13.2.10

FRASER ISLAND QLD AUSTRALIA

Named after shipwreck victim Eliza Fraser It was formed during the ice age when the prevailing winds transported vast quantities of sand from New South Wales and deposited it along the coast of Queensland forming Fraser Island as we know it today. Fraser Island is also home to over 200 species of birds along with a variety of mammals, wallabies, snakes, possums,dingoes, turtles and flying foxes. Fraser Island stretches over 123 kilometres in length and 22 kilometres at its widest point. With an area of 184 000 hectares it is the largest sand island in the world. Fraser Island ranks with Australia's Uluru, Kakadu and the Great Barrier Reef. Fraser Island is a precious part of Australia's natural and cultural heritage, it is protected for all to appreciate and enjoy. Fraser island is a place of exceptional beauty, with its long uninterrupted white beaches flanked by strikingly coloured sand cliffs, and over freshwater lakes, some tea-coloured and others clear and blue all ringed by white sandy beaches. Ancient rainforests grow in sand along the banks of fast-flowing, crystal-clear creeks. Fraser Island is the only place in the world where tall rainforests are found growing on sand dunes at elevations of over 200 metres. The low "wallum" heaths on the island are of particular evolutionary and ecological significance, and provide magnificent wildflower displays in spring and summer. The immense sand blows and cliffs of coloured sands are part of the longest and most complete age sequence of coastal dune systems in the world and they are still evolving. They are a continuous record of climatic and sea level changes over the last 700 000 years. The highest dunes on the island reach up to 240 metres above sea level. The Great Sandy Strait, separating Fraser Island from the mainland, is listed by the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention). The wetlands include: rare patterned ferns; mangrove colonies; sea-grass beds; and up to 40,000 migratory shorebirds. Rare, vulnerable or endangered species include dugongs, turtles, Illidge's ant-blue butterflies and eastern curlews. Dingoes have killed humans here but it was believed the animals were annoyed by two legged animals; no action was taken

12.2.10

Life as an Ancient Egyptian

My daily life in ancient Egypt revolved around the Nile and the fertile land along its banks. The yearly flooding of the Nile enriched the soil and brought good harvests and wealth to the land. It was not an easy life yet it was not so bad, we built mud brick homes in villages and in the country. We grew a lot of our own food grew some food and traded in the villages for the food and goods they could not produce. I was a field worker but we had farmers and craftsmen; we also had what was termed a scribe for people who could not read or write. Very few if any of us could read or write me amongst them, our noblemen of course were treated very well compared to us; it was a much harder life for us particularly our wives. When I arose I simply washed and shaved dressed and had a meal prepared by my wife; usually bread and fruit then toddled off to work in the nearby fields. These noblemen had a life of Reilly by comparison; linen sheets plus a servant, this guy helped him to wash and shave. His good lady supervised preparations for a banquet she was hosting later whilst hubby had a bit of tucker with his overseer plus grog, beer was plentiful in ancient Egypt at that time. Thinking about it now life was not too bad, we had no distractions way back then. On the other hand It wasn’t an easy living either; I usually walked or bummed a ride on ferries to go somewhere Much of my life was coping with the annual flood of the Nile River no schooling but this kept us ignorant. We did have a clock though, run by water or the sundial and we barbequed in the evening so we did have entertainment. I was responsible for providing for my family. My wife stayed home and raised the children. Small children and other female relatives lived in a special part of the house. Much of the children's time was spent in training for their adulthood. By the age of four my children would help my wife or me in the field or train as craftsmen; this was not so easy to do. Most of us usually had black hair and dark eyes. My skin was tanned we all wore very simple clothing. The clothes were made of linen. Linen was made from the flax that grew in the fields. It was woven into cloth. The rich wore finely woven linen while the workers wore a more durable material. I usually wore a loincloth. Many times I wore no clothing at all. Don’t laugh but we all wore eye make up. I do believe my wife called to say supper is ready so goodbye for now

