February 28, 2014. Sorry... only 28 this year, folks. I suppose,
technically speaking, February has 28 and a quarter days following a Leap
Year, and then 2/4, 3/4 after that until the next Leap Year when it has
28 and 4/4.
Showery today and tomorrow, but according to the forecast for Sydney
next Tuesday, it'll be fine, partly cloudy and warm. So that fits in nicely
with my planned shoot of Glebe and environs. The only problem is Glebe
is on the western side of the harbor and the sun will be rising in the
east. I'll have to be a bit creative with shots looking back at the city
across Blackwattle Bay. It should be fun, though. I love Victorian terraces
and streetscapes from that era.
I also checked some Red Bubble night/star shots to get an idea of settings.
It's a bit of a hit and miss affair, I'm afraid. Oh well... gotta start
somewhere. Next full moon is March 17 when it rises at about 6.15am - first
light - and about half an hour before sunrise. The camp area at Wingham
is on the banks of the Manning River, which flows east to west. Theoretically,
I should get shots of the moon rise with river reflections, followed shortly
thereafter by sunrise. Two for the price of one. Now, if the weather decides
to be clear and fine, I'll be there! With tripod and remote shutter. The
last time I was at Wingham, the moon rose at night in the pm but I was
Spent a while fiddling with the mini TV and the USB but the damn thing
doesn't work with my amplified indoor antenna. Fine with the house rooftop
antenna but not with the portable. The bigger TV works with the portable
but it must have a more powerful receiver. Anyway, there's a million digital
antennas on eBay but one that GNs often refer to is Winguard. It sure ain't
cheap, though. $250 - $300 plus installation. It's all so confusing. One
GN recommended an omnidirectional marine antenna.
With digital reception, there's no gradual loss of signal. You either
got it or you ain't. My portable did work for a few seconds with the mini
TV but then dropped out. In a different location it might be okay. Might.
I'm not a big watcher of TV so I don't wanna spend too much money, and
I'd rather portable than fixed to PJ.
From the Beeb: The US has called for all sides to "step back and
avoid any kind of provocations" amid heightened tensions in Ukraine's Crimea
region. Secretary of State John Kerry said he had spoken to his Russian
counterpart who promised to respect Ukraine's "territorial integrity".
But he warned Moscow needed to back up its words with actions. Earlier,
pro-Russian armed men stormed Crimea's local parliament, while Russia has
been conducting military exercises. The ousted Ukrainian President Viktor
Yanukovych - on the run since he was voted out of office last week - also
reportedly surfaced in Russia.
The World Bank has postponed a $90m (£54m) loan to Uganda over
its tough new anti-gay law that has drawn criticism from around the world.
World Bank officials said they wanted to guarantee the projects the loan
was destined to support were not going to be adversely affected by the
new law. The loan was intended to boost
Uganda's health services.
More than 100 people have been involved in a 96-car pile-up on a
busy stretch of motorway in Toronto, Canada. Three people were taken to
hospital with "non-life threatening" injuries, local media reported. No
immediate cause was given for the incident on Highway 400, but police say
driving conditions changed rapidly, with
a cold front bringing in a lot of snow.
Well, that was a couple of hours wasted buggerizing around with the
mini TV and antenna. I think I'll put the cat amongst the pigeons and ask
GNs what they think. Bound to get a zillion different opinions which will
confuse me even more. And all for an hour or two of telly each day... if
February 27, 2014. How is my philadelphus coronarius? Funny you
should ask. This is what it looked like on Monday, then on Wednesday, and
again on Thursday.
So now the front yard smells like orange blossoms.
NC Art commented on 'addition - edition': That sort of stuff is what
makes old printers insane!
Old printers didn't have spellcheck, and even if they had it wouldn't
have helped in cases like addition-edition. No misspelling there. If it's
true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then I've just written 3000
by happily snapping away at my philadelphus coronarius.
Don't you just love Andy Borowitz and the way he uses
humor to expose the foolish?
And don't you just love pay day when a large bill arrives at the same
time? This time it's compulsory third party insurance for PJ. Oh well...
From the Beeb: Struggling airline Qantas has announced plans to cut
5,000 jobs, after reporting a heavy financial loss. It is part of the Australian
carrier's plans to cut costs by A$2bn ($1.79bn: £1.80bn) over the
next three years. The cuts were announced alongside an underlying pre-tax
loss of A$252m for the six months to the end of December. The airline,
which also plans to cut its fleet by more than 50 aircraft, said it faced
tough competition in both international and domestic operations. No
Falcon, no Holden, no Qantas? Wot next?
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill that would have allowed
business owners who cited their religious beliefs to turn away gay customers.
Ms Brewer said the bill could have had "unintended and negative consequences".
It was touted as a religious liberty protection by social conservatives.
Its opponents denounced it as legalising
In pictures: London now and then. I love that kind of comparison
olde with the new.
Yesterday, while shopping at the mall, I stopped by the video store
and checked out DVDs 4 for $50. It's a con. You might see 2 or maybe 3
that you really wanna buy but not 4. So I walked away without buying anything.
Maybe I should familiarize myself with the little portable TV. It has PVR
and a USB slot and can record using a timer. ABC TV is ad-free and has
movies on late at night and during the morning. Yeah? All I really need
is a bunch of movies on hand if I'm bored and off-line "out there" or if
the weather is lousy.
So there goes another Waffle for the time being. Oh, and another thing
I've been checking. The next full moon. If the weather is suitable, I reckon
an overnighter at Wingham would be a good idea to get some piccies of the
rise. I'll work on it. Meanwhile, hooroo for now and seeyaz tomorrow. Gary
February 26, 2014. Well, Katrina (the dentist in Nancy's absence)
said this morning she can see the difference the vege juice is making,
and how the gums are responding - even after just over a week! She said
the tissue the irrigation removes comes off a lot easier as well. And,
I've noticed the gums aren't as sensitive to brushing or the irrigation
process as they were before the juice invasion. So it's all good!
Yesterday, I wrote that garlic will be a daily edition to the juicing.
I meant addition. So why wasn't the mistake as glaringly obvious yesterday
as it was this morning? One of the great mysteries of life.
Whoa, 3pm already and the day went that-a-way.
From the Beeb: US Secretary of State John Kerry has said Ukraine
is not caught in a battle between East and West. "This is not a zero-sum
game, this is not West versus East. It is not Russia or the United States,
this is about the people of Ukraine and Ukrainians making their choices
about the future and we want to work with Russia and other countries, with
everybody available, to make sure this is peaceful from
this day forward."
A California couple found a stash of gold coins buried on their property
last year valued at as much as $10m (£6m), rare coin dealers have
said. The 1,427 coins, which date from 1847-1894, were never circulated
and are in mint condition, numismatist David
Hall told the Associated Press.
Speaking of striking gold, you may have heard of the clothing label
RM Williams. It was started in Oz back in the '30s by an Australian bloke
as a family mail order company but now the brand is known all over the
world. Last night on telly, a show called Family Confidential told the
story of RM Williams and his empire, and how it all started from very modest
beginnings. It's a fascinating story which can't be told here, but Wikipedia
will give you a
short version of his life and career. Before Lindsay left for England,
he bought a pair of RM Williams boots for $400. Bit of a change from his
one dollar flip flops.
Normally in Oz, if there's a scare at a beach it's caused by a shark.
This time, at Cable Beach in northern WA, it was a croc! Witnesses say
it was enjoying surfing the waves, which I can appreciate. Not much activity
in lakes and streams so catching a few rollers at the beach sounds like
a pleasant way to spend some time. And
no worries about other surfers dropping in on your wave.
for the day.
Well, this has gotta be the shortest Waffle ever! Never mind, that's
the way it goes sometimes. Gary
February 25, 2014. Whoa! I didn't realize a clove of raw garlic
had such a kick! If I had, I wouldn't have added two to this morning's
concoction. However, I can see that one would add a dash of zing, and probably
go well with a bit of ginger. Next time methinks. I also used one stick
of celery instead of two. So it's kinda like cooking, really... using highly
flavored or spicy things to liven up the more bland stuff like broccoli
or leafy greens.
I think garlic will be a daily addition to the juicing. Here's a Huffington
Post article about the herb's benefits.
Francois sent the above pic, as well as the
reason Einstein's fear seems justified.
Can you see a little Aussie Odyssey favicon in the address bar of your
browser? Or next to the Aussie Odyssey entry in your bookmarks? TX Greg
put that together for me. Isn't he a clever little Texan? We were toing
and froing yesterday tossing ideas around and that was the one we settled
From the Beeb: Russia has stepped up its rhetoric against Ukraine's
new Western-leaning leadership as tensions rise over the ousting of President
Viktor Yanukovych. Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev said interim authorities
in Kiev had conducted an "armed mutiny". And the Russian foreign ministry
said dissenters in mainly Russian-speaking regions faced suppression. Earlier,
Ukraine's interim interior minister said an arrest warrant had been
issued for Mr Yanukovych.
In pictures: The lavish country estate of Ukrainian President Viktor
Yanukovych has been thrown open to the public as parliament voted to remove
him from power. Mr Yanukovych has left the capital Kiev and his whereabouts
are unknown. On Sunday, parliament voted to return ownership of the Mezhyhirya
property to the state. Acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov called for
it to be put under
state guard to prevent looting.
Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has unveiled plans to shrink the US
Army to its smallest size since before the US entered World War Two. Outlining
his budget plan, the Pentagon chief proposed trimming the active-duty Army
to 440,000-450,000 personnel, down from 520,000 currently. Cold War-era
Air Force fleets - the U-2 spy plane and the A-10 attack jet - will also
be retired. And
applicants over 5 feet tall will be rejected.
A tiny 4.4-billion-year-old crystal has been confirmed as the oldest
fragment of Earth's crust. The zircon was found in sandstone in the Jack
Hills region of Western Australia. Scientists dated the crystal by studying
its uranium and lead atoms. The former decays into the latter very slowly
over time and
can be used like a clock.
Whether at Detroit, Delhi, Chicago or Toronto, the 2014 motor show
season has served up its share of delectable designs. Call it all a prelude,
however, to the Geneva motor show, the industry’s traditional platform
for flexing its most outré styling instincts. Geneva is where tiny
hypercar companies trot out their latest unobtanium, boutique design consultancies
drum up commissions and major carmakers try to prove they’re not lumbering
leviathans, but rather hotbeds of imagination. Herewith, a catalogue of
some of the metal making its way to Geneva, where press previews take
place on 3 and 4 March.
Now here's something you don't see too often... a bloke up to his thighs
in sticky mud being
rescued by an earth-moving machine.
Shortly after moving here to Taree, I heard for the first time the songs
of the Butcher Bird and was transfixed. Not only is it incredibly musical
but it has an astonishing repertoire. But the other night on telly, I heard
(and saw) the piece de resistance of the song-bird world, the Lyrebird,
indigenous to Australia. You can just see this bird's legs and feet protruding
its display of tail feathers. Anyway, on the show, the bird gave a
and what a performance it was! They are a natural and talented mimick,
copying all the songs of the other song birds, including the remarkable
Butcher Bird. However, a complete performance of all songs would go on
forever so the Lyrebird does a 'reader's digest' version hehe, which nonetheless
is bloody amazing.
And that brings me to today's wrap, Ls & Gs. But before I vanish,
here's a pic I took yesterday and posted
on Red Bubble. Gary
February 24, 2014. I often walk past the Sanity store at the
mall on the way to the supermarket and see all the tables of CDs and DVDs,
but it's been ages since I actually had a good look. So yesterday I did.
Movies? Last time I looked it was all music and maybe music vids. So they
stock movies now? 4 for $50? That's cheap. I haven't been to a cinema or
watched a movie on telly since I can't remember how long, so there are
literally hundreds (probably thousands) of movies I've heard about but
never seen - Titanic, Harry Potter and All the President's Men are just
a couple I spotted yesterday.
I browsed a couple of legal movie download sites the other day. Rental
is about 3 or 4 bucks but there's a 30 day expiry period and you don't
get to keep the movie for later swapping or selling. Also on-line movies
are compressed so the quality ain't all that good, and there's download
time to consider as well as having internet access. After Barnacle Bill
mentioned his collection of movies when he visited recently I began to
think about times on the Odyssey when there's no internet or TV signal,
and how convenient it would be to have a movie collection. Hmmm. So methinks
I might keep an eye out for specials at Sanity and start a collection.
There are many bulk lots of DVDs on eBay but, as you'd expect, you might
see only 5 titles you fancy in a lot of 50. Waste of money even if they
Remember when you'd open a car bonnet (hood) and see an engine with
bits bolted on all over the place? Air cleaner, hoses, manifold, radiator,
carburetor, and god knows what else? Things have changed as demonstrated
by this pic of a 2011 Audi V10. How neat is that?
On the other hand, if something went bung I wouldn't have a clue where
to start looking!
Speaking of machines (and where the hell would we be without them?),
Francois wrote with a bit of extra info about bicycles and their origins:
I just found this, knowing the name in french was draisienne: The
Dandy horse is a human-powered vehicle that, being the first means
of transport to make use of the two-wheeler principle, is regarded as the
forerunner of the bicycle. The dandy horse was invented by Baron
Karl Drais in Mannheim, Germany, and patented in January 1818. It is
also known as a Laufmaschine (Drais' own terminology, German for "running
machine"), velocipede, or draisine (a term now used primarily for light
auxiliary railcars regardless of their form of propulsion), and in its
French form draisienne.
Thanks, Francois. Funny how kids ride their bikes all over the place
until they get into their mid teens and then, suddenly, riding a bike isn't
cool any more, so they ride skate boards until they can afford to buy a
car. Later in life, it's back to bicycles.
FL Josh wrote: Your serious shaving and attention to your ears and
nose is an indication of your improving health and improving energy level.
Methinks you're on a roll. Watch out Oz!!! PJ's on the horizon.
Gotta get used to the taste though... or keep experimenting. Broccoli,
celery, carrot, and apple today. Bit heavy on the celery. Oh well... Then
I pigged out on trifle. :) As I mentioned to the dentists this morning,
I'm hoping that this new infusion of vitamins will speed up the gum healing
From the Beeb: Ukraine's new interim President Oleksandr Turchynov
has said the country will focus on closer integration with the EU. Mr Turchynov
was appointed following the dismissal of President Viktor Yanukovych by
MPs on Saturday. Mr Yanukovych's rejection of an EU-Ukraine trade pact
triggered the protests that toppled him. Russia, which had backed Mr Yanukovych,
has recalled its ambassador
to Ukraine for consultations.
