March 31, 2013. March marches on, roite? And another one bites
Remember the Beach Boys and Heroes and Villains? Great harmonies, thanks
to the genius of Brian Wilson. Weeeell, I was listening to my little music
machine last night. The clarity of the ear buds is amazing. Rather than
all the voices blending to make a single sound, I could hear all the voices
separately, including one that was doing a "dee, dee" thingy hehe. It was
like being in the same room with those guys. And I'm still using the ear
buds that came with the machine. The Sennheisers haven't arrived because
of the Easter holidays. So one can't help wondering what THEY'll be like!
I'm also taking more notice of lyrics. You hear everything as clear
as a bell. No way you could use ear buds as background. It's definitely
foreground and in your face. Or ears.
I've been getting quite a few responses from GNs after reading the scrapbook.
One read the whole thing from 6am till 8.30am. Another said she remembers
me from 40 years ago when I was wheeled around town in a wheelbarrow for
a charity thing, and kidnapped by the local high school kids. Steve W was
a student at the same school, but was out fishing that day. He remembers
it though. Anyway, it's all good. I'm a star again!
BTW, cherries. Yes, cherries. One GN was complaining about gout, and
several others recommended bottled or canned sour cherries used in making
pies or desserts. They say it works a treat for gout as well as arthritis.
So I thought of NC Art who has a prob with arthritic fingers. Cherries,
mate. Try cherries. It's something to do with cherries being anti-inflammatory.
Back from shopping. The checkout chick was a checkout bloke - young
fella in his teens. Soups were on spesh again at $2 a can so I bought quite
a few. "Do you want all these in the one bag?" the young bloke asked. "Sure,"
I said. So he explained, "I just don't want to make the bag too heavy for
you." I looked at the bloke next in the queue and said, "He must think
I'm an old bloke." Oh well... Anyway, it was very nice of the young bloke
to offer. As it happened, he put them all in the one bag which I lifted
with... well, I lifted it.
From the Beeb: The US music producer and pioneer of digital recording,
Phil Ramone, has died aged 79. Ramone is regarded as one of the most successful
producers in history, winning 14 Grammy awards and working with stars such
as Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Elton John and Paul McCartney. He produced the
first major commercial release on CD, Billy Joel's 1982 album 52nd Street.
when digital recording was introduced. Wow, 30 years ago already!
An Iraq war veteran who lost the use of his legs in the conflict
has decided to end his life. Tomas Young has also written a letter to former
President George W Bush and ex-Vice-President Dick Cheney, accusing
them of being responsible for what happened to him and others injured
and killed in Iraq.
Quiet Easter Sunday. Not many people up the road either. I was kinda
half hoping to end the month with another series of pics and a photo album
but I've been a bit lazy. Next month, PJ will be all one piece - a genuine,
dinki di motorhome - so I might do an overnighter somewhere. No stress.
Leave here in the middle of the day, arrive somewhere to take photos as
the sun sets, sleep overnight, wake at sparrow's to capture the morning
light, and leave when it suits me. Even if the gas and new AGM battery
are not fitted by then, that's okay. One night won't hurt. I'll bring a
couple of vacuum flasks with tea and soup. And my little music machine.
One GN, a woman almost 70, was saying she was still suffering from post-operative
heart probs and other assorted conditions when she decided to hell with
it, and took off in her mini van and trailer hehe. She's having a lovely
time and reckons she feels better now than she did at home. She's living
on the pension and manages quite well. Saves for a while and buys the things
she needs to make life more comfortable. She spends her time kniting and
crocheting and reading - and, of course, keeping in touch with other Nomads
on the forums. Can't remember who said it, but someone said I'll probably
add an extra 10 years to my life once I'm on the road enjoying the tranquility
of the gypsy lifestyle. Mighta been Oregon Richie. But he's got an ulterior
motive: he just wants me to hang around so I can keep updating the journal
with stories, pics and vids.
Actually, I have two goals. One is to spend as long as poss travelling
Oz and doing the journal thing. And the second is to have a bit of time
left over when I'm too rickety to travel anymore to write a book or two
and assemble "the best of" pics into a picture book. Then I can sit on
the veranda in my rocking chair and reminisce with a cold beer and
an old dog at my feet. I don't intend to have a headstone, but if I did
I think I'd have inscribed, "What a bloody ride!"
Meanwhile, boils and goils, it's time for this old geezer to de-waffleize
and soft chairize with a bit of tellyize and soupize. Two bucks a can,
mate. Can't go wrong. And I've got the blitzing down to a fine art. I buy
the chunky soups with lots of meat and veg, then give them a couple of
quick bursts with the blitzer - not enough to turn them into a blitzed
puree but just enough to minimize the lumps so that they retain their body.
Life's a compromise ya know. Good luck with the cherries, Art. Next thing
ya know you'll be tickling those keys like Liberace used to tickle his
March 30, 2013. The other day on a GN forum I wrote something
that inspired one bloke to check out my scrapbook on the AO site. He was
impressed, and said so on the forum, recommending it as a good read. Next
morning I checked the site stats and discovered the visits had spiked to
a record high, the highest in the history of the site by far.
It was back in 2010 that I was inspired to digitize all the scrapbook
pics and write the story of my life from about 20 to 50-ish. The scrapbook
had been gathering dust for decades, like a forgotten heirloom in an attic.
It was almost as though that large chunk of my life had never existed;
that it was totally irrelevant. So here we are at the time of year when
a resurrection is celebrated. Two in fact. Mine and the other bloke's.
That huge spike in visits by people interested in reading about my exploits
has certainly lifted my spirits.
With a bit of luck, the same thing will happen to Green Room one of
Just back from a dose of inner shedness and reading the Kenwood stereo
manual. I even started at Page 1 which is unusual for me. I wanna know
everything in 2 seconds. Anyway, I managed to sort out the menu and a few
things, and came to the same conclusion I did some months ago... that the
thing works but won't receive via the AM or FM band which probably means
there's no aerial. I'll have to get someone to check it out. The aerial
on the truck is missing as well despite the car radio receiving a signal.
From the Beeb: North Korea has said it is entering a "state of war"
with South Korea in its latest escalation of rhetoric against its southern
neighbour and the US. A statement promised "stern physical actions" against
"any provocative act". Shades
of Nazi Germany and the invincibles.
Oregon Richie's not a huge fan of Pyongyang either: Well yes there
is always news these days about the POPE and of course the DOPE and his
half psycho sidekicks that like to stir up the muck. I swear that
gang are like children who throw things around, yell and scream and demand
attention from the world to "pay attention to us !! WE are important
!!". They are nuts. They are pathetic. The majority of
the world would wish that they remain locked behind their borders and just
float in the rancid moat of their creaky boat, to... put it one way.
So what else is happening? Not much, I'm afraid... at least, not here.
It's one of those lovely autumn days with about 24C outside, the kind of
sun you can soak up without feeling the heat. No humdittity either. Very
pleasant indeedy. BTW, one of the GNs said the remnants of a recent cyclone
in Western Oz has brought rain to the Nullarbor and nearby dry areas of
the south west of the state, and the whole place is carpeted with fine
green grass, like a bowling green, and lots of wildflowers. Sounds wonderful!
He named his post 'a reason to visit the Nullarbor' but others have written
to say who needs another reason? They say it's fascinating no matter what
time of year it is or what kind of weather it is. One GN got seriously
bogged there. After rain, you get patches of off-road black clay that looks
like a smooth tarred surface. Beware! Your wheels will sink up to the axles!
The guy said there was a patch near a roadhouse, so being unaware of the
trap, he thought, "Oh, goodie, no one is parked here! It's all mine!" Hehe.
Luckily, the area had mobile phone coverage so he was able to call roadside
assistance in a nearby town.
There's currently an exodus of GNs from the south to the tropical climes
of northern NSW and QLD. Everyone's following the sun. Bit early though.
Winter's still two months away. But that's more or less what I'll be doing.
And that's another cool thing about the GN forums, the members are from
all over the country at any given time (some like the colder months in
the south) so you're constantly getting reports from all corners as well
as the interior. For example, there are always peeps saying they're headed
towards such and such and asking what the weather is like and what camp
sites would anyone recommend, etc. They're usually bombarded with respondents
who know the area quite well. No wonder the site is so popular. And it's
free! It even has a monthly cyber magazine.
Anyway, ladies and genitals, this Satdee has quietly slipped away without
all that much happening. I presume the tourists are enjoying the local
beaches and hinterland and good weather. What was I saying about nothing
happening? Sue just took another fall. I had to wake Lindsay. He plonks
Sue in front of the telly and goes back to bed expecting her to stay in
her chair. Yeah, right. She gets the wanders and goes investigating. She
was near the vacuum cleaner so maybe she wanted to play with that. Oh,
how I long for the day when those two are miles and miles and miles away
and no longer a part of my life. Peace at last! Apart from the nearby hard-of-hearing
camper who loves hillybilly music, of course. Gary
March 29, 2013. Cranky Yankee, NC Art wrote: Economic Stupidity
- National debt to GDP ratio at 90% is a national disgrace, but what to
expect from a disgraceful national legislature? The federal U.S. minimum
wage is $7.25 an hour. Some states set it higher because they must to keep
workers. A big problem is that America has become more of a service economy
as opposed to manufacturing. Then there are gaping holes in regulations
which employers use to avoid liability. Temporary and short time workers
are often not carried as “employees,” to avoid wages, benefits, and work
Are we cutting our own throats? You better believe it,
but the great God of Big Business has become synonymous with Government.
Banks, Big Oil and the likes of General Electric tell the politicians what
they want and they buy it. When President Calvin Coolidge said, “The business
of America is business” back in the early 20’s we hadn’t seen anything
And yep, we still fight the world’s wars, even the losing
ones, because some folks think we should police the world … and it’s damned
profitable for lots of people if you discount the dead & disabled,
and the taxpayers who aren’t rich enough to hide their income from the
Do you pay income tax on your pension (Social Security)
checks? I do.
No, Art, I don't pay tax on my pension. And I'm allowed to earn a few
tax free bucks on the side ($50 a week or something like that). But as
someone pointed out on The Drum the other night, the less people earn the
less they spend because they can't afford to, and it's spending that stimulates
the economy and creates jobs. $7.25 an hour is outrageous. On the other
hand, we have auto manufacturers in Oz that are tetering on the brink because
of the high Australian dollar and labor costs. When I was a kid, everything
from clothing to household appliances, cars to industrial machinery, was
made in Oz. Not now. It's hard to find anything at all these days that's
made in Oz. If you wanna buy a truckload of iron ore or a tonne of bananas
though, no worries.
Saw that on the GN forum. I also saw this little story about a bloke
sitting at his computer. He yelled to his missus in another room, "When
I die I'm gonna leave everything to you!" And she yelled back, "You already
do, you lazy bastard!"
And this one about a little old lady who phoned the local newsagency.
"Where's my Sunday paper?" she demanded. "Today's Saturday," said the newsagent,
"Sunday's paper comes out tomorrow, SUNDAY!" There was a pause, and then
the newsagent heard the woman mumble, "Shit! That explains why there was
no one at church either."
From the Beeb: North Korea says it has put missile units on stand-by
to attack US military bases in response to US stealth bomber flights over
the Korean peninsula. State news agency KCNA said leader Kim Jong-un signed
off on the order at a late-night meeting of top generals. The time had
come to "settle accounts" with the US, KCNA quoted him as saying, with
the B-2 flights an "ultimatum". See
what can happen when you truly believe you're right about something that's
President Jacob Zuma says South Africans "must not panic" as ex-leader
Nelson Mandela undergoes treatment for the recurrence of a lung infection.
Funny thing about people who are prone to panic. What good does panicking
The young man who killed 27 people in a massacre in Newtown, Connecticut,
owned an arsenal of weapons and ammunition, court papers show. More than
1,000 rounds of ammunition, a bayonet, several swords and knives were among
the items found in a search of Adam Lanza's home. Details of the searches
were publicised after a court seal lapsed on Wednesday. And
there's another non-surprise.
Goodness gracious me! Look at the time! It's almost 6-ish and here I
am buggerizing around on the GN forums and lost track of time. Better skedaddle.
March 28, 2013. TX Greg responded to my "eagle has landed" piece
yesterday: And hopefully we won't hear "Houston we have a problem" :)
Hehe. Greg also suggested I let Jeff Gordon take PJ for a test run around
the block. Jeff who? Greg tells me Gordon is a huge NASCAR racer over there
in Merry Cah. Here's a vid of him in disguise, testing a Camaro with the
salesman who has no idea it's a practical joke. Funniest
thing I've seen in a while. I think that salesman needed a new pair
of underwear? hehe
Steve W also wrote, with "Libelous Comment" in the subject line: "They're
just as bad as fishermen with their piscatorial pursuits." Now hang on
Gary - fishing is one activity where size
really does matter!
Meanwhile, all the bills are paid for the time being and it's back to
waiting for next pay day to take the next step towards "lift off". I watched
The Drum last night and the subject got around to America's "working poor"
and how we don't want that happening here in Oz. The basic rate for the
lowest paid workers here is $16 per hour. It's 8 or 9 in the States. The
minimum wage here is $630 a week. The average is not far short of a grand.
And the Aussie dollar is still somewhere around $1.05 US. But the cost
of living in Oz is high... real estate, petrol, cars. On the other hand,
we have free medical and hospital for those who can't afford it, and subsidised
medications. Another interesting bit of info was our gross debt - 10% of
GDP. The average for the world is 50%. America's is 90%.
After watching telly last night, I listened to my little music machine
for a while, slouched in my easy chair. It was like being in a room full
of expensive stereo equipment and yet it was just a $30 plastic box in
my pocket, smaller and thinner than my mobile phone, with a pair of ear
buds. And inside that little box is my entire CD collection. How's that
for awesome? Oregon Richie was talking this morning about technology: There
are many thousand-fold degrees of computing power in what the iPhone 5
that Becky has in her hand than the entire computing power and guidance
in the entire Saturn V, Apollo, service and lunar module "stack" that went
to the moon, takes up about 99.99 less space and weighs probably 99.999999
etc less. Hmm. Amazing.
He also mentioned Citroens: That Citroen DS series was quite innovative,
too. The later SM, called the Citroen "Supermachine" in this country was
an incredible vehicle, too.. and if I recall... 'bout the year I graduated
from HS or just after became the Motor Trend "Car of the Year", which of
course... freaked out a lot of Yankee car lovers. BUT !! Those
huge boats with the rocket and aircraft inspired things more or less as
the space program got going were... pretty funky to look at.
Pretty funky then... absurd now. They certainly didn't age gracefully
like the American cars of the '30s and '40s did. It was a different story
in Europe and Britain though, they pretty much resisted the fins craze
and kept their styling fairly conservative. Take Mercedes Benz for example,
and go back through several decades... you'll be hard pressed to find a
model that, even now, doesn't look as good as it did in its day.
Back from shopping. What happens when pension day is the day before
the shops close for Good Friday, and all the holiday makers arrive in town
for the Easter Break? Yeah. Pandemonium. The checkout chick I had was super
efficient. She had my bag packed and my receipt and change in my hand,
ready to serve the next customer, while I was still fiddling around with
wallets and trolleys. What a madhouse! I also managed to empty the coffers
of quite a few bucks on necessities. I hate necessities. They're no fun
From the Beeb: British scientists develop a new way to create an
entirely synthetic vaccine which does not rely on using live infectious
virus, meaning it is much safer. I
like it, I like it.
A US law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman only
has been sharply criticised by Supreme Court justices at a landmark hearing.
A judge considered the court's swing vote joined four liberal colleagues
in questioning the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (Doma).
Legal analysts speculated that the law, which denies various federal benefits
to gay couples, may
be struck down.
Human toll collectors at one of the world's most iconic bridges have
been replaced with an electronic system that photographs licence plates.
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has closed its traditional toll
booths to try to speed up traffic and save money. Finishing their last
shift, some of the toll-takers hugged and cried as they left their booths.
"Our DNA is embedded in this bridge... we are part of it," said Jacquie
Dean. Sydney Harbor Bridge is the same. I drove over it for years every
weekday when the toll was 20 cents.
The internet around the world has been slowed down in what security
experts are describing as the biggest cyber-attack of its kind in history.
A row between a spam-fighting group and hosting firm has sparked retaliation
attacks affecting the wider internet. It is having an impact on popular
services like Netflix - and experts worry it could escalate to affect banking
and email systems. Five national cyber-police-forces are investigating
the attacks. Life
without death, good without evil, black without white - you just can't
Walk On By singer Dionne Warwick has filed for bankruptcy in the
US after amassing debts of almost $10 million (£6.6m) in taxes since
1991. The singer's liabilities include nearly $7m owed to the IRS (Internal
Revenue Service) from 1991 to 1999 and more than $3m in business taxes
owed to the state of California, where she lives. Warwick, 72, has sold
more than 100 million records since the 1960s. Speak of the devil...
I was listening to her singing Cole Porter the other day. She had a rep
of being difficult and a total bitch as well as a perfectionist. In any
case, I would never
have expected to read that headline.
This year marks 150 years since the Battle of Gettysburg, perhaps
the most important - and certainly the bloodiest - battle of the American
Civil War. Coinciding with that anniversary the Metropolitan Museum of
Art in New York is staging a landmark exhibition of what are being described
as ''the finest and most poignant'' photographs from these cataclysmic
four years in which an estimated 750,000 Americans lost their lives. The
Met's chief curator of photography, Jeff Rosenheim, has also written a
book - Photography and the American Civil War - to accompany the show.
been speaking to Michael Maher.
I had no idea that 750,000 Americans were killed during the Civil War.
And they didn't even have to leave their shores to make it happen. How
tragic is that? How catastrophic? Unthinkable in Oz. Hell, we didn't even
have a barney with Mother England (unless you count cricket). I was listening
to Australia's former military chief the other day commenting on the wisdom
of joining the coalition of the willing to invade Iraq. He said it was
a mistake but then added, "all war is a mistake". I agree. On the other
hand, just like life and death, good and evil, black and white, you can't
have peace without war. It's just not the way things work.
Anyway, time for me to toddle off to telly land and DRINK dinner. Sheesh.
