Friday, August 26, 2011

Gotta love the understatement!

This guy is as good as John Wayne for stating the obvious, briefly!

An illegal immigrant in Polk County Florida who got pulled over in a routine traffic stop ended up killing the deputy who stopped him.

The deputy was shot eight times, including once behind his right ear at close range.

Another deputy was wounded and a police dog killed.

A state-wide manhunt ensued.

The murderer was found hiding in a wooded area and as soon as he took a shot at the SWAT team, offic...ers opened fire on him. They hit the guy 68 times.

Naturally, the liberal media went nuts and asked why they had to shoot the poor undocumented immigrant 68 times.

Sheriff Grady Judd told the Orlando Sentinel: "Because that's all the ammunition we had."

Now, is that just about the all-time greatest answer or what?

The Coroner also reported that the illegal man died of natural causes. When asked by a reporter how that could be since there were 68 bullet wounds in his body, he simply replied "When you are shot 68 times, you are, naturally, gonna die."

Foggy Morning in Yass

Spring is on the way. Days are getting longer and warmer and this often brings the early mrning fog. The attached images were taken from my front verandah of the fog shrouded trees across the road.

The one below was a tree in the schoolyard over my back fence adjacent to the morning assembly area - this Junior school has outdoor assembly - poor tykes!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Daughter's new pups.

My daughter and partner recently got two pups from animal welfare as 'rescued pups' - they went looking for one but could not decide between two so they took both of them!

Is that supper I smell?

I think it is supper!

We are ready and 'on station'!

Wow! I'm feeling all sleepy now!

Me too!

I can't get comfortable!

That's better! Good night Caddy! Good night Cindy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Compost essential for the home gardener

Reposted from the Australian Broadcasting Commission site - ABC Link

Most of my attempts to make compost have ended in tears and usually in the death of a few hundred worms too. So I have to confess, I need all the help I can get.
Barbara Parry of Peterbourgh knows all about compost. Barbara and Brian ran their organic garden as a veggie growing business for many years. They're now retired but that doesn't mean the end for their beautiful garden which they share with the local birds and reptiles.

Peterborough can be a difficult place to grow things, hot and dry and summer and frosty in winter with heavy soils. Despite these climatic challenges, Barb's garden blooms, and all thanks to the magic of good compost.

As well as a good gardener, Barbara is also a great photographer. She took the photos for her video over about three months, as they took one of their compost heaps from start to finish.

While Barb now makes tonnes of compost, she says that the principle is the same at any scale - just follow her instructions and reap the rewards.

In addition to having a beautiful organic veggie garden, Barb has also planted natives and takes great pleasure in watching the birds and reptiles that have returned to their land. They are particularly proud of that bearded dragons have made the garden their home. If you are in Peterborough, you can drop in - 'Dargon's Rest Habitat Garden' is open to the public when Barb and Brian are around.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

St Clements Church Yass

This is one of the original churches in this area and is  an architectural delight.

St Clements is surrounded by many imported exotic trees, deciduous in nature, that lend themselves to the very "English nature" of the church.

St Clements has a bell tower with a series of bells and the bell-ringers still practice their art  at St Clements. Its a real delight to hear the bells pealing for weekend marriages and special days!

St Clements had one of the earliest grave yards but after the Yass Community Cemetery was opened burial mostly ceased there. There is one recent grave of a Ms. Connie Ikeson interred in 1965 but I do not know why she was regarded so special.

A Memorial Wall for placing ashes is all that now remains, other than a single family plot of the 'Britton family" - again, I do not know why they were so special.

The 'Britton' Plot.

A memorial to those still interred in the church ground
even tho' their headstones have been removed

One of the two Laidlaw headstones facing each other and
showing one of the current memorial walls beyond it.

The Laidlaw's were a prominent early family whose descendants
still survive in Yass. One of the main thoroughfares is named after the
Laidlaw family.

Many of the headstones are weathered and many were attacked by vandals. For this reason, I believe, the headstones were removed from the open consecrated ground and placed strategically around the church grounds.

One very interesting headstone is that of Captain  George Thomas Potter of the 28th foot, who died in this area aged 39 in 1849 . His headstone also contains a memorial reference to his father, Captain Leonard Busteed Potter, also of the 28th Foot, Brigade Major of the 4th Division who died on the 26th April 1812 of his wounds in the Peninsula Wars at the Battle of Badajoz on 7th April 1812.

There is an intriguing, unmarked sarcophagus outside the entrance to St Clements, that rests in the shade of a magnificent cypress tree.

