minute learning curve. Hehe. Yeah, right.
So I better just accept the fact that I got me another fancy gizmo to learn
properly and to be patient. Trouble is, after about an hour or so of reading
manuals or forums, I get fidgety.
So there ya go, another day spent learning and cursing and learning
and cursing, with the result that it's time to get my sore bum off the
chair and onto something softer. I've lost so much weight, I've no longer
got any natural padding. Eat more? Yeah, I know. But it ain't easy. Gary
October 8, 2012. Another Mondee. I watched a program last night
on telly about Oz and how transport plays such a crucial role in Aussies
commuting between towns and cities sprawled across this wide brown land,
and in particular the daily commute to their work place. What a mess! I
used to be part of it but, thankfully, not any more. One statistic I found
interesting was that Sydney CBD only has about 100,000 residents, but about
a million commuters descend on the city every weekday. That really puts
a strain on the public transport system and the road network.
And that begs the question; how much does it cost to send a million
people to and from work every day?
I meant to mention yesterday that I've had to delete more spam from
the guestbook lately. What a pain. If it becomes too much of a prob, I'll
flick the guestbook altogether. Isn't it a shame that some people just
can't help inflicting their crap on others. That's the problem I have with
religion. It believes it's doing everyone a favor by "spreading the word".
Advertising is the same these days... aggressive and "in your face". I
don't watch commercial telly or listen to commercial radio any more.
TX Greg commented on the Same Sex Marriage video: That has to be
the best most important vid you've done yet :)
Thanks, Greg. That's what you get from an old advertising writer. An
agency would have charged $50,000 to put that together. Each strategy depends
on the individual task at hand, but I figure in this case it's better to
simply state the case for inevitability rather than get bogged down in
complicated arguments. Use the opposition's negativity to mock its own
cause. I think that last image wraps up my case perfectly.
Loved the pic of the flat Earth. Reminded me of a funny old Bugs
Bunny cartoon about that...
It'll be interesting to see what comments the vid attracts on Youtube.
There's only one so far..."Great video, well done". But I suspect not all
comments will be so civil and complimentary hehe. My main aim in making
that vid was to warn opponents of same sex marriage that they're destined
to go down on the wrong side of history by pursuing their cause. BTW, did
you notice how the subject matter of the vid attracted advertising?
Yesterday, at Bathurst in NSW, Oz, the 50th anniversary of Australia's
most famous production car race was held, the Bathurst 1000. When it first
started back in '62, just about everything was racing around the track;
Minis, Cortinas, Holdens, Valiants, etc. But in more recent years it's
been a battle between the big V8s, Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon. Yesterday,
Holden won by a wart, crossing the line with only fumes left in the tank.
Imagine that... after 1000 kilometers driving flat out, only half a second
separated the two leaders. Hehe. I believe next year the race will include
Jaguar and Nissan.
Can you read Japanese? Neither can I. So I ask you, what good to me
is a User Manual for the Nikon D3100 written in Japanese? I just emailed
the seller and asked the same question. Otherwise, the rest of the package
seems fine, unless, of course, I discover that it makes portraits of Aussies
look Asian. The User Manual on CD is in English, luckily. But the battery
charger has the wrong pins for an Australian power point. There's a 250V
adapter included but the pins at the back of the charger don't seem to
fit the adapter. ??? So I emailed the seller about that as well. Meanwhile,
I can't charge the battery. Oh well... I'm sure I'll manage to sort out
the probs. Got the car but no petrol.
The camera does look and feel good, though. Very nice to the touch.
And there's a stack of How To vids on Youtube. The lens looks a bit stubby
in that pic but it's
actually quite long. Now I've gotta remember to use the selector ring
to choose between 18 and 55mm rather than the zoom button on the fixed-lens
cameras I already have. Pretty cool, huh? Now I'm a Nikon man!
Well, 'tis the close of another Waffle. I felt like a meat pie tonight
so on the way home from shopping I nicked into the patisserie - best pies
in Taree. Meanwhile, I hope I can sort out the charger prob soon. I'm itching
to do a shoot of Forster Tuncurry. Oh! I forgot to mention... we're on
daylight saving time now... up with the birdies and still daylight in the
October 7, 2012. Why have I got a sore bum, ladies and
genitals? I'll tell you why. Because I've been sitting on this damn chair
for waaaaay too long putting videos together. When I woke this morning,
I decided against posting the one about smokers caught up in the war between
government and tobacco companies. I'm not sure my Youtube channel should
be getting polly tickle. So then I decided to make another vid about same
sex marriage. This time I did post it. It's only a shortie - 2.5 minutes.