Weather's fine and sunny - even summerish - so I hope it lasts over the
Easter weekend for the holidaymakers. Gary
March 27, 2013. NC Art wrote: Congrats on finishing the music
project. Wish I could get something finished. My printer balked a week
ago and it’s just now decided to play nice again. Frustrating it is never
to know why it kicks out and what we did to get it going again. My son
jumped into the act and tore his hair out. Seems the IP changes for no
reason anyone can explain when internet goes down … or something. Damn
these gadgets that use digital logic while I can think only in analog!
What is that auto you tossed in? I note it has doors
that open the wrong way. I do recall a few made that way, but the beasts
were dangerous. Open the door when moving and the wind tears it off. If
child does it, there goes the tyke too!
Other fun: My wallet went in the wash this morning,
along with all the crap one must carry about in it. Wallet only 45 years
old, and a one dollar souvenir bill from 1957 honeymoon trip to Bahamas.
Citroen, Citroen, Citroen! But I've just learned something about why
they were called suicide doors. I hadn't thought about them being opened
while moving. Now it makes sense. Meanwhile, I hope your wallet papers
survived the washing machine. What a bummer!
Francois wrote: yep the "traction avant" was launched by Citroen
in 1934 and was the official vehicle of the milice during the nazis' occupation...
then with the liberation taken by the french forces who helped to liberate
France, so very present in the marches in towns... During years it was the only one (as says its name) which was driven
by the forward wheels.
As a kid, the "traction" was my dad's first car in 1953: I remember
he bought it 700,000F, a fortune! And he kept it 10 years, riding more
than 250,000km... It was the time when kids could be in the forward sit,
and I was on my mom's knees, with my older bro behind amongst the camping
stuff. We visited the whole France and Italia: my parents were teachers
and we'd all 3 months of hollidays: happy time! No one everywhere, the
campings were rare, and we discovered nature and naturism. Pity, there
was no digital cams... So quite no pics of this epoca. Guess what
was my dad's next car? this one of course: DS19
Citroen next one...
And there's another thing I've learned... traction avant... avant in
French means before, so the traction was "before" the rest of the car.
Loved those DS Citroens and their self-leveling fluid suspension. I remember
the London to Sydney Marathon back in the late '60s or early '70s. The
cars were on their final leg to Sydney with a Citroen comfortably leading
the pack when the Citroen was involved in serious accident and the driver
and navigator were killed. Of all things, a boring Hillman Hunter took
the lead and won the race. How disappointing!
Here's Art again: Badder than old King Kong … Badder than a junkyard
dog……. Sheesh, I danced a million miles listening to an orchestra blasting
out that song.
So ‘small is cute’? Wingnut had a lot of worry about
the size of his jewel while comparing with other guys, poor kid.
I was thinking more in terms of publishing, Art, but I know what you
mean about youth's fixation with appendage size. They're just as bad as
fishermen with their piscatorial pursuits.
Anyway we didn’t think too much about design overkill
when oohing and aahing over those sleek, long, autos with their flamboyant
fins, grilles, and anything large and shiny that could be hung on them.
A marvelous Volkswagen print advert was a spoof of all
that flash. Over several pages in magazines, the company proclaimed…
It can go fast and slow
It can go up hill and down hill
can go forward and backward
It can stop and turn around
Isn’t that amazing?
Dane, Bernbach sure had a lotta fun with those ads for the VW Beetle
and Kombi. They
were genius in my book, and had a huge influence on my work (later)
as an advertising copywriter. I remember the ad
for the 1962 1/2 model. I think it was bumper overriders. Anyway, they
said they couldn't wait till 1963 to introduce them. Hehe. Improvements
that caused a sensation with Beetles wouldn't rate a mention with other
makes. Modern marvels such as the inclusion of a fuel gauge, wider fender
lamps, a wider lamp over the rear licence plate, rounded tops on the front
seats, all introduced separately and with great fanfare. No wonder those
Bugs sold in their millions all over the world. I can't imagine anything
like the Beetle ever happening again. It's been outsold since by the Golf
and Toyota's Corolla but who cares? The Beetle had simplicity, charm and
character that will never be replicated.
Just been listening to more music on my little machine. I figured out
a few more of its secrets the hard way. Even with my 4x reading glasses
(normally kept in the car for maps, etc) I still couldn't read the user
manual. I was a second away from throwing the damn thing in the trash bin
when I discovered something I was doing wrong. Last night I was singing
its praises on the GN forum when one bloke asked if I'd tried Sennheiser
ear buds. He has a $95 pair he says are extraordinary. Bit high for me
so I checked eBay and saw a $30-ish pair for $18.50 with free postage.
The normal packaging is missing, apparently, but who cares? You throw that
away anyway. But they're new and from a reputable dealer in Sydney. If
they're twice as good as the cheapies that came with the player I'll be
happy. If they're three times as good I'll be ecstatic! The blurb says
they have a better fit in the ear canal and improved bass. I gotta say,
this little gadget is one of the best things I ever bought. The wonderful
world of music (denied for years because of THEM) is now mine again. And
I don't need a room full of amplifiers and speakers to access it! Bloody
And ya know sumpin? If it hadn't been for the Odyssey and the problem
of where to put all my CDs, I wouldn't have thought of it.
From the Beeb: The US Supreme Court is to consider whether to strike
down a law denying federal benefits to same-sex couples, a day after weighing
a gay marriage ban. The Defense of Marriage Act denies gay couples access
to federal benefits under its definition of marriage as a union between
a man and a woman only. On Tuesday California's Proposition 8, which bans
gay marriage, was scrutinised by the nine justices. A ruling in both cases
is expected before the end of June. Canada must be wondering what all
the fuss is about. Same
sex couples have had equal rights there since 2005.
Pope Francis has decided to shun a grand papal apartment on the top
floor of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace in favour of a modest two-room
residence. His spokesman said he was "trying out this type of simple living"
in a communal building with other priests. In doing so he has broken a
tradition which is more than a century old. By the way, has anyone
God about all the palatial extravagance exhibited in thousands of cathedrals
and mosques built in his honor around the world while millions of "his
children" are starving?
US President Barack Obama has picked the first woman director of
the Secret Service. Julia Pierson, formerly Secret Service chief of staff,
will succeed Mark Sullivan, who announced last month that he would retire.
The agency was caught up in a prostitution scandal last year during a presidential
visit to Colombia. Yep,
there's nothing like trusting a woman to keep a secret. Hehe.
North Dakota has banned abortion once a foetal heartbeat can be detected
- as early as six weeks - in the most restrictive law of its kind in the
US. Governor Jack Dalrymple signed a second law banning abortions based
on genetic abnormalities. Correspondents say the laws are in part an effort
to close the state's only abortion clinic, in the town of Fargo. The measures,
which take effect on 1 August, make no exceptions for rape, incest or the
health of the mother. Allow
religion to influence politics and this is what you get.
There was a story last night on 7.30 about street preachers in Sydney
at shopping malls harassing passers by with their zealous approach to saving
souls. Many people stopped to argue with the preachers which only made
the situation worse, as well as futile. When interviewed, the two leaders
of the group told of their former drug addiction and lives on the streets
before "finding" Jesus and the Bible. Why is it that these kinds of people
go from one extreme to the other? What's wrong with the middle? People
in the middle don't live on the streets as drug addicts, nor do they stand
on street corners using loud hailers to preach fire and brimstone. Anyway,
there's one thing you never do with zealots, and that's argue with them.
Motown songwriter-producer Deke Richards, who was behind songs including
The Jackson 5's first three US number one hits, has died aged 68. Richards,
who had oesophageal cancer, died in a Washington state hospice, Universal
Music said. Jeez, 68, and here's me about to start a "new life".
The folding phone charger that fixes a problem plug. One scratch
to a laptop is all it took for designer Min-Kyu Choi to redesign the power
plug – with award-winning results. He and his business partner Matthew
Judkins talk to BBC Future about a
simple but ground-breaking rethink.
Just back from my dose of inner shedness and took the latest goodies
down with me - kitchen tools and mozzie bracelets - as well as the MP3
player. Music in the camper at last! As I sat there, I thought about footage
I've seen of rocket launches over the years, with a bunch of scientists
and engineers in their white coats sitting in front of their computer consoles
in a large room, hoping and waiting for the "eagle has landed" signal.
Then they erupt into cheers and dancing and hugging as if all their calculations,
trials, testing and technology depended on luck more than anything else.
And that's how I feel about my first drive around the block with the camper
on board the truck. I've thought the exercise through time and time and
time again - the chains, the bolts, the turnbuckles - and I'm still nervous
as buggery. It won't be until "the eagle has landed" that I'll finally
be able to relax. I'm dreading it.
And that's it, ladies and genitals. Pay day tomorrow but car insurance
and roadside assistance membership renewals will get a big slug of that,
then it'll be another two weeks before I can think about an AGM battery.
I'm expecting the next power bill to arrive any day now as well. Hehe.
Talk about swimming against the tide. But I am making headway, albeit very
slowly at the mo. It's a good thing I'm determined to hang on to this dream
whatever it takes. Gary
March 26, 2013. Oregon Richie wrote: I loved the pic of the
black classic car and while it looks familiar I can't quite place it.
I do dig 'em !!
Did you hear that, Francois? Richie doesn't know what kinda car that
is. Tsk, tsk. And he's in the car biz! Maybe there weren't many in the
US back then, but there were quite a few running around the streets of
Paris when the Yanks marched down the Champs Elysees during the Liberation
of France in August '44 (a few days before I was born). The thing that
endears me to those old Citroens is how they kept that lovely old '30s
style right up to the mid '50s in defiance of fashion. However, when Citroen
did change, whoa! Look out world!
The MP3 player arrived yesterday but I didn't notice it until late,
so naturally I was eager to try it out. Yeah, right. The user manual had
such fine print I couldn't read it, even with the aid of a magnifying glass.
So I buggerized around for an hour or two pressing buttons and getting
totally bamboozled before I finally figured it out. BUT THEN I noticed
glitchs in several of America's tracks. Oh no! Don't tell me all the albums
are like this? Luckily, they weren't. So I cleaned the America CD and re-recorded
it. It's all cool now. Had me worried there for a while though!
The player uses a USB connector to record stuff from the comp and to
charge the battery. Can't rely on plugging it into the comp every time
I need a re-charge so I invested $10 in a USB charger that plugs into a
wall socket. Right now I'm listening to Jim Croce. He's great. Listening
to music through ear buds is an incredible experience and one I hadn't
anticipated. It's VERY personal... just you and the music. It's like having
a special and intimate relationship with the singer or band that you don't
get by listening to conventional speakers. And the clarity is amazing.
I can hear musical nuances I'd never noticed before. Onya Jim. I'd never
realized just how good you are. And I just love your version of Leroy Brown,
baddest man in the whole damn town.
And another thing! There were a bunch of tracks of fav songs of mine
on the comp, single tracks I'd downloaded from the net from time to time,
but Windows didn't wanna know about them. I copied them anyway to a folder
called oddsandsods just in case the MP3 player was friendlier about music
that didn't measure up to whatever Windows insists it should. Yes, folks!
They work! They're in WMA format too - no worries. I did the same thing
to several tracks a few days ago - 5 folders called Oldies01, 02 etc. Haven't
listened to them yet but they should work too! Those Chinese people are
much more tolerant of such things.
It was 1959 and the automotive industry had reached the pinnacle of...
uh... design conspicuousness and flamboyance:
Yep, if you had one of those in the drive you'd made it. Mind you, you'd
need a pretty long drive. Remember that TV ad for the VW Beetle parked
in the drive next door with delivery vans arriving and taking all kinds
of goodies inside? 1959 was the year Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th
and 50th states of the US, the year Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The
Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash ("the day the music died") and
Ben Hur starring Charlton Heston was released.
From the Beeb: Australia's trailblazing indigenous TV programme "Living
Black" is celebrating a decade of bringing stories of triumph, resilience
and tragedy to a national audience. The country's longest-running indigenous
news and current affairs show has survived tight budgets and management
changes to become a beacon of broadcasting in a country where indigenous
life can be ignored by the mainstream media. I've watched it many times.
It follows the rule: if you have a good story to tell, it
doesn't matter what color it is.
The US Supreme Court is to consider two landmark cases on gay marriage
in back-to-back-hearings this week. On Tuesday, the justices will weigh
a California constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions, passed after
gay marriage became legal there. On Wednesday, a federal law defining marriage
as between a man and a woman only, for the purpose of taxes and benefits,
up for review.
Australia has announced it will close its main base in Afghanistan
by the end of the 2013. Defence Minister Stephen Smith said the closure
of the Tarin Kot base in Uruzgan province was in line with plans to bring
the majority of Australian troops home by the end of the year. Responsibility
for security in Uruzgan will then be transferred to Afghan forces.
international troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
An app created by a UK teenager has been acquired by web giant Yahoo
in a deal the BBC understands to be worth "dozens of millions" of pounds.
Seventeen-year-old Nick D'Aloisio's Summly app summarises news stories
from popular media companies. Set
for life, yes? Oh to be that smart as well as fortunate.
No doubt that the internet has created lots of opportunities for enterprising
people over the past few decades, including me. How on earth could I have
established two "media outlets" of my own without the internet? I love
to write and I love photography. Perfect! We're not talking Rupert Murdoch
here but who cares? Small is cute. I don't even wanna think about what
I'd be doing now if it weren't for access to cyber space. For starters,
I'd need a helluva lotta filing cabinets!
So here we is again at 5pm ish. There was a dense fog this morning at
sunrise and I thought about going down to the river for some interesting
and atmospheric pics. It was between that and my morning cuppa and downloading
email. Hehe. Oh well, there'll soon come a day (lots of them) when such
scenes will be just outside PJ's door and within a few steps. BTW, Richie
was talking about taking pics of people and how uncomfortable they can
be, especially with a stranger. So it's a matter of breaking the ice and
getting to know them - nice and slow. It's also handy to have a 55-200mm
lens like mine. You can get great candid portraits without shoving the
thing up someone's nostril. In fact, at lots of gatherings I've been to,
people tend not to notice the camera after a while - or a few drinks. So
when an opportunity like this morning's passes me by, I don't worry about
it too much. There'll be plenty more, and in much more convenient circumstances.
So it's telly and nourishment time, and later I'll relax with my little
music machine for a while and soak up some relaxing sounds without disturbing
anyone. Lindsay came to my door at midnight last night and said, "I'm going
to bed now. You're not gonna play any more loud music are you?" For God's
sake, it was for about 10 minutes while I was checking the America album
for faults and it WASN'T loud. It was barely audible. That dimwit just
does things like that to get on my goat. Grrrrr. So I gave him an oral
serve hehe, and he was as quiet as mouse this morning. Gary
March 25, 2013. And that's it! All the CDs are copied onto the
backup drive as well as a 16GB memory stick. It's taken forever - well,
several days - but there's well over 100 hours of music there (2143 items).
I bought 6 different colored key-ring name-tag plastic thingies to attach
to the memory sticks. Beats a stick-on label. They wear and become useless
after a while. The color coding helps too... the red one is Kellys Kompilations
1-25, and the green one is the entire album collection.
And while I was shopping, I walked past the Homewares shop with a table
full of specials out front. Ooer! So I bought a good pair of stainless
steel tongs with rubberized grips, a nifty spring-loaded stainless steel
whisk that spins as you slide the vertical handle up and down (great for
eggs, cream, etc), and a slotted spaghetti lifter with a stainless steel
handle. All very posh looking stuff for $10 the lot. And all destined for
PJ, of course.
I remember you saying you were getting a fire extinguisher. You really
should think about getting two, one for the rear by the door and one to
mount in the cabover. I don't recall you mentioning a smoke detector in
there. You should put one on the center ceiling in the front of the bed
just behind the fridge door. You may still get false alarms from cooking
on the stove, but the stove vent should be open anytime cooking which should
help avoid that. Our codes today require that those cabover beds have either
an escape window or hatch. I like the vent hatches. They
make for great ventilation and an awesome view on a starry night.
Tho I doubt you will consider that, they are quite easy to use. Since
the height from the bed to ceiling is short, once you pop the latch and
stand straight up your butt will be above roof height, making it easy to
set on the roof. Then scoot over on your ass and slide off the front onto
the hood of the truck. And yes if it WAS on fire you could do it without
even thinking twice. But you know what, as a friend once said, "It's not
what your thinking about or planning for that will get you!"
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, Mr Worry Wart! I did mention getting a couple
of fire extinguishers, one for the cabover and the other near the rear
door. Remember, the thing's only 8' long + cabover. Just as importantly,
I also mentioned a fire blanket - much better for instant, no-mess response
if something catches alight on the stove. It would also be useful to shield
myself from flames if I had to run through a fire. A smoke alarm is a good
idea - I've just added it to my list. As to the hatch, I like the starry
nights idea. :)
From the Beeb: In 1975 an air force sergeant made history when he
came out, to challenge the ban on homosexuals in the US military. Leonard
Matlovich became a figurehead for gay rights, but he could not have foreseen
that in 2013 the US Supreme Court would be considering whether to overturn
a ban on same-sex marriages. If
there's only one story you read about gays in the military, this is the
Meanwhile, in the land of the Frankies...Hundreds of thousands of
people have taken part in a final protest in Paris against a
bill to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption. There were scuffles
and police fired tear gas as the protest spilled over onto the Champs Elysees,
the avenue which runs past the president's palace.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has unveiled a new front
bench, days after an abortive leadership vote she called "unseemly" and
"self-indulgent". Late last week, she survived a challenge after rival
Kevin Rudd, a former prime minister, declined to contest a leadership ballot.
On Monday Ms Gillard named replacements for a slew of cabinet and junior
ministers who had supported Mr Rudd. Who needs an opposition party
when you already have one built into your own party? Tony
Abbott and the Liberals must be rubbing their hands with glee.
South Korea has signed a new military plan with the US to counter
what officials call North Korean "provocations". The plan provides for
a joint response between both countries in the event of an incursion or
a limited attack from the North, officials say. Here
we go again.
And that's it for today's Waffle. Things will be back to normal tomorrow
now that all the CD copying business is done - at last. That's one job
I don't want ever again. BTW, William Bullimore wrote and thanked me for
thinking of him regarding my suggestion to associate his photography with
someone famous. Billy's unemployed, at a loose end and feeling down at
the mo so a bit of a rocket up the clacker is rather timely. He's too good
to be wasted. Way too good. Go Billy!