4.2.10

Finland’s civil war a very brief account

In 1917 the Russian revolution was whistling along to supposedly free Russian citizens from the Tsar’s yoke; this did not happen in fact it was worse for the poor Russian citizens; however the Russian fleet, which was in Helsinki Finland at the time mutinied; in my day military personnel do not mutiny. The provisional government of the day in Helsinki cancelled most if not all of the Tsar’s government policies in regard to its neighbour Finland; to be blunt they wanted independence and frankly I don’t blame them. Both the Tsar’s and the new communist regime were both degrading and shocking. In these troubled times Finland was not ruled by a government per se, most of the power came from what was known as strike committees, breaking that down middle class and working class; this happened once before in 1905; same rules applied, they even had their own private armies or militias, police were replaced; that sort of thing, in fact things were sticky all round. Unease set in, arguments, violence; and then the so called power act was passed which led to the making of decisions highly unpopular. Finland’s government was then dissolved (and we think we have problems) murders were committed, in fact a highly unpleasant atmosphere was abroad. Cutting to the chase non socialists won, in fact socialists had 92 seats out of 200. Man being the beast he is (still can be at times) made the socialists royally pissed off, in fact Finnish society was gradually splitting up into two camps; both armed and damned dangerous and I bet you thought they were gentle people; they were not at that time I assure you. Then along came the Bolshevik takeover in Russia; middle class Finns quite naturally dreaded this; not so the workers who thought quite differently. However in November a middle class government of Finland was established; run efficiently by Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, on December 6 1917 Finland was declared independent. Bolshie Lenin (and to think he lived in London once, relax he was in gaol there) recognised Finland’s independence; December 6 has been known to Finns as their independence day; it is still celebrated as such. Finland’s point of no return came when Svinhufvud’s government authorised the white guard to be the security force, and try and establish law and order, as by this time it had all but broken down. Returned German guards transformed this white guard into a very credible fighting force; run by a former fighting Tsarist General, named Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, this General was a Finn but a Swedish speaking one; he also had a number of professional Swedish Military officers to aid and abet his cause Military action was called for on Jan 27-28 1918; foreign intervention helped a little in this struggle After the Brest-Litovsk treaty was signed artillery troops were withdrawn, the conflict was finally resolved; General Mannerheim entered Helsinki on May 16 1918 just to end the conflict on a formal note. Strangely every year until WWll was celebrated as a kind of second Independence Day. This tragedy was really because of the horrific terror released by reds and whites. In hindsight it should have been nipped in the bud; I have never met anyone with hindsight; it could well have prevented many wars Finland’s civil war was a catastrophe, in a few months around 30,000 were wiped out, society was divided; I won’t go into the fine details, I would never finish (excuse the pun) this blog

1.2.10

The Yangtse Incident

At the time of this incident the 20th of April 1949 there was civil war raging in China between the Reds and the Kuomintang...which in the end was won by the communists, with the support of the Soviets, yes they were good old buddy’s way back then...the Kuomintang under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek pictured below fled to the Island of Formosa (now called Taiwan) MANY foreign nations were in China at the time, including US and British. HMS Amethyst at the time a frigate was doing the job of a gunboat steaming down the Yangtse River trying to rejoin the British fleet and was under fire; she was the last foreign warship in inland Chinese waters without permission of the Chinese government. Further downriver on her way from Shanghai to Nanjing she came under heavy sustained shelling, the wheelhouse and bridge was hit rather badly; the result was a grounding of the ship by the injured coxswain; the skipper was mortally wounded, the first Lieutenant ( known as the Executive officer in US Navy jargon) was injured also. Sadly the sick bay, port engine room and generator were hit very badly; Amethyst was now a sitting duck and paid heavily, 22 killed, 31 wounded; she received more than 50 hits from the PLA or people’s liberation army, HMS Consort was steaming from Nanjing to her aid and silenced the shore batteries and attempted a tow; it never worked indeed Consort lost 10 of her crew some were injured. The first Lieutenant although injured finally re floated old Amethyst, moved her out of range of any more artillery fire whilst the British Naval attaché to China assumed command. Two other ships came to Amethysts aid or tried to, they lost men too, meanwhile she remained under guard by the PLA; supplies were denied to her for ten weeks. Finally on the 30th of July, she slipped her chain and headed downriver; a 104 mile run running gauntlets at 0500 on July 31 she broke through the boom, made contact with HMS Concord, passed through to the mouth of the river and sent the time-honoured signal. "Have rejoined the fleet off Woosung...God save the King." arriving in Hong Kong on the 11th August 1949, so it took nearly four months, here is a news bulletin heralding the ship's arrival in Hong Kong A strange ending to this was that the ships cat was awarded the Dickin Medal known as the animal Victoria Cross. This is just a brief account of my readings on this; in fact there are many websites devoted to this all slightly different. Medals were awarded of course to the crews of the four ships involved, highly prized ones at that. Three Distinguished Service orders were awarded, along with one MBE, four Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Flying Cross, seven Distinguished Service Medals, and many "Mentioned in Dispatches." Simon the ships cat also received the Blue Cross Medal of the Dumb Friends League, and of 53 Dickin Medals issued, his was the only one ever awarded to a cat One medal in particular was the Naval General Service medal with the bar Yangtse 1949, the ones awarded to the ships Company of HMS Amethyst fetched up to almost £700 pictured below

