October 31, 2013. TX Greg is getting all philosophical: The Meaning
Not sure if you remember WebSeth
Seth got on the net about the same time as Cody did and has been on live
cam 24/7 since 1996, a really cool site and worth a visit. I can still
remember reading some cool posts about Cody on his site way back then.
Seth wrote a Philosophy paper, which he used to have on his website that
I always admired. Some will disagree, but I hope those will also remember
Cody's words here “Everyone has the right to be respected for their differences,
and the responsibility to respect others for theirs.”
The following is reprinted with permission:
The Meaning of Life
I believe the true meaning of life is nothing; everything we are
now is from a coincidental chemical reaction. Any meaning that one would
try to assign could only be artificial, with no factual basis. Thus everyone
assigns their own meaning that is most convenient for them. Most people
tend to see themselves as helpless and dependant when faced with the challenges
of life. Therefore they seek to overcome their problems through imagination;
they imagine or project an idealized being of goodness or power who can
help them. The human mind thinks in such a way that it can't, or rather
won't, comprehend the parallel nothingness and infiniteness of the universe.
So to avoid logic conflicts, the human mind will artificially assign value,
meaning, purpose, and order where there is none. Christianity, like any
monotheistic religion, it is completely made up to satisfy human's inherent
insecurity about themselves, life, the afterlife, and the universe as a
whole. Humanity is not created in the image of God, but God is created
in the image of idealized humanity. People seek in heaven what they cannot
find on earth. The entire bible, and any religion really, is just mortal
man grasping for a reason to live.
This is an essay I wrote for Philosophy 101 my first semester in
college in 1999, I received a 100%
Copyright 1996-2013 © WebSeth.com
Thanks, Greg. I suspect the score of 100% is related to how Seth presents
his case rather than what he believes. In the overall great scheme of things,
it doesn't matter a hoot what any of us believes. Perception cannot alter
truth. However, I happen to agree with Seth's assessment.
FL Josh wrote: I wish you had let me know the other Clark Little
pictures did not make it through. Here is a link to a ton of his
are truly stunning. Stunning is right. I'm sure Cody would have
raved about them, having been in similar situations many times on his "stick".
And that's the key to everything we do in life. Lots of people can take
great photographs, or do other things exceptionally well, but it's how
we put our own stamp on the things we do that makes the critical difference.
And that's the hard part.
As to, "I'm sorry to hear that Kerry's experience was not a near
death experience. The 'near' is missing, right?" Come on Gary.
The term "Near Death Experience" has come to mean "an unusual experience
taking place on the brink of death and recounted by a person after recovery,
typically an out-of-body experience or a vision of a tunnel of light,"
and Mr. Packer simply did not have one. Only a small percentage of
people who have a near death episode have what we have come to describe
as a "near death experience."
I would argue that, in fact, Mr Packer did have one. Nothing is something.
But it's not what some people want to hear. Hehe.
One of the things that fascinates me most about Near Death Experiences
is what they refer to as "vertical perception," where the person is able
to provide an accurate description of specific, unique events happening
that happened around them while they were unconscious, things that the
person could not have seen or heard, or figured out through reasoning and
logic. "Most often these descriptions involve the presence, physical appearance,
or activities of people nearby or of family members even at a distance.
There are also reports of NDE vision in persons blind from birth. They
also include NDE vision and hearing in a woman undergoing brain surgery
whose eyes were taped shut and whose ears were plugged with a small speaker
emitting a clicking sound. Meanwhile, her body was chilled down, her heart
stopped and did not beat for nearly an hour, and the blood was drained
from her brain so surgeons could repair a blood vessel. By all measures,
her brain was completely inactive. Nevertheless, she correctly described
instruments used by the doctors and conversations held between the doctors
and nurses conducting the operation."
Yes, it's all rather mysterious. I won't dismiss what you have to say,
Josh. I have personally known people who have had such experiences. A friend
of mine was standing on a bridge with his mates who playfully pushed him
into the creek below not realizing the water was shallow. He was 18 at
the time. The impact broke his neck and he became quadraplegic. He described
to me the vision he had of the panic that ensued. Looking down from above,
he saw his mates desperately trying to revive him, and dragging him to
shore. He was unconscious but, according to his mates, he accurately described
the placement of each person and what they were doing at the time. Even
I, Josh, with all my dazzling intelligence and analytical skills cannot
explain that one. :o)
Following a severe heart attack, and recovery from near death, my father
told my mother that he saw a tunnel of bright light at the end of which
was a group of his deceased relatives beckoning him to join them. However,
tempting as it was, he declined because he knew that my mother's eyesight
was rapidly failing and she needed my father to be her "eyes".
But I think the most profound utterance was from my older bro who's
not normally known for his genius. On the subject of near death he said,
"The brain knows what to do." Profound yet succinct. I like that.
NC Art wrote: FL Josh’s comments about end of life experiences reminds
me that my father was born way before his grandmother; Oct. 5, 1874! Well,
I’m 88 and the last bolt from the Old Man’s tool box. And speaking of surprises
from the near-dead, my father-in-law was in a coma after a stroke, so we
moved him to a nursing home and asked our doctor to attend him. The doc
walked into his room and said, “Good morning. I’m Doctor Kirksey” Mr. McGinnis
reached up, shook the doctor’s hand and said, “Webb McGinnis. Pleased
to meet you!” That was the last thing he said before he died a year later.
Weird mind stuff, what?
Yes indeed, but if I can quote part of Seth's essay: Any meaning
that one would try to assign could only be artificial, with no factual
basis. Thus everyone assigns their own meaning that is most convenient
Art goes on to say: My dad’s last car was a ’39 Chevrolet sedan,
black. It introduced a steering post “Vacuumatic” shift, forerunner of
auto shift fluid drive. It was not an improvement in my mind. The thing
did shift smoothly, but damned slowly and you could not hurry it; the hydraulic
boost resisted. He died ten years later and the thing was still running
And you're still running quite well after 88 years. There's
a nice symmetry about the number 88. Don't you think? Meanwhile, every
time you mention your age there's an extra 1 added. I'm still getting used
to 85. Is it true what they say about old age; that the meaning of "old"
is anyone 10 years older than you are? I remember my father in a nursing
home complaining about being in a room "with all these old blokes" hehe.
He was probably older than most of them.
A while ago, I said to a young nurse assisting Nancy in her efforts
to normalise my mouth, "We all observe life from the inside looking out.
As we age, everything remains the same: the trees, the sky, the buildings,
people... And then we look in a mirror and it's like what the hell is happening
here? Nothing is changing except me! And when I look at a young person
like you, I forget that you're seeing a face full of wrinkles."
Just received a Halloween animated ecard from OH Jace. Very creative
and clever - a real work of art. Those ecard artists are getting better
all the time. Jace tells me serious storms are on the way to disrupt Halloween
where he is, with high winds and possible tornadoes. And being a keen follower
of natural science, Jace tells me that three new Aussies have been discovered:
One is a gecko, the others are a skink and a frog. All three were found
in the Cape Melville Mountains on the Cape York Peninsula. These three
are added to a list consisting of six new species (three frogs, two skinks,
and one gecko), from the same remote area.
Remember all the school shootings of recent? Guess what the local
high school is raffling off for the sports teams? YEP guns. It was questioned
by the local news rag and they justified the raffle saying this is a hunting
community. Also the next school district has armed its staff with handguns.
It was not disclosed how many or who though.
Old habits die hard. Anyway, Jace, thanks for the ecard and update.
Good to hear that the OH gang is doing well including the new 4-month old
grandson. Happy babysitting the father of your great grandson!
From the Beeb: US President Barack Obama has accepted "full responsibility"
for ensuring the troubled healthcare website gets fixed. Speaking in Boston,
he said he was "not happy" about the glitch-laden project, but made a full-throated
defence of the broader 2010 healthcare law. Earlier, his embattled health
secretary apologised to the American people over
the botched website rollout.
The US National Security Agency (NSA) has been hacking data links
connecting Yahoo and Google's data centres, according to leaks by Edward
Snowden. Millions of records were gleaned daily from the internet giants'
internal networks, documents
published by the Washington Post indicate.
A bust of Winston Churchill has been dedicated on Capitol Hill, in
a move that will delight champions of the so-called special relationship
between the US and Britain. The indomitable British statesman will reside
alongside the statues of former US presidents in the marble-pillared Statuary
Hall. Wednesday's ceremony found congressional leaders in rare agreement
- on the cigar-chomping wartime leader's legacy. OR
Richie will be pleased about that.
The world is facing a wine shortage, with global consumer demand
already significantly outstripping supply, a report has warned. The research
by America's Morgan Stanley financial services firm says demand for wine
"exceeded supply by 300m cases in 2012". It describes this as "the deepest
shortfall in over 40 years of records". There's
been a glut of wine in Oz for years, so maybe Australian producers will
take advantage of the world shortage.
I've been off the plonk since the cancer surgery and radiation, which
made it taste revolting.
A young boy took to the stage with the Pope during a family event
held at the Vatican. He was so confident he even sat in Pope Francis's
white chair. The boy lingered on the stage, giving the Pope a hug and sticking
by his side. The
delightful charm of innocence.
Lindsay walked into the kitchen, put something in the trash, then timed
his announcement to end as he disappeared out the door. "My worst fear
- Sue's not coming home. I'll find a new place and move out." So that's
his way of spreading the gloom. I knew Sue wouldn't be coming back anyway...
our GP let it slip. But Lindsay's hoping his moving out will upset my plans
and depress me. He's forgetting that his share of the rent here ($100 a
week) would hardly pay for a tent. Then he has the cost of a removalist,
a bond on the new premises, a bond for connection of power and phone, and,
and, and... All the furniture and appliances are mine. All he has is a
few pots and pans. In any case, I'll handle whatever eventuality arises.
As to Sue not coming back, well, I remember having to buy my third fridge
because she kept raiding my other two and stealing my plonk. I remember
her insisting that all the appliances belonged to her and Lindsay; that
they bought them. That really worried me for a time because I realized
I couldn't prove ownership and that it would be my word against theirs.
I remember her attacking me with both fists and screaming "YOU'RE NOT MY
CARER!" I remember the frequent stares of anger when her eyes would turn
black each time I dared disagree with something she said. I'm not afraid
to say these past 4 or 5 weeks have been bliss without Sue here.
I think I can safely say that no one in his right mind would have tolerated
what I have these past 12 years. I did it because I was desperate. I needed
a job and that was the only one I could find. I admit it suited me. It
meant I could pursue my interests from home. So, ladies and genitals, the
end of an era is nigh, and with it the dawn of a new beginning. Gary
October 30, 2013. One of those days when the computer decides
to go wonky. My ISP's mail server won't accept my password for some obscure
reason. Did a Malware scan, deleted a few suspects, rebooted, and still
no luck. Waiting for a call-back from my ISP now. I was 23rd in line so
who knows how long that will take. Bugger!
And in the meantime, Nancy did her thing. Swish, swish, swish, scrape,
scrape, scrape. It's getting pretty tender in there and more painful. "That
a good sign, Gary. Pain is good!" Yeah, right. According to Nancy, I'm
now "part of the family" at the dental practice and the whole joint will
be in attendance at my pizza celebration. Hehe.
For some weeks I've been meaning to update the My Rig page to include
more recent pics and a brief history. Check
it out here.
FL Josh wrote: You mentioned Clark Little's favorite shot,
with the brilliant fan effect of two waves intersecting, but you failed
to include it. Only one pic arrived with the mail, Josh, and
that's the one I posted. Thanks for the new one.
You are attacking semantics as to your analysis of Clark Little's
comment "I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find
out there isn't, than to live my life as if there isn't, and die to find
out there is," not content. It is clear he was saying, "I would rather
live my life as if there is a God, and die only to have it turn out there
isn't, than to live my life as if there isn't, and die to find out there
I understand what he meant to say, Josh, but that's not what he did
say, and I was commenting on the latter.
As to your friend who was clinically dead for 8 minutes without having
a near death experience, that is not proof that there is no life after
death. That is only proof that your friend did not have a near death experience.
We don't know what causes some people to have them, both believers and
non-believers, and others not. When my grandmother died at the age
of 94, she slipped into a coma, then three days later, suddenly stirred,
opened her eyes, and said, "George, is that you?" George being her husband,
who had died 21 years earlier, then she closed her eyes and peacefully
died. She was born exactly 127 years ago today, on October 30, 1886.
More semantics. I said I know OF one person; I didn't say I knew him.
He wasn't a friend. His name was Kerry Packer, media baron of Oz. If he
hadn't been famous he would never have been interviewed, let alone quoted.
Anyway, I'm sorry to hear that Kerry's experience was not a near death
experience. The 'near' is missing, right? He was dead as a doornail for
8 minutes but that doesn't count. However, I do have experience at being
the first person recognized by a friend waking from a coma. Just before
I walked into the hospital ward, I was warned by his relatives and girlfriend
gathered in the hall not to be alarmed when I was met with a blank stare.
They said he'd just regained consciousness but wasn't cognizant of anyone
or anything, not even them. To my surprise, the moment I entered the room
he grinned and called my name. Then he asked where I'd parked the Mercedes
Benz. I had sold the Mercedes some years beforehand. But that's where his
memory was at that particular moment. Go figure.
TX Greg wrote: I agree totally about the auto checkout. I hate those
stupid things, plus they have cameras on you with someone watching to make
sure you don't steal something. If youre paying someone to watch I think
they should get up off their ass and help sack, right? What the hell happened
to good old customer service? Remember those FULL service gas stations?
Well Richie might want to comment here as he can still enjoy that luxury,
as in Oregon it is illegal to pump your own gas. Yes you pay a little more
for the service, but
helps keep people employed...
You tell 'em, Greg. Atta boy! So that's what Oregonian gas pumpers sound
like? Actually, when self serve petrol stations were introduced to Oz I
was terrified of poking that big thing into my car but I eventually got
the hang of it, and now it makes me feel all macho and butch. I wish someone
would run the
squeegee over the windscreen though. I miss that.
Speaking of serving, OR Richie has a new job with a large department
store that sells upscale appliances, and he's doing really well. He's been
through a terrible time this past year or two. It got so bad he was seriously
depressed about his future. But then, outta the blue, his luck changed.
Now, he's wearing flash new threads, making nice bucks at his new place
of employment, and getting along just fine with everyone. And... his missus
thinks he's the ant's pants. How cool is that?
My 15amp adaptor arrived just now so next time I hurtle off into the
distance with PJ I'll be able to fire up the fridge overnight using electrickety.
It's quite a sizeable gizmo, much larger than I expected. Good brand too,
Powertech, same as the portable 12V charger for the comp, which works like
a charm. According to the eBay seller, RRP is $125 so $70 and free postage
is a bloody good deal!
How's that for an interesting perspective of a '39 Chevy? I used to
get a kick out of leaning forward and peering over the top of the steering
wheel at the front of my Beetle. I thought all the curves were cute as.
Anyway, time to throw a leg over the horse and gallop off into the sunset.
It's a very small horse. Actually, it's not even a horse. Gary
October 29, 2013. FL Josh sent this: Waimea Bay shore-break
surfing pioneer, husband, and father of two, Clark Little has gained nationwide
recognition for his photography on National Television. It all started
in 2007 when Clark's wife wanted a nice piece of art to decorate a wall.
Voluntarily, Clark grabbed a camera, jumped in the water, and starting
snapping away capturing the beauty and power of monstrous Hawaiian waves
from the inside out. His fans pay as much as $4,000 for his gorgeous photos.
This shot is Clark's favourite. With a high shutter speed he
caught the brilliant fanned effect of two waves intersecting each
other and throwing out this beautiful fan of water. "Faith is not about
everything turning out OK... Faith is about being 'OK' no matter how things
turn out." Then he says, "I would rather live my life as if there is a
God, and die to find out there isn't, than to live my life as if there
isn't, and die to find out there is."
Only a believer would make such a statement. Hehe. To die and find out
there isn't would require consciousness after death. I know of one person
who died and found out there isn't. He was dead for 8 minutes before being
revived. In his case, life after death did indeed exist. "There's good
news and there's bad news," he answered when asked about his experience.."The
good news is there's no hell. The bad news is there's nothing." But his
"eye witness" account didn't faze his critics. Shades of Galileo in the
15th century. Believers believe because they want to believe.
In any case, the photo is a stunner, and reminds me of Cody's description
of his first green room.
I commented on a Red Bubbler's photo of star trails and he responded
with, "And what else is going on that we're not aware of?" Hehe. He's not
even blond or Irish. Then there's the checkout chick yesterday who
asked, "How are you?" I responded with "hello". And she said, "Oh, that's
How about the answers to these questions?
1. Which two days of the week start with the letter T?
2. How many seconds are there in a year?
3. What is the name of the Swagman in Waltzing Matilda?
Have you figured it out yet? Okay, here are the answers:
1. Today and tomorrow.
2. Twelve seconds. 2nd January, 2nd February, 2nd March, etc.
3. The Swagman in Waltzing Matilda was named Andy. 'Andy sat, Andy
watched, Andy waited till his billy boiled...'
Best time to go for a haircut at Mark's is when dark clouds begin to
gather, so I've just discovered. Not a soul there except Mark and me. But
then I had to walk home dodging a few large spots of rain. And now there's
rolling thunder. There was a thunder storm earlier as well but it didn't
last long, which is normally the case here. They roll in from the west
and pass over Taree on their way to the coast. A few flashes and bangs
and that's about it.
Not a lot on the Beeb today except for the storms making a mess of Europe:
storm battering north-western Europe has killed at least 13 people - six
of them in Germany. Two people died when their car was crushed by a falling
tree in Gelsenkirchen, in western Germany. Two children in the car were
injured. In Brittany, western France, a woman was swept out to sea. And
in the Dutch city of Amsterdam a tree felled by the wind crushed a woman
by a canal. Record
gusts of 191 km/h (119mph) were measured over the North Sea.
Lewis Allan Reed, better known as Lou, was a singer and guitarist
famous for his deadpan voice and distinctive lyrics. In a career spanning
many decades - both in the band The Velvet Underground and his subsequent
solo career - he had a huge influence on the shape of rock music. That
sax solo in Walk on the Wild Side is unforgettable.
And the colored girls go... doo do do do dooo...
I'm afraid it's been another lazy day, dear Breth. I'm not sure whether
the cause is lack of mental stimulus, a serious case of lethargy or the
wind-down period following a long and frustrating battle to realize the
AO dream. I slept like a log last night and have napped twice today already.
I don't feel ill, just dead tired. Maybe I should just go with the flow
and not worry about it. I do have a tendency to be a bit of a worry wart.
Oh, yes, I remember something now. One of the GNs said some of the Woolworths
supermarkets in certain towns are becoming fully self service, relying
on auto checkouts and no checkout chicks. When he and his missus wheeled
their cart to the checkout and saw that no checkout chick was on duty,
he said to his wife within earshot of a store worker, "Just dump the trolley
here, darling, and we'll go shop at Coles." Hehe. That worked, and they
soon had a checkout chick scanning and packing their groceries. I don't
like auto checkouts, never have and never use them.
Anyway, time to plonk the old bones in front of the telly and veg out.
October 28, 2013. What makes me me? Well, I must've been a bit
psychic yesterday cos last night on telly was a story about a woman in
her late 50s who bought a 4WD, kitted it out for camping, and took off
to the Aussie Outback. Day 1, she said goodbye to her daughters, drove
a few miles, pulled over, stopped at the side of the road, and said, "What
the hell am I doing?" Then she had "a good little talk" with herself and
continued on... but only for a few more miles and then stayed overnight
in a motel. Hehe.
For a while her mind was plagued with the "what ifs" - what if I get
a flat tire, what if I break down in the middle of nowhere, what if I can't
light the stove, what if I come across undesirable people. So she eventually
decided to stop thinking negatively and just carried on. And she kept carrying
on for 6 years. She fell in love with the vastness of the outback. "It's
miles and miles of nothing. But it's a good nothing. You feel safe out
there. Nothing can hurt you." She said her experience in the outback has
softened her; made her more tolerant, and given her confidence as well
as self respect. She can't wait to do it all again.