But it makes comparisons with previous resistance movements over the centuries
to issues of equal rights, and points to the inevitability of same sex
can check it out here.
It was the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first hit recently, and
an interesting article on the Beeb about the influence those guys had
on music both then and now. And not only in Britain. Jeez... fancy that.
I was 18.
NC Art wrote: G'day Mate, Forward illustrates language usage...for better
or wuss! (Why athletes can't have proper jobs...) And about my figure of speech re the boy scout,
all it was, was a figure of speech.
Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann: "Nobody in football
should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
Senior basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh: "I'm going
to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes."
Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach: "You guys line up alphabetically
by height. And, "You guys pair up in groups of three, and then line up
in a circle."
Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike Tyson going to prison: "Why would anyone
expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, ....not
Stu Grimson, Chicago Blackhawks left wing, explaining why he keeps a
color photo of himself above his locker: "That's so when I forget how to
spell my name, I can still find my clothes."
Lou Duva, veteran boxing trainer, on the Spartan training regimen of
heavyweight Andrew Golota: "He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the
morning, regardless of what time it is."
Chuck Nevitt , North Carolina State basketball player, explaining to
coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice: "My sister's expecting
a baby, and I don't know if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt."
In the words of NC State great Charles Shackelford: "I can go to my
left or right, I am amphibious."
Former Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips when asked by Bob Costas why
he takes his wife on all the road trips, Phillips responded: "Because she's
too damn ugly to kiss good-bye."
I just watched a Youtube vid about the Nikon D3100. The bloke talked
at a million miles an hour, flicking switches and pressing buttons, but
he's very happy with it. Interestingly, he uses it almost exclusively for
shooting video and says the picture quality is excellent. The only downside
is the lack of an input to connect an external microphone. He may consider
it a prob but I don't... at least not at this stage. He was most impressed
with the egonomics and the positioning of all the controls. Fitted with
the kit lens, it weighs about half a kilo (a pound). The standard 18-55mm
lens is adequate but, as he says, most people will choose to upgrade. All
in all, a great camera. Can you imagine what one of those things looks
like inside compared to the inside of a Box Brownie? The electronics must
be mind boggling.
Well, this video-making gig takes up quite a bit of time, so the day
went that-a-way. It's an interesting way to make a point, though, and probably
worth the effort if you feel strongly enough about an issue. But, for me,
making a point is not always the point of making a video. Most of the time
I just wanna have fun. So when will the Nikon arrive? Not sure. It's coming
all the way from Hong Kong or Taiwan by standard post, so maybe next week
with a bit of luck. Then I'll whizz out to Forster Tuncurry for a bit of
rootin' tootin' shootin'. Gary
NC Art sent this link to a plea by the mother of a boy scout who has
been refused his Eagle Award because he's gay. This situation seems
unfair to the kid who busted his butt for 12 years to become an Eagle Scout....
Not sure if "busted his butt" is an appropriate phrase to use under the
circumstances, Art. Hehe. You
can sign the petition here to have the decision reversed.
Meanwhile, I've been thinking lately about the ongoing battles between
government and the tobacco companies and those caught in the middle...
the smokers who have been reclassed as misfits and losers. So today I finally
downloaded a bunch of images from the web and went about turning it into
a short fillum. Now I have to decide whether or not to post it on Youtube.
It's bound to be controversial, and attract all kinds of nasty comments.
I'm not advocating smoking tobacco... I just feel for the people caught
up in the middle of the war... the victims referred to as 'collateral damage'.
I'm tempted to post it now but I suppose I better wait till morning
to decide... after I've had a chance to "sleep on it".
From the Beeb: The Vatican court trying Pope Benedict's former butler
on charges of stealing confidential papers is expected to deliver its verdict
later. The Vatican court? Oh dear...
