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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My response to the stock market turmoil


Right now, global stock markets are a disaster zone and the local market is in crash mode. It’s an all-round shocker.

The (former) commodities giant Glencore saw its share price plunge around 30% in London trade last night. BHP and RIO went along for the ride, falling around 5% each. They say Glencore could be the resource sector's Lehman Brothers.

BHP dropped below $22, offering an amazing yield for a resources company of 7.7 per cent. With 100 per cent franking, it's more like an absolutely astounding 11 per cent. At that rate, compounding semi-annually, the dividend doubles your money in less than seven years and never mind what happens to the share price.

Question is: can it afford to maintain its progressive dividend profit in the face of falling commodity prices? BHP's CEO said, "Over my dead body sounds a little strong but it's almost right," in reference to the circumstances in which he would be willing to cut the dividend.

Anyway, it's too late to panic now. I just sit on my newly-acquired Husqvarna, drive up and down my acreage, and let the carnage play itself out.


Monday, September 28, 2015

I can't spell it but I can ride it


One of the joys of owning an acreage is that you are not only working yourself into the ground but also your equipment.

My old Husqwhatever LTH1842 is totally buggered, as they say in the grass-cutting business, and I have my eyes on a YTH2242TDRF but also on my wallet as I am trying to negotiate a better price before I allow them to max out my credit card.

What made me decide on the YTH2242TDRF, I hear you ask?

The inbuilt stubby holder, of course!

Anyway, I'll keep you posted.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

My friends always offer me the perfect cup of tea


As C.S. Lewis wrote, "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'"

Well, so far I'm the only one who has his tea served in this cup every time I visit my friends.

Still, I am improving: I used to be a little shit; now I'm just an old fart.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Balcony on Shore Restaurant in Moruya


I was going to call this post "Upmarket dining in downtown Moruya" but that wouldn't give Peter & Kim Clunne's new restaurant on the upper level of the Adelaide Hotel enough exposure when people Google for a restaurant in Moruya.

When you dine with Peter & Kim, you run the risk of a double-fatality because the views from the restaurant of the Moruya River are already something to die for, but when the food arrives you could be forgiven if you thought you had died and gone to Heaven.

Peter & Kim, as you already know, operating a restaurant is not for the faint-hearted - see here - but we want you to succeed because we want to continue to enjoy your fine food and excellent service for many years to come.

They say every little bit helps and my little bit will be the website I am happy to set up for you at www.balconyonshore.com.

Give me a few days, Peter & Kim, and you'll have something to look at - and if you're happy with it, you can always spoil me with a free dessert (or two) ☺


Friday, September 25, 2015

The Snow Goose


Australia has Colin Thiele's wonderful story Storm Boy; England has Paul Gallico's short but powerful story of friendship and love, The Snow Goose, set against a backdrop of the horror of war.

I found this slim little book of just fifty pages in my favourite op-shop, and I'm so glad I did!

It's the story of a friendship between Philip Rhayader, an artist living a solitary life in an abandoned lighthouse in the marshlands of Essex because of his disabilities, and a young local girl, Fritha.

It was made into a wonderful movie with Jenny Agutter who also starred in one of my favourite movies, The Riddle of the Sands.

Sit down and relax and join me in watching this wonderful movie.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

My new marketing campaign


Some of my friends thought that my real estate ad on www.realestate.com.au was a bit too "gushy", and so I've done another one in which I tell them the facts and nothing but the facts - click here:

"The current owner is getting too old to develop this property to its full potential which creates this rare buying opportunity. The owner has lived there for over twenty years and has done all the hard work and will sell as a "going concern" with all furnishings, equipment, tractor, tools, boats, etc. together with lucrative holiday letting business. Make an offer for the lot!"

I also no longer mention a price but merely state, "Offers Wanted". However, I do mention in my last bullet point that a formal valuation in 2011 came up with a value of $1.64million. That should stop the lunatic fringe from offering me an old Seagull outboard as down-payment. ☺

Should I have mentioned that I even chuck in my button accordion? ☺



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

This proves that Saudis are smarter than Germans


Saudi Arabia will not take in one single Syrian refugee, all fellow Muslims. Instead, even though it does not permit the construction of churches in its own territory, it has offered to build 200 mosques in Germany for their use.