"The panic started, everyone from 1st and 3rd Companies jumped out
of the trench and ran the fastest race of his life, pursued by the merciless
tank machine-gun fire which cut down many men as if it were a rabbit-shoot."
So remembered German soldier Wilhelm Speck, of the 84th Reserve Regiment.
Some ran. Some stood and fought. But no-one forgot their first meeting
with a tank. A weapon without precedent, which went on to dominate the
battlefields of the 20th Century. And it was designed by two men, in little
more than two months, working out of a
small hotel room in Lincoln, England.
Host nation Russia finished on top of the medal table as the 22nd
Winter Olympics came to a close in Sochi on Sunday after 17 days of competition.
is the medal table.
I see that Gt Britain won 4 medals including 1 gold, so Oz didn't do
too badly with 2 silver and 1 bronze considering winter sports here are
almost non existent. I mentioned the other day that Oz was in Safrica beating
the pants off the Proteas in the first cricket test. Well, that changed
in a hurry during the second test, with the Proteas whipping our Aussie
asses. Hehe. Stay outta this, Code, and stop pulling strings.
Run outta time again. See you tomorrow! Gary
February 23, 2014. Do I have Popeye's forearms yet? Nope, not
yet. Bit soon I think. But my visit to the loo this morning was certainly
encouraging (without going into sordid detail). My stamina is improving
as well after experiencing dizziness and shortness of breath in recent
times but that's disappearing.
NC wrote: That bicycle is not called a penny farthing in the
US. Few of us blokes ever saw those English coins. Actually I don’t recall
just what those ridiculous high wheeler (cycles) were called. And, by now
there are few of us who ever saw one … or even a foto of one!
I've seen footage on TV about penny farthings. In races, they can reach
impressive speeds. With a bit of imagination, you can also create a
more modern version, and
even add an engine! You can also get models
for the lady riders.
My first bicycle was a hand-me-down from my eldest bro - a basic 28"
with a single gear. I remember him teaching me to ride. I got on board
while he held the saddle, then he ran alongside for a few yards before
I was off down the street like a true pro. At 14 I started work, saved
a few bob, and bought a Speedwell Flash 27" with 3-speed chain gears. How
cool! My current bike is a mountain bike with smaller wheels (about 20"
I think) and some ridiculous number of gears like 12 or whatever. Compared
to cars, bikes are pretty slow but compared to walking, they're incredibly
fast. Not only that, you can pedal a helluva lot further than you can walk!
I've always liked bikes, and practically lived on one as a kid.
FL Josh also wrote about penny farthings: You asked if we yanks called
the high wheeler bikes a penny-farthing. Well that sent me off on
a fascinating three hours of reading articles and watching videos on the
penny-farthing. I did not find an answer to your question but did
learn that the first bicycles were called bone shakers with two same size
wheels. Then came the penny-farthing that had the tall front wheel,
which gave a smoother ride since it didn't drop into pot holes as easily,
and it was much faster because one rotation of the wheel covered more territory.
It was originally called a high wheeler. It was followed by the safety
bike which had a smaller front wheel than the high wheeler, but still larger
than the rear wheel. It had a chain and gear arrangement on the front
wheel that allowed it to cover as much territory with one turn of the pedals
as the high wheeler. It was called the safety bike because, although
you still fell just as often, you did not fall as far. Once the safety
bike came out, the high wheeler started being referred to as the ordinary.
"What kind of bike do you have, a safety or an ordinary?" It wasn't
until the high wheeler became obsolete that people began referring to it
as a penny-farthing, referring to the wheel size difference being like
the size difference between a penny next to a farthing.
In buying a high wheeler, you would get one of a certain sized front
wheel; depending on the length of your legs. Replicas
of penny-farthings are still being made today.
How do you ride a penny-farthing? Here is world famous penny-farthing
trick rider, Pete Matthews, 72, at the 50th
National Veteran Cycle Rally in England in 2006. (7:29)
Pete Matthews is 79 now and here is an interview with him when he
was 76, and it shows his bike collection, and at the end, he rides a penny-farthing
shows he still has it at 76. (9:37)
Are you a blade shaver? Have you tried shave gel instead of the regular
lather? It's awesome, and just a little is all that's needed to lather
your whole face. Mine's blue hehe...er, the gel. Nuthin like a blade shave,
I reckon. Smooth as a baby's bum. I got pretty serious with my shaving
today and did the ears and nose clip as well. There ya go... true confessions
of a Waffler.
Oz actor Jack Thompson was a guest on radio while I was in the bathroom,
talking about poetry for funerals. He and a few other notables have recorded
a CD of their favs. He said funerals should be about celebrating a person's
life rather than a sombre ritual focused on their passing. We need to be
mindful of as well as thankful for the contribution a person has made to
our lives. Death is part of life; inextricably linked.
Personally, I believe there's a degree of self-pity and even selfishness
involved in the sorrow expressed by mourners at funerals, more concerned
with their own loss than anything else. Sure there's pain, but let's not
forget the gain.
Oh... back to FL Josh for a sec. Regular Wafflers will know that Josh
has been talking about purchasing a Bentley for some time now. Hahahaha.
Mr Tire Kicker. Hehehehe. "No thanks, just looking." You know the story.
Well, guess what? The
bugger went and bought one.
How's that for a flash chariot? Bugger the expense, bugger the practicality
and all that sensible nonsense. You only live once. I'd love to own a set
of wheels like that one. I'd even drive it to the mail box and back. Very
From the Beeb: Ukrainian former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has
urged opposition supporters in Kiev's Independence Square to continue their
protests. Tymoshenko, who has a back injury, addressed crowds from a wheelchair
after being freed from detention. "Until you finish this job... nobody
has the right to leave," she said.
The last surviving member of the Trapp Family Singers, the group
whose story inspired The Sound of Music, has died at the age of 99, her
family say. Maria von Trapp died at her home in Vermont on Tuesday, her
brother, Johannes von Trapp, told the Associated Press. He said she was
a "lovely woman who was one of the few truly good people". Von Trapp and
her family fled Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 and ended up performing
around the US.
Well, that's it from me, and the end of another weekend. More tomorrow!
February 22, 2014. If the V8 vege juice is any indication of
what my body has been lacking lately it's nutrition. Not a huge surprise,
I suppose, but it's good to know that the solution seems simple and straightforward
rather than medical. The improvement in my overall feeling of wellbeing
since consuming the bottle of vege juice is significant, so I'm hoping
that it will be even more so when I start the fresh juice routine later
A major part of the problem lately has been lack of appetite, but that
is now improving as a consequence of feeling better. Yeah? The medicos,
dieticians and dentists have been telling me to eat more. But if you're
not feeling hundreds, that doesn't work because your appetite is suppressed.
It occurred to me that some sort of appetite booster is what I needed.
Well, seems I've found one - vege juice. The better I feel, the more my
appetite improves. Boom, boom.
During my visits to the dental clinic, watching waiting room TV until
I'm called, I often see ads for juicers and health products, with leotard-clad,
rosy-cheeked presenters leaping about the place, bursting with annoying
vitality. But they're them and I'm me, and never the twain shall meet.
Or so I thought. Another reason those ads put me off is that they require
you to join something or rush to the phone with your credit card. Bleh.
Luckily, for me, all it's taken to steer me in the direction of a healthier
diet is an impulse to buy a manual juicer (and I'm not sure what prompted
that). Then I happened to buy a bottle of V8 while I waited for the juicer
to arrive. And here I am, feeling better already.
I suspect much of my motivation to improve my health is subconscious.
I often think about going for walks on the Odyssey, or riding my bicycle
into town, or engaging in some other activity that requires a certain level
of fitness. And I worry that it won't be possible unless I do something
positive about it.
So there ya go, boils and goils, sometimes ya gotta figure stuff out
Weeeeell, my first time with the juicer was a bit of a steep learning
curve! For starters, turning the handle is bloody hard work! I imagine
squeezing juice from leaves takes a fair bit of brute force, as does crushing
carrot. But there are a few tricks I learned, like cutting stuff up before
feeding it into the hopper, and reversing the handle occasionally to loosen
jammed pulp. No worries. I'll get the hang of it pretty soon. What amazed
me is how dry the pulp is when expelled. And the taste of spinach, carrot,
apple and lemon? Uh... different. Acquired, I suspect. It'll be
a matter of trying different quantities of certain things until I'm familiar
with what works with what.
The world's most liveable city? Sydney won't be too thrilled about this
but apparently it's Melbourne. Here's a BBC article about some
of Melbourne's attractions.
President Yoweri Museveni is asking the US to advise Uganda's scientists
about homosexuality, as he considers whether to sign a law increasing punishments.
Mr Museveni's spokesman said the president would not sign the law until
he had received the scientific advice. Last week he said he had decided
to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which parliament has passed. The US
- one of Uganda's largest aid donors - has warned that enacting the bill
would complicate relations. Aid
donor, huh? Well, well, well...
Save our forests! A new global monitoring system has been launched
that promises "near real time" information on deforestation around the
world. Global Forest Watch (GFW) is backed by Google and over 40 business
and campaigning groups. It uses information from hundreds of millions of
images as well as data from people on the ground.
Here's a pic from a GN enjoying
his tour of Tasmania. Are those bicycles also known as penny farthings
in the US?
I also read something interesting on the GN forum about fossicking for
gemstones (dirt fishing). All you need is a pick and shovel, a sieve and
a drum of water... and a promising location, of course. You dig a hole,
separate the stones from the dirt through the sieve, dip the stones in
water, tip them out on the ground and anything that looks dry is a gemstone.
Gemstones appear greased because water doesn't stick to them like it does
to ordinary stones. Sounds like an interesting way to spend a bit of time
outback. And ya never know ya luck!
A quiet one today, folks. Gary
February 21, 2014. When I saw this pic of the Plymouth assembly
line on a newsgroup this morning, I thought it was an interesting glimpse
of life during the '40s...
But then I also thought it could be representative of how some people
spent their entire working lives. Are you old enough to remember William
Bendix in The Life of Riley?
On the GN forum this morning, there were some suggestions as to how
to spend time amusing yourself. 1) At lunch time, sit in your car wearing
sun glasses and point a hair dryer at passing traffic. 2) Next time you're
at the ATM receiving money, yell "I won! I won!" 3) Buy a box of condoms
at the pharmacy and ask where the fitting room is.
On Justin's blog, in response to the above graphic, a bloke posted a
story about a farmer who found an eagle egg and put it in his chicken coop
with his hen's eggs. When it hatched, the egret followed the example of
the chickens and learned to scratch around looking for worms and bugs,
and never did get the hang of flying. When it was old, it glanced at the
sky one day and saw an eagle soaring high above. "What kind of bird is
that?" it asked aloud, and was told by a chicken that it was an eagle,
master of the skies and king of the birds. But the old eagle didn't identify
itself with the soaring eagle, and remained a chicken until it died. So,
after reading the story, and being the annoying cynic that I am, I asked
if anyone had heard the story of the farmer who placed a chicken egg in
an eagle's nest hehe.
Who you think you're not can often be the result of who others think
you're not - and believing them. I was a starry-eyed kid when I managed
to get into radio. The only reason I succeeded was because it never occurred
to me that I couldn't. But many years later, when I was toppled from my
pedestal, the fragile nature of my confidence was soon (and easily) eroded
by criticism from a person who wanted to destroy me. From then on, it was
a slippery slope and I began to doubt my own worth.
The most important lesson I've learned in life is never to depend on
another's assessment of your worth. Depend only on your own. By that, I'm
not suggesting you ignore other people's opinions, or fail to capitalize
on them if they're in your favor, just don't depend on them.
Back from shopping and buying the goodies to make my first juice! I
mentioned the juicer on the GN forum yesterday and one bloke commented
on the fiber that's wasted in the leftover pulp, sooooo I did a Google
and discovered uses for pulp. Use it in smoothies or to bulk up soups.
Boom, boom. If you happen to own horses, you can also feed it to them.
And here's another tip I found. Spinach juice, for example, is so powerful
that it's best consumed about twice a week for the average person. Alternate
the spinach with other greens such as cucumber, kale, celery, parsley,
etc. On average, green drinks should be 60% veg and 40% fruit.
From the Beeb: The EU has agreed to impose sanctions on Ukrainian
officials "responsible for violence and excessive force" after the bloodiest
day of clashes in Kiev. In a statement, EU foreign ministers said targeted
sanctions including asset freezes and visa bans would be introduced "as
a matter of urgency". Dozens of anti-government protesters died in Kiev
on Thursday. Many were reportedly killed by snipers. Russia will certainly
be viewing this with keen interest. Ukraine
is part of Putin's plan to create another federation of states.
US President Barack Obama will meet exiled Tibetan spiritual leader
the Dalai Lama at the White House on Friday, a move likely to anger China.
The two last met in 2011, in talks that China said damaged Sino-US ties.
China describes the Dalai Lama as a separatist, while the spiritual leader
says he only advocates greater
autonomy for Tibet, not independence.
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell its Australian downstream
business to oil trading firm Vitol for $2.6bn (£1.6bn). The sale
includes Shell's refinery in Geelong, 870 service stations, its bulk fuels
and chemicals unit and part of its lubricants business. However, Shell's
business is excluded from the deal.
Remember when fuel companies used television advertising to promote
exclusive additives to improve your car's performance and economy? Do
they still do that? I've been using Caltex here in Taree but it wouldn't
worry me what brand of petrol I bought.
in the days before computers.
And here we are again, time to zippety doo da and call it a wrap. No
wonder Francois gets confuddled with my Australian English. Gary
February 20, 2014. A Kiwi has come up with the Martin Jetpack,
a personal jet aircraft he says is so easy to fly, a person can learn in
half an hour. I have a feeling I've mentioned this before but it doesn't
hurt to take another look. Here's
the story I saw on telly last week. And
here's the Martin web site.
And you thought I was a bit slow in getting the Odyssey happening? That
Kiwi has spent over 30 years perfecting his Martin Jetpack. That's what
I call faith. When I first started the AO web site, a so-called friend
said, "Who the fuck do you think you are? John Laws?" What a dickhead.
According to his twisted way of thinking, you need to be famous before
you attempt anything like your own web site. If that were true, John Laws
would have been famous before he started in radio as a pimply-faced 17
y/o back in the late '50s. In any case, what the hell does fame have to
do with it? The Odyssey has nothing to do with being famous. All I've done
is create my own publication so I can publish my own writings and photography
- it makes me autonomous and independent, answerable only to me, me, me,
me, me (and occasionally FL Josh).
