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Saturday, 31 December 2011

ALONE AGAIN

Well here it is, New Years Eve and I'm alone again.

Not really alone, rather I chose to be at home with my dog.
There is always fireworks on New Years Eve and dogs just dont like them.

But I have this strange dog who will sit on my feet and quiver during thunder or fireworks but if I take her outside where she can see the lightening or the sky lit by fireworks, she is quite content.

So we have a bottle of champagne, one glass and a dogs lead at the ready and we will be off to the beach to see the new year in.

Maybe it will be a lucky night
A couple of years ago half my champagne was consumed by teenage skinny dipping girls, running from the water to drink.
My dog didnt mind---she went swimming with them---and of course, I didn't object to the sight of naked young girls.

I doubt that will ever happen again, but I can dream.

Happy New Year to you all----I wish you all well and hope that this next year will bring you health, joy, contentment, and love.
If you wanted wealth, good luck with that---somehow, I think we have to work for it.

If you have love, you are wealthy beyond all dreams

See you on the other side

Party like there is no tomorrow---it will get here---see you on the other side

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

BELIEFS


Yes, it is me and my older brother and I did believe in Santa Claus

I'm not sure when I stopped believing or why I stopped.
Was it that I already knew but it was easier to get things from my parents if I asked Santa.
I do remember getting into trouble with a neighbour when I told one of their younger children that there was no Santa.

Are our beliefs only there to comfort us and when they dont work to our advantage, then we change.

I went to Presbyterian Sunday School and had a belief in a God and maybe a Jesus---I really dont recall.

I'm not sure if I had a second comming of belief in my teen years when I went to church youth meetings or if it was just that I just liked a few of the girls there---ok, one girl---hello Julie Pender

A Monsignor of the Catholic Church told me one day, that he thought that a lot of people who went to a "House of God" every sunday, only went to be seen by others and a lot who stayed at home had God in their heart and their house..
Do those who go, think that they are in the fast lane to something good ?

I had some sort of belief in a God until my brother died.
If there was a God, why would he let such a good man suffer and why would he let him die so early.
Why would such a God let bad things happen to children.

So I say that I dont believe---but every now and again, I yell at him on the beach and want answers to some questions----but he never answers.

Dont get me wrong. If you have a belief and that belief gives you some joy, I am happy for you.

It's funny that Chistians and Muslims believe in the same God, but they take their teachings from two diferent books written by men---and because those men had opposing views, then there is two opposing religions----and funny, it is a belief in the writings of men that make two groups have an opposing view on the same piece of history---
Hey guys, I might be right but I respect your right to believe.

If you believe in Santa, may he bring you everything you may wish for.
If you believe in God, may he answer your prayers

But no matter what you believe, may we all have peace, may you all have happiness, but most of all, may you be tolerant of the needs and beliefs of others

Friday, 18 November 2011

PLANNED TO BE LUCKY

I really dont know why things clicked early in my life, but I had this idea that I needed long term plans and goals.
They all seemed easier and cheaper to achieve if there was plenty of time allowed.

At the age of 17, I chose to invest in superanuation for my retirement and I made a decision to invest in a pension scheme, rather than a lump sum payout scheme. Somehow I worked out that the large lump sum at 17 wouldn't look that large when I reached 60, but if I was paid a fortnightly sum based on a percentage of my retiring salary, then I might be getting value at current day levels.

When my marriage ended, my ex-wife made sure that there was not a lot left for me in divorce property settlement. There was just enough for a deposit on a new house, but I chose to invest that in blue chip shares with dividend reinvest options and took to working four nights a week and weekends, beside my five day a week job.
Two years later I bought a house with a lot bigger deposit and still had my investment

My brother died young and I got a sum of money from his estate. I could have paid it off my house mortgage but chose to invest in another blue chip, reinvest dividend scheme that I was warned against by a financial planner.

Nine years ago, I built a new house. For me, it could have been a lot smaller, but I couldn't help but look at resale value and the off chance of a partner with a family.

Two years ago, I paid my house off and at the age of 60, my superanuation scheme matured and having saved my long service leave entitlements, I could retire from work with a substantial payout for that leave and claim my superanuation pension.

I laughed when I found out that my fortnightly pension with a retirement taxation bracket and no longer contributing to my superanuation scheme, wopuld actually be more than my final working day salary.

I am lucky. Not having to cash my investments actually means that because of the world wide financial crisis, I am accumulating more shares at a lesser price from my dividends and I have no doubt that they will regain their value.

I wanted to be in Scotland by now, to visit my mothers birth place and there is a couple of people there who I would like to meet---and of course, Ireland---there is a guy there I want to meet.
But if I wait two and a half years, I will be at official retiring age and get a government pension and a few worthwhile perks.---And I can cash one of those investments and make it a big trip.