It's such a kind offer that only Germans would be stupid enough to fall for it.

Why is it that so few people ask themselves why the Saudis are willing to build 200 mosques for these "poor, desperate refugees", yet won't take a single one in?

Don’t take it from me. Take it from Turkey’s Erdogan, the man most popular among German Muslims, who wrote:

"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers."

Saudi Arabia has just offered to build 200 barracks for the 800,000 soldiers invading Germany, soldiers who, instead of wearing battle fatigues and carrying guns, wear designer jeans and carry smartphones.


Seniors' own texting codes


It's time seniors invented their own texting codes. Here are some suggestions:

* ATD- At the Doctor's
* BFF - Best Friends Funeral
* BTW- Bring the Wheelchair
* BYOT - Bring Your Own Teeth
* CBM- Covered by Medicare
* CUATSC- See You at the Senior Center
* DWI- Driving While Incontinent
* FWIW - Forgot Where I Was
* GGPBL- Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low
* GHA - Got Heartburn Again
* HGBM - Had Good Bowel Movement
* LMDO- Laughing My Dentures Out
* LOL- Living on Lipitor
* OMSG - Oh My! Sorry, Gas
* TOT- Texting on Toilet
* WAITT - Who Am I Talking To?

And while we're on the subject, consider this:

An elderly couple had just learned how to send text messages on their mobile phones. The wife was a romantic type and the husband was more of a no-nonsense bloke.

One afternoon, the wife went out to meet a friend for coffee. She decided to send her husband a romantic text message, and she wrote:

"If you are sleeping, send me your dreams. If you are laughing, send me your smile. If you are eating, send me a bite. If you are drinking, send me a sip. If you are crying, send me your tears. I love you."

The husband texted back to her:

"I'm on the toilet.....Please advise."

Hope this helps! GGLKI (Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking in!)


Always look on the bright side of life

This one is for my mate Ian Paterson ☺


There are times when you feel you've grown a little tired and sleepy and are full of all those days already past. When you watch the news and are convinced the world has gone stark raving mad.

When all that's in your mailbox are bills and more bills; when the share market is tanking and the weather has turned cold and windy; and when you may be excused for wondering if there is a point to it all.

For all I know, there is no point to it all.

For all I know, life is a piece of shit.

Speaking of which, one friend of mine carries a permanent colostomy bag around with him while another can only empty his bladder with the help of a catheter and a lot of K-Y Jelly. So who's complaining, eh?

Join in the madness, get into Monty Python mode, have a chuckle to stay sane, and look on the bright side of life!

Come on, I dare you! Turn up the volume! ☺

As always, your always-trying-to-look-on-the-bright-side-of-life

P.S. If none of this helps, buy yourself something nice - click here


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Spring into the equinox


The equinox - derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night) - is the day when daytime and night are of approximately equal duration which occurs twice a year, around 20 March and 22 September.

When Julius Caesar established his calendar in 45 BC, he set 25 March as the spring or vernal - from Latin ver for spring - equinox. Of course, he didn't know about us down here where the spring equinox occurs in September which is why the names March equinox and September equinox are gaining popularity since they are without the ambiguity as to in which hemisphere they occur.

Well, there's nothing ambiguous about the September equinox to me: it's that day of the year when I gradually swap insomnia for indolence as the sleepless nights shorten and the lazy days lengthen.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Up- and Downloads


How often have you viewed a video clip on the internet, only to find it was gone next time you wanted to see it?

There are many ways to download a video clip to your own computer's harddrive. The easiest way I found was to go to computerhope.com 's webpage, enter the URL (website address) where the video resides against item 2, then click on the DOWNLOAD VIDEO button next to it.

You will be taken to a second page on which you click the green DOWNLOAD button and away you go!

Of course, you can also upload the clip to your own YouTube account. Just go to www.youtube.com/upload and follow the prompts.


Some light Sunday entertainment

This is a full-length movie. Sit back and relax!


The South Seas have always been a favourite setting for romantic pictures ever since "Moana of the South Seas" and Dorothy Lamour.

