Friday, September 30, 2011

Mysterious animal appearances

After reading JohnG's contribution on the mysterious appearance of 3 geese in his field, I thought some may get a chuckle out of this article:

Door-knocking goats lead police on chase

Updated September 30, 2011 00:49:54

Two wily goats have led Queensland police and residents on a merry chase through suburbia after knocking on the door of a local councillor. Paul Tully was at his electorate office at Goodna, in Ipswich, west of Brisbane, on Thursday morning when he went to investigate persistent knocking.

No, it was not a disgruntled constituent but two goats, curious at their own reflections, butting their horns against the glass front door. Then they took off, leading Mr Tully, police, locals and council officers on a farcical two-hour chase.

The pesky pair held up traffic in the main street with the ragtag band in hot pursuit.

"It was like a wild west chase with onlookers joining in across the suburb," Mr Tully said. "I got more exercise in two hours than I have in the past six months."

The goats were eventually herded into a private yard and captured by council officers. Their owner has surrendered the animals and they will be auctioned off to new owners by the Ipswich pound.

"Well the owner couldn't manage them, apparently they'd been out three times this week," Mr Tully said. "It was very busy traffic on the main street here in Goodna and once they start going to electorate offices and accountant offices and going through cars and on the main street they had to be moved on."


Goodna, was one of the Queensland towns devastated by floods last year and is still in the 'Recovery Phase"!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Super Cell Storm

ABC News Report on Melbourne storm

A super cell storm coming up out of the Antartic hitn Melbourne yesterday afternoon dumped more rain on the city than in any September day for almost three decades. A total of 43 millimetres was dumped on city in the late afternoon, making it the month's wettest day since September 1984.

The storms caused disruption to air traffic and public transport, and left tens of thousands of homes without power. The front forced the cancellation of some flights at Melbourne Airport, but the backlog is expected to clear this morning.

At home we got thunderstorms during the night and 11mms (half an inch) of rain. Rhonda was on a 'back-toback' shift at the hospital so she was staying overnight in quarters. I heard Denny creep into our bedroom about 11pm and woke this morning to find him curled up on our bed beside me!  ...... Sook!

Storm activity can be viewed: Here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Facebook ....... again!

Posted September 28, 2011 00:40:07

ABC News:
Social media giant Facebook is in damage control after a deluge of criticism that it is invading the privacy of members by tracking their internet activity. The controversy started after a blogger revealed Facebook was tracking the activity of users even after they had logged out from the site. It does so using computer files called browser cookies, which log data about websites you visit.
Facebook report on Australian Broadcasting Commission news site

Monday, September 26, 2011

Puppy Mayhem

(Tok Tok Place time is GMT+10.00hrs - Eastern Time, Melbourne, Sydney Australia)

We had a cool spell as a cold front came up out of the Antarctic and we felt guilty about the puppies sleeping outside, so up to the "Dollar Shop" and we bought two small doggy jackets with mock fleece lining:

Denny joined in the fun:

Then the daughter and grandsons arrived to add to the fun:

With all this added activity I'm getting plenty of additional exercise and its quite tiring. Just got back from walking the three dogs this morning and they have not settled for their morning siesta and Rhonda asked me - "Have you fed them this morning?"

Oops - better go and feed them (tho' they don't look as tho they are starving. LOL!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Candy - before and after

Remember Candy - before her shampoo and clip?

Well this is her afterwards!

Marvelous change in appearance and also in her demeanour!


I have deactivated my Facebook account!

I did this for several reasons:

1. “Familiararity breeds contempt” as the saying goes and closer contact with some close friends was becoming touchy – in one case (and perhaps two) friends broke off contact (they will know who I mean).

2. I was becoming increasingly concerned that Facebook’s security was not all it cracked itself up to be. This was strengthened by NSW and Federal police warnings of increased criminal activity being monitored on Facebook, including, fraud and identity theft (700 million world wide users and 3 million in Australia, Facebook was too good to be true for criminal gangs!)

3. Recent unannounced changes to Facebook did not please me.

I will return to using email, my discussion group – The Grandstand, and my Blog - Tok Tok Place, as my means of access with my friends.

Best regards to all,

Computer hacking to gain access

Been getting heaps of calls from people claiming to be from Microsoft support services saying that they have been getting reports that my computer is showing up as having problems when receiving downloads - that 3rd parties are attempting to gain access and install malaware systems. Usually these calls are at what would be meal times  in Australia. The callers have a distinctive sub-continent accent but use christian names like James, Michael, David, etc. Their ploy is to get you to go to your computer and to facilitate their 'remote access' to your computer to 'fix the problem'.