As she told her story, I easily identified with her initial fears but
also empathized with her feeling of oneness with nature. The Aborigines
have always had a strong spiritual attachment to the land, and that's the
way it became with this woman. "I was never lonely. It's impossible to
feel lonely out there. There's a difference between feeling lonely and
being alone. I've only ever felt lonely with other people."
I've longed sensed that as a person I'm incomplete, that there's a piece
missing. And I suspect that missing piece will be found on the Odyssey.
Back from another irrigation and de-bone with Nancy and Emma. She reckons
by Christmas the "garden" will be looking good. Two sockets are almost
closed and vascularization is continuing to improve. I looked at the bits
of dead bone plucked from my jaw and deposited on a sheet of paper, and
was surprised by the size of them. Slowly but surely, the extent of the
exposed bone is being whittled away. She's already picked the pizza restaurant
where we're going to celebrate, and it's not one of those cheapie joints.
It's an Italian gourmet restaurant. Funnily enough, I wrote about it in
one of my stories but I've never been there.
Soooooo, what does Booti Booti camping area look like? Here's
one pic. And here's
another one. And yet
another one. Sooooo, when's the departure date? I've just paid the
power bill soooooo I'd like a few bob in the bank in case of an emergency.
Next month, I have an appointment with the doc in Port Macquarie but then
I have to be back in Taree the following day for an appointment with my
local GP. Grrrr.
From the Beeb: The chief of the US spy agency NSA has not discussed
the alleged bugging of German chancellor's phone with President Barack
Obama, officials say. Gen Keith Alexander never discussed alleged operations
involving Chancellor Angela Merkel, an NSA spokeswoman said. German media
say the US has been tapping the chancellor's phone since 2002, and Mr Obama
was told in 2010. The row has led to the worst diplomatic crisis between
the two countries in living memory.
US singer and former Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed has died
at the age of 71. Known for tracks including Perfect Day and Walk on the
Wild Side, Reed was considered one of the most influential singers and
songwriters in rock. The Velvet Underground became renowned for their fusion
of art and music and for collaborating with Andy Warhol. Take
A Walk On The Wild Side was, is and always will be one of my favs.
McDonald's has said it is to stop serving Heinz ketchup in its stores
after 40 years. The world's biggest fast-food chain said it would drop
the ketchup after Bernardo Hees, the former head of rival Burger King,
took over as Heinz's chief executive. Well,
the rest of the world's news pales into insignificance after hearing that.
We never had ketchup in Oz until fairly recently. These days there's
a plethora of sauces - mustard, chilli, BBQ, steak, sweet and sour and
god knows what else. But when I was a kid there were only two on the table
- Holbrook's worchestershire and Rosella tamaaaaaaaata. Oh, yes, and Fountain's
mint sauce for lamb. If we had salad mom would plonk a bottle of vinegar
on the table.
That's a Herald-Sun photograph. Tsk, tsk. I wonder if anyone got a rocket
up the clacker for leaving Tasmania off the map. That happened some years
ago at a major sporting event. The Commonwealth Games? Anyway, Tassie was
not amused and threatened to secede from the Commonwealth hehe. Here's
pic of the birdie after which the Rosella company is named. Sounds
better than the latin 'platycercus-eximius' yeah? "Would you like a dollop
of platycercus-eximius on ya dog's eye, mate?" Yeah, too right, mate, no
wukkers. Make it two dollops!"
But tonight I'm having a good old fashioned curry, which is simmering
on the stove as we speak... I speak. I'll have it with rice, which should
find its way down the hatch without too much trouble. And then out the
other end tomorrow with even less trouble hehe.
Wherefore hath the day flowneth? I dunno. I'm just sitting here. But
it's time once again for me to bid thee farewell for another day. Gary
October 27, 2013. Had a frightening thought this morning:
what if I were still as dumb today as I was 30 years ago. Hehe. So that
begs the question, would one be better off having breezed through life
without making any mistakes?
Yes, I did waddle around to St John's Anglican church last evening to
take a pic of the blue cross through the jacaranda. The tree was too high
to compose a decent shot of the flowers framing the blue cross. But while
I was there, and the sun was setting, the smoke on the horizon (carried
up this way by the wind from the bushfires down south) turned the sun deep
red. I chased it on foot (puff, puff), trying to get a clear shot of it
without poles and wires and ended up with this
one posted on Red Bubble. The flash fired, dangit. It would have been
better if it hadn't but I was in a panic to get the shot before the sun
This is a nice wide shot with part of the tree and the face of the church
lit by the setting sun but it doesn't highlight the blue cross. Oh, well...
FL Josh wrote: You said, "Been another lazy day with a capital L.
Not sure why I feel guilty about that." I'm sure you are thinking
of things you could be doing, but you are retired and one of the benefits
of being retired is you can do non-essential things whenever you want.
Enjoy the perk. You earned it.
I'm not sure I did hehe.
NC Art, on the other hand, has this to say about public loos: Some
30 years ago the wife and I were visiting Toronto and decided to take a
bus trip to see the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Beautiful day for traveling
and sightseeing and chatting with others on the journey. Among those was
a Japanese student who kept us amused by his witty observations and near-perfect
English. Also, he was dressed is a handsome white suit with obviously expensive
hand tailoring, Also spotless white shoes and perfectly knotted purple
necktie and pale blue shirt.
After several hours we stopped for lunch and potty break. I took
off for the men’s facility and found the floor awash with smelly liquid,
accumulation from men who could not shoot straight. I found the clearest
spot I could and stood for the operation when our Japanese gentleman swept
in. He proceeded to stomp through the slop, haul out and water everything
in the general vicinity of the urinal, missing it most of the time and
adding to the cesspool of a floor. What a shock!
If I learned anything from that, I am still wondering what it might
be. So, maybe the folks who don’t flush have a reason: The toilet is stopped
up and another flush could just catch you in the overflow? Prudence.
GNs often refer to "long drop" toilets - a deep hole with a toot on
top. Sounds rather basic but at least nothing can go wrong. Presumably.
From the Beeb: The US has been spying on German Chancellor Angela
Merkel's mobile phone since 2002, according to a report in Der Spiegel
magazine. The German publication claims to have seen secret documents from
the National Security Agency which show Mrs Merkel's number on a list dating
from 2002 - before she became chancellor. Her number was still on a surveillance
list in 2013. It
makes Obama's efforts to justify the NSA's activities look pretty lame.
Australia has been battling unseasonably bad bushfires for weeks.
The flames have destroyed hundreds of homes - and have also intensified
a political debate about whether there is a
link with global warming.
Slang such as ain't, innit and coz has been banned from a school
in south London. Author Charles Nevin celebrates modern slang and revisits
phrases that have fallen out of fashion. Cor lummy! Please do not misunderstand
me. I love modern slang. It's as colourful, clever, and disguised from
outsiders as slang ever was and is supposed to be. Take bare, for example,
one of a number of slang terms recently banned by a London school. It means
"a lot of", as in "there's bare people here", and is the classic concealing
reversal of the accepted meaning that you also find in wicked, bad and
cool. Victorian criminals did essentially the same with back slang, reversing
words so that boy
became yob and so on.
Does anyone know who they are? Or why they are? I've never been able
to figure that one out. How come just one of several million sperm fertilized
an egg that became me? How come I wasn't one of my brothers instead of
me? If it had been one of the other sperm that was successful in fertilizing
the egg that became me, would I still be me? Were all the sperm me? Or
were they 4 million other people? Hehe. I asked my doc that question one
time and he didn't know. Anyway, it beats me. What makes me me? I know
what shaped me - parents, environment, genes, etc., but that still doesn't
explain why any particular individual is the person he or she is living
in that particular body.
I suppose some religious people would say there's a whole bunch of souls
in heaven waiting in line to be designated an earthly body. Or that a soul
is created when a human baby is conceived. Sorry. I don't buy that. It
might explain to some extent who "me" is, but where does "me" go when dementia
sets in? If a soul is without a memory or consciousness, what the hell
is it? We all know what happens when a person on life support is brain
dead. So there ya go, I'm me and I'm not sure why.
Maybe that's the reason we all crave an identity. Kids do it by copying
each other. Adults do it by becoming mothers and fathers, and/or pursuing
a career. But none of that explains my original question.
Another thing I thought was rather interesting was a program on telly
last night about releasing white rhino back into the African wild (albeit
a national park) after they'd been raised in captivity to preserve the
species. Those things are about as ungainly looking as you can get, with
a weird shaped head. But have you seen one trot? Pure grace. Poetry in
motion. Hippos are the same. And they can run quite fast! Faster than you
or me! Especially me hehe.
Anyway, one of these days when I'm boiling the billy somewhere out in
the wilds of Oz, it might dawn on me why I'm me. Till then, I'll have to
keep wondering. Gary
October 26, 2013. Now here's something NC Art will identify with
- it's a vehicle (kinda half car, half truck) put together by a farmer
using junk lying around the property and in the shed. Thanks to Francois
and Dio for sending the pics. Click
here for the album. (Scroll down for captions)
FL Josh saved me $25
on the price of the 15amp power adaptor by finding a cheaper retailer
on eBay. Thanks, Josh! I really appreciate that. There's one on the way
to my place now. Josh also a wrote a lengthy explanation of how those things
work... it is probably a safe assumption you could turn on everything
in PJ and still not draw enough to trip the circuit breaker. Too right,
mate. It'll give me an opportunity to see if the a/c works though.
I remember during hot summers as a kid, my mother had her own form of
a/c. She would dunk a cotton dress in cold water, wring it out, and wear
it around the house. When I tried it she told me I looked silly wearing
her dresses. :o)
Now, about the tool boxes for PJ. There's not enough room in those things
for bulky stuff, but there is for smaller stuff like ropes, pegs, hoses
and all the other bits and pieces I have. The idea is to store much of
the smaller stuff in the tool boxes to free up enough room in one of the
larger storage boxes for the porta potti. Yeah? Beats carrying it on the
front seat. Ew! Also, I discovered on day 2 of the shakedown that storing
things like camp furniture overnight (in case of theft) in the cab was
much better than in the camper, where it became cluttered. The ol' live
and learn trick. During travelling time, camp furniture is stored in the
cab over. So it's a bit like musical chairs, but it works.
Oh yes, toilet paper. I discovered that in public loos the loo paper
is rolled around a rectangular shaped, fixed core that prevents the paper
being peeled off in long, wasteful reams. Because it's only single ply,
you have to peel off several sheets by unravelling the paper backwards
until you have a decent length that can be folded in half, and half again.
I was also a bit peeved at how many people don't bother (or forget) to
flush after use. Yuck! I suppose I'll just have to toughen up a little
if I'm gonna survive travelling Oz for several years.
From the Beeb: Germany is to send its top intelligence chiefs to
Washington to "push forward" an investigation into allegations the US spied
on its leader Angela Merkel. The heads of foreign and domestic intelligence
would hold talks with the White House and the National Security Agency,
government spokesperson said.
Angela Merkel the German PM arrives at Passport Control at Paris
Charles De Gaulle airport.
"Nationality?" asks the immigration officer.
"German," she replies. ...
"No; just here for a few days."
A rolling stone gathers no moss, right? I was thinking about having
lived here in Taree for 12 years. Prior to that, and after losing my house
in Glebe where I lived for 13 years, I lived in 12 different places in
just 9 years. So I suppose my time in Taree has given me some stability
and the opportunity to plan what I'll do with the rest of my life. That's
at least one plus for which I should be grateful.
While I don't believe in crying over spilt milk, I do wish I'd had the
brains to do some things differently. When I sold my house in '91, the
estate agent offered me a bed-sitter apartment in a small block a short
distance away in Ferry Rd, close to the Glebe Rowing Club and Blackwattle
Bay. It was $40K, which is what I had left over from the sale of the house,
and paying the bank. I would have owned it outright - no rent to pay. It's
probably worth quarter of a mill now. But, no, I chose to move over to
the north side of Sydney and rent. The $40K was gone in 18 months just
on living expenses.
Another option would have been to buy a motorhome but it didn't cross
my mind. Oh, well... cest la vie.
In pharmacology, all drugs have two names, a trade name and a generic
name. For example, the trade name of Tylenol has a generic name of acetaminophen.
Aleve is also called naproxen. Amoxil is called amoxicillin and Advil is
also called ibuprofen. The FDA has been looking for a generic name for
Viagra. After careful consideration by a team of government experts, it
recently announced that it has settled on the generic name of mycoxafloppin.
Also considered were mycoxafailin, mydixadrupin, mydixarizin, mydixadud,
dixafix, and of course ibepokin.
Here's one for Art...
A crusty old marine corps colonel found himself at a gala event downtown,
hosted by a local liberal arts college. There was no shortage of extremely
young, idealistic ladies in attendance, one of whom approached the colonel
for conversation. She said, "Excuse me, sir, but you seem to be a very
serious man. Are you this way all the time, or is something bothering you?"
"No," the colonel said, "just serious by nature."
The young lady looked at his awards and decorations and said, "It
looks like you have seen a lot of action."
The colonel's short reply was, "Yes, a lot of action."
The young lady, tiring of trying to start up a conversation, said,
"You know, you should lighten up a little - relax and enjoy yourself."
The colonel just stared at her in his serious manner.
Finally the young lady said, "You know, I hope you don't take this
the wrong way, but when is the last time you had sex?"
The colonel looked at her and replied, "1955."
She said, "Well there you go; you really need to chill out and quit
taking everything so seriously - I mean, no sex since 1955, isn't that
a little extreme?"
The colonel, glancing at his watch, said in his matter-of-fact voice,
"Oh, I don't know. It's only 2130 now."
Been another lazy day with a capital L. Not sure why I feel guilty
about that. Or maybe I do. Yesterday, on the way home, I saw a jacaranda
tree in full bloom looking very nice indeedy. It's only a single tree but
behind it is a church steeple at the top of which sits a blue cross that's
lit at night. And I thunk to myself, that would make a nice pic - the purple
jacaranda with a blue cross in the background. It's about a block and a
half from here... not far enough to drive but a fair walk for an old codger
like me. Hmmm. Should I walk? The cross won't be lit until about 6.30.
All will be revealed tomorrow. Gary
October 25, 2013. Another beeeeeautiful spring day! But what
will I DO with it? Dunno, really. Might take a trip out to Bunnings and
get a 15amp extension lead and 15amp household adapter so next time I fire
up PJ's fridge overnight I can use house power. They'll be handy for camp
sites where mains power is available too.
Christmas is rapidly approaching but I'm hoping I can get Peter the
engineer's jobs done this year - the tool boxes, fridge panel door, grab
handle and awning wheel. A new spare tire is another one. I'm anticipating
that the Big Lap will start some time during the first half of next year.
Meanwhile, I'll stick to Mini O's on a regular basis. But even when I'm
on the road full time, I'll still need to visit the specialist in Sydney
every 3 months, as well as the Oncologust in Port Macquarie. I expect that
to continue to be the case for a couple of years yet so I won't be straying
too far west for a while. That's cool - there's a helluva lot to see on
the eastern side of the continent.
TX Greg wrote: Booti Booti sounds like a place that the "buxom visitor
in the red swimsuit" might show up to give you some BOOTY, HAHAHA. That's
a huge park. Found
a park brochure with a map...
Yep, it's a big area. I went there a couple of times in TT on day trips,
so I'll be nice to hang around for a few days. As to buxom visitors, I
don't even wanna think about that possibility.
XYZ popped up outta the blue: ...just checking to see how yur doing
So what do I See? Yup, ornery as ever. DON'T EVER CHANGE.
Ornery? Who's ornery? Me? Where on earth did you get that idea from?
Maybe you meant ordinary hehe. Anyway, what you "see" on Waffle, Gerry,
is the persona I project. The real me is sweet, unassuming, kind and lovable
- a bit like FL Josh.
From the Beeb: Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has said it is
"really not on" for friends to spy on each other, after allegations of
US snooping on her phone calls. She said she had given that message to
US President Barack Obama when they spoke on Wednesday. Speaking after
the first day of an EU summit in Brussels, Mrs Merkel said France and Germany
wanted to hold talks with the US to settle the matter. Other EU leaders
also voiced concern about the scale of US surveillance. Now,
if Edward Snowden had been a good boy, no one would be any the wiser.
Interesting program on telly last night about "the myth" that saturated
fats and cholesterol cause heart disease. It appears that sugar was and
still is the culprit, as well as stress. I think it's 80 to 90% of the
body's cholesterol that is actually made by the body. If intake is reduced,
the body makes up the difference anyway. After my heart attack in 2002,
I was given all kinds of dietary advice before I left hospital and ignored
the lot. Hehe. I've never been into fatty foods all that much in any case,
but I do love butter. Marg schmarg. Here's
a link to the story.
Yes, and deep fried chips! Not the soggy, saggy ones you get from some
fish 'n' chip shops, but the golden crisp ones I make myself using vegetable
oil. I like deep fried Asian foods too, such as prawns, dim sims and spring
rolls. Deep fried fish is nice too. And, and, and, and...
It wasn't all that long ago that eggs were being blamed for increasing
cholesterol. After my heart attack they said no more than 1 or 2 a week.
Now they're saying eat as many as you like.
Back from Bunnings! The power lead was easy to get... 15amp, 15 meters,
extra heavy duty, $26. But they don't stock the adaptor for domestic use.
They say they can't find a manufacturer or source them. But they do have
a unit you can have fixed to your house. Yeah, right. My house? Anyway,
I found one on eBay. Not cheap but handy in cases where I might camp
in someone's backyard. It's on my watch list so I'll buy it later.
A Testimony to True Mateship
A bloke brings his best mate home for dinner unannounced at 5.30
p.m. after work. His wife screams at him as his friend listens in, "My
hair & makeup are not done, the house is a mess, the dishes are not
done, I'm still in my pyjamas, and I can't be bothered with cooking tonight!
What the hell did you bring him home for?"
"Because he's thinking of getting married."
We had a power outage last week and my PC, TV and games console
shut down immediately, it was raining- I couldn't play golf so I talked
to my wife for a few hours.
She seems like a nice person.
Today I was beaten up by a woman...I was in the elevator when this
busty young lady got in. Naturally, I was staring at her boobs, when she
said, Would you please press 1..?
So I did.
I don't remember much after that....
Well, I dunno where the damn time went today. It's not like I did a
helluva lot. One of life's mysteries, I guess. Gary
October 24, 2013. Pay day - pension day. Goodbye $930 in rent
and power alone! When those power bills arrive, it's like forget any extra
spending for a while. But I do get $230 back from L&S for their share
of the rent and power. Funny ya know, Lindsay's splitting hairs about Stan's
lawn mowing and the last time he paid his share. I can't remember (it's
been so dry the lawn hasn't grown a millimeter in months) and can't be
bothered working it out. But I notice Lindsay has been using the phone
a helluva lot lately with Sue in hospital - several calls a day - and who
pays the bill? He's had free use of that phone for 12 years and has never
offered one cent towards the cost. One time I told him it wasn't just the
cost of the calls but also the cost of line rental which is $30 a month
or $360 a year. Multiply that by 12 years and you get $4320. He shrugged
and walked off, as usual.
Hell, I don't even need the damn phone. I have wireless internet connection
and a mobile phone. But I can imagine the outcry if I told him I was cutting
the phone off cos I didn't need it. Hehe. That's what it would take for
him to realize what a good deal he's getting. But I let it slide cos I'm
not THAT nasty.
What's it like to be a sailor? I was greatly impressed by this piece
written by a GN and posted this morning. It's given me a whole new insight
it really means to be a yachtie.
NC Art sent this link: This car chase was on the CA-241 toll road
in Orange County,CA . This could have been on a Benny Hill episode, but
it is an actual
police chase with a woman driver.
And on the subject of the "working poor" and cost of living, FL Josh
wrote: You commented that even Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton were better
off than those people you saw on the television the night before who were
earning around $450 every two weeks at Walmart. Walmart pays an average
of almost $13 an hour for a full time worker so for 80 hours for two weeks,
that would be around $1040 every two weeks. Minimum wage in the U.S.
is $7.25, although many states have higher, so obviously the person making
$450 every two weeks was part time, working three 8 hour shifts a week,
and having four days off. Also, keep in mind the cost of living is
far less in the U.S. than Oz, for example the company I buy my vitamins
from, Puritan Pride, has as the regular price for Vitamin E, 1000 IU capsules,
3 50-capsule bottles for $10.99 compared to the sale price of just under
$30 you paid, almost three times as much. 3 100-capsule bottles are
even cheaper at $19.99.