Last night on Planet America, the consensus as to who won the first
Presidential debate in Denver was that Romney won by default because he
was on the attack, despite not saying anything noteworthy. Obama, on the
other hand, played it cool... too cool. One commentator said that Obama
can't even stand to look at Romney, which explains why Obama spent so much
time looking at the floor. Another commentator pointed out that Reagan
lost the first debate but went on to win the second, and then succeeded
in becoming President. Anyway, we ain't seen nuthin' yet, according to
the sooth sayers. Hehe.
Meantime, there's been a drop in the US jobless rate, which came as
a pleasant surprise...and not necessarily to the Repubs.
Well, the smokers vid took up most of the day, ladies and genitals,
so that's all the Waffle I have for you at this time going forward. <---
Politician speak. BTW, did I say we had 31C yesterday? Wrong! It was 35.
But it dropped 11 degrees today. The current weather is all over the place...
up and down like a bride's nightie. Gary
October 5, 2012. I've been having an interesting time on a Nikon
D3100 forum. The bloke who runs it had to open a separate forum page for
members because of the volume of inquiries. Seems like the 3100 is a very
popular camera... entry level or not. I had a few questions about memory
cards and lens suitability which have all been answered by queries from
other forum members. Other brands like Sigma and Tamron offer very good
value for their Nikon-friendly products. But they ain't cheap! A good 18-200mm
zoom costs about as much as the camera body itself! By the same token,
you don't have to buy one every week. A good lens will last many years.
Different lenses have different uses. Am I seriously into portraiture?
Not really. Wildlife? Not really. Sports? Not really. Landscape? Hmmm...
yeah... ish. I guess an all-rounder like the 18-200 suits my current style
but even that will have to wait. The kit lens will suffice for the time
being, together with the wide and tele adaptors. If I need a long zoom
to shoot surfers or whatever, I can use the smaller Fuji. Anyway, those
forums are great for newbies like myself who are keen to learn as much
as they can.
As to the two 16GB memory cards I bought, each one can hold an hour
of HD video or 1000 photos. Hello? And I've got two of them.
From the Beeb: US President Barack Obama has accused Mitt Romney
of being dishonest, after a televised debate that most observers agreed
his Republican rival won. Speaking in Denver, Colorado, Mr Obama urged
his rival to tell the "truth" about his own policies. A total of 67.2 million
people watched Wednesday's debate, the Nielsen TV ratings service announced.
The Obama campaign has said there will be some "adjustments" in strategy
before the election on 6 November. A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Thursday suggested
Mr Romney had a net positive rating for the first time in the presidential
campaign. The poll said 51% of voters viewed him positively, with Mr Obama
at 56%. The Republican moved ahead of the president on which candidate
voters trust to handle the economy, create jobs and manage the deficit.
So what was all that hand-shaking, big-smiles bullshit when the two
greeted each other at the start of the debate? Surely nobody believes those
two guys are the best of pals. Surely they can be civil without being all
over each other like a rash, pretending they don't hate each other's guts.
If I were Obama's adviser I'd tell him to get mad and all fired up. Spare
no punches. The voters want a brawl not a polite conversation over tea
and scones. Who the hell's gonna vote for Mr Nice Guy?
Anyway, I suspect Obama has already been told to toughen up by his team
after his dismal first effort. Dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
Stay tooned for Round 2.
Veteran peace campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been awarded
$1m (£620,000) by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for "speaking truth to
power". The London-based Foundation called the cleric "one of Africa's
great voices for justice, freedom, democracy and responsible, responsive
government". He won the Nobel Peace Prize - and 10m Swedish Krona (£935,000)
- in 1984 for his campaign against apartheid. Archbishop Tutu responded
by thanking his wife, Leah, for her guidance.
I'm not a religious man, as you know, but I have great respect for Desmond.
His heart is in the right place, and that's what matters most. And he's
a giggler. Hehe. What a refreshing change from the normal pomposity of
31C again today, and another lazy one. Apart from a bit of forum spotting
and downloading a bit more music by Longzijun I really haven't done much.
The forecast for tomorow is 24 and cloudy so maybe I'll feel more inclined
to get off my skinny old butt. Actually, I was just thinking about shooting
some stock footage of surfing... stuff I can use for inclusion in other
vids. Not everything I shoot needs to be a particular story. When I put
the Driving Around Taree video together I used a fair bit of stuff I'd
shot previously over the years.
