Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Week as a Terrorist

We have a big Army base near here and one of my mates is an Army Reservist, they often help out when the Army is in town doing maneuvers. So it was that he came to have a large number of empty Army ration tins which he saved for storing stuff in his shed. Somewhere along the way he decided to give some of them up so he actually had room in the shed for something other than empty ration cans.
He gave me several, the last of which I've only just managed to get rid of…but the intervening three years?
Sorting them out I discovered some strange semi hard foam in one of them, I put it in my daughters Busy Box. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a Busy Box is any old box filled with household crap like cardboard tubes, wrapping paper, ice cream sticks, Easter egg foil etc. When the kids want to make something, you drag it out and let them go to town and build you something you don’t want.

I’d forgotten about the foam until I went to the box much later looking for some packing for several very expensive Stainless welding rods to send to my brother.
I wrapped the foam around the rods and taped it up good and tight, making sure my return address was on it and sent it off…no problem.
Early in the morning two days later I was busy at work when three police cars came screeching to a halt right in the doorway, armed police wearing flack jackets jumped out and made straight for me.
Vision me, if you will, looking behind me trying to see who they were coming for….
I was handcuffed and thrown into the back of a police car for the rather embarrassing ride down town. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but you drive past everyone you ever knew, and they all just happen to look up and see you there in the cop car being followed by another two police cars full of very serious looking cops.
A couple of hours questioning and then down to my house to see the cops have been there quite some time and made a complete search and a hell of a mess.
Eventually, with no real answers coming my way, one of the cops revealed the story…
An explosives alarm had gone off in the states main post office sorting area, the offending article looked a bit like Dynamite and had my name on it… The whole area was evacuated and remained so as we discussed the matter at length for most of the day.
It was about here the penny dropped and I remembered where the foam had come from… The Army!
I produced the rest of the foam and we headed off to the Airport to put it through their explosives sniffer… High explosives!
On closer inspection there were round marks on the foam to suggest it was once the lining of a box full of large cannon rounds.
Slowly the cops started to believe that I wasn’t really a mad bomber, that there were possibly no bombs to be found and that I had maybe made an honest mistake. (and they wouldn’t all be on TV having smashed a terrorist ring)

A phone call to the bomb squad to assure them it was safe to open the parcel and another hour of lectures and threats that they ‘would be watching me’ before they let me go home. A week later a couple of them dropped by to ‘have a chat’ and again a few weeks later, I guess by now they might have taken me off the terrorist register...but then again..

I never did get my welding rods back…but I wasn’t game to make a complaint.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Busting Australian Myths

This is an adult wombat, but still a small one.

..and this is just a baby...cute isn't it? just wait until it grows up though

Check out those teeth, they continue to grow so have to be worn down by biting roots, bark, fingers and ankles.

Believe it or not, this is a typical wombat burrow, they can do this in just one night...and you complain about Gopher holes

Busting Australian Myths

The humble Wombat known locally as the Bulldozer of the bush and that pretty much sums it up. It’s got huge teeth like a Rabbit which it uses to snip underground tree roots and very long, very strong claws which it uses for digging it’s burrows…like a Rabbit hole big enough for you to crawl down. But they’re dumb, very dumb and quite aggressive, the ones you see in the movies are all babies, they grow to over a metre long and 100 pounds and they bite. Typically going for the ankles and feet, you would be lucky to be able to walk after the first bite and they just keep going at you.
My uncle saved one from it’s dead mothers pouch after someone hit it on the road, back home he placed it carefully on the ground and they all laughed as it cutely burrowed out of sight in just a minute or so…and that was the last time they saw it for the 18 months it took to catch it again and move it back to the bush. But in that 18 months it ate all the neighbors gardens, dug up all their manicured lawns, overturned trees and caused incredible damage around the whole suburb. His garden looked like a building site, and nightly it would move tons of garden soil wherever it wanted; by morning the whole yard was rearranged…my uncle got over his love for Wombats quick smart.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

I got Nuthin

From a childs eye...

Well, actually I just think these are good and wanted to share them with you.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Busting Australian Myths

The humble Koala, cute, cuddly and friendly, so friendly you can cuddle a wild one which will simply cling lovingly to you. Ahhh!
They're just the thing to get the tourists flocking to every wildlife park for their fix.
The problem is that it’s just not true…it’s like saying the Skunk is cute and refreshing. (Well, maybe it is, I’ve never seen one)
The truth about the Koala is that it’s dumb, cranky and well armed. . . Oh, and it stinks really bad! The males have a gland rather like the Skunk so you wont actually see a male in the wild life parks and even the females are shampooed regularly to make them more pleasant. These park Koalas are almost always hand reared after their mothers were killed in road accidents etc and cant be returned to the wild, so they live out their lives being cuddled by tourists…even so they still tend to use people as their toilets. (when you least expect it)
The little female pictured was saved when her mother was killed in a bushfire, after she was finished posing for these pictures she was handed around to all those interested in being filmed with her and wanting to play Russian Roulette with the chance of being sprayed with excrement.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I said 'NO!'

Today I said NO when offered a ride on a new bike…and it felt weird, very weird.
Why ? you may ask.
When I thought back, it was the very first time I’ve ever refused a ride…on anything!
Hell yeah, I've ridden mopeds to Harleys and just about everything between; sure I’ve been disappointed more than once but loved them all.
I’ve owned more than twenty bikes of most kinds but mainly Japanese bikes where I learned I rather liked the combination of powerful motors, accurate suspension and steering combined with the lightness they build in so well…then I rode a Harley. (knowing how much you Americans love that brand I shall not mention them again)
In the early 1980’s I built up a Methanol powered Yamaha 750 drag racing bike with two friends, the day we finally got it to the local drag strip for testing I was just a few days out of hospital after a serious hip operation and still on crutches. When the testing was pretty much finished one of my friends made the mistake of asking if I was up to a ride...Hell yeah!
They had to help me onto the bike, put my recently operated leg painfully onto the foot peg then hold the bike upright as I couldn’t walk much less hold up a bike..
I gave it everything and tore up the track as fast as either of them had done,they didn't get the time though as they said after, they hadn't expected me top actually race it...Geez that thing went, but I paid dearly for that ride... my girlfriend didn’t talk to me for days and that was the last ride I got for quite some time. (if you get my drift)
I owned a Yamaha TZ, a full race street bike that snapped drive chains or chewed gears out if you mis-timed a gear change, I sold it after my fourth gearbox in six months.. it went on to very nearly kill it’s next two owners. Since then many bikes have come and gone.
My current bike is a very nice, very new Yamaha TT with the finest suspension I’ve owned, it climbs hills like they’re flat ground and absolutely flies.
But my nemesis is and has always been loose beach sand, I climb massive rocky hills very well, fly down our outback tracks faster than I ride on the roads...but add just one patch of sand and I’m quickly laying on my ass.
That’s exactly what happened nearly a week ago now, I dropped my nice new bike fooling around in the sandhills with my kids... and hurt my hip..a lot!
I've spent two days unable to walk, sit or drive. Funny enough I can sit on a bike, so I could (if I was stupid enough) ride my electric start TT, but no! I've been a good boy and looked after whats left of my aging body, (this time) which brings us to today, walking again with the help of a cane and able for the first time to drive (with some pain) I went out to watch the kids ride.
When my son-in-law asked if I wanted to ride his new bike I thought about it.. and refused. Oh, there will be other days and I will take it for a ride but I was quite proud of myself today…
It’s only taken 35 years to learn to say ‘NO!”