Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday's Scribe - The Cross of Terror

This story is, in my humble opinion, the greatest piece of crap grand-standing I have seen for a long time and, in my book, typifies a lot of what currently ails the United States of America!

9/11 Cross Lawsuit
A group of atheists has filed a lawsuit claiming the display of the World Trade Center cross at the 9/11 memorial in lower Manhattan is unconstitutional, calling it a "mingling of church and state."

The American Atheists, which advocates an "absolute separation" of government and religion, filed the lawsuit Monday to stop the display of the cross, arguing that it should not be included if "no other religions or philosophies will be honored," according to a statement on the group's website.

The cross, which consists of two intersecting steel beams that were found intact in the rubble at Ground Zero, was initially constructed on a side of a church in lower Manhattan. The cross was then placed inside the 9/11 Memorial Museum during a ceremony over the weekend.

Read more at Atheist group files lawsuit against display of cross at1 9/11 memorial

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Killing paradise

A developer fell in love with the beautiful Murrumbidge River Corridor on the border of the ACT and Yass Shire - Now he wants to put 4,500 'affordable homes' on the heights overlooking it!

Riverview Group principal David Maxwell at the
development site near the Murrumbidgee River.
Photo: The Canberra Times.

I am so angry at this greedy, short-sighted fool I could just spit chips! Grrrrrrrr!

Not only will he contribute to the future degradation of this beautiful landscape, the logistics of serving such a density of population remote from the shire centre is ridiculously impractical!  I hope the council reject his proposal but under the current state planning rules they are really going to be up against it!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Feeding a cold

I reported I had a cold - it is slowly improving and I have to see the doctor for my monthly check-up today, so I may consider asking for some anti-biotics as it is now settling in my sinuses and upper respiratory tract as an infection.

JohnG suggested I try chicken soup, however, this is my recipe for a soup for those who have a cold.


Serves 4

20 round wonton wrappers
20 medium school prawns (shrimps) peeled and deveined
1 tsp corn flour
Pinch of Chili flakes
Pinch of sea salt flakes
1 stalk of fresh coriander, freshly chopped
½ tsp of onion flakes
1 cup of fish stock
2½ cups of water
Chopped green onion for garnish


Lay the wonton wrappers on a flat surface and place a prawn/shrimp in the center of each wrapper.

Combine remaining corn flour with 2 tablespoons water to form a paste.

One at a time, brush some cornstarch paste around the edge of a wonton wrapper and fold the wrapper in half to make a semicircle, pressing edges together to seal. Then, holding the wonton with the curved edge facing away from you, bring the tips of the straight edge together and seal with more cornstarch paste. Repeat with remaining wontons.

Slowly bring a water and stock to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop the wontons into the boiling water. When the wontons rise to the surface, continue to cook them one minute longer. Remove with a slotted spoon as they finish cooking and divide them among the 4 bowls.

Sprinkle salt flakes, chili flakes, onion flakes and chopped coriander over the wontons

Pour hot clear fish broth over wontons and noodles in bowls and garnish with the chopped green onions to serve.

Masterfoods and McCormick's both sell the sea salt, chili and onion flakes. Here in Australia we can also get "Tasmanian Bush Dust". Tasmanian Bush Dust spice  is an "original recipe using Australian native produce" - macadamia nut, Tasmanian native pepper, bush tomato, other herbs and spices - this goes great in this soup as a change!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Busy days

Still struggling to get over my cold.

Had two drives Monday and Tuesday for HLSS - one to South Canberra and another to Goulburn and I'm about to head off to Canberra City (Civic) on my third in three days.

Service has been hit by illness and absenteeism (many drivers go away for their holidays at this time of year) so those of us who are available have had to double and even triple up!

Ciao all, catch you later.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Yass River Walk

Last week, during a break in our foul cold and windy weather, we had a nice day so i took Denny and we went for a stroll along one of the walking trails up the Yass River.

Below the Anglican Church:

And down to the river:

Up across the vehicular causeway to the upper pond:

Following the stream:

Past where the waterhens forage:

To the beginning of the bluff:

Round the riverbend to and past the bluff:

Back away from the bluff:

Return past the waterhen pond:

And back down to where we started:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Laid low with a cold!

Have this filthy rotten upper respiratory tract infection that has knocked me for a six!

Have some images to put up from my trek along the Yass River - will do this later today or tomorrow, whenever I'm feeling better.

In the meantime, I am her and I am reading all your blogs, coughing and sneezing all over them with a tap nose, so if your pc gets a virus, or worse, even yourselves, blame me as the vector! Geeez - wouldn't I be famous to e-spread the biggeest pandemic Flu  outbreak since the Spanish Flu in 1918! LOL!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

US Government Rating and Credit Implications

New York, July 13, 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service has placed the Aaa bond rating of the government of the United States on review for possible downgrade given the rising possibility that the statutory debt limit will not be raised on a timely basis, leading to a default on US Treasury debt obligations. On June 2, Moody's had announced that a rating review would be likely in mid July unless there was meaningful progress in negotiations to raise the debt limit.