This is a con! A scam! - Do not let anyone except the support desk from your own ISP gain remote access to your PC - and even in the latter, they won't call you, you have to call them!

I annoy the crap out of them by giving monosyllabic "Yes!" and "No!" answers to all their questions and not providing them with any definite information or commitment. On a couple of occasions the caller has had to 'treansfer me to their supervisor' - upon which I continued the "Yes! and "No!" answers. They all hung up.

One supervisor who did hang up did so but not before saying "Australians! You are all imbeciles!"

The calls have ceased over the past few days!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Boxhead, Roadblock and the Gent...

Well, I've been silent for quite a while but I'll make up for it with this morning's post!

If you all remember we were expecting our daughter and partner from Hobart as overnight guests while they dropped off their two 'puppies' for us to baby sit while they went house hunting in Sydney. Daughter has a new job and promotion - so a move from the island state of Tasmania (where having six toes on each foot is a distinct social advantage) with us minding the 'puppies' during the move.

Just to refresh your memories, Caddy, the male terrier-X, and Candy, the spaniel-X:

Now, remember also, we have Denny - the spoilt pet house dog who will be six years old this year:

Well, as predicted they arrived. Rhonda and I had decided that as spring was on us and three dogs would be too much inside, we would fix up the alcove with a large kennel and blankets and the two 'puppies' could sleep in there.

So the 'puppies' were settled in. These 'puppies' turned out to be to adorable but hyperactive young dogs of about 15kg (30lbs) each, very placid but as strong as horses. Walking them the first evening I nearly dislocated my arm as they pulled like crazy on their own one piece leads that were like bungee cord. - Denny trotted along on a loose metal 'choke' lead and did his usual trick of side-to-side sniffing of the pavement foot way!

CHAOS! dog leads everywhere, tangles and the true nature of the dogs emerged.

Caddy, the male terrier, I renamed 'Boxhead', 'cos his 'Staffy' heritage was reflected not only anatomically but in his determined nature to investigate everything that moved or made a noise in the undergrowth. Candy is a delightfully affectionate female spaniel cross who, unfortunately for me, has no idea of her own personal space and is forever under foot and the main offender in the tangled leads department. Hence she has been renamed 'Roadblock'!

Denny was forever the placid 'Gent' he has always been who has become set in his ways over the five years he has owned us and likes his life regular and orderly!

After the first outing I reverted all three of them to metal choke leads - much more effective, especially for Miss Roadblock who uses every bit of her weight to her advantage. She was like a bulldozer, lowering her height to as close to the ground as she could get it and using all of her legs like tractor tracks. Boxhead, while probably as equally as strong, hasn't learnt that trick and prefers an upright stance, hence just making him equivalent to a 'dead weight'.

The alcove bit was a failure - too close to the dining room window so we couldn't turn a light on at night without disturbing them, which alerted the mastiff next door and his two little window wiper friends and set of a neighbourhood howling event. Ouch! Neighbours - happy? NOT!


Time to re-arrange things. Evict them form the alcove into the carport, set them up on Denny's preferred steel-framed futon lounge with their blankets where they could view the whole back of the house and clip their choke leads onto the futon arm - just enough room to reach a patch of grass for nigh time toilet needs.

When they first arrived, they tended to run around everywhere together, but separately at the same time, exploring their new confines. Denny was obviously 'Alpha canine' as the older and larger dog.

This did not last. By the second day they had worked Denny out and found out they could counter his superior speed and agility in play by co-operating together against him. Denny could handle one but could not compete against 'tag team' playing.

So his highness, the 'Gent' has to have regular 'time-out' sessions away from the tag-team of Boxhead and Roadblock and be allowed to retreat into the sanctuary of his own indoor living arrangements for rest and recuperation.

Today, a new adventure for Caddy. Her grooming has been neglected and her coat is quite long and 'matting' in parts and does not handle the dewy, grassy conditions - at least very attractively. With the advice of our regular dog-minder for Denny, we have located a dog groomer nearby and today she will be off for a shampoo, clipping of excess paw fur and a shearing of her winter Tasmanian coat to more suit a northern summer.

