Category Archives: General Musings

Spoke to my wife on

Spoke to my wife on the phone last night and she was just coping with the heatwave. Back in Brisbane where we know it gets hot, the car, office and house are airconditioned and if you can’t afford some of these luxuries then a trip to the local shopping centre can cool you down. In Europe, I’m led to believe from surfing the net, there is little escape from such extremes. Normally I give little thought to the suffering of Poms but in this case people I know are involved and that makes it different. Ironic isn’t it? Brisbane pushing 20 celcius and raining while London heads for 40. The girls and one boyfriend (G’day Goldie!) went to the local pub for dinner but declined a beer. Remember they serve their beer at room temperature and lager at 35 celcius plus is not a pleasant thought.

Ladies, fancy being in London and it’s too hot to shop. I’m happy

I’m off on a trip

I’m off on a trip soon and I’m worried about driving in Melbourne where I could end up on an e-toll expressway without knowing it and without having purchased a ticket from I don’t know where. Little did I know that it’s a lot worse than that.

The Melbourne Traffic Nazis have booked a guy for parking in a clearway even though he had the perfect excuse – he was dead at the time!

The Traffic Nazi, From Sonnington Council, reportedly approached the car, looked inside and then went around the other side of the vehicle, peered inside again and then started writing out the ticket.

Didn’t it occur to the ticket writer that something was amiss. I mean how many times do these people book cars with comatose bodies inside? How about a rap on the window and “Excuse me, are you OK? No. I’m paid to write tickets!

I’ve seen some dead bodies in my time and they never look like their just having a nap. There is something different in the way they repose that generally poses the thought – there is something wrong here.

And I’m worried about my wife and daughters in London.

From the Courier Mail – more>>

The devastated parents of the man have been hit with a $165.00 towing fee to remove his car from the clearway. Towing company spokesman Mark Adams said charging the fee was a commercial decision and no one was exempt.

He continues in the same compassionate vein;

” I don’t know if that makes me callous but I’ve got trucks to run and I’ve got to make a quid,” he said. “It’s a user-pays state these days unfortunately – unfortunately somebody has to pay me.”

If I’m in need in Melbourne I must make a note not to call South Suburban Towing Group

This morning Senator Bartlet is

This morning Senator Bartlet is reported as achieving total irrelevancy for the Democratics by insisting Howard should make it unequivocally clear that Australia opposes the death penalty. I’m often heard ranting on about the death penalty myself – how it can lead to mistakes, but in Amrozis’s case I can’t see any room for a mistake. Yep! He did it, now top the bastard and wipe that smile of his face. I don’t hold to this ‘don’t make a martyr of them’ rubbish. I don’t care if the whole ratbag bunch of them naik haji (go on a pilgrimage) every year to the Martyr Cemetries so long as they all know that if they follow them along the same path, it ends on the road to the 72 virgins.

What is unequivocally clear, Andrew, my dear chap, is that the ‘Animal’ Amroz is largely responsible for the death of 202 civilians and he should be put in the circumstances where he can’t do it again. In the ground.

Organize a ‘Save Amrozi’ party at the bottom of your garden Andrew, and when a few guests turn up, at least we can identify them and put the mark of ‘Idiot’ on their foreheads.

With three of the four

With three of the four Gillett women overseas I fret about their safety and wonder where it’s all heading. Come October they will all be home but the cause of my concern, Muslim terrorism, will still be rampant across the world. From the Australian perspective we need to look long and hard at our near northern neighbour. Long a thorn in our side and the basis of our defence posture, Indonesia appear incapable of handling the Jemaah Islamiah problem and I think that Australia’s intervention, requested or not, needs to be considered. I notice this morning that the Australian Federal Police have been invited to help with the latest atrocity but we will need to do more for self-preservation reasons.

The Indonesian Army, well known for winning battles against unarmed civilians and poorly trained militia (the ones they didn’t support) are not helping. While Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahatir Mohommed attacks the West and the Phillipines President Gloria Arroyo dabbles in anti-corruption progammes and fights a rear guard action with young turks in her Army, I can’t really see a coordinated assault against the dark forces of terrorism. It’s going to get worse and what are we going to do? Produce more White Papers based on pre 911 thinking or issue some warning that starts with; If you don’t start sorting out the problem then we will!