In conjunction with this action, Moody's has placed on review for possible downgrade the Aaa ratings of financial institutions directly linked to the US government: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Banks, and the Federal Farm Credit Banks. We have also placed on review for possible downgrade securities either guaranteed by, backed by collateral securities issued by, or otherwise directly linked to the US government or the affected financial institutions.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cash Windfall

(Footnote: Luna Park is Sydney's iconic Fun Fair set on the harbour foreshores just a smidgin west of the Harbour Bridge.)
Luna Park on its 75th birthday in Sydney. (AAP Image/Miles Godfrey)
A cash machine at Sydney's Luna Park was reportedly dispensing $50 notes instead of $20 last week after it was loaded incorrectly by park staff.

Up to 20 Luna Park workers accused of taking advantage of the faulty iCash machine in the Big Top pavilion were sacked and escorted from the park on Friday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. News of the malfunctioning machine spread quickly among park staff, with some reportedly returning to the ATM many times to drain their bank accounts.

iCash chief executive Kim Stewart said $50 notes had been placed in where the $20 were supposed to be, and vice versa by the harbourside park's staff.

The amusement park management caught the staff out and asked them to sign documents saying that they would repay the money, but the police were not brought in.

Luna Park managing director Peter Hearne would not comment on the alleged fraud.

"It's a confidential matter between the company and the staff," he said.

The Canberra Hospital and its campuses

As most of you know, yesterday I took a friend and his wife over to Canberra for his consultation with a specialist. All was not good for them and we experienced a considerable time delay before, during and after the consultation, however, while I was there I decided to take a walk and get some photographs of The Canberra Hospital and its various campuses.

Firstly a map of the site:

The National Capital Private Hospital
AKA - "NatCap"
This is owned by various medical specialists and is a wholly privately run hospital located within The Canberra Hospital precincts.

The tower block, the main section of The Canberra Hospital public campus.
The tower in the front is the externally located multiple lift shafts and stairwell.

When I was the Safety Officer for this hospital we discovered that the ACT Fire Brigade had no ladder appliance that could reach above the fourth floor of this ten story building and with the lifts shut down and if/when the stairwell became full of smoke all the people on the upper floors (Level 8 was the children's ward and Level 9 the operating Theatres!) were trapped with no way to get out. We examined several emergency plans and eventually we settled on these apparatus that you see attached to the tower - they are like 'bosun's chairs' and people can be slung in them and lowered to the ground (assuming that the tower remained fire-proof!)

The Australian National University School of Medicine (below) now has a teaching faculty on The Canberra Hospital Campus
This is supported by a new and up-graded library building.
The ACT Government Pathology Department is located on the Canberra Hospital site and in addition to handling much of the public pathology for the hospital it is also the forensic pathology laboratory for the ACT.
The all-weather footbridge in the foreground connects NatCap with the public hospital and immediately behind the Pathology building is the new Maternity Hospital (its attached to the pathology building).
The main entrance, public cafeteria and Lecture theatres join between the tower block and the ramp ward - home to Gastroenterology, Rehabilitation and a small psychiatric unit.
There is also a 'stand alone' clinical medicine consulting centre and a 'stand alone' secure Mental Health Building at the far end of the hospital grounds, however, I was not going to walk up that far.
The staff residences are now available to all staff, whereas originally they were the "Nurses Home". I won't tell any tales here about the latter but I found it somewhat prophetic that one wing of the old Nurses Home is now the home of the Canberra Sexual Health Centre. Some may argue whether this is a change! LOL! 

Smoking and exposure

Apparently the State of California lives up to its "Liberal State" tag and won't ban tobacco smoking in public places but will warn non-smokers that they are taking a risk of exposing themselves to its harmful effects if they enter areas where smoking occurs!

Any comments (pro or con) particularly from our American friends?

Life's a bitch - ain't it!

Absolutely exhausted this morning - huge day yesterday that ended after waiting 3 hours at specialists rooms in Canberra to drive a friend home who got some bad news and is looking at an uncomfortable future. It is sobering to put your own little problems aside and to share the reality that confronts others!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Straight out of Antartica!


Current Temp: 6.9°C
Humidity: 55%
Pressure: 1010.1hPa

Feels like: 2.3°C
Wind Speed: 33kp/h (Gusts: 76kp/h)
Dew Point: -1.6°C Wind Direction: N/A

Current Observations @ 10/07/2011 3:29:00 PM FORECASTS

Monday, July 11
-1°C - 11°C Frost then sunny

Tuesday, July 12
-4°C - 11°C Frost then sunny

Wednesday, July 13
-2°C - 11°C Frost then sunny

Thursday, July 14
-3°C - 12°C Frost then sunny

Saturday's Scribe - Considering "traffic management"

I found this while web-browsing traffic management as a part of a consultancy I am doing for a major road construction company who are bidding for a highway reconstruction tender.

