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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A nation of shopkeepers indeed!

A man had been feeding swans from a plastic bag that blew into a 3½ft-deep model boating lake in Walpole Park in Gosport, Hampshire, in the U.K. He went in to retrieve it and while he was in the water he had a fit and fell unconscious. He lay floating face-down for more than half an hour while 25 emergency workers stood and watched because they weren't 'trained' to go into the water!

Read more

A politician looks after himself first, then after his party, and, if there is any time left, he may even consider doing something for the country

Abib said he resigned for the good of the party. Quite!

How could you even consider voting for Labor after reading this article in the Sydney Morning Herald ? Or this ?

I'll never accept those faceless men at their face value again!

The bovine state of the world

You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow has dropped dead.

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows.
No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market it worldwide.

You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

You have 5000 cows.
None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You have two cows.
Both are mad.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No-one believes you, so they bomb the crap out of you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of Democracy....

You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive.

You have two cows.
You borrow against the cows from the Germans.
You kill the cows and make souvlaki.
You can't pay the interest so the Germans lend you more money.
You can't pay the interest so the Germans lend you more money.
You can't pay the interest so the Germans lend you more money.
You can't pay the interest so the Germans lend you more money

Great deal on iPads

If you are interested in getting an iPad, I can get a few of them through a contact that I have. These iPads are totally legal, meaning that they are NOT off the back of a truck. They are available because of a cancelled hospital contract, due to government cutbacks.

However, the numbers are limited. In fact, I have only 20 iPads that are going for less than half price, so it's first come, first served.

I have already sold one. Below is a picture so you can see exactly what you would be getting.

Please get back to me as quickly as you can if you want one.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I could listen to this guy all day long!

Daniel Hannan is the author of nine books of which the most recent — The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America — is a New York Times best-seller.

He blogs every day at www.hannan.co.uk, addressing political and cultural issues. His blog attracts 200000 hits a week.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lemons never change their spots

In a press conference on Saturday, Kevin Rudd, who has resigned as foreign minister to challenge his boss, Julia Gillard, said something revealing. 'The job of the Australian government', he pronounced, 'is to keep Tony Abbott out'.

Really? That's the primary purpose of the state machine of the Commonwealth of Australia? Not to run the country? Thanks for clearing that one up, Kevin.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The first $1million-plus sale in Nelligen

We've had several sales in Sproxton Lane just a touch below the $1million-mark in the past; this week we've broken through the $1million-mark with the sale of # 5 Sproxton Lane at $1.2million. Congratulations, Jack and Pam!

Jack & Pam's 3-bedroom/1 bathroom house sits on a 1771 square-metre block of land. Two more properties of similar size are still for sale in the Lane at $1.39million and $1.95million respectively.

And then there is the best of them all, "Riverbend", a large 2-storey brick residence sitting on 29,200 square metres of absolute waterfront land. That's 18 times the average block size in Sproxton Lane! And yet it's on sale for just $2million!

Form an orderly queue, please!

Labor's lemmings now have the choice of two cliffs

The question for Labor MPs is this: do we march off the cliff with Gillard or do we roll the dice, elect Rudd, save some seats, and then march off the cliff?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A boiled egg for breakfast is hard to beat

After a good breakfast, we again drove to Ulladulla.

We are now seasoned visitors of the Ulladulla Leisure Centre, having bought a season pass for the heated swimming pool, the spa, and the gym.

After my swim, I had a bit of a work-out in the gym when I spotted a sweet young thing.

I asked my personal trainer, "What machine should I use to impress that sweet thing over there?"

The trainer looked me up and down and said, "Try the ATM in the lobby."

I think I stick to swimming.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Australia's REAL government

If these guys were in private enterprise, they'd all be sacked because, instead of doing the jobs they're paid to do, they're wasting company time waging their own personal battles.

It's time that we sacked them as well! Bring on the elections and send LABOR back to the political wilderness!

Holiday accommodation on the South Coast

It's amazing how quickly the search engines pick up new blog entries. Why not spread the word about "Riverbend Cottage" this way? So if you've just now GOOGLEd for 'Holiday Accommodation on the South Coast", please read on:

There is a marvellous amount of nothing to do at Riverbend on the beautiful Clyde River. Eating well, sleeping soundly and moving about in beautiful surroundings is a therapy for which many return year after year.