From the Beeb: Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych says he has
agreed a truce with opposition leaders, after at least 26 people died in
clashes this week. In a statement, he said "negotiations" would now start
to end the bloodshed of the last two days. Opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk
confirmed this, saying there would be no new police attempts to storm the
main protest site, the Maidan, in Kiev. Same
old story... people learning the hard way.
Facebook has bought messaging app WhatsApp in a deal worth a total
of $19bn (£11.4bn) in cash and shares. It is the social networking
giant's biggest acquisition to date. WhatsApp has over 450 million monthly
users and is popular with people looking to avoid text messaging charges.
networking? Wot dat?
Elliot Klug isn't in the security business - but he may as well be.
"Let's just say we have a couple of armed staff," he says. The owner of
Pink House, a marijuana dispensary in Denver, Colorado, Mr Klug has armed
his employees because he has been unable to find a bank that will accept
the thousands of dollars of cash he takes in each day since recreational
cannabis became legal in Colorado on 1 January. "Even armoured cars have
been told not to do business with us," says
Your old phone or electric toothbrush could end up as a part in a
3D printer or piece of artwork, says Jonathan Kalan. In a hall of the Africa
Innovation Summit in Cape Verde, the smell of melting plastic permeated
the air. A crowd had gathered around a small stand to watch a special
kind of machine go to work.
Meanwhile, Dr Clark in Sydney has gotten even with TX Greg and me both.
He moved my appointment to Tuesday March 4. Good thing his secretary phoned
before I'd booked my train ticket.
A bit more about juices. I love the taste of apples but every time I
try processed apple juice, I'm disappointed. It's not the same as fresh.
Processed orange juice is not the same either. I bought dark grape juice
a while ago and it was nothing like freshly squeezed. They're all "convenience"
foods that appeal to people who don't have time to do things properly.
Like instant coffee that tastes like dish water. Sooooo, there's another
reason I'm excited about my new juicer - enjoying the real taste of apples
as well as other fruits. In the past, I've felt guilty about not eating
enough fresh fruit so I'd buy a bunch of stuff, arrange it in a fruit bowl
on the kitchen bench, and then watch it all go bad because I'd succumb
to more convenient snacks and revert to my bad old ways. Naughty, naughty!
Well, nothing could be more convenient than this juicer. It's quick, easy,
efficient, and a breeze to clean. So no more excuses! Besides, I have no
teeth so I have no choice hehe.
On that note, and confident that I'll be 5' 11" of rippling muscle by
the time I see the doc in Sydney, I'll bid thee farewell until we meet
again tomorrow. Oh, before I go, I spotted a lovely old VW ute on a newsgroup
this morning, an exquisite example of the fine art of restoration. Gary
February 19, 2014. TX Greg reckons I'm a twit: Ok, on the
17th you said the Sydney trip was "March 3", then yesterday you wrote "organized
for May 3" ???
Yeah, well, two outta three ain't bad... I got the 'm' and 'a' roite.
March it is... 12.45pm on the third. I watched a thing about North Korea
last night, and the class system there. Even a journalist can be banished
to a lower class and serve in a labor camp for a seemingly minor transgression
like a typo! The one positive thing I heard about that despicable regime
is that technology (like smart phones) is beginning to creep in and awaken
some citizens as to what life is like on the outside, eventually leading
to a popular uprising against the system - depending on what China does,
Now that I'm all excited about my new juicer, it occurred to me that
the nutritionists/dieticians at Port Macquarie hospital recommended commercial
products by Nestle and Abbott. Nothing about fresh fruit and veg or buyng
a juicer. Methinks there might be a bit of lobbying going on by companies
with vested interests, yeah? Even the hospital caterers served packaged
juice and commercial health drinks. Occasionally an apple would arrive.
How the hell was I supposed to eat that? I have a feeling this juicer might
be the most important single contributor to my health situation since the
Meanwhile, I have to finish off the bottle of V8 I bought. But I noticed
I feel a smidge better this morning after a nightcap of the stuff last
night, which is reconstituted imported juice - not local and fresh! Speaking
of which, I've been reading about fresh juice and how long it keeps. It
doesn't. It begins to break down and lose its nutrients shortly after being
juiced, so best to drink it straight away. If you must keep it, store in
a stainless steel vacuum flask (pre chilled in the freezer) and refrigerate
- or a wide-mouth glass container right to the brim to exclude air. Consume
the same or next day. Well, that speaks volumes about the packaged product
and its obligatory preservatives, doesn't it? Also, use organically grown
produce where poss to avoid pesticides and sprays. Otherwise, wash thoroughly
and/or peel. And never drink green juice on a full stomach.
Bloody hell, I'm starting to sound like FL Josh. Seriously though, there's
a helluva lot more to juicing than
you might think.
From the Beeb: Peugeot signs rescue deal with China's Dongfeng Motor:
Struggling French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen has sealed a long-awaited
rescue deal that will see its founding family cede control of the company.
had a Peugeot or Citroen but always liked them.
Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has been elected to the
post of student rector at Glasgow University. The former US National Security
Agency contractor fled from his homeland last May after revealing extensive
details of internet and phone surveillance. Among the post-holder's key
duties are to attend the university court, which administers resources,
work with the students' representative council, and to bring student concerns
attention of university management.
a clever promotional video from Honda.
Jesus Christ! There was a dimming of the lights a minute ago with a
flash of lightning. But the next one was followed almost immediately by
a loud, sharp crack of thunder that made me jump! Eeeek! Not much rain
though... just a lotta noise.
And who should email me while I was mid-air with my hair standing on
end? Nancy. She visited a remote community near Darwin that was selling
trifle, which reminded her of me. How about that? Actually, I polished
off the last of the current one today and need to make another! But that
was very sweet of her. I'll be sure to tell her about the juicer.
Scrub what I said about not a lotta rain. We're getting quite a bit
now. And that's it from moi for another day! Gary
February 18, 2014. Thinking about FL Josh's calorie report yesterday,
and the fact that my intake is insufficient for a bloke my height. Before
I lost my teeth, my average daily diet was tea, coffee, a slice of toast
with butter and Vegemite for breakfast, a jaffle for lunch (2 slices of
bread and filling of meat or egg/cheese) and dinner of fish and chips or
meat and veg. I've always been a small eater so I'd often eat only half
my dinner and the rest the next day for lunch (instead of a jaffle). If
I had pizza for dinner I'd be full after 2 or 3 slices. In addition, about
57 glasses of plonk. Actually, not quite that much... about a liter a day.
So my guess is that my intake of calories was about the same then as it
is now, and yet I weighed 65 kilos then. Go figure.
Another thing worth remembering is that prior to and during my early
radiation therapy, I couldn't stand in the shower and had to use a plastic
chair. When I stayed in the motel at Port Macquarie hospital during radiation
sessions, at first I couldn't walk the short distance across the car park
to the reception area. Now I can walk pretty much anywhere I want, provided
I rest occasionally. Last time I was in Sydney I walked several miles in
six hours. So things are improving - quite dramatically in some respects.
As to the gum situation, there are sections of gum responding to the
medication and high dosage of vitamin E that have joined, although there's
still a long way to go. Theoretically, according to Nancy, the joining
of gum tissue to cover exposed bone will increase exponentially as more
small areas knit.
How many Aussies does it take to
dig a hole?
My old Gillette M3 Power shaver is getting a bit tired so the other
day I bought the latest Fusion Proglide and a pack of 8 cartridges on spesh.
All up, about $60. I have a light beard and shave 2 or 3 times a week so
I reckon that kit should last a year or more. A dollar a week, and probably
less. I've tried electric shavers and don't like them. The G3 and Proglide
are also battery powered but have traditional blades (albeit 3 and 5 of
them respectively), and give a great shave. The Gillette Proglide shaving
gel was also on spesh. Just one AAA battery lasts months before needing
a recharge (in my case, anyway). So there ya go... no excuse for looking
shabby on the Odyssey.
Aren't you glad you read Waffle? You'd miss out on all this awesome
stuff if you didn't.
The juicer arrived! That was quick! Pretty straight forward to assemble
- not so easy to get the bits back into the box! Here
is the first juice recipe I'll try. I'll get some summer fruit as well.
Isn't this exciting? I also love the way those recipes provide details
of vitamins and minerals, etc. Hmmm... I wonder if I'll become a health
Meanwhile, I put together the album of pics - Things
To Do Before You Get Old - that NC Art sent. But as he points out,
he didn't get old by doing silly things... especially silly things like
From the Beeb: Airliners have become steadily bigger in an effort
to take fit in more passengers and drive down the cost of tickets. Could
a new outsized design change the way we fly? Spotting an Airbus A380 at
an airport can still create great excitement. The giant, double-decker
plane can seat between 500 and 850 people, depending on how much space
is given to space-saving economy class, and how much goes to higher-paying
passengers with all that extra leg room. It’s an aviation giant, the biggest
passenger-carrying aircraft ever to fly the skies. But the A380 could be
become small fry if another, even
more outsized design takes to the skies.
Take two of the trip to Sydney is organized for March 3. Train to Sydney,
tram to Glebe, a couple of hours taking happy snaps, coffee with my ex-neighbor
Jeremy, see the doc, train back to Taree. If it weren't for the photo shoot,
I'd be dreading it. Hopefully, the weather will play ball. On the Odyssey,
when I visit large cities, I'll install PJ in a caravan park and use public
transport to get around.
Another quiet day, folks, but I am rather jollified (there's a newie)
with my juicer, especially being manually operated. The variety of recipes
on the web is endless! I also like the idea of being able to include skins
(where most of the nutrition is) which are expelled with the pulp. There
are so many types of fruit and veg I wouldn't normally bother cooking or
eating, but juice? Well, that's a different matter. Juicing allows cominations
of things which opens up a whole new gastronomic ball game. Even parsley
can be juiced in combo with other things! Now I need a new jug with a lid.
Time for the usual telly and belly routine, Ls and Gs. Hooroo! Gary
February 17, 2014. Isn't it always the way? NC Art writes: I
spoke too soon. Have just lost television signal again … but, miraculously
internet didn’t conk out…yet! ??? Storm gods still showing their butts.
There was a little rattling and shaking of the local heavens last night
but it soon passed. Coincidentally or otherwise, our PM visited a drought
stricken area of western QLD yesterday and down came the rain! Hehe. But
the locals say they'll need a few more of those downpours before they can
safely say the drought has lifted. In one of the shots, a little girl desperately
wanted to go outside and play in the wet. She had never seen rain before.
Back from the denteest and the usual routine. Also made a new appointment
with the doc in Sydney - March 3. Ho hum. I'll let him know about the oral
surgeon in my area and ask if all my documentation can be sent to him.
I'm getting impatient for some action! Hang on a tick! Didn't the specialist
say once before that an operation to remove the exposed bone and stitch
the gum over the top would be pointless because the jawbone is dead? I'll
have to check. In any case, if the local bloke can do what the specialist
is already doing, it would save me going to Sydney for the same assessment.
The denteest agrees that I need veges (to aid absorption of certain
vitamins) so I just splurged
on a manual juicer. The electric ones need a 1000 watt motor to do
the job which is a bit of a strain on PJ's battery system, so manual it
is - and I can use fresh fruit and veg. GNs often say they buy their fresh
fruit and veg from roadside stalls direct from the farmers. Tastes better
than packaged, yeah? Every time I shop at the supermarket I see in-season
fruit like nectarines, plums, grapes, apples, kiwi fruit, etc and have
to pass them by. Not now!
At the mo I'm reading a veg
juice recipe site. By adding an apple or pear to leafy greens, it improves
flavor and sweetness. There ya go.
FL Josh wrote a comprehensive and detailed report about my nutritional
intake and calories based on my current diet. He concluded with: I know
I pissed you off with my last email, but cripes, Gary, you are just sitting
on your bony butt waiting for things to happen and they are not going to
happen unless you make them happen. My brother-in-law had two wisdom
teeth removed ten days ago, leaving open sockets with exposed bone at the
bottom and now they are almost healed up. You had your teeth pulled
15 months ago. 15 months and you are still not healed. The
mouth is the fastest healing part of the body, for obvious reasons.
Just for funsies, try giving up the beer and the cigarettes for a couple
of months and see what happens. It's your life, but damn, some of
us hate to see you in such a predicament. I don't pick on you out
of meanness, but I genuinely care. You are a gentle soul and the
world is a better place for you being here.
Did your bro have radiation? No. Radiation is the cause of the dead
bone, exposed and non-exposed alike. Different situation entirely. However,
I do agree with your final statement. By the same token, I also believe
in all things in moderation, including me.
Back from shopping, which included a bottle of V8 veg juice. My juicer
should arrive mid week. I'll have the veg juice as a nightcap with medication.
If I drink anything milky before bed I get mucus build-up, so I figure
the veg juice should solve that little prob.
From the Beeb: Ozbesity? Is
Australia facing an obesity crisis? Not this kid.
President Barack Obama has warned Uganda's President Yoweri Musuveni
that enacting an anti-gay law will complicate relations with the US. Under
the proposed legislation, those convicted of homosexual acts could face
life imprisonment. The law would also make it a crime not
to report gay people.
Actress Ellen Page, who starred as a pregnant teenager in Juno in
2006, has declared she is lesbian. "I am tired of hiding and I am tired
of lying by omission," she told an audience in Las Vegas on Friday. The
26-year-old actress said she felt "a personal obligation and a social responsibility"
to come out. She is the latest in a series of high-profile figures in the
US to declare their sexuality, including
American footballer, Michael Sam.
Australian spies tapped a US law firm representing Indonesia in a
trade dispute with the US, new leaks say. The 2013 document obtained by
the New York Times does not identify the US law firm, but says the Australians
offered the intercepts to their allies at the US National Security Agency
(NSA). Previous allegations of Australian spying on Indonesia has led to
worsening ties. The alleged documents have been leaked by ex-NSA contractor
Edward Snowden. Luckily
for our PM, the spying occurred during the reign of the previous government
Here's a GN who regularly posts updates of his travels. Currently he's
on private property with a friend who raises joeys for release when they're
old enough. Interesting
read and pics.
And that's it! Not a lot but a few gems hehe. Moderation, roite? Gary
February 16, 2014. Another wettie! And "possible" showers for
the rest of the week. Funny about that - the weather bureau often describes
rain, showers and storms as "possible" but never refers to "possible" sunshine.