8.1.10

I HAD A BAD DAY TODAY

I stepped outside this morning and boy was it hot..humid as hell and I had to go get some groceries...that sort of thing. My mood was hot and mad after I took the wrong road...not really my fault as...you wouldn't read about it roadwork’s loomed up. them things are everywhere Guess my mind was not on the road...well it wasn't I know this...anyways I carried on cuz in my mind some place a voice kept saying go to the shopping mall there...you need a change I though yeah why not my usual joint has a monopoly where I live…which I reckon is a bit crook…after driving around and around I finally got a parking place. Gets out of the car the heat hit me like a ton of bricks…50 swearwords later I was in blissfully cool air-conditioned surroundings…after a run in with the assistant in the delicatessen…I calmed down. This is good I thought my other store doesn’t have all the goodies this mob has…that’s when the fun started. My usual brand of a apple juice was nowhere to be seen…I saw a young bloke having a swig of apple juice ah then I spotted it way way up on high…damned if I could reach it…got it I thought grabs my walking cane…(this cane has a history some low down thief flogged it off me when my back was turned rotten mongrel) where was I oh yeah as I was saying I grabs my newbie all aluminium job reaches up yanked at the drinks …three cartons tumbled down…how I missed them I’ll never know…but they clobbered some guy WHACK…lucky for me he was just shocked and stunned…we had a beer together when I finally got home…yeah he lives near me. Off I goes again and I’m not lying but I spotted a gal looked like my daughter from the back…hiya babe I sez…nearly got a smack in the mouth...lucky there but…she spotted the cane…yeah the newbie cane…I hope the mongrel who flogged it off of me gets the treatment I narrowly avoided. Going through the aisle that has clocks… stuff like that I recalled an e-mail I had once where this joker used to set off the alarms on em and watch for reactions…yep so I did that…sheer bedlam..when asked by the store manager a baby faced pimply kid if it was me…I just blew up…me I sez do you seriously think that a 73 year old bloke like myself would do that…I heard oohs and ahs everywhere…some bloke took him to task over it…must have just come in before the soft drink crisis…I left em to it…I just meandered my merry way through the aisles. Got to the aisle that has canned meat…canned vegies that sort of stuff had a squiz see if anyone was in it…lucky Mick I thought and started to bowl some cans down to the end of the aisle...all went ok for a while…still sorting out the clock bizzo I s’pose…it couldn’t last of course…they tried like hell to find me but I sneaked into the butchery department quick smart asked the butcher could he cut a joint of beef in two…no worries mate he sez…I followed him in chatted to him about next to nothing..to stay away from the commotion outside…what’s going on out there mate have squiz through that window would yah…just some pimply kid getting ticked off it looks like sez yours truly…oh him he’s just the under-manager….he hasn’t got a clue not a brain cell in his head…I reckon your right mate shifty lookin bloke too I sez…you got that right he sez…fancy a cup of tea in my office? Too right thanks old mate…at this stage I just wanted to get out of the store….in the end I had to go of course…my shopping trolley was still there...I took off my hat and glasses wandered nonchalantly to the far end cash register and wonder of wonders. The kid with all the zits could not be seen…however it was still being talked about by the gals on the registers…what happened to this guy I asked…boss gave up looking she sez but how he vanished has us all baffled. He found the butchery department door closed…which he found strange…yair a bit odd that I told her As I collected the goods I just couldn’t resist saying so what did this joker look like…oh about your age but he had glasses…that’s a hell of a thing for a bloke to do cripes…tell me about she sez. Oh well I said have a nice day..ok you too came the reply… Off I toddled free as bird...but had to hide in the gents when I spotted zit face giving me a hard look in the car park...I made it home had a couple of beers with the bloke I knew...enjoy your day I enjoyed mine...but it had its moments