Anyway, time to fade to black again. Planet America is on telly tonight
so I guess that will include a post mortem on the recent Presidential Debate
and any change in the polls. I guess for most Americans, November can't
come quickly enough. Gary
October 4, 2012. $40m up for grabs in tonight's jackpot Powerball.
You'd think they'd call it Powerballs cos there's more than one. But if
there were only one, I'd win every week. In any case, I've got a $5 ticket
and a 1 in 97 billion chance of winning a prize. If I remember correctly,
that's what my mother said when I popped out.
Two months away from summer but we're in for 31C today anyway. Yesterday
was 26 which was pretty good. The nights and mornings are still a bit fresh
but that's okay. I like being all snuggly and cozy under the covers.
TX Greg reckons shooting video in HD and saving it to "standard definition"
won't make any discernable difference to the stuff I upload to Youtube.
I figure that means the only benefit from shooting in HD will be making
DVD copies of the original but only if I save two copies, one in HD and
another (for use on the web) in standard. There's a possibility I might
be able to sell DVDs of the stuff I do but I'm not holding my breath.
Greg also suggested I get the bloke who does the camper tour video to
include a personal demo of the operation of the outdoor shower. Tsk, tsk.
What was it Mark said to Cody one time? "The only reason I can take you
somewhere a second time is to apologize for the first time."
From the Beeb: US President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger
Mitt Romney are making final preparations for the first of three crucial
presidential debates. With just 34 days to go until election day, Wednesday's
Denver debate will focus on domestic policy issues. I heard on Planet
America that both candidates rehearse the debate several times well in
advance, in replica studios with actors playing their respective opponent.
The idea is that the rehearsals are so close to the real thing that nothing
will come as a surprise when the real debates occur.
Six people on board a vintage biplane that went missing in Australia
have been confirmed dead, after wreckage was found in southeastern Queensland.
A rescue helicopter spotted the red De Havilland Dragon DH-84 - believed
to be only one of four such planes in the world - in a dense forest on
Wednesday. Not only a tragic loss of life but also of a
wonderful old aircraft. It slammed into a hill after encountering bad
weather and sending out a distress call.
While shaving in the bathroom, I heard a radio report that Romney did
well in the first debate in Denver. He was alert, confident and used humor
to great effect. By comparison, Obama was nervous to begin with and rather
flat. That surprised me. I thought it would be the other way around. Historically,
debates don't make or break elections but in such a close race, any difference
could make the difference. Anyway, it seems Obama had better lift
his game if he wants to call the White House home for another 4 years.
can read Mark Mardell's analysis here on the Beeb.
My older bro finally got around to checking out the Chevies vid: Thanks
for sending me your movie of all the veteran & vintage Chevs. It was
a real treat to see them. You've always had a skill for creating good pictures
This month, I wanna do something special with the Forster Tuncurry vid.
Dunno what exactly... maybe the reflections of the cruisers at anchor in
the water, or the pelicans. Those guys are quite comical when they gather
around a fisherman scaling and fileting his catch. There'll be the obligatory
beach scenes, of course, and maybe a bit of gawk material hehe... depending
on who's there and what they're doing. But there needs to be more than
just the usual touristy postcard scenes... the sunrises and sunsets, the
smiling couples dining al fresco or in some fancy restaurant, the paid
extras walking along the promenade holding hands. Bleh. I prefer more candid
stuff, like some kid stuffing his face with a hot dog. Even better would
be a hobo rummaging around in a trash bin. Hehe.
And in mid November, I'll be in Sydney taking shots of the Pacific Princess
docked at the Overseas Terminal. Hopefully, the weather will be perfect.
I've already got a headful of angles and vantage points, some on land and
some aboard a ferry. Hopefully, I'll have enough time to shoot Darling
Harbor as well, and a few other places I missed last time. Sydney has soooooo
much to see! But the main focus this time will be the P&O ship and
I remember being at a shoot on a golf course in Melbourne. Greg Norman
and my ex-biz partner were aboard the same golf cart having a convo, so
Willie Brewer, the cameraman (and a funny Irishman), jumped on the back
of the cart without asking, and filmed the convo. It was great candid stuff,
and Willie recognized the opportunity without needing any direction from
the director. That's the kinda thing I like to do... take advantage of
situations that arise unexpectedly and, more importantly, keep a sharp
eye out for anything that looks promising.