Speaking of word usage, one that struck me as weird the other day was
"midwife". They were talking on telly about the shame of young girls during
the 60s and 70s giving birth out of wedlock, and someone mentioned the
word "midwife". Mid what? Ah, there ya go, 'mid' is Middle English for
'with', so the original meaning of midwife was 'with' wife as an assistant
during birth. I was surprised to learn that the terms 'midwife' and 'midwifery'
are still in use today and that midwifery courses are available, even though
there's no longer any shame attached to being a single mother.
TX Greg wrote: Well my ten year old cell phone finally bit the dust
and got a new Moto X smartphone. I've always wonder what all this looks
like on smartphones and was really impressed.
Greg attached a couple of screen shots so I could see the result, which
is something I've often wondered. AO looks great!
It's really easy to navigate and sooooo fast compared to DSL. The
phone uses the Goggle Chrome browser and I noticed that it ignores the
font style and uses its own default font, but that's no biggie. It also
doesn't display and play Adobe shockwave files on a page or perhaps I just
don't have the apps to play those. I'm still learning this thing. It's
smarter than me, hehe.
Now if I just can retire this 800X600 comp hahaha
I was gonna correct 'Goggle' when I figured maybe Greg meant to misspell
it... like the way GNs refer to Aussie department store Harvey Norman as
'Hardly Normal' hehe. Or Windows as 'Windoze'. Anyway, most people seem
delighted with their smart phones so I suppose it's only a matter of time
before I buy one.
As to my story about river cruises and "floaties", Francois wrote: hello
Your story when you made some "floaties" outboard gave me a remembrance
of a true story: In January 2013 I went on my boat besides the southward
island of NC (Pines Island) with 2 teen boys for 4 days. Perfect crystal
blue sea arriving there (after 6h of navigation) and none to be seen around.
There were big fishes everywhere around the boat, so the boys went swimming
and spearfishing at some meters of the boat and they took a "bec
de canne" of around 3kg (maybe it's for you a sweetlip emperor) At
noon we made a fire on the beach and cooked it on a grill with olive oil
and some herbs: it was delicious...
1h after, back on the boat, one of the boys had to dump a floatie
at the bow of the boat and his floatie became to float at some meters
around the boat: nice view and big peals of laughter. 2mn after some fishes
arrived and we saw a big bec de canne swallow the entire thing in one bite
... The 2 boys were quite throwing up, thinking they'd just eaten a shit
eater hehehe. They swore to never eat (and hunt) this sort of fish anymore...
And before returning to spearfish, they looked at my fish book to see what
were eating the more common fishes.. They only will shoot carnivorous fishes
But after eating some in the evening, I laughed at them saying carnivorous
use to eat those shit eaters hehehe. A little disgusted, yep, but teens
are always famished so they continued to eat fishes...
Blame God. He created recycling. As much as I love dogs, I've never
been comfortable with their zealous interest in other dogs' droppings or,
indeed, rear ends. But when I saw my own pooch sniff a dog turd in a park,
and then attempt to devour it, I was totally disgusted. So much so, I've
never recovered from that bitter disappointment nor been able to view dogs
with the same level of respect and affection again.
By the same token, we humans are a weird lot. We're so incredibly inconsistent!
We happily buy bags of manure for our gardens and heap the stuff on our
strawberries and yet, at the same time, refer to other forms of excrement
as "filth". Sex is treated the same way. It's fine if conducted in socially
acceptable circumstances, otherwise it's depraved, obscene and disgusting.
Here we go again. I figured this would happen. Super snoop FL Josh checked
out the GN forum to find those pics of me that Billeeeeeee and Jules took
and posted. The reason I didn't link to them or post them here is because
I didn't want to alarm anyone. But Josh is not happy unless he's analyzing
and dissecting something. That's what he does for a living as a legal consultant.
You'd think he'd know better than to make assertions without facts to back
them up: I was shocked to see how emaciated you have let yourself become.
Because you have concentrated on fattening foods rather than nutritious
foods, your body has cannibalized all your muscle tissue. No wonder
you have no energy and can't even walk to your dentist's office.
You talk about getting on the doctors to do something about speeding up
the healing process in your mouth yet you keep bathing the exposed wounds
in alcohol and cigarette smoke.
Let's stop right there. Let myself become? My weight plummeted a month
or so after all my teeth were removed in November 2012 - since then my
weight has been a few kilos either side of 50. I look the same now as I
did back then. Remember my trip to Sydney last September when I walked
around the harbor foreshore for 6 hours before my appointment with the
Fattening foods rather than nutritious? That's utter codswallop, Josh.
My smoothies contain 3 scoops of hospital formula Sustagen with a zillion
vitamins and minerals plus fiber, 1/2 can coconut milk, 2 tblsps plain
yoghurt, 1 tblsp peanut butter, 1 tblsp honey, 1 raw egg, 1 banana. The
trifle (a recent addition to the diet) has jelly, cake, a dash of sherry
and a pile of custard (made from milk and eggs). Then there's cream on
top of that. My noodles are made with butter and 2 handfuls of cheese.
Coffee (with cream) and black tea make up the rest.
Can't walk to the dental clinic? Where on earth did you get that idea?
I have always walked there, and always walked home again. Not one single
exception in all the time I've been going there.
Alcohol and cigarette smoke? Between January 2012, when I had the operation,
and October 2013, I gave up the plonk and had maybe 6 beers. What's that?
About 1 beer every 4 months? Now I have one small bottle a day, 375ml.
That not my idea of "bathing", Josh. As to smoking, it's a couple a day.
It's 2.30pm now and I've had less than half of one so far.
This weight problem has only been a problem since the removal of my
teeth which subsequently exposed bone in my lower jaw. There wasn't a problem
before that. I weighed 65 kilos, even after having half my throat removed.
In fact, it happened so suddenly, the doc at Port Macquarie freaked
and sent me to Newcastle for a special X-ray that scanned everything. It
proved negative. So it doesn't take an Einstein to figure out what the
Actually, come to think of it, I heard a story about a group of people
stuck on a remote island or some place where all they had to eat was rabbits.
Eventually, they all died. Not because they were eating rabbits, but because
it was a protein-only diet with no vegetables. Veges aid the digestion
of protein. Soooo, considering my diet is largely protein, I should be
drinking vegetable juice. Roite. It's on the shopping list.
On a lighter note, NC Art wrote: We're Baaaaaack! Informing
the wondering world that we are back on with electricity, TV, and Internet.
It has been three days of on/off and repeat. We had little snow, but freezing
rain covered trees, breaking limbs to fall on power lines and knocking
transformers off all over. Glad we had an emergency generator to give light
… but no heat. My son burned wood and I burned gas in a wall heater. About
$200 worth of gasoline ran through the generator but happy we had it. Oh
Frustrating indeed, Art, but I'm glad to hear that all is well again.
Doesn't sound like solar would be of much assistance over there. Art also
sent a bunch of pics of lunatic thrill-seekers risking life and limb for
the sake of an adrenalin rush - entitled, Things To Do Before You Get Old.
Yeah, right. I'll assemble the pics into an album tomorrow (if I have the
Meanwhile, it's time to call it a day again. Hang on a tick... here's
a nice little story about a
letter written to God by an old lady. See ya tomorrow. Gary
February 15, 2014. Now, loggers work in forests, roite? And they
travel a lot. So, if a logger decided to get a motorhome, what
kinda motorhome do you reckon he'd prefer?
The ol' comp was infuriatingly slow booting up this morning so I'm doing
a Malware scan. Found two "objects" so far and counting. Bastards. I've
always found it curious that out of a bunch of innocent newborns in a hospital
nursery, a percentage will grow up to be low-life assholes.
Billeeeeeee posted another shot of me taken when he and Jules visited
a few weeks back. Barnacle Bill spotted it and said he didn't post the
pics he took of me cos he didn't want me to feel self conscious. But seeing
those images of moi looking pathetically emaciated with a goofy toothless
grin made me realize just how easy it would be to slide into depression
and self-pity mode. Can't have that now, can we. Billeeeeeee described
me as "inspirational" which surprised me. It's not like I'm on any bravery
crusade or whatever. I don't feel as bad as I look, and I'm determined
to go through with this Odyssey thing, come hell or high water. AND THAT'S
THAT! By the way, my doc hasn't contacted me about the results of the chest
X-ray I had taken last Tuesday, so I guess no news is good news.
Still showery here but that's welcome. Farmers like Andrew will be pleased.
Lots of green grass will feed his cattle and fatten them up for market.
And the rain will top up his dams and tanks. I saw on the news last night
that Adelaide has gone from one extreme to the other... record heat waves
followed by record rainfall. And over in Jolly Olde it's gales and flooding,
so I guess Lindsay is spending much of his time indoors watching TV and
Actually, without Lindsay here, I shaved and showered with the bathroom
door open and music blasting through the house. Haven't done that for years!
TX Greg wrote: ..."my little floaties bobbed past" HAHAHA Boy
that gives a whole new meaning to "tea and biscuits".
True. My mate was distinctly unimpressed but at least I learned something
about nautical loos that day. Actually, the
Hawksbury (just north of Sydney) is a wonderful river with miles of
bush on all sides and several hire places with houseboats and cruisers.
From the Beeb: Big pictures: Winter storm grips US. A huge winter
storm is affecting the densely populated US north-east, after
wreaking havoc in the south.
Actor Ralph Waite, best known for playing John Walton Sr - Papa Walton
- in the long-running TV show The Waltons, has died at the age of 85. "Ralph
was a good honest actor and a good honest man," said Michael Learned, who
played his on-screen wife Olivia. Dunno why, but the bloke who played
John Boy in that show used
to irritate me big time.
Nuttin about the cricket in the Beeb but the Oz cricket team is doing
rather nicely in Safrica at the mo. Having sent the Poms back to England
after thrashing them in the Ashes and 1-day games in Oz, our team is now
playing the world's No.1 ranked team, the Proteas, in Safrica, and beating
the pants off them. Cody and Winger would be peeeessed off, for sure. The
team is hoping to maintain top form for next year's World Cup match against
Bit of a boring ol' Satdee, really, with not a lot occurring. However,
life without Lindsay is becoming most appealing, and is something I could
get very used to - one more reason to hit the road. Speaking of which,
I'm gonna have to see what can be done to speed up this gum business. Progress
is way too slow and I'm getting frustrated. All the doc in Sydney does
is check me out and tells me to come back in 3 months. That's not good
enough. So when I see him again I'm gonna be more assertive. There's an
oral surgeon here in this area (servicing Port Macquarie and Taree) so
I'll suggest to the doc in Sydney that he send all the info regarding my
operation and condition to the doc up here so that I can at least get a
second opinion. Time for some action, G! No more Mr Nice Guy! Gary
February 14, 2014. What was I saying yesterday about a dead dingo's
donger? We have rain, dear Breth! Not a helluva lot, but consistent showers
which will make all the little petunias very happy. TX Greg mentioned the
other day he bets Barnacle Bill uses all his fishing buckets to collect
rain water hehe. Ew!
Did you notice the color of the water in Sochi's taps? Looked like orange
juice. GNs often remark on water quality in remote areas - washing and
showering only. A supply of drinking water is recommended when travelling
certain areas of Oz, but the bottled stuff ain't cheap. In any event, I'll
be sure not to put any suss water into my tank, period.
The thing I have to get used to is not rinsing dishes, etc, under running
water. I'm gonna miss that. Not quite sure what the alternative is to cleaning
ground coffee dregs from the plunger by rinsing, but I'll need to figure
it out. On my last shakedown I used the tap in the toilet block. Water
is something we city folk take for granted. Not Andrew. He relies on tank
water on his property, so it would be a very different story in relation
to showers, laundry, washing the car, watering the garden, etc.
Camping by a creek or river can be handy but you need to be mindful
of who might be upstream and what they might be discarding. I'm not sure
I even wanna contemplate that... except to say a mate and I shared an old
Halvorsen cruiser up the Hawksbury River one weekend. We anchored in a
little cove, and while he was busy setting the table, organizing the crystal
and silver (he was like that) and getting lunch ready aft, I went to the
loo. When I emerged, there he was leaning over the side, rinsing a tea
pot when a couple of my little floaties bobbed past. He was horrified to
say the least! Being a non nautical person, it hadn't occurred to me that
loo waste went straight into the drink. I hadn't bothered to check the
direction of the current either. Hence the old saying, "You get my drift."
I've long wondered about "love" and what it is. I suspect it's something
that happens after the initial attraction. As my mother once said, "Love
is not about violin strings and palpitations." What she didn't know was
It’s A Chemical Reaction!
There’s actually a clinical term used to describe this phenomenon
that exists at the beginning of every romantic relationship. Coined by
psychologist Dorothy Tennov, limerence is an involuntary state of intense
desire and attachment toward another person to whom you become attracted.
You begin to idealize them and magnify all their good qualities. It’s intrusive
and provokes feelings of deep longing and passion to be with that person
and these feelings can be blindingly strong. In fact, our bodies naturally
produce an abundance of chemicals and amphetamines during the romantic
love stage, including dopamine and the “love drug” phenylethylamine (PEA),
that account for this state of euphoria and ultimate bliss.
The point of all of this is that when you first meet someone with
whom you share a strong attraction, there’s a lot of powerful currents
going on that could cause you to get swept away in the tidal wave of emotion.
This can lead you to make impulsive and reckless decisions that could sabotage
a potentially good thing you and your new dating partner could have if
you’re not careful.
Well, that explains what I've been trying to articulate for years. I've
experienced overwhelming doses of phenylethylamine many times but, as it
turned out, not love. Once the phenylethylamine had worn off, I'd ask myself,
"What the hell am I doing hanging around this twit?" Nature plays all kinds
of tricks on us, dear Breth. Phenylethylamine is not designed to promote
rational thinking. Moreover, I'm pretty sure that naturally produced chemicals
and amphetamines are also responsible for conditions such as mass hysteria,
religious fervor and various phobias.
Speaking of the brain, here's something from the Beeb: Brain scans
show a complex string of numbers and letters in mathematical formulae can
evoke the same sense of beauty as artistic masterpieces and music from
the greatest composers. Mathematicians were shown "ugly" and "beautiful"
equations while in a brain scanner at University College London. The same
emotional brain centres used to appreciate art were being activated
by "beautiful" maths.
Glorious greenery - winning garden images. From birds fighting in
domestic back gardens, to stunning scenic vistas in remote parts of the
world - the colourful entries to the International Garden
Photographer of the Year competition are very diverse.