Yeah, been there done that. What about a pitcher of one of my fav old
timers before I go?
March 24, 2013. Just when I thunk I was getting near the end
of copying my CD collection, I discovered a stack more in a drawer that
I'd forgotten about! Sheesh! Oh well... I'll get around to them another
time. On thing's for sure, I'll need more than 8GB memory sticks, especially
now that I'm copying at highest quality. CDs may be on the way out, but
at least they kept the music in pristine condition for many decades. Elton
John was the first CD I bought almost 30 years ago and it's still perfect.
Prior to that I had a substantial vinyl collection but that's all gone.
One of the great things about the changeover from vinyl to CD was being
able to buy twin-disk albums of the "best of" various artists.
These days, peeps are into iTunes and downloading songs from the net
but I've lost touch with the music scene over the past few years. Besides,
I've got enough to last me forever. And even longer!
Another perfect autumn day. I can tell by looking out the window. I
SHOULD BE OUT THERE! But I can't be two places at once. Besides, I will
be soon enough - and for a very, very, long time! One of the GNs, a 69
y/o woman, wrote this morning that she was having trouble with her box
trailer hitch which had dislodged from the tow ball because the jockey
wheel broke. She was having trouble lifting it herself, and there was no
one around. Everyone on the forum said they wished they were there to help,
and offered their sympathy. So I said I wished I was there too cos I like
to take photos. Hehe.
TX Greg wrote: Could you just imagine having your morning cuppa and
see your own walking ad come strolling by :)
He must have teeth. Did you see pics on the news of the Australian rescued
after being captured by terrorists in the Philippines? He posed shirtless
before the cameras to show how emaciated he is. He was described by one
journalist as "painfully thin". Yeah? Well guess who else looks like that?
Speaking of teeth, this is from the Beeb: South Africa is one of
the worlds most popular destinations to dive with sharks in their natural
environment. This video, caught on camera by Bryan Plummer on his first
shark dive, shows the possible dangers entailed. The divers got more than
they had bargained for as the shark completely ignored the bait and
went straight for the cage.
Children should be allowed to get bored so they can develop their
innate ability to be creative, an education expert says. Dr Teresa Belton
told the BBC cultural expectations that children should be constantly active
could hamper the development of their imagination. Couldn't agree more.
As a little kid with older bros too old, and a younger bro too young, I
learned to turn our backyard into a wonderland of adventure full of imaginary
friends. And I still do it. Did y'all think Oregon Richie, TX Greg, Ohio
Jace, Francois, NC Art, Steve W and others were real? Hahahahaha! Nah...
just figleafs of my imagination.
Aerial footage showed cars, trucks and vans completely buried under
snow drifts in Cumbria, after blizzard conditions on Friday and overnight
into Saturday. Snow, sleet and rain have disrupted transport and power
supplies in much of the UK. Amazing
footage. Check it out.
Remember that photo I took of the pencil pine foliage? It didn't attract
much comment so I figured it wasn't all that good. UNTIL William Bullimore
favorited it. There ya go. Just a little while ago Billy answered a comment
I made about his latest offering. I asked him where does he go when he
has nothing more to prove? He said he'd been uninspired for months now
because he'd reached a peak without having had much commercial success.
So I told him a story about an enterprising photographer back in the '80s
(I think) who got the idea of approaching Sydney's top rating breakfast
radio announcer with the concept of publishing a picture book called Gary
O'Callaghan's Sydney. O'Callaghan was synonymous with Sydney, sending cheerio
calls to pilots and crews flying in and out of Sydney airport, fire crews,
nurses, the milkman, police on duty, you name it. And he'd been numero
uno for decades. O'Callaghan liked the idea, and so did a publisher because
of O'Callaghan's fame and association with the city. So the photographer
went ahead, getting up early every morning for a week, taking photos of
all the landmarks at dawn as well as commuters, garbage collectors, taxi
ranks, street vendors, and other people starting the day when O'Callaghan
was on air. The book sold like hotcakes. The photos (all in black and white)
were great, and the title gave it instant appeal. So I told Billy to take
a leaf outta that photographer's book and put his thinking cap on. He's
already got a stack of exquisite shots of Australian landscpapes which
would be perfect for Paul Hogan's Australia, for example. Billy needs a
challenge, as we all do. You can't just keep taking photos forever without
DOING something with them.
Speaking of pics, I see wet concrete. Someone's been washing their car
before taking a photo.
And now for something a little more dramatic. Francois sent a pic the
other day of a burning 5th wheeler. Could have been a photoshop job but
these pics certainly aren't. They were posted by a GN on the forum: Here's
a fire that destroyed a van and tug, giving severe burns to the occupants,
happened at Banka Banka station awhile back, I believe a pilot light on
a fridge ignited petrol fumes from fuel that came out under pressure from
a jerry can being opened to fill a generator.
Not much left of that rig. Anyway, time for me to treat the old buns
to my fav chair and watch a bit of telly, and then treat my gums to dinner.
March 23, 2013. Satdeeee! But I spent most of it fiddling around
with ripping music and saving files to the backup HD and USBs. It's such
a tedious job! I also discovered that stuff I copied a couple of years
ago was not ripped at the highest quality setting so I might do them all
again... just a few a day until all the stuff is done in best quality MP3.
Then I'll sell the CD collection.
So now I'm kinda pooped. Yesterday, I crashed about 8.30pm and slept
like a log till after 7 this morning. But at least I'm doing things for
the Odyssey. I checked the bank account this morning and realized it was
a good thing I didn't pay comprehensive insurance on the truck last pay
day. People keep dipping their sticky fingers into my account and taking
bits and I would have been overdrawn. It's not due till early April so
I'll pay it next pay day, Thursday. And then I'll have to lay low for a
while - too much going out and not enough coming in.
One of the solo GNs rented a motorhome for a week to do a "trial run".
She reported in every day with an account of where she went and what she
saw and who she met. She was having a wonderful time. Her account today
was about yesterday, a couple of nice places she visited and the people
she met there. She's back home now after having returned the motorhome
and keys, and can't wait to sell the house, buy her own MH and set off
around Oz permanently. Yeah... I know how she feels. So near and yet so
NC Art sent this today:
Lovely dog, too. Akshully, lots of GNs travel with pets, which restricts
their freedom somewhat, but they don't mind because they've become so attached.
And it's easy to tell why after seeing the pic of that sweet labrador.
Best not to have a pet in the first place, says me. I'll save that for
later when I'm bloody ancient and unable to travel any more.
Newly elected Pope Francis is set to have lunch with his predecessor,
Pope Emeritus Benedict, at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.
I must say that Francis seems a much happier pappy than Benny was, with
a ready smile. For example: The Pope has stunned the owners of a Buenos
Aires newspaper kiosk, by phoning directly to cancel his order. Luis Del
Regno and his son Daniel delivered papers to the former cardinal's residence
every weekday. Daniel said he thought it was a prank when a caller earlier
this week introduced himself as "Cardinal Jorge".
Quentin Tarantino's Oscar-winning Western, Django Unchained, is one
of relatively few Hollywood films depicting a black cowboy. In reality
there were many, some of whose stories were borrowed for films starring
white actors. The most common image of the cowboy is a gun-toting, boot-wearing,
white man - like John Wayne, or Clint Eastwood. But the Hollywood portrayal
of the Wild West is a whitewashed version of the reality. It is thought
that about a quarter
of all cowboys were black.
The Porsche 911 is 50 years old, but against the industry’s backdrop
of relentless reinvention, it seems virtually unchanged. Even today, we
are effectively only on the third major model generation, making the jump
from a contemporary 911 to a vintage model feel strangely seamless. Nearly
all the major ingredients have been retained since 1963, even in the latest
generation, known internally by its codename 991. You face five big round
dials. You have superb visibility and surprising comfort. Everything feels
a bit less intimidating than in other sports cars. A
classic lives on.
Meanwhile, Waffle will live on again tomorrow. Time for me to take a
rest after a tiring day. Gary
March 22, 2013. Yesterday, I thought I was a real smartie pants
with the MP3 thing, but since then I've learned a lot more!
I wrote that line at about 8 this morning and it's 5.30 now. When I
set out to do something I become obsessed, and insist on getting it done
asap. But I'm buggered after a day ripping CDs. All the Kellys Kompilation
stuff needs all song titles/artists typed in manually so it's taken all
day. And it's still not quite finished yet. But it's gotta be done and
it should be finished tomorrow.
Francois wrote: btw do you know the origin of the word "kangaroo"?
I just read that when europeans arrived they asked to an aborigine what's
the name of this jumping animal? And he answered "Khan gu rhu" which means
"I don't understand"... true or not, funny of course. (Here are) some pics
taken in australia (during floods).
Thanks for the pics, Francois. You've given me something to fill today's
Waffle since I've been such a naughty boy. As to the origin of "kangaroo",
I've heard that story before but I'm not sure if it's true. Possible.
Francois also sent a couple of pics of trucks with problems and says
he hopes my luck is better:
Well, I better skedaddle. Gary
March 21, 2013. I've come a long way since yesterday with the
MP3 thing. It was a very worthwhile learning curve. I also checked eBay
for prices on CD stackers and they're worth a bit, maybe 1 to 200 hundred,
so I'll sell the one in the camper. It's a Kenwood. I got stung by that
NCH MP3 conversion software yesterday though. I was busy converting my
music collection when the bloody thing stopped to tell me it was a trial
version and to hand over $20 if I wanted to keep going! Buggers. Oh well...
$20 well spent I suppose. It's a good program... it remembered where I
left off last night. I'm doing more converting now... lots to get through!
I'd forgotten what a varied collection of music I have... orchestral,
big band, pop, rock and roll, blues, classical... I'm looking foward to
being alone out in the middle of the Nullarbor with Bolero blaring one
NC Art wrote: I was born 50 years too soon. Never heard of YKW, but
it sounds like something I would have checked out when [much] younger.
Hope you get the music mystery solved. Even guys with experience
run into incompatibility snags. My son has been an adept with all that
stuff since childhood, but a few months ago went nearly bonkers transferring
his music library to a new system. Later he has put all of it on a smart
phone so he can listen with an ear bud while working on a movie set or
just driving the lawn tractor. Hell, I can’t even handle a DVD. My disc
player’s tray is stuck and I can’t dislodge it without wrecking the HI
FI features of the telly speakers. “Spend more money” is the motive behind
all this fragile crap.
You can copy DVDs to USB memory sticks as well, and use the stick instead
of the disk and tray. At least on my telly you can. Anyway, I splurged
on an MP3 player... $30 for a Chinese one with 16GB. Can't download iTunes
direct from the net but can use the USB port to copy music from the comp.
Fine with me. It has those ear buds for private listening on the go or
when noise is a no no. It has an FM tuner as well. Yes, I know... gotta
watch the spending BUT...
Akshully, as I continue to convert the albums, I continue to discover
music I didn't realize I had. The Beatles? I don't remember buying that?
Maybe I didn't. *Blush* Maybe it was a prezzie I've forgotten. Blame Old
Timers. Anyway, I'm nearly finished the albums I've recorded to HDD (don't
remember that either hehe) and next I'll do the Kellys Kompilations. Remember
those? I haven't played music in this house for ages cos one of THEM is
either watching TV or sleeping. There's some great stuff there though...
Supertramp, Steely Dan, America, Rod Stewart, Santana, ABBA, Beach Boys,
Queen, Fleetwood Mac, The Doobies... heaps of great stuff. And yes, even
a bit of ol' Blue Eyes with Antonio Carlos Jobim. Glenn Miller? Yep. PJ
will be a veritable disco on wheels.
Roite, now I can concentrate on Waffle. I've been preoccupied.
From the Beeb: Barack Obama is due to arrive in the West Bank city
of Ramallah for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Israel-Palestinian conflict is likely to be at the core of the talks
with Mr Abbas. The American leader will only spend a few hours in Ramallah,
before heading to Jerusalem to give a speech. Mr Obama made his first trip
to Israel as president on Wednesday, holding talks with PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
mates from way back, Barack and Benny. NOT.
Australia has one of the most brutal political cultures in the democratic
world, in which party leaders are dispatched with abandon. As yet another
prime minster faces a threat from her own side, has the country become
the "coup capital" of the world?It's
a mess, and it ain't over yet. Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister
Julia Gillard calls a leadership ballot in a bid to resolve who should
lead the Labor party into September's election.
South Korean officials say unidentified hackers used a Chinese IP
address to launch a massive cyber attack on banks and media firms on Wednesday.
Now there's another part of the world I'm glad I don't live in. The other
is the Middle East.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has issued an apology to people affected
by Australia's forced adoption policy between the 1950s and 1970s. Tens
of thousands of babies of unmarried, mostly teenage mothers, were thought
to have been taken by the state and given to childless married couples.
Many women said they were coerced into signing away their children.
shame, shame, along with the White Australia Policy.
The US state of Colorado has tightened its gun laws, to impose limits
on the size of ammunition magazines and expand background checks for gun
buyers. It makes Colorado the second state after New York to pass gun control
measures since 26 people were shot dead at a school in Connecticut in December.
in the right direction.
And that's about it. Didn't even get my dose of inner shedness today,
but I did manage a quick bit of shopping just now and, apart from a few
groceries, bough two 8GB memory sticks. 8GB can take about 2000 songs so
that should be plenty big enough. I've got 2 x 16GB for the Nikon but it
takes high res pics. It's all rather jolly isn't it, all this exciting
Just caught the news... Julia Gillard's leadership challenge was unopposed
and she remains PM through to the next election in September. Simon Crean,
who forced the challenge by remarks he made yesterday, was sacked from
the front bench and dismissed from his exectutive position hehe. Oh well,
Madam Butterfly is still at the helm, at least for a while. I can't stand
the woman and, according to the polls, I'm not the only one. My money's
on a change of government in September. Gary
March 20, 2013. Well, I ask someone if copying all my CD music
to a USB memory stick is a good idea. Yes, he says, he's done it and has
all his albums on one stick. Then another bloke says they need to be reformatted
as MP3 if you wanna play them on the car radio. Then another bloke says
if your car radio doesn't play MP3 then buy an MP3 player. So I check out
MP3 players and wonder if Apple iPods and MP3 players are the same thing.
I read a bunch of stuff and still don't know. Then I discover that not
all players are the same. Some will fit certain speaker docks while others
won't. And then I wonder if speaker docks are only made for Apple iPhones
or MP3 players as well. But I'm still not sure if I need an MP3 player
anyway. All I wanted to do was copy my CD music to a USB memory stick.
But how do I play a USB stick? And to complicate matters even more, does
the music really need to be converted to MP3? Just because MP3 players
are called MP3 players doesn't mean they're restricted to the MP3 format.
They can play many other music formats as well. So here I am going around
in circles and more confused than I was before I asked the initial question.
So here's the deal. The car radio installed in the camper, with speakers
built into the cupboard doors above the kitchen bench, is an ideal place
to have a radio and stereo. It's up high and outta the way. But the stereo
is old and needs replacing. It's a radio/cassette. The speakers are Altec
Lansing so they can stay. The CD stacker mounted under the cupboards can
go. Who the hell needs a CD stacker if CDs are redundant? So when I have
a new stereo installed, I'll make sure it can somehow accommodate a USB
memory stick and play the music recorded theron. Yeah? In other words,
the new stereo will determine what I need and what I don't.
At least one problem is solved: where to put all my CDs (except gifts):
on eBay, that's where. Once they're copied, I have no need for them.
One day closer to YKW? FL Josh wrote: You said in your Waffle of
the 19th, "another day closer to YKW." I had never heard of YKW so
had to look it up.
YKW - the largest "lifestyle" commercial club in North Carolina.
We have our parties in our own private 12,000 square foot club, not in
a house or hotel. . . . The purpose of our parties is to provide a place
that is more than a traditional "swing club". It is an adult social party,
a place where people are free to explore their sexuality in a fun, but
safe social setting without pressure. . . . They provide: a Love swing,
Exam table, Stripper pole that spins, Showers, and a Massage table.
I guess I missed the Waffle where you announced the change in the
purpose of the Odyssey, from photographing Oz to photographing, uhhh, ummm,
North Carolina, huh? I wonder if NC Art knows about it. Intimately,
even. Speaking of the old devil: Ok, you can stick to the qwerty keyboard
cause that’s all you have…except for touch screen icons. And the touch
typing version is for the birds. My Kindle Fire e-reader is all touchy-feely
and I hate it. Incidentally, I also learned touch typing in high school
classes, but also learned the etaoin shrdlu right along with it in a print
shop after school. So it dozen madder. Actually, my fingers are so blasted
arthritic now that my fingernails hit the screen instead of ball of the
finger. ! Bummer.
Sorry to hear about the arthritis, Art. That's something I dread happening
to moi at some stage. I rely so much on my digit dexterity.
I think I might have this MP3 thing figured out at last. One GN suggested
an FM receiver that plugs into the car cigarette lighter. It takes SD memory
cards or USB sticks. Selected a frequency, tune the car radio to that frequency
and Bob's yer uncle. But the music needs to be converted to MP3, so I downloaded
Sound, a program that does batch converting. That was free. So if all
that works, I won't need to change the radio/cassette in the camper because
all I'll need is the FM radio band. Sound cool to you? My only question
now is will the transmitter plugged into the ciggie lighter draw too much
power when the engine's not running and flatten the battery. BTW, the transmission
signal strength is about 10 meters (30 feet). I just took a punt and bought
one from China on eBay for $10.
From the Beeb: South Korean officials are investigating a suspected
cyber attack that has paralysed computer networks at broadcasters and banks.
Broadcasters KBS, MBC and YTN told police their networks were halted around
14:00, Yonhap news agency said. Two banks, Shinhan Bank and Nonghyup, said
their networks were affected. The cause of the problems remains unknown.
Last week, North Korea accused the US and its allies of attacks on its
internet servers. The
Barack Obama is flying to Israel for his first trip there as US president,
amid protests and tight security in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The war in Syria and concerns over Iran's nuclear ambitions will loom large
in talks, say correspondents. But US officials are trying to lower expectations
that Mr Obama will seek to make significant headway on restarting the Israel-Palestinian
peace process. The
world will watch with interest.