However, today hasn't produced much. I've been a bit slack and mentally
uninspired. My regular emailers have been a bit slack as well. Oh well,
that's what cookies do sometimes. So it's on with chef's hat and on with
the telly. And if the Lotto bloke phones tonight and says, "Congratulations,
Mr Kelly..." I'll tell him to ring back in the morning cos I'm buggered.
October 3, 2012. 8:45am and I'm sitting here in my "office" in
front of the Toshiba as usual. So why am I not on a train traveling into
the city or on a bus or taking an elevator or placing my briefcase at the
side of a desk? Because, ladies and genitals, I'm retired. It's Wednesday
but it might as well be Saturday or Sunday. They're all the same to me.
However, I'm not the type to be sitting around doing nothing, or playing
golf or bowls with the geriatric club. I probably "work" longer hours now
than I did when I had a proper job. And it's not all that much different.
Instead of blabbing on air, I blab on Waffle. Instead of writing ads or
producing corporate vids, I produce vids of other things. And the boss
and I get along just fine.
I was about 5 y/o when I messed my pants in the school yard and ran
all the way home. We had an outdoor loo in the backyard in those days so
I snuck down the side path and sat in the loo without telling my mother.
However, I felt guilty about missing school and figured I'd better make
up for it by reciting nursery rhymes. Mom heard me, changed my clothes
and sent me packing back to school. So nothing's changed. I still get the
guilts about wasting time doing nothing.
If all this digital technology had been available back in the '80s,
I could have converted a room in my little house in Glebe to a sound studio,
bought a video camera, some lights, a powerful computer and editing software
and operated my own video/audio production suite with me as "the bloke
in charge of everything". If I had, I could have avoided getting mixed
up with all those dingalings responsible for my undoing. But, alas, that's
not the way it happened.
Is it too late? Yeah... kinda. I'm not interested in doing corporate
vids or writing ads any more. But if the Kombi Club or The Vintage &
Veteran Chevrolet Association had asked me to video their shows for a couple
of grand, I would have been delighted to oblige. Meanwhile, I'll do it
for nothing just to gain more experience and promote Fossil Fillums. Besides,
I enjoy it.
So ya never know. One of these days, after lots more vids and being
on the road, I might get an offer or two to produce something. If not,
dozen madder. Ditto sponsorship. I'll just keep doing my thing and if it
attracts a bit of icing on the cake, fine. I ain't gonna chase it.
One thing I've realized after running my own web site and producing
my own vids, etc, is just how much bullshit exists in professional media.
The business is full of so-called experts who charge like wounded bulls.
Experts schmexperts. They're fulla shit. They convince others that nobody
can do the job quite like they can. Yeah? Nobody is indispensable, as one
boss said to me when he fired me. Hehe. And he was right. But the trigger
for me about a dozen years ago was relying on a bloke who offered to webmaster
my old web site. He kept messing things up or being late or whatever. So
I eventually got jack of his crap and decided to learn webmastering myself.
It was daunting at first because I had little faith in my ability. Silly
Mind you, TX Greg has helped me quite a bit with technical issues over
the years, particularly with Codysworld. But he's not a Prima Donna. He
knows his stuff but he doesn't carry on like Mr Know-It-All, and he's happy
to help out. Meanwhile, I'm happy to learn from my mistakes. I don't fear
them like I used to. When I make a boo-boo, I learn something. And the
more I learn the better I get.
On Red Bubble, I'm surrounded by photographers who are far more talented
and technically more proficient than I. But I've learned that for the vast
majority of the 'great unwashed', there's no discernible difference between
technically or artistically superior and technically or artistically adequate
hehe. Stan the Lawn Man's wife Sue said to me yesterday, "Your calendars
are really good. I save them and then frame some of the photos. Are you
doing another one this year?" So there ya go.
Guess who spent another $20? Oh well... But it was a good buy... 2 x
Sandisk high-speed 16GB memory cards. I've also been reading a few reviews
of the Nikon D3100. They keep calling it an entry-level DSLR which pisses
me off a bit but it's nonetheless bristling with good features and gets
consistently good reviews. The kit lens it comes with is nothing spectacular
but does the job well enough. Fine with me. Better or extra lenses can
wait. In any case, I have the attachments mentioned yesterday that will
add more capability to the existing lens. I noticed one major discount
store in Oz selling the same camera and kit lens for $700 so I've done
Now here's a tricky bit of gear. I love lemon sorbet, and always have.