Mini Cooper cracks the code. Scientists at the Arecibo radio telescope
in Puerto Rico have attempted communication with extra-terrestrial life
forms. Mini launched the latest iteration of its Cooper subcompact hatchback
not far from the giant saucer in the jungle – and it may take Arecibo-calibre
equipment for earthlings to discern the 2014 Cooper’s many
improvements over the outgoing model.
So, what's there to do on a showery day when nuttin' much is happening?
How about sipping a beer in PJ and listening to music for an hour? Yeah.
That was good, watching the late afternoon traffic headed this way and
that, and a few pedestrians ambling past. A butcher bird with a keen eye
on the wet grass warbled something or other and went about its business,
ignoring me. So there I was thinking about PJ and how well everything inside
is organized - four rooms neatly packaged into one - kitchen, bed, dining,
living - with enough windows and an open doorway to banish any sense of
claustrophobia, and the whole of Oz at my doorstep.
That's the key ya know - keeping PJ clean, tidy and uncluttered. Clutter
I also thought about those times when I'll happen on some idyllic spot
to camp for a while. It won't be every camp, but it'll happen - a long
stretch of white, sandy beach, a billabong with a view to distant mountains,
a clearing in a rain forest surrounded by lush green growth, a huge shimmering
lake dotted with sailing craft, a vast plain with a bejeweled night sky
above a flickering campfire. Seems unreal, but GNs do it every day. Yeah...
who woulda thunk that PJ would be all ready to rock and roll except for
a mouth that needs TEETH!
Oh well... think poz and it'll all happen. Meanwhile, that's it for
today, folks. Thanks for taking the time to share my thoughts. Gary
February 13, 2014. Pay day! In and out, like handing the baton
to the next runner in a relay race. Hehe. Oh well... I'm doin' okay. I
was just telling Stan the Lawn Man that there are things I can't do, but
also things I can... and it's those I can that I'm grateful for. He says
he watched the Birth of PJ video and that his shotgun is in his truck.
He'll shoot me later. Gotta get paid for doing the lawn first.
NC Art writes Now You See It, Now You Don't: Subject describes our
power supply today. On and off. My son finally cranked emergency generator;
one hour later power is back on. Switched from generator for two hours;
power restored. This is round three so what’s next hoo nose? Finally got
internet connection, but TV refuses to show anything but “No Signal, check
connections.” A great pox on such weather: Light snow, freezing rain, sleet,
tree limbs breaking.
Doesn't sound like much fun at all, Art. Just the opposite here. A little
cloudy but warm and dry. We desperately need the rain though. It's as dry
as a dead
Art also sent this link from Smithsonian the other day about a volcano
in Indonesia that
From the Beeb: A huge winter storm is bearing down on the densely
populated US north-east, after wreaking havoc in the South. Across the
typically mild South, more than half a million homes and businesses lack
power, and more than 3,300 US flights have been cancelled. The mammoth
storm has affected people in 22 states from Texas
to Maine and caused at least 10 deaths.
China's first lunar rover could potentially be saved, despite experiencing
mechanical problems, state media report. The moon rover has "awoken" from
its scheduled dormancy and "stands a chance of being saved", a spokesperson
quoted by news agency Xinhua said. The Jade Rabbit suffered a serious mechanical
problem in January. Made
"We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well
and warm together and loved each other" wrote Ernest Hemingway in A Moveable
Feast. Could it have been a wholesome burger that made them sleep so well,
asks Tanvi Misra? According to Sandra Spanier, general editor of the Hemingway
Letters Project, Papa's favourite hamburger recipe - made available by
the John F Kennedy Presidential Library in digital form on Tuesday - reveals
quite a bit about the author and his fourth wife, Mary. I'm
with Ernest... nothing beats a good burger!
It's been a seismic year for Australia's once-flourishing car industry.
Last May, Ford said it would stop manufacturing in Australia, and in December,
General Motors' Holden announced that it, too, would be closing down. Now
Toyota has decided to close its assembly lines by the end of 2017, prompting
warnings that the slow death of car manufacturing in Australia could
push parts of the country into recession.
For decades we've had a Buy Australian Made campaign but consumers ignore
it. We all have our Chinese TVs, Korean cars, Asian frozen veges, etc,
and happily leave buying Australian-made to someone else. Maybe all these
Australian businesses going broke will act as a wake-up call. And it's
not just the auto manufacturers. The irony is that in the event of natural
disasters such as floods, droughts and bushfires, Aussies rally to the
cause and provide generous assistance. Time and time again, victims say
that help from total strangers in a disaster is overwhelming. But what
happens when people lose their jobs because Aussies ignore Aussie-made
in favor of cheap imports? It seems we're finding out.
A sinkhole has swallowed eight rare automobiles at a sports car museum
in the US state of Kentucky. No injuries were reported when the ground
caved in at the National Corvette Museum in the city of Bowling Green in
the early hours of Wednesday.
For those, like me, who are not sports fans, here's a link sent by FL
Josh about the troubles in Sochi: You
might find this interesting as to some things behind the scenes at the
Sochi Olympics. Yes, it pays to think twice before criticizing
others. Walk a mile in my shoes, etc.
Well, today's Waffle has certainly been a collaborative effort hehe...
good thing too cos I've been a bit lean in the creative input department.
I think I'm still in shock after seeing a pic of me and Billeeeeeee posted
on the GN forum. Jules took it when they visited a few weeks ago. Sheesh.
Talk about thin! Especially standing next to Billeeeeeee who's not exactly
a wisp of a lad. Oh well... bring on those choppers and meat pies! Gary
February 12, 2014. A GN posted this letter from a Colorado professor
on his impressions of Oz.
TX Greg wrote to say he enjoyed the pelican pics. Yep, a telephoto lens
and a bit of patience can yield some interesting results. I'll do better
next time though cos I didn't have the camera on an appropriate setting.
I'll also use "burst" next time and get multi-shots of action so I can
choose the best shot. A pelican in flight and/or landing with feet outstretched
is also on the "must have" list.
Off to the denteest shortly for another irrigation, and that'll be it
for appointments today. I'm free! I have a little shopping to do, that's
BACK! And sipping a coffee. The dentist attending to me during Nancy's
absence remarked the other day on quality of life as it relates to my condition.
This morning I mentioned that my inability to speak properly was one quality
I miss - when people visit or if I have to converse on the phone. She said
I do remarkably well considering my lack of teeth and the amount of scar
tissue from the cancer operation - as well as having part of my tongue
snipped. That's nice, but it's still a matter of doing strenuous oral gymnastics
every time I speak. Hehe. Oh well...
Roite, well I got around to assembling and naming and adding captions
to the rare,
historic photos that NC Art sent the other day into an album. Some
fascinating stuff there. Thanks Art. Now, you have to ask yourself, why
do I do all this? Write a blog, make photo albums, shoot videos...? I'm
supposed to be retired! Yeah, right. And then what? I'd go even nuttier
if I didn't have this stuff to do.
Shock horror! A
gay in the locker room! Panic!
From the Beeb: Officials from North and South Korea have begun their
first high-level talks since 2007. The meeting - requested by Pyongyang
- is taking place at the border village of Panmunjom. No agenda has been
set but the issue of family reunions planned for later this month is expected
to be discussed. Talk!
That's encouraging. Go for it, guys.
Australian police say they have found drugs with a street value of
A$180m ($163m; £99m) hidden in kayaks arriving from China. The methamphetamine
was packed into 19 out of 27 sea kayaks in a shipping container. Five people,
including four Taiwanese nationals, were arrested in Sydney, a joint police
and customs statement said. Saved
all that paddling though.
Former Hollywood child star Shirley Temple has died at the age of
85. With her adorable charm and blonde curls, she was one of the most popular
stars of the 1930s, in hit movies like Bright Eyes and Stand
Up and Cheer.
Julia Gillard, former prime minister of Australia, has revealed her
new role as chairwoman of a major international education campaign. The
Global Partnership for Education works to improve education in some of
the world's poorest countries in which 57 million children have no access
to primary school. I
couldn't stand her in Oz politics but I wish her well in this most worthwhile
From Russia with Love: Through this first week of the 2014 Winter
Games, the world’s eyes have been trained on the slopes, ice rinks, halfpipes
and bobsled tracks – and, it must be said, the restrooms – of Sochi, Russia.
Lingering out of frame, however, are some of the vehicles that have made
the 22nd winter Olympiad possible. Stout, humble machines that do not grumble
for want of chrome
or Connolly leather.
Bloody hell, is it that time already? I was browsing the GN forum and
lost the plot. Catch ya tomorrow. Gary
February 11, 2014. Off to have a chest X-ray done this arvo.
Hopefully, there'll be no dramas.
Andrew popped in this morning to fix the marker lights and discovered
the faulty one had an earth problem. Fixed that with a bit of solder. So
he didn't replace the old lights. Oh well, saves disturbing the fittings
I suppose, and it only cost me $20. He was telling me it's so dry at his
farm, his cattle are as skinny as I am and worthless on the market. It's
worse in other places out west, though, with farmers begging for Government
And on top of that, Toyota announced last night that it will cease building
cars in Oz by 2017. So that's Mitsubishi (a few years back), Ford, GM-H
and now Toyota, which leaves no auto manufacturer in Oz except for a few
boutique car makers. It'll affect component manufacturers as well and,
some say, put about 100K people out of work. The unions and the opposition
parties are screaming, of course, and blaming the government's policy of
not subsidizing private industry. "It's the end of the entitlements era."
But I tend to believe that vacuums attract new opportunities. I don't
see the point of governments using taxpayer's money to support business
that can't support itself (natural disasters such as drought, floods excluded).
If Australian workers demand high wages, short working hours and a plethora
of entitlements that make it impossible for companies to compete in the
international marketplace, then they shouldn't be surprised if the companies
fail. Australia needs smart entrepreneurs to capitalize on what makes this
country unique, not the same.
Barnacle Bill turned up about midday and we did the obligatory tour
of our respective rigs, both Freeways mounted on Ford Couriers - with a
celebratory beer. When Bill appeared at the front door I wondered who he
was at first. Ah, Bill! I stood there shirtless looking like an Auschwitz
escapee till I realized I'd better put on a T before he called Triple O.
Here's Bill proudly showing off his rig, with PJ on the right, parked
in my yard. That bulge under Bill's T-shirt is where he keeps all the fish
And here he is re-attaching the trailer carrying his little tinnie with
As you can see, Bill's Freeway doesn't have the side storage bins like
mine, so he uses the open space for storage, with the drop-down sides of
the tray still attached. Bill's a marine engineer by trade, so here is
the kinda thing he can knock up out of old scrap - a folding ladder at
Pretty nifty, wot? Bill obviously knew in advance that he would have
a visitor (namely me) to his rig so he went to the trouble of tidying it
up a bit and giving it a spray of Eau de Sardine.
As you can see, Bill is a fisherman hehe. That bucket to the right near
the doorway, he advised me, still contained a bit of bait from his last
expedition. It gets pretty warm in those rigs on a 30+C day... if you get
my drift. Say no more. Bill, by the way, runs a fishing charter business
at Magnetic Island.
When Bill left to look for a place to camp for lunch, I got myself organized
for a chest X-ray. Parking anywhere near the hospital is almost impossible
but I got lucky, and found a spot just across the road.
By the time I returned home, the day was disappearing so I put together
a bunch of pics I took last evening down by the river. There wasn't much
happening when I arrived but after a while a few people showed up, which
attracted a couple of pelicans looking for hand-outs. Click
here for the album - with captions.
And that's all I have time for today, Ls and Gs. Be noice and I'll catch
you tomorrow. Gary
February 10, 2014. Another lazy day buggerizing around, and reading
a bit more of the Nikon manual. Do you mean to tell me I was happily taking
pitchas without knowing all that stuff? I'm glad I've taken the time to
read the thing though cos all those buttons and switches aren't as imtimidating
as they appear to be. More importantly, there's not much point in having
a sophisticated camera if all I'm gonna do is point and shoot.
Just got a phone call that cheered me up. It was Andrew, and he'll be
here tomorrow at about 9am with a couple of marker lights for PJ that he
has in stock already. They're smaller than those on the van but if they
don't fit, there's an auto supercheap store just down the road. He'll be
fitting LEDs. I wouldn't mind LEDs for both the rear of the truck and camper
as well but that can wait for another day.
FL Josh wrote: I remember as a kid wondering if cats were killed
to make catgut violin strings. It actually gets its name not from
cats but from cattle. Such strings are made from animal intestines
and often that of cattle.
I'm attaching some campers made from VW's. People have probably
had more fun with VW's than any other car ever made.
NC Art sent a bunch of pics too - historic ones of various world events.
I'll put those into an album tomorrow. Also tomorrow, I'm expecting Barnacle
Bill from Magnetic Island to pop in for a cuppa on his way south. I'll
take a pic of the Freeway Twins parked side by side.
From the Beeb: Dozens of bushfires are sweeping across southern Australia,
fanned by hot weather and strong winds. Officials say an unknown number
of homes have been destroyed and a firefighter has been injured in the
state of Victoria. Some residents have been ordered to leave and flames
have spread to the outer suburbs of Australia's second biggest city, Melbourne.
Conditions in Victoria are at their worst since 2009, authorities
Smartphone-loving Adam Gopnik is no technophobe. But there's something
stopping him from joining the social media revolution. "I do not twitter,
and yet there are thousands who wait for me to tweet." That sentence, which
would have been a spoken symptom of madness, a crazy man's sentence, a
few short years ago, is now a simple form of confession. Well, it is a
form of insanity, I suppose, but of a different kind. My
Hollywood actor Clint Eastwood has been credited with saving the
life of a golf tournament director in California who was choking on a piece
of cheese. "Clint saved my life," said Steve John, director of the AT&T
Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament. The actor reportedly saw
that Mr John was in difficulty and performed the Heimlich manoeuvre on
him. The technique requires a rescuer to carry out abdominal thrusts on
a choke victim to
dislodge the blockage.
The US is to make changes to the justice system to give greater legal
recognition to same-sex marriages. In a speech at a gay rights event in
New York, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department had
a role in "confronting
Here's a bit of Australian poetry about the mayhem caused by a Senior
Citizens Meat Raffle that went wrong. Hehe.
That's about it from yours indubitably. Can't wait to try some of the
new tricks I've learned by reading the Nikon manual. Speaking of which,
I favorited a pic taken by a bloke I follow on Red Bubb. He's often up
at all hours to get just the right light for a particular subject, and
he excelled with this one. Looks like something outta Lawrence of Arabia
but it's Stockton, which is in the Newcastle area just south of here.