US lawmakers will ditch a plan to ban assault weapons, all but killing
off a key part of a gun control campaign prompted by a recent school massacre.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said her proposal would be left out
of the firearms control bill. Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid made
the decision, saying the proposal could not get enough votes. Well,
we all know who calls the "shots" in this stoopid game.
Meanwhile... A US teenager smirked as he was handed three life sentences
without chance of parole after admitting killing three students in a high
school cafeteria. Wearing a T-shirt with the word "killer" hand-written
on it, TJ Lane, 18, taunted victims of the attack in February last year
in Ohio. Yeah...
what can you say?
Well, ladies and genitals, I've spent much of today buggerizing around
with this MP3 thing. It ain't easy when you know bugger all about something
to begin with. I also spent a fair bit of time and energy on cutting back
overgrowth around the back of the house. These ain't just weeds, but bloody
trees! I had to use a small saw as well as pruning shears. Thank god for
the liquid food I'm on now... no way I would have had the stamina a few
weeks ago. I managed to clear about 4 wheely bins worth of stuff, which
is a bit of a worry since we only have one wheely bin. Gary
March 19, 2013. Got my dose of inner shedness this morning. It's
another magnificent autumn day, as well as another day close to YKW. Can't
wait to be tapping on this keyboard, describing the day's events at a nice
place somewhere, and assembling the photos into an album. *Sigh*
One of the best things I've discovered in recent times is the GN forums.
Reading various accounts of their travels and adventures has banished any
fears I had about becoming an itinerant and living in a camper. I've never
encountered a happier bunch of people in my life before. Even the little
old ladies doing it solo are raving about how wonderful it is to be a vagabond.
One woke at the crack of dawn, took some photos of the rising sun, mentioned
the perfect stillness of the morning and how invigorating the fresh air
was, and made friends with a duck. Then she did some "housework" which
took all of 10 minutes. This is her "trial run" in a rented motorhome.
She has to hand the keys back on Friday and is dreading it. Then she'll
go back to saving for her own MH before she sets off around Oz permanently.
NC Art wrote: Comments on keyboards bring to mind the standard for
the marvelously efficient and user friendly keyboard of the Linotype machine.
That layout could have obviated a lot of problems associated with the qwerty
layout of typewriters and computers. Sadly, the idea was discarded because
it was thought that operators would balk at re-training on a new keyboard
while simultaneously wresting with entering data on these newfangled computers.
Go to Google, enter
etoin shrdlu and look at the keyboard illustration. Don’t panic at
the apparent cumbersome aspects of three keyboards in one. The separate
capital (caps) keyboard layout would not be necessary and could be accommodated
by a shift key as on typewriter. And, many people use a numeric pad on
computers instead of top row on the standard board.
The thing promotes high speed keyboarding with little
fatigue and no recorded cases of carpal tunnel syndrome seen in typists
using the querty layout. Briefly, the Linotype layout is designed so the
most used and most doubled letter are clustered in order of use frequency.
Three fingers and the thumb of the left handle the most used keys, he little
finger of left hand is always above the space bar. Four fingers and
thumb of right hand handle all the rest.
Sound cumbersome but it is not so in practice. And there
is no problem with a typewriter user learning the Linotype keyboard because
they are complete different routines. Think of riding a bicycle and driving
a car; no confusion.
The engineers were wrong and we’re stuck with a tiring,
inefficient, cumbersome, unnatural device to run a stupendously efficient
computer. Left foot in 1850; right foot in 2050.
Pining for an ETOIN SHRDLU computer
I learned to touch type on QWERTY so that's what I'm sticking to, Art.
BTW, I was checking out a brochure (bro-sha in Oz) from an electronics
retailer and saw lots of new computers with touch screens. They didn't
appear to have CD/DVD players. Is that because you can now use USB memory
sticks to hold music and video? That would be cool. I have stacks of music
CDs that take up too much room (or will in the camper), so if I could copy
them to USB memory sticks that would be ideal! Or does the music need to
be converted to MP3 format?
From the Beeb: Frank Thornton, who played Captain Peacock in BBC
comedy Are You Being Served? has died at the age of 92. Thornton died peacefully
in his sleep at his home in Barnes, London, on Saturday, his agent David
Daly said. What a great show that was! Here's
a short tribute on Youtube.
India beat Australia by six wickets in the third Test in Mohali to
complete a series victory over the tourists. In a tight finish on the final
day, skipper Mahendra Dhoni smashed three consecutive fours to earn victory
with 15 balls remaining. Oh dear! I watched part 2 of Australian Story
last night about Ricky Ponting who captained the Australian cricket team
through its golden years in the noughties when it was unbeatable. One of
the all-time greats of cricket is Ricky Ponting, and sadly missed.
A US university student may have been planning a massacre before
he killed himself instead, authorities have said. James Seevakumaran, 30,
was found with explosives and firearms in his room at the University of
Central Florida. Officials said he pointed a gun at another student, who
called the police, before pulling a fire alarm and shooting himself. Hundreds
of students were evacuated early on Monday but classes were held after
the explosives were removed. The incident occurred as the US holds an emotionally
charged debate about
how to curb its gun violence epidemic.
Funny about the arguments used by those who support gun ownership. They
compare banning assault weapons with banning cars because they also kill
people. Oh? Drivers need a license. Drivers need to obey speed laws and
road rules. Certain kinds of cars are banned from the roads if they don't
meet strict safety regulations. So how can you compare cars with guns?
I can understand individuals needing to arm themselves in a wild west situation,
but the west ain't wild anymore. We live in a civilized society these days,
with a police force and courts of law to handle disputes and violations.
Paw no longer has to gallop off into town every time there's a ruckus.
He makes a phone call. Can you imagine Chuck Connors punching numbers into
his cell phone in the opening scenes of The Rifleman? Actually, they'd
have to change the name of the show to The 911 Man.
Iraqis would have rebelled against Saddam Hussein if there had been
no invasion and it would have been "a lot worse than Syria", Tony Blair
has said. Iraqis previously "rose up in large numbers and were killed in
very large numbers", the former UK PM said. Asked if he had regrets, he
said: "How can you regret removing a monster who created enormous carnage."That's
answering a question with another question. In other words, avoiding the
question. I think most people in hindsight believe that the war in Iraq
was a mistake - a very costly mistake - and that handling the situation
there could have been done differently. But, of course, that's all hypothetical
now. Hopefully, the world has learned from its mistakes. The fact that
the world is reticent about getting physically involved in the Syrian conflict
is probably a result of what occurred in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Is that me talking? As a younger person, I didn't really have views
about such events, much less any desire to express them. Maybe I'm watching
too many current affairs programs. That may change on the Odyssey when
there's a lot happening around me that has nothing to do with world events
and politics. One of the things I'm looking forward to is meeting lots
of backpackers and tourists from overseas, and listening to tales of their
experiences and especially how they view Australians and Australia's culture
in comparison to their own way of life. That should be most enlightening.
Anyway, after a pretty lazy day it's time to de-wafflize and catch a
bit of telly. Seeyaz. Gary
March 18, 2013. If you're interested in the history of the Sydney
Opera House, there's a new site that covers everything from the design,
engineering and construction of the building and through forty years of
performance and events. This
interactive documentary can be explored for minutes or
hours, at your own pace or by choosing to time your journey.
My solar shower arrived today. $10 from China. I've since discovered
they're the same price just up the bloody road! Dozen madder. I'll get
a spare anyway just to have spare hot water through the day for washing
clothes, dishes, etc. If it doesn't get used, no worries. Just put it out
again next day.
FL Josh wrote: In the Waffle for the 16th you say "I've discovered
that adding any kinda fruit to the liquid food I'm having now turns it
into a bulky froth." I'm guessing this happens when you mix everything
in the blender. Would you get better results if you ran the fruit
and everything except the liquid food through the blender, then pour the
blended mixture into a glass containing the liquid food and stir?
Now there's an idea worth trying. I spilt a whole can this morning.
I'd already poured it into a jug when I ripped a paper towel from the roll.
It's difficult to see the perforations on this particular paper so I gave
it an extra hard tug which sent the jug and contents flying all over my
track pants and the floor. There I was standing barefoot in a pool of sticky
goo, unable to reach a stack of old newspapers without walking the goo
even further across the floor, when Lindsay came into the kitchen, said
"Bloody hell!", and then disappeared out the front door to the shops. Thanks
BTW, since changing from powdered supplement to liquid food, my stamina
and energy levels have improved quite dramatically.
FL Josh also has this to say about market vendors being filmed: As
to what happened at the market, many vendors use such places to sell counterfeit
or stolen items, and some may even have warrants out for their arrest,
and such people don't want anyone gathering evidence that could be used
to get them in trouble with the law. Telling them you want to post
it on the internet for all the world to see isn't going to go over big
with such people and may motivate them to do whatever it takes to get the
memory card from your camera. Probably the best thing you could say
when confronted is, "No speaka de English." If they say anything
more, just shrug and shake your head like you don't know what they are
saying and leave.
Actually, it did occur to me that the guy who got upset was rather thuggish
and intimidating, not unlike people I've met with criminal or standover
backgrounds. I'll steer clear of those places in future.
How's this for uncluttered, clean and simple? A 1953 Porsche before
the marque got all hairy chested:
I saw one on an antiques show, parked in the drive as the owner's kid
went hurtling past on his trike just inches from the highly polished duco
hehe. The bloke nearly had a seizure.
And here, in my (not so) humble opinion, is one of the cutest little
cars ever designed - the Fiat Bambino. And I figured out why... it's got
a cute little butt. I was rescued from a homophobic bully once by an Italian
co-worker who told the bully if he wanted to mess with me, he'd have to
mess with him first. My hero! The Italian bloke said he'd drive me home
because the bully might be waiting outside after work, and this is what
he drove me home in.
Speaking of pretty things, on the way back from the letter box I noticed
the autumn colors of one of the pencil pines in the front yard... huge
things that have been growing there for decades, probably 7 or 8. So I
took a few pics, selected one, enhanced color, contrast and sharpness in
posted it on Red Bubble. I don't normally use image enhancers but this
one didn't seem to live up to what I'd seen with the naked eye.
How-bloody-ever, it'll take a while, maybe quite a while, before I get
anywhere near the standard of my
mate Billy Bullimore. Hell he's good.
Steve W just wrote in relation to the vendor at the market: There
is an awful lot of 'hot property" offered for sale at the markets and have
been involved in investigating this in the past and the first step is to
obtain photos of the products and then follow up with either a visit from
the police or the legit owners of the stock. I would suspect he was a tad
nervous about the origin of his products and for future reference, he is
in a public place and you are not taking the photos for financial gain
then you are more than entitled to shoot away……..and in his case I would
use a .45.
Yep, the more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to believe I got
off lightly hehe. I did have a pistol pointed at my head one time - at
the Hilton nightclub in Sydney, but that's another story. Just after the
market bloke told me to piss off, he noticed a customer waiting to be served
and attended to him. The customer, who had overheard what was said to me,
and, moreover, how it was said, looked decidedly uncomfortable. Hehe. BTW,
Steve, I repeat your address in my head every day without looking at it.
Time now to check out a bit of telly. I watched Attenborough's Galapagos
Islands last night, with those weird looking lizards - iguanas. The whole
place is a fascinating study of evolution and how a specific environment,
isolated from the rest of the world, can produce many unique species. The
forests, for example, are not populated by trees. They look like trees,
tall with narrow trunks and spindly upper branches, but they're actually
giant dandelions. So unless there's a planet just like ours, with the same
kind of atmosphere, weather, geography, etc, we're unlikely ever to see
a species like us.
March 17, 2013. TX Greg wrote: This isn't like filming a car
show or scenes of landmarks. You're directly shooting vid of people and
their personal goods. And yes I can see how some people could be "camera
shy" and would take offence to be filmed. The last bloke you were filming
from the REAR of their booth and YES that shot looks CREEPY. That bloke
probably thought you had the hots for his wife! Perhaps the best approach
to this type of filming instead of "Just fooling around", tho I know you
were rattled at that moment, would be, BEFORE you cut the camera on, to
first introduce yourself and say you are doing a vid for YouTube and would
they like to be included. The ones that say no, then no worries move on,
the ones that say yes will probably ham it up for the cam and make for
a much better interesting vid :)
I dunno if goods on sale in a public place can be described as personal,
but I take your point, Greg. The main reason I didn't ask permission is
because I still sound weird without teeth. I hate being thought of as a
mental deficient who needs humoring.
Oregon Richie wrote: Well, I see you went off to see what would happen
at the market and now we all know. Kind of a rough, crude, and scurvy
character if you ask me. Who knows. Maybe there is a case to
be made for something like photophobia. I have taken lots of pics
at festivals and such but I might have asked if I could take some casual
shots first. With a camera, that is.
Well, I also put it to the GNs on the forum and they hit the nail on
the head: Hey Gary........I don't know what his problem was, people
nowadays are very testy about having their faces all over the net, which
in one way I can understand, wouldn't want mine there, but it makes you
think that a lot of people probably earn a lot of cash money at markets,
and don't want anyone to know about it............especially the government
And this one: There is a lot of money made out there at markets and
not a lot of way of tracking it, that is why you see the same people doing
a circut of markets, they all will tell you where they will be next weekend........but
hey, can't really blame them.
And this one: With a reception like that, it's a good thing you are
leaving town!!! A lot of guilty consciences there. Were you wearing a Centrelink
tshirt? I used to sell flowers at a farmers market and was always having
photos and videos taken, even had a microphone shoved in my face for a
radio station interview. We were a much happier bunch than that lot. Used
to spruik for sales, stir up the regular customers and other stall holders.
NC Art took a different tack: Can’t decide whether Oz is competing
with US for the fattest people on the planet, or if you just like to catch
imposing lardbottoms in your camera lens. Whatever. Maybe the avoirdupois
contestants just like to waddle around fairgrounds.
Oh, well, at least I got a bit more practice at editing footage. And
I've learned something - don't shoot anything with money involved. As to
lardbottoms, I don't remember knowing or seeing any when I was a kid. But
things were different then... no KFC, McDs, frozen dinners or whole supermarket
aisles devoted to junk food. As a teen at work, my lunch was a sandwich
and juice, either that or a "home cooked" meal in the company canteen and
a cup of tea. At the mo I'm so skinny I look like a skeleton inside a tight
Yesterday, I forgot to mention something else TX Greg wrote: "not
fully set up yet" Geez sheets and a pillow is all you need to just sleep.
Honestly, you make it sound like there's some fear to sleeping in there.
Maybe you're subconsciously worried it might fall off the jacks? You could
go out there and take a nap for a hour or two just to try out and see if
that mattress agrees with you :)
Yeah, I meant more than just sleeping. I'd like to spend an evening
and morning, watching a bit of TV or listening to music, writing something
with the laptop, then sleeping overnight, waking in the morning, making
a cuppa, peeing in the porta potti, and getting a feel for the whole experience.
I keep reading about it on the GN forums and it's giving me itchy feet.
I have yet to read a single comment from a nomad who hasn't been totally
impressed with life on the road (apart from weather, traffic, or other
irritations). They love meeting each other as well but I'm not so sure
about that aspect.
One GN this morning described the final few weeks before the big departure
- getting rid of decades of accumulated junk - selling what's saleable,
giving much of it away, taking the rest to the dump, etc. As one commenter
put it, don't let possessions hold you back. It's true ya know. Many things
we own actually own us.
There's a 12V 260AH AGM battery on eBay for $1.79. Not bad. But it's
a 4-day auction hehe. Another 105AH with the auction ending late tomorrow
is currently $225. Might be an idea to keep an eye on those. Another seller
in Sydney has several
120AH at $99, used but "in excellent physical and mechanical condition".
They're 5 years old though, and pick up only. On the Odyssey, it would
pay to be in a large city before buying big ticket items.
Another thing I forgot to mention the other day was the reaction of
the food chemist at Abbot when I phoned to ask why their liquid food supplement
froths when used as a base for smoothies. At first the receptionist transferred
me to another department, then that department transferred me to another,
etc, until I was finally connected to a chemist. When I explained what
had happened, she got all defensive: "I'm not a dietition, I'm a food chemist.
Our supplement is not supposed to have anything added. Yadda, yadda." All
I asked was what might have caused the thing to froth - the fruit, the
yoghurt or the egg. "It could have been one or a combination of things,"
she said as if I'd accused her of something hehe. Funny innit. People get
so defensive when there's really no need to. Anyway, by process of elimination
I discovered it was the fruit, and passed the info on to my nutritionist.
So now I don't add fruit to smoothies made with the liquid supplement,
and do to smoothies made with cow or coconut milk. Simple. But I had to
figure it out for myself.
Just back from shopping and scored with soups on spesh at $2 each. Campbells
are introducing a new line so the oldies are getting the flick. Suits me.
AND I LIKE THE COURIER. Once the camper's on and she stops trying to throw
me outta the saddle it'll be better hehe. She's a bit skittish empty. But
I like her. Not sure why exactly. I've always liked driving floor shifts
- probably stems from my Beetle days when I was a harem scarem leadfoot.
I'm rather more sedate these days but still enjoy the feel of a stick shift
and clutch. Vroom, vroom!
From the Beeb: The new Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has said he
will fight for "the great renaissance of the Chinese nation," in his first
speech as head of state. He stressed that the economic development would
remain the ruling Communist's party's priority. He also addressed the growing
inequality gap and spoke about the need to tackle corruption. Did
you know China used toilet paper thousands of years ago?
Pakistan's PM hails as "a victory" for democracy the completion of
a full term by an elected government for the first time in the country's
history. Really? I had no idea. Since Pakistan was founded in 1947,
government were often overthrown in coups, toppled by political infighting
or end in assassinations or murders. And
there's another thing I was unaware of.
Declassified tapes of President Lyndon Johnson's telephone calls
provide a fresh insight into his world. Among the revelations - he planned
a dramatic entry into the 1968 Democratic Convention to re-join the presidential
race. They also shed light on a scandal that, if it had been known at the
time, would have sunk the candidacy of Republican presidential nominee,
Richard Nixon. By the time of the election in November 1968, LBJ had evidence
Nixon had sabotaged the Vietnam war peace talks - or, as he put it, that
Nixon was guilty of treason and had "blood on his hands".