Point taken. And now on the subject of nooses and necks: I can't
believe that story about the guy hanged in Iran for 12 minutes and was
still alive. When a person is hanged, the knot goes on the side of
their head and when the body drops and rope pulls tight, it snaps the neck,
killing them. If the Iranians let him hang for 12 minutes, it sounds
like they are killing by strangulation, a slow and painful death, instead
of the instantaneous snap of the neck.
From the Beeb: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called US President
Barack Obama after receiving information that the US may have spied on
her mobile phone. A spokesman for Mrs Merkel said the German leader "views
such practices... as completely unacceptable". Mrs Merkel called on US
officials to clarify the
extent of their surveillance in Germany.
A 13-year-old boy carrying a replica assault rifle has been shot
dead by police in the US state of California. Officers in the city of Santa
Rosa say they opened fire after the boy refused orders to drop the rifle,
which they believed to be real. The shooting on Tuesday is now being investigated.
It comes a day after a 12-year-old boy in Nevada gunned down a maths teacher
at his school and wounded two fellow pupils before
taking his own life.
Couldn't find anything on the Beeb about our firies today, but here
in Oz they're being lauded, together with other fire fighting officials,
for their heroic efforts to contain the raging bushfires around Sydney
and other parts of NSW during the past week or so. There were a lot of
relieved residents in those areas after the threat of extreme weather conditions
eased and gave firies a chance to get on top of the situation. It was a
mammoth task and one which has revived the debate about whether or not
the fires were the result of global warming. Meanwhile, it's still mid
spring, and we have a whole summer to get through yet.
I mentioned a while back that NC Art had sent a bunch of historic photos,
a different set to the previous one of some months ago. This morning I
assembled them into
an album with captions.
I suppose I better start thinking about where I'll go for my next shakedown.
A beach sounds good, especially in weather like we're having today. I have
a beach shelter so I could plonk my skinny butt out on the sand without
getting burnt. Although I'd prefer to do my sand-between-the-toes trick
early morning and late afternoon. It's a good time for photography as well.
Yes, a bit of salt air would be very pleasant for a change. Booti
Booti National Park sounds noice.
No animals were harmed in the transmission of this message but a
great number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Well, I suppose I better think about closing up shop for another day
and catching up with a bit of telly. Byeeeeee. Gary
October 23, 2013. Nancy didn't seem all that surprised about
my finding the SMH article about her and avocados. She's probably heard
it a million times. Meanwhile, a new nurse wielded the vacuum as Nancy
did the irrigation thing, and also chipped away at dead bone. She explained
to the new nurse what the procedure was all about, and pointed out areas
that used to be open (previously home to the roots of teeth) but were now
covered by increasingly vascularized gum tissue. Tissue won't grow over
dead bone, which is why Nancy chips away at it twice a week to expose the
living bone. Much of the area (which Nancy calls "The Garden") is very
tender which means the blood supply is producing nerve endings. All good
news, Nancy says. It'll be our first anniversary "hanging out together"
next month, hehe. And she's looking forward to us going out to celebrate
at a pizza restaurant when it's all done and dusted.
So now I'm understanding why the medication prescribed by the specialist
in Sydney, Dr Clark, is not enough to do the job by itself. Nancy's constant
irrigations and removal of dead tissue, keeps the healing process moving
along, which is why she refers to it as tending the garden - removing the
weeds and fertilizing the soil to encourage growth. The treatment is something
I could never afford, not in a million years, so I'm one lucky boy to have
found Nancy to look after me.
Seems like a million years ago I had the stomach tube and all that radiation
business. My brain's filed it away in the dark reaches of the Distant Memories
Department, like it never really happened. I'm realizing now how desperately
I clung to the Odyssey dream to provide some worthwhile light at the end
of a very long, dark tunnel.
BTW, I asked Nancy what kind of truck she was driving yesterday - a
Toyota HiLux. The HiLux used to be much smaller, like my Courier, but now
all those utes are huge with high trays. Ford has discontinued the Courier
and replaced it with
the Ranger. However, it should be borne in mind that the Mazda B-Series
and Ford Ranger twins sold in North America are unrelated to the ones sold
elsewhere. These are engineered by Mazda, whereas the North American models
are developed by Ford. (Wikipedia)
Foreign Correspondent last night did a story about America's "Working
Poor" in Jersey. How depressing it was! A young woman went through college
and passed her exams with flying colors to become a journalist. She worked
for a TV station in Orlando where she was the anchor for a news program
and paid $20K a year. She quit to find something with better pay and ended
up in Jersey working in a bar essentially for tips. Some years earlier
she was savaged by a pit bull terrier that almost severed her leg. Treatment
in hospital took months and cost several hundred thousand dollars which
she didn't have. Luckily for her, they treated her as a charity case. If
she'd been earning slightly more, she would have had to pay. Another story
was about a bloke with a wife and three kids all living in one room. He
drove an old beat up car with torn roof lining and peeling paintwork. He
worked at Walmart and was paid fornightly. If his paycheck was $500 for
the two weeks, he considered himself lucky. Normally, it was about $420
or $430. Jesus Christ, I make almost twice that on a pension. There were
other stories of people in similar situations, all searching for "the American
Dream". In Oz, the hourly rate for most workers is in the mid to high teens,
and around $20 if you're a shift worker or work weekends.
I grew up watching American sit coms like My Three Sons, Leave it to
Beaver, etc, where everyone lived in a two-storey house with double garage
in a tree-lined street and had oodles of money. Yeah, right. Sheesh, even
Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton were better off than those people I saw on
telly last night.
Back from getting my expensive Vitamin E. Well, it was expensive. There's
a new discount drug store in town so I investigated. They were selling
the 1000iu E I normally get for $10 less. Woohoo! But then the lady asked
if I really wanted Blackmore's. *Shrug* She had another brand on sale because
it was the last of the batch and they weren't manufacturing 1000iu any
more. So I bought the last 3 bottles (150 capsules) for less than $30.
What a steal!
From the Beeb: More than 3,000 firefighters in Australia are battling
devastating bushfires raging across New South Wales as weather conditions
worsen. "This will be as bad as it gets," Rural Fire Service chief Shane
Fitzsimmons said, adding there was "real potential for more loss of homes
and life". High temperatures, low humidity and strong winds of up to 100km/h
(60mph) were forecast for Wednesday. In total, 59 fires are burning across
the state, 19 of which are uncontained. This
is the third day running that this has been the Beeb's lead story.
You can imagine the news media here in Oz... wall to wall fire coverage.
Iran's justice minister says there is "no need" for a man who survived
a hanging to be hanged a second time. Lawyers want the head of the judiciary
to stop a repeat hanging after the man was found alive in a morgue. Justice
Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi said executing the man would have repercussions
against Iran's image, the ISNA news agency reported. Bloody
hell, how macabre!
Money might not grow on trees, but scientists have confirmed that
gold is found in the leaves of some plants. Researchers from Australia
say that the presence of the particles in a eucalyptus tree's foliage indicates
that deposits are buried many metres below. They believe that the discovery
offers a new way to locate the sought-after metal in difficult-to-reach
explains why GNs are now using their metal detectors to scan trees!
A UK cardiologist is calling for a change in public health advice
on saturated fat. Dr Aseem Malhotra says the risks have been overstated,
with other factors such as sugar intake being overlooked. It is time to
"bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease", he writes
in an opinion piece in the British
A couple of times I've posted pics of De Sotos that were *almost* the
same as my dad's. But the other day I found one that, apart from color,
is exactly the same model as my dad's. It's a '56 Diplomat according to
the photographer, which was what my dad's was, but light green. I thought
his was a '54 because the US styling was different from '55 onwards. So
that means Chrysler in Oz was manufacturing the De Soto here and kept the
same model going for a few more years until the Chrysler Royal came along
in '57. It was basically the same car with a restyled front end and a couple
of fins plonked on the back. So there ya go, dad's was flasher than I thunk.
His boss had a new one which I remember as a kid going to work with dad
during school vacation. He promised himself he would own one of those cars
one day, and he did - albeit 8 years later.
And that's about it for today's Waffle. Catch you again on the morrow.
October 22, 2013. TX Greg wrote: Was that light
poles on the dock? If so that could have made for a cool night shot...
What a unusual shape, sort of looks like missiles, hehe.
Those white-topped poles are standard issue around here in the Manning
Valley. They're not lights, but could be reflective material for boaties
arriving back in shore at night.
Glad to hear the fridge worked. Now you still need to give a test
on electric to make sure the heating element is ok too. Don't forget now
that you turned the fridge back off to leave the door open for a day or
two to let it dry out inside. You don't want a surprise of mold and mildew
the next time you open the fridge door.
Now, really, Greg. I mean, do you honestly think I wouldn't have thought
of that? Hehe. Yeah... well the fridge door is now wide open. And so is
the back door to remind me not to drive away without closing it first.
BTW, the other thing that worked like a charm was the laptop 12V charger.
I checked the AGM a couple of times and it didn't budge from 14V. The fresh
water tap switch is buggered, though, so I used the backup switch installed
NC Art wrote: Your bush fires are getting press notice even in this
little burg on the Eastern coast of Hamerica. Sounds bad as it can get?
That's what the Premier of NSW said last night on telly... this is about
as bad as it gets. Tomorrow is forecast to get back to hot westerly winds
and the firies are really worried about it. Two kids, one 15 and one 11
have been arrested for arson. Can you believe that? Meanwhile, our PM is
making headlines as a volunteer firie in the thick of the action. He's
been a volunteer firie for decades. His critics, of course, are saying
it's all a publicity stunt.
Anyhoo, I think your shakedown cruise was a good and educational
event. Now all you have to do is cope with pesky health issues on the fly,
but you’ll get there. New surroundings always require imagination and adjustment.
Actually, the photos reminded me of a song about the snowbird [powdered
coke sniffing?] done by Patty Como and Elvis Presley.
The wind along the river seems to say
That she’ll only break my heart again if I
decide to stay
Little snowbird take me with you when you
To that land of gentle breezes where the peaceful
The one I loved forever is untrue
And if I could you know I would
Just fly away with you.
But stick to beer; inhaling lines of coke give a great boost, but
costs everything for an ephemeral high. Hehe.
Beer and wine, and very occasionally spirits, that's me. I've never
been interested in anything else. 'Cept Vegemite on toast.
Two days after the shakedown and I'm beginning to feel pretty good about
having done it. I'm also thinking about what I did wrong, or could have
done better, and figuring out ways to improve the experience. Today, for
example, is sunny and bright with no wind and I'm thinking of how pleasant
it was to be sitting in my camp chair in similar conditions checking out
the view. In such situations, it's sooooooo easy to let the day drift by
without doing a damn thing except a little thinking or keyboarding.
Come to think of it, even a murder of noisy crows didn't upset me, and
they were at it all day long. Normally those things drive me nutty with
their constant maudlin cries. I found the antics of a lively group of red
and yellow-breasted fairy wrens dashing and darting amongst the nearby
brush far more appealing, and the bush turkey plodding around looking for
unsuspecting insects whilst keeping an ever watchful eye on me.
Mind you, at a place like Wingham Brush which attracts a lot of day
trippers - boaties and picnickers - there's a lot of traffic that passes
one's camp site. If you're inside the camper, they all peer through the
screened door trying to see who's inside hehe And if you're outside lazing
in a camp chair, they wave. I have no idea why they wave. Maybe they believe
it's obligatory. In any case, one sensed a solemn duty to respond in kind,
and then spent all day waving at total strangers.
The steamer saucepan worked well for warming food as well. Good for
moist foods, but not for dry. In fact, I'll use the same technique here
in the house for pre-cooked stuff instead of having it explode in the micro.
Well, well, well, goodness gracious me, I didn't know Nancy was famous!
FL Josh did a google for some obscure reason and found an article about
Nancy - The
Avocado Queen of Taree. By the way, that's not Nancy's patient, that's
Emma the dental nurse who gives me heaps of cheek. She's currently studying
for her dental degree or whatever they call it. Both those girls are irascible
scallywags, lemme tellya. Josh wrote to explain: It doesn't seem that
any of your other regulars care, so the duty of surrogate nagging mother
is up for grabs.
Try grandmother. Besides, the "other regulars" know better. And yes,
my mouthwash is alcohol free.
Speak of the devil, who should be honking the 4WD at an intersection
to grab my attention? None other than Nancy, waving furiously from the
driver's window. I was driving PJ home after a little shopping. I'd imagined
Nancy as being the driver of a little sporty thing not a huge bloody truck!
Speaking of la femme drivers, I was parked parallel to the kerb in the
last rearward spot with the spot in front of me vacant. So as I prepared
to leave my spot, a girl in a "little sporty thing" pulled up and began
reversing into the spot in front. Soooo, I reversed further back, and she
kept coming. Did she then drive forward? Nope. She stayed where she was
and occupied two spots. Sooooo, I reversed even further back so I could
get out, which the driver of the car behind me, waiting to occupy my spot,
didn't appreciate. Last I saw, the girl was rummaging through her handbag,
oblivious to all and sundry, and still occupying two spots while the car
behind me was still waiting for her to move forward.
While shopping, I couldn't resist the temptation to buy 3 Jamie Oliver
all-purpose storage tins for $8 each. They're the old fashioned type you'd
expect to find on a kitchen shelf in an English thatched cottage. Storage
for flour, coffee, tea, etc. Each comes with its own little wooden scoop,
and has plastic lining around the lid to keep contents fresh. And a little
label holder on the face to write what the contents are. Lots of spare
labels too! Cute as.
And guess what? The fresh water tap switch is working again.
Billeeeeeee posted that pic on the GN forum, inspired by the tootsie
pic of me and PJ.
From the Beeb: French President Francois Hollande has expressed "deep
disapproval" over claims the US National Security Agency secretly tapped
phone calls in France. In a phone conversation with US President Barack
Obama, he said this was "unacceptable between friends and allies", demanding
an explanation. The White House said the claims "raise legitimate questions",
seeking to ease French concerns. The NSA has recently spied on 70.3m phone
calls in France, it is claimed. Pesky
Fire fighters in Australia deliberately joined two large fires near
the Blue Mountains as part of efforts to control bushfires across New South
Wales. Extensive back-burning operations were being deployed in anticipation
of worsening conditions on Wednesday, the NSW fire commissioner said. On
Tuesday morning more than 60 blazes were still alight, with
a slide show of bushfire photos.
CIA drone attacks in Pakistan are responsible for unlawful killings,
some of which could amount to war crimes, Amnesty International says. Amnesty
said it reviewed nine recent drone strikes in North Waziristan and found
a number of victims were unarmed. In a separate report looking at six US
attacks in Yemen, Human Rights Watch says two of them killed civilians
at random, violating international law. The
times they are a-changin'.
The Australian Capital Territory has become the first part of Australia
to legalise same-sex marriage. The ACT parliament passed a bill that will
allow gay couples to marry, after a short debate on Tuesday. Celebrants
will now be allowed to marry same-sex couples inside the ACT, regardless
of which state they live in. Federal law, however, specified in 2004 that
marriage was between a man and a woman, and the federal government is expected
to challenge the move. That'll
be interesting. Will the real Tony Abbott stand up.
Well, dear Breth, that's it for Chewsdee. Off to see Nancy again in
the morning so I'll mention the avocado thing. Remember how Cody used to
swap a bite of his pie for a bite of Mark's avo sarmie during school lunch
break? Hehe. He thought Mark was so clever cos he made his own sarmies
for school lunch. Cody never got past toast and peanut butter. Anyway,
reminiscing aside, it's time to toddle off to telly land - after I lock
up PJ, that is. Gary
October 21, 2013. It's late. I've been working on the photo album
for most of the day (as well as last night) but had to keep trashing it
because this new jAlbum program has changes which took me ages to figure
out... like why it kept jumbling the order of pics, and why the file was
so huge in the first place. Grrrrrr. I'm always reticent to upgrade programs
for that very reason but jAlbum kept pestering me. Anyway...
To add insult to injury, I received another tirade from FL Josh about
the evils of smoking and drinking alcohol. My mention of buying a six-pack
of beer at Wingham was enough to send him into another of his fire-and-brimstone
frenzies. Six small bottles of beer, three of which I still have - one
beer a day. Maybe he should write to Nancy instead. She recommended a large
bottle of stout a day (or Guinness) to help me put on weight. Fair dinkum...
Anyway, nuffa that. The First Shakedown photo album, complete with captions,
now on line for your oggling pleasure.
Sooooooo, one thing I didn't expect was the upheaval to my schedule
caused by a couple of days camping. I won't be able to enjoy camping as
much as I should until I can eat normal food, speak normally, and attain
a reasonable level of fitness to cope with life in the bush. Nancy is on
a mission to prove to Dr Clark, the specialist, that the technique she's
using now should have been started at the very beginning. It would have
been all over by now if she had. That said, she's pretty happy with the
progress. She also suggested a few more exciting places to visit for my
next shakedowns... Wingham is not exactly top of her list of "must visit"
Yes, I am a bit underwhelmed by shakedown #1, mainly because of my fitness
and diet issues but also because I wasn't very well organized and probably
expected too much. I intend to make a few changes next time. So I guess
you could say the learning curve was worthwhile. As the more experienced
GNs say to the newbies, don't worry about it. You'll learn as you go.
Actually, one thing I learned is that flies don't bother you if you're
not sweating. And the best way to avoid sweating is to do bugger all. Fine
with me. And the fridge? Yes, the fridge - it works very well.
From the Beeb: Bushfires in Australia's New South Wales could merge
to form a massive blaze, the fire commissioner has said as teams battle
fires across the state. Three fires near Lithgow, a city by the Blue Mountains,
are thought to be at risk of merging into one fire front. New South Wales
has been badly hit by bushfires after the hottest September on record.
It has declared a state of emergency. Officials say conditions are likely
to worsen this week. I
heard the update on the radio a little while ago... not good.
Former US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has said that a
repeat of the crisis that brought the country close to default is "perfectly
conceivable". He told the BBC that he had not seen another situation in
Washington where "compromise" seemed so far away. Mr Greenspan confessed
to sympathies with the economic aims of the Tea Party, the faction that
fought the government during debt ceiling talks. But the former central
banker said the
Party's tactics were "undemocratic".
Since its invention, the car has been a photographers' favourite.
The sleek lines have often been an inspiration and that mythical promise
of freedom has to some extent been created by the photos and cinematic
images. But the car requires fuel, and it is that which forms the basis
of a new book consisting of archive press images of petrol stations - or
gas stations as they are known in the US, where most of the photos in David
Campany's Gasoline originate.
The brain uses sleep to wash away the waste toxins built up during
a hard day's thinking, researchers have shown. The US team believe the
"waste removal system" is one of the fundamental
reasons for sleep.
Well, that'll do for today - that and buggerizing around with jAlbum
all morning. I'll catch a bit of telly tonight, first time in 4 days! That's
something I missed, to be honest, but only my regular programs like The
Drum and the 7 o'clock news. Which reminds me, I woke at about 5am Sunday
morning and thought about a couple of dawn shots of the river. So I had
a pee instead, decided it was a bit too chilly outside, and went back to
bed. There'll be plenty of time for that kinda nonsense in summer. Hehe.
October 20, 2013. Late Sunday and I'm back in Taree. Got a dental
appointment tomorrow. And now for today's major announcement. Da dah!
Yes, folks, the awning works! Naturally, I did it the wrong way and
got all muddled up when I tried to retract the damn thing, so I checked
the video with that German chick I posted the other day. There were a couple
of little tricks the vid didn't show but I managed to figure them out for
myself before resorting to yelling for help. Beforehand, I spent quite
a while there practicing my skills at doing absolutely nothing - except
drinking a beer. One passer by and his family asked if there were many
people going past and I said, "Only when I sit out here." Fair dinkum,
for a while there I thought the whole damn town was going past. It is,
after all, a recreation area rather than a camping area, with lots of boaties.
