Camped at Eagle Nest near Sharks Bay WA

You can just see the glow of my laptop where I was working on a clients web sIte in Tassie hosted through Rumcorps.net servers in Dallas Texas. As good an office as any!

Whales off the NW Coast

A pod of about 20 whales come fast from astern and passed either side of the yacht, frightening hell out of us.

Fire on the road

No flames apparent so I hardly slowed down until I had travelled a hundred odd meters with no visibility. About the time I started to panic I came out the other side.

Have a good one

 

Musings

Warning. Emotive blackmail post

Now into my third week of helping set up an auction for Brisbane Legacy time to blog has been at a premium. One of the staff stalwarts at Legacy had the temerity to fall ill and I’ve had to double as data entry chick person. All involved agree I’m far from an improvement and wish her well and back at work soon, as do I. If your into collectables and antique militaria you are invited to Legacy House Merrival Street, South Brisbane on Saturday for viewing and Sunday at 9:00 for viewing and auction start at 10:00.

600 lots of history. A Japanese Officer’s Samurai from the surrender ceremony at Singapore, uniforms from the Boer War, 18 century cutlasses, Light Horse webbing and equipment from the famous Beersheba stoush. Photos, documents. medals, bayonets, commando daggers, trench art and first edition books. Something for everyone with an interest in Australia’s military history.

20% of proceeds go to Legacy helping widows and children of Australian servicemen killed in defence of Australia.

No politics here, just doing the Australian thing and helping those in need.

Stories of gallant deeds of men never seem to mention the gallant deeds of the widows left to ‘soldier on’ with little Government help. Not being a voting block, the 120,000 war widows in Australia seldom get a mention in the media.

Telephone bidding and catalogues can be organized by ringing 07 3846 4299.

What about some of you armchair warriors pitching in? If you do I undertake to give you a full brief on whatever you buy.

Escape

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The crowded beach

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Good house, good wheels

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Locals stop by looking for a handout.

Why did I come back? Niall forcing me to think. Legacy want more work. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing – damn.

Wake Up Australia

I take a week off to help at Legacy and the country goes mad.

We’ve been fighting Terrorism for a long time now and people still think it’s about cause and effect. The so called intellectuals think it’s all about scoring cheap points against John Howard – Jesus Christ, bloody well wake up!

It?s about our lifestyle, about our religion, our enjoyment of life, about their lack of education and resulting acceptance of myths as fact.

They may or may not have won in Spain but it doesn’t matter who’s in power there. From the Terrorists point of view, Spain is their country and was stolen from them 600 years ago. They don’t accept any umpires decision, let alone the voices of democracy. It’s theirs and they want it back. They want East Timor back in the fold as well and Australia will ever be a target for helping democracy overcome tyranny in that neck of the woods.

So we helped in Iraq – so bloody what. The media, the ABC and SBS all seem to think that the whole debate is about WMDs – Oh my God, there’s no WMD’s – Howard lied, Bush lied, Butler didn’t, Wilkie is a hero, we shouldn’t have gone in without UN sanction.

None of that matters

Get over it you dipshits. It’s about Moslem extremists trying to kill us Infidels and have their Shari law take precedence over our laws.

As Bush tries to get a democracy up and running in Iraq every left wing intellect and fool are trying to pull it down. Well, you had better start hoping he pulls it off. A democracy in the middle of the cauldron that is the Middle East is what the world needs and extreme Moslems dread. Holy Moses, they are thinking, if these people are educated and have a vote, we’ll never get a look in. They are fighting to maintain their power over the illiterates.

They are not fighting for Iraq, the point is not that just that the US are there. It’s the fact that the US still exists.

Jones on Late Line spends all his time missing the point – blaming everything on what Howard ever done or didn’t do. Jonesy, it might have escaped your notice but the problem is extremists are killing innocents and they are not, repeat not, doing it because Howard is a conservative.