One GN on the forum was talking about hitch maintenance, lubing and
greasing. So smartie pants here commented, "Yep, couldn't agree more. Always
lube your trunnions and grease your balls, I say." I didn't add a smiley,
just kept it straight, and the posts since mine have not commented on it.
Hehe. Oh well... BTW, I have no idea what a trunnion is.
Oh, and one bloke commented on Kombis, saying he really liked them,
and had found a great video of a
Kombi meet on Youtube. Guess whose video it was? Yep, a Fossil Fillum,
so I told him so. I'm becoming famous!
After 5-ish now and the weekend went that-a-way. Took the Nikon camera
bag with me when I went shopping and did a detour around the river. Nothing
happening. I still haven't used the 55-200mm lens yet. So now it's time
to check out the telly and think about s o u p . One day I'll look back
on these times as 'those bad old days'. HAPPY
ST PATRICK'S DAY!Gary
March 16, 2013. There are some nasty people about. I nicked over
to the local showground this morning to shoot the Saturday morning markets
to see if I could produce an interesting video. One bloke was selling dog
beds and pooch stuff. After I'd taken a couple of shots he came over to
me and asked what I was doing. "Just fooling around," I said. Then he virtually
accused me of spying. "Taking photos of a person's stock without asking
permission," he growled. So I repeated my reason for being there - just
fooling around. "On your way," he demanded. "Understood?" So I nodded and
Now there's a bloke who's paranoid about something. His stall was in
full view of everyone in a public place. Maybe it was his "Aussie Bra"
he was nervous about. Probably made in China. I was about to photograph
the sign when he approached me. Anyway, the incident coupled with his attitude
took all the fun out of my being there. I continued to take shots of other
stalls, etc, but I was half expecting stall owners to kick up a stink and
tell me to piss off. You'd think they'd welcome publicity but apparently
3pm now and I spent about 4 hours editing the vid which is being uploaded
to Youtube at the mo. You can judge for yourself whether the bloke who
bit my head off was justified or not. Anyway, it gave me something to do
hehe. It's a lovely day too, and it was nice to get out in the sunshine
and wander around for a bit, even though I was a bit shaken by the aggressive
attitude of the stall holder. I feel better now that I've edited the vid
and "gotten my revenge". Hopefully, the word will get around town. He'll
probably beat me to a pulp if he sees me again.
BTW, I was wearing my Ohio State 0 tee and a bloke approached me to
say he was from Ohio and a Buckeye supporter. There ya go... right here
From the Beeb: The US unveils plans to beef up missile defences on
the West Coast to counter the threat from North Korea, after its third
nuclear test last month. I'm glad the US is taking the N. Korean threat
seriously. As a mate of mine says, those who choose to ignore history are
likely to repeat it.
The Catholic Archbishop of Durban, Wilfrid Fox Napier, says paedophilia
is "not a criminal condition" and requires treatment not punishment.
I suspect he's right. Children are not designed to be sexually attractive
to adults so it has to be a mental thing. Police have just busted a large
pedo ring in Oz after discovering massive amounts of child-abuse material.
A child under the age of 10 was also found living in one of the houses
raided. Suspects range in age from 22 to 76 and come from all walks of
The US state of Maryland is poised to abolish the death penalty after
its lawmakers voted 82 to 56 in favour of the move. The measure now needs
to be signed by Governor Martin O'Malley to become law. Correspondents
say it will be a formality as the Democratic governor has campaigned for
five years to have the death penalty repealed. Once signed into law, Maryland
will become the 18th US state to abolish executions.
Excavations for London's Crossrail project have unearthed bodies
believed to date from the time of the Black Death. A burial ground was
known to be in an area outside the City of London, but its exact location
remained a mystery. Thirteen bodies have been found so far in the 5.5m-wide
shaft at the edge of Charterhouse Square, alongside pottery dated to the
mid-14th Century. Analysis
will shed light on the plague and the Londoners of the day.
Roite, well that's it for Satdee and its unexpected bit of excitement
at the country markets. I'm in the mood to do another video now. :) Gary
March 15, 2013. The froth that ate Taree. I've discovered that
adding any kinda fruit to the liquid food I'm having now turns it into
a bulky froth that's like fairy floss (that colored stuff on a stick made
from sugar). It's like trying to eat a mouthful of air. What a bummer.
So what exciting things are on today's agenda? Here's what one GN wrote:
a great free camp behind the Harness Club at Nyah. Big area, trees around
the edges, toilet, dump point and drinking water on tap! Will stay a few
days then head towards Yorke Peninsular for Easter.
You get that kinda thing all the time on the forums - people discovering
great places to camp and recommending them. Grrrrr. It's quite frustrating
for me at the mo, still waiting my turn. It wouldn't be so bad if I had
something constructive to DO in the meantime but, other than saving, which
is not the most thrilling of pastimes, there's nuttin.
Actually, there is. I haven't done a photo album or video so far this
month. Hmmm. I'll have to figure something out.
Back from the shops. Went there to buy a spare umbrella for the car
(cos I'm bored) and came back with a tarpaulin - and no umbrella. It's
a fairly large tarp - roughly 10' x 10' - useful as an outdoor floor or
extra shade cover or whatever. $17 was cheap enough. I already have an
older one that came with the camper.
As I mentioned to Richie this morning, each time I'm tempted to sleep
in the camper overnight in the backyard I remind myself that it's not fully
set up yet. And I ain't gonna spend a night down there without being surrounded
by all my goodies, let alone any longer. Apart from being mobile and having
a different view every couple of days on the Odyssey, my basic daily routine
will have a lot in common with my current one - porta potti and camp shower
notwithstanding. I have NO intention of roughing it.
Japanese people often fail to understand why neighbouring countries
harbour a grudge over events that happened in the 1930s and 40s. The reason,
in many cases, is that they barely learned any 20th Century history. I
myself only got a full picture when I left Japan and went to school in
be interesting to talk to Japanese tourists on the Odyssey.
A sharply split US Senate panel has passed a bill to ban assault
weapons, but the measure is viewed as unlikely to go much further in Congress.
Polls show a majority of Americans back a ban on assault weapons. Yeah,
but they're only the people. What the hell do people know? At
least, that's how I read the republican attitude.
Which reminds me, there was a topic being discussed on a GN forum the
other day about personal safety while camping. A couple of GNs admitted
carrying rifles but stressed that they were responsible gun owners. Then
someone told the story of a camper running his generator at night and annoying
other campers. There was a loud bang and, early next morning, the bloke
with the generator discovered a hole in it made by a 12 gauge shotgun.
He left soon afterwards. But it just goes to show that not every gun owner
is responsible, and it only takes one or two to cause trouble.
Another shortie today I'm afraid. Maybe it's a lack of inspiration caused
by a lull in proceedings. Maybe I should start thinking about a vid. There's
a market on tomorrow morning at the showground - lots of stalls, all kinds
of colorful things on sale, plenty of people, lots of activity and spruikers
shouting their wares. Hmmm. That might be a fun thing to do. I'll think
Meanwhile, it's bum on the soft chair time. Gary
March 14, 2013. Just back from checking the snail mail and spotted
It'll be interesting to see what comments I get from Red Bubblers. I
think it's a pretty magic shot for a number of reasons. It's one of those
situations you could easily miss unless you develop a habit of thinking
like a camera. I'm not as clever as my mate Billy Bullimore but I do have
my moments. And to think it was as close as my front veranda. Actually,
pretty soon, EVERYTHING will be as close as my front veranda!
Here's another thing I spotted today. A classic early 50's Jag on an
Oregon Richie will no doubt comment on that curvaceous beauty. He's
a fan of the old Brit sporting machines, especially the V12 Jags. Very
Some intellectually challenged twit flooded my guestbook with a heap
of crap from porno sites yesterday. So I spent ages deleting them all only
to find them returning. Bugger that. So I ditched the "simple CGI guestbook"
in favor of commercial freebie (but I have the option of going ad-free
for a small annual fee). There was only one legitimate guestbook entry
in the old one so I copied it over to the new one, which also has a security
feature to stop spammers. In any case, I can manage it and delete anything
that sneaks through.
TX Greg wrote to say he
likes the new GB but also asked why I didn't use the same mob that
supplies Cody's new one. Weeeell, I'm not too impressed by Cody's (even
though Greg is). Besides, I didn't think of it at the time. I really HATE
those "you're the millionth visitor" ads that jump around with a 'click
here' sign. If any appear on my new GB I'll take the ad-free option.
Beeeeeeeuuuuuuudiful autumn day today. Started out a bit nippy but the
day is stunning, with no hum dittity. Perfect weather for camping. :) Gotta
nick up the road for a bit of shopping soon - nothing very interesting.
Got paid this morning but it soon vanished. AND, I won two minor prizes
in Lotto two days in a row! $13.70 and $22.10. They reckon everything happens
in threes. Hmmmm?
My gooseneck LED lamp that came with my lap table takes 3 x button batteries,
right? So to buy them they come in pairs, right? And if you buy 2 pair
you've got one more than you need, right? That's okay. I have a quartz
clock that uses 1 button that lasts for about a year. But marketing peeps
do that kinda thing. There are often twofa specials at the supermarket...
twofa the price of one. Wot's wrong with half price? You might only buy
one, that's wot.
Former senior Khmer Rouge leader Ieng Sary dies while on trial for
genocide, a UN-backed court in Cambodia announces. Happens a lot with
those bastards...leaving it till they're at death's door before bringing
them to justice.
President Barack Obama says the US is engaging in "tough talk" with
China about hacking attacks, although he plays down talk of a cyber war.
Diplomacy is all about walking on eggshells.
An Illinois man has survived an 18ft (5.4m) fall inside a sinkhole
while he was golfing, two weeks after another sinkhole swallowed a person
in Florida. Mark Mihal, 43, was investigating an unusual depression when
the earth gave way on the 14th hole of the fairway in Waterloo, Illinois.
could say something about playing 19 holes but I won't.
US consumers shrugged off higher taxes to boost retail spending by
1.1% in February from the month before. It was the biggest rise in five
Bit of a shorty today, ladies and genitals - blame the snoozes. Every
time I have a smoothie loaded with goodies I crash out in the chair. Which
reminds me, every old geezer deserves a favorite comfy chair and I've seen
some folding/camp ones with loads of padding and a high back, just the
thing for these tired old bones on a lovely day like today parked under
PJ's awning out in the fresh air somewhere. But that's a luxury I'll think
about once I've got all the important stuff. Gary
I know William is keen to become professional but it ain't easy to break
into that business. Probably a case of who you know. But he's persistent
so hopefully it's just a matter of time. I wish him well.
You are 25033 days old. Which is 3576 weeks and 1 day.
That's 68 years and 196 days, including 17 leap years*, or 68 years,
28 weeks and 0 days.
In other words, that's 823 months. Therefore, you are 68.5 years
You were born on a Tuesday, your last birthday was a Wednesday and
your next one will be on a Thursday.
That's interesting cos Tuesday's Child is full of grace, which was my
nickname for many years (as in Grace Kelly). I always knew I was full of
something, so it's nice to know it's grace hehe.
I read on the GN forum that Winnebago USA has stopped Winnebago Oz from
using its name, which it has since 1978 (formerly Freeway). So obviously
the two companies are not affiliated which is something I've often wondered.
change comes after US-based Winnebago Industries, which has been manufacturing
motorhomes in Iowa since 1966, won a legal battle to prevent local manufacturers
and dealers using their brand name.Winnebago
Oz is appealing the decision but in the meantime will be known as Avida.
Modern airliner? Well, there's one thing you can say for the
old Douglas, it's still flying.
From the Beeb: Cardinals will begin their second day of deliberations
over who should be the new pope, after the first round of voting proved
inconclusive. Not surprising. They're not used to making decisions.
Everything's in the Bible.
A campaign to rename a Nevada mountain after Ronald Reagan is gathering
pace. Why are Americans so fond of naming peaks after their presidents?
The summit rises up from the Mojave Desert's arid expanse, looming above
the garish sprawl of Las Vegas. It's an impressive sight, which at present
goes under the name of Frenchman's Mountain.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles agrees to pay out nearly
$10m (£6.7m) to settle four clergy sex abuse cases. This seems
to be an issue that simply won't go away.
A historic palazzo in Rome that houses a key Vatican department is
also the home of a well-known
Well, it's about time I toddled off to la la land again to see how the
world's been getting along today, and have a bit of chicken, mushroom and
wild rice soup. :-/ And yes, I had my daily dose of inner shedness today...
just for a little while to measure something. :) Gary
March 12, 2013. Yep, "inner shedness" was the expression Kevin
McCloud used to describe his guests discovering the joys of a shed. Mine
happens to be a shed on wheels but it's still a shed. TX Greg wrote: Here's
the full episode on You Tube. Just click the pointer up to about the
43:00 minute mark so you can skip over and get straight to that line which
is about at the 43:45 minute mark... That really is a cool line he says
there and yes I see how that totally applies to your dream :)
It's also worth watching the full episode for those of you who haven't
seen the show. It's the final episode with a montage of scenes from previous
eps to bring you up to date with how the shed has taken shape since the
idea was born. Interesting that McCloud drives an old Peugeot ute as well.
Here's a song by John Williamson called All
Australian Boys Need a Shed. Meanwhile I like "inner shedness" hehe.
The only thing I'm waiting for is Stan the Lawn Man to arrive with his
brush cutter to trim all the tangled growth along the side of the driveway
where the Freeway is parked. It's on the driver's side of the truck which
will make it difficult to use the side mirror as I reverse under the camper.
Once that's cleared, I can phone Chris to help me mount the thing. It'll
make the storage bins accessible as well so I can start to store stuff
there, including the gel AGM battery when it arrives at the end of March.
NC Art wrote: What man can do is just amazing … internal combustion
engines and nuclear bombs. But where are the tooth-growing farms when we
need them? Pfahh!
Nancy, the dentist, loaned me her industrial-strength food processor
this morning but I haven't used it, and don't think I will. It has a large
jug on top that looks like a major cleaning job. The plastic jug I use
and hand mixer is a cinch to clean - all over in a minute - and light as
a feather. Admittedly it has a problem grinding volcanic rock to a powder
but I can live with that.
Speaking of industrial strength, my 3M velcro arrived so I took it down
to the camper. I'll figure out where to use it later when I get used to
living in PJ and become familiar with what goes where. Any excuse to get
my daily dose of inner shedness. I just sit there and look around, fiddling
with things and trying to imagine what it's gonna be like. I expect my
first night's camp will be decidedly weird.
Back in 1941 Ford was experimenting with the way things would be, but
And here we are 70+ years later with cars still made of steel. Early
caravans were made of plywood and later of aluminium. PJ is aluminium with
a "stick" frame as Richie calls it. Apart from faded paintwork and a few
minor dings from overhanging branches and hail, it's still in pretty good
From the Beeb: Cardinals gathered in Rome to elect a new pope will
begin voting later on Tuesday, with no clear frontrunner in sight.
Hmmm, me suspects it has something in common with the Titanic's deck chairs.
hoping for radical change in the church's attitude will be disappointed
I fear. How is it possible to hang on to tradition whilst embracing
change? Even Betty saves the crown jewels for ceremonial occasions and
otherwise gets about in contemporary clobber.
The people of the Falkland Islands vote to remain a UK overseas territory,
in a referendum held amid pressure from Argentina over its claims on the
islands. I'd have been very surprised if the vote had gone the other
A court has blocked a ban on the sale of large sugary drinks - including
soda - from restaurants in New York City, a day before the law was to take
effect. Judge Milton Tingling ruled that the measure was "arbitrary and
capricious", after industry groups sued the city. The law would forbid
the sale of drinks larger than 16 ounces (473ml) in food-service establishments.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the judge was "totally in error" and has vowed
to appeal against Monday's ruling. The American Beverage Association, which
is leading the fight against the ban, welcomed the decision. Not much
point in turning 21 these days hehe. There's always some bureaucrat trying
to treat adults as kids.
In the world of design, the best ideas are often those which evolve
as the world around them changes. As BBC Future begins a new four-week
series called Imagineering - looking at the design and redesign of everyday
objects - Jonathan Glancey looks at how great design often draws on what
has gone before. Yes, as I suspected, it's difficult to improve on
something unless that something already exists in some form or other. A
most interesting article.
For some reason just now, I was remembering standing at a
lookout near Gloucester, a town about an hour's drive inland from here.
The lookout has a commanding 180 degree view of a huge fertile valley surrounded
by mountains (on one of which I stood), with Gloucester nestled in the
distance below. On the floor of the valley is the main railway line that
runs all the way from Melbourne in the south to Brisbane in the north.
I could see
freight train snaking its way through the green patchwork of farms.
It was probably a kilometer or more long but looked no more than a few
centimeters as it meandered this way and that, slowly swallowing the enormous
distance ahead. And I thought "this is the kinda place you visit" until
I suddenly realized the next time I'm there I'll probably camp overnight.
See what I mean? Everywhere I go is home for as long as I want it to be.
How radical is that? It's gonna take a bit of getting used to, I'm sure.
5-ish again! And another day closer to you-know-what. Gary
March 11, 2013. TX Greg wrote: You really need to set the
camera up to do a vid of the mating of the camper and truck. That would
be really cool to see your dream coming together as one. I know I've show
you this vid before. You
could do one like this and speed the film up also.... And that gives
me the name of the vid "Loading the camper, my Aussie dream coming together".
Problem is, Greg, the camper is jammed between the garage and a lot
of trees and vines, with nowhere to place the camera for a good view. I'd
prefer to have someone else reverse the truck while I run around doing
the vid from different angles but no one's available. Also, I'm pretty
certain Windows Movie Maker has no speed up control.
GNs have been discussing various techniques regarding reversing caravans
into camp sites at caravan parks. Some of the women have difficulty which
means repeat performances that inevitably attract a crowd of gawkers hehe.
How embarrassing. At least once the Freeway is loaded, it stays loaded.
Then my only concern will be anything lower than 3 meters, such as tree
branches, awnings, etc. Gotta get used to that. Width won't be a prob...
it's only about 6" wider on each side than the tray.
Jeez, it's not all that long ago I was shopping around for a camper...
looking, looking, looking, till it drove me crazy. Anything around the
$5K mark was trash, and even those at double the price were labeled "needs
a bit of TLC". Yeah, right. A bit? I was over the moon when I saw PJ with
all those extra goodies and a renovated interior. Then I was pipped at
the post during the auction but the bidder reneged and eBay gave me a second
chance offer next morning.