If you're interested, here are some
of the favorites I've added recently. Seeya tomorrow. Gary
February 9, 2014. I was surprised the other night, watching a
doco about P.L. Travers, author
of Mary Poppins, to learn that she was an Aussie. She lived a fantasy
most of her life and purported to be Irish. But her father was English.
She was born in Queensland and raised in NSW. Although the characters in
her books were all supposed to be frightfully English, they were based
on Australians whom she knew, as were the locations.
I just discovered two typos in the second para of yesterday's Waffle.
Bugger. See what happens when the brain ain't properly in gear? It also
proves that what we see ain't necessarily what's there. Before:
didn't realized 17s were FFs and 24s were Liberators. After:
didn't realize 17s were FFs and 24s were Liberators. Before:
my younger days, all the petrol heads knew their cubic inches about which
I didn't have a clue - and still don't. After:
my younger days, all the petrol heads knew their cubic inches about which
I hadn't a clue - and still don't.
I feel better
The brain's in neutral again today so I figured I'd put my time to good
use by reading my new Nikon D3100 user manual. It's a pretty amazing camera,
despite being DSLR entry level, capable of many sophisticated functions.
A most interesting read. It's a pity I don't get many opportunities to
practice at the mo - living here in this house - but the day will come
when photography is a daily event in all kinds of conditions, day and night.
Decisions relating to aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, ASA, etc,
will become second nature and I'll be able to concentrate on what I'm photographing
rather than how.
From the Beeb: Many US schools have tightened security since the
Sandy Hook massacre of 2012. Safety drills are becoming as common as fire
drills but they can prompt difficult conversations at home. My seven-year-old
is a chatterbox, and as the youngest of three boys, he is always keen to
be heard. Little in his life goes unreported. Every day has a banner headline.
So he could not wait to tell me about the safety drill he
and his classmates had practised.
Seems like the Beeb is having a slow day as well, except for the Sochi
Sorry about the shortie, folks, but it's just one of those days. At
least, I spent it edumacating meself. Gary
February 8, 2014. Satdee! NC Art wrote: One more time. My
combat flying was in a B-24 “Liberator,” NOT a B-17 “Flying Fortress.”
Flew a few training sessions in B-17. Did not like that bird.
Ah, so it was my mention of Flying Fortress yesterday that sparked Art's
protest. I didn't realize 17s were FFs and 24s were Liberators. I thought
they were all FFs. OR Richie is like that with his Boeings. He knows all
the 7 numbers and Bs whereas, to me, they're all Jumbos. In my younger
days, all the petrol heads knew their cubic inches about which I hadn't
a clue - and still don't. Some people are very sensitive about such things.
Art's a 24 man
Not a 17
Trained on the latter
Henceforth never been.
Art's response: NO WUKKERS MATE. TAKE A NAP.
Come to think of it, I get totally confused in the menswear dept when
I buy shirts, undies and jeans. All the neck, waist and length measurements
are in centimeters. Hello? What ever happened to 15 inches and 32? Or SM,
M, L and XL? When I was a kid, our telephone number was two letters and
4 numbers. Then they changed to all digits and added an extra digit cos
more people were subscribing to the network. So that was 7 digits we had
to remember. Then, as the network grew even bigger, they added another
damn digit. Now we have 8 digits to remember! And to make matters even
worse, we now have mobile phones with 10 numbers!
I've had people on the phone checking my ID. "And is your mobile number
yadda, yadda, yadda?" What they do is rattle it off without using pairs
like I do. Pairing the numbers helps me to remember it. But they just read
it off a page and it sounds totally foreign to me. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 doesn't
sound anything like twelve, thirty four, fifty six, seventy eight. Know
what I mean?
Gone are the days when an ID was just plain John or Mary. As humanity
went forth and multiplied, there were too many Johns and too many Marys,
so people were required to have a second or surname like Smith or Jones.
But if Mary married John she would need to adopt his surname. Some Marys
got a bit uppity about relinquishing their family heritage and hyphenated
the two - Smith-Jones or Jones-Smith. Then there was the American penchant
for naming sons with the father's name and along came the Jnrs and the
Roman Numerals. Oh dear...
Actually, I've often wondered what would happen if John Bernstein-MacEnnally
married Mary Mayfield-Smithers, but let's not go there.
Speaking of oddities, Art also writes: A 299 year old Stradivarius
violin was stolen recently and recovered a day later. The thief stunned
the concert master of Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and made off with the
violin appraised in 2012 at $5 million. Two chaps have been arrested and
a female accomplice who drove the getaway car will be charged also.
Just thought ya aorta know this. Hehe…
Hmmm. Do I know any violin jokes? Can't remember. But I do know that
cat gut was never used to make strings. It's a myth.
From the Beeb: The 22nd Winter Olympics opened with a spectacular
ceremony in the Russian resort city of Sochi. Athletes from 87 nations
paraded before 40,000 people in the Fisht Stadium before president Vladimir
Putin declared the Games open. The Olympic flame was lit by Russian former
triple gold medallists Vladislav Tretiak and Irina Rodnina as fireworks
illuminated the night sky. At a cost of £30bn, the Sochi Games is
most expensive Olympics in history.
Why Schapelle's story grips Australia. She is standing, shaking,
dumfounded, looking around for a friendly face, angry and crying. Her white
skin and western clothes — black top, light pink pants — contrast with
the brown skin and uniforms of police and court officials. As it dawns
on her what's happened - guilty - she breaks down, her palms press hard
up against her bowed forehead. Then, quaking, red-faced, palms out in Buddha
fashion, she turns to her equally confused, soon-to-be apoplectic family:
"Mum, it's OK." But it isn't. And
it won't be for a long time.
The ABC News Channel in Oz last night cancelled all normal programming
to cover live the expected granting of parole to Schapelle Corby in Indonesia
where she was tried 9 years ago for possession of cannibis and found guilty.
When The Beatles appeared on the conservative Ed Sullivan Show they
started a revolution. Ken Tucker explains why television was crucial to
their success. A
My mind has been in float mode today, thinking about this and that without
really focusing on anything in particular - taking time off, perhaps, from
a few bursts of deep philosophical pontifications in recent times. Well,
deep for me, maybe not for others. Part of me is wishing I was on the Odyssey
already but another part is telling me it's not practical at the moment.
GNs write about meeting so and so and going to lunch at a cafe or pub.
I can't do that. I have a daily timetable for certain foods and medications,
including mouthwashes with special stuff. And regular bi-weekly dental
Oh well... carry on regardless, I suppose. Meanwhile, I'll call it a
day. Hang on a minute... can't go without first tasting the trifle I made.
Okies... slices into squares beautifully, with the raspberry jelly base.
Squirt a dollop of cream on top, sprinkle with grated chocolate. Ready?
Oh! Gary! You are a master! That is soooooooo good! Mmmmm! Another spoonful
please. Oh, yes! Orgasmic! That's as good as it gets... just like a proper
one in a fancy restaurant. I'm forgiven for buggering up the first one
with plum pudding and too much jam. This one is perfect. Bellissimo! Even
the jelly melts in the mouth, unlike my mother's which would be a bit leathery
cos she didn't stir it sufficiently. And the amount of sherry I poured
over the jam rolls is just right too... just enough to moisten the cake
but keep it firm. Oh my goodness, that is heavenly. A few crushed nuts,
maybe? I'll try that later. Gary
February 7, 2014. Isn't it strange how the obvious isn't always
apparent? Last night's 2-minute noodles went down the screech far more
easily than they ever have before. It's the 2 minutes that had me fooled.
I just happened to check the label after buying a different brand and noticed
it recommended 800 watts. Roite. My old bus is 500 watts cos it's a 1983
model I bought new back in... yeah. An oldie but a goodie. Still got the
Sanyo 'That's Life' sticker on the door. So last night's noodles were 3
To give the noodles a bit of extra oomph and protein, I top them (after
cooking) with a couple of handfuls of Kraft Mexican 3-cheese blend (grated)
and melt it through. Tastes pretty good. I use noodles rather than larger
pasta cos I can break up the noodles into small bits that are easily swallowed
Slept like a log again last night for 10 hours and am feeling pretty
chipper this morning. I was a bit worried there for a while that some physical
ailment was gonna spoil my Odyssey plans. Perish the thought! That is definitely
NOT an option.
TX Greg was pleased to read about Art's Flying Fortress experience:
Wow that was neat to hear you were a tail gunner, so was my dad.
He flew many missions on B29's into Japan. And no not the one that dropped
the big one, hehe. Somewhere in a old box I have a huge map that he drew
all his missions on, with flight paths, times, dates, etc. Always thought
maybe a museum would might want to display that.
Also in that box is a small map made out of silk and a special signal
mirror, so if they had to ditch the plane in water the map would be ok
and the mirror could SOS to rescue planes.
Small world, yes? It's quite a privilege to know Art, actually. As an
88 y/o returned USAF serviceman who saw action in London during WWII he's
a rare bird these days. He's also been a farmer, a traveller, a printer,
an alderman, a family raiser, and a writer with a keen interest in classical
Can't remember what program it was on telly but I watched someone the
other night talking about the lack of respect young people have for older
peeps in western society. He said kids these days equate widsom with being
iPad savvy hehe. Or being able to operate the TV remote. He also referred
to Australian Aborigines who have a profound respect for their elders.
Oh yes... it was Dr David Suzuki. He said older people have a duty to pass
on their knowledge to younger generations. "We've been there, we've done
it all, we have the experience." So after hearing all that, and absorbing
it, I wondered what could be said to change the perception younger people
have of oldies being synonymous with Alzheimers. Yesterday, when the doc
and the young medical student, Lucy, were here, I turned to her and said,
"We don't learn by getting younger". She seemed suitably impressed with
The thing is, cliches that associate wisdom with age have little impact
on the young. They can't identify with age. Media focus is on youth and
beauty and being techno savvy. But when you reverse the cliche and say
"We don't learn by getting younger", it becomes a statement easily understood
by a young person. A young person knows what it's like to be younger -
and dumber. Light bulb time.
I remember Cody writing to me one time and saying, "Everything you say
makes so much sense!" Hehe. My technique avoided sounding like an adult
lecturing a teen. Instead of lecturing, I became a teen discussing teen
problems, with the advantage of adult experience. "You're pretty teeny
for a fossil," he once wrote.
As I showered and shaved, I heard a radio interview with Sunny Jacobs
- and totally fascinating it was. A story of the Florida justice system
being perverted to send innocent people to death row for the murder of
two policemen so that the prosecutor and judge could further their careers,
and the police "brotherhood" could have their revenge. How vile. How insanely
a review of Sunny's book Stolen Time.
When the interview first started, Sunny was talking about living in
North Carolina, which made me think of Art: Another good thing about
flying with guns in a turret is the gunner sits between the guns and fires
them remotely by a hand-held yoke with triggers. The vibration and noise
were dampened by the flight helmet with built-in earphones, Waist guns
were hand held and would chatter and buck and shake the hell outta the
gunner. O well, war is hell any ways you take it.
Yeah, legalized insanity.
And I take it that you are in some better circumstances health-wise
Yep, feeling much better today, mate. Wearing fresh, new undies and
about to do some shopping and run a few errands shortly. BTW, Good-o is
a brand of dog food here.
One GN, a newbie, commented the other day on feeling nervous about a
particular free camp where there were no other campers, so he made the
decision to move on. He asked if he was being unduly paranoid. Other GNs
said no, he wasn't being unduly paranoid, and to rely on instinct or gut
feel when determining the safety or otherwise of a camp site. If you spot
broken bottles, graffiti or other evidence of hoon behavior, move on. Makes
sense to me. Just be observant and use the ol' noggin.
I often find discarded fast-food containers and bottles on my front
lawn, tossed there by pedestrians on their way home from a night on the
town. Grubs. Grubs who don't give a shit. Silly people. If you spend your
life not giving a shit, shit is what you get in return.
Back from shopping, and what a lovely day it is. Paid the doc's bill,
got the rebate from Medicare, bought some goodies at the supermarket including
jelly crystals (which I used to eat straight from the pack as a kid) and
mini jam rolls (sponge cake rolled into small er... rolls). Made a smoothie
and refrigerated for later consumption, then made jelly (raspberry) and
refrigerated a portion to set in a container to which will be added the
jam rolls, sherry and custard (trifle), and later served with whipped cream
and a generous sprinkle of grated chocolate. Mmmmm.. Had to discard 2/3
of the unset jelly tho cos I only wanted a 1/4 inch on the bottom of the
trifle container. Oh well... it's only a buck a packet. Could have made
a second jelly I suppose but I'm not a big jelly eater per se. Dontcha
just love the way I reveal all these rivetting secrets about my most private
From the Beeb: An apparently hacked phone conversation during which
a senior US diplomat disparages the EU over the Ukraine crisis has been
posted online. A voice resembling that of Assistant Secretary of State
Victoria Nuland refers to the EU using a graphic swear word. The US said
Ms Nuland had "apologised for these reported comments". The audio also
reveals a frank exchange about America's strategy on how to work with Ukraine's
main opposition leaders. Remember
the black and white spies cartoon in MAD magazine?
Scientists in Australia are working to classify a new species of
giant jellyfish that washed up on a beach in Tasmania. A family found the
1.5m (5ft) jellyfish on
a beach south of Hobart last month.
Long-time US television host Jay Leno has taped his final episode
of The Tonight Show, with help from a few celebrity guests. Leno, 63, appeared
emotional as he thanked viewers for their loyalty after
his 22 years as host.
Well, that's about my lot for today, dear Breth. But before I go, here's
a GN post called Before
and After Marriage. Hooroo! Gary
February 6, 2014. Those USAF B thingies were called Flying Fortresses,
roite? A fortress to me is something attached to solid ground, and I always
thought the FF's legs were a touch short if one's engines happened to be
shot off at 20,000 feet. Anyway, NC Art wrote: Thanks for the flight
down memory lane. Actually my main War bird was the B24, tho we had time
in B17 sufficient to hate the thing. My gun position in ass end of B24
was nice and roomy inside a turret. That position in the B17 was very tight,
with gunner on his belly or kneees. Bummer!
Scary stuff. I've seen gunners firing those things in war movies, shaking
like a leaf in a gale. I imagine it would be like trying to use a toothpick
in a Model T travelling over rough road. The absurd games people play.
