Friday, March 30, 2012

The backwards post

The White Horse Inn was rough, but the pub across the road from it was much worse, it belonged to a bikie gang who sold raffle tickets at the bar for bags of dope. The barmaids drew the raffles and the winner was expected to roll and hand out joints at the bar. Across the road from that was the court house and police station but they never dared come in this pub. Apparently they tried once…. (the stuff of legend)
I don’t really know why the bikies put up with us teenagers being in there with them but we basically kept our heads low and just our drank beers. I don’t remember to many bad situations happening in there but there were a few, like….

I'd been out drinking all night at various hotels and fancied a pizza on the way home so I had the taxi drop me at the pub across the road from the White Horse. I ordered my pizza and somehow…I really don’t know how but I got into a drinking competition with some old bloke. He sculled his straight double shot of Whiskey so I sculled my straight Vodka…. it went on like this for 5 or 6 shots. Remember I'd already been drinking all evening and it was well after midnight by now. I thought I'd won when he covered his glass with his hand and said he'd had enough…that’s how stupid I was.
Eventually I decided to go to the counter to complain about waiting for so long for my pizza, I felt fine…right up until my feet hit the floor. I very nearly kept going face first into the floor but managed to stumble to the counter only to find they'd been calling me for ages. With my pizza under my arm and very, very worse for wear I made it outside. The cold air hit me and I felt like I was not going to make it across the road to my room so I headed off as quickly as I could.
I was vaguely aware of a bunch of guys pushing each other back and forth but since I was unable to step down and back up the gutter to go around them I stumbled on through the mayhem. A couple of guys ran into me and I hit the wall, stumbled on to be hit again and again. I kept my head down and just kept walking.
Ive no idea how long it took me to get across the road, I don’t remember even crossing it but I eventually came to an insurmountable obstacle…the stairs. I tried walking up…it just couldn’t be done so I put the pizza up a few steps and crawled up; moved the pizza up a few and crawled up those. I must have been about half way up when my mates at the top stopped laughing and came down to get me, or so I thought.
They picked up the pizza and returned to the top of the stairs to watch me crawl up on all fours. By the time I got to the top the pizza was all gone…not that I could have eaten any of it in the condition I was in.
The next morning saw me very sick and unable to remember much of what happened the day before. I felt bad…and that was made worse when I found out the fight I'd walked through was way worse than I'd imagined, two blokes were hospitalized and one guy was killed…beaten to death. (apparently by the bikers who owned the pub but no one was talking)
Frankly that scared the hell out of me and it was the starting point of me changing my ways forever. I never got that drunk again, I stopped partying all night and I decided most of my mates were no mates at all. It was about here that I met Red….


Friday, March 23, 2012



Red and I became good friends, between our weird shifts at work we managed to get together a few times a week to drink a few beers and swap a few tales in the towns roughest pub just across the road. He was in his forties and over twice my age so I knew my mates would have been driving him a little crazy with their immature behavior. (me too) With this in mind I was always careful to keep my mouth shut around him instead of talking the usual rubbish with my mates.
After about 3 months Red had enough of the all night parties keeping him awake and moved out to share a unit with a bloke he met at work in the steel mill, I didn't see him again for a few months.
Out of nowhere he turned up one day with an offer to share his unit, the other bloke has moved interstate so I jumped at the chance because that was pretty much the only way to get a unit back then. If the place was neat and the rent was being paid the landlords would simply keep picking up the rent no matter who was in their unit. That.. and the fact that the White Horse was pretty much a mental health black hole meant that I'd had enough of it too.
I moved in with my entire belongings in the boot of my car.. or would have except I was driving an Aussie panel van back then. (my mum called it the 'fuck truck')
Over the weeks I learned that Red had been a bouncer in many brothels and got some horrifying brothel stories to scare the heck out of me. Stories of knife fights and pay offs to corrupt police and the mob, one of these had gone wrong somehow and he was on the run from people the police would be afraid of.  He was also wanted by the police in every state of Australia except the only one he hadn't been to. (Tasmania)
One day I noticed a tattoo of a Rat on his arm with 'RAT' under it and when I asked about it he admitted it was his nick name. To this day I don't know what his real name was even though we shared that unit for more than nine months.