After that it was months of searching for a decent flat bed ute with
pretty slim pickings for the money I could afford. Then along came the
Courier virtually in my own backyard for $2500. Actually it was closer
to $3000 but the seller relented and took $2500. There was also the worry
of getting a decent price for the old ute but I got lucky again. I'm soooo
glad it's over! On the other hand, it was worth all the stress and strain
to get this far, with not all that much further to go.
I'm trying to phone that oral surgeon in Port Macquarie but his line
is constantly engaged. Must be a popular man. Ah ha! Got him! Like I said,
he's a busy man so Wed April 17 is the earliest he can see me, but at least
it's here in Taree just down the road a bit. It's a consultation so we'll
go from there. He'll be away most of May (school holidays) so if he operates
it'll be June at the earliest. *Sigh*
Before I forget, on DIG 1940 last night I discovered that it wasn't
the Spitfires that won the Battle of Britain, as many believe, it was the
Hurricanes. Hurricanes shot down more Nazi aircraft than the Spitfires
and ground fire combined.
Maths genius Mary Cartwright was a modest soul and one of the early
founders of chaos theory. It's time we recognised her massive contribution,
says historian Lisa Jardine. In his Mathematician's Apology, published
in 1940, the great mathematician GH Hardy argued emphatically that pure
mathematics is never useful. Yet at the very moment he was insisting that
- specifically - "real mathematics has no effect on war", a mathematical
breakthrough was being made which contributed to the
wartime defence of Britain against enemy air attack.
I suspect music and math go together. I'm hopeless at both. I still
haven't figured out how to use a calculator properly. Square roots and
percentages are way over my head. And algebra? Forget it. I remember SF
Jim commenting one time about Rashi, my English grammar teacher (on line).
Jim said, "Rashi may know a lot about English grammar but you know more
about people than he ever will." Hehe. Pity I didn't use that knowledge
to protect myself from some of the ratbags I've known. I used to be terribly
naive, believing there was good in everyone and always giving everyone
the benefit of the doubt. Now I know better.
Roite, time for a coconut cream smoothie with ice cream and choc/hazelnut.
Remember that dreadful stuff in cans I used to pour into my stomach tube?
I just ordered more. Jo Pretty, my dietitian, says the powdered supplement
I've been having has no calories. "It's for people who DO eat normal food."
So it's the tinned stuff from now on, except that I'll use it as a base
for smoothies with all the other stuff... egg, fruit, yoghurt, flavoring,
etc. I'm getting tired of my undies falling down. Jo registered me with
Home Enteral Nutrition, which means it's home delivered (free) and heavilly
discounted for outpatients... 24 cans @ $1.60 a can.
Wot? No traffic?
BTW, I posted a pic from my Scrapbook page on the GN forum yesterday
cos someone mentioned OB, short for outside broadcast. It reminded me of
my old radio days. Anyway, the pic was of 2KY's 50th anniversary and I
was pictured there along with the other "stars". Then it occured to me
that 2KY's 100th anniversary is not all that far off! Bloody hell! Just
12 years away. Youth has no real comprehension of time, which probably
explains why there are so many GNs on the road, getting the most out of
After 5 again and time to toddle off to telly land and the dreaded soup.
March 10, 2013. Oregon Richie wrote: Ah... I got a nice cozy
feeling looking at the pictures of the CAMPER again. Stove top, cupboards,
and place for everything and everything in it and all that good stuff.
Yes, I could do that. I have at times expressed a wild and somewhat
comical desire to do so with my lass and she seems... not to debate it
very much, ha ha.
Mmmm, scrambled egg on toast. Mine looks pretty ancient but those things
don't wear out, and I'm sure it'll do the job for a long time yet. I'll
probably invest in small
single burner portable with a gas cartridge for outside cooking as
well (or spare). Might be safer to do deep frying outside.
BTW, a grill is perfect for grilled cheese on toast. Toast one side
of bread, turn over, butter, place slices of tomato on top, then slice
of cheese, pepper, return to grill. Serve when cheese melted or browned.
Some peeps prefer the tomato on top but I like the cheese browned all over.
In my stove pic, behind the tissues/TV antenna is a drop-down bench
that can be lifted to provide a middle bench between the lower one and
the cupboards above. Pretty nifty. The fairly large table behind where
I'm standing is also a useful bench area. You need lots of bench space
when cooking, and especially when kneading dough for bread.
Yep, the Freeway is well designed for an oldie - very compact but everything
is there and virtually within arm's reach. The seating/dining area is larger
than normal with plenty of room to stretch out full length for an afternoon
nap, yet storage space hasn't been compromised. I'm very happy with the
layout and wouldn't change a dayum thang. Once it's mounted on the Courier
I'll do a video of whole shebang, inside and out.
From the Beeb: Uhuru Kenyatta promises to serve all Kenyans "without
fear or favour" after being declared winner of the presidential election
by the smallest of margins. Funny how most democracies are fairly evenly
divided between two major parties. In our last federal election, we ended
up with a hung parliament so 2 independents and the Greens sided with Labor
giving it sufficient seats to govern. The vast majority of Aussies are
pissed off though, and Labor looks like getting trounced at the next election
in September, including the independents.
The birth towns of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler are divided on
the issue of how to deal with the legacy of the dictators who slaughtered
millions. In some ways it would be hard to imagine two more different places
than Gori in Georgia and Braunau am Inn in Austria. Interesting
Britons must "work in harmony with nature" to preserve rural areas
for the benefit of "our successors, particularly grandchildren", the Prince
of Wales has told the BBC. The prince, due to become a grandfather in July,
was interviewed for BBC One's Countryfile programme, which he guest-edited.
He warned that nature was "a great deal more powerful than we are".Yes,
some misguided people think humans and nature are two separate entities.
5-ish again. BTW, that Salvage Hunters program last night wasn't all
that good... I was hoping the guys would be looking in the most unlikely
places for the most unlikely treasures but no. It was fairly ordinary stuff.
Oh well... Dig 1940 is on again tonight... last week they found bits of
German warplanes buried in craters caused by the crash - Stuker, I think.
And Attenborough's Galapagus is on. Seeya. Gary
March 9, 2013. My email login keeps failing and has since late
yesterday after all those bogus emails flooded my in box. Actually, not
my in box but the server's. I shut down Windows Mail to prevent accidental
downloading of mail to my comp. I'll phone my ISP shortly. Tech service
doesn't start till 9am Satdees. Anyway, it's a pain in the butt.
As a kid, I used to keep a written account of all the car makes I saw
around the streets. I think I got to 40-something but certainly nowhere
Here's an interesting photo I found on one of the GN forums. I think
it's in Tasmania. Certainly makes PJ look pretty flash.
Quite a few GN post pics of their rigs on the forums. There was a Ford
Transit fitted out professionally that really didn't have anything better
than PJ has. In fact, PJ's sleeping quarters are better... none of that
fold-up, fold-down business, or a mattress comprised of several foam cushions
butted together. Mine's an inner spring double with a completely flat surface.
On the outside, the Transit looks better but mine's just as good on the
inside. And the Transit was valued at $30,000. I bought mine for $4,700
+ $2500 for the Courier. Neh, neh, neh, neh, neeeh, neh.
Took a while to sort out the email prob this morning with the techie
but it was caused by a phishing email getting my password. Dam! I've had
that password since 1997. Anyway, my ISP gave me a new password but it
was a computer generated thing I could never hope to remember. I tried
to figure out how to change it to something else but couldn't. So I phoned
the ISP again and had to wait online again for AGES. Turned out that only
they can change the email password. What a waste of time today has been!
TX Greg wrote: Now do you think you're going to remember to remove
that "cardboard" box BEFORE you light the stove, hehe. You said that space
is behind the stove? I'm looking back at the stove pic and wondering what
the space / opening is for under the stove knobs? Might be the fresh air
draw for the burners. And it looks like the stove sets in a separate (heat
shield) metal box, which makes me think the stove might be on a quick gas
disconnect and can be taken outside and used also. I've never seen a stove
like that one before.
I was wondering how long it would take before someone freaked about
a cardboard box being behind the stove. Yep, the stove is encased in a
metal heat shield but is screwed to the cabinet.
Pretty nifty, huh? Lift the lid and there's your twin burners. The space
underneath the burners is a grill/toaster controlled by the middle knob.
The collapsible oven will sit on top of the burners. Under the stove is
a cutlery/utensils drawer but the bulky stuff takes up too much room, hence
the box at the back. So you can relax, Greg. It's all good.
Francois wrote to give me a couple of links to places in Oz where I
can buy citronella oil: I like the scent as much as insects seem to
dislike it, and in more this oil doesn't make durable stains: I put it
on my pillow twice a week in the evening, just wetting my finger in the
bottle, and in the morning the stain has disappeared leaving the scent.
Francois also suggested that if I have any trouble with a permanent address
for licence, rego etc, I should check out the boaties at a marina. Many
harbour have this facility for the peoples who live on a boat, even they're
travelling around the world. And it's really cheap. Thanks, Francois,
but Steve is fine about me using his address so I'm happy with that. I've
even memorized it!
NC Art wrote: The temp variations inside your refrigerator are about
right. Crisper and meat tray should be a bit cooler than area for
eggs, milk, and such because some things keep better than others at different
temps. So don’t fret.
Speaking of cool, your young science friend knows about
that! Reminds me of a home health physical therapist who helped me after
my busted back saga. She asked me why I was studying her face. She was
from Columbia by way of Sweden after adoption in infancy by a Swedish engineer
who later emigrated to the U.S. where she attended university. A dark skinned
Svenska? Problem resolved. She was also good at her profession; made me
bend joints that were frozen and exercise flab musculature ‘til I wanted
to kill … but she was too pretty to damage! Hehe.
Yep, Albert is a pretty smart lad and I suspect he'll go a long way
in life. His adoptive parents are quite wealthy and gave him a good upbringing
and education in Denmark, including a grand piano in his bedroom. They
also adopted his older bro.
From the Beeb: Australia's capital city turns 100 this weekend, but
Canberra, like so many other purpose-built capitals around the world, is
still struggling to convince outsiders that it has more to offer than political
hot air, says Madeleine Morris. I
lived there from '92 to '95 and found it sterile and boring.
And there goes another Waffle, ladies and genitals. There's a program
on telly tonight called Salvage Hunters that sounds interesting... a couple
of peeps who travel the world looking for old treasures worth saving. I
enjoy that kinda thing. I suppose PJ belongs in that category. Hehe. Gary
March 8, 2013. TX Greg wrote: You put the same link as the
"child poverty" story on the line for the "parked
next to a new Rover". Thilly me! Fixed now. I didn't have my camera
with me yesterday so this is a shot from the net. Tried to find a BRG one
but couldn't. Oregon Richie also brought the mistake to my notice. He's
a Rover fan, particularly Land Rover.
FL Josh wrote: You say your new refrigerator thermometer came with
batteries. What nifty feature(s) does it have that makes it need
batteries compared to a standard refrigerator/freezer thermometer (see
link). Nice looking thermometer. Nothing nifty about mine. It's
digital with an LCD screen so I guess that's why it has batteries. It's
in a plain plastic casing. I noticed interior temps can vary quite a bit.
The egg tray was 8C, the crisper was 7C and the meat tray was 4C. The thermometer
can vary + or -1C
is one I use in the back of my refrigerator is virtually identical
but prices are a lot different there from here. I have different ones on
the door of the refrigerator and in the freezer. I recently noticed
my freezer was staying at 0 F (-18 C) but the temperature in the back of
the refrigerator was up to 48 F (9 C). I called the repairman and
he found the defroster heating elements had burned out, allowing the coils
behind the freezer to become a solid block of ice so that air being blown
through to go into the refrigerator section and cool it could not get through.
The repairman installed new elements and all is well again. I have
a back up refrigerator in the garage for such emergencies so didn't lose
Now I need another one for the stove-top oven. No good putting plastic
in there! Or batteries for that matter. I'll make my own ground beef rissoles
and bake them with a can of chopped tomatoes and other goodies, topped
with grated cheese. Mmmmm! I make a pretty mean meatloaf as well so that's
why I need an oven. And bread! Don't forget baking my own bread! Campfire
cooking? Yep, I'll do that as well. Got a cast iron griddle that weighs
a ton. Not much good for fried eggs though... unless you like them corrugated.
Young Albert wrote again: That reminds me, my studying project of
the Gymnasium was Immunotherapy in regards to curing Cancer with cytotoxic
killer cells. It was veeery interesting, I worked with professors and scientists
--- Got an A+ in the project. It gives double grades on my exam papers
for university. Oh! And also I joined Project Forskerspire, which is like
this ... Elite student program. I made it through and got a diploma for
it :) Working with High Temperature Superconductors (Physics) again, working
with scientists -- I even had contact with the leading scientist on the
field! A professor from Princeton University! :) As you can see, Albert
is still firing in the brain department. For those of you who are unaware,
Albert was born in Colombia and adopted as an infant by a couple from Denmark
where he was raised. Plays a mean piano too. Here
are some pics he sent during Christmas 2009.
Funny thing happened on the GN forum. A bloke who'd been saving for
ages finally bought a used Toyota Coaster to convert into a motorhome and
posted a pic of it. Other GNs copied the pic and used a photo manipulation
program to write stuff all over it hehe.
And one GN says he'll need to attach one of these to the side of his
I'm beginning to realize these "oldies" really haven't changed much
since their teens. Another GN calls his generator Jenni, and the others
wanna know who this "Jenni" is, and what happens when he presses her buttons.
God knows what stories I'll have to tell when I finally get "out there"
and meet some of them.
So, where am I at today? Pretty much the same as yesterday. I'd love
to buy some more goodies but I better lay low for a while. I'll pay the
last of the insurance policies on pay day next week but I'll have to wait
till the following pay in 3 weeks to splash out on a Gel AGM battery. Bummer.
By then I should have the camper mounted. Then it'll take another 2 weeks
before the gas fitter does his thing and the auto electrician connects
the battery etc to the solar panel and fits the twin battery isolator.
So how long is that? 5 weeks all together from now. Then another 2 weeks
to finish the job with an oven, telescopic ladder, and other bits and pieces.
So we're talking mid/late April if all goes to plan. BTW, the age pension
increases by $76 a month after next pay day so that'll help. Little things
into big things grow, as the song goes. $76 will buy my oven!
A man described as a spokesman for Osama Bin Laden has been arrested
and will be tried in New York City, the US has confirmed. Sulaiman Abu
Ghaith was captured within the last week in Jordan, Congressman Peter King
said on Thursday. Mr Abu Ghaith is Bin Laden's son-in-law and played a
role in plotting the attacks of 9/11, US officials said. No
shortage of loopies "over there".
The US Senate confirms President Barack Obama's nomination of John
Brennan as the new CIA director after a senator's 13-hour speech delayed
a vote. Is that a filibuster or a fullabluster? Or maybe a sillybuster.
BTW, on The Drum last night they were discussing, among other things,
a federal government inquiry finding that the
legendary heroism of Simpson and his donkey (at Gallipoli) is more
myth than reality. One of the panelists on the show left America to live
in Oz 20 years ago, and has been an Australian citizen ever since. He said
one of the things he loves about Aussie culture is its sense of irony.
"We celebrate the ANZAC tradition every year with a national long weekend
holiday, parades of marching diggers from all wars in every town and city,
diggers playing two-up in pubs and clubs right across the country, and
all because of a battle we lost." Hehe. Then he went on to say that if
something like the enquiry into Simpson and his Donkey happened in the
States, and found that one of their legendary heroes was based on myth
rather than fact, they'd all be devastated. Not in Oz though. Never let
the facts get in the way of a good story. Hehe.
Oops! What was I saying about spending? Just ordered 50 citronella wrist/ankle
bands, $12 including postage. That should keep the mozzies at bay. I've
seen candles here in Taree, but I'd rather the mobility of a band. Francois
mentioned oil or essence but I can't find it anywhere. And do I have a
I do. A bloke in Sydney gave it to me in the late '90s.
I got lost one time on a day trip to a national park around here somewhere.
I went for a walk and didn't realize it was a loop, so when I ended up
at a deserted dirt roadway I thought I was miles from anywhere when in
fact I was only 100 meters from where I started.
Just now, the oncologist from Port Macquarie emailed with the name and
number of the gums/exposed bone doc and asked me to call him and make an
appointment. It'll be interesting to see what he has to say after taking
a look at my prob. If I'm gonna cook all those yummy things I mentioned
before I'll need TEETH! And the sooner the better. Trouble is, the doc
sent the fax number instead of the phone number. I hope he reads my follow
up email before 5pm. It's 3.45 now. *IDEA* I did a Google and found the
number. His rooms are open Monday to Thursday and today's Friday. Sooooo,
I've shut down Windows Mail. Someone is flooding me with returned mail
messages - bogus, of course. So I phoned my ISP but they're getting a stack
of calls so maybe I'm not the only one who's being flooded. A hacker? Who
knows. But I can receive mail using my ISP's mail server without it getting
into my computer. I always check stuff before I download it anyway. Jeez,
there are some fuckwits out there. Wouldn't it be nice if all we had to
do to keep the fuckwits away is wear a citronella wristband. Hehe.
Anyway, the doc wrote back and said he fired his secretary.
I put more stuff into the Freeway today... casserole dish (still in
box), pocket watch bits, thermometer, etc. It feels good to open cupboards
and see MY stuff in there. It personalizes the thing. Makes it feel like
home. I also noticed a space behind the stove about 18" x 5" deep. Perfect
for a long box with an open top to store all the kitchen tools - tongs,
serving fork, kitchen knives, spatula, hand mixer, stove-top toaster, etc.
Nooks and crannies, mate. Everything needs a nook and/or a cranny.
Jeez, almost 5.30. I've been making a box for the back of the stove.
Not the flashest box of all time but it'll do. It's outta sight anyway.
I made it from an old cardboard box, cut up and "re-purposed". It fits
just nicely and holds all the bulky kitchen tools (like the meat tenderizer
I was whacked over the head with back in the late '80s). If I find a wooden
box about the same size in my travels, cool. Otherwise this'll do.