St Clements is indeed a marvelous church and I must discover some more answers to the many questions I have of it and seek permission to photograph its beautiful interior.

The consecrated ground of the old cemetery area showing the
Britton family plot as all that remains in the centre.

Denny and Horatio

Horatio is a local cat - a very special local cat - a real character.

Horatio is pure white and has blue eyes and lives at The Globe Bed and Breakfast down the road, but likes to sunbake in my front yard - probably cause its fenced off. What is extra special about Horatio is that he only has three legs!  Years back he was set upon by a dog and mauled badly. The local vet tried to save his back leg but to no avail and eventually it was amputated.

Horatio gives all dogs a wide berth these days - that is all dogs but my Denny.

Denny likes to sit on the front verandah, watching the world go by and sunning himself. Often he shares that area with Horatio. For some unknown reason they both accept each other and get along well together, regarding each other as "friends".

Last week I was working at re-building my front garen beds and had Denny out the front with me when along comes Horatio for a sunbaking snooze and roll about. I grabbed my camera and took some photos of the two - Denny on the verandah over-sighting things and Horatio down on the grass enjoying the sun.

Gounyan Creek Murrumbateman

Yesterday (Saturday here) I drove out to an area at Gounyan Road near Murrumbateman looking for the remnants of an early cemetery of the settlers in the Gounyan Road area near Murrumbateman. I only had a very loose verbal description of its (possible) location.

Gounyan Creek was settled by a notorious female ex-convict by the name of "Granny Davis" and was the matriarch of a large Davis family clan in this area. Mary Davis was the first to receive a land grant in this area. She became a famous figure in the district and is buried in the Gounyan cemetery near her original land. Mary lived for over a hundred years and had many children.

Her descendants still live in the region.

Mary Ann Lawrence Davis (nee Butt) (1786-1889) was born in Dorcetshire, England and arrived in Sydney, NSW on the Broxbornbury in July 1814. Mary married George Davis and in 1828 travelled with him from Sydney to settle at ‘Gounyan’ in the Yass district, NSW. A street name in the Canberra suburb of Gunghalin was named after her in a sub-division in 2003 (Mary Anne Davis Lane)

A homestead, Benview, part of a larger property named Spring Flat, was owned by Samuel Davis in the 1880's. Samuel was a descendant of George and Mary Davis, also known as Granny Davis. Mary was transported to Australia in 1814 for stealing a gold watch. George was also transported to Australia in 1813, for a failed bid to help eight Frenchman escape from England. Mary and her husband ran a licensed inn on their property, which they called the ‘The Sawyers' Arms’. Mary had a reputation for being a shrewd, active businesswoman. Their inn provided a focal point for social activity and entertainment for the early pioneers in the district, as well as hospitality to travellers. (It was also, undoubtedly, a great source of "information" for Mary Davis, in a time when 'information was scarce and valued like gold!)

It is not known when George Davis died, however, there is a record of probate for  Mr George Davis of Murrumbateman Creek near Yass, deceased, probate to Mary Davis Murrumbateman Creek, widow and George Davis Jnr, Farmer. (Yass Courier 4.1.1868.) so it is highly probable that Mary "Granny" Davis outlived her husband George. Mary became known as ‘Granny Davis’ in her later life and was somewhat a legend in the Yass district.

Stories abound about Granny Davis, who was originally granted 20 acres of land in the Gounyan Creek area but soon turned that into over 2,000 acres by simply taking possession of it - a common practice of the time, referred to as "squatting". (If one cleared and fenced unused/unclaimed property, placed livestock on it and maintained it for a year, then they could apply to a magistrate or a miltary commander of the region for 'ownership' of that land a year later.) Mary Davis was assigned convicts as indentured workers from the government to work her grazing property. This was at a time when transportation was at its end and Sydney was full of men who were not gainfully employed. They were assigned to her as 'workers' but were not 'Free Men'.

Stories abound that Mary and George left workers on vacant land with a flock of sheep in summer, with some basic supplies and no shelter (they were told to build their own shelter from what was at hand), and telling them that she would be back to check on them come spring and if the flock had not grown they would be in for a flogging. (This is a 'hearsay comment' that was known to have been practiced by other landholders of the period and may have just been 'attributed' to the Davis's by association. The early days of settling a land grant were, however, 'no picnic' and undoubtedly some tough times were had by all.)

Another story attributed to the Gounyan Davis family was that Granny Davis was not one for flogging her own workers. She would give them three days supplies and tell them to walk to her friend "John" at Queanbeyan who was an  established innkeeper (some 40 miles away) with a note telling him to give them a good flogging and send them back. She twas said to threaten them by saying she expected them back within the three days or she would send the troops to find them as 'absconders'!