You could try skimmed milk to avoid all that ropy glop But you get
nothing fattening in that event; just the calcium and vitamin and protein.
May be a bad trade-off…..
Hmmmm. I noticed the coconut milk yesterday produced lots of mouth glop
but it wasn't stringy, and it was much easier to clear the throat. I didn't
have any problems overnight either.
The doc's been and gone, together with Lucy, a med student, in tow.
He wants me to have a chest X-ray done, and I'm not surprised. The last
X-ray I had about a year ago was all clear but, as the doc pointed out,
and I agree, things can change. In fact, they not only can, they do! However,
he did the ol' stethoscope trick (and so did Lucy) and said my breathing
was okay... a bit scratchy but okay. Otherwise, it's business as usual.
And he likes the Lindsay portrait. It was awarded a feature this morning
by the Old
Farts of Red Bubble group which accepts only high quality images.
I was pleased to hear from young Albert from Denmark this morning after
a long absence. I graduated within top 4 of highest grades at my school.
We all got a 10.000 DKK certificate :) Well, high grades and also some
other "have to have been in a nature scientific talent contest" kinda thing.
Next week I'm gonna meet up with a scientist regarding some new project
I'm working on - "Young Scientists 2014", then I'm gonna try out some days
at Copenhagen University wednesday, thursday 'n friday. Looking so much
forward to it !! I wonder what I'll pick to study ... What did you study?
However, being 19, he's even more excited about this: I got my driver's
license btw ! But hey ! I got work, we got money, a car (which is a lot
for two 19 yo's I think), an apartment and this summer we're moving to
Copenhagen! It's gonna be so cool ^^
Sounds like Albert is well on his way to a successful life. I was thinking
this morning as I read his note that, had he not been adopted by a couple
from Denmark visiting his native Venezuela, and given a good home life
with opportunities to study (he plays a mean piano too), things for that
lad would have been very different indeed. The fickle finger of fate.
FL Josh wrote: Here
is just what you need for your morning cuppa.
And here's something very cool from Dio, an old mate, delivered via
Francois: You’re in it @ 70 mph with no seat backs, no seat belts and
no brakes and State of the art cotton cord tire technology. (cotton cord
hahaha i had no idea) and check out the starter...was that original? Go
for a ride with NASCAR’S Carl Edwards.
Thanks Dio and Francois... that's a real eye opener! And yes, I love the
From the Beeb: The US has warned airlines flying into Russia for
the Winter Olympics that explosives hidden in toothpaste tubes could be
smuggled on to planes. The Department of Homeland Security told US media
the alert affected flights direct into Russia as it prepares
for the games in Sochi.
If there is one thing that Australia is not short of it is sunshine.
Perth, the capital of Western Australia, and the country's sunniest big
city, enjoys an average of eight hours of sunshine per day, rising to 11
hours in the height of summer. Sydney is not far behind, with the Sun on
show for more than seven hours each day. And even cloudier and cooler Melbourne
gets five and a half hours. With such enviable weather conditions, one
knock-on effect is that Australia leads the way when it comes to the
number of homes that have solar panels.
Scientists have created a bionic hand which allows the amputee to
feel lifelike sensations from their fingers. A Danish man received the
hand, which was connected to nerves in his upper arm, following surgery
in Italy. Dennis Aabo, who lost his left hand in a firework accident nearly
a decade ago, said
the hand was "amazing".
A woman convicted of murder in Texas has been put to death, only
the 14th time a female has been executed in the US in nearly four decades.
Suzanne Basso, 59, was pronounced dead from lethal injection at 18:26 local
time Wednesday (00:26 GMT Thursday). She was convicted of the 1998 torture
and killing of a mentally impaired man she
had promised to marry.
The death penalty - is it a penalty? Hitler didn't think so when he
took his own life. To him, it was an escape.
Back to Albert for a moment. He asked what I studied. Nothing formally
after leaving school where I only studied the basics. But as I explained
in my reply to him, I've taken an interest in studying people most of my
life; observing human behavior. But I also explained that such an interest
can make you cynical hehe. People can be soooooo dumb!
If I did have my time over again, and chose a subject to study, I think
it would be science. I like things you can trust, things you know to be
true, things that don't disappoint. Photography is science because it deals
with the laws of physics and light. Add a little human imagination and
whammo, you got art.
What is art? FL Josh writes: This was just on the news so I found
it online. I remember when I was taking a class on art in college,
I got into quite a debate with the professor as to what constituted art.
His argument was anything created by man is art. I argued that there
was more. He also painted a picture in one of our classes.
He started out just painting random things on the canvas, and rotating
it from time to time, until it looked like something, then he developed
that something. Interesting
I was reading something about Michelangelo's Christ carrying the cross
the other day and
looking at the picture. Now, we all know that Michelangelo kinda fancied
the blokes a little. So, there was a statue of a naked man in the prime
of life, toned, well built and very handsome - in a church. How so? He
had a cross. That makes it okay, apart from the fact that he wasn't wearing
a dinner suit at the time of crucifixion. As a kid, I always found it curious
(if not contradictory) that nudity played such a large and accepted part
in religious art. Somethin' a bit suss goin' on here, I thunk to meself.
See what I mean about the dangers inherent in observing human nature? They're
all a bunch of bloody hypocrites.
But Michelangelo was smart. He figured out pretty quickly that he could
freely indulge his passion for glorifying the nude male by giving his art
a religious significance. Other artists simply called it art and let it
go at that. Then Pablo came along and painted triangular boobs and confused
the hell outta everyone.
Yes indeedy, ladies and genitals, human beans are a pretty weird lot.
On the poz side, once you've figured out that peeps are a bunch of nutters,
if one looks at you as if you're a few shrimps short of a barbie, you can
just shrug it off. It's only a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
It doesn't matter.
Well, Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, just look at the time! I get a bit carried
away when I'm being philosophical. Back tomorrow with more who knowz what!
February 5, 2014. Before I go any further, I was perusing Red
Bubble this morning and spotted a pic of B17s in formation. In the 'description'
it talked about 1944 and Britain, so I thought of Art
going on one of his Sunday joy flights to Berlin. Click on the pic
And now, let's see who gives the best advice, the
bartender or the shrink.
FL Josh wrote: Was getting caught up again on a week's worth of Waffles
and just read about your choking experience. How frightening that
had to be - wondering if your time has come. My heart goes out to
you. Hope you are better. You probably strained a lot of things
involved in the coughing mechanism and it will take some days to get back
Thanks, Josh. Yep, almost back to normal... and you're right... there
were quite a few scary moments. The heart attack wasn't all that scary,
the cancer wasn't all that scary, but gulping for air? Now, that's scary.
You know those dramatic movie scenes where disaster strikes and someone
is yelling, "stay calm, stay calm?" It's a bit like that. There's an almost
overwhelming desire to panic and you have to continually remind yourself
to remain cool and focus on the business of stabilizing the situation.
Reminds me of a time when I was making a right hand turn at the roundabout.
I had the right of way as a car approached from the opposite direction.
But there was another car on the first car's inside. As the first car slowed
to give way, the inside car came into view and saw my indicator. The learner
driver (a young woman) panicked and raised both hands to her face, leaving
the steering wheel unattended. Fortunately for her, I never take anything
for granted and had not attempted to enter that space until I was sure
it was safe. Meanwhile, the instructor made a grab for her wheel and took
Yes, it's called defensive driving... always expect the unexpected.
I bought an extra couple of bandage rolls the other day and put them in
my first aid cupboard in PJ, just to be sure I have enough bandage to dress
an entire limb in case of snake or spider bite. They used to recommend
the ol' slice and suck trick for snake and spider bites but now they tell
you to bandage the entire limb. Not sure how that would work if you were
bitten on the bum hehe. But creepy crawlies usually go for the extremities.
There was another time I was tempted to panic. It was ages ago when
I got caught in a rip at a surfing beach and felt myself being dragged
out to sea. But I remembered the advice of lifesavers about not fighting
the rip, but rather to swim diagonally across it until you reached calmer
water. Then you could catch a wave back to shore. I was totally exhausted
by the time I reached the beach but ever so grateful. It happened one time
to young Josh too. But he panicked and struggled until he was too weak
to swim another stroke. Then he floated on his back as the rip took him
further out to sea. He was convinced he was a gonner but luckily a few
mates noticed him missing and paddled out on their boards to rescue him.
How's that for scary?
Well, goody goody gumdrops! My Nikon manual for the D3100 arrived and
it's a ripper! Quite heavy with stiff cardboard cover and art-paper pages,
but not too big... 6" x 7". It's called The Expanded Guide, and comprehensive
it is, packed with photos and diagrams and a pullout card for instant explanation
of all the buttons and dials. It covers basics through to advanced, so
I'm a happy chappy. Jon
Sparks is the author.
Incidentally, Mieke bubble-mailed a few good tips yesterday about night
photography and the use of smaller apertures (higher F stops) for greater
depth of field (focus). Takes a much slower shutter speed but worth it.
She sent this link for tips
on night photography. And this one about capturing
Yesterday, I was thinking about what would have happened if my recent
respiratory problems had been bad enough to send me to a nursing home.
What would I do? Make the best of it, I suppose. Specialize in portraits
of old wrinklies hehe. I do like portraiture though, but rarely get the
opportunity to practice. Most peeps don't like posing or having a camera
gawking at them. With a bit of luck, I might get a few guinea pigs on the
Odyssey. I have to say that many professional portraits I see look kinda
plastic, as if no attempt has been made to capture the essence of the person's
character or personality - a twinkle in the eye or hint of a smile. Lighting
and composition are all very well, but there also needs to be a strong
communication between the subject and the lens. And THAT means a good relationship
between subject and photographer. Others may disagree but what the hell.
It's that time of year, dear Breth. The renewal for motorhome insurance
arrived this morning. Next will be car insurance (cos PJ is a slide-on
and therefore separate) and rego inspection. Bills, bills, bills.
Well, the local council waste manager just wrote to say that old computer
printers (did I tell you some mongrel dumped his trash in my bin after
collection yesterday morning, including an old printer?) can be disposed
of free at the local landfill facility "in the correct manor". Hehe. Oh
Yesterday, I made a smoothie with milk as usual just to test my theory
about mucus, and the second glass produced an excess. So today I used coconut
cream. Not sure about the mucus issue yet but I am about the taste. Mmmmm!
It combines really well with the chocolate flavor of the Sustagen and the
banana. Roite, so that'll be standard issue from here on. Hopefull, it's
fattening as well. BTW, I slept 12 hours straight last night... out like
From the Beeb: A magazine article about the
future of Bill Gates and Microsoft.
In pictures: Sony World Photography Awards
The Panono camera ball takes 360 degree photographs when it is thrown
in the air. The sphere is covered by 36 cameras which, once airborne, simultaneously
capture individual images - these are then pieced together in the cloud
to produce a 108 megapixel image which can be explored in any direction.
Click's Spencer Kelly reports.
The day hath flown, Ls & Gs, mainly cos I slept in till 8.30 this
morning. I remember waking at 6 and thinking 'bugger it'. But that's okay
- no appointments, no pressure, no stress. My doc arrives tomorrow morning
though to check me out. He's been my doc for 12 years now, longest I've
ever had the same doc.He's cut more skin cancers outta me than you can
poke a stick at. He wouldn't touch my hernia though hehe. "She'll be roite,
doc, no worries. Just whip out the ol' scalpel and Bob's yer uncle." But
he went on about too many nerve endings or something and said it was a
job for specialist. Before I was transferred from the hospital bed to the
operating table in surgery, I remember the specialist introducing me to
the bloke who would actually do the operation. "He's in his final year
at university - almost a doctor." How inspiring.
Okies, time for a bit of telly and later something to stick to the bones.
Hope you enjoyed the pic of the old B17s, Art. Gary
February 4, 2014. Missed my irrigation this morning - not enough
energy to walk even half a block to the dental clinic. However, I slept
pretty well and even managed to cough up bit of gunk this morning, which
is welcome change. As NC Art wrote: All that glop sounds like a hot
sinus to me, a chronic victim of similar dysfunction. Some 20 years ago
I had a sub-mucus resection done to straighten out nasal blockage with
mixed results. Now I can breathe better, but the mucus that drains to my
throat is a bitch to ditch. Hope this finds you much better and ready to
take on the bastards from whatever direction.
TX Greg added: Amazing how germs can travel the globe faster than
the internet. Sounds like you have the same thing that's been going around
the states here. Everyone I know from one coast to the other has had it.
Mine came on just before New Year's and I'm still not fully over it. It's
not the flu like a ton of peeps are getting, but this is more like a chest
cold with the coughing and like you said expelling the gunk! Wonder if
we can blame Bill for this, hehe. Get to feeling better.
And this from OR Richie: Sorry you are feeling under the clouds and
weather and I am all too familiar with the mucous monster problems.
It's really terrible and I have been through a lot of that, and still do
for a while every morning.... which I take as a general respiratory hint
Well, if it's a bug, I'm cool with that. Bugs can be treated. It happened
suddenly the other day. I showered and shaved without incident, and everything
was normal (given my condition) and then whammo, outta the blue came all
this coughing and wheezing, leaving me exhausted. The slightest effort,
such as walking around the house, or doing some minor chore, would have
me gasping for breath.
I've reconsidered milk as the main culprit. A stubborn bit of mucus
in the throat refused to be washed down last night (or coughed up) so I
figured maybe fight fire with fire. Half a glass of chocolate milk sorted
it out whereas water was simply repelled. If things become a bit desperate,
Sue's folding walker is still here (with wheels, a seat and luggage basket)
- I can use that if I need to for shopping. There's a folding wheelchair
However, I feel better today than yesterday so hopefully I'll recover
soon. Better get some tucker into me as well. I've hardly eaten (?) anything
in the last day or two.Yep, I have an Odyssey to do! Can't have all this
respiratory shit getting in the way!
From the Beeb: The extent of corruption in Europe is "breathtaking"
and it costs the EU economy at least 120bn euros (£99bn) annually,
the European Commission says. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem
has presented a full report on the problem. She said the true cost of corruption
much higher" than 120bn.
Can couples really get stuck together during sex? It sounds like
a scene from a trashy sex comedy. But stories of getting stuck during sex
have been with us for centuries - and some of them might just be true.
An emergency trip to hospital is never pleasant, but it's certainly not
would want to happen after sex.