Aaaaaaand now, time for a bit of telly and eeek... soup. Actually, soup
ain't all that bad. I've worked out how to blitz it without turning it
into a puree. Experience is a great teacher, yes? Gary
March 7, 2013. Just made it to the loo before Sue. She takes
FOREVER! I long for the exclusive use of my porta pottie! Lindsay pissed
me off this morning also when he made it to the bathroom before I did.
And now Sue's got the weepies for some obscure reason. Oh dear...
The issue of having a "permanent" residential address for the purposes
of driver's license, car rego and insurance remains unresolved. My older
bro is not interested in the "responsibility at our age", Averil is more
or less housebound and not computer literate, and I don't really know anyone
else. However, Nancy the dentist is very good to me and friendly, so I'll
ask her next Tuesday when I visit. One way or another, I need to find somebody
willing to allow me to use their residential address.
The electoral role turns out to be fairly simple. You register as an
itinerant and they continue to use your last address (this one) for voting
purposes. From then on you vote absentee.
For the next four years, I'll need to see the head/neck specialist in
Sydney and the oncologist in Port Macquarie every 3 months or so until
I get my final clearance. That will mean I need to be back in NSW 4 times
a year, but 3 months between appointments should allow me pretty extensive
travel interstate. I'll just need to plan my wanderings to coincide with
the docs. It'll also mean I can continue to use my local GP in Taree for
regular check-ups and prescription renewals. Sound like a plan to you?
As to a fixed departure date, well, that depends on a few things including
finances. I have one more insurance policy to pay for, $420, then a gel
battery, gas fittings, and labor costs for installation that will be about
$600 all up. I have a list of other things I need like a stove-top oven,
telescopic ladder, etc, so I've still got a ways to go before everything
is finalized. I'm down to a few hundred in reserve at the mo. Nonetheless,
I'm streets ahead of where I was even just a few months ago. Almost all
of the expenses are establishment costs, so finances will improve dramatically
in a few months.
"Thinking aloud" and sorting out the situation by putting it all down
on "paper" is cool. It enables me to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Otherwise I think I'd be overwhelmed by the complexity of it all. I remember
someone's advice about how to reduce the size of all the files in your
office in tray... deal with one file at a time.
Someone on the GN forum today said they'd settled in nicely to life
on the road after only a few weeks, and that the most complex decision
of the day was whether to make tea or coffee. I intend to make a thermos
of tea at night so I don't have to buggerize around in the morning, and
can rise early enough to check out the sunrise (minus a sea of red roofs
and TV antennae) and maybe take a stroll along a beach at dawn. Sounds
pretty idyllic, yeah?
Once upon a time, this was considered idyllic:
An aircraft carrier on wheels... '59 Buick. Talk about extravagant!
Oregon Richie said he was driving a loan car this week... a 90-something
Cadillac Eldorado 2-door. My truck is a 2-door. Not as flash though. Coincidentally,
that pic was scanned by Max on my birthday in '02.
From the Beeb: Venezuela begins seven days of mourning after the
death of President Hugo Chavez, with crowds accompanying his coffin through
the streets of Caracas. We cross now to our Waffle correspondent in
Oregon, Richie: I am fairly certain that not too many people are really
that sad that Hugo Chavez has gone to that great gathering of the troops
of tyranny up there. Only the would-be and suck-up despots who were
kissing up to him are probably sad and terrified about their futures.
The guy was a piece of work and strained international relations "in this
hemisphere" and as a major oil producing country could play games with
oil supply and prices with the best of them.
BTW, I heard somone on telly the other night say that the difference
between America's Gross Domestic Product and its outgoings is the same
as the entire Australian economy.
in the US has reached record levels, with almost 17 million children
now affected. A growing number are also going hungry on a daily basis.
Food is never far from the thoughts of 10-year-old Kaylie Haywood and her
older brother Tyler, 12.
Time's going pretty quickly today despite not having all that much to
do. No appointments. No dramas. Maybe a bit of shopping (there's always
something!) My fridge thermometer arrived today. 27 C in the house. But
it takes a while to read the temp inside the fridge. Been in there over
an hour and is down to about +8 C but it should get down to about +3. It
cost just under $5 including postage of $1. So if the importer can sell
them at $4 and make a profit, imagine what the Chinese are making them
for! And that price includes 2 x button batteries.
While I was at the Mall I saw a table of specials at the Homeart store,
porcelain square casserole with tempered glass lid and chrome-plated
metal stand for $8.70. Original price about $40, marked down to $30, then
to $15 and I got mine for $8.70. How's that for a steal? They only had
2 left. Do I really need it? Hmmm... yeah, probably. It's a good size for
me, not too big, and just right for the stove-top oven. Besides, at $8.70
for something that nice how could I resist? The old Freeway is getting
flasher by the minute!
Now, what was I saying about being an itinerant with no fixed abode?
Steve W, AO's resident piscatorial expert, has come to the rescue by offering
his address as my official abode for license, rego and insurance. He lives
near Kellyville. How about that? No, they didn't name it after me. It's
also not far from Bobbin Head where my parents used to take us kids for
picnics. Lovely spot. So there ya go... another problem solved... as soon
as I memorize the address, that is.
License, please, driver.
No worries, officer. Nice day.
Is this still your address?
Yes, it is, officer.
No, the other one.
Which other one?
The one near Kellyville.
And what exactly is your address, driver?
Address? Er... it's not far from Bobbin Head.
Where? Er... I'll think of it in a minute, officer. Don't tell me...
it's er, er...
Actually, I do have a piscatorial question for Steve. As a kid, we used
to play in a local swamp (Parry Park) which was mostly bush back then.
Apart from leeches, part of the local fauna was little fish. Dunno what
they were - grey and about an inch long. We didn't have goldfish or even
a fish tank at home so I brought a couple of these little fish home, put
them in a bowl and left them in the laundry. When I returned home from
school next day they'd jumped out of the bowl and were dead on the floor.
Always wondered what kinda fish they were. Anyway, I had more success with
Time to flee once again. Almost time for The Drum. Gary
March 6, 2013. Back from Peter's engineering place. He charged
me $50 cash for the brackets and holes which is cool with me. It's beer
money for him. We got to chatting and he's had motorhomes for donkey's
years. A keen camper and fisherman. He mentioned some fantastic places
he's camped but also bitched about having to come back to the business
to pay the workers etc. He's 66 and itching to hit the road permanently
but it's the same old story... the business and his responsibilities, etc.
I told him just to bugger off and that I'd see him on the road one day.
I think he wants to sell the biz but that's easier said than done. Meanwhile,
he's not short of a quid.
So I went across the road to the nuts and bolts shop and bought bolts,
spring washers, etc, came home and realized I'D FORGOTTEN MY NUTS! Went
back, came home, tried them for size and they're just dandy.
I meant to mention that when I picked up the Courier at Ford yesterday
there was a large motorhome in the service area... a monster compared to
mine. If mine's C class then it was a B. Pretty big but not as big as a
You know those marker pins Google has on its maps? My web site counter
uses the same kinda pins on the "recent visitors map". I noticed one in
Portugal lately. Guess who that is? I’m visiting Portugal. In Lisbon
I took that examples of artistic photography. The address is Avenida da
Liberdade, 200 – Edifício Victória (200 Liberty Avenue, Victoria
Building). I almost entered to ask for a visa to visit Oz and to know Nullarbor.
With that classic name and the beautiful landscapes you have been posting
(of the Nullarbor), it’s something I hope I could make same day. Tchau.
Nullarbor means "place with no trees", by the way. Thanks, João,
and I trust you're enjoying your visit to the homeland of your language.
Went on a mini spending spree on eBay last night. Solar shower bag (5
gal - 20 liters), 3M roll of velcro (industrial strength), and a rubber
mat with holes for keeping sand and dirt out of the camper. I was tempted
to buy more but I gotta watch the pennies for a while.
TX Greg took another stab at the shed thing: Well the only other
word I can think of would be "deja vu" ? I'm like you, I just hate getting
"TOT", tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon. For me it could be minutes, hours
or days, then all of a sudden what I was trying to think of just pops in
Nope, not deja vu. I thought of something this morning that's kinda
close. When McCloud was observing all his party guests having such a great
time acting like kids again, he said (something like) "it brings out their
inner shedness". I felt a bit like that when I bought my nuts and bolts
this morning. Nuts and bolts are wonderful things ya know.
I put a question to the GN forum about "the place a car is usually garaged"
which is a requirement of driver's licences and vehicle registration as
well as insurance. Initial responses weren't much use but now that peeps
have had a chance to think about it I've had a few interesting responses.
The electoral roll is another pain in the ass, as voting is compulsory
in Oz. It seems there's no way around failing to nominate a permanent residential
address. Failure to notify various authorities and/or insurance companies
of a change of address within 14 days is an offence punishable by a hefty
fine or, in the case of insurance, for the policy to be declared
void. Lots of GNs travelling for indefinite periods nominate their kid's
address (siblings, friends, etc) even though they don't live there, or
garage their vehicle there. False declaration? It's an issue I need to
resolve before I become a gypsy.
Meanwhile, time has caught up with me after doing lots of buggerizing
around today. Catch you tomorrow. Gary
March 5, 2013. After some years absence, Albert from Denmark
wrote again. He's 18 now, out and in a "relationship". Finishes school
in 6 months and plans on visiting Oz hehe. I'll have to hide somewhere.
NC Art wrote about sink holes: Florida sees a fair amount of sinkholes
because it covers a layer of limestone which fractures when underground
water is depleted from too much draw-off or diversion. But the ground also
does odd things in places other than Florida.
About 20 years ago in a town near my home in Western
North Carolina a great sinkhole swallowed part of a parking lot and part
of the street fronting the shopping center. A water main began leaking
and progressively worsened unknown to anyone until a man watched his new
Buick drop headfirst out of sight in the lot. Then the fight started between
the stores, the city, the paving company, the utility departments over
who was responsible. And everyone was suing everyone else.
This continued for years, with big losses to the stores
because customers couldn’t access them, and huge cost to the city and inconvenience
to motoring public until it was ironed out. A real mess! Ah, those best
A GN reported on a forum the other day that a sink hole had opened up
in a causeway at Gayndah in QLD. It's about 30' wide and 30' deep and getting
bigger as the flooded Burnett river pours into it. I know they do happen
in Oz but I think they're fairly rare.
Art also sent this link to the Smithsonian Institute and an article
with pics about color, form and texture... photographing
TX Greg suggested 'nostalgia' as the word I was trying to think of yesterday
in relation to sheds. Nah, that's not it. It's more like a subconscious
thing - a penchant for something we're not necessarily aware of but is
nonetheless there... lurking. It's annoying when a word you're familiar
with and have used a million times goes walkabout and refuses to surface
No call from Ford yet about the noise in the Courier's engine. I'm getting
impatient. Well, whaddaya know! I must be psychic. The phone just rang.
The noise is a "lifter noise" but minor, and doesn't last long after a
cold start. They suggest leaving it alone, otherwise it's a big job taking
the engine apart. Fine with me... just pretend I didn't say a word.
Earlier, I got a call from the oncologist in Port Macquarie who knows
a doc who specializes in exposed bone problems after radiation therapy,
like the one I have in my lower jaw. So the oncologist, Jacques, is gonna
phone me again later with an appointment to see the guy for an evaluation.
Early days yet BUT it could mean TEETH! That'd be cool!
Roite. There goes another $600-ish on 3rd party insurance, registration
and rego inspection certificate. Ford said they found minor lifter noise
only for 1-2 seconds when cold - to fix would mean the engine will need
to come apart. Recommend not to worry while only minor. Replaced blower
fan - inoperative, needed for rego inspection.
I also visited Peter the metal bender on the way back. Bad timing -
they were about to have lunch. But I showed him where I wanted the holes
drilled for the brackets and he suggested tomorrow morning. "Not at 9am
because we break for morning tea. It's all your fault... 38 hour week because
you voted for Whitlam." Whitlam was PM from '71 to '75 hehe. But it's true
I did vote for him even though I don't normally vote Labor. When I admitted
it to Peter he said, "Get outta here."
So the ol' bank account has copped a bit of a hiding lately. So much
for the $2500 I got for the Ute. I thought it was a fortune and enough
to buy all kinds of goodies hehe. Yeah, right. I still have comprehensive
insurance to pay on the Courier (already got the camper insured) so that
brings my total insurance up to about a grand.
From the Beeb: Premier Wen Jiabao's work report opens China's annual
parliament session, setting in train the final stage of the once-a-decade
leadership change. We have them about every five minutes here in Oz.
Federal, state and council.
A Florida man whose bedroom was engulfed by a sinkhole as he slept
is presumed dead. How - and where - do sinkholes open up?Check
the story here.
At least nine people have died (frozen in their cars) after heavy
snowfall hit the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido over the weekend.
One of the victims was a father whose body was found wrapped around his
daughter's to keep her warm - ensuring
The US soldier who arrested Japanese Prime Minister Gen Hideki Tojo
to face trial for war crimes at the end of World War II dies aged 93.
A man dressed as the caped crusader Batman has handed over a wanted
man at a Bradford police station before disappearing into the night. Police
said the costumed crime-fighter marched the 27-year-old man into Trafalgar
House Police Station, in the early hours of 25 February. The man was charged
with handling stolen goods and fraud offences. Well,
how about that! Stay tuned for the movie!
5-ish again. I was thinking about all the dough I'm spending, including
on things like medication, rent, etc, and how fortunate I am to have it
to spend. Some people don't. Glass half full, yes? Anyway, time for the
usual thrilling end of day routine hehe. Actually, it's not too bad. Could
be worse. I asked the doc in Port Macquarie today about getting food supplements
cheaper (like I used to when I was registered as an outpatient). So Jo
the nutritionist phoned this afternoon and organized everything. She also
suggested I go back to the liquid supplement I was having before rather
than using the powdered stuff because the liquid stuff has more calories,
which is important for weight gain. She's got a stack of freebies there
so she'll leave them at the front desk for me to pick up when I get to
see the other doc who's the exposed bone person. Does all that make sense?
March 4, 2013. Well, the Courier is at Ford today getting a rego
check. There's a bit of a tapping noise in the engine at start up when
cold, so I've asked them to check it out. Hopefully, nothing serious. Got
chauffered back in a new Falcon which is a lovely car, and a LOT different
inside to the way they were back in 1957. Fancy getting into this Buick
the morning after a big night on the town, seriously hung over:
Ok, I get you having a model VW Kombi, but who gave you the cute
Christmas Ornament? And is that a US $100 bill I see in there??? That
was one clever pic old fossil :)
Thanks, Greg. Nope, that's a fairly recent purchase of a Thomas the
Tank Engine money box. I use it for one and two dollar coins. The Airstream
was a gift from Ohio Jace and June about 5 years ago shortly after I got
the idea for the Odyssey. The US bill is $20, also a gift from Jace and
June. I have 4 of them... waiting for the value of the Aussie dollar to
take a nosedive. But it seems like it'll be a loooooong wait.
Orlando Beach Dave wrote: Just a short note concerning the sinkhole
and related death in Seffner, Florida. They are not too common, although
I'm sure you only hear of those happening close to, or directly involving,
a house or other fairly large building. This is the first I ever heard
of a sinkhole which directly caused a death, at least since I have been
retired and in full-time residence in the state - about 22 years.
The man was in bed, and that together with all other furniture in the room
dropped into the hole which was probably widening and deepening at the
time. His brother made a heroic attempt at saving him, but the whole thing
happened too fast and he was lucky to be saved himself. A horrible
ending, that's for sure. Some time before I retired, perhaps in the 1980s,
there was an extremely large sinkhole in a suburb of Orlando which wiped
out around half a city block, as I recall. There was no death there
as far as I remember; that crater is still visible today. I think
I read somewhere about that being the largest known sinkhole ever in Florida.
Half a city block? That's a BIG hole! Speaking of holes, there were
a bunch of GNs yesterday on the forum talking about those new Dometic bubble
windows on caravans and motorhomes - the ones with the built-in blinds
and screens. Most of the comments said they were trash; that the blinds
didn't work properly or that the screens got dislodged by the breeze, etc.
They didn't like the Dometic skylights either... they let too much heat
in for an Aussie summer. So I wrote about my old Freeway and its wind-out
windows, separate screens and curtains instead of blinds. No problems.
And I mentioned the aluminium box-section roof hatch with a square of insect
screen below that collects leaves and assorted crap. How do you clean those
things? Stand on the roof with a Hoover? Nope. You use a hair dryer on
its coolest setting, one of the GNs suggested. How brilliant! The bloke's
a genius! Then another GN said you can get 12V hair dryers, and that they
are also good for drying wet undies and things on rainy days. So there
ya go. Obviously the previous owner or owners of my camper didn't think
of that cos the leaves and sticks look bloody ancient.
Roite, I've started a LIST of things I intend to get for PJ... and it's
growing. I'm always thinking of things... I need this, I need that... and
then I lose track of what's in my head (or used to be). Hence the list.
Just bought a $5 digital thermometer on eBay for the fridge. Peeps on the
GN forum are always talking about their fridge temps so I figured I'd better
Oregon Richie wrote that I've probably got my tie downs figured out.
Yes, I do. A combination of turnbuckles, brackets and bolts, and chains.
Whether or not it all works satisfactorily is theoretical at the mo hehe.
I'll be the official test pilot soon enough and I sincerely hope I've got
it right. It arrived here last May strapped
precariously to a box trailer having survived a 50km trip so I guess
if it can survive that my system should work a treat.
Well, well, well, Ford just phoned. A week or two after I bought the
Courier I asked them to check the internal blower fan and they said it
was working. This time they said it wasn't working hehe, so they replaced
it with a second hand one. Cool. But they couldn't hear any tapping noises
in the engine - they said it was running quiet as a mouse - so they're
gonna keep it overnight and check it in the morning when it's cold. The
engine, that is.