Sick of lost archives I

Sick of lost archives I am making the move to Moveable Type. Wish me well as I struggle with the cyber world. Not trained to attack something I can’t see, I should have an interesting time as I learn to cope with a near vertical learning curve.

Wired, has a fascinating article

Wired, has a fascinating article on anti-gravity machines. I picked up this site from Yobbo but find it of sufficient interest to do a post myself on the subject. Reading it, it makes one wonder just how much is there, out in the big world, that is about to change our lives. Maths crunching, the base of most of society’s inventions, becomes easier as computers increase their capabilities. Considering computers are the only man-made invention that are used to create their own next generation, the possibilty of exponential development is huge.

The Prime Minister rules out

The Prime Minister rules out supporting ‘Gay Marriages’ Way to go John. Stick with it. Same sex relationships are just that – relationships. Marriage is between a couple, male and female, for the purpose of procreation and providing a secure base for the next generation. Relationships, including ones legaly defined, certainly don’t need to borrow ‘Marriage’ as a base. Why do a small proportion of society feel a need to change that? Maybe they fight to get ‘alternative’ lifestyles accepted as the norm. Well it isn’t, they aren’t and never will be. This is not an anti-gay post as I’m happy to accept ‘different stroke for different folks’ but hey, us hetro’s thought up marriage – you think up something else.

I took my wife to

I took my wife to Brisbane International Airport this morning to send her on her way to London. Time allocated for check-in and then coffee and last minute instructions on how to live, put out garbage etc. Not to be. A large family in the check-in queue refuse to pay baggage excess. The airline refuse to accept the excess baggage. Impass! For twenty minutes the whole queue is held to ransome and static as these arrogant, tight arse, unable to cope with world standards, bastards, sit tight. The queue fumes and the men of swarthy middle east complexions and women all with scarves over their heads do untold damage to the reputation of their kind. We are left with 12 minutes to say goodbye. By the time I buy coffee I end up finishing the cup by myself as my Bride is summonsed for boarding.

With two daughters in London,

With two daughters in London, the bride has been pushing to go visit and this week she won her case. I think I’ve been subjected to a conspiracy of Gillett women and even though I’m an old soldier I didn’t see it coming. Next Tuesday she flies via Air Bruinei to London, bunks with the girls and conducts a recce for our trip next year. I expect a full reconnaisance report but of course won’t get it – she’s not staff trained and never studied Staff Writing in the Field Chapter 4: Recce Reports. The girls are all a tizz and are making grandiose plans about shackling Mother to the kitchen in the London bed-sit until she produces roast lamb dinners and spagbog suppers. I hope they let her out.

Never mind, this frees me up to travel south to Wagga Wagga, NSW for the 38th anniversary reunion of 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. I made a reservation at a motel in Wagga and in speaking to the receptionist suggested she speak to management about having counsellors booked to help the staff handle the trauma of hundreds of visiting Veterans. She laughed but later I thought, well maybe we aren’t a threat anymore.

Recently I travelled to Yepoon, Queensland, and while there dropped in and had coffee (later rum) with an old friend from those days, “Doc’ Savage. In April 1970 my friend ‘Doc’, commanding an ambush patrol of 12 men, held back about fifty Viet Cong from midnight to dawn. Gratefull for help from Australian and US air and artillery support this doesn’t detract from the fact that the battle is fought on the ground and those guys soldiered magnificently for those six hours. When I visited ‘Doc’ mid afternoon, he was taking a nap! I guess we slow down. As an aside, when I surf the net, I often come across references to this little battle as War Gamers try and re-enact what we actuallly were obliged to do. I feel sorry for them – but not too much.

In 1970 I commanded a patrol in a recce platoon. The eyes of the Battalion, we would be remote and miles from support. We could cut track anywhere, recognize the passage of enemy by the way the rain settled on the leaves and judge which way he went by the lie of the vegetation. Now, the most common form of communication between my wife and myself starts with, “Have you seen my reading glasses?.