Watch tonight?s SBS show on Hicks, the idiot at Guantanamo. There are lawyers around spruiking about human rights when the facts are, he was caught fighting for a foreign power. He abrogated any rights an Australian might enjoy when he enlisted with the enemy. There is no lengthy discussion needed here. If he actually was doing that then he stays incarcerated until the war is over. Were the fathers of these lawyers up in Thailand trying to get Aussie POWs released during WW2 because of human rights – no.

Let him rot there until the war is over – like all POWs have had to do.

Taxpayers should be very peeved that their taxes have paid for this pro-terrorist propaganda. Why didn’t the ATO just send the money over to the Taliban Propaganda Corps and leave out the SBS middleman – could’ve been cheaper.

We are at war and too many are aiding and abetting the enemy.

Hercules musings

Last week I posted on the demise of the Huey and now the bloody C130 Hercules is under threat.

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Airbus A400 new Military Spec Aircraft

Looks good but it has a long way to go beat the Herc’s record and of course Lockheed may have something to say about sales. They are not going to roll over without a fight.

My career covered Herc modes ‘A’ though ‘H’ and while business executives notched up air miles in 707s, 727s, 737s and 747s I did it in Hercs. Few creature comforts but we could smoke and drink (mostly) and a hammock always beats an airline seat.

The ingenious amongst us could get comfortable but poor insulation made it very cold and the noise made conversations difficult for days.

I flew from Townsville to Perth when I was stationed in the West and we set some sort of record for slowness. 11 hours beating into a 200 mph headwind. An example of why soldiers get hard lying allowances

In Thailand with US forces during the Vietnam War, the Commander gave us an Easter leave pass. A Colonel offered me a seat in a Herc to Sydney and back and I felt compelled to ask him if he had done such a long haul in a Herc before. He answered in the negative and so did I.

You’ll spend most of easter in the air, Sir – Jesus had a better deal than that. The Colonel had one day of the four at home but he did bring back some ‘four and twenty pies’ and VB so at least some of us benefited.

Which brings to mind the senior Aussie Sergeant Major who stated he was staying in Bangkok for the break while the rest of us took of to Pattaya.

I said ” four days and four walls’ is not good for a man. He replied ‘Four days, four walls and four legs!

Silly me!

More>>> (on the A400)

ANZAC weakens

FRIENDLY rivalry is fine, but a distinct chill has come over Australia’s closest friendship, warns New Zealand opposition leader Don Brash.

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Picture is the entire NZ Infantry Regiment on a parade called to see who’s turn it was to defend New Zealand.

Our Kiwi cousins are feeling out of the defence loop and well they should. With Helen Clark thinking 1% of GDP being a reasonable amount to pay for an insurance policy she is now discovering that her no-claim bonuses are useless.

Since being elected in 1999, the Clark Government has closed down the air force’s combat wing and reduced the navy to a two-frigate fleet. Clark refused to join the US-led invasion of Iraq, and Washington expressed its displeasure through some unusually sharp diplomatic comments about New Zealand’s attitude, and by pointedly refusing to include New Zealand in talks on the Australia-US free trade deal. Since then, Clark has committed both troops and money to reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Can you imagine Australia closing down the RAAF? No way. Even if times are bad, to close down a complete system means you have no national inventory should a need arise. You can’t say ‘Oops we have a war coming up – lets start an Airforce. Stupid – which is why no other country has ever done it.

Except New Zealand.

Except Helen Clark.

However, I stopped feeling sorry for them when they voted her in. Sure they have been with us though thick and thin but often cousins mature at a different rate – swing left – dance by yourself.

Sure – go all warm and fuzzy, give all your money to social services and beach access to the Maoris but don’t whinge when the more mature people in the family don’t invite you to our parties, or don’t tell you what is going on.

And if you don’t want US nuclear powered and (maybe) nuclear armed ships to darken your ports then they can come to Sydney to spend their R & R money.

Nuclear free port, nuclear free suburb – what a joke. Even in the bad old ‘Cold War’ days no Russian Officers, that I was aware of, kept a list of left-wing , nuclear free city and state institutions so they could check that they weren’t being targeted.