So looking ahead and planning a few things, can make you lucky

And comming here occasionally, I am lucky to meet some very nice people

Sunday, 16 October 2011

MY JOB ATE MY LIFE

All through my life I have never been one to have a big circle of friends.

At school it was always one or two friends, but a lot of school friendships.
From the age of 7, I was always friends with one guy
We went through different sporting careers, ran with different groups but we always came back together as that friend that you can always depend on.

He joined the airforce and was posted to interstate and overseas bases, but we always kept in touch
I went on with life with friends from sport and from work and I had another life with my horses and made friends there, but in the end, they seemed to move on when things changed.
I still see a lot of them but they are more acquaintances than friends.

I got married and moved to another area---all of our friends seemed to be my wifes's family or friends of their family.
For six years I did not see my school mate because of an argument between wives.
I worked two jobs to buy a house and make things more comfortable in my married life.

My marriage ended and so did all of the friendships from that time but luckily my old school friend was there for me----
I lost my house and most of my money in a fairly bitter divorce---bitter I suppose because she wanted everything including my dog and didn't care what she did or said to get it
The only thing that was never mentioned was my retirement insurance (superanuation)----so I never mentioned it and gave her the rest.

My life was turned on it's head so I turned to work to try to re-establish myself and unfortunately got lost in working.
I worked all of the overtime that I could get and worked nights and weekends to get myself back on top.

I made it---I bought a house, I bought a new car and had my finances back in very good order.
The only thing I forgot to do was to socialiize with people from work or make time to find and establish friendships.
Yes, I made a lot of work friends, but they were work friends---friends at work and the occasional work function

My school friend was still there and once out of the airforce, ended up working with me----we drove home every night together.
A strange, lonely married girl came into my life and we became very good friends---she lived close to me and our regular friday night involved a few hours at a local bar with her and my best mate.

My school friend, my best mate, always wanted to move to one of our warmer northern states, but for years we talked about retiring together, playing very bad golf and travelling together---his wife was happy with that because Europe did not interest her and she was happy to get him out of the house occasionally.
But two years before retirement, he bought a block of land in one of those warmer states and ended up retiring a year before me and moving to his new home.
The friday night drinks stopped when the strange girl left her husband and moved away.

I didn't really notice til I retired that working those long hours had left me with no social life and only work mates---and of course, my work mates are still at work.

Yes, I holiday in the northern state with my friend and I often talk to the strange girl, but I realise now that they are my only real friends in life.

Yes, it is a good feeling to own your own home and to have enough money to live on, but it would be a lot more enjoyable with friends.

Dont forget every aspect of your life---money isn't everything

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

USEFUL INFORMATION

Q:�Where can men over the age
of 60 find younger, sexy
women who are interested
in them?
A:�Try a bookstore under fiction.

Q:�What can a man do while his
wife is going through
menopause?
A:�Keep busy. If you're handy with
tools, you can finish the basement.
When you're done you'll have a
place to live.

Q:�Someone has told me that
menopause is mentioned in the bible. Is that true?


A:�Yes. Matthew 14:92:
"And Mary rode Joseph's ass
all the way to Egypt."

Q:�How can you increase the
heart rate of your 60-plus
year old husband?
A:�Tell him you're pregnant..

Q:�How can you avoid that
terrible curse of the elderly
wrinkles?
A:�Take off your glasses.

Q:�Seriously! What can I do for these Crow's feet and all those wrinkles on my face?
A:�Go braless. It will usually pull them out.

Q:�Why should 60-plus year old people use valet parking?
A:�Valets don't forget where they park your car.

Q:�Is it common for 60-plus year olds to have problems with short term memory storage?
A:�Storing memory is not a problem, Retrieving it is the problem.

Q:�As people age, do they sleep more soundly?
A:�Yes, but usually in the afternoon.

Q:�Where should 60-plus year olds look for eye glasses?
A:�On their foreheads.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

BE PREPARED

There are so many things in our lives that we have to prepare for.

We start preparing from very early in life----that big preparation to leave your mothers side and go to school----the preparation (study) for exams at school---that preparation of taking the right courses at school to be ready for that chosen profession.

There is nothing more certain in life than death and taxes.
No matter what we do, we will pay some Government levy---hey, they find some way of getting it out of you.

But do we prepare well enough for the biggest certainty in live.

Ok, you're going to tell be that you have a will, but is it up to date and is it good enough to ensure that your intended beneficiaries actually get the desired benefit with the least fuss and cost.
Does your will have a flow on clause on the off chance that a beneficiary actually dies before you.