Quite a lot groups use the BBQ facilities - like a couple of families last
night with the noisiest, most boistrous kids imagineable. One of them,
a little girl about 5 or 6, wandered into the men's loo when I was in there.
"Sorry, darling, you're in the wrong one." *Grin* "Wrong one, darling,
you belong in the other one." *Grin*
Speaking of women, a middle aged blonde dressed like the chick in the
Fiamma video, wearing leather pants, long leather high-heeled boots and
a leather bikini top called at PJ's door to ask me where I was from. When
I answered Taree, she said, "Oh, you're a local," and wandered off. What
was that all about? I dunno but it reminded me of TX Greg's buxom visitor
in the red swimsuit, only more scary. Later, as I sat sipping my beer under
the awning, thinking how wonderful life was, she appeared outta the blue
again but this time asked if I had any spare coffee. "Sorry, darling, all
outta coffee." Sheesh. And this is shakedown #1?
Oh yes, and this morning a fairly large group had a breakfast barbie
with lots of ho, ho, ho's and loud smal ltalk while I was busy rubbing
the sleep from my eyes and wishing they'd all disappear.
I tellya what I miss - I miss my desk and typist chair. I kept getting
backache in PJ working on the comp so I gotta figure out a better seating
arrangement. Actually, the best place to sit is outside on the camp chair,
so I might consider an outdoor office next time.
Last night, there was a full moon rising... a huge yellow disk slowly
climbing the sky above the far end of the river in the east, with just
enough scattered cloud to frame the moon. The perfect setting for a great
shot! But who knows bugger all about manual settings for such shots? And
whose tripod was in the van? And who hadn't checked the weather page for
info about this event, and was totally unprepared? Yeah. So that's one
thing I gotta do... learn manual settings and night photography for such
occasions. That would have been such a fantastic shot! It's enough to make
a grown man weep.
TX Greg wrote: That was a really a clever shot with your footseys
all cozy and relaxed on PJ's brush guard. One awesome and very emotional
pic with you actually finally out camped in PJ.
Yep, it's been a long time coming, and I appreciate you being emotional
about it, Greg. Thanks.
So how does it feel sleeping on shocks? I always enjoyed that rockin
To be honest, once I hit the sack I'm history and sleep like a log,
so I really don't notice the rocking. It's only during the day if I move
around inside the van that I'm conscious of the motion. As to the camera
settings, yeah... I'll get around to it. :) This pic was taken at sunset
OR Richie wrote:... and a big FANTASTIC that you have gotten out
there for the maiden sea-trials voyage !! So VERY good, and don't
forget that's it's been a bloody long time in coming ! Great scenes
of everything, and I think the "buzz" could be catching !
I've got quite a few pics - some you've seen, some you ain't - which
I'll put into an album tonight or tomorrow. I think I'll sleep well again
tonight for some strange reason. I'm really quite sleepy. Gary
October 19, 2013. Today (and tonight) will be the hardest
so you are over the worst - assuming you make it through the night that
is - all good from here.
You're right, Steve. Last night was a bit of a cockup and I was dead
tired. Slept for 12 hours and would have slept longer if the neighbors
hadn't made such a bloody racket leaving in the morning. But today has
been good - slowly acclimatizing myself to the no-schedule, no-stress,
who-gives-a-stuff state of mind. Maybe I'll be better organized in future
but at the mo I reckon this camp overnight and take off again next day
is for the birds. Once I get settled I like to stay that way.
Good Morning Sunshine. Congrats on the first sleepover in the cabover.
I bet as tired as you were that you slept great :) "Weird noises", I think
they call that nature, hehe.
You DID park close to that vancamper. It's a campground Gary, not
a shopping center parking lot, hahaha
Did you notice how nice PJ blends into the setting with the other
Good thing I had the screw top container (an empty 5-liter plastic one).
I needed it a couple of times during the night which was far preferable
to finding my way in the dark over to the loos across the road. In fact,
about the only shaking I've been doing on this shakedown so far has been
in the loo (or bottle). Actually, there are many things to learn such as
which cupboard is best for crockery, which is best for food, how not to
park on an angle so things don't keep rolling off the table, etc. As to
parking lots, you'll notice I parked on the opposite side to their sliding
door and awning. Do I get points for that?
Ah! Black cockatoos... three of them just flew past... not a common
sight! Noisy buggers, though. Oh, and speaking of neighbors, I met this
They're commonly called a bush turkey but they're not really a turkey
at all. They're actually related to T Rex and have been known to rip a
man to shreds but this one sized me up and fortunately decided I was a
So you got the mini-odyssey under way. Congratulations. Looks like
roughing it in highly civilized environs to me. Where’s the sense of adventure?
Gas appliances can be a pother. I have a gas wall mounted heater
used to compensate for chilly evenings … or more importantly for emergency
heat when power is interrupted by storm or human folly. I keep the standing
pilot lit because making it light after period of disuse is trouble.
The device requires service by a technician and involves pulling the thing
apart to remove a mite-sized bit of dust or lint blocking the low pressure
nozzle at the pilot. Cheaper to use unneeded gas than pay for service calls.
So keep us advised, you seasoned old drunk.
Adventure? Had enough of that last night trying to pee in the dark,
and climbing over a camper full of things that should have been outside.
There were times when I was having serious misgivings about the nomad lifestyle.
There was also a bit of adventure when I arrived in town and called in
to a bottle shop for a six-pack of Toohey's Extra Dry. There was a major
barney across the road at the fruit market. One bloke had lost it altogether,
throwing fists wildly at another bloke and screaming his head off. A girl/woman
with him was also screaming and trying to get him to quit but to no avail.
So that was my introduction to camping in Wingham. But as Steve said, the
worst is over now and all seems well. I wish the wind would die down though...
the river valley is channeling the wind directly towards this camp ground,
rocking PJ. I had to close the hatch cos it was flapping about like a hooked
mullet. Oh, and another thing... one of the last of the campers is packing
up so I might be on my Pat Malone tonight. Spooky!
There are 2 guys (German or Danish) camped in a tent adjacent to the
car with the doors open, so they might hang around tonight. There's a GN
rule - never free camp near a town on a Friday or Saturday night. Yeah,
After walking the boardwalk for some distance, risking life and limb
with bush turkeys lurking around every corner, I came across a sign saying
the flying fox loop was closed during breeding season to protect the littlies.
So, no pics of cute little furry critters. I saw them last night after
sundown doing their daily migration thing but their numbers didn't blacken
the sky or anything (which apparently happens occasionally when they're
all syncronized). However, there were quite a few groups of 20+ over a
period of about 15 minutes.
I took a few more pics and will again tomorrow, then I'll put them all
together in an album. BTW, the council has provided a large shelter with
tables and benches and electric BBQs across the road from there... something
I haven't used and won't until I get something to chew with. Just before
I go, there was one particular time today when I thought "this is the life".
I sat on a camp chair under the dappled shade of a tree looking at the
scenery and felt totally relaxed, as if nothing in the world really mattered.
I think this shakedown will have taught me a few valuable lessons, mostly
about being better organized, so that the next mini O will be an improvement.
For one thing, I'll park closer to the action. And that's lesson #1. Don't
unpack until you've checked a few things. Once you've unpacked, that's
it, you're stuck for the duration. Gary
October 18, 2013. Showers clearing by early afternoon, says the
forecast. So I'm waiting for the sun to shine before leaving on the shakedown.
There was a bit of drama late yesterday afternoon. I tried the fridge without
success, so the dirt or rust or whatever was blocking the burner hadn't
shifted. Only one thing to do... unscrew the panel behind the fridge and
check it out. Screws, screws and more screws. I tried lighting the burner
from the rear as TX Greg once advised but that didn't work. So I used the
can of compressed air to give the burner a good clean, then tried lighting
again but this time from inside. With the flap open and the burner cover
open it was hard to tell in the daylight if the burner was alight or not,
so I checked from the rear and sure enough, there it was burning brightly.
Soooooooo, reattached the cover with all the screws, placed 4 ice bricks
in the fridge and left it to do its thing overnight. Did it work? I'll
find out soon enough when I check it - once the rain stops. I'm not gonna
load the camper in the rain either.
It occurred to me that there might be signal probs at Wingham Brush
so if this page is not updated later today you'll know why. Bunnings is
on the way there so I'll drop in and get those 15amp thingies. As to Peter
the engineer's jobs, like changing the fridge panel into a hinged door,
they'll have to wait a while cos the power bill arrived. Another $500+
exits my bank account. Bleh. I'll be glad when I'm rid of those. That one
bill alone would buy a second AGM and 200W solar panel!
Thanks to TX Greg, I fixed the Waffle dates of the past few days. Too
much stress lately. It'll be nice to be camped and organized and RELAXED.
BTW, those fires around NSW yesterday were horrendous, and the worst
for several years with an estimated
200 homes destroyed. I watched the live reports last night after getting
the fridge going.
FL Josh wrote: That link I sent you yesterday for Power Systems for
Campers, I found comes from a website with
lots of good camping information. Thanks, Josh. I'll check it out
when I'm settled.
It was with some trepidation just now that I checked to see if the fridge
was cold. That would have been the final straw if the flame had blown out
overnight or whatever. But lo and behold, ladies and genitals, it's as
cold as penguin's bum. Frost around the freezer compartment, and the ice
bricks are still frozen. Once the gray clouds start to clear, I'll load
up PJ with the necessaries and be off on my first ever mini O. Gotta have
a fridge, mate. Every camper needs a fridge. And on the way to Wingham
I'll stock it with a few beers to celebrate my accomplishment. Woohoo!
See you later in Wingham!
Yeah, right. Still waiting for the rain to pass. It's midday now and
it could be another couple of hours. Tomorrow and Sunday will be sunny
and warm. Meanwhile, I've stacked the stuff I need to take in the hall
and made 2 x smoothies in advance. I've included a steamer saucepan as
a food warmer - easier than assembling the stove top oven. So here I yam
waiting for the rain to ease before I can load PJ. How b-b-b-boring.
Roite! Guess where I am? When I parked next to the peeps on the far
left, I said, "Am I too close?" And they said, "Yeah, too close!" But they
were only joking. Then I was telling them that this is my very first trip
in the camper - first shakedown - and that I was surprised that they
assumed I was an old... my mind was searching for the word 'hand' but the
bloke jumped in and said, "drunk!" Hehe
Anyway, it's 6pm now and I thought I'd take a few pics before dark just
to let you know that I actually DID IT! I'm kinda numb, actually. Relaxed
but numb. Maybe it was all that packing. It went on forever! So I decided
not to bring the TV or the bike. It's only for a day or two. But I'll be
glad when the packing is over and I start the real Odyssey and never have
to pack anything agaain!
Still cloudy so I'll look forward to a sunny day tomorrow and lots of
shutter bugging. I brought the porta potti 'just in case' but there are
flush loos just across the road from where I'm parked. I'm kinda brain
dead actually, so think I'll have an early night - if I can handle all
the weird noises hehe. Gary
October 17, 2013. What??? No shakedown??? The fridge burner wouldn't
stay alight when I tried to get it going early this morning. So I thought
maybe there was air in the pipes. Ran the gas stove for about 10 minutes
waiting for the orange flame tips to die but they didn't. Phoned the local
gas company. "Sounds like a good flame. There are three types, all yellow,
all blue, and blue with yellow tips. That's a good flame. Don't worry about
those blue flames you see on TV ads, they're just made to look pretty."
He gave it a name but I forget. Then he started talking about thermocouples
and all that TX Greg stuff, and invited me around to the workshop to check
it out. He got the fridge started first go from inside without checking
the back. "The drive over probably did it. Could have been a bit of dirt
blocking the burner. You going away? Have a nice trip."
Yes, I am going away, but not today. My timetable is up the spout because
of the gas business, and also I promised Lindsay a ride to Wingham. Not
enough time to get organized before then, and I'm not driving out there
twice - at least not today. Launch date has been postponed till tomorrow.
And this time I'll run the fridge all night tonight on gas so that it's
nice and cold when I leave in the morning.
Yes, I could be camping at Wingham tonight but I'd be in a tizz, and
it's not worth stressing about it. Besides, Murphy was at it again yesterday
and sent the postman here while I was at the doc's getting the stitches
out. So I have to go to the PO to pick up the parcel. While I'm out, I
might as well get the 15amp extension lead as well.
FL Josh wrote in response to NC Art's question about a mathematical
formula. It's a bit esoteric for inclusion here so I pasted
it to the GN forum thread.
Josh also wrote: Here is a site with a wealth
of information about powering campers.
Later afternoon now and I've just screwed together my Chinese clip-on
12V oscillating fan. Finding something to clip it onto that's within reach
of a 12V outlet is gonna be the tricky bit.
Maybe it's just as well I postponed the shakedown to tomorrow. It's
been a hottie today with a strong hot westerly causing fire problems in
various areas of NSW, although around here seems to be okay for the time
being. There's a storm predicted for tonight as well, clearing early tomorrow.
Last night, just as dark began to fall, I went down to PJ to rescue
my mobile phone and saw lots of dark things flapping their large lazy wings
silently in the moonlight. Bats! No doubt part of the large colony at Wingham
Brush which I'll get to see when I'm there... hanging upside down in the
trees during the day and making their way across the sky at sundown. I
guess there are pretty lean pickings for them this year being so dry. Bats
cause all kinds of problems such as noise and stink, as well as disease
that affects horses and sometimes people, but they're an integral and necessary
part of the eco system in terms of propagating our forests. No bats, no
trees. Fruit growers have a special dislike for bats (flying floxes) but
all they can legally do is move them on. Bats are a protected species.
They did look pretty cool in the light of an almost full moon last night
though... in a spooky kind of way. There was one very bright star in the
sky at the time, presumably Venus.
Naturally, I was hoping to be posting pics of my first camp but it was
not to be - not today anyway. But I did find these on a newsgroup this
morning. This 1970 Buick was the style Holden adopted in Oz for the range
which included my old HQ, Tough Titties and the bigger Statesman and Caprice,
pretty fancy cars in their day and still a bloody good look if ya'ass me.
My neighbor in Glebe had a V8 Kingswood that same color. I used to see
him washing it and it always looked like a million bucks. The V8 sounded
lovely too, a small but throaty 4.2 that idled like a Swiss watch. Poor
old bloke hadn't been retired all that long when he conked out from
One of the latest GNs is a retired electrical contractor who's worked
on some major installations, including solar. Handy bloke to have on the
forum hehe. He advised me to get the 15amp extension lead as well as a
15amp adapter to attach to the domestic outlet. The adapter will come in
handy if I'm ever invited to camp in someone's backyard (like Nancy's),
and also for booting up PJ's fridge with electricity instead of gas for
mini O's while I'm based in Taree. Ya learn something new everyday yeah?
NC Art sent this: On his death bed they asked him where he wanted to
be buried and he said. "Surprise me." Remember Bob Hope?
ON TURNING 70
'I still chase women, but only downhill.'
ON TURNING 80
'That's the time of your life when even your birthday suit needs pressing.'
ON TURNING 90
'You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.'
ON TURNING 100
'I don't feel old. In fact, I don't feel anything until noon. Then
it's time for my nap.'
ON GIVING UP HIS EARLY CAREER, BOXING
'I ruined my hands in the ring. The referee kept stepping on them.'
ON NEVER WINNING AN OSCAR
'Welcome to the Academy Awards, or, as it's called at my home, 'Passover'.'
'Golf is my profession. Show business is just to pay the green fees.'
'I have performed for 12 presidents but entertained only six.'
ON WHY HE CHOSE SHOWBIZ FOR HIS CAREER
'When I was born, the doctor said to my mother, Congratulations, you
have an eight pound ham.'
ON RECEIVING THE CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL
'I feel very humble, but I think I have the strength of character to
ON HIS FAMILY'S EARLY POVERTY
'Four of us slept in the one bed. When it got cold, mother threw on
ON HIS SIX BROTHERS
'That's how I learned to dance. Waiting for the bathroom.'
ON HIS EARLY FAILURES
'I would not have had anything to eat if it wasn't for the stuff the
audience threw at me.'
ON GOING TO HEAVEN
'I've done benefits for ALL religions. I'd hate to blow the hereafter
on a technicality.'
October 16, 2013. TX Greg wrote: Boy did you royally screw
up that joke with incorrectly NOT posting the pic. How the hell did you
get the file extension "png" at the end???
I posted the thumb instead of the main pic. This new mail system I use
provided by my ISP rather than windows mail only shows the thumb. If I
want to save the full size pic, I have left click the thumb to bring it
up on screen and then save it. This time I forgot and right clicked to
save which means all I saved was the thumb. And I thought, "What's this
bloody Texan doing sending me a bloody thumb with a png extension?" So
it wasn't a screw up, it was a senior moment. Anyway, all's well now, including
the Just Joking forum on GN.
You didn't give a link so I Googled "Did she have 58008 918?" and
found the GN post. You type the letters in a calculator turn the calculator
around and read "BIG BOOBS"
Meanwhile, Dorian suggested the same thing, so I left a post for him
this morning saying I got 'large melons'. Hehe.
Speaking of mathematics, NC Art wrote: That bull about math was disconcerting.
I suddenly found myself trying to remember the quadratic equation--for
determining a solution for two unknowns. Unfortunately, the thing produces
two answers, one right … but not always … and one wrong. The wrong one
is usually obvious to any dunce. And, my friends, so much for math as perfect
I think it goes something like this: a square plus b square
plus or minus the square of 2 ab over c = ? Look it up or ask a GN for
any correction needed. It has been 65 years since I flunked that test.
I've posted the question on the GN forum so you
can click on this link to see what the various responses are.
Art also forwarded a piece of interesting American car history:
Hours after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Secret Service
found themselves in a bind. President Franklin D Roosevelt was to give
his infamy speech to Congress the next day, and although the trip from
the White House to Capitol Hill was short, agents weren't sure how to transport
The White House did already have a specially built limousine for
the president that he regularly used, it wasn't bulletproof, and the Secret
Service realized this could be a major problem now that the country was
at war. FDR's speech was to take place at noon December 8th, and time was
running out. They had to procure an armored car, and fast.
There was one slight problem. US government rules at the time restricted
the purchase of any vehicle that cost more than $750 ($10,455 in today's
dollars). It was pretty obvious that they weren't going to get an armored
car that cheap, and certainly not in less than a day. One Secret Service
agent was a quick thinker. The federal government did already have in its
possession a car that just might fit the bill: Al Capone's, which had been
sitting in a Treasury Department parking lot ever since it had been seized
from the infamous mobster during the IRS' tax evasion suit years earlier.
Capone's car was a sight to behold. It
had been painted black and green so as to look identical to Chicago's
police cars at the time. It also had a specially installed siren and flashing
lights hidden behind the grille, along with a police scanner radio. To
top it off, the gangster's 1928 Cadillac 341A Town Sedan had 3,000 pounds
of armor and inch-thick bulletproof windows. Mechanics are said to have
cleaned and checked each feature of the Caddy well into the night of December
7th, to make sure that it would run properly the next day for the Commander
"I hope Mr. Capone won't mind," FDR said when a reporter told him
where the car came from.
FL Josh also worked out the 58008 918 thingy, and sent this: Here's
gallery of salvage yard pictures you might find interesting from the
aspect of photographic technique. Other than that, it gets a bit
And no, 6 is not a variable!!! I'll have to start calling him
LW Josh (last word).
After the irrigation this morning, Nancy wished me well on my first
shakedown and then suggested I park PJ in her yard at Forster on my next
trip. Forster is down the coast about half an hour from here and is a very
nice beachy touristy spot. How about that for a friendly dentist? She reckons
when the treatment is finally over I'll suffer Nancy withdrawals.
Home from the doc's and getting the stitches removed, but the report
says the cancer has reached the periphery of the incision so he wants to
see me again in a month to decide what needs to be done (if anything).
From the Beeb: Ratings agency Fitch has put the US AAA credit rating
under review for a downgrade as the deadline to raise the US borrowing
limit draws closer. The move comes after Democrats rejected a plan by the
Republican-led House of Representatives as an attempt to appease a small
group of conservatives. Hours later, House Republicans revised their proposal
and planned to put it to a vote, but even that was called off. The US must
raise its $16.7tn (£10.5tn) debt limit by
Thursday or risk default.