Delight of delight - Daughter and partner have sourced a house in Campbelltown on the outskirts of Sydney and have been offered the tenancy! An investment owner has renovated this recently constructed house with fenced yard and was seeking long-term renters to occupy it and he and the agents were impressed by the homework and document preparation our two travellers had prepared. That, plus excellent references won them the lease. Its only two hours up the highway so we may see them more often!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Charlie and Boots

Official Review: The concept of an Australian comedy featuring the once-in-a-lifetime pair-up of Paul "Crocodile Dundee" Hogan and Shane "Kenny" Jacobson would appear foolproof. And while this movie doesn't live up to all of its potential, Charlie & Boots (the sophomore effort of director Dean Murphy, who previously teamed up with Paul Hogan for 2004's Strange Bedfellows) is an endearing, poignant and sweet comedy-drama. This is a film infused with so much heart that even the feel-good clichés it occasionally employs seem charming. It's simply an ideal vehicle for its two primary stars.

The plot line is reasonably straightforward. After the tragic death of his beloved wife Grace (Thompson), Charlie (Hogan) - a hardworking farmer - is left devastated and withdrawn. On a whim, his older son Boots (Jacobson) decides to take an impromptu fishing trip with Charlie, as it could shake his old man out of the doldrums and perhaps repair the rift between them. Once Boots gets Charlie in the car, he informs him they'll be travelling from their Victorian hometown to Cape York (thousands of kilometres away) for a spot of fishing off the country's northernmost tip (a trip long promised but never accomplished). Charlie is at first none too co-operative, but Boots does his best to be upbeat. Along the way they pick up an attractive young female hitchhiker with boyfriend trouble (Griffin), and they fend off a succession of older women who are interested in Charlie.

My comments - has its moments as a comedy and the movie keeps moving. Some clever lines (if you are Australian and understand the significance) but it is worth watching simply for the stunning scenary.

Trivia: During the end credits, Paul Hogan's character wonders how long it took to paint the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Paul Hogan worked as a painter on the bridge prior to making it as an actor/comedian

The car in which Charlie and Boots travel is the iconic Australian built Holden Kingswood sedan and the mauve utility Jess' boyfriend, Tristan, drives is the Kingswood utility model - the preferred vehicle of country youth!
6.5 out of 10

Friday, September 16, 2011

Huge blast and Firestorm Rocks Canberra

Firefighters say they do not know how long it will take to extinguish a huge chemical fire which has sent a plume of potentially toxic smoke streaming over Canberra. The fire broke out at a building in an industrial estate at Dacre Street in the suburb of Mitchell in the city's north at about midnight. Fire crews initially brought the blaze under control but were forced back by a series of explosions which witnesses said sent flames shooting up to 100 metres into the air at about 2:00am. This morning fire fighters were attacking the blaze with foam and water but had so far been unable to extinguish the fire.

The explosions were heard all over the city
and sent flames leaping into the night sky

Smoke rises above Canberra's hills this morning
In other developments:

Explosions from the fire rocked the nation's capital early this morning.
Residents in the suburb of Mitchell have been told to stay indoors.
But an order for people within 10km of the fire to stay at home has now been cancelled.
Students are being advised to stay away from schools in Canberra's north.
Evacuation centres have been set up at Canberra stadium and Dickson College.
Emergency services say the smoke is potentially toxic but the risk to the public has been described as low.

No cause for the initial explosion and ignition of the used electrical substation oil coolants stored on-site in drums has been released at this time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I know, I've been quiet lately .....

but I am Okay - Just been a tad busy - but I do keep reading all your threads, so, "Keep'em coming people!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Recycling Grand Prix

Tuesday morning and it’s recycling collection week.

Aaaah! You cannot beat the skills of our local waste collectors who believe their gargantuan vehicles are designed as something that should be used in NASCAR races – mind you, those side loader arms have not yet actually thrown a bin over the top of the truck but, give them time, they will get it right one day.

A street full of green and yellow soldiers spaced 20 metres apart – it can only mean two things, firstly accelerate from a standing start full pedal to the metal and then a precision stop opposite the bin. Secondly, grab same bin and toss the contents into the hopper like some mad chick downing your Bourbon shots (remember to hold on to that bin boys – we don’t want to scare the natives with Sulo bins hurtling over the truck into on-coming traffic) and then slam it down on the pavement (object is to see how many you can leave not standing).

Then …. Repeat the process with another rapid 20 metre dash.

Fun stuff at 7am!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Painting ……

I hate painting!