The fact is in most of the western world, if you die without a will, your estate will go to your nearest living relative.
My brother died without a will, so his estate should have gone to my parents. The problem with that was that they were on means tested government pensions which would have been reduced by a percentage because of their new found funds.
Luckily I could get them to sign away their entitlement to my favour and I could siphon the funds to them as they required anything. But that took some time and me engaging the services of an estate paralegal---luckily I was friends with the Registrar of Probates for my State and did not need a solicitor for my advice.
Because of the experience, I queried that my parents had good binding will and discovered that like a lot of people from their era, they had will made with a trustee company. I other words, these companies administer the estate of deceased and take a percentage fee for doing so---
In my parents case they had what is called reciprocal wills---each left their estate to the other except if their partner predeceased them, then it went equally divided to their surviving children.
That's fine and simple except my mother would have incurred a debt when my father died to pay the trustees percentage fees and I would have a similar debt when my mother died.
It is cheap to do a will with a trustee company but not so cheap on the beneficiaries----and unfortunately they are black and white---so if you have 5 benificiaries to receive equal value and you have not stipulated any other divisions, then all of your estate must be sold and divided equally----so no one gets granny's ring or the piano from the parlor unless they buy it back from the estate public auction.

The first thing I did after my divorce was finalised was to make a will----because it doesn't matter that you are divorced, you ex spouse can claim to be your nearest living relative and claim your estate.

Look, I'm not going to tell you that will kits are dangerous---hell, they are better than nothing and most of us have someone who we can trust to administer the terms of the will and not try to rip everyone off.
But if you dont want the fights to happen and the whys to be asked and debated, get an estate lawyer to draw up your will and for a fairly modest fee, get them to administer it for you----and for god sake, tell your spouse/family/friends where they will find your will.

Oh, and funeral insurance is not worth having---the premiums will increase as you get older to a point where it becomes unaffordable and it is not a savings bond---dont pay a weekly/monthly premium and it is void---
If you want to purchase a prepaid funeral, do it through a reputable funeral director and it will be a dividend earning bond there for a fully paid funeral.
If you have your will in the hands of an efficient solicitor, your family wont have to worry about funeral costs because your solicitor can negotiate that the costs are an equal division for your estate.

Hey, morbid, maybe, but a guarantee that one day your beneficiaries will collect.

Mine---well ok, I'm single and have no children---so the 1st beneficiary is my dog with her own money and I already have someone who will take her with or without her inheritance, then the rest has percentage divisions between friends and a friend's children.

So make sure that you are ready----it doesn't take too much planning

Oh, one of you is in my will

Saturday, 10 September 2011

765

765

Amazing, I could not believe it, but there they were, 765 of them

I have been trying to get my account to operate properly for some time now.
I have been unable to comment on some of my favourite blogs and at times, even reply to comments on my own blog, so I have been tinkering around trying to come up with a solution.

Maybe close down and restart, but why should I-----so yesterday I thought that I would go through by blog from the very start
Hey, I even enjoyed reading a few comments til I came to one post that had 277 comments-----277, never had more than 50 comments ever, so I checked them.
There over a period of time in foreign languages, mainly Asian and Arabic were inane remarks with links to other sites.
I started to delete them singularly at the post comment site but it would have taken forever, so I resorted to the comment section of my dashboard and found 765 of these comment posts littered through three years of posts.

I dont know if any of this will help my situation but I cant help but wonder why people take the time to come to a public forum and litter it with absolute rubbish----and maybe infect the forum

I have removed all 765 posts and please dont worry that I might infect you---I have disinfected my keyboard and I am wearing rubber gloves to type

Thursday, 1 September 2011

SIGN OF THE TIMES

There is no doubt that technology has taken over this world but has it come just a little bit too far.

For those of us who were a little bit shy and extremely inexperienced with those of the female gender, it was a daunting experience to actually ask out that girl who you fancied.

There wasn't the thought of first base or second base, it was more the hope that she might actually go out with you-----
Of course you could phone her but her mother or father normally answerred the phone and put you through the inquisition before you could talk to her and then if she said yes, you had to pick her up at her parents door and suffer the glares of her parents and little brother.

Of course you could approach her face to face but she was usually surrounded by her girlfriends and a knock back was usually amplified by the number of her girlfriends and of course you couldn't ask them out because they knew that they weren't your first choice.

But then technology made it so easy----every girl has her own phone----and you don't even have to talk to her, you just send a text message and see if she replies----the embarrassment factor has gone.

How easy has technology made things for young guys----well even easier when it is now appropriate for a girl to ask a guy out.

But now here it is----you dont phone, you dont send a text message, you sent a photo of your genitals to a girl and if she reciprocates you are at second base before reaching her front door.
And if she doesn't and shows the photo to her friends, you might receive a reply from one of them.
Or you end up with your bits on a facebook page.

Whatever you think, sexting is the new big thing of the world.
Personally, I have never given it a try----some might say at my age that it is just as well.