Somerset Maugham's famous "Rain" has been filmed several times, but never in the actual locale of the story, Pago Pago.

Tahiti saw the filming of Nordhoff and Hall's novel "Mutiny on the Bounty", and Bora Bora was the inspiration for the same authors' "The High Barbaree", an exquisite story wretchedly pictured.

"Return to Paradise", starring Gary Cooper, was filmed in the village of Lefaga in Samoa, some fifty miles from the port town of Apia, about as far away as one can get without leaving the island entirely. The village is straight out of a fairy story and the lovely bay on which it is located was for a few weeks in 1952 inundated by Hollywood.

The movie takes me back to my time in Samoa in 1978 - click here. And, yes, of course, I visited and swam off what became known as Return to Paradise Beach. It's so long ago now but not forgotten!

What was then a pristine and almost forgotten beach has now become a luxury resort, the Return to Paradise Resort, with room rates starting at $275 a night.


Friday, September 18, 2015

My valley is changing


The building of the giant open-cut copper mine on the island of Bougainville, of which I was part as senior auditor for the American construction company Bechtel Corporation from 1970 to 1973, brought profound change to local landowners.

Despite royalties, training programs and extensive development, landowner concerns eventually escalated into conflict, which resulted in the closure of the mine in 1989. These issues are already clearly evident in the film My Valley is Changing, made shortly after the mine opened in 1970.

My work on this project, the then largest construction job in the world, was a major milestone in my private and professional life which I celebrate in my Bougainville Copper Project website and blog.

Needless to say, I bought this 26-minute film which is available for $24.95 (plus postage) from the National Film & Sound Archive of Australia - watch this short excerpt:

In this clip, Gregory Kopa, a resident of Moroni village, explains that the local people were fearful of the consequences of a mine and how he told the CRA mining company and the government (Papua New Guinea was then under Australian Administration) about their opposition to the mine, which was to be located on land traditionally owned by his people. In response, Gregory was told that the resources found on his land belonged not just to his people, but to everyone in Papua New Guinea.

Should you wish to order a copy yourself, simply click here, change your pricing category to "Home DVD", then go to "How to Order", or click here for the ready-made order form.

And here's a video clip from the ABC Australia:

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Umbrella's only what?


As a paid-up member of the Apostrophe Protection Society, Im alway's on the look-out for abuse'd apostrophe's, so when I spotted this receptacle for umbrella's at my local swimming pool today, I couldnt resist the question, "Umbrella's only what?"

There was no reply and I drowned my disappointment in the pool, after which I trawled my favourite op-shop for some interesting books.

I found Google Speaks - Secrets of the World's Greated Billionaire Entrepreneurs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page by Janet Lowe and The End of Iraq - How American Incompetence created a War without End, published in 2006 but still relevant if you simply swap Iraq for Syria.

The End of Iraq presents the definitive account of a failed American policy initiative that
has resulted in the disintegration of that country and a more dangerous Middle East

I also found four good DVDs: Catch-22 (who hasn't read Joseph Heller's book?), The Man with the Golden Arm (with Frank Sinatra playing a heroin addict), 23 Paces to Baker Street (a Hitchcockian mystery thriller), and Richard Dawkins' documentary The Root of All Evil?

This documentary should be required viewing for everybody. Religion, ANY religion, has a lot to answer for. As the physicist Steven Weinberg wrote, “Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”


The invasion of Europe


An eye-witness account from Kamil Bulonis, a Polish travel blog writer, who was present on the Italian-Austrian border on September 5, 2015, as swarms of Third World nonwhites poured across the border to invade Austria and Germany (translated from Polish): (all pictures from the Hungarian-Austrian border)

“Half an hour ago on the border between Italy and Austria I saw with my own eyes a great many immigrants … With all solidarity with people in difficult circumstances I have to say that what I saw arouses horror … This huge mass of people – sorry, that I’ll write this – but these are absolute savages … Vulgar, throwing bottles, shouting loudly “We want to Germany!” – and is Germany a paradise now? I saw how they surrounded a car of an elderly Italian woman, pulled her by her hair out of the car and wanted to drive away in the car. They tried to overturn the bus I travelled in myself with a group of others. They were throwing faeces at us, banging on the doors to force the driver to open them, spat at the windscreen … I ask for what purpose? How is this savagery to assimilate in Germany?