Just measured one of the two storage boxes under each end of the sofa
in the camper. The seat that runs along the wall is above the long external
storage box that contains the house battery, inverter, etc, and tons of
room for other stuff. It's lockable from the outside. The two ends of the
sofa that jut out at right angles to the long section have an internal
box underneath that measures a bit over a foot square and 18" deep. It's
heaps big enough for all the spuds, onions, bottles, cans and other heavy
groceries I care to carry. Dunno what I'll put in the other one, but there's
no shortage of storage both inside and out. In the sleeping area, there's
a useable space between the end of the mattress and the far wall. I figure
that's where all my camera bags will go rather than clutter up one of the
main cupboards. Adequate storage is soooooooo important! I don't wanna
be towing a box trailer like some nomads do.
Time for a quick story. An old bloke went to the doc for a regular checkup
and the doc suggested a sperm count. He gave the old bloke a jar with a
lid on it and asked him to take it home and bring back a specimen. A week
later, the old bloke returned with an empty jar. "What happened?" asked
the doc. "Well," the old bloke began, "I did like you said and took it
home. I tried with my left hand and nothin'. Tried with my right hand and
nothin'. Then I asked the missus if she could try so she gave it a go with
both hands and nothin'. Then she tried with her mouth, first with her teeth
in and then without. Still nothin'. So we asked our next door neighbor
to come in and give it a go. She also tried with both hands and even her
armpits but still nothin'." "You mean to tell me," said the doc almost
in shock, "you asked your neighbor to try?" "Yeah. We all tried but none
of us could get that bloody lid off!"
Belly and telly time again. Oh, BTW, it was the final episode of Kevin
McCloud's Man Made House last night. He had added a few more creature comforts
like a hot tub made from the aluminium cowling of a scrapped jet aircraft
engine, heated by an outside brick fireplace. Water is from his natural
spring. He sheared an alpaca and had the wool made into a bathrobe by the
local yarn spinning ladies with their looms - all manual labor - and it
took 200 woman hours to make. And he and his mates carved a chunk of wall
to turn it into a drop-down veranda, complete with a manual pulley system
made from old discarded machinery bits and "re-purposed". The wall, once
fitted with a sturdy floor, weighed 4 tons. Then he had a big party with
all the locals and helpers in attendance. Those who hadn't seen the hot
tub before, or the drop-down veranda, or the alpaca robe or indeed the
shed itself were like kids at a fun park... taking turns in the hot tub,
inspecting all the handiwork and even trying on the robe for size. McCloud
reckons the shed has given him his youth back. It's every kid's dream to
have a shed. Dammit, I can't think of the word he used but it's when you
have a longing for something from your childhood; a great desire to re-live
a special experience. Whatever the word is, McCloud put "shed" in front
of it. He turned from the camera to observe all his guests having a wonderful
time and said, "It brings out the shed***** in us." Anyway, I agree. PJ
for me is part cubby house and part shed. It's a plaything, albeit a serious
plaything. When it's my official home on the road, I'll be a kid again.
March 3, 2013. No doubt there'll be some pretty pissed off campers
on the east coast of Oz right now. The rain is forecast to last for a couple
of weeks, and there's already extensive flooding in areas north of here.
Inland it's a different story, sunny, warm, and bright. Head west young
man! That's the beauty of covered wagons with wheels.
A Red Bubble mate was impressed with my pic of the pocket watch and
spare bits, and said he'd like to give it the HDR treatment. High Dynamic
Range. So I emailed him the original in color and he sent it back all HDR'd.
also invited me to post it on RB. Click to enlarge the image.
William Bullimore does some fantastic work so it's always flattering
when he singles out some of my stuff and favorites it. Ditto Mieke Boynton.
I don't profess to be anywhere near as talented as they are, or as technically
proficient, but I do have my moments hehe. If practice has anything to
do with getting better, I'll look forward to keeping the shutter button
active on the Odyssey. The mind boggles at all the possibilities that await
me out there.
Used the little Fuji compact to take that pic just now - spur of the
moment stuff. And yes, the base of the lamp needs a polish. Hehe. I am
sooooo not into housework.
NC Art wrote: In the American South, cotton was once a reliable cash
crop until the Great Depression knocked the props out and it couldn’t be
sold for five cents a pound. Added woe was the boll weevil which bored
into the cotton boll [pod] and chewed up the cotton fiber. It was a desperate
situation when the insect spoiled the crop. Here’s the advert for a great
WOULD YOU BE RID OF THE BOLL WEEVIL?
Send $1.00 for guaranteed weevil eradicator!
All material and instructions for ridding your farm of this pest!
Here’s what the dollar bought: Two small blocks of wood labeled
A and B with instructions:
Place the weevil on Block A
Place Block B on Block A
Strike smartly with a hammer and you will be rid of the boll weevil
There’s a sucker born every minute. –P.T. Barnum
I wonder how many crooks are born every minute. Hopefully, I'm past
giving people the benefit of the doubt. Been there, done that way too many
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in a rare interview with a British
newspaper, accuses the UK government of bullying and naivety. And why
wouldn't he? He's an expert on both.
Thousands of people have attended a lavish party to celebrate Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe's 89th birthday in the mining town of Bindura.
Mr Mugabe was presented with a cake said to weigh 89kg (196lb), and gold
coins were minted to mark the occasion. The celebrations cost about $600,000
(£400,000), reports say. I hope he chokes on it.
Firefighters in Poland say a small dog probably saved the life of
a three-year-old who went missing from her home overnight in freezing temperatures.
The child, Julia, vanished on Friday and was found lying in marshes several
kilometres from her house on Saturday morning, with the dog by her side.
love to read stories like that. Dogs are my fav people.
New York's Botanical Garden is hosting one of the world's largest
annual orchid shows. Running between March 2nd and April 22nd, the Orchid
Show has 3,000 different types of orchids from around the world on view.
orchids are my fav flowers.
Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was a big success last night despite
the weather. It was the 35th anniversary of the event. During the first,
back in the '70s, the cops raided the march and arrested the participants.
Now they're marching in the parade and proud to be there. How
times have changed!
People outside Oz wouldn't know Peter Harvey if they fell over him,
but he was a legend here. His face was a familiar sight on television for
40 years as one our leading journalists, a pro to his bootstraps. He'll
be missed for sure after dying of pancreatic cancer at age 68... still
working up until a few weeks ago. The public, politicians, fellow journalists...
everyone loved and respected Peter Harvey. "I've always been a glass half
full and not a glass half empty person," he said during his last interview.
"And for the past few months (since the diagnosis), it's been glass half
fulls." 68 is not old. Sheesh, I'm 68 and about to launch myself into a
new life as a gypsy! Not that I haven't had my share of scares... heart
attack at 58 and cancer at 67. But I'm a glass half full person too. Peter's
story is here if you care to read it + a recent interview with him about
his many exploits around the globe.
So what's on telly? To mark the 70th anniversary of 1940, presenter
and archaeologist Jules Hudson goes on a journey of discovery into Britain's
darkest and, in the words of Winston Churchill, "finest hour". That
sounds good... it's called DIG 1940. Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home is on
again too, so that'll keep me amused for a while. Gary
March 2, 2013. Someone on the GN forum this morning posted this
link to a story about a woman towing a caravan (wrongly called a campervan
in the story) that jackknifed. My response was that I would never drive
a tall vehicle in gusty conditions. The way my old VW Kombi got blown around
in the wind was bad enough.
Also on GN was a private message to me from a woman who said she was
impressed with the Aussie Odyssey website, and ALSO Green Room. She bought
a copy and said it was a great read. What a lovely way to begin my Satdee.
It's always gratifying to be appreciated. Actually, Jim left a comment
on Justin's blog that complimented me on my wit and "take" on things. So
I thanked him and said I agreed with him, and that I thank God every day
for doing such a fine job on me hehe.
Rain, rain, rain again, and all last night, but according to the forecast
it'll clear later today. I need to do some more shopping. They say January
this year in Oz was the hottest on record. I suspect February will be the
wettest. On the same report, it was said that people 27 years old and younger
had never experienced a summer in Oz with "average" temperatures. Every
summer since 1986 has been warmer than the last.
Steve W wrote: As the Waffle's resident fisho, that fish in the photo
"was undersize so they threw it back" was definitely not a mulloway (or
as also known in NSW as a Jewfish - not to be confused with the fish in
WA which is a Dhufish). Glad I cleared that up!! No, really, you're welcome.
Gimme a break, Steve. At least I knew it was a fish - and it wasn't
Now that the pillows and sleeping bag are in the camper, I was half
tempted to sleep there last night. That's the thing about pillows and sleeping
bags and all the other things that make a house a home. Lots of GNs are
happy to call themselves "homeless", and one yesterday wrote that he'd
never go back to living in a house. It's amazing for me to read that kinda
thing. Any fears I might have (or have had) about being "out there" as
a person of no fixed abode are baseless according to many GNs. I guess
the freedom of being able to go where ever you please when you please becomes
an addiction for many. Again, I'm reminded of John Steinbeck's Travels
with Charley when he filled up at a service station and the owner said
he envied Steinbeck's freedom. But after Steinbeck asked him why he didn't
just pack up and go, the bloke came up with a million excuses as to why
he couldn't. Hehe.
Not all GNs choose to be permanently on the road. Some retain their
house as a home base and travel for extended periods on a regular basis.
But even they can't wait to hit the road again not long after returning
home. I haven't tasted the freedom yet, nor the adventure, but I seriously
suspect that the real GK will stand up once I do.
Warning about E-bay: If you buy stuff on line, check out the seller
carefully. Be careful what you purchase on eBay. A friend has just spent
$100 on a penis enlarger. Bastards sent him a magnifying glass. The only
instructions said, "Do not use in direct sunlight."
Four old retired guys are walking down a street in Yuma, Arizona . They
turn a corner and see a sign that says, "Old Timers Bar - ALL drinks 10
cents." They look at each other and then go in, thinking, this is too good
to be true. The old bartender says in a voice that carries across the room,
"Come on in and let me pour one for you! What'll it be, gentlemen?" There's
a fully stocked bar, so each of the men orders a Martini. In no time the
bartender serves up four iced Martinis - shaken, not stirred - and says,
"That'll be 10 cents each, please." The four guys stare at the bartender
for a moment, then at each other. They can't believe their good luck. They
pay the 40 cents, finish their Martinis, and order another round. Again,
four excellent Martinis are produced, with the bartender again saying,
"That's 40 cents, please." They pay the 40 cents, but their curiosity gets
the better of them. They've each had two Martinis and haven't even spent
a dollar yet. Finally one of them says, "How can you afford to serve Martinis
as good as these for a dime apiece?"
"I'm a retired tailor from Phoenix ," the bartender says, "and I always
wanted to own a bar. Last year I hit the Lottery jackpot for $125 million
and decided to open this place. Every drink costs a dime. Wine, liquor,
beer - it's all the same."
"Wow! That's some story!" one of the men says. As the four of them sip
at their Martinis, they can't help noticing seven other people at the end
of the bar who don't have any drinks in front of them and haven't ordered
anything the whole time they've been there. Nodding at the seven at the
end of the bar, one of the men asks the bartender, "What's with them?"
The bartender says, "They're retired people from Australia. They're
waiting for Happy Hour when drinks are half-price." ~~~~~~~~
AN old woman was sipping on a glass of wine while sitting on the veranda
with her husband. "I love you so much," she said, "I don't know how I could
ever live without you." Her husband turned to her and asked, "Is that you
or the wine talking?" She replied, "It's me.... talking to the wine." ~~~~~~~
Sheesh! Back from shopping and parting with $154. $82 of that was for
pharmaceuticals and my powdered food supplement. But I also bought a ready-stocked
first aid kit for $26 with 126 pieces. It's easier than farting around
with making my own. A decent bag is $10 without anything in it. And I bought
a spare umbrella for the car. I had both a first aid kit and umbrella in
the old Ford but forgot to remove them. They were on a shelf behind the
front seat. The bloke who bought the ute hasn't contacted me so he's no
doubt claimed them for himself. Probably figures he paid too much for the
ute anyway hehe. And the rest went on groceries. This staying alive business
is expensive ya know. I just checked my savings account which took a pretty
hefty dive. But on the poz side, I noticed my savings had earned $0.02.
Saw my local doc at the supermarket. He was shopping for pizza base
and toppings to make his own. Just the thing for wet and cool weather.
He's obviously the alpha male - his son was pushing the trolley around
while dad filled it from the shelves.
In 1957 I was in my second year of high school. TV had been in Oz for
a year. Toyota started selling cars in the US beginning with the Crown
and the Land Cruiser. Eisenhower was president and Nixon was vice president.
Elvis Presley at 22 buys Graceland for $100,000. The Boeing 707 flies for
the first time. The first attempt by the US to launch a satellite fails.
And.... GM launched the 1957 Buick Century:
And here we is again @ 5-ish. I knew a radio announcer, Tony Langshaw,
who used to add "ish" to his on air time calls after a pregnant pause.
He was very girly but had a deep, deep voice. I think he sings in a male
choir now as a bass baritone. He lived in a modest little terrace house
with his mother in Leichhardt which he insisted on calling Leichhardt (pause)
Time now to check what's on telly and think about feeding the face again.
BTW the weather didn't clear. The bureau has changed its mind and forecast
showers until Tuesday! Gary
March 1, 2013. I remembered to change my calendar watch setting
this morning, so that's encouraging. I read a story on the GN forum this
morning about an elderly couple who had been married a long time. They
were sitting on the sofa watching telly when the wife became irritated
with her husband using the remote to constantly switch between the fishing
and porn channels. "Oh, for God's sake," she said eventually, "will you
just leave the damn thing on the porn channel? You already know how to
I was out in the camper yesterday installing the new pillows and the
sleeping bag. It was a hot day so I opened the hatch to cool the thing
down a bit. Later, early evening, a sudden storm broke. I went to the bedroom
window and looked out at the rain whipped up by a gusty wind that was blowing
the rain almost horizontally towards the camper. Oh, no! THE HATCH! I'd
forgotten to close the hatch! About five or ten minutes later, the storm
subsided briefly so I went down the backyard to close the hatch. Then the
storm resumed and the rain fell in sheets for about 20 minutes. Fortunately,
there were paper towels in the camper so I was able to mop up. Also fortunately,
not all that much rain had penetrated the camper... just enough to wet
the table and floor. But the second and much longer burst of rain would
have caused a bit of damage if I hadn't closed the hatch in time. So there
ya go... I must get into the habit of remembering these things. I've already
had nightmares about dragging the rear ladder around behind PJ after forgetting
to put it back inside the van. Maybe I need a check list.
The 12V LED lights work well. It's a soft white light because the oyster
covers are opaque. If I needed a brighter light, I could use the 240V globes,
or the florescents above the door. It's all very cozy though.
There's a 69 y/o woman on the GN forums who's a pensioner. She had a
farm but lost everything during a long drought. She now lives in a campervan
and uses free camping sites. She wrote this morning: In this year I
have added a trailer and a tent and tarps. A stove made from
a gas bottle. 3 solar panels and a small generator to boost
batteries when needed. 2 deep cycle batteries and a big 12v
fridge. chucked an excess of saucepans etc and excess
clothing as well. kept simple clothes that can be washed by hand.
also added an annexe mat which is great as it gives a clean space just
outside the door. another lap top added as well to make net contact
easier. lots of other small bits and pieces as well.
I have all I need to set up 'camp' and from now on it is save , save, save.
until I can up-grade. It is an interesting way of life for sure and
so long as you don't want all the bells and whistles is achievable on a
So there ya go... achievable on a pension. I think she's done remarkably
well this past year.
Back from the metal bender. No one there. So I went to the supermarket
and saw a $1 shop. Sunglasses (100% UV protection), glasses pouch, 4 x
clothes hooks that swing flat when not in use, various gauze swabs and
crepe bandages + special bandage-cutting scissors + pack 50 bandaids for
spots (for my first aid bag), roll of magnetic strip (for keys, etc, to
attach to metal), all for $10. Not a bad haul.
So, how's the coconut cream smoothie with choc/hazelnut? Sensational!
I've only ever used coconut milk/cream in cooking (curries) before but
it's awesome in smoothies.
NC Art sent a link to a vid of the world's best drinks waiter. I've
posted it before but if you haven't seen it, check
out this Russian dude.
From the Beeb: Pope Benedict XVI officially resigns, saying that
he now "will simply be a pilgrim" starting his last journey on earth.
Me too... but mine will be confined to Oz.
Bradley Manning, the US Army private accused in the Wikileaks case,
pleads guilty to lesser charges but may still be prosecuted for aiding
the enemy. And we all know who the enemy is... you and me, the mushrooms.
There are those who disagree and argue in favor of governments keeping
secrets from their constituents, but I just don't trust politicians who
consider themselves above the need to be transparent. Once consultation
with and approval by the people goes out the window, we might as well be
living in a dictatorship. If you believe that governments have a need to
keep secrets, how can you be sure of anything they tell you?
To the Japanese government, they are terrorists. To a US federal
appeals court, they are pirates. To at least one retired Australian rear
admiral, their actions are life-threatening, counter-productive, and even
have the potential to destabilise the Asia Pacific region. To many in the
global environmental movement, though, the sea-borne activists from the
Sea Shepherd conservation group are brave and buccaneering heroes.
or villains? Take your pick. It all depends on which side of the argument
The US Congress adjourns for the weekend without passing a deal to
avert $85bn (£56bn) in budget cuts scheduled to take effect on Friday.
And then, of course, there are governments that find it impossible to govern.
And that's it for March 1, except for Heinz butter chicken soup and
a spot of telly. BTW, I watched Catalyst on the Road again last night (the
show last week was about the Nullarbor and the incredible cave systems).
They were still on the Nullarbor but spoke with a couple of scientists
(paleontologists?) who were working at a dig for megafauna and found the
skeletal remains of a large wombat-like creature that weighed 3 tonnes
and roamed Oz some 50,000 years ago. They also found a large, live brown
snake on the main road. A local snake expert immobilized the thing so everyone
could take a good look and said, "this snake could kill you 18 times."
Bit repetitive, I thought. Before he freed it, he told everybody to move
back and remain motionless. The snakes apparently only attack moving objects.
Sure enough, when it was released, it slithered off into the scrub. They
also headed for the coast and found a beach where the fishing was excellent.
Locals were catching one
type of fish (mulloway) in the breakers that were about five to six
feet long! The one in the pic was undersize so they threw it back. They
salmon too, quite large fish, apparently good eating fresh but yukky
otherwise. I've tasted the canned stuff and it's horrible. They're a totally
different breed to salmon from the northern hem.