But I must say that I am not adverse to receiving and mail---oh, except from the guys---no non no

Monday, 29 August 2011

BAD BLOOD

Health wise, I have lived a pretty charmed life, especially for a guy who still smokes far too many cigarettes.

Unlike most guys that I know, I made a decission some years ago, that it was a good idea to actually go to a doctor whenever I was suffering from unexplained symptoms.
Actually I have always been moderately careful since having a malignant growth cut from my arm at the age of 12------but a lot more alert since my brother died of cancer at the age of 44.

So since that time I have a full check up every year and every three years I let some surgeon take a magical mystery tour through my colon----my father had two bouts of colon cancer and my brother died of secondary cancers to an advanced colon cancer.

Last week I made my appointment with my local doctor to have my check up. He was quite amazed with his initial findings from an aging smokers body but of course was obliged to give me the mandatory anti smoking lecture----I didn't have the heart to tell him that I smoked twice as much as I was prepared to declare to him. He then passed me over to a pathology nurse to take sufficiet blood to do a myriad of tests.

Now this lady was not young and I'm guessing that she had a fair bit of experience in her field, but she had great difficulty in extacting blood from me---said it was my fault---I should drink more fluids and doctors should tell fasting patients to drink plenty of water before presenting to have blood taken---she tried both arms at the inner elbow and my right wrist but extracted a minimal amount---she told me how good she was and divided the sample into three and said that it would be sufficient.

Two days later I received a phone call advising me to come and see my doctor as soon as possible---the caller was the nurse at the doctor's practice so I asked if my blood results were that bad----she said that they weren't good, so I asked her to get another pathology form from the doctor so that I could get more blood tested at another pathology firm---I told her of my experience with the pathology nurse and how small the samples would have been-----she told me to come in straight away and she would take the blood for testing.
She was shocked to see the bruising in both elbows and my right wrist but miraculously extracted plenty of blood for all of the tests to be done.
She called me two days later and asked that I come and see the doctor, but at my leasure.

The doctor was amazed at the two tests----said he was very worried at my acidic levels in the first test and how fast my blood had coagulated during testing----but the second test showed everything was fine except my colesterol levels----funny about that Doc, but I have an underactive thyroid and take medication for it---he looked at my records and smiled.
You see, if you have an underactive thyroid, no matter if you are on medication, your colesterol levels are elevated naturally.

The doctor did tell me that if he was guided by my initial blood test, he would think he was working on a man with kidney and liver failure and that my life expectancy was minimal---
Lucky I had that second test

There is nothing like a second opinion

Friday, 19 August 2011

SIGN OF THE TIMES

Political correctness has changed advertising and publications over the years, but sometimes I do wonder if it is for the better.

Sure, I dont think that household appliances should be advertised as something for the "little woman" or that cigarettes should be advertised as cool but I do worry about some things that are now agressively advertised that never saw the light of day in the past.

Not so much for the product or the indended audience, but for the children who see these adverts and for their parents who have to answer the child's questions.

How do you explain the uses and needs for condoms to a 9 year old and what do you say to your son about tampons and pads with wings----

Maybe that is not so bad in todays liberal community and I dont believe in lying to children---but OK, try to explain pads for urinary incontinence or what prostate problems are..

Advertising is a great way to get information to people---and can be very comforting to some people who have been suffering in silence, thinking that they have an unusual problem, but in the hands of children can be very confusing.

Did you know that untreated premature ejaculation can lead to impotence ?
Well, to a young guy just starting the adventure of his life, this is a very scary inaccurate statement, but important information for someone later in life.

That is the problem with a lot of advertising today----it is accurate in the right circumstance but can cause unwarranted fear to others who are in another circumstance.

The question to women of "Do you have trouble reaching orgasm?" can have a medical remedy if you are sexually active mature woman--but if you are 16 it is more likely that your boyfriend only last 25 seconds and isn't worried about you.

So its fine to advertise everything, but know that your message is reaching an audience with more questions than you are answerring---and that you are leaving some very uncomfortable parents to answer some of those questions.

Oh, and it used to be that young boys would hide a magazine that they got from some neighbour or friend---it could usually be found under the matress in their bedroom or they would smuggle it into the toilet for some one on one time----but kids today have it so much easier---they just covet the ladies underwear section from the variety chain store.
Ok, the girls probably take the mens underwear section.

At least we are not teaching kids that owner operator action will send you blind----well, I haven't seen that advert yet

Friday, 29 July 2011

COMFORT ZONES

All through our lives we find situations that allow us to feel comfortable and at peace with the world.

Sometimes it is as simple as a place that we like to visit that we either enjoy or feel at peace by just being there----it can be that place we like to escape to when other things in our life seem to be in a state of turmoil.