These stories are commonly associated with early settlers and be they fact or mere conjecture associated with envy is , factually, hard to establish. It is known, however, that landowners preferred to handle their own discipline rather than rely upon the magistrates, constabulary or military - far quicker and more effective a measure.

Granny Davis also (reputedly) did not like the local natives who she believed were stealing from her flocks so she would leave loaves of bread along the creek bank for them to eat - then when they were used to taking and eating it she would put out loaves laced with arsenic. To this day there remains 'bad blood' between the descendants of the local Ngunnawahl tribe and any locals called Davis. Some members of the local Ngunnawahl peoples will still have nothing to do with an Davis or any business associated with Davis family members and I have heard some harsh criticisms of Davis family members from a few Ngunnawahl descendants.

I did mot manage to locate the burial site - there was a lot of construction occurring with the Gounyan Curves by-pass on the Barton Highway and much access was barred by the construction company - but here are a few images of Gounyan Creek, so typical of the waterways in this area that were often prospected for 'placer gold'.

I returned to Yass and spent the rest of the day photographing the recently renovated St Clements Anglican Church and the remains of its now disused church grave yard. I'll put those up in another post.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

'Cakeage' charge replaces 'Corkage'

Sweet treat ... Katrina Duffield celebrating her birthday
with her son, Jon, and his partner, Anna de Paoli, in
Wahroonga. They did not pay cakeage.
Photo: Ben Rushton, Sydney Morning Herald

Read more:
Some time back the government legislated to stop restaurants adding a surcharge to bills for serving customers on a Sunday or on public holidays and for charging 'corkage' if you had BYO alcohol instead of purchasing their on-site alcohol at highly inflated prices (many restaurants now advise that BYO alcohol is not permitted and will confiscate this, returning it to you as you leave the restaurant).

Some enterprising restaurants have come up with a new lurk to rake in more income by charging up to $20AUS per head for you to eat and serve your guests from a BYO birthday cake as it is outside the charges banned in the legislation.

cheeky byo surcharge is icing on cake for restaurants

What next?  Hospitals to charge you if you bring your own medications or dressings to hospital with you?  Maybe I should not even suggest this?

London and the Olympics

Friday, August 12, 2011

Signs of spring ....

I had to do an early morning HLSS 'drive' to Goulburn Hospital take a LOL over to get her cataracts removed, leaving here at 5.45am and as I drove into Goulburn, an hour away, first light was breaking and on the way home at 7.20am the sun peaked over the horizon and gleamed off the trees and fields along the roadside in a beautiful golden light!

You are at the pub .....

You are with some mates ...... you've all had a few frothy chops ....... someone starts to hum a tune ..... all of a sudden you all erupt into voice and start singing ......

For us its:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Older movie, good viewing!

Last night we watched "Assault on Precinct 13".

Assault on Precinct 13 is a 2005 action thriller film directed by Jean-Fran├žois Richet, starring Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne. The cast also includes John Leguizamo, Maria Bello, Ja Rule and Drea de Matteo. It is a loose remake of John Carpenter's 1976 film of the same name, with an updated plot.

You can also see where Die Hard 2 got a lot of its cinematics from the 1976 version and in the 2005 remake of Assault on Precinct 13, the director drew on the actions in Die Hard 2 - a case of one imitaing the other and the other imitaing again, I s'pose!

Kept us watching all the way through - some dramatic moments and, again, the Americans seem to have an endless supply of ammunition in seige situations with pistols that can fire off 30 rounds+ - but it was enjoyable and with an anti-climatic ending. I particularly liked Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne in their roles with a great cameo from Brian Dennehy as Sgt Jasper O'Shea.

Rating a good 7.5 out of 10

Catch a looter

Web site of images from the London Riots.

"Catch a Looter"

I was particularly taken by the cultural characteristics of many of the subjects. I hope the presenter was not being biased towards people of a particular racial type? :roll: - But, it IS London, isn't it! :(

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Green Hornet

Watched this the other night also - real 'Boy's own' stuff with a terrible plot. Adam Sandler would've been more suited for the lead role!  4 out of 10 (Save it for the kids school vacation!)

Following the death of his father, Britt Reid, heir to his father's large company, teams up with his late dad's assistant Kato to become a masked crime fighting team.

Director: Michel Gondry
Writers: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and 1 more credit »
Stars:Seth Rogen, Jay Chou and Christoph Waltz

Sniper - Reloaded

Billy Zane is back for "Sniper: Reloaded" This 4th episode took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Africa).