One hot night I was having a beer or three with a mate when Red's car skidded to a halt in front of the open door, Red ran in the front door and straight out the back door followed by two cops.. A few minutes later they led him back through the unit handcuffed, he casually asked me to lock his car for him as they took him away to be charged for drink driving.
Early the next morning he was back and packing his things like a man possessed, everything went into his car as he told me he was off…. the whole process took less than fifteen minutes. (He'd obviously had practice at packing fast)
He walked out on his job and his fortnights pay, most of his belongings and a woman or two he was seeing. He bludged $100.00 petrol money from me and as he shook my hand I asked him if he had a forwarding address for when the police came back, a broad smile came slowly to his face and he jotted down an address on a beer coaster. He told me it was a brothel in outback Western Australia and the police would get a very warm reception if they went there asking for him.  As he pulled out of the drive I deliberately turned away so I didn't know which direction he went, West toward Western Australia or East to Victoria, New South Wales or… maybe Tasmania.
The next day two young cops turned up with a warrant, they had a look through the things he'd left in his room and left clutching the coaster like it was gold.
I never heard from Red again but he'd been a good mate to me, I don’t know what he'd done but I knew he could be dangerous if he wanted to be.
He probably thought I was some silly kid, because I was!
I sometimes wonder where he is now…

My Panel van as it was back then: 
Any questions about what I was spending my money on?

Yes, the back was 4inches thick with foam  and carpeted...roof, walls..everything!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Problem solved

The biggest argument starter between men and women?
The constant bug bear of every marriage?
The thing ALL women complain about? (endlessly)
Solved, fixed and no more of a problem...ever.
Now we can all pee standing up.....


Friday, March 16, 2012

About five lifetimes ago....

About eighty years ago The White Horse Inn was the cities first pub, above it were seven tiny rooms that were the towns first brothel….

Forward fifty years and the downstairs Inn was boarded up and distinctly unsafe, the upstairs was a rundown boarding house for young people who couldn’t find somewhere better to live in these times of full employment and scarce housing. My meager employment meant I didn't have the money for a unit so I found a room in the front corner of this hovel. My room had a hanging cupboard about a foot wide that was screwed to the wall, a set of four tiny draws under a caravan sized sink and all the stale rusty luke water you could drink; next to that…a single bed. I added a tiny table and bar fridge, apart from that the only room left was for the red floral curtains, or at least the top 3 inches was red…the rest was white with the hint of where the pattern used to be fifty years ago.
Next to me was a young friend who's only claim to fame was being tied to his bed by some strange woman who picked him up in the pub across the road and who robbed him of his virginity. He never saw her again…
Next to him was a bloke (think it was a bloke) we never saw… You'd hear a click and turn to see the door close or see the back of a head through the frosted glass of the bathroom window as he/she disappeared down the stairs. In 18 months I never did see this person… (hiding, on the run?)
On the other side of me was a huge bearded biker whose late night drug parties filled the entire block with dope smoke and loud rock music, I never did get the courage to complain to him about it or even ask him to turn it down.
Next to him on the opposite front corner was a good friend of the biker, another huge bearded biker.
Next to him was a large closet with no window that was inhabited by a young man who was terribly claustrophobic and couldn't close his door when he was home…ever. For fun we would sneak over there when he was asleep and slam the door.. you could hear him in there screaming and crashing around trying to find the door, by the time he got the door open he would be covered in sweat. We thought that was funny! (yeah, I know) Eventually he would rearrange the closet every time he got home to block the door open with his bed, and there he slept in the worst of winter gales and the terrible heat of the Australian summer, half in, half out of his tiny room.
Next to him on the back corner was the best room, it was larger and had a big window that looked out on the steel mills and blast furnace but was also next to the bathrooms. It was inhabited by a strange young bloke who would take his clothes off and drop them on the floor then search around picking up and smelling clothes until he found something less smelly. His floor was completely covered in clothes a foot deep which he didn't seem to notice. Sometimes you could stand getting within six feet of him, other days you couldn’t be in the same building.
I didn't even notice when the guy we never saw moved out, we just never saw him again.
Then one day the door was open…and a new guy was in there. He had a shock of bright red hair and beard, was six foot six and built like a middleweight boxer, I went and introduced myself but he wouldn’t give me his name. When I asked he said I could call him whatever I wanted, I chose 'Red' and he was fine with that. (more about Red later)