If you have had a good relationship with your parents, just visiting them or being in the "safety" of their home can make the worries of the world just disappear.
Of course, your parents visiting you in your home and staying for some time can have another result.

And your home can be your comfort zone
Especially if after turmoil living with others, you live alone and have your own routines.
Sure, at times it can be lonely, but the advantages of being able to do what you want, when you what and even with whoever you want seem to out weigh everything else.

Either you haven't been here before or you are blind Freddie to not know that I get a lot of comfort from walking on the beach with my dog.
Our walks are always relaxing and even though we are usually alone, we are always in great company-----funny how you see more or hear more and appreciate your surroundings more when you are just strolling though life.

Barring a few short relationships, I have lived alone for quite some time.
I am comfortable living alone
I eat what and when I want---I sleep what ever hours I want---I watch whatever television I want----I surf the net and visit whatever sites I want----I walk the house dressed or undressed as I want----I am comfortable in my life and in my house.

A couple of years ago, a girl came to work in my office on a casual basis--although very bright and pleasant, she had a sadness about her which seemed to be tearing her apart.
Being single and attractive, she soon became the target of mostly unwanted attention and enquiries. She seemed to be more comfortable in my company and confided a little of her past history.
She had spent some years in the Navy as a university educated officer but had been subjected to some fairly nasty inuendo because of her gender (nothing like the old boys clubs in the armed forces) and although not discharged, her active service had been suspended on medical grounds.
She had been married and had a child and lost custody of her little girl to her ex husband because of her "navy lifestyle" and those "medical grounds"
She was trying to get her life back together, but was struggling with finances and sharing accomodation with a guy who was not supportive and was basically getting her to spend as she earned.

Although I am very comfortable living alone, I do have a fairly large house with two bathrooms, and I couldn't help but offer her free accomodation to help her get back on her feet.

It took less than a two for things to start going wrong.
Her casual contract in my office expired and her temp agency couldn't find her another contract.
She wouldn't register for unemployment benefits ----she approached the Navy to try to activate her service but they refused on medical grounds---I queried that she should be receiving some sort of invalid pension from the Navy and approached a friend of mine who was the Judge Advocate General for this State who confirmed her entitlement---but she would not apply.
For two months she stayed in my house, smoked my cigarettes, ate my food, used my car and did nothing to earn her keep---no cooking, no cleaning, very little conversation and would hibernate in her bedroom from about an hour after I got home, til I left in the morning.
She made me feel very uncomfortable in my own house.
She didn't want to come with me when I walked my dog, or anywhere I suggested that we went at night, but was critical that I was just like everyone else, leaving her alone all of the time.
Luckily, she had some contact from her father in another State and decided that she should pack up and go "home" for a while----
Funny that she had no money for food or her own cigarettes but found enough for an airfare home----but at the airport, her baggage was 32 kilograms over weight and with "no money", the options were that I took the excess home and frieghted it to her or I paid the $200 excess and was rid of her----there went $200, which she said that she would send me.
But I had my house back and I was comfortable again----oh, and I never heard from her again and never saw that $200 again.

I have just dropped a friend of mine at her cousins house---she will be there for the weekend and with other friends for a few days before going back to her home state-----
She has just left her husband and stayed with me for 10 days----she has her problems, not the least being that she has MS.
From day one she was critical of my lifestyle and asked that I not smoke in front of her---on our first trip to the supermarket she got me to buy plug-in room deodorisers.
Because of her MS, she could not walk very fast or very far but she insisted on comming on my daily walk to the beach and was critical if I left her to go further with my dog.
She lived her disease and wanted to visit other people with the same affliction but didn't want me to meet them because her husband might find out that she was staying with me.
I cooked for her, I washed for her and I cleaned for her----she couldn't wash dishes because I should have a dishwasher, like she does.
My heater was running from morning to night, lights were on during the day because she doesn't like to wear her glasses----she would comment that she could still smell me smoking outside.
I fealt very uncomfortable in my own house.

We have our comfort zones and have to be careful of inviting others in.
Maybe I am too set in my ways, yet most of my friends find me very tolerant and adaptable.
Or maybe I have that sign on me "Use as you wish and treat how you like"

I may be a bit more reluctant the future----
But, ok, I know you---you are ok---you can come and stay.
Thank god I can fart again now

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

TAKE YOUR CHANCES

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

FAMILY

I was born into a family with one other child---and that's the way it stayed.
My paternal grandparents died in my first 18 months of life and my father was an only child---so I know little about that side of the family, other than my gradfather had two brothers, one who died in his 20s and the other alienated himself from the family.
Growing up, my maternal gradparents lived on an adjoining property and I was raised with all things Scottish, aunts, uncles and ten cousins----there never needed to be an excuse for the whole family to get together at my granparents house, which often spilled over into our yard.
In my mid teens, both of my gradparents died and so did the regular family socializing.
I married but had no children and many problems ended that liason.
My only brother died far too soon and my parents who were great supporters of everything I attempted have gone.