Escape the stresses and excesses of urban life! Come to "Riverbend" and rediscover what you've always known - that simple pleasures are the best.

Some places have waterviews, others are close to the water. Riverbend Cottage has absolute deepwater river frontage along its whole seven acres. You are so close to the water's edge that for environmental reasons we had to build the modern bathroom a few metres away from the cottage (very romantic on a starlit night!)

For more of this 'infomercial', click here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Annual Dementia Test - only 4 questions

It's that time of year for us to take our annual senior citizen test.

Exercise of the brain is as important as exercise of the muscles. As we grow older, it's important to keep mentally alert. If you don't use it, you lose it!

Below is a very private way to gauge how your memory compares to the last test. Some may think it is too easy but the ones with memory problems may have difficulty.

Take the test presented here to determine if you're losing it or not.
The spaces below are so you don't see the answers until you've made your answer.

OK, relax, clear your mind and begin.

1. What do you put in a toaster?

Answer: 'bread.' If you said 'toast' give up now and do something else..
Try not to hurt yourself.
If you said 'bread', go to Question 2.

2. Say 'silk' five times. Now spell 'silk.' What do cows drink?

Answer: Cows drink water. If you said 'milk,' don't attempt the next question. Your brain is over-stressed and may even overheat. Content yourself with reading more appropriate literature such as Auto World.
However, if you said 'water', proceed to question 3.

3. If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black bricks, what is a green house made from?

Answer: Greenhouses are made from glass. If you said 'green bricks,' why are you still reading this??? If you said 'glass,' go on to Question 4.

4. Without using a calculator - You are driving a bus from London to Milford Haven in Wales ....
In London , 17 people get on the bus.
In Reading , 6 people get off and 9 people get on.
In Swindon , 2 people get off and 4 get on.
In Cardiff , 11 people get off and 16 people get on.
In Swansea , 3 people get off and 5 people get on.
In Carmathen, 6 people get off and 3 get on.
You then arrive at Milford Haven ..

Without scrolling back to review, how old is the bus driver?

Answer: Oh, for crying out loud!
Don't you remember your own age?
It was YOU driving the bus!!

Nelligen real estate for sale

You have to live somewhere - it may as well be Paradise!

Here's a bit of an advertisement on my own behalf: the sale of our 7-acre-plus property "Riverbend" with almost 400 metres of absolute waterfront near Batemans Bay on the South Coast of New South Wales. For more information go to www.nelligennet.com.

It's the sort of property that is usually passed down the family as there are only a few like it on the Clyde River. I have been here for 18 years and for me it's time to move on - regrettably! - as we plan to live for part of the year in Kalimantan (Borneo) in Indonesia which makes it near-impossible to also maintain such a large property this far south.

The price - for those who can afford it - is very realistic as nearby unimproved waterfront blocks just 1500 square metres in size and with as little as 19 metres of waterfront have recently sold for $750,000. By contrast, "Riverbend" consists of eight titles, comprising approx. 29,200 square metres (see map), is on sale for $2 million, lock, stock and barrel. For those who feel a little financially challenged, I can offer very substantial vendor's finance on below-bank finance terms.

If you're interested, contact me by email to


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Batemans Bay's very own Costa Concordia

Click on image for a BEFORE picture

Portugese maritime history went straight to the bottom of Batemans Bay when yacht Vale De Moura sunk early yesterday morning. The Vale De Moura is the last survivor of a fleet of traditional, sail-powered vessels that worked commercially on and around the west coast of Portugal. Built in 1956, the yacht carried salt to fishing boats in Portugal before it was fitted with a motor and taken to Germany.

For more than a decade, the Vale de Moura was little more than a tourist icon ship-wrecked at The Wharf, Mooloolaba, Queensland, but in early 2005 the now 56-year-old wooden boat, which circumnavigated the globe twice in its heyday, was been given a second chance after a pirate story curtailed its first adventures in Australia.

Customs officials impounded the 72-foot sailing vessel when it sailed into Mooloolaba in 1994 as they didn't believe the Austrian captain who said he sailed it from Europe single-handedly. They thought he had killed all his crew. The Vale de Moura was impounded for three years and was then sold to a Perth businessman who had dreams of restoring it. Years passed while the boat languished at the Mooloolaba Wharf.