The funeral service for Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke in Italy
has been called off amid angry protests. More than 500 people in the city
of Albano Laziale shouted "murderer" and "executioner", and clashed with
Nazi sympathisers, as his coffin passed. The former German SS officer,
who was jailed for life in 1998 over the killing of more than 300 civilians,
died under house arrest last week. His death led to fierce debate over
what to do with his body.
Been fiddling around with PJ in readiness for history in the making.
Young Keiran walked past and said g'day on his way down to the river for
spot of fishing. I had my back to him and when I turned around, fair dinkum,
I thought I was seeing his older bro Josh from several years ago. Keiran
is becoming more Aboriginal looking as he ages. He's a very friendly boy.
He could have walked past without saying anything, since I was busy rummaging
around in one of PJ's storage bins, but he took the time to say g'day and
Meanwhile, I tried the sink tap again. Lots off huffing and puffing
but no water. So I used my new hose to fill the tank and learn a thing
or two about kinks (don't say it) and rolling it up again so it fits neatly
into the bin. Why are hoses so damn argumentative? Anyway, more huffing
and puffing from the 12v pump which eventually sucked up enough water to
fill the hose leading to the tap and deliver the goods.
I tried to plug the house power into PJ using a regular extension cord
but the power inlet wouldn't accept the extension plug. The third pin is
a slightly different shape. I checked the old one that Andrew replaced
and it's the same, so it looks like I need a different kind of extension
lead. I've left a question about that on the
GN techies forum. Prolly something to do with amps.
I'm freezing 4 ice bricks overnight and I'll use them to help start
the fridge early tomorrow morning. Lindsay needs to be at Wingham tomorrow
at 1pm ish so I told him I'd give him a lift. That gives me the morning
to get organized. This packing and unpacking business gives me the horrors
so I'll be glad when I'm on the road permanently. First things first, though.
Am I excited? No. Maybe it hasn't sunk in yet.
TX Greg wrote again after he'd noticed I'd fixed the 710 pic, and after
blaming Bill for all the problems (instead of me hehe) he left us with
this: I just came up with a stupid Bill joke...
Why is it computers can never get married???
Because the all-mighty creator Bill made sure that there aren't two
that are compatible.
Warned you it was a stupid joke, HAHAHA
October 15, 2013. Quite a good response from GNs who enjoyed
the colorful birds slide show I put together yesterday. I hadn't realized
there were so many enthusiastic bird watchers on the forum. Noice one,
Art. Art also sent a bunch of historic photos which I'll use to make an
album. He sent a collection
of historic photos once before but these are different. I'll make the
new one later.
An elderly couple was attending a church service. About halfway through
she leans over and says to her husband. "I just let out a silent fart.
What do you think I should do?"
He replies, "Put a new battery in your hearing aid."
Steve W wrote: You may want to consider getting the "bike rack" number
plate as I'm not sure yours will comply with the bike on the back.
I was once pulled over for just that and spent 20 minutes with highway
patrol officer discussing the distance and the angle that the plate must
be visible from behind. We were measuring by pacing and then marking distances
and arguing over what was 30 degrees of angle. I eventually wore him down
when I started using trigonometry and similar bullshit and he figured it
was easier just to let me go! That is a point, I have found a few times
that if you talk civilly to the police they can often come around to seeing
your point - despite what many people say to the contrary, most are human
and reasonable........and if all else fails, try trigonometry!!
Yeah, right. Trigonometry. How did you know I'm an absolute whizz at
trig? I had a license plate on the rack for Tough Titties but I sold TT
back in 2009. I think the plate cost $25.
TX Greg wrote: Before you leave on your shakedown be sure to check
your engine 710 thingy :)
Wat Dat u say...?
Have you heard the one about the blonde that walked into the automotive
A blonde came in and asked for a seven-hundred-ten thingy. We all
looked at each other and another customer asked, "What in the world is
She replied, "You know, the part that's right in the middle of the
engine, I have lost the one I had and need a new one." She explained that
she did not know what it does, but this piece had always been there and
she thought she should have it replaced.
He gave her a piece of paper and a pen and asked her to draw what
it looked like. She drew a circle and in the middle of it wrote 710.
Still confused, he then took her over to another car which had its
hood up and asked "is there a 710 piece on this car?"
She pointed and said, "Of course, its right there..."
I was thinking about heating stuff (without a micro). There's one glass-lidded
saucepan in PJ but I'm not keen on a whole stack of pots and pans. So I
rummaged around in the kitchen (in the house) and saw a bunch of metal
bowls with flat bottoms in various sizes that fit inside each other. I'd
forgotten about those! I've had them for years! They have pliable plastic
lids for storage but can also be used for heating foods. Yeah? No handles
so I'll get a pair of mini tongs or a clip-on handle if I can find one.
Prob solved. It's amazing what you find in kitchen cupboards.
My cooking routine (such as it is) will need to change during mini camps
while I'm still on this toothless diet. No electrical appliances. But that's
okay. I'll figure something out.
More prezzies! Just back from shopping. Spotted a garden hose for $8
with fittings. Seems like a softer material than normal and it rolls up
pretty tight. I also bought a 1 liter vacuum flask for $11, perfect to
hold 2 x pre-made smoothies. I already have 2 x 600ml flasks but I can
use those for something else, like hot water first thing in the morning
to make tea. And I bought 2 tubes of condensed milk and a 1 liter tub of
double thick custard - Nancy's orders. Hehe.
Oh, I didn't find a clip on handle for the bowls, and I didn't like
the tongs. Sooooo, I thought about it and decided a pair of pliers might
do the trick. I have a few in my tool drawer including a pair that is a
cross between pliers and an adjustable wrench with an angled head (like
the one in the center of this pic but with flat jaws). I tried it out
with the bowls and it works a treat. So there ya go... right under my nose
all the time.
From the Beeb: US Senate leaders have expressed optimism after a
flurry of negotiations on raising the federal debt ceiling to avert a potentially
disastrous default. Following talks with his Republican counterpart, the
Senate's top Democrat spoke of "tremendous progress". They were also nearing
a deal to end a partial government shutdown, now in its third week, congressional
sources said. Masochists.
A Malaysian court has ruled that non-Muslims cannot use the word
Allah to refer to God, even in their own faiths, overturning a 2009 lower
court ruling. The appeals court said the term Allah must be exclusive to
Islam or it could cause public disorder. People of all faiths use the word
Allah in Malay to refer to their Gods. OMA
doesn't look right. I'll stick to OMG.
I wuz talking about mathematics the other day. Here's
a little mathematical gem from a GN.
As to Greg's Seven Ten thingy, one GN wants to know Did she have
58008 918? Anyone know what he's talking about?
Well, time to vanish for another day. Irrigation and stitches out tomorrow,
then prepare for the first shakedown. How exciting! This will be history
in the making, dear Breth! Gary
October 14, 2013. Back from another irrigation and more badgering
from the girls to put on weight. They suggested sucking on a tube of condensed
milk, silly as it sounds. But why not? A sort of snacky thing in between
meals. In any case, the "half a millimeter at a time" treatment seems to
be working, according to Nancy. Progress, albeit s l o w l y.
Ford won the Bathurst 1000 yesterday, then followed 5 Holdens. The winning
margin was about half a second after 1000kms. In the top ten placings were
Fords and 7 Holdens. Hehe. But winners are grinners, and winning is
what it's all about. A Mercedes-Benz was 14th, three Nissans at 18th, 19th
and 25th, and another two Mercedes at 20th and 26th.
Meanwhile, strong winds battered much of NSW and bushfires were in many
places, including just south of Newcastle where 6 homes were destroyed.
A grass fire in a car park in Sydney, possibly started by a cigarette or
hot exhaust, destroyed 47 parked cars. The wind was pretty wild up here
too but I haven't heard any reports of damage. Today has gone the other
way - no wind and mild temps.
It's all happening, folks. Andrew phoned this morning and will be here
soon to loosen the tow ball, and also to take a peek at the water pump.
Isn't that exciting? Speaking of exciting, check out this post by a GN
what it means to be a capitalist or socialist et al.
And this is what Billeeeeeee wrote in response to a newbie's post on
the forum who's all set to rock and roll with the new rig: Howdyeeeee
DD, might see you out here in the Nutty Nomad land, very easy to tell Nutty
Nomads,!! all very excited, like,,, Marj Yoeleven,
Doug-wwee, and may I tentatively give one more name here,,, Gary
Kelly, !!Once Gary trims the Hair in his ears, and nose , he will
be aerodynamically designed , and fit right into the Nomad life style.........soooooo
see you in the play ground,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, !!Remember,!!
we are not guaranteed tomorrow , soooooo enjoy !!Now........ Billeeeeeee.......
My mother warned me about mixing with the Billeeeeeees of this world
Andrew discovered that the pump switch is intermittently faulty, perhaps
through having not been used for ages or whatever. But after a bit of testing
and fiddling, the switch worked consistently. However, he attached an extra
toggle switch on the wires leading to the tap. The extra switch is hidden
in the cupboard below the fridge. So if/when the tap switch plays up again,
all I have to do is pull the toggle switch and the water will flow. It's
a back up, and cheaper than a new tap switch. Meanwhile, the tap switch
may never have a problem again. I asked him how much for the job and he
said it's a freebie. I insisted on paying something so he said $20. I gave
AND, I tried the rear view camera with the bike sitting on the rack.
No worries! So everything is hunky dory.
Last week, NC Art sent a series of pics depicting a variety of colored
birds in all their feathered glory. It was called God's Paintbrush but
I changed it to Nature's Paintbrush cos I'm nasty. Anyway, now that I have
the latest version of jAlbum, I
put the photos together to make a slide show.
From the Beeb: On the beat with New York's crime photographer: For
at least one group of hardened professionals in New York City, near record-low
crime figures are distinctly bad for business. At almost every major crime
scene in the city, the press photographers trail right behind the police
cars and ambulances - or even beat them there. Marc Hermann, now in his
early 30s, worked as a staff crime photographer for the New York Daily
News for years. He began wondering what it would be like to see how past
crime scenes from New York's streets have changed. His Then and Now series
went viral, and he took BBC News to some of his favourite locations. It
is partly a tribute to the old-timers who captured the dramatic aftermath
of organised crime in its hey-day, and an homage
to the city's turbulent history.
A gardener from Dorset has claimed a UK record for the heaviest pumpkin,
following a national contest. A weigh-in at the Jubilee Sailing Trust Pumpkin
Festival in Netley, near Southampton, found Mark Baggs's pumpkin weighed
1,520lb (689kg). Can
you imagine a pumpkin weighing almost as much as PJ?
Well, today was rather fruitful - and the pump issue was sorted without
too much drama. Thursday I plan to leave on the shakedown despite a shower
predicted for late that day. It's all part of the rugged nomadic lifestyle,
yeah? Hehe. But Friday and Satdee look good. Not sure how long I'll be
able to camp at the council camp site but we'll see. And now it's telly
time - and yes, the telly will be coming along as well. Gary
October 13, 2013. A forecast 36C today but it's only 18 at the
mo and cloudy with possible thunderstorms. Oh well, que sera sera...
TX Greg wrote: Oooooh Gary,
Remember Andrew only installed the ONE new independent power strip
inside for use off the inverter. The red and black leads with the clips
to the battery should only run direct to the back side input of the inverter.
The water pump and faucet switch would be 12 volts.
The way you described the problem tho makes a tech want to pull their
hair out, hehe. "So I attached the alligator clips to the house battery
and whammo, the pump works."
To me that sounds as if the VERY second you connect the clips to
the battery the pump comes on? And if you remove the clips the pump goes
off. If SO then somehow the 12v for the pump is connected to those wires
going to the input for the inverter.
BUT knowing YOU I'm thinking that you attached the clips and then
went back inside and turned the switch again and it worked, right? Hence
why you thought it worked off the inverter. So I'm guessing that it is
possible that the switch could be going bad or maybe a bad/loose connection
to the water pump, OR perhaps the operator??? hehe
Yes, I attached the clips, went back inside, tried the switch again
and it worked. So as soon as I finish this coffee, I'll try again without
attaching the clips. I'll also try the fans, etc. And what's with this
knowing ME jazz?
Back! This time it doesn't work either way, but I discovered something
about one of the alligator cllips. The acid from the old battery ate away
some of the metal on one side of the black clip, so I've learned to attach
it on the good side. However, the pump fault lies with the switch or the
wiring, and it could be the latter cos I noticed a pretty dodgy looking
join in the wires leading from the tank box (where I presume the pump is
housed) to the tap/faucet - an old join with tape wrapped loosely around
it. So there's another job for Andrew when he arrives to loosen the tow
ball. BTW, the fans and all the other stuff work okay. Sooooo, that's why
shakedowns are called shakedowns.
NC Art commented on my piece about logic and religion yesterday: A
preacher man told me it takes a leap of faith to bridge the gap between
reason and belief. Ok maybe, but with my luck I’d miss the target and break
both legs, I said. He was not amused.
I had a baptist minister tell me one time that I needed grace. So what's
grace? An antidote to logic?
Art also sent a bunch of puppy dogs quoting profundity which
I assembled into an album. I also upgraded jAlbum to the latest version,
which is pretty flash, but it cost $40 to get the damn thing ad free! Oh
From the Beeb: Negotiations over how to end a political stalemate
in Washington that has led to a partial government shutdown have shifted
to the Senate. The Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate held
direct talks for the first time in weeks, but there is little sign of any
breakthrough, correspondents say. This
has happened before. The system is broke. Fix it.
Lindsay amuses me when he keeps doing things the wrong way and stuffs
up or makes life difficult for himself. He reasons that "I've always done
it this way," so therefore that makes it right. I've heard Americans in
defense of their country's system of government say, "Get used to it. This
is the way we do things here." Hehe.
The little-told story of the massive WWII pet cull. At the beginning
of World War II, a government pamphlet led to a massive cull of British
pets. As many as 750,000 British pets were killed in just one week. This
little-discussed moment of panic is
explored in a new book.
FL Josh has a thing or two he would like to share with you about what
I wrote yesterday in relation to religion and logic:
You commented, "To my mind, religion and logic are not on the same
page. But that's me. I know there are scientists who are religious, and
lots of clever people who are religious, so now I'm wondering if it's possible
to be highly educated without being logical hehe." Your conclusion is based
on your own personal belief that a person cannot be both logical and religious.
Maybe those "highly educated people" picked up something on the road to
becoming highly educated that allows them to see things you cannot, and
logical people can also be religious.
Roite, so now wondering is a conclusion.
I have taught math from high school to college level and was amazed
at your comment, "Take math, for example. You can't get any more logical
than math. But math wasn't invented by mathematicians. Mathematicians or
masters of calculus can learn the subject by rote and be expert in its
application, but that's a bit like teaching a parrot to recite Shakespeare
hehe." That is wrong in so many ways, it boggles the mind. First of all,
mathematics wasn't invented, the many different disciplines of it were
discovered, starting with the concept of counting, and expanding onward
over many thousands of years. Those who studied mathematics were called
mathematicians and since it was these people who developed new ways of
working with numbers, if you are going to say math was invented, it was
done so by mathematicians, as opposed to historians, horticulturists, cobblers,
etc. And you imply another name for mathematicians is masters of calculus.
Calculus is just one small area of math, and there are many, many other
areas, like algebra, differential equations, plane and solid geometry,
and so on.
That's roite. Math wasn't invented. That's what I said.
And you say one can learn math by rote and become an expert in its
application, and that learning math is like teaching a parrot to recite
Shakespeare. If Johnny takes Algebra and learns that X = 6, then according
to your belief, all he has to do is commit it to memory by rote and he
is set for life and anytime he comes across an equation with X in it, he
knows X = 6 because he memorized that in school. That could not be further
from the truth. The reason kids in school have trouble with math is because
it is the subject they take that is farthest from being something learned
by rote. Instead, it demands they learn concepts and tools and they use
those to solve problems they have never seen before. History and Geography
are subjects one can learn by rote, just memorize the facts and parrot
them back on a test. If you learn in Geography that Canberra is the capital
of Australia, and ten years later, someone asks you what is the capital
of Australia, you parrot back to them, "Canberra."
Everyone knows that X and 6 are variables. Including me.
Math isn't a discipline you apply using logic, no more than a carpenter
uses logic to build a cabinet. The carpenter uses the tools in his toolbox
to build the cabinet and the person doing math uses the math tools in their
head to solve the problem. If you need to drive 500 miles and you can average
50 mph, you can figure out how long it will take you to get there using
the math formula rate x time = distance.
Furthermore, logic does not necessarily lead to truth. In ancient
times, people thought the earth was flat, and because they could not know
this for a fact with the knowledge they had on hand, they arrived at that
conclusion using logic. Benjamin Franklin used logic to decide whether
electrons flowed from positive to negative or negative to positive, and
based on his conclusion, he developed all his electrical formulas. He got
it exactly backwards, but his equations still worked. His equations were
developed to match the results he was getting from his experiments but
where used logic, he missed the boat.
Columbus used logic to figure out that he had found a shortcut to
India, and he named the natives he found, Indians. He was wrong.
Lemme get this straight, Josh. I said logic leads to truth did I? Oh...
short term memory problem. Sorry.
And then you say, "I'd love to see the results of a survey that measured
a religious group's ability to reason logically and compare it to a group
of logical thinkers' ability to accept religious belief." That paragraph
is as inane as the one preceding it. In doesn't even make sense, but even
if did, you couldn't obtain the information you seek from a survey. How
would you select your samples as to "religious people" and "logical thinkers?"
What in the world is a religious person? Einstein was a great thinker and
when asked about religion, he would wisely dance around the subject because
the fact was he wasn't impressed with organized religions, but he did believe
in a higher power. Many of our greatest thinkers have ended up at the same
place Einstein did. So is Einstein a "religious person?" Going with the
plain meaning of the religious, one would probably have to say no, he wasn't
a religious person yet he believed in a God.
And how do you select people who are logical thinkers? You would
have to look into their history of decision making and see if they made
sound decisions, decisions that were logically thought out, thought out
with reason, and making use of all the information they needed to arrive
at a decision that was supported by the information they used to arrive
at it. It doesn't matter whether the decision was good or bad, only that
his deductive reasoning was sound. If I am watching a parade with hundreds
of others and we are all sitting on the sidewalk, and I stand up and find
I can see better, logically if everyone stood up, everyone can see better.
The logic is sound, the conclusion is flawed.
Why are you asking me these questions, Josh? I said I'd love to see
the results of such a survey; nothing about putting one together myself.
As to Einstein believing in "a higher power", me too. Nature. How do you
know Einstein meant "a God" when he used the words "higher power"?
And what would a "logical thinker’s ability to accept religious belief"
be? I don't even know what is saying. Most religious beliefs do seem logical.
Assuming there is a loving God who controls things, if you love your neighbor
as you love yourself, he will reward you. Would a "logical thinker," say
that is not logical. Your belief that such cannot be logical is based on
your belief that there is no God, that everything just occurred by happen
chance. If you were living 1000 years ago, you could argue, "Would logical
people believe what the round worlders believe?" First of all, you can
not sail around the world because the world is flat, thus the idea that
you can is not logical. And with your beliefs and knowledge, it truly is
illogical, so to you, it really is not logical.
What would a "logical thinker" think of the fantasy we tell kids
about Santa Clause? Well, it brings joy to billions of children around
the world, and many of those children are in very poor families and the
children know their parents cannot spare money to buy gifts, but on Christmas
morning, they can enjoy the gifts they received from Santa, without feeling
guilty about money the family needed for other things being spent on them.
And it gives the parents a way to make great sacrifices for their children
without making them feel guilty. Would a logical thinker decide that is
a bad thing?
A logical thinker would say Santa makes kids believe in lotteries -
something for nothing, and that Santa is a tool for parents to blackmail
their kids into behaving themselves if they want to see goodies under the
Christmas tree. Religion uses the same trick to keep their flocks in line.
What would a logical thinker think about all the good that organized
religions do all around the world, the hungry people they feed and clothe
and provide medical care for, all the comfort they bring to literally billions
of people. Would a logical thinker think that is a good thing or a bad
thing? Sure there are some fanatics, but look at all the people who are
killed each year in automobile accidents, yet because the good we get from
cars outweighs the bad, we put up with the bad. We try to reduce it, like
we try to reduce the religious fanatics who do harm, but we don't cut off
our nose to spite our face.