As far as family is concerned, I have some regular contact with two cousins, but that's my lot.----

Well so I thought.

I have searched a little of my paternal side and found that I am named after my paternal great gradfather who migrated alone from Denmark---he was a Master Mariner---a ships captain and was part owner of trading vessels plying the coast line of South Australia----kind of pioneering and romantic---except when I found one of his ships registration, changing it's name because it had been a slave trading vessel from South Africa.

But last week my family became substantially larger.
No, I haven't been breeding----well, nothing productive---well, not that I know of.
I got a phone call from a lovely lady who was tracing her husbands family. I gave her as much information as I had on my paternal grandparents and great grandparents---but she gave me more.
Yes, my great grandfather did migrate from Denmark---and yes, he did produce three sons with my great grandmother---but before that, he had 7 children with his first wife, who he met soon after arriving in Australia-- and of course they have all had families and families and families.
So this phone call has added another 140 plus relatives.
And I wondered what had happened to the old man's money.

I have a dream to visit Scotland and walk in the footsteps of my maternal Grandparents.
My Granfather was one of 7 children. Four migrated to Australia and I met and loved them all----and I do keep in touch with some 2nd or 3rd cousins who all live in another State---maybe it's because thay are a little older than be and when I first met them, they were beautiful teenage girls and I was a hormone driven 12 or 13 year old.
But there must be family in Scotland and I will try to find them before I go.
Yesterday I was sorting through some old stuff of my mothers----in an envelope there was a whole lot of old style computer printouts with names, birth and death details and some addresses for a whole lot of people I had never heard of.
Most of them live or lived in the USA and Canada but as I sorted through them the Scottish trail started to come to the fore until there in front of me was details of my grandmothers family.
It's funny that in all of these years I have found traces of the Robertson family---my gradfathers family, but somehow never thought that my grandmother had a family of her own----and there it was, my grandmother, a Cochrane and one of six children.
It's funny, that with the Scottish trait of allocating mothers maiden names, or grandmothers maiden names, as christian names of children, I somehow thought that my granny's maiden name was Malcolm---but that was her mother's maiden name and she was a Cochrane with half of her family living in the USA----and there is a great mob of them.

So answer one phone call and open one envelope and half the world could be related to me----I guess I'm not alone.

Immediate family, I have none
Fairly close, I have a few
But extended family, it could be you

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

GOOD OLD REMEDIES

It really doesn't matter how far medicine and science advances, we keep looking back at some of the good old remedies.

Whenever I got a cold, my mother would always offer to rub some Vicks Vaporub on my chest----so whenever any of my female friends get a cold, I make the offer.

My wonderful old horse trainer used to come up with some wonderful remedies for a lot of things----including boiling up stinging nettles to make a tea to drink to move kidney stones.

A lot of old remedies used with great success have included what we now know as deadly poisons---but in small doses, all poisons are stimulants.

I'm qite happy to try most of these old remedies but there are a few that I will just have to let pass into history


Thursday, 26 May 2011

CENSORSHIP

I must admit to having a fairly liberal view on what we should be able to say or see or do.
But having said that, I most certainly believe in censorship and the protection of children, animals and any adult of a diminished capacity.

I do believe in the freedoms---the freedom of the press, the freedom of religious expression and the equality of genders and races.

Australia has a fairly liberal standard of what can be shown or said in the electronic media (that's TV and Radio)---often only cersored by the time of the broadcast or telecast.
I believe that our standards are shared and accepted by most western nations although some may be a little more liberal.

Of course I will never believe that pornography should be available in any form that minors can access.

But tonight, I heard something on a local TV show and checked it out on line, that actually disturbed me.
It was not something that I thought could or would happen in a country with so much freedom and the rights to so much freedom entrenched in their laws.

In 2004 there was a live telecast of the Superbowl that stopped the nation in the USA and Canada---yes the Canadians love the game, or at least this season ending big game.
Sponsors pay millions of dollars to advertise duing the Superbowl and of course there is alway high class entertainment.
In 2004, part of the entertainment was Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson and you would have to be living under a rock, not to remember that there was a "costume malfunction" and one of Ms Jackson's ample breasts was shown to the world------look, go and search the net and you will find every other bit of Janet Jackson available for your viewing pleasure----but this was just a slip or a pre-planned slip, lasting a matter of seconds---blink and you missed it.
But this was on live television throughout the USA and Canada---so the broadcasting authorities in the USA received in excess of 540,000 complaints------yes, count the zeros---over half a million people in the US took time to register a complaint.
But that is only the US----there was another 50 people in Canada complained to the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council----yes, that's right 50 and 49 of those were probably border hoppers on holiday from the US.