I guess I’ve never had the patience to be a good painter. Take the last two days up at “The Camp”. We had all the steelwork from the new patio enclosure to paint and the old steelwork, gutters and drains were looking chipped and tired and in need of a ‘refresh’. So, seeing as to how we had three lovely spring days we decided to get the first coat on the undercoated new steel.

Here are a few comparisons in style – ability!

1. I have to work hard to get paint to apply – no deft touch here, I almost have to rub it onto the surface. Rhonda’s brush glides over the surface like silk leaving a complete application in a single stroke.

2. After half an hour my new paint brush looks like my old grandfather’s bristly beard. Rhonda can wear a brush down to a stubble with not a bristle out of place.

3. No matter how careful I am to not overload my brush I always manage to get a splatter of paint that will travel metres. Rhonda hardly ever gets the merest of a ‘flick’.

4. Paint runs – I could get paint to run off a table top. Rhonda can apply a smooth surface to a vertical sheet of flat steel that looks like it was ‘powder coated’ when done.

5. I use a ‘drop cloth’, of course, however, you can always pick where I’ve been working by the trail of drops all round. Rhonda is to miserly to consider spilling a single drop!

6. I need a two can supply of paint to Rhonda’s single can!

7. Rhonda can paint with ease in any position. I work best at waist height. Anything over or under that, for me, is an effort.

I think I’ll hang onto her – you never know when a good painter will be required!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Second Hand shop purchases

I wandered through a scond hand shop yesterday - mostly kitsch junky items of bric-a-bac but I did find a couple of good purchases.

Six bread and butter plates of the Meakin Works 'Sunshine' stock made as a part of a 'collectable set' that you could purchase pieces at a time to build the whole set. These were available in Australia post-war, imported from England. They were in good condition, no chips or crazing cracks.

From the Meakin Pottery works, they were mass produced for export where the prudent wife could buy her plates, soup and sweet coupes, cups and saucers separately as she could afford them to garner the ful set for her 'Hope Chest'. I remember my mother had a set of a similar design. The beauty of them was that if they were broken as a result of 'rough treatment' - and in our household of 4 children that was always possible - replacements were readilly available at the department store.

I also picked up half a dozen sweet dishes and a large sweets bowl that were of much higher quality - I'm sure that the dealer did not know the true value of this set. Royal Staffordshire AJ Wilkinson Works also from the UK

The serving bowl was a larger version of the sweets bowls. All-in-all a quite pleasing purchase, especially getting a full serving set in good condition. I'll save them for 'special occassions' in summer - Fresh baked peach slices with  crème fraîche or mascarpone and topped with fresh strawberries and a little mint.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tricked into buying wooden iPad

Scammers swindle $168 from US woman

If a stranger approached you in a McDonald's parking lot and offered to sell an iPad on the cheap, how would you react? For Ashley McDowell, the answer was an immediate yes.

According to the sheriff's office in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, in the US, Ms McDowell, 22, was picking up food at a McDonald's on Monday night when two men approached her in the parking lot. After showing her a new iPad, the police report said, they told Ms McDowell that they had bought the tablet computers in bulk and were reselling them for $US300 ($280) apiece.

Ms McDowell evidently jumped at the chance to snag a cut-rate iPad but explained that she had only $US180 ($170). The men decided to sell her one iPad at that price, she told police.

She handed them the money and then waited to open the FedEx box supposedly containing the iPad until she got home - where she proceeded to pull out not a shiny new Apple tablet, but a "piece of wood painted black with an Apple logo", the police report said.

The so-called "screen" is filled with mock iPad icons for email, photos and Safari - all held down with black tape. The studious conmen even included a "Best Buy sales ticket", police said.

Ms McDowell told police that the swindlers were driving "a white Impala with no rims and no tint". One of the guys, she noted, had "a gold tooth".

LA Times

Read more:

Been fishing!

Had a few days up at The Camp, did some fishing but did not catch anything for the 'keeper' - but we did do some gardening and I reckon I earnt a nice drink beside the fire in the cool of the evening.

Yep! It's "Sundown"!


We also checked on the progress of the repairs to the Graham Bridge on the Frogmore Road - we took these pictures from the bypass route theat they've graded through an adjoining property - looks like they have taken out both approach spans, are building a retaining wall by placing interlock cinder blocks and backfilling behind those to create approach ramps.

Hmmmm! Hope they know what they are doing but it appears to me that the gap for water to pass under that bridge is being made narrower!