Yes, it is only an opposition leader doing what he should, but the problem has been around for years and the longer New Zealand is out of the loop the less use and help they are to us and the world.

They don’t contribute any more and we don’t care anymore.

ATSIC weakens

This is your money, Taxpayers.

While good men with good intentions try and help the aborigines, ATSIC stifles the debate with red herrings.

You thought ATSIC was there to help our indigenous brothers. Wrong. They are there to help themselves. Clark, an accused rapist and thug receives $85,000 of taxpayers money for legal costs in cases that clearly have nothing to do with protecting commissioners from frivolous claims from actions whilst conducting ATSIC affairs.

Sugar Ray Robinson cashes $4,000 cheques at a pub for his mates and then loses a million dollars of taxpayers money via suticase diplomacy

A senior legal person who worked with QSRB said it was common for cheques up to $40,000 to be cashed and the money put in a suitcase and taken to native title claims, where it was distributed among those present as “travel allowance and accommodation”. No receipts, no details.

Sack ‘em – start again. Run courses on behavior and public accounting as a pre-requisite to becoming a commissioner or just pick proven quality with standard audit regulations.

Hueys retires

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The seemingly ubiquotous UH 1H is about to be retired due to the Tiger chopper coming into service in the next month or two. Chief bastard points this out and asks for any pictures of the gunships in action. The Tiger, pictured below will be a great addition to the ADF’s inventory but it’s just not the same. Looks mean alongside the lines of the old Huey.

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I have lots of photos of Huey ‘slicks’ (troop carriers) but none of huey gunships in action. There is a very good reason for this. If gunships were around it was because we were in trouble and they were shooting at bad guys that were shooting at us. Not a ‘kodak’ moment.

For 40 years the Huey has been a part of the defence scene around the world and will be sadly missed, although I hope defence keeps a couple flying, if only to send shivers down the spines of Vietnam Vets at reunions.

The line from Redgum’s ‘I was only Nineteen’ when he asks ….why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet? is only a line to most but to me and most of my peers it is real. If ever a sound triggered memories it is the wop, wop, wop of choppers – it does it for me everytime.

I was watching my rugby coach son’s football team play last year when a chopper flew overhead. I involuntarily shivered like a dog shaking off water. The spectator alongside picked it in one when he asked

“Vietnam Vet?”

I laughingly answered in the positive but felt a bit embarrassed to be caught out.

Thanks Huey for all the rides, for all the ordnance fired in the interests of my longevity and for the sound of your blades, the tips of which broke the sound barrier, making that distinctive, memorable, memory triggering sound.

Strawberry Jam

Must be something in the water in Tasmania. First Bob Brown now this prime idiot

IMAGINE being strapped inside a huge plastic ball and being pushed out of an aircraft. Tasmanian eccentric Steven Whitmore has given the idea a lot of thought.

“It’d hit the ground and you’d just bounce away until you stopped,” Mr Whitmore said.

…bounce away until you stopped! You wouldn’t be stopping. The only thing that would eventually stop would be the ball and some rasberry jam like substance at the bottom of the ball that used to be you.

Another invention he dreamt-up is a huge capsule made of bullet-proof glass.

The thrill-seeker is strapped inside and the capsule is dropped into the ocean, head first.

“Imagine the feeling,” Mr Whitmore said.

There is no feeling in Strawberry jam and why the ‘bullet proof’ glass. It would only mean the strawberry jam wouldn’t be diluted with sea water.

As I recall the laws of physics, once a falling body reaches terminal velocity the fall is terminal.

Mind you, I’d be prepared to reprove the old theories. I mean they are old after all and I’m regularly told old is wrong. If I could get this idiot and Bob Brown in a rubber ball and push them out of a Hercules at 1000 feet I feel I would be contributing to science and society.

Strawberry jam comes from the old paratroopers ditty from my youth that went….

They scraped him off the tarmac like a lump of strawberry jam
And he ain’t going to jump no more.

I’m not making this up although I can’t vouch for the integrity of the author…journalist after all?

More here>>

Ouch!