7.1.10

The American Civil War

____________________________________________________________________ The American civil war of 1861-5 was a rather important happening pitting Americans against Americans…It revolved around slavery and the disagreement of the south’s refusal to give up what amounted to cheap labour, Sound familiar to you!! Thought so it does to me as well The southerners today yeah... Lots of them have huge assets which their kin acquired by the use of slaves If an agreement had been reached, in hindsight there would have been no war…the war itself was set off by the states that owned slaves (YES NEGRO'S OWNED LIKE DOGS) to accept the decision of the 1860 Presidential election…which had seen the first Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln, sweep the northern states but did not gain a single electoral vote in the South… From December 1860-February 1861 seven states in the Deep South passed ordinances of secession, occupied federal installations, and called out their militias. These states set up their own Confederacy with a pro-slavery constitution headed by a Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, and this new government located its capital initially at Montgomery, Alabama. ( later it was moved to Richmond Va) The rebel government was eager to remove the two remaining federal outposts on their territory, at Pensacola in Florida and at Fort Sumter in Charleston harbour. After a stand-off lasting four months, the Confederacy bombarded Fort Sumter in Charleston harbour on 12-13 April 1861. Lincoln asked for 75,000 volunteers…it was reckoned quite wrongly it would not last for long…the confederacy was extremely large…a naval blockade was decided on…even submarines were used…very brave guys considering the conditions…in actual fact the civil war was a kind of testing ground for today’s submarines…in the end the union mustered up more,so the 75, 000 volunteers were soon supplemented, and by the 1st of July 1861 300, 000 men had been raised, the majority for three years. Jefferson Davis had succeeded in raising 200, 000 Confederate volunteers by August 1861. These hosts on both sides were difficult to command. The men believed that they were civilians in uniform and enjoyed all their previous rights; they were not deferential to their officers, who were often elected. Many incompetents had to be weeded out by commission’s boards…as usual politicians not only bibbed in with orders they actually got their selves commissioned....nothing has changed there I notice

All the time the Brits were featured buying cotton picked by slaves naturally...that cruddy little Island may have done a lot in colonising the world...it also stuck its nose in to things that really did not concern them. They were still annoyed no doubt that they lost the war between colonial America and their selves...plus France stuck her oar in too A different matter today where bullshitter Brown their PM is crawling up Obama's a**. But I digress. The civil war had cost 620, 000 American soldiers' lives (360, 000 Union and 260, 000 Confederate), although two-thirds of these were victims of disease not bullets. The economic damage inflicted on the South was enormous. Total southern capital, heavily invested in now-demonetised slaves, shrank by 46 per cent, whereas northern capital grew by 50 per cent. In 1860 the slave states contained 30 per cent of the total wealth of the USA; by 1870 this figure had slumped to 12 per cent. The war's political significance was enormous: the issue of secession was dealt with once and for all; slavery was abolished. This is only a brief outline of the civil war...I did find out that Australians and New Zealanders (plus the Irish) fought in this war...but I have no idea as to which side they were on

What worries me is that the way things are going at the moment in the United States, there could well be another one...just my opinions and comments are welcome

2.1.10

The possibility of a Double Dissolution in September 2010 Australian elections

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has told reporters that some agreement is still possible in key climate talks in Copenhagen despite major disagreements in over one hundred provisions…at the moment 747 we the people here in Australia think you should cut your B/S and think long and hard about our spiralling interest rates. Copenhagen can go on hold so should all the money (ours not yours) you have decided in your wisdom to bestow on the Girl Guide movement… (Sorry girls you will have to wait I’m afraid for a while…until this Ragbag gets his facts and priorities in order). Right so first up we want our troops brought back from Afghanistan (you were voted in on this pledge) you ratted out instead…I fervently believe at least, I’ll take that back you sent more because Obama (another spendthrift with his people’s money) asked you to. Now most of us think that you a multi millionaire (a battler’s man what crap) should spend start spending your cash for worldly jaunts…you have deep pockets, to be blunt an abyss. Now you are toying with the possibility of a double dissolution so as to give you more control…meanwhile things are getting expensive for us to purchase…power is rising by 60%...still I don’t suppose it will bother a silver tail like yourself…BUT I do wonder whether the GG you picked might do a John Kerr on you it happened to Gough REMEMBER him…oh of course you were a diplomat to Red China you may have wiped it from your memory banks Why your popularity has suddenly shot up beats the likes of us downtrodden serfs. Take what is known as the welfare or social security benefits my only two granddaughters have never known what a job is… what is worse they never intend to work…the youngest is 25 or 26 not married no kids (I thought this a disgrace that they have never worked)…still you 747 prop them up with the taxpayers cash why should they, this is how they think…my oldest son and my grandson are even smarter…they draw cash from you and also work on the sly…thank God my other two are not like them. 2010 will be the horror budget so I reckon the government will probably hold an election about March next year (The Rat has until October) If it comes to the double dissolution I’m afraid all could be lost for genuine law abiding citizens here. The main thing and I think most of us want is our troops brought back from foreign wars…THAT WAS YOUR ELECTION PLEDGE REMEMBER it conveniently slipped your mind as usual. Another thing that really gets up my nose (I’m not alone on this one) is you taking control of what internet sites we can see…who the hell do you think you are, doing a Red China again yeah well it stick out like dogs testicles to me. You know you remind me of that Brit politician Jim Callaghan he was an oily heap of **** just like you or a smooth talking politician...take your pick Here is an image of you sucking up to Clinton