A logical thinker would think it's a good thing the poor, hungry and
sick exist in order to give organized religion something worthwhile to
do, which they otherwise wouldn't have.
Would a logical thinker take into consideration how organized religions
motivate billions of people to lead better lives than they would otherwise,
commit fewer crimes, be more generous to others, accept tough lives. You
are not a religious man so it didn't bother you at all to not give Lindsey
a ride to see his beloved Sue the other day when he asked, but if you had
been a religious person, you would have been glad to. Was the world a better
place with your decision? Would a logical thinker be able to see that?
A logical thinker would think that your opening sentence is hypothesizing.
And you're dead wrong about Lindsay.
Oftentimes, a person’s religious beliefs will guide their behavior
in a positive way when that person lacks the empathy to make decisions
that are good for those around them, rather than just good for their selfish
self. Would a logical thinker think that is a good thing or bad.
A logical thinker would think that's a rhetorical question.
Weeeeeell, it's a good thing my awning is not up or the camp furniture
out cos it's been blowing a gale here this afternoon. Funny weather. But
it looks pretty good through next week, and towards the end for the shakedown.
If the water pump is not fixed in time that won't matter - there'll be
water available at the camp site. What I'm most looking forward to most
is spending a bit of time with the Nikon at sparrow's and again at sundown.
Meanwhile, it's hooroo time. Gary
October 12, 2013. Jeez, these weekends come around pretty damn
quickly. Nudja one already! And before the next one arrives, I'll be a
seasoned gypsy - almost. NC Art says: Waiting to be entertained with
an account of PJ’s first encounter with the nomadic life.
Art also commented on the vans slide show: About those great vans,
the Ford Econoline was a bust. Underpowered, overhyped and guaranteed to
disintegrate within three years. I bought one for local deliveries and
it encouraged delivery drivers to punish it mercilessly just trying to
But, the Mercedes-Benz is a dream. My son has one fitted
out for work, carrying portable generators, compressors, and a full-bore
paint shop. Diesel engine is economical, and it drives beautifully. One
idiosyncrasy, when starting one must have patience because this over-engineered
feature means it will not start until the computer checks out all systems
for optimal efficiency. Do not use as getaway vehicle after bank robbery.
Hehe. I have to say the most impressive car I've ever owned was the
Benz. A dime a dozen in Germany and the Middle East where they were used
as taxis (the 4-pot, 200 series) but pretty flash over here at the time.
Mine was previously owned by a German who worked at the German Embassy
in Canberra. Now I drive a car previously owned by a plumber from Queensland.
A couple of GNs have invited me to spend a while at Greens Lake in Victoria.
Bit far for me at the mo. But Greens is a fav spot for several nomads.
Billeeeeeee is the group's unofficial spokesperson. He posted another of
his pics on the forum this morning. I told him I'll print it so I can recognize
him when I get there (one of these days).
Billeeeeeee reckons that pic was taken of him coming out of the cop
shop after bailing John (another GN) who was arrested for continually mooning
the barmaid at the pub hehe. Charming lot aren't they?
Bloody hot outside but I fiddled around with PJ anyway. My squishy hose
lasted exactly 1 second. The pressure of the water blew the squishy hose
out of the normal hose I had it attached to with double clamps. The rubber
is too soft to grip. So, goodbye squishy hose. I'll get a regular one.
Meanwhile, I used the watering can with spout to put about 15 liters of
water into the tank, then I tested the pump. No workies. Oops! Lights work.
Radio works. So I attached the alligator clips to the house battery and
whammo, the pump works. I was gonna do some other stuff but it's too hot
out there. 30C.
Hmmm, so does that mean the lights and radio work directly off the house
battery, and the pump works off the inverter? I guess so.
I caught something on The Drum last night about whistleblowers, the
Obama administration, and the recent publicity given to the US administration
secretly spying on millions of individuals by sourcing private internet.data.
Mention was made of the making of the film Zero Dark Thirty, and how the
US government shared secret information with the producers because it suited
them. But when the sharing of secret information by unauthorized whistleblowers
occurs, that's a different story. One commenter said it was disappointing
that Obama won office on a promise of openness in government, transparency,
and respect for the people. And then his admin turns around and spies on
them in secret.
Being a weekend, The Drum hasn't posted last night's episode on line
yet. But I did find this story on the same subject written in the Guardian
by John Kirriakou, himself a victim of The Espionage Act. It
makes pretty interesting reading.
Mention was also made last night of a Taliban spokesperson calling 16-year-old
Malala Yousafzai an enemy of Islam. Malala was shot in the head by the
Taliban last year but survived to become a celebrity, speaking out for
education and freedom, particularly for girls. She's been nominated for
the Nobel Peace Prize. A journalist on The Drum said the Taliban spokesperson
(and others like him) was impossible to deal with because his reasoning
is without logic. That got me to thinking about logic and religion. To
my mind, religion and logic are not on the same page. But that's me. I
know there are scientists who are religious, and lots of clever people
who are religious, so now I'm wondering if it's possible to be highly educated
without being logical hehe.
Take math, for example. You can't get any more logical than math. But
math wasn't invented by mathematicians. Mathematicians or masters of calculus
can learn the subject by rote and be expert in its application, but that's
a bit like teaching a parrot to recite Shakespeare hehe.
I'd love to see the results of a survey that measured a religious group's
ability to reason logically and compare it to a group of logical thinkers'
ability to accept religious belief.
Anyway, it gets back to that Taliban spokesperson whose thought processes
are determined by one thing, and one thing only - dogma.
The Beeb was a bit uneventful today, and nothing much else to do, so
I thought I'd do a little D&M deliberating, yes? Passes the time. So
does making a bolognaise, which I've just done, and it's now simmering
for later consumption. Did you read that article yesterday about consumers
and manfucturing and assembly lines and 3D printing? That was pretty interesting
too. The future is blowin' in the wind, folks. Gary
October 11, 2013. What a contrast! Heat wave one day, mild and
cloudy the next. Stan the Lawn Man was here briefly yesterday to inspect
the lawns (mine and Averil's) and said it was too dry to mow. We could
do with some rain, that's for sure. Yeah, just when I'm plannng my first
I read one GN's thread this morning. He's been a Nomad for 7 years but
after 2 years of travel visited Darwin, got a job in the mines and stayed
for 5 years. That's a bloody long camp! I guess you never know what's gonna
happen 'out there'. Actually, I can't see myself moving camp after one
or two days like some GNs do. I tend to get comfortable (and lazy) hehe.
But all will be revealed in the fullness of time.
Andrew is one of those nuggety blokes who's as strong as an ox, so when
he tightens a nut it's TIGHT. I can't loosen the nut on the tow bar so
I called and asked him to drop in next time he's in town. Great timing
- he was in town all morning and just got home. Anyway, this morning I
realized I tested the rear view cam with the bicycle rack but minus the
I've also been wondering about the Fiamma awning along the side of PJ.
It's easy to set up by only one person as
demonstrated in this video. I rather fancy the operator's uniform as
well, and am tempted to invest in one. Actually, those awnings are quite
expensive. PJ has about two grand's worth.
From the Beeb: Republicans in the US House of Representatives have
met President Barack Obama amid renewed efforts to avert a looming debt
crisis. Both sides described the 90-minute meeting as useful but said no
decision was made. They agreed to keep talking. Republicans have offered
the president a short-term
debt limit increase to stave off default.
Imagine a world without shops or factories. When you are in the middle
of a torrent of change, innovation eclipsing innovation, it can be hard
to know what is passing and what will last. But the BBC's Peter Day believes
that, here, in 2013, we are witnessing a revolution as profound as the
birth of printing 500 years ago.
Scott Carpenter, one of the original members of the Mercury 7 - Nasa's
first group of astronauts - has died aged 88, his family has announced.
In 1962 Mr Carpenter became the second American to orbit the earth, piloting
the Aurora 7 spacecraft through three revolutions of the earth. After
retiring in 1969 he took up oceanographic activities.
Heart-shaped boxes: The
10 grooviest vans (slideshow).
Yep, vans are cool. Bluey was not suited to the Odyssey but was nonetheless
a great car. But I think I've been converted to utes. Their versatility
is wonderful. They have a car-like cab with all the comforts, a tray at
the back for carrying all kinds of bulky items, the option of a detachable
canopy to make it weatherproof, and you can park it anywhere. They're also
rugged with a strong chassis. The only downside to owning a ute (or box
trailer) is that you become everybody's best friend.
Meanwhile, I'm less than a week away from my first foray into the wild
blue yonder with PJ (about 20 minutes up the road hehe). First meals using
the kitchen, first sleep in the cabover, first time with camp furniture
under the awning, first time for ages riding the bike, first time out in
the bush by a river at sunrise and sunset... yeah, first time for a lotta
things. First time using the comp outdoors. According to the forecast,
the weather looks okay with maybe a shower or two later in the week. Next
Wednesday is when the doc removes the stitches so I'll head off Thursday
or Friday. Gotta be back Sunday 20th cos I have a dental appointment next
So, dear Breth, after all these years of planning and talking and dreaming
and wondering, I'll actually BE there DOING it. With a bit of luck, there'll
be some other campers/overnighters there with some interesting stories.
You can bet your life I'll be invited to share a meal. Sorry, no can do.
Drat! What I'm mostly curious to know is will it live up to expectations?
Not that my expectations are very specific. In fact, I'm not sure what
to expect apart from the obvious. My only experience thus far is a few
camping trips in the Kombi, but that wasn't as well set up as PJ. Prior
to that, I spent 5 weeks camping at various places on the South Coast with
a mate back in the mid 60s but that was in a tent. We had a pretty good
time though, except he was big time into surfing and I was big time into
This will be the first time I've been camping on my own, which will
give me more independence and freedom. I also have a purpose which involves
the web site and my cameras. So we'll see how the mystery unfolds. Gary
October 10, 2013. Gonna be a hottie today with a top of 38C (100F)
and it ain't even summer yet. Earlier, I received a package of something
you wouldn't wanna sit on by accident... Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack
Cure. It's a liquid sealant used for mystery leaks - "finds and seals leaks,
seals hairline cracks". Not needed at the mo but ya never know when it'll
come in handy. Another one for the tool box.
TX Greg wrote: Don't forget to add to that check list to latch the
fridge door. Not a fun sight to see everything in the fridge on the floor.
On arrival home after one of the earlier test flights, I found the fridge
door wide open. Oops! So the door is now permanently secured by a long
narrow bolt that slips in and out of the hole in the top corner of the
One GN wrote this morning that he was camped at a spot with no public
loo. He's got a porta potti but has never used it in 2 years of travelling
so he decided to camp overnight and move on the next day rather than christen
the PP. Then another GN wrote that there were loos and hot showers just
half a K up the road from there, an easy walk. But I thought it was interesting
that the porta potti was still a virgin even after 2 years on the road.
I was thinking about gray water disposal for camp sites that only allow
"self contained" vehicles. A bucket was the first thing that came to mind
but then I thought about an empty 5 liter container (such as those used
for radiator fluid) with a narrow neck and screw top. Pop the drainage
hose into the top and no worries. Easy to carry somewhere to dispose of
the contents. There's only cooking and washing to do - no shower. Instant
From the Beeb: The US is suspending a large part of the $1.3bn (£810m)
in aid it gives to Egypt's military. The delivery of large-scale military
systems as well as cash assistance to the Egyptian government would be
withheld, said the state department. It said "credible progress" must be
made towards free and fair elections. Yeah,
and besides, we're broke.
Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has told the BBC he is
open to "serious talks" with the government but says he has not yet been
approached. In a rare interview, he denied carrying out recent deadly attacks
in public places but said he would continue to target "America and its
encouraging. We're off to a great start then.
The discovery of the first chemical to prevent the death of brain
tissue in a neurodegenerative disease has been hailed as an exciting and
historic moment in medical research. More work is needed to develop a drug
that could be taken by patients. But scientists say a resulting medicine
could treat Alzheimer's,
Parkinson's, Huntington's and other diseases.
If religious and/or ideological fanatics like the Taliban believe in
one god, one truth and one direction for all, then obviously democracy
and freedom of thought and expression are not options. Live and let live
is not on their agenda. So what's the point of talks aimed at compromise?
There can be no compromise unless there's respect on both sides. Fanatics
have no respect for anyone other those who share their belief. It's all
a bit of a worry, isn't it.
I used to wonder why some countries/cultures choose to declare America
and its "friends" as their natural enemy even though all America and its
friends want to do is live peacefully together in a shared world. If only
it were that simple. It's what America and its friends stand for - freedom,
and the defense of freedom - that automatically classifies them in the
eyes of fanatics as infidels; enemies of Islam, or in North Korea's case,
enemies of autocracy or totalitarianism. So that's the way it is sometimes
- you don't need to go out of your way to attract an enemy; you don't need
to provoke anyone; you just need to be minding your own business when some
fool decides he doesn't like you.
Right on our doorstep is the democratic Republic of Indonesia, with
its population of about 250m people making it the world's fourth most populous
country. Indonesia is mainly Islam but also Hindu, Christian, Buddhist
and whatever else. The country has its share of fanatical ratbags but generally
everyone gets along just fine, and the country has a good relationship
with Australia. Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity
in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), articulates the diversity that
shapes the country, which this year hosted APEC. So obviously
Islam itself doesn't have a problem with tolerance and peaceful coexistence,
it's just those irritating, half wit fanatics.
Back in 1930 in the US, the automobile industry was rapidly approaching
the end of one era and about to launch itself into a decade of major change
both in design and construction methods. Independent front coil suspension,
"knee-action" shock absorbers, hydraulic brakes and sophisticated aerodynamics
were just a few of the innovations of the 1930s. But, in terms of sheer
cuteness and simplicity, it's pretty hard to go past grandpa's old buggy.
Isn't she sweet? I think it's adorable. Nice job of widening the wheels,
too, without compromising authenticity. Yep, that was the end of an era.
These days, you can barely tell the difference between models ten years
apart, but the difference between that 1930 Ford and
its 1940 brother was like chalk and cheese.
Do you have a GPS
like this one?
Well, time to flop in the chair and cool off. Way too hot today to do
anything energetic. I've solved the problem of feeling guilty about being
lazy by pretending I'm on holiday hehe. Gary
October 9, 2013. Off to the doc's shortly to have a skin cancer
on my neck removed. Then a week not being able to shower properly until
the stitches are removed and then? Shakedown #1 time!
I'll take the Nikon with me to the doc's cos I wanna check out the jacaranda
trees on the other side of the river. They should be in peak bloom. There's
a number of them that look pretty stunning when they're in flower. I remember
well the jacaranda next door when I was a kid. We had a big camphor laurel
in our yard that I loved to climb. Kids and trees have a special relationship.
NC Art contributed this: Seniors and Computers...
As we Silver Surfers know, sometimes we have trouble with our computers.
I had a problem yesterday, so I called Eric, the 11 year old next door,
whose bedroom looks like Mission Control and asked him to come over. Eric
clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.
As he was walking away, I called after him, 'So, what was wrong?'
He replied, 'It was an ID ten T error.'
I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, 'An, ID
ten T error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again.'
Eric grinned...'Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?'
'No,' I replied.
'Write it down,' he said, 'and I think you'll figure it out.'
So I wrote down:
I used to like Eric, the little shithead.
And here's one from the GN forum: The
Bsck from being stabbed and incised. The doc had a student there assisting
which wasn't a worry. I've been stitched up by lots of students in my time.
But it was when David was saying, "No, no, no, no, no, not like that. Pull
it out," that I became curious about what was going on hehe. And it happened
a couple of times, so god knows how many punctures there are. I also had
a couple more cancers burnt off.
And the jacarandas? It's been a warm winter and hot spring so they flowered
early and are now shedding the flowers in favor of foliage. Oh well...
Here's a pic of a
jacaranda in full bloom I took a couple of years ago.
From the Beeb: US President Obama has said he is willing to hold
budget talks with Republicans, but not until they agree to lift "threats"
against the economy. Republicans "don't get to demand ransom in exchange
for doing their jobs,'' Mr Obama said, by demanding concessions in policy
before reopening government. Meanwhile,
the world waits with some anxiety.
The parents of four boys who were found in a filthy Denver home suffering
from malnourishment and only able to talk in grunts are facing charges
of abuse. The sons of Wayne Sperling, 66, and Lorinda Bailey, 35, were
found amid cat faeces and fly swarms, officials said. The pair did not
enter pleas to multiple charges of felony child abuse at
their first court appearance.
Two scientists have won the Nobel prize in physics for their work
on the theory of the Higgs boson. Peter Higgs, from the UK, and Francois
Englert from Belgium, share the prize. In the 1960s, they were among several
physicists who proposed a mechanism to explain why the most basic building
blocks of the Universe have mass. What
was I doing in the 60s? I don't think you wanna know.
I suppose I better draw up a list of what to take on my first shakedown.
This is all new to me ya know. When I think of packing I think of Wingnut's
mother "helping" him prepare for the hiking trip hehe. Half of what she
packed - including PJs - were tossed out. Hmmm. PJs? I just realized that
my motorhome is called Pajamas. Anyway, I need a list.
When I'm permanently on the road, of course, I won't need a list. Everything
I own will already be on board. But I will need a check list to make sure
everything is A OK before I leave camp - hatch, tie downs, awnings, gas
off, windows shut, etc. It'll be in the cab next to the ignition.
One GN today asked about a bicycle cover and someone said they use a
BBQ cover. I must check it out. A ground sheet would be waaaaay too big.
Bill, the bloke with a similar rig to mine has taken a month off and
is travelling south from far north Queensland. Yesterday, he caught a few
Not a very appetizing looking chap but it does improve after 15 minutes
in boiling water. I'm not a crab expert but I hear that mud crabs are a
highly prized delicacy.
I think Bill is fishing somewhere at the mo. He runs a fishing charter
business on Magnetic Island (where he lives). He says he's not only a fisherman
but smells like one. You can see he has his name on his coffee mug hehe
- in case of theft.
Anyway, it's time again for me to scoot after another lazy day - albeit
one that involved a bit of surgery. The medicos call it a 'procedure'.
October 8, 2013. Rain! About five minutes worth. But I haven't
seen that stuff for ages! And speaking of water, I just asked GNs on the
TX Greg wrote: Yes indeed the olive oil or even vegetable oil spray
is a excellent idea as it would also help coat the rubber seal on the valve.
You gotta keep your rubber swollen. Nothing worst than a dried out cracked
If you were in class in Oz and asked the teacher for a rubber, she'd
give you an eraser.
BTW> It is also good to use "septic tank safe" toilet paper, will
break down easy and help not clog.
According to the GNs, if the porta potti sits in the same spot for a
while the paper forms a pyramid shape hehe. Good idea to give the potti
an occasional shake - a gentle shake, that is. Just think, people who live
in normal houses are missing out on all this cool fun.
Nancy gave me another irrigation this morning, and then picked away
at the dead exposed bone. I guess she's trying to get the bone and gum
to meet half way. She said the gap between the gum and bone has closed
by 2mm since this procedure started earlier this year. Doesn't sound a
lot but it is, and she's happy with the progress. However, she wants to
speed it up a bit so I'll now be getting two treatments a week, Mondays
Nap #2 already and it's only mid afternoon. I'm so incredibly relaxed
lately I could nod off for a week. It occurred to me this morning that
a good part of the reason is that Sue's not here. She's at Wingham hospital
in respite. Lindsay bussed it out there this morning. So without Sue here,
there are no dramas, no falls, no tears, no tantrums, no anxiety about
what she might get up to when Lindsay's out shopping or whatever. Even
Lindsay is well behaved. It's one against one now, not two against one.
From the Beeb: Hard-line conservatives see victory in debt limit
standoff. A faction of the Republican Party believes it cannot lose the
battle over raising the US government's borrowing limit - either they dismantle
the Democrats' healthcare reform, or the country has to live within its
means for a while. But
will the rest of the party stick with them?
US releases $100 banknote with new security features. The US Federal
Reserve has issued a new hi-tech $100 banknote comprising several new security
features. It includes a blue 3D security ribbon and a bell and inkwell
logo that authorities say are particularly
difficult to replicate.