I could eat a mountain of the stuff. At the supermarket, I noticed a product
called Always Fresh, Italian Sorbetto. It was on the shelf, no refrigeration,
and has a long shelf life. When you're ready for a tasty treat, you freeze
it for 4 hours, then let it stand at room temp for about 10 minutes until
it softens. Fluff it up with a fork and dig in. Yum. But the great thing
is I can carry it in the camper un-refrigerated until I'm camped with the
fridge running. Boom, boom. I don't intend to buy frozen stuff on the move.
From the Beeb: A Chinese-owned firm in the US is suing President
Barack Obama after he blocked a wind farm deal on national security grounds.
Ralls Corp, a private firm, acquired four wind farm projects near a US
naval facility in Oregon earlier this year. Mr Obama signed the order blocking
the deal last week. The lawsuit alleges the US government overstepped its
authority. It is the first foreign investment to be blocked in the US for
22 years. Stay tooned.
Australia's Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half its coral
cover in the past 27 years, a new study shows. Researchers analysed data
on the condition of 217 individual reefs that make up the World Heritage
Site. The results show that coral cover declined from 28.0% to 13.8% between
1985 and 2012. They attribute the decline to storms, a coral-feeding starfish
and bleaching linked to climate change. Yes, I watched that story last
night on telly. I dunno what the experts can do about it but they've gotta
come up with something fast. Get rid of those damn starfish for starters.
Authorities are investigating how a farmer in the US state of Oregon
was devoured by his pigs. Terry Vance Garner, 69, went to feed his animals
last Wednesday on his farm by the coast, but never returned. His dentures
and pieces of his body were found by a family member in the pig enclosure,
but the rest of his remains had been consumed. I know what you're thinking.
Nobody complains when it's the other way around.
How do you call the Presidential election? Who's gonna win? Try
this BBC clickable state-by-state graph with your predictions and then
compare the result with those of the experts. I haven't tried it cos I'm
not familiar enough with each swing state's electoral background or potential
to go either way. However, if I were to take a stab at the overall result,
I'd go for Obama.
And here we are again, five o'clock-ish. I was thinking about doing
a vid of the camper exterior and interior but the light was all wrong...
too much afternoon sun streaming through the door and window. Anyway, it's
better to wait till I'm on the road with everything ship shape. One of
these days, I'll
find a likely candidate to host a personal tour of the camper, with
me as the cameraman and him as the tour presenter. Hehe. "Where's your
shirt?" "I didn't bring one. Does it matter?" "No." "I could borrow one
of yours." "Don't worry about the damn shirt. Forget I mentioned it. Shirtless
is fine." "Are you sure?" "I'm positive. Now shuddup about the shirt and
just do the tour commentary." "But what'll I say?" "Whatever comes into
your head. Just open cupboards and drawers and tell the camera what you
see in there. Sit on cushions, bounce on the bed. Switch the switches and
say what they're for." "Sounds boring." "It won't be boring, trust me."
There I go again... the ol' imagination is working overtime. However,
for the moment, I have other things to attend to, like Eddy's chicken rissoles
with vegies smothered in chicken gravy, and then a bit of telly gazing.
Isn't life interesting? Gary
October 2, 2012. Another lovely spring day! TX Greg got a kick
outta that woman with the laugh at the Kombi Fest: HAHAhahaha, I caught
the double dub of her :) I didn't know the front windshield opened on some
of those. Bet that makes for a good breeze going down the road. So why
didn't you get inside of one those balls in the pool??? HAHAhahaha
It was during the mid-fifties that my dad brought one of those split-screen
Kombis home for a test drive. He didn't like the way the rear engine prevented
a flat floor all the way from the rear hatch. He ended up getting a DREARY
Austin instead. I think those old Kombis are magic, especially those with
all the windows along the sides. My Kombi was the later single-screen model,
a yellow '73 with a pop-top. As to those balls in the pool... er, yeah...
I think I'm a tad too old for the energy requirements. As a kid, though,
I would've been right into those and all the other boing-boing and round-a-bout
And the good breeze going down the road with the windows open? I can
picture the passenger in the back seat trying to read the Sydney Morning
Herald with it stuck to his face like cling wrap.
