Category Archives: General Musings
Departed at 4.00 in the morning heading south on the Pacific Highway to Sydney. Nearly a thousand kilometers of prime real estate. The traffic in Sydney is horrendous, reminding me of why I headed north to live when I retired from the Army. I book into a motel and have a view of Sydney Harbour from my balcony. As more than three million people settle in for the night it’s a kaleidoscope of colour, lights and movement. The country boy in me wants home.
I make a quick call and a couple of friends and I have dinner at Mosman on the north shore. The friends are both ladies, attractive, well groomed and pleasant company. We had become friends as we shared a terrible task of helping a mutual friend meet his maker. Strengths found in diversity are always more apparent and the friendships gained, longer lasting. Life goes on though, and the talk turns to kids and their lives and that is as it should be. When troubled and in mourning for old friends then look to the children. I’ve always said listen for the sounds of a baby crying at a funeral – it helps to understand the cycle of life and death.
On to Wagga Wagga next morning for the gathering of the Pigs. Wagga Wagga is some four hundred km west of Sydney and on the way the land looks great, green with plenty of water on the ground. The drought is over in this part of Australia. Some troops have arrived early and we gather at the bar reminiscing. The reunion actually kicks off tomorrow night with a happy hour ‘meet and greet’. There will be some guys from my patrol in Vietnam and I look forward to that. As I said above ‘friendships gained in diversity…..
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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, 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.