I have nothing left to say, but I have to wonder how many complaints there may have been if Justin had dropped his pants or if Janet had groped him.
I'm thinking that there is 540,000 phones on speed dial in the bible belt of the US just incase some girl in a blue dress gets her job back at the Whitehouse.

Get a life

Friday, 20 May 2011

HE'S HERE

The winner is ----AUSTRALIA

The wait is over

The Doomsdayers have nothing left to say
The Mormons can pack up and go home
The Christadelphians are going to have to rethink their "chosen ones" title
And no longer will the Vatican City be the centre of the Christian world.

Jesus is here
Well, not right here but he is in Queensland---our northern sunshine state.
Who would have thought
From my experience of Queensland, I doubted that they could find three wise men or a virgin but I guess that I was wrong.

Now apparently he has lived in my state--he was actually "born" here---ah, we have wise people and virgins----and he was married and has a couple of children---ah, right, Howard wanted him to experience a few things this time---but the marriage ended when he started having memories of his past life---and he has had another name----Alan.
ALAN--no wonder we didn't recognise him before----that would be just like HOWARD, to send him here under an assumed name, just in case we decided on nailing him up again but it looks like we passed the test.

And would you believe it---Mary has come with him---at least she came with her real name but for security sake, she used the surname of Luck---how appropriate and how lucky are we.

A report has said that the Anglican and Catholic churches are alarmed by the pair---well, why wouldn't they be---they haven't aligned themselves to either church, so the two major christian churches are out in the cold.
Jesus has bought a 40 acre property in rural Queensland and his Divine Truth followers have been buying up nearby blocks to be close to him.

Alan, sorry, Jesus has said that there has probably been a million people who have said that they are Jesus and most of them are in asylums.
Well people, our Jesus is not in an asylum, so I'm guessing that he might just be the one and only Alan, son of Howard

Monday, 25 April 2011

HYPOCRITICAL HOLIDAY

In Australia we no longer have school assemblies to sing our national anthem and salute our country's flag because we may offend those in our multicultural society who object to showing patriotism to this country.
Now don't jump on the "Muslims are taking over bandwagon". The protests and perceived offence have come from a multitude of people, including the indigenous Australian, who want their own flag.

But all of this has come after religious instruction has been banned in all but the church run schools.
That really does not offend me---I lost faith in my christian religion many years ago.
But, I have been a christian by convenience---I was raised in the Presbyterian church and even though I had ceased that association, I always claimed to be Catholic while I was in the Army
There was good reason for that. In the army camps out bush, those who didn't attend church services on Sundays had to work in kitchen duties, the protestant religions attended a service with-in the camp but the Catholics were transported into town and always had about three hours in the town.

Now that may be hypocritical but pretty moderate compared to a lot of people this weekend.
Those who have strayed from their christian faith, those who have never had a faith and those who protested that the faith was being taught in the State schools are all having a paid long weekend built on the christian faith.

I have yet to see any protesters on the street this weekend, pleading their case that their work place should be open for them to attend.

Happy Easter everyone---I guess you will just have to take the Christmas holidays and national patriotic holidays as well

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

LUCKY SUPERSTITION

It's funny that when things start to go wrong in life, we say that our luck has run out.
So how much luck do we get and when does it run out?.

Friends say that I am lucky in a lot of ways yet I fail to see their logic.

There is no logic in luck

I have always studied form guides for local harness racing and attended at every pre race qualifying trial that I could get to
I remember the first night that they raced at our new track---8 races and I backed every winner and 7 out of 8 at the corresponding interstate meeting---15 winners in 16races.
Of course at the next meeting, I increased my bets and backed 2 out of the 16 winners--giving back my winnings from the week before.

Yes, I suppose you would think I was lucky, but really, I am only persistent---
I realised years ago that gamblers must be prepared to lose every dollar that they bet and that you can't win every time you have a bet.

Like every thing in life---you can't win 'em all

There is no such thing as the balance of probabilities or Murphy's law---
I have been taking the same two sets of 8 numbers in our lotto for 20 years---I have had some wins but nothing really big.
Mathematically, my chances of winning are in the millions---but I keep on going

I have got two small dividends this week----they say that they come in threes---ha ha ha---who said that----I'm betting there is no third win.

Lightening never strikes twice---ha ha ha---a friend of mine from work won first prize in a State lottery---and three years later, shared first prize with a friend.

I guess that I'll never win a big one because a black cat crossed my path ten years ago and I walked under a ladder last week---at least I have never run over a China man.

Who made up all of these superstitions
And is luck only measured by winning money.

I think that I'm lucky that I have my health---I'm lucky that everyone who chooses to read by blog, takes the time to see what I think----I'm lucky that I have "met" some wonderful people on the Web.