Monday, March 12, 2012

Bag-shelter Moth

 This in not one big creature, not a snake, not a worm but several hundred individual caterpillars. The Australian Processionary Caterpillar lives in the Southern half of the country and eats leaves like most caterpillars, but that’s about the only thing it has in common with other caterpillars.
It lives in vast groups of up to 300 and weaves a silken bag which hangs in it's food tree, the bag can be nearly the size of a football. At night they all go into the bag and stay there until morning. In winter they spend long periods in the bag only coming out to feed when possible. If they strip the tree of leaves they march on mass to another tree and make a new bag. Eventually they pupate and turn into very ordinary moths with nothing outstanding or exceptional about them.

Those tiny hairs are so fine they get into the pores of your skin and irritate you for several days, other creatures like ants, lizards, birds etc are totally unable to eat them because of the fine hairs. Aboriginal Australians collected them on bark and rolled them on hot ashes to burn the hairs off before eating them…possibly the only predator they have.

As kids we used sticks to gently push them around into a big circle and they would follow each other for at least as long as it took us to get bored and wander off. I did accidentally touch one once when it rolled off a stick and onto my hand, by the time I'd put it down my hand was stinging. An hour later my hand was red and swollen and itched like hell for a few days…I never made that mistake again..
I came by this procession by chance as they moved from one tree to another way out in the bush and this time I had a camera with me, otherwise this is a very rare sight indeed. 

* Babies feeding on a single leaf  and the unappealing adult Bag-shelter moth


I know you didn't come here to learn so you have my sincere apologies.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Male or female

Male or Female? You might not have known this, but a lot of non-living objects are actually either male or female. Here are some examples:

They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

These are female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again.

They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong buttons.

Tires are male, because they go bald easily and are often over inflated.

Also a male object, because to get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under their butt.

These are female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water.

Female, because they're constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on.

Definitely male, because they always use the same old lines for picking up people.

An hourglass is female because, over time, all the weight shifts to the bottom.

Male, because in the last 5000 years, they've hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.

Female. Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know which buttons to push, he just keeps trying...

(address your complaints to: Kymbo @ SetTheTempo/


Monday, March 5, 2012

To GPS or not GPS, that is the question..

I've had a GPS unit in my car for about three years now and I've noticed a few strange things about it.
Most people have a name for their units depending on the voice they’ve chosen for the unit, mine has the standard female voice that’s one of several that came with it, so I haven't named her; though I'm sure selecting a female name also activates some kind of female gene in the unit, let me explain…

Leaving several hours before sunrise I had to travel 400km on a highway I knew well, then 70km on secondary roads I didn't know at all. From the last well known town I programmed the GPS to take me to where I had to go. Even though I knew there was a secondary highway straight to the town I was traveling, she took me in a zigzag fashion through tertiary country roads including several km of dirt roads. I began to consider the femaleness of her route…
Business over and from my parking spot where she'd led me I asked to go straight back to the same town on the highway. She started by leading me in a completely different direction.
She seemed to be leading me to the direct highway between the towns but had me go straight past it. Over an hour later and having traveled 100km we at last came to our finishing point. From here it was still 400km to home and so it was that we arrived home very tired and well after sundown. . but that’s not what I'm on about here.
Is it not female to lead you 70km to get somewhere and 100km to get back to the same point?
I'm not sure how they did it but Garmin seem to have embodied the very essence of the female spirit into their GPS units, I wonder if that will change if I change it to a male voice?
I have to admit I find it strange and intriguing as well as a little annoying; I wouldn’t mind so much except she keeps bugging me to stop and ask for directions! 


Thursday, March 1, 2012


My mates are SO funny.. Wear a zebra suit to the Zoo they say... It'll be really funny they say... Think about all the funny photos they say...

The things you see at mining sites..
I'll tell you what I didnt want to see..
Him climbing OUT.... (shudder)

A couple of weeks ago one of our local doctors was out testing his new hand built Bi-plane.
He wanted to know how much fuel it used and how far he could go on a full tank.
He flew to a nearby city and back then circled for nearly an hour.
It ran out of fuel 
8km short of the runway...
No doctors were killed and only one was slightly hurt but greatly embarrassed.
To mark the event I place a Geocache right there where the motor stopped.