These thoughts, coupled with the unkindest cut of all, old friends refering to me as the ‘Grey Ghost’, brings home the truth of mortality.

AT Wagga, after a couple of beers, will we care? Hell no! The battles will be bigger, better fought and all conclusive victories. The bar will be knee deep with shrapnel and hand grenade pins and if you don’t like this type of testosterone charged environment then stay away from Wagga. If any Wontok bloggers are in town then you’ll find me at the RSL (Ex-services Club)

After the reunion I intend to travel south to Melbourne to visit old mates and cousins and then head north to Mt Buller where my eldest daughter and her chap are the staff nurses at the medical centre. At least I think they work there but all photos to date have a ski holday look about them.

The astute reader/viewer will note one common thread in the photos – cold and definitely not what comes to mind when foreigners think of Australia. The zero temperatures reported at Wagga pose no risk as bars, dining halls and motel rooms have reverse cycle airconditioners but I dread the cold of Mt Buller. Maybe my kinder knows of a warm bar – I hope so.

I’m not leaving for a week yet but as I travel I will post via any unattended computer I find.

Sam at Yobbo makes a

Sam at Yobbo makes a point about US soldiers using trickery to achieve their aim. He thinks its reasonable but Tim Dunlop argues its immoral.

In the original article from the Washington Post Col. David Hogg, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, said tougher methods are being used to gather the intelligence. On Wednesday night, he said, his troops picked up the wife and daughter of an Iraqi lieutenant general. They left a note: “If you want your family released, turn yourself in.” Such tactics are justified, he said, because, “It’s an intelligence operation with detainees, and these people have info.” They would have been released in due course, he added later.

Sam’s comment – Tim, with all due respect, neither of us have ever fought in a war is relevant. Unless you have been there and done it, it is unwise to comment so adamantly about these matters. An old Army expression talks about Johnny on the Spot being the best man to make the decisions. This rule says to the armchair generals and inexperienced commentators “if you don’t know the whole story – shut up!

The tactic worked. On Friday, Hogg said, the lieutenant general appeared at the front gate of the U.S. base and surrendered.

Good tactics. No one was hurt, particularly the soldiers taking the risks, and the bad guy was captured. Aims met, move on.

On a similar thread, Orpheus, writing from Iraq and quoted at Chief Wiggles has something to say on the subject of reporting from the war zone.

Orpheus quotes an article from the London Times and states The only words for the journalist’s work are willful deception, misrepresentation of information, and deliberate intellectual sabotage.

In the article in question, the journalist goes on about the poor Iraqi prisoners being held in tents where the temperature exceded 120 degrees.

Orpheus replies;

Spoken of are prisoners who are held in tents with temperatures reaching “up to 122 degrees” with no relief. There’s a reason why it’s 122 degrees inside the tent, and that’s because the outside ambient temperature is 131, and there are precisely the same temperatures in my tent, and every soldier’s tent in this country. I know well what it is to wake up in the morning lying in a pool of sweat that the taut material of my cot cannot absorb. There are soldiers even now who don’t have tents to provide shade, who are rationed two MREs a day, who preciously horde their allotment of water, trying to figure out how keep enough water in their bodies when anything they drink immediately sweats out. For well over two months at the camp here, latrines consisted of ditches with wooden planks and tubes half-buried in the sand for urinals.

Which goes to prove anybody can pen words to make the soldier look bad.

In previous wars the soldiers have not had to put up with journalists questioning every move made in a sub-unit, say a platoon or rifle company. In war soldiers are obliged to do things that normal society would consider an afront to polite behaviour but folks, that is the nature of war and if some rules are bent to maintain the aim then so be it.

If it gets hot at your favourite coffee joint you can seek airconditioning; the soldier can’t and where you rationalize the soldier’s poor behaviour from the cooler corner of the coffee shop with the biggest risk you face being an inexperienced cappucino maker; the soldier is being fired at, he is fearful of his life, he misses his wife/mother/girlfriend/mates at the pub. He is working under these conditions all day from sunup to sundown and at nights it gets worse. A word to journalists and commentators – get off the soldiers back. If you have a bitch then direct it at the politicians.

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