Greg also comments on the Nikon: That new cam is gonna be really
sweet. So does this one have a "GAWK" setting, hehe Yes, it does actually.
I checked. I also discovered that all my accessories for the Fuji will
fit the Nikon without the need for an adapter. They're all 52mm. There's
about $300 worth of stuff including a .45x wide-angle/macro attachment,
a 2.5x telephoto attachment and a series of various filters. So that'll
give the 18 - 55mm lens a bit of extra oomph.
I also checked on the prices of additional lenses for Nikon. The 18
- 300 zoom is worth a fortune but the 55 - 300 (or 200) is much more affordable.
Having 2 lenses - an 18 - 55 and a 55 - 300 - means changing over when
going from landscape or portrait to telephoto but it's cheaper. The all-in-one
zooms are well over a grand each. That's the thing about these DSLRs with
interchangeable lenses... you can add different lenses to your collection
while keeping the same body... or sell the body and buy an upgrade without
having to sell the lenses. I can't wait to try the wide/macro attachment
which theoretically should make the current lens capable of 8-10mm. I could
shoot a pano with only one shot!
Yep, the Nikon should open a bunch of new photographic possibilities
and, with few exceptions, should be the only camera I use. I've always
fancied a Nikon even though I'm not a brand-name junkie.
From the Beeb: California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law
a ban on therapy aimed at making gay teenagers straight. When the law comes
into effect on 1 January, the Golden State will become the first to outlaw
the practice for people under the age of 18. Personally, I believe
all people should be the same. Intelligent people should have their IQs
brought back to normal. Good looking people should be made to look average.
Talented athletes, actors, singers, etc, should have their superior abilities
curtailed. Equality... that's what we want. Same, same, same, same. God
didn't make 57 Adams all different. He made ONE! Oh... and of course, people
like Francois should be made to write/speak proper English.
Hungary's government has announced a ban on slot machines in pubs
and cafes in an effort to clamp down on gambling. New laws put forward
by the prime minister's office bans slot machines outside of regulated
casinos. The government believes Hungarians, particularly poor Hungarians,
spend too much of their income on slot machines. Australia is trying
to limit the maximum slot machine bet to a dollar per game to stop problem
gamblers. It's a bit like driving in heavy traffic... everyone's speed
is governed by the nervous Nelly in front who's content to drive well under
the limit. It's all about "Nanny Government", bureaucrats treating all
citizens like dummies to protect those who can't exercise proper control
over their actions.
Firefighters were called out to rescue a man whose head was stuck
in a public litter bin in Aberdeen. How embarrassing! Check
out the pic.
I shoulda been a camera technician. Coupla gentle bangs and the Fuji
came good hehe. Now, do I keep it as a spare or sell it? Good question.
It's not worth much even though it's a good camera that does a pretty good
job. I think I'll keep it. One of the things I like about the Fujis is
that they use AA batteries which means you're never without a power source.
So I reckon I'm pretty right in the camera department for a while. Maybe
another lens or two but that's it. The fiscal focus is now back on getting
a flat tray ute.
Er... except for splurging another $18 on 2 x spare rechargable li-ion
batteries for the Nikon from China. By the way, I just remembered what
my first SLR camera was waaaaaay back to when I can't even remember. It
was a Russian Practika. I wonder what the hell I did with that thing? Maybe
I sold it. Can't remember. Was I me back then? Can't remember that either.
Anyway, I'm a very happy chappy now with my new toy (as well as the
older one working again). My first video project with the Nikon will be
Forster Tuncurry in a few weeks. The two towns are neighbors separated
by a bridge over a lake. Back in the 50s and 60s it was a family holiday
destination with lots of ramshackle beach shacks and camping parks. Not
now, baby. It's a mini Gold Coast. Clinker-built dinghys have given way
to million-dollar cruisers. Nonetheless, the locals still wear flip-flops
and say 'she'll be
right, mate, no worries'.
Well, haven't done much today... had a bit of a break from all that
Cecil B stuff. Sat in the camper for a while saying neh neh neh neh
neeeh neh to all the bugs on the other side of the insect screens hehe.