That was until John and Krystina Mackintosh from Batemans Bay spotted it while holiday on the Sunshine Coast in 2004. They thought it would be wonderful to restore and so Mr Mackintosh gathered his sailing friends, Tony Sutton, Peter Walsh and Bob Beresford, called the Four Buccaneers, bought it and sailed it to its new home in Batemans Bay. The Vale De Moura had been moored in the Bay since then.

Age improves with wine ...

... occasionally interrupted by breakfast, lunch and dinner.

A glass (or two) gives me just the right 'gravitas' for a long snooze on the verandah. I drink to that!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came ...

... and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand." Ecclesiastes 5:15, 1769 Oxford King James Bible

For most of my life, I hadn't known anything about Ecclesiastes but still subscribed to the belief that there was no point in accumulating 'THINGS'.

All this changed when I returned to Australia in 1985 and had settled, first in Canberra and, eight years later, at "Riverbend".

During all this time I have been accumulating 'THINGS' and 'THINGS' and more 'THINGS' with an absolute vengeance. My 'Bibliothèque' alone now holds more books than I could ever hope to take with me should I move again.

It remains to be seen which I shall run out of first: time or space?

The Iron Lady

The iron lady wants to watch "The Iron Lady". I told her to wait until it comes out on DVD but she prefers to watch it within earshot of the popping of popcorn and the slurping of slurpies and the coughing and sneezing of a hundred other people, not to mention the ringing of mobile phones at the most inappropriate moments.

So I have booked two tickets for tomorrow at the Bay City Cinemas, one in row 10 and the other in row 40.

What next?

New migrants should get taxpayer subsidies to visit overseas relatives, an Islamic group has told the Federal Government.

The Islamic Women's Welfare Association also says Muslims prefer to live close to their own people and Australia should consider how to "facilitate the purchase of homes for new migrants".

In a submission to a federal multicultural inquiry, the association has urged the Government to give tax deductions to newly arrived migrants so they can visit relatives in their homelands.

"Migrants face a lot of sacrifices such as having to travel long distances to visit relatives, spending on communication costs, missing out on some events occurring in native countries etc," the submission said.

"This loss should be compensated by the Government in one way or the other to retain migrants in their country of adoption." Source Daily Telegraph

Want you know my suggestion? Give them a ticket - one-way only!!!

Please share this important information with all your friends

I don't know why I didn't figure this out before!!!!!!

I wash my hair in the shower and the shampoo runs down all over my whole body. Printed very clearly on the label is the following warning: FOR EXTRA VOLUME AND BODY.

No wonder I have been gaining weight!!!!

Well, I have gotten rid of that shampoo and started using dish washing liquid instead. Its label reads, DISSOLVES FAT THAT IS OTHERWISE DIFFICULT TO REMOVE.

Problem solved! If I don't answer the phone ... I'll be in the shower!

"Riverbend" aubade

Mist on the river heralding a hot day ahead! Time to sit in the shade and do some reading and reflect on the crazy world outside Riverbend. Here's some really crazy news:

"Saudi Arabia's religious police have arrested more than 140 people for celebrating Valentine's Day. The Organisation for Promoting Virtue and Discouraging Evil says officers have punished those caught so far, and that its campaign of arrests is continuing. In a six-page statement, the religious police said they were saving women from 'deceiving men', who used the day to give the fake impression that they loved a woman while pretending to be a 'harmless lamb'. The religious authorities say Muslims who take part in Valentine's Day are in fact weak, lacking imagination, and far removed from the 'sublime and virtuous' objectives of their religion. The organisation has also confiscated all red roses from shops."

Not a good day for exporters of red roses to the world's largest sandbox!

Woman: "Don't forget, if anyone catches you with the flower, we don't know each other!"
Source: Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, February 17, 2008

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This is the mill that Jack worked at ...

"Declared open on 19th April 1987 by Mr Jack Myers
an employee engine driver & fireman of the Co.
from January 1937 to December 1973."

... for 37 years!

I discovered this little gem during another drive to Ulladulla when we strolled along the picturesque harbour to walk off some of the lunch we had overindulged in at the bowling club: pumpkin soup followed by a large Fisherman's Basket followed by a slice of cheesecake.

Who was Jack Myers? Did he have any dreams and ambitions beyond being an engine-driver and fireman at Mitchell's Mill from January 1937 until December 1973?