Pentagon-funded Atlas robot refuses to be knocked over. Meet Atlas,
a humanoid robot capable of crossing rough terrain and maintaining its
balance on one leg even when hit from the side. And WildCat, the four-legged
robot that can gallop
untethered at up to 16mph (26km/h).
Have you seen TV footage of that Wildcat? Most amazing to see a bunch
of nuts and bolts trotting around on all fours like a pet pooch.
Thunder! Not all that much and probably won't last long, but it woke
sleeping beauty hehe and sent him to the loo. OR Richie has often remarked
on how I won't know myself when I eventually depart permanently on the
Odyssey and leave L&S behind for good. I hadn't really thought about
that aspect all that much but now that Sue's in respite, and this house
is quiet and calm, I'm finally realizing what a bundle of frazzled nerves
I've been for the past 12 years. No wonder I feel like a great weight has
been lifted from my shoulders.
Lindsay just mentioned that Sue might not return to this house, so I
asked if that was the word from the hospital. "No, it's just the way she
is. She's not the same girl. She's a different person. She'll probably
go straight into a nursing home." When I spoke to our GP a few weeks ago,
he let it slip that Sue might not be back, mainly because of Lindsay's
limited ability to care for her. I didn't share that info with Lindsay.
Better to let him hear it from the proper sources when the time comes.
So it could be that I'm not the one who leaves them. It might be the
other way around.
Well, a shorty I'm afraid... couldn't even find any camping piccies
on the GN forum to pinch. Catch you tomorrow. Gary
October 7, 2013. FL Josh wrote Unanswered Question: You commented
about when Averil is "on the phone to some insufferably boring person."
How do you know the person Averil is talking with is "insufferably boring,"
I'm a good guesser? Psychic? On the other hand, it could be that when
Averil says "Hello, Fred", I kinda know instinctively that she's talking
to Fred. In any case, Josh, I'm just one of those cynical types who thinks
everyone is insufferably boring until proven otherwise. I'm afraid I can't
suffer smalltalk unless it's my own. Kinda like farts.
On the subjects of fridges and nappy wash, TX Greg writes: Yeah your
driveway should be level enough to run the fridge. Remember the day the
guy dropped off PJ and
parked in the street... That would be too much off level. If you ever
have to park somewhere like that for more than 30 minutes, then turn off
Nappy Wash, hehe, reminded me of Cody and Steve using the word "nappy"
for a tantrum.
Yes, I was rather fond of that expression too hehe. In Oz, if someone
throws a tantrum, we say he "spat the dummy". Dummy = pacifier. However,
GNs who recommend nappy wash (powder) stress that it needs to be home brand
because the cheaper home brand doesn't use harmful chemicals. Here's a
paste from a GN thread: Just stick to the Homebrands
from Coles, Woolies, Aldi or Reject shop, these are only sodium percarbonate
usually states on label 34%. The branded products also have sodium percarbonate
but also seem to have other additions which for some reason don't seem
to work as well in toilets. If you are looking for more info just google,
sodium percarbonate there is a wealth of information. I just throw capful
or two into the porta potti toss in a bit of water and give it a shake,
if it starts to get on the nose just toss a bit more in, works for us,
and my job of emptying is so much easier, rarely any smell.
Well my two bobs worth. We use two caps of
Woolies Home Brand Nappy San. Dissolve two caps in a liter of warm water
in a bucket, and pour into the holding tank. Before putting the contents
in the tank, however, we put a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid, and
then add a decent hit of eucalyptus spray. End result no smell, and no
mould within the tank.
I would check the Nappy Wash to see if it contains chlorine bleach.
My worry would be the rubber gasket seals in the porta potty are not chlorine
resistant. That plus the fact that laundry detergents brakes down oils,
the rubber seals might not get the proper lubrication to keep them soft
and swollen for a tight working seal. If you were only using this potty
a couple times a year, no biggie, but 365 days a year could be a problem.
an eco friendly chemical...
How did you come up with "algae" growing in the porta potty? That's
a new one on me. I thought algae needed sunlight or even indirect sunlight
like in a home fish aquarium. I never have seen algae growing in a porta
potty or regular RV holding tanks. Now I have seen when people didn't use
some type of proper chemicals, mold and mildew and even maggots!!! Those
little buggers would love to grow on the top side of the tank by the seal
Ah, yes, algae. Well, I call it algae - sludge that apparently accumulates
in the loo water tank according to some GNs. Mold? Anyway, whatever it
is, they say a capful of nappy wash once every few weeks in the water tank
keeps it nice and clean. I remember someone saying a spray of olive oil
in the bowl stops "stuff" sticking hehe. Sounds like a good idea. I expect
to be using public loos most of the time but there are some camp sites
designated for "self-contained vehicles" only.
BTW, there was a doco on telly last night about Kakadu and the park
rangers who look after the environment to keep it free (relatively) of
feral animals and introduced flora. Other rangers police poachers (commercial
fishing), while others keep tourist areas free of salt water crocs. They
trapped one 12 footer last night in an area where there was insufficient
natural prey to satisfy such a large animal, meaning it would target humans,
so they shot it. The meat is given to local Aborigines who have traditionally
eaten croc, and the beast is gutted to inspect the contents of its stomach.
The smell of the digesting food is so putrid that one of the rangers became
physically ill. Ew! They shoot feral pics too and say they make good eating.
You won't be seeing me or PJ out in that kinda country hehe. I'll stick
to the safer areas thank you very much. Besides, PJ and mud don't mix.
From the Beeb: Libya's prime minister has called on Washington to
explain a special forces raid on its territory, one of two by US commandos
in Africa on Saturday. Ali Zeidan's office said he had asked for clarification
and stressed Libya was "keen on prosecuting any Libyan citizen inside Libya".
The raid captured al-Qaeda leader Anas al-Liby, who the US says is "currently
lawfully detained outside of Libya".
In pictures: Star Wars art The archives of Lucasfilm contain many
treasures for film buffs, among them the concept art that shaped the look
of the Star Wars universe in the original
1977 film and those that followed.
If you're interested in the World Solar Challenge (solar powered vehicles
travelling from Darwin to Adelaide down the center of Australia) you can
follow the action here
on their website.
Back from a little shopping. I parallel park outside the mall now, and
as I sat in the cab ready to return home I waited for five minutes, just
watching people going about their business and trying to think like I would
on the Odyssey - no particular place to go, no rush, plenty of time to
observe my surroundings, no routine, totally relaxed. Yes, it felt pretty
good. In fact, I can't remember ever feeling like that in "normal" life
- completely free of any kind of pressure no matter how slight. It's almost
like the state of mind you achieve during meditation when all your problems,
anxieties and troubles dissolve into nothingness.
Some GNs can't let go of certain habits like socializing on a regular
basis, so they organize meets or travel in convoy or whatever. Not this
kid. I wanna be free to do as I choose when I choose, or to do absolutely
zip if I so choose. Meeting peeps will be a matter of chance. I suppose
some things will be planned, like certain events I want to attend, or seasons
I want to avoid. Or crowds. Other than that, I'll be a white haired tumble
Next job on PJ (no rush) will be the under tray tool boxes, grab handle,
hinged flap to access the back of the fridge, and awning protector, all
done at Peter's engineering workshop. That'll happen about mid November.
I'm thinking early next year I'll get the windows repaired at the caravan
repair place in Nabiac, about 15 minutes south on the highway. Again, no
rush. Whether or not I decide to install a bigger solar panel to replace
the existing panel will depend on what I discover about my power needs
on my shakedowns. So that's a maybe I can think about somewhere down the
Meanwhile, all is cool. Gary
October 6, 2013. FL Josh wrote: You commented about when Averil
is "on the phone to some insufferably boring person." How do you
know the person Averil is talking with is "insufferably boring," and to
whom, Averil or you?
Me. Averil is far more tolerant than I hehe. I'm bitter and twisted
as well as cynical and just plain nasty.
You also mentioned about putting nappy (diaper) wash powder in your
water tank. Does your portable toilet have a water tank or are you
talking about putting a diaper wash in the tank that holds your drinking?
When I was growing up, we had a boat that had a 400-gallon water tank and
I don't remember us ever putting anything in it other than water when we
would tie up for the night at a marina.
Yes, I meant the porta potti water tank, not the house water tank, Josh.
I would never put wash powder in there. However you can buy "purifyer"
tablets that kill algae or soften hard water. Some people only use bottled
water for drinking but that can be expensive, especially in outback places.
Best to stock up with town water whenever you can, and use bore, river
or damn water, etc, for washing, cleaning and non-cooking purposes.
Speaking of imbibing, on Land Line last night there was the story of
scotch whisky made in Tasmania. It's taken the Scots centuries to perfect
their wee drop but the Tasmanians have done it in less than 25 years, regularly
awarded for being in the top 5% internationally. It all started when a
Tasmanian bloke was chatting with a friend over a dram or two and began
wondering why scotch wasn't made in the Apple Isle. It grew barley, made
beer and wine, had the perfect climate and best quality water. So he made
it his business to set up a distillery and produced his first barrel in
1992. Since then the industry has gone from strength to strength and now
produces hundreds of thousands of liters every year. The process uses the
old hands on method - no modern machinery. Even the barley is milled by
an ancient mill driven by an adjacent stream that was completely re-built
from a derelict state for the purpose. Tasmanian whisky is single malt
- no blending. They finance the industry by selling shares in each barrel
at 9% compound interest over 3 or 4 years. One investor bought half a million
bucks worth of shares after doing a tour of the distillery. Hehe. *Hic*
When I visit Tassie on the Odyssey, it'll be for a period of about 3
months. The cost of getting the ferry across (with the rig) is fairly expensive
so it's not something you'd wanna do too often. Besides, there's a helluva
lot to see and do in Tassie so 3 months is not a long time, really. I'll
book a one-way trip over and the same on my return - off season, of course.
Daylight saving began at 2am today. Nobody told the birdies though.
They still assemble at the usual hour for their morning choir meeting.
This is also our Labor Day long weekend and the weather is pretty good.
Sunny and a top of 31C. I think it's school holidays as well.
From the Beeb: US special forces have carried out two separate raids
in Africa targeting senior Islamist militants, American officials say.
In Libya, US commandos captured an al-Qaeda leader accused of the 1998
bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Anas al-Libi was seized
in the capital Tripoli. And a leader of the al-Shabab group was targeted
in southern Somalia, but
that raid appears to have failed.
Most of the 400,000 US defence department staff sent home amid the
US government shutdown have been told to return to work next week. Defence
Secretary Chuck Hagel said the decision was based on an interpretation
of the Pay Our Military Act. A budget row between Republicans and Democrats
has forced the closure of federal services for five days now. But the sides
have now voted to approve back-pay for the 800,000 federal workers sent
home without salaries. In a rare moment of bipartisan co-operation, the
House of Representatives on Saturday approved by 407-0 a bill to pay
the federal workers once the shutdown ends.
Prince Harry has begun his first official trip to Australia by joining
centenary celebrations to mark its navy's arrival at Sydney Harbour. He
was greeted by huge crowds as he embarked on survey ship HMAS Leeuwin at
the city's Garden Island naval base, before inspecting the flotilla.
Harry and his bro William are very popular in Oz and have probably been
responsible for reviving interest in our Constitutional Monarchy system
More and more aircraft have to share airspace, and this will only
get worse as our cities grow. In the next part of our Building Tomorrow
series, former Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn says we have to
rethink everything from how high we fly to how air traffic is managed.
Just out of curiosity I took a look at motorhomes for sale on Gumtree.
Sheesh. I'm glad I've got PJ. About the only thing that came close to what
I paid for PJ was a '76 Kombi poptop for $10K. There was an '88 Toyota
Dyna for $18K but other than that most everything was around $50K and up.
Newer Winnies were $100K and up to $200K. I'd hate to start from scratch
again hoping to find something affordable (for me) like PJ. I'm not exactly
sure what PJ has cost all up but my guess is around $12K.
Roite. Shakedown. I have surgery on a skin cancer this Tuesday which
will mean stitches out the following Tuesday (15th) and probably a dental
appointment Wednesday (16th) so that will leave the rest of the week and
weekend free. I'll aim for that. Hopefully, I can fire up the old fridge
on mains power before I leave. PJ is parked in the drive which is on a
slight slope. I think TX Greg said if the level bubble is somewhere between
the lines it should be okay. And that's where it is, off center just on
the line. BTW, I noticed the sticker with the fridge serial # and specs
- 240V, 125W and 5.5A. Remember Cody always using "amped"? I wonder if
he knew what the technical term meant. Prolly not.
But I'm sure Code would have been amped about PJ and the Odyssey. Actually,
I'm chuckling at the mo cos I can imagine some of the mischievous comments
he would make. All untrue, of course. He was an incorrigible scallywag
through and through.
One thing I'm hoping for is that the shakedown will allay any misgivings
I might have about life on the road, and make me more determined to get
it happening as soon as poss. Even regular mini Os would be good, and perhaps
psychologically speed up the gum healing process. As I've mentioned before,
there is no shortage of great camp spots around the Manning Valley and
Yes, everyone's wild about Harry. Splashed across the front of this
morning's Telegraph is a pic of Harry
posing with our PM, his wife and two daughters at Sydney's Kirribilli
House. Not a bad view from the front lawn, yes? It occurred to me when
I was watching the festivities last night on telly (great show) that ex-PM
Kevin Rudd must be positively fuming about having missed out on being Australia's
leader for the RAN Centenary Celebrations. Likewise ex-PM Julia Gillard
who was tossed out of office after a challenge by Rudd only a few months
ago. Gillard is out of politics altogether and Rudd is a lowly backbencher.
How the mighty have fallen.
After 5pm and still daylight, but certain things don't change, like
dinner and the 7 o'clock news. Meanwhile, I have a date set for the shakedown,
and a place, Wingham Brush. Gary
October 5, 2013. How's
this for a brilliant pic? Saw it on Red Bubble this morning. There
are some really talented peeps on RB and it's been a great learning curve
for me, just observing the work of others and trying to improve my stuff
each time I post something. Speaking of which, I just spent about an hour
taking a pic of a vase I quite like - a cheapie from the Sallies - and
here it is. Something from nothing, yeah? It's plain white, which looks
a bit boring in a photo, so I grabbed a little red branch from the garden
and laid it over. The faint shadows give it a 3-D look.
Oh, yes, the fog. Well, maybe it was foggy somewhere else on the mid
north coast but not here in Taree. I peeked through the curtains at 5am
and it was as clear as a bell - thank god. Hehe. So I went back to sleep.
And I don't feel guilty cos I did the vase instead.
TX Greg wrote: Speaking of urinate and defecate, did you remember
to get some chemicals to add to the water in the porta potty? I've always
used and liked Thetford's
Aqua Kem products...
Ah, yes, chemicals. Well, there's been a bit of discussion about that
on the GN forum and the consensus seems to be that the best thing to use
is home brand nappy (diaper) wash powder. Dilute a bit in warm water, pour
into waste container and Bob's yer uncle. Cheap as chips, very effective,
no odor, and no chemicals. In fact, if there's no dump point around, you
can empty it in regular loos without environmental damage. A little in
the water tank once every 2 or 3 weeks keeps it clean and free of algae
too. So there's a 1kg pack in PJ ready to go.
closing his blog. Now that he's a real doc, life is busy as
all hell and he just doesn't have the time to do his blog justice. That's
the way it goes... life moves on.
I suspect updates to AO will change when I'm on the road. Instead of
sitting here espousing profundities (hehe) and thinking aloud, I'll be
actively seeking out content - meeting, greeting, photographing, peddaling
my bicycle, taking walks, moving on to new camps, sitting around campfires,
and all that jazz, so updates won't be as regular as the 9 to 5 thing I've
been doing thus far. I'm not sure how it will work out - maybe 2 or 3 times
a week instead of the current 7. Not all places I visit will have internet
access, so there could be breaks of a few days or a week from time to time.
Also, if I'm taking lots of pics it'll take time to assemble them, make
an album, write the journal, organize all the links, etc. It's a big job.
From the Beeb: Warships from 17 nations sailed into Sydney Harbour
on Friday to join the city's centenary celebrations of the Australian navy
fleet's first visit. Around 40 warships - as well as 16 tall ships - will
participate in the International Fleet Review on Saturday, which is the
main event commemorating the arrival of the original Royal
Australian Navy fleet a century ago.
John Boehner has spent most of his House speakership trying to keep
the various factions of his Republican majority together. With the recent
government shutdown crisis, Boehner's ability to manage his caucus is
once again being tested.
Why do we laugh? We don’t just laugh at funny things, the reason
we chuckle is that it serves an important purpose in our lives, as
James May explains.
Ho, ho, ho. People who laugh at their own comments as a kind of nervous
reaction annoy me. "I slept in this morning because I forgot to set the
alarm, hahahahahahaha!" Sheesh. Averil has this irritating facial expression
she uses to make you believe she's trying to supress a laugh at something
she just said, but it's fake. Grrrrr. Most irritating of all is when she's
on the phone to some insufferably boring person but laughs in all the right
places anyway just to be polite.
There was a native of Vanuatu who often walked by this house, and who
had the most gorgeous little daughter with bows in her hair. He was completely
bald, probably shaven, and jolly. He had a very dark complexion with wide,
bright eyes, and always looked to me like he'd just feasted on boiled missionary.
Anyway, he had a genuine laugh - a kind of giggle actually - and he used
it all the time even when he said good day, hehe. It was very infectious.
Dunno where he went - probably moved somewhere else where there's a better
supply of fresh missionaries.
I like dry humor and laconic wit, the kind you get out back from country
folk. They say the most hilarious things without a hint of a smile hehe.
Cracks me right up. In reference to our long droughts, you're likely to
hear a farmer say, "It's as dry as a Pommy towel out here, mate", with
reference to the English habit of infrequent bathing.
Poms have been known to define an Australian as someone "who reads comic
books without moving their lips". They have also stated an Australian gentlemen
is "someone who offers to light his girlfriend's farts."
The country itself is the ultimate joke; the wave you body-surf into
shore after a day at the beach could contain a shark or a rip-tide and,
when you get back, your house could have been burnt to the ground in a
bush fire. That's where the whole 'no worries' thing comes from, wrote
What kind of Memorial would a country like Australia build in honor
of a Prime Minister who drowned while swimming at a beach? The Harold Holt
Memorial Swimming Pool, of course.
Did you know that Australians of Greek extraction are given gold chains
by their fathers so they know where to stop shaving?
I think NC Art will appreciate this comparison
between Windows and Ford autos.
Well, it's time I absconded. I had a little dose of inner shedness earlier
and some woman walking past looked in as if to say, "What's HE doing?"
I'm imagining the view out the back door is what I'm doing. Which reminds
me, I must set a date for the shakedown or it'll never happen. Gary
October 4, 2013. What happened to our hot spring? Cool today,
dangit. But that hasn't dampened Sydney's enthusiasm for the Royal
Australian Navy's International Fleet Rreview, celebrating the 100th
anniversary of the first entry of the Royal Australian Navy's Fleet into
Pity I'm not in Sydney to take piccies of the event.
The last time I saw something like that was back in 1988 when I was
on board a 53' ketch as the tall ships entered Sydney Harbor for the bi-centenary
of the arrival of the First Fleet. What a day that was!
Hmmm. Life was pretty good in '88. I had my own successful biz, a house,
a Kombi campervan, plenty of dough and teeth. Hehe. I'm hoping life on
the Odyssey will be the same. Not as much dough but enough, with lots of
things to do and see, and to write about and take photos of. It'll be my
swan song. Everyone needs something bigger than himself to believe in,
someone said on telly last night. How true. If you don't have something
to believe in, what do you have?
One GN has the signature line, "It's not what you do, it's who you are."
I disagree. I think it's the other way around. However, I can see his point.
He's talking about the value of a person no matter whether he's a prince
or a peasant. I'm talking about deeds.