I felt for a moment like in a war … I really feel sorry for these people, but if they reached Poland – I do not think that they would get any understanding from us … We were waiting three hours at the border which ultimately we could not cross. Our whole group was transported back to Italy in a police-cordon. The bus is damaged, covered with faeces, scratched, with broken windows. And this is supposed to be an idea for demographics? These big powerful hordes of savages? Among them there were virtually no women, no children — the vast majority were aggressive young men … Just yesterday, while reading about them on all the websites I subconsciously felt compassion, worried about their fate but today after what I saw I am just afraid and yet I am happy that they did not choose our country as their destination. We Poles are simply not ready to accept these people – neither culturally nor financially. I do not know if anyone is ready. To the EU a pathology is marching which we had not yet a chance to ever see, and I am sorry if anyone gets offended by his entry …

I can add that cars arrived with humanitarian aid – mainly food and water and they were just overturning those cars … Through megaphones the Austrians announced that there is permission for them to cross the border—they wanted to register them and let them go on—but they did not understand these messages. They did not understand anything. And this was the greatest horror … For among those few thousand people nobody understood Italian or English, or German, or Russian, or Spanish … What mattered was fist law… They fought for permission to move on and they had this permission— but did not realize that they had it! They opened the luggage hatches of a French bus—and everything that was inside was stolen within short time, some things left lying on the ground … Never in my short life had I an opportunity to see such scenes and I feel that this is just the beginning.”

What is happening here? Did several hundred thousand people suddenly decide to seek refuge in Europe or is this an orchestrated exodus of Islamic people to unsettle the Western World and perhaps lead them into another war? This is one huge Trojan Horse and it has bolted.

Muammar Gaddafi was not the sharpest knife in the drawer but he was right on the money when he stated in 2010 that “There are signs that Allah will grant victory to Islam in Europe without sword, without gun, without conquest. We don’t need terrorists; we don’t need homicide bombers. The 50-plus million Muslims (in Europe) will turn it into the Muslim Continent within a few decades.”




Well, this is it then: the three scores and ten are behind me; what's ahead of me is all bonus!

I suppose, deep down, we all believe we deserve a good, safe, comfortable, middle-class Aussie life of at least 70 - 75? - years, and that not getting it would be hellishly unfair. And yet to believe this is ridiculous.

Billions of people have died before they reach the age of five. Billions more have lived their whole life without a fraction of the comfort or opportunities we enjoy.

So it's perhaps time to reflect and to think how lucky I was to have had 70 years of healthy living, full of opportunities.

And perhaps it's also time to forget about The Road Not Taken and live more in the moment.

The past is gone, the future is fantasy, and I have already lost far too many moments dwelling in both.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bring on the bacon, I say!


This is a picture of Morad Almuradi. He's obviously someone who, having found refuge in Holland, now wants to chew off the arm that feeds him by demanding the immediate cancellation of the 'un-Islamic' Oktoberfest. As he wrote here:


Dear City council of Munich,

I am writing this letter to bring to your attention something that I and many Muslims believe is unfair and requires attention. I would like to inform you that the Oktoberfest is an Intolerant and Anti-Islamic event. We tried to ignore the event, but there too many Un-Islamic acts done at the Oktoberfest. Such as alcohol consumption, public nudity etc.

We understand that the Oktoberfest is a yearly German tradition, but we, Muslims, can not tolerate this Un-Islamic event, because it offends us and all Muslims on the earth. We are requesting the immediate cancellation of the upcoming Oktoberfest event.

We also believe that the Oktoberfest might also offend all the Muslim refugees coming from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. The cancellation of the Oktoberfest event will help refugees not to forget their Islamic history. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely, Morad Almuradi


I can't believe it!


Hamid? It's me, Ramzi! You really can't believe what you read in the papers.
We've found the refugee camp - and it's absolutely fantastic!


Already, in deference to Muslims, Germans are calling their Christmas Fairs 'Winter Markets', and now this?

Bring on the bacon, I say!