Its very interesting:

Via: Car Insurance Guide

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Snow, long drive, cold and tiredness!

More than 15,000 snow lovers braved daytime ambient temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees to enjoy the best July falls for 20 years. Cover is almost 160cm across the two biggest ski fields in NSW and a combination of school holidays, sun and snow has seen holidaymakers flock to the alpine region.

Meanwhile, a highway tragedy on the road to the snow field created chaos. A collision between a truck and a sedan on the Monaro Highway yesterday afternoon left one young man dead and stranded thousands of motorists headed for the ski fields. NSW police closed both lanes of the highway at the height of the school holiday snow season backing up traffic for about 4km in both directions.

EMERGENCY: Ambulance and police crews attend the
Monaro Highway crash scene yesterday as cars headed
for the Snowy Mountains bank up

GRIDLOCK: School holiday motorists
were resigned to a long wait near Bredbo.


Photographs and reports courtesy of The Canberra Times Link = Not a snowflakes chance of keeping warm

Volunteer work

On Friday I took an elderly couple to the Canberra Eye Hospital. He was one week post-cataract removal and was going for a follow-up visit. He wanted to sit in the front seat alongside me - Uh! Oh! - Yep!, He would've talked the leg of an iron pot. His lovely lady wife sat in the back and slept all the way over and all the way back - at least she appeared to be asleep. I think it was one opportunity for to be with him but not engaged with him in his total reminiscences of his whole life! LOL! I was trapped with no escape. Oh well, at least I had a quiet hour to read the morning paper over a cup of coffee while I waited for them.

YVCHLSS (Yass Valley Council Home Living Support Services) has four vehicles - two Toyota Camrys, a Ford station wagon and a small Toyota Hi-Ace bus for community trips. I drove one of the Camrys - a nice but very plain vehicle, a no-frills government contract purchase vehicle - but has cruise control on an automatic gearbox. All the vehicles are well maintained and this one had 70,000klms on the clock.

This is the entrance to the building that houses the eye hospital:

The consulting room and surgery are located on the southernmost wing.

The return trip is about 165klms. I was up at 5.45 to shower and dress and have some breakfast. Got the car out of the compound at 7am (picked up the keys and running sheet the previous afternoon) and picked the couple up at 7.15am for an 8.45am appointment. The specialist was delayed by heavy fog and traffic, so it was a long morning but we eventually arrived home and I had the car back at the YVCHLSS at 11.15am.

The YVCHLSS is located in the now defunct Yarrowlumla Shire Offices building, just up the road from my place.

The above photograph was taken last summer.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rain stops play .....

My front garden beds have become overgrown and need refurbishing.

So I've started in on the job - I've managed to dig one bed out and add plenty of planting compost and chook manure:

However, this cold weather front has moved in and delayed any further work.

Severe storms have brought trees down in Katoomba and the Blue mountains area:

Sydney is also copping some of the same.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Big Aussie Pig Kill!

Killed on the Pilbarra by a farmer - confirmed by The Australian newspaper:

Pig stories

Just for John Gill -  Pig attack stories

Pig hunting in outback Australia:

Got this email from Outback Fly's owner...She is round 16mths old. She is the black one in a previous picture in the rapids...

"G'day Mick, Went out for a hunt with a mate on that block at Marrakai yesterday morning. We did the same walk as me and you did that time but the other way around, just on day break. Fly seemed to click and really came into her own. She ran away down the fenceline and found and bailed a 85kg boar by herself till the other dogs got there for backup. 10 min later she ran away with Tilly (the blue healer) in tow. They found and bailed a 100kg boar for about 5min till I got there and put an end to things. I think she has now well and truly taken over as my main dog. I could'nt be happier with her drive, she has hardened right up on the bail and is using her nose like a pro. We will have to sort out a hunt soon so you can see for yourself. Cheers Jamie"
Source: Australian Catahoulas

Orange, Blayney, Milburn and Cowra

Week before last we had a trip away - Rhonda for a work seminar in Orange and myself just along for the ride - but we took some photos of our trip. Rhonda took these in Orange.

Open fields of vineyard one day.

Covered in snow the next.

No bowls today, mates!

A few days later we took a drive together.

Entrance to Park at Blayney

Winter tree in Blayney

We diverted into the sleepy village of Carcoar.

The old convent at Carcoar, now a B and B of some sort.

Mist surrounds the church in the hollow at Carcoar

Valley at Mt McDonald

The view towards Cowra
Derelict farm dwelling at Milburn

And, another view
Sheep wandered the side-tracks
Old farm machinery littered the track at Milburn

But the view of the Wyangala Waters from Mt McDonald were splendid.