Perhaps the point of this cumulative tale is Jack Myers' pointless life? Perhaps Jack Myers would've been engine-driver and fireman at that Mill much longer had it not been for the Mill's closure in 1974? Perhaps the highlight of Jack Myers' life is this plaque to his extraordinary ordinariness?

I don't know! And please, don't get me wrong: I am not knocking Jack! Jack and millions like him are the red blood cells that hold our society together. All I know is that nobody is going to put my name on a plaque for having lived the same year thirty-seven times over.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

R.I.P. Tisna

Mt Gravatt Cemetery, Friday, 10th February 2011

My friend Manfred has lost his wife and friend Tisna who suffered from a debilitating illness for many years during which time Manfred was her tireless carer.

Manfred embraced Tisna's Tongan heritage wholeheartedly, and now it is their extended Tongan family, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who wholeheartedly embrace and grieve with Manfred.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Trying to keep my head above water

With 25mm of rain falling overnight and this morning looking a bit gloomy, soaking my creaky old bones in the heated indoor pool at Ulladulla seemed to be just about the only thing left to do.

Afterwards, it was lunch at the Milton Ulladulla Bowling Club - roast beef covered in thick gravy, followed by a large slice of Black Forest cake with whipped cream, all washed down with a couple of glasses of their house wine - and a romp through the hoarded treasures of a local second-hand bookseller - or should that be in today's language a pre-owned book re-allocation consultant? - before returning to the peace and quiet of "Riverbend".

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Tale of Two Properties

You have to live somewhere - it may as well be Paradise!

Last year a couple came to the house and asked, "Is this property still for sale?" (as if they didn't know: they had already been to the agent and, on hearing the price, had thought it to be too expensive; however, I didn't know this at the time).

I walked them over the property and they kept saying, "We want land, we want land". Seven acres seemed big enough because a few days later I received their email, "We’ve made some preliminary arrangements with the bank, with a view to the purchase. We’d like to arrange for their valuer to come by and appraise the property."

Then the valuer arrived. I gave him all the facts and figures, and made the off-the-cuff remark that the last offer which I had rejected had been for $1.64million.

Guess what the valuation turned out to be? Yes, you've guessed right: $1.64million!

I've no idea how much this professional valuation influenced them but their subsequent email read, "We regret to tell you that we won’t be in a position to pursue the purchase of Riverbend, as much as we’d love to."

"Riverbend" shown in yellow; the other two properties in pink
Click on image to enlarge

I replied, "'Riverbend' may have been a little too ambitious for you!", and suggested they look at a 1700 square metre property with a renovated fishing shack on it (marked "17" on the map's pink area). As I thought it overpriced at $950,000, I added, with tongue firmly in cheek, "... having us as neighbours across the lane adds thousands of dollars to the property!!! :-) "

May I ask you again to guess? Yes, you've again guessed right: they bought it for the full asking price of $950,000!

I was gobsmacked and had barely recovered when the adjacent uncleared 1700 square metre block (marked "16" on the map's pink area) came on sale and the same couple also bought it for the full asking price of $750,000!

That's $1,700,000 for a renovated wooden fishing shack on some 3400 square metres of land!

Versus $2,000,000 for "Riverbend"'s 2-storey brick residence (plus plus plus) on 29,200 square metres of land!

Methinks I'd better put the price up before people begin to wonder if there's something wrong with me or "Riverbend"! ☺

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness ..." Indeed!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Water, water everywhere and only Pino More to drink

It's raining outside so what better way to spend the day than relaxing in a hot bubble bath with a good book and a glass (or two) of wine.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Bookbag

Things looked a bit dull this morning so we went for a drive to Ulladulla to spend a couple of hours in the pool, alternating between lap-swimming and sitting immersed up to our necks in a hot-tub, and followed it up with a Beef Stroganoff, washed down with a glass of Chateau Cardboard, at the local bowling club. With plenty of time left, we drove a little farther north and wandered through the picturesque village of Milton.

Back at "Riverbend", the postman had left a book-parcel containing Eric Newby's "Departures & Arrivals", Alain de Botton's "A Week at the Airport", Michel de Montaigne's Selected Essays, and "The Journey to the East" by Hermann Hesse. Enough to keep me occupied for the rest of the week!