"You don't swear," Peter the engineer said to me one time. "I swear
all the time. Is it because you were a radio announcer?" I thought it was
a curious observation. I knew plenty of radio announcers who swore their
heads off off-air. So I explained that I wasn't in the habit. Swearing
is a habit. A peer thing that begins as a teen (or younger) to fit in with
the herd. Equally curious was the absence of swearing in my presence as
if it might offend me hehe. If swearing becomes habitual, it loses its
value as an emphasiser or embellisher.
Recently on the GN forum, someone bitched about the built-in text censor
that causes words such as cockpit to become ****pit. So I typed a comment
using the word penis and it survived publication unscathed. It strikes
me that it's only slang that's offensive. Sexual intercourse is not offensive.
Vagina is not offensive. Testicle is not offensive. But it also depends
on the level of slang. For some strange reason I don't understand, it's
okay to be buggered but not fucked. Hehe. It's okay to talk about poo or
poop and even crap but not shit. We can talk about breasts but not tits.
Flatulence is fine but not fart.
Swearing is often described as vulgar or foul. But if sexual organs
are described using formal names such as penis and vagina that's not considered
vulgar or foul. The words urinate or defecate are not considered vulgar
or foul (although the actions might be). So it must be that polite society's
abhorrence of swearing is related to the use of slang rather than any reference
to bodily functions per se. Yes? No?
Then you get the quasi swearers who use words like friggin or freakin
or shoot. In any case, being a writer who enjoys words and their effective
usage, I honestly fail to understand what sex organs and bodily waste have
to do with the weather or whatever else they're used to describe. How do
you explain a sentence such as, "Where the fuck did I put my fuckin' shoes?"
No, I don't swear (much). I don't see the point. And peer pressure?
You can stick that right up your clacker.
The bootie finally got around to fixing the hole in my sheepskin seat
cover. "Come back in an hour and I'll have it ready for you." He's trying
to keep me fit. So I walked up there again. No spare sheepskin so he used
a bit of spare leather. Fine with me - beats a hole. He charged me $9.90.
"Better to be cheap and here," he said, "than dear and not here." I also
told him about my "fix" for the hatchet hehe, and he thought it was pretty
Not much on the Beeb today but OR Richie commented on the US deadlock
in congress: that of our governmental shutdown, which must baffle half
the world if not more, and that of the hardline party politics which is
sadly led by tea party nitwits, and even though there are enough democratic
AND Republican votes in the house to settle it simply, the vote won't come
up and be allowed with no strings attached because the Speaker won't let
it, and what they tell most Americans is so absurd and misinformed that
it should insult a well educated sixth grader.... and absolutely a ninth
grader, where the ability to reason is presumed to be in place. Reason?
What reason? Ugh. What a mess.... AGAIN. Yeah... defund
the affordable health care act... sometimes known as Obamacare. This
is beyond misbelief, really.
Someone on The Drum last night said America owed $13 trillion. Is that
right? Anyway, it's more than Australia's GDP. I forget what he said the
US social welfare cost was - something mind boggling. America has a culture
of credit; it spends more than it makes. Oh yes, I remember what sparked
those comments - there was a US government employee interviewed who said
they live paycheck to paycheck, and that they could survive without one
paycheck but not two. So much for savings.
From Wikipedia: The gross Australian federal debt was A$244,325,881,000
as of 31 August 2012. That's billion in case you're trying to work
One thing I've become increasingly aware of is how much it costs in
interest to keep my credit cards afloat. Most of my money (apart from regular
bills such as rent, power, food, etc) has gone on PJ over the past few
years, so the credit cards have taken a back seat. Now that PJ is virtually
done and dusted, it's time to whittle those credit cards down to "zero
owing". That will save me over a hundred a month! Close to $1500 a year!
The other day, I complimented Mieke on being able to produce "something
from nothing" when she took a pic of a puddle and a few rocks reflecting
the dawn light. She answered by insisting that she's not as clever as I
think she is, and to check out more photos of "something
from nothing". Yes, I see what she means.
So when is this cool weather gonna P off and return to warm and sunny?
According to the forecast, tomorrow. Oooo goodie! Fog in the morning. Ya
know what a bloke should do? If a bloke's serious about photography, a
bloke should wake early, just before sunrise, and toddle down the road
to the Martin Bridge and take a pic of the bridge over the Manning River
shrouded in fog as the day breaks. Yeah? Yeah. Try telling me that at 5am
when it's 6C. Hopefully, I won't wake up until too late. :o)
Speaking of late, it's after 5-ish. Earlier, I rustled up a Cantonese
beef stir fry (with ground beef), onion and capsicum (bell peppers). But
now I hear the call of the telly. That'll be a thing of the past on the
Odyssey I imagine... too many other things to occupy my time, especially
during daylight. Anyway, that's then and this is now. Gary
October 3, 2013. Steve W wrote: That's not an axe! ....if
it fits in the credit card pocket.......my nasal hair clipper would be
bigger than that. Speaking of which, isn't it somewhat odd where hair commences
to grow at a certain stage in life! Just a thought.....hair today, bald
That's true, it's not an axe, it's a hatchet, but I can't spell hatchet.
I can spell tomahawk though. Anyway, it's only for chopping/splitting a
bit of firewood occasionally. I used to have a splitter back in my Canberra
days when I was in charge of splitting logs for the fire, but I was 20
years younger then. One GN on the forum has a bloody chainsaw!
to TX Greg re my comment yesterday: "I was 18, gorgeous and horny as
hell"... The horny part must have looked something like Mr. Bean, HAHAHA
Too far back for me to remember, Greg. Hehe. But if Mr Bean's willie
doesn't stop what it's doing soon I'll whack it with my fly swat.
NC Art, on the other hand, was more interested in wheels: That vid
of the old Dodge reminded me of movie short subjects featuring the Keystone
Kops. Slap happy driving, bungling chases after bank robbers and such.
Also, I’ve seen Model T Fords taking wild rides on muddy, rutted roads.
Those high wheels would take the old beasts through astonishing terrain
that I wouldn’t think of hitting in anything built after 1935.
When I bought the old Morris, I had a workmate who had a Beetle. One
time, he invited me to follow him on a dirt track through dense bush somewhere
on the outskirts of Sydney. It had been raining quite a bit over several
days and, unbeknown to me, the track was muddy and slippery in places.
His mission was to prove the superiority of his Beetle and cause me to
get stuck. I don't remember much about it except slipping and sliding all
the place, and spinning the wheel this way and that to keep the old Morris
pointed roughly forwards. I never let that Beetle out of my sight hehe.
Finally, we reached the end of the track, turned around, and headed back.
I didn't think it was such a big deal at the time but apparently it was.
His Beetle, by the way, was a lime green '62 1/2 model with overriders
and a fuel gauge. How posh!
Meanwhile, here are some interesting insights from an older GN: It
is the length of the footprint of the tyre that matters, not the width.
He would have been running low pressure as well for the mud.
But what can you say except that some fellows are magicians with
their vehicles. They understand how to do it and they have plenty of practice
For the rest of us ordinary types the emphasis has to be on conserving
the vehicle and of course the payload.
We had an old Ford on the farm that I remember would go everywhere.
In truth though the men knew the land features and walked any path they
were unsure of prior, and they did go slowly, picking their way. No-one
rushed into mud for fear of the sharp rocks, holes and tree limbs that
could rip the fuel lines and so on out of the vehicle. I also remember
the old truck dry bogged on dry grass and ball-bearing rubble on the slightest
of slopes. -We were once in danger of sliding sideways over a drop with
a load and saved only by having just enough space to accelerate slowly
at a shallow angle. Very sweaty shirts that day.
The only thing I don't like about modern vehicles are the computer
bits such as computer chip dwell angle sensors that save a poofteenth of
a mile per gallon and if they fail you are hopelessly stranded with nothing
you can do to remedy. Honestly, who would put delicate electronics that
hate heat, dust and moisture into a vehicle that can and will go into remote
areas? It was government bureaucrats and their 'environmental' legislation
that did that I suppose.
From the Beeb: A long-running feud has pitted protesters from a village
of 2,000 people in the shadows of Australia's temperate rainforest against
one of the world's most recognisable brands. Tranquil Tecoma, 35km (20
miles) east of central Melbourne, has become a battleground between McDonald's
and "community" protesters over the construction of a 24-hour
I suppose the protesters have a point. Once a precedent is set, along
comes KFC, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc, and the character of the village
is forever spoiled.
Best-selling US author Tom Clancy has died at the age of 66, his
publisher Penguin has confirmed. Clancy wrote a string of best-selling
spy and military thrillers. His 17th novel, Command Authority, is due out
in December. Written in his spare time, The Hunt for Red October (1984)
was Clancy's first published novel and sold
more than five million copies.
About 200 people took part in the UK's first Ginger Pride march in
August, and the world record for the largest gathering of natural redheads
was broken last month when 1,600 attended the Redhead Day Festival in the
Dutch town of Breda. But how many redheads are there in the world - and
where do they live? I
was a redhead - white now.
I was called all the usual names; carrot top, ginge, red, rusty, red
ned. I think it's Utan these days (from orangutan).
Not hot today but windy, and there's a major bushfire not far north
of here at Crowdy Head National Park, a popular camping area. I heard on
the radio they're throwing everything at it - choppers, bombers, and a
lot of crews on the ground. Last report it was heading towards Port Macquarie.
The official bushfire season started October 1st but there have been a
number of serious fires already, including one at Palm Beach on Sydney's
northern peninsular the other day. Here's
a map of the current fires in NSW.
There was a program on telly the other night about Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD) and if I didn't think it was a genuine illness before,
I sure do now. The story was about a doc from Canada who served in Afghanistan
for 4 years, running a field hospital that was often short of staff, medication
and equipment to do the job properly. He slept on average 3 hours a night,
and often didn't sleep at all. He was interviewed by an Aussie journalist
back then who met him again 4 years later at his home in Canada, with his
wife, to discuss his PTSD. During the program, they showed clips from the
original doco - footage of innocent victims of land mines, including children.
One injured boy, whose older brother was killed outright, was treated and
seemed to be improving. Footage showed his bare feet twitching as he endured
intense pain, and his hand wrapped around the doctor's for support. The
scene was gut wrenching. He was 9. Overnight he died of a massive brain
The interviewer asked the doc how he coped with all the screaming from
patients. "Screaming? What screaming? Patients don't scream." Then the
interviewer played a clip and the doc heard the screams. "So they do scream.
We shut it out. We have to."
The term "ultimate obscenity" was used on the program to describe war,
and I couldn't agree more. Every night we see reports of the horrors of
war - devastation, misery, killing and maiming - but have become desensitized...
"And a warning, the following report contains images that some viewers
may find distressing." But who does? Well, the doc did. The interviewer
did. The father of those two boys did. And all those people involved in
the field did. Seeing it on a television screen is not the same. You can
change channels. You can walk away. You can forget about it. But not in
the field. It's all around you 24/7. The ultimate obscenity, compliments
of man's inhumanity.
Anyway, if you know or hear of anyone with PTSD, don't underestimate
Well, on that jolly note, it's time to bid thee farewell for another
day. Oh, and I remembered something... missing from that pic of the interior
of the Morris Oxford yesterday was the little lever on the steering hub
for the "flipper" indicators on the door pillars. Gary
October 2, 2013. Who needs a 4WD? A GN posted this link to a
promotional film by Dodge
Bros during the 1920s. Great stuff.
Well, the bootie hasn't finished the wool seat cover yet but I asked
him about making an axe sheath. Nope, can't do that... that's a saddler's
job. Leather's too thick for his stitching machine. How about ready made
on eBay? Nope, not unless you buy an axe and I've already got an axe. Sheaths
are availabe in Merica but not Straya. Youtube has a couple of vids on
how to make your own but all too hard. Soooooo, what does a bloke do? A
bloke looks in the top drawer of his bedroom chest and finds a couple of
old wallets. Buffalo hide - that should do. Sure enough, the axe blade
slips neatly into the credit card pocket, and the wallet clips shut. Two
large elastic bands keep it in place. Done. Hehe. That'll do until I come
across a proper one some day.
I fiddled around in PJ for a while and got a whiff of the countryside,
just like I was camped out in the bush somewhere. A large cattle truck
went past with a load of live cattle for the abattoir at Wingham. Whew!
That happened to me one time camped in the Kombi in Kangaroo Valley for
2 days. The field next door had several horses and a few cows. Country
peeps don't notice those things but city folks do. Kangaroo Valley, by
the way, is definitely on my list of places to visit (again). The scenery
I'm pretty sure now that I'm in the process of unwinding after the stress
of the past whatever years and the PJ project. No trouble sleeping 10 hours
a night plus a nap or two during the day, or gazing unfocused into middle
distance and letting the brain idle in neutral. I could probably sleep
for a week if it weren't for doctors and dentists and Waffle.
From the Beeb: US President Barack Obama has vowed not to allow Republicans
to undermine his signature healthcare legislation as a condition to restart
the US government. The government has partially shut down after the two
houses of Congress failed to agree to a new budget, with Republicans insisting
on the repeal or delay of Mr Obama's health law. "They
demanded ransom," Mr Obama said.
According to a political analyst I watched on telly last night, the
trouble is being caused by the Republican far right - the Tea Party - who
have safe republican seats in their electorates with no threat of democrat
competition during the next primaries (the vote for pre-selection before
the main vote for the presidency). Anyway, the Tees are concerned that
any compromise in Congress that allows the President's healthcare legislation
to proceed intact will be deemed by their constituents as "doing deals"
with the enemy, which would jeopardize the safety of their seats. They
also see this legislation as the thin edge of a socialist wedge, and government
meddling in areas best left to free enterprise.
It couldn't happen in Oz for two reasons: 1) both major parties believe
that health, education and social welfare are the responsibilities of governments
and 2) if inadequate funding (supply) were to jeopardize the normal running
of government business, there would be an election rather than a shutdown.
Tony Gilroy, one of Hollywood's most sought-after screenwriters,
is responsible for The Devil's Advocate, Armageddon and the Bourne films,
to name just a few. Alison Feeney-Hart met the man whose 2007 film Michael
Clayton saw him receive Bafta and Oscar nominations for best original screenplay
to find out his Top
10 tips for writing a Hollywood blockbuster.
In pictures: India's Ambassador taxis. The
reason these taxis interest me is that they're based on the '54 Morris
Oxford, the model after my MO series, which was my first car. Tough old
Harvesting the sun's power to fire up a computer or tablet is an
enticing idea in principle but challenging in practice. But researchers
at Intel have developed a chip which overcomes many of the obstacles. It
allows solar panels to plug into and power a device directly, without
the need for a battery.
Here's what my old Morris looked like from the inside. Same color too.
The speedo shows a top speed of 90mph. Yeah, right, the thing was flat
out like a lizard drinking at 68mph.
That owner has installed a few extra switches on his dash. The red one
looks like it might be a push-button starter. The key ignition is in the
center, next on the left (not the white one) is the pull-out choke. Can't
remember which of the two on the right is the pull-out starter and which
is the lights switch. That leaves the knob at far left for the wipers.
But I do remember the electric fuel pump that began clicking furiously
when the ignition was turned on. If it didn't, which was often, I had a
nail file in the glove box which I used to clean the points. The pump was
attached to the firewall in the engine bay just in front of the steering
column. The column mounted gear lever was a 4-forward H configuration.
First was towards you and up, with reverse towards the dash (from neutral)
and down. Yes, I was 18, gorgeous and horny as hell when I first drove
that thing hehe.
Well, goodness gracious me, with all this reminiscing the time has gotten
away again, and it's time to Waddle off from my Waffling until tomorrow!
October 1, 2013. TX Greg wrote: Oops! You doubled copied links
(to the old Chevy auction) and put the news page link also on the "AP News
Vid"... Should be.... AP
Yes, the bumectomy made a world of difference. The two are like a
perfect match now, or should that be three, including you :)
Oh waiter, please bring Gary a bottle of your best Champagne. Time
to christen PJ, but perhaps we should just drink the Champagne instead
of what happened to these guys, hehe...
So when's the first test run campout???
Yep, I remember thinking I'd lost the plot when I was linking that text
yesterday but missed it anyway. As to the first test run, sometime in October
for sure - between dental appointments, etc. I need to make a few smoothies
in advance to take with me and organize other meals. It's a bit of a hassle
without choppers. Also use the house power to get the fridge up to speed
before leaving. Other than that, everything's pretty much hot to trot.
Just got a call on the mobile from Nancy, checking to make sure I had
two smoothies yesterday hehe. She's gonna make a cheesecake for me. "You
don't have to eat the crust, just the topping." Yeah... I'll give it a
shot. Does your dentist make you cheesecake? No? It's my wit and charm,
ya know. I've got IT.
NC Art wrote: The Chevy car auction seemed weird. Then I read in
Smithsonian magazine the tale of Harry
Houdini and his flying machine in which he won fame for performing
the first flight in a heavier than air contraption in Australia! That was
in 1910 and his flight site was performed about 20 miles from Melbourne.
The air frame was French and powered by an English engine
which produced 60 to 80 horsepower. After a few more short flights in Oz
the plane was crated up and shipped to England, where he planned to fly
it to engagements on his tour of appearances. Then he apparently lost interest
in flying … and his flying machine. It has been ‘lost’ ever since, but
now there is a renewed effort to find the thing or solve the mystery of
Not much to go on, not much hope, and not much do I
care. Curiousier things have happened I’m sure.
I love the word "contraption" to describe old machinery and various
devices put together in a backyard shed. It's a wonderful word that describes
those things to a T. My dad would have been 7 at the time, probably too
young (or disinterested) to notice Houdini's flight. He never mentioned
it. He never mentioned much of anything, really, although he did say something
about his father driving one of Sydney's first trucks, a Renault with solid
rubber tires. He apparently used to follow the tracks to see where his
dad was. My dad was not a very chatty person to say the least. When I worked
in country radio I'd phone home occasionally. If he was the one who picked
up the phone, the first and only thing he would say was, "Hang on, I'll
Yes, curiouser things have happened. But they're only curious to us.
A bunch of Galapagos iguanas sitting around on the rocks, expelling
jets of salt water from their nostrils, is just a normal way to spend
a day at the beach as far as they're concerned. Hehe. Ho hum.
From the Beeb: President Barack Obama has said a potential US government
shutdown is "entirely avoidable" as only a few hours remain to avert it.
Mr Obama criticised Republicans for trying to refight the last election
as they seek to link the budget to delaying his health care law. If no
agreement is reached by midnight (04:00 GMT), the government will close
all non-essential federal services. Does
anyone care what the public thinks of all this nonsense?
Illegal drugs are now cheaper and purer globally than at any time
over the last 20 years, a report has warned. The International Centre for
Science in Drug Policy said its report suggested the war on drugs had failed.
The report, published in the British Medical Journal Open, looked at data
from seven international government-funded drug surveillance systems.
time for a rethink.
Seventy-five years after the Munich Agreement signed with Hitler,
the name of Neville Chamberlain, British prime minister at the time, is
still synonymous with weakness and appeasement. Is this fair, asks historian
Robert Self. Fascinating
insight into the man's dilemma.
Auction-watchers and car-collectors have used phrases like “field
of dreams” and “wheels of fortune” and “mother lode” to describe the sale,
on 28 and 29 September, of some 500 vintage cars – most of them Chevrolets
from the 1950s and ‘60s, on a family farm in Pierce, Nebraska. Yep,
the story even made the Beeb.
Back from the doc's and a skin cancer squirt. Blood pressure's perfect.
And I'm booked in for next week to have one skin cancer surgically removed.
I told him about Nancy and the cheese cake, and scolded him for never having
made one for me. "Before you sit down, I want you to hop on the scales
for me." "Does it really need to be a hop?"
PJ copped a few gusts of wind on the way there and back but nothing
alarming. The old Kombi was just as bad if not worse. I've read reports
of GNs getting into all sorts of bother with their awnings on windy days,
though. Best left rolled up, methinks.
Well, isn't it amazing what the words "possible thunderstorm" on the
forecast will do to motivate me to finish the sealing job around the antenna
properly? All done. And it's blowing like crazy out there which means a
storm is on its way. Been a hottie so it's not surprising.
And that's it for the oneth of October. Before I vamoose, here's a pic
of another of my fav little cars of all time, the 1950s version of the
original "Baby" Austin 7. This one is a 1957 Austin A35 (later version
of the A30). Cute little thing.
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