Jaguar and Chrysler went head-to-head in the biggest advertising
arena on the planet - the Super Bowl. But who came off best, asks Brian
Wheeler. Everybody loves a villain. And the Jaguar F-Type ad has three
of them - Sir Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong and Tom Hiddleston. The three actors
are all British, of course. Because that's how Hollywood likes its bad
guys - and that is also the riff that this advert plays on. Why are movie
villains always British? Because they are evil geniuses, cool, commanding
and super-suave. And
they drive Jaguars.
Years ago, as a kid of about 11 or 12, I saw a most unusual car enter
our street. I'd never seen anything like it before - very modern and expensive
looking. It stopped and the driver got out to visit one of the houses on
the other side. I seem to recall my mother telling me he was an insurance
salesman. Apparently, this car didn't turn heads like it did mine, or do
much to rejuvenate interest in the declining popularity of Hudson in its
native country. I only ever saw one other Hudson in our street, and that
was a mid to late 30s Terraplane. Funny name for a car, I thought, not
realizing what terra meant.
My Red Bubble mate Mieke was readying the camera for an artistic shot
of a rock on a deserted WA beach when her crazy dog Banjo decided to get
in on the act - which
turned out to be a wonderful classic!
Speaking of cameras, my remote shutter release arrived just now so I'll
look forward to taking a few night shots when I get the opportunity. I
Bubblemailed Mieke to ask about a rule of thumb that applies to how many
seconds a shutter should remain open for night shots of the sky. Or maybe
the camera will suggest something when I select Bulb. In any case, I have
a Nikon user manual on its way. The one that came with the camera is Japanese,
part of the reason I got the thing cheap. The new manual is written by
a pro journalist and photographer from England so it should be pretty helpful.
I also have a Nikon English manual on CD but I can't be bothered with all
that pdf stuff. Gimme a book I can hold!
Here's one comment on a Nikon forum: This
is my first attempt at photographing stars. Here are my settings: 18mm,
f/5.6, shutter speed 30 seconds, ISO 1600, tripod and remote shutter release.
Turned out ok, but I need to work on focus! Me: I would imagine ISO
1600 is a bit grainy and that a lower ISO would be better, say 400 and
a longer shutter speed. As to focus, I'd suggest manual focus on infinity.
But what the hell would I know? Anyway, a remote shutter release is handy
for long exposures (1/30 or more) such as dawn and evening shots with a
It's THAT time again, and I seem to be improving healthwise. Hopefully
it was just a bug that came for a short visit. With a bit of luck, I'll
be back to normal tomorrow! Gary
February 3, 2014. By midnight last night, the mucus business
hadn't really subsided. I was still exhausted from all the coughing, throat-clearing
and strenuous efforts to expel the gunk. I decided not to risk a train
trip to Sydney let alone a long walk around Glebe. I could hardly stand
for longer than a minute or two. I hit the sack wondering how on earth
I would manage to sleep, but I did - waking frequently to clear the throat
again. This morning I was still wobbly but less so, and improved marginally
as the day wore on. It's late afternoon now and I just put the trash out
which almost put me back to square one. Meanwhile, I'm steering clear of
anything that might stimulate mucus, and the breathing is getting easier.
So there ya go, I missed my Glebe shoot, morning coffee with my ex-neighbor
(who emailed to say the new owners of my old house have extended a permanent
invitation to visit) and the appointment with the doc. Bummer! However,
I have made an appointment with my local GP to visit me on Thursday during
his rounds. I'm pretty sure I'll be okay till then. There were a few scary
moments though, wondering if I should phone an ambulance.
Anyway, I'm still pretty knackered and really don't have the energy
for Waffle, so I'll bid thee farewell for now and hope that I improve soon.
February 2, 2014. FL Josh wrote in large caps, Stunning pictures
of Lindsay. He's not one of my favorite people, for sure, but as a photographer
I see things differently. The portrait is cool, I think... the lighting,
the hair, the hat and the Roman nose. When I first met L, all his possessions
were in plastic shopping bags, and his clothes were cheap T shirts, jeans
and thongs. After a while, on his trips to England with Sue, he graduated
to borrowing my bags. Now, all these years later, he's learned to save
his money. He didn't have a bean to bless himself with in the early days.
His carer took all his pension money for accommodation and meals, and handed
him a few lousy dollars a week for personal things. That jacket cost him
$400, the boots were $400 and the hat about $200. He also splurged on a
proper suit case with wheels. He's never been so well off and independent.
However, he doesn't see any correlation between that and my influence.
I used the little Fuji compact for the pics. In the first one, the camera
was reading the background and side lighting, which made him too dark.
So I took a reading to my left where the light was less strong, returned
to him and took the pic. In the portrait, I stood back, zoomed in, and
the camera took a reading of the light from his face. Perfect. In the old
days, I used a light meter for tricky shots with high contrast. Now I use
auto to lock-in exposure and wing it, knowing what I do about how a camera
TX Greg wrote to remind me that Cody's domain needs renewing, so that's
organized for another 5 years. He also suggests that the disparity between
my regular stats counter and Webalyzer is that the latter records clicks
on pages, images, etc., as well as clicks on the URL. Hmmm, well 27K clicks
in a month is a helluva lotta clicks no matter which way you look at it.
Clicking on an image rather than the URL doesn't automatically bring a
person into the site, but it could arouse curiosity, especially when I
get serious about travelling Oz.
This is a BIG house ya know. This morning when I went for my traditional
morning pee, all the doors to all the rooms were open on my way from one
end of the house to the other. It's gonna be quite a different story in
PJ. Yesterday, I spent a bit of time getting a relaxing dose of inner shedness,
listening to music and rearranging a few things in cupboards. It was all
rather pleasant. PJ might be small - ie. compact - but everything I need
is there and all within arm's reach (or a quick trip outside). Come to
think of it, outside is not a space I use much at this address. Apart from
being a place to park PJ, it's a bloody nuisance with regular lawn mowing
and weed spraying. I never use it for recreation.
Again, that'll be a different story on the Odyssey. Outdoors is what
the Odyssey is all about. As the GNs call it - the playground. When I did
the shakedown last October, I parked PJ without giving a thought to what
the view would be from the awning side. Thilly me hehe. Next time, first
consideration will be where's the best view? and then park accordingly.
Also, back then, I didn't set up the awning till the final day. I was kinda
confused about what the routine should be mainly because I parked too close
to the bloke next door and setting up the awning would have encroached
on his space. Oh dear... Who's the newbie?
When I see pics of caravans and motorhomes at open camp sites, they're
parked at different angles. I wondered why at first, but now I realize
they have different prorities. The more experienced don't park under gum
trees (which have a propensity for losing limbs at short or no notice).
Some park out in the open to allow full sun on their rooftop solar panels.
Others have portable panels. Some seek the company of friends and/or neighbors
while others prefer more privacy. Compared to the regimented parking at
caravan parks, it all seems a bit iggly piggly and haphazard but there
are good reasons for that.
From the Beeb: Thousands of people across Australia have joined
a protest calling for an end to a new law which allows sharks to be culled.
The biggest gathering took place in Perth, Western Australia, where there
have been seven fatal shark attacks in three years. The government says
that the deaths have dented tourism, and that beach-goers must be protected.
De Jong reports.
How's that for ironic? Every time there's a surfer or swimmer attacked
by a shark, it makes the front page. Yet when an attempt is made to cull
sharks, there's an outcry - the argument being that many species are endangered
anyway, and they are a vital part of the ocean's eco system. Many protesters
also believe that the sea is shark territory and if we wanna play in it,
we take the risk. That's how Cody felt about sea creatures.
An avid motorcycle rider in the US state of Ohio has been buried
with his Harley-Davidson in a transparent casket. Billy Standley was embalmed
and laid to rest atop a 1977
Electra Glide cruiser in a Plexiglass casket.
It turns out that BBC Autos’ supercar of 2013 is not the novel chunk
of whizz-bang machinery we once thought it was. A forbear from 1898, the
Porsche P1, pioneered some of the very systems and concepts used to such
devastating effect by the 918 Spyder. And by some measures, the 19th-century
ancestor would have outperformed
its overachieving descendant.
Bit of drama today with way too much mucus. Smoothies and other dairy
foods promote lots of mucus but I think the problem was exacerbated by
a couple of pills missing the hatch and partially dissolving in the mouth,
allowing some of the fine powdery particles to lodge in the throat which
caused irritation and a major coughing fit lasting 2 or 3 hours. On top
of that, I became continually (and alarmingly) short of breath. Have you
ever tried to cough and suck in air at the same time? Gets a bit tricky.
On several occasions I had to sit, exhausted, and gulp big lungfuls of
air to get myself stabilized. Then I'd cough up as much thick stringy mucus
as I could, clearing the throat with as much force as possible, and blowing
it out of the mouth into the sink. All very charming, of course. But the
stuff is incredibly stubborn. Finally, I was able to nap for an hour and
get back to normal. Whew! I'll stick to water when I take pills in future,
and make sure they're all clear of the throat before I consume any dairy
stuff. Anything powdery causes havoc.
The thing to remember in such situations is not to panic. Panic causes
confusion and an inability to make rational decisions. During all that
kerfuffle, my mind remained cool, even detached, as if it were another
person such as a doctor giving me instructions on how to handle the problem.
There were fleeting temptations to panic but I managed to reject them.
Anyway, at about 1am tonight, I'll drive to Taree station to board the
1.35am XPT to Sydney where I'll arrive at 6.52am and catch a tram to Glebe.
I'm looking forward to my photo shoot around my old stomping grounds, some
of which will have changed no doubt since I was there over 20 years ago.
But most of it will be the same, retaining its 19th century heritage. The
adjoining suburb, just a short stroll from my old house, is Forest Lodge.
Forest? Not these days, mate. The forests disappeared a long, long time
Watched an interesting interview last night with David Suzuki, the scientist
and environmentalist. His parents escaped poverty in Japan by emmigrating
to Canada where he was raised. He was the victim of racism and hated the
way he looked. But he eventually found soul mates with the indigenous Canadians
who, to his initial surprise, reminded him of the way he and his family
looked. Then he realized their ancestors originally came from the orient.
"You guys populated Japan and China!", he said. "No," they said, "it was
the other way around. It was they who populated North America."
During high school, he managed to become school captain. He said there
were the innies and the outies, of which he was one, and the outies were
always wanting to be innies. Innies were the beautiful people, the sporting
stars, the wealthy kids. But then he realized there were more outies than
innies, so he rallied the support of the outies for his bid to become school
captain and won easily. Hehe.
And there goes another Waffle. Not sure what I can write tomorrow. I
won't be back till about 8pm. Maybe a few lines before I hit the sack.
February 1, 2014. According to my stats counter, AO has had about
50000+ hits since it began back in 2008. But according to Webalyzer (a
service provided by my ISP), AO has had far more than that. In the
graph, "Visits" are what counts. Visits represent people clicking on the
URL. Hits could be anything, including robots. Check out the figures for
the past 12 months. None of the links in the graphs are clickable, by the
way, it's just a screen capture.
So why the discrepancy between my stats counter and the Webalyzer? Buggered
if I know. But I do know which one I'd quote if I were looking for sponsorship
Meanwhile, according to NC Art, nothing could be finer than to be in
Carolina in the morning: Ice floe is melting, sun is shining, my cable
and internet went kerblooey … blessings are always mixed. Yah. Finally
have both on again just now. Incidentally, don’t rush the days away; it
is still 31 January here. And….I can save a bit of heating gas at 45 F.
(I never learned that Kelvin or Centigrade language.)
It certainly does take a bit of getting used to, Art. We changed from
F to C almost 45 years ago and I'm only just now becoming familiar with
it. In the old days when the temperature hit the "ton" (100F), it sounded
hot! 38C just doesn't have the same dramatic impact. Ditto with speed.
Hitting the ton (100mph) had a more dramatic ring to it than whatever it
is now in km/h. Moreover, I've never heard anyone refer to the male appendage
Lindsay's all excited about leaving for England today. His cab is due
in about an hour to take him to Taree airport for the connecting flight
to Sydney. Just think - no more flip flops through the house for the next
5 weeks. No more sniffles and farts. And for what remains of Sue, this
will be her last flight home to Ye Olde from whence she roamed as a young
I've met some pretty weird people in my time but L&S by far and
away took the cake. Hehe. Both psychiatric patients, both alcoholics. I
can't believe I've actually survived the past 15 years with those two.
What a totally unexpected twist of fate that was. At least I've had a roof
over my head and an income - coulda been worse, ya know.
On reflection, perhaps my fate isn't all that surprising after all.
I've always been a tumbleweed. And now I'm on the verge of heading off
again into the vast unknown, taking life as it comes with no particular
destination in mind. Maybe I have gypsy blood.
Soooooo, how did the trifle go? Not bad. The plum pud is still a bit
reticent to head south down the screech, and next time I'll go easier on
the jam - one layer will do. Plum pud is too dense to soak up much sherry
so a lighter cake is called for. The grated choc works well, and is easy
to grate when chilled. I make enough for my current needs and put it in
a small plastic bag in the fridge to sprinkle when required.
From the Beeb: A seldom-heard noise is emanating from a small cubicle
at the far end of Press Room One at the Palace of Nations, the imposing
home of the United Nations in Geneva. It's the sound of metal keys clattering
against paper, punctuated frequently by the muted ping of a small steel
bell. Gordon Martin, UN Correspondent for Vatican Radio, is writing his
latest dispatch on the day's developments at the Geneva 2 peace talks on
a 40-year-old Remington
Performer manual typewriter.
The head of the Anglican Church in Uganda has given a critical response
to a letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York warning that gays
and lesbians should not be victimised. Their letter was sent to all presiding
archbishops of the Anglican Communion. It was also sent to the presidents
of Uganda and Nigeria, which have recently introduced anti-gay legislation.
Archbishop Stanley Ntagali responded that "homosexual practice is incompatible
with Scripture". There
seem to be many interpretations of scripture, Stanley. Don't you find that
When MTV launched in 1981, the first music video it played was "Video
killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. The intent was clear; the channel
was going to kill off old-fashioned radio. Down the years plenty of technologies
have looked set to kill off radio: talking pictures, TV, the cassette tape,
the CD, the iPod. Today it's streaming music services like Spotify. All
have so far failed. Radio listening figures are holding up remarkably well
given all the other sources of entertainment and information available.
is personal. When I was on air, I never said 'good morning everyone', just
Here's a post by a GN asking another GN (who's a retired cop) a
question about NSW police.
That's it for Feb the oneth and this edition of Waffle, folks. See you
on the twoth. Gary
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