Bunyip attacking the judiciary at his sarcastic best.

IT is a little known fact that we Bunyips have bladders larger than steamer trunks…Since the urge to urinate seldom arises until back at the Billabong, there is little reason to visit public toilets, meet some of Australia’s leading judges, and engage in critical discussions about the latest fashions in jurisprudence.

Hope you don’t have a reason to front court in the foreseable future Professor.

Go read.

Top Guns or bus drivers

This weeks defence beat up starts with By Cameron Stewart and Michael McKinnon with a by-line in the Australian stating Air force ‘powerless’ to pay pilots enough.

When I joined the Army I did so for a career of adventure and never considered remuneration as a motivator. I was coincidently paid well (40k in my last appointment in 1986) but the job was the draw. The adventure, the adrenilin surges, the travel, the power and responsibility of command and the smug satisfaction of doing a difficult job well in the face of the media still berating us for having the temerity to kill communists, and even then, looking for ways to make us look bad.

When Hawke was in power he authorised $30k advances to RAAF pilots to encourage them to stay instead of flying Qantas. I, and my collegues, suggested at the time that the $30k bonus underlined the government and medias lack of understanding of the professional serviceman. All the RAAFies wanted was air hours. Let them fly their bloody F18s and they would stay.

You see, my civilian readers, there is nothing quite as exciting as pushing mach2 in pursuit of another pilot and winning. (Not to mention the excitement of losing!) Although being fired on by machine guns and then attacking and defeating the bad guys has some element of exitement we’re talking about pilots today.

The pay of RAAF pilots continues to lag behind that of their commercial counterparts, with junior RAAF pilots earning about $56,000 a year, rising to $95,500 a year for senior pilots with 10 years’ experience. By contrast, a senior Qantas pilot might earn $190,000 to $220,000, aviation sources said.

There is a trade off here. If you want to be a bus driver and ferry drunk passengers to Brittain on their ‘rights of passage’ tours in a plane that is so boringly safe that it can fly itself then go do it. If your life’s goals are monetary based with the holiday home at the Gold Coast, a Ferrari in the garage and a million or two in rollover then Qantas is your go. ( Stay with me you Jet Jockies – don’t be seduced)

On the other hand, if you have some sense of adventure; if you want to test yourself, push yourself and have others try and keep up; if you don’t care about money once you and your family are secure and you can pay the good school fees then join the RAAF.

If you’re a RAAF pilot reading this and don’t understand what I’m staying, then get out.

You see, flying fighters is not just about the mechanics of flying. From the Infantry perspective, it’s about flying at night, in bad weather, below 1000, with Sams coming up at you and not deviating until you’ve dropped your ordnance on the bad guys, thus saving the arse of the good guys.

Nowhere do Stewart or McKinno identify the author of the report or it’s status. For all we know, it could have been written by a whinging malcontent and by all accounts, most probably was. If it’s unidentified it’s meaningless but they take the effort to find a negative report and then pay good money under the Freedom of Information laws to get a copy, and in my opinion, achieve very little. What is their point. Are they suggesting that 25 year old boggies get 200K plus a year or are they just hammering the ‘Defence is bad’ mantra.

The RAAF says the report was overly pessimistic because it did not foresee the downturn in the aviation market following the Ansett collapse. But experts say demand for commercial pilots is rising again. The report, called the Pilot Sustainability Project, says RAAF pilots are now flying less and this “may well be contributing to a lack of professional satisfaction”.

You bet it is!

As an aside – if a guy spends ten years flying F18s and then resigns to fly 767s and two years after he started with Qantas the balloon goes up. Then within a month he’s going to be heard muttering. Mmm, lets see – little grey plane, mach 2, upside down at 40,000 feet – how do I do it again? I trust the ex RAAF Qantas pilots realize they are a part of the Nations defence inventory.

You go read – if you get their point then leave a comment. Check here as well. The authors managed to sell the Australian two articles based on one report

I don’t know what their point is exactly, but I will say – It’s not about the money, honey, it’s about the game.

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