Watched it last night  - bland plot, predictable progress but a movie that kept you watching: 6 out of 10.

London's Anarchy

Will the UK be the next domino to fall?

Nowhere Boy

(2009) A chronicle of John Lennon's first years, focused mainly in his adolescence and his relationship with his stern aunt Mimi, who raised him, and his absentee mother Julia, who re-entered his life at a crucial moment in his young life. Nowhere Boy is a British feature film about John Lennon's adolescence and the gradual evolution of his first band into The Beatles.The drama tells the story of Lennon's teenage years and the start of his journey to becoming a successful musician. The story also examines the impact on his early life and personality of the two dominant females in his childhood - his Aunt Mimi and his mother Julia. In addition, the film shows the first meeting of Lennon with future Beatle Paul McCartney and the development of their friendship and musical partnership.

Director: Sam Taylor-Wood, Writer: Matt Greenhalgh (screenplay),
Stars:Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff
8 out of 10

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Standard and Poor's cut US credit AAA rating

Standard and  Poor's has cut the US credit rating for the first time in history, saying the country's politicians are increasingly unable to come to grips with its massive fiscal deficit and debt load.

S and P on Friday cut the US rating from its top-flight triple-A one notch to AA+, and added a negative outlook to it, saying there was a chance it could be downgraded again within two years if progress is not made cutting the huge government budget gap.

It said the "political brinkmanship" of recent months shows that governance in the country is becoming "less stable, less effective, and less predictable," raising the risks that it one day might not honour its debt.

It was the first time the US was downgraded since it received an AAA rating from Moody's in 1917; it has held the S&P rating since 1941.

The rating came after a strong pushback from the White House, which called S&P's analysis of the economy deeply flawed and politically-based.
Standard and Poors cut US Credit rating.

Now the shit hits the fan! Everyone buckle their seatbelts as we are in for a wild economic ride!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mobile car park!

Police are treating the death as a homicide
and kept Northbourne Avenue closed
to all southbound traffic until about 3.15pm

I was sitting in gridlock on Northnourne Ave yesterday morning - three klms of three lane car park - someone had found a dead body outside some flats near Ipima Street and the police had closed Northbourne Avenue in peak time. Had this sweet little ol deaf lady in the car - was taking her to hearing aid people. She kept asking "What's the hold up?" "Why arn't we moving?" "This ACT traffic is terrible, isn't it?" - Already told her three times what was up! So had to get out of the car for a break.

Got out to stretch my legs with a group nearby then I run into whinging Mini, her in the skirt up round her bum and knee high boots, puffing on a fag! This woman was complaining about the inconvenience. I told her that she was in a better state than the stiff who'd caused it all.

At least the tree cutters from ACTEWAGL suspended their median strip activities near the ABC radio studios corner. I don't think they could get onto the tarmac to block the laneway adjacent to the median strip 'cos it was already 'chockers'. Would probably been lynched if they tried, such was the mood of the drivers stuck in gridlock.

Laughed at the cars that kept 'zig-zagging' and lane changing! You idiots - it was the same in all three lanes!

We eventually made it to a detour route and had a quick run to the edge of the city and our destination – only 15 minutes late. After her appointment was over the little old dear told me “I was the only one in there!” – Sure thing, love – all the rest are still stuck in traffic out on Northbourne! LOL!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cold improving - busy week!

My cold is improving, the antibiotics are doing their job, pity it got down into my chest and left me with a hacking cough (Gosh! my sore ribs!) and a mild dose of bronchitis - which I haven't had since I stopped smoking 30 years ago!

Have two 'drives' for HLSS - they've been all over the place with appointment and passenger changes - but I'm off over to Canberra this morning to take a lady to the Hearing mob and tomorrow I have to take a gentleman over to Quenbeyan Hospital to the dentist. Haven't been to Qbn Hospital since they renovated it, however, I'm told he knows where he's going as he's been to the dentists over there on several occasions.

Rhonda is recovering from her cold - its a terrible chest virus that's doing the rounds, half the town has coughs - and is back at work today. She works today, Friday and the weekend then we are off to "The Camp" for 4 days R and R in the bucolic, smog free, countryside beside the lake!

Tootle loo! Pip Pip!

Just arrived back from Canberra - 4 hour round trip. Some bloke had the temerity to be found dead outside a block of flats on Northbourne Avenue (main drag) so police closed Northbourne and turned it into a 3 klm x 3 lane car park. At two intersections, impatient motorists trying to dodge around it were involved in multiple vehicle accidents, blocking two by-pass intersections! Lovely!