Chatted to Averil for a bit and gave her DVD copies of the Villages, Chevies
and Kombis vids. Buggerized around with Waffle for a bit. Uploaded the
Kombis pic to Red Bubble and called it, "Jeepers, Creepers, Dontcha Love
Those Peepers..." But other than that, I've been a slack arse. Fish tonight...
the Thai spicy one that plays havoc with my sensitive tongue which is still
recovering from the radiation and god knows what else. Then a bit of telly
and blah blah blah. So that's it. Time to bid thee farewell, dear Breth,
until the morrow brings its... well, whatever it brings. Gary
October 1, 2012. Welcome to a new month! Not that you have
any choice in the matter. Shortly, I'll get stuck into editing the Kombi
Fest. Later this month, I'll shoot a vid of Forster Tuncurry which is a
sort of mini Gold Coast about half an hour's drive away... lots of beaches
and lakes, and oodles of expensive boats. I checked the events calendar
and there's not much happening unless you're into baking cakes or learning
TX Greg wrote to say he is indeed a rev head and has been dealing with
the "problem" for many years now. You were very close, it was the pic
you had of the Camaro, mine is an '81 Z28. I
just found the original TV ad for it. Not only does this make me feel
old, the ad and music reminds me of old 70's porn flicks, hehe. '81's
going back a bit (although it doesn't seem like it). I think I was driving
a '73 Valiant back then. Goodness me, how times change.
The larger Fuji is still refusing to loosen the stuck zoom which means
the camera can't be operated properly. Last time, I left it alone for a
week or two and it came good for no apparent reason. Whether or not it
happens again is anyone's guess. BUT I spotted the same model on eBay yesterday
in working condition. The highest bid was less than $10 with a day and
a bit to go. If I can buy it for 20 or 30 dollars, it would be cheaper
than having mine repaired (which is highly unlikely anyway), and maybe
mine will come good again one of these days. Meanwhile, I'll have a spare
while I save enough to buy a decent Nikon or Canon in the future. I'm not
into chasing technology or having the latest and greatest, so something
about 12+MP and robust, with panorama, HD movie and 12+ zoom modes will
do the trick. I reckon 5 or 6 hundred will buy a goodie.
Well, well, well, clever little me is getting even cleverer. I finished
editing the Kombi vid in about 4 hours with music and the whole shebang,
and it scrubbed up much better than I thought it would. A static display
of Kombis doesn't sound like the kind of thing that would fill 10 minutes
with lots of thrills and compelling interest and, you're right, it doesn't
hehe. But it's quite amusing and entertaining nonetheless. I kept the edits
short to keep the pace moving along pretty smartly, and used a few tricky
animations to keep it lively.
It's in the process of uploading to Youtube now. Yes, it's a buzz when
things work out better than you expected. I'm also improving at thinking
like an editor when I'm shooting. Funny word, shooting... I keep thinking
Cody thoughts every time I use it. I can imagine his hehehehes if he were
here now. Mind you, TX Greg is just as bad... if not worse. So how's the
upload going? 82%. Okay, not much longer. She's up! Check
out the vid here.
I just checked eBay to see how that used Fuji S7000 is doing. Up to
$41 now with 29 hours to go. BUT I saw an ad for a Nikon, brand new, 52%
off in Hong Kong. Should I or shouldn't I? $450 is a lotta money. Then
again, for a brand new Nikon it's cheap as chips, even for an entry level
model. The body alone sells for more than that in Oz. Hmmm. Thinking, thinking.
It's got all the gizmons I need. Only one lens, 18 - 55mm, but that's okay.
I can always get another 50 - 300mm or whatever at some future point. Whaddaya
reckon? Should I or shouldn't I? Promise you won't get mad at me? Okay...
I'll do it.
Think of it this way. I sold my old Sony recently for almost 100, so
that brings the price down to $360. And if my old Fuji comes good, I'll
sell that too before it goes bung again so that'll bring the price down
maybe another 50 to about $300. It it looking good or what? And the Remington
electric razor? I've used it once. Gimme a blade any day. So that'll get
the flick as well. I think the Nikon is a pretty good investment really...
they've got a great rep for toughness and longevity. Anyway, the deal is
done. I'm now a Nikon man.
Meanwhile, it's time for all that cooking and telly business, and a
bit of relaxation after a busy day. Enjoy the Kombis! Gary