I can do as I want in life because I have no family to think about or care about or be responsible to or for---is that lucky---or unlucky----or is it what I deserve.
I don't have a natural will--in that I have no family to naturally inherit my estate---but a friend of mine says that I should not make a will or I might die----
Ha ha ha---yes, I will die---but I'm not letting the Government or my ex-wife get my estate, so I do have a will--and that friends children get most of it

I feel lucky that I woke up this morning and saw the smiling face and wagging tail of a dog who depends on me and seems to be happy about the situation----oh, and she is in my will
I feel lucky that I have had nearly two years of retirement after 43 years of planning for it.

So my plan for tomorrow is to take a gamble on life---
I'm going to get out of bed---if I see a black cat, I'll let my dog chase it, if there is a crack in the path on the way to the beach, I'll probably tread on it, if there is a ladder I'll go around it or under it--whatever is easiest.
Oh, hell, it's the 13th---ha ha ha---I'll buy a lottery ticket

Hope I'm here tomorrow night to see your smiling faces

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

CUSTOMS

I really don't care what your customs and beliefs are.
And as long as they don't cause harm to man, woman, child or beast, I will defend your right to celebrate in any way that you want.

Religions of the world amuse me because they all believe that they are right and obviously, if they don't all come to the same conclusion, there is going to be a lot of disappointed people on "judgement" day.

If they are all so wonderful, so holy, so forgiving, so compassionate, then why do they think that it is just them who will get the big reward.

Just for the record, I don't believe that there is any great reward nor do I think there should be----well, not for those who get a fair chance at life---but it would be nice to think that there was seconds for those who got robbed a little early.

I have got to that age where I have attended a few funerals and the daily newspaper is likely to direct me to more.
It is funny that only good people die---well it seems that every service I have heard focuses on the goodness of a persons life.

I attended a funeral for a man in my ex-wife's family where everyone who spoke told of a good gentle, honest man---yet I know that he beat his wife, molested his three daughters and adopted his brother's war heroics and exaggerated an injury to increase his pension.
Yet I attended a funeral for a young girl from work who was hit by a bus on her way home. She was the sweetest kid that you could meet and lived for her family, her husband and her religion.
Her service was cold and so matter of fact that her death was god's will and that she would be back---even to the stage of telling her young husband not to worry because they would find him a new wife.
The things I learned from her funeral was that this "Christian" religion did not believe in cremation and did believe in reincarnation--not the soul but the body---on "the" day, they shall spring from their graves----gonna be some ugly sights if they are right.

Today I attended a Buddhist funeral/viewing for my mate's father-in-law.
There was ceremony, yet not a structured ceremony
There was laughter yet no one made a structured speech
There was customs to be dealt with.
There was chanting, yet it was recorded
There was candles and incense
And there was money

Money---yes money---the coffin was stuffed with money---but it wasn't real---you buy it in bundles with denominations from US dollars, British pounds, French francs--it's all photo copies. They actually remove the body from the coffin and fill it with "money", put him back in then pad it with "money"--give him some new wrapped clothes and a $2.00 watch and then cover him in in "money".
People approaching the coffin drop in a coin of real money (I wondered if I should make a wish) and there is a coin between his lips---his wife had to wash her eyes before she gazed on him
Once everyone has said their farewells, everyone in procession walks around the coffin three times---I waited for Simon to say that I should hop on one leg, but it didn't happen)

We all left to go to the family home where it was just food and laughter and nothing was said about the old bloke--
But it is not over yet
In a couple of days we go back and get his ashes---yes, they burn all of the fake money---and take his remains to a temple and place them in a wall for the dead.
The best bit about this process is that we have got a whole load of this "money" and we throw it from the car on the way to the temple----of course we will get arrested for littering.

Oh, and if we haven't done it right, he will haunt us tonight.

All of these customs and beliefs will give comfort to his family left behind him.
If they get that comfort, then it is a wonderful belief

Oh, and if you can spend that money Joe, let me know and I'll bring some with me.

If you get some comfort from your beliefs, then they must be right
Enjoy

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

NAKED HELP

Now I am the first to applaud anyone who comes up with a new idea for a business--or a new way to make an existing mundane occupation more exciting.

Like when one of those mass produced hamburger multi national franchise groups actually started putting beef in their burgers or a pizza maker actually uses pepperoni instead of some reconstituted crap pizza sausage.

But this week on local morning TV, there was a report on a new business in the USA--yep, really, in the USA---who would believe this.

A young lady has set up a business as a therapist.
Now I have found out since that she is not actually qualified, but her idea of how to make people feel relaxed and speak openly about their problems is certainly novel and has great merit.
I am sure that her clients would leave her sessions feeling a lot more satisfied that with a lot of other therapists.

Her idea is that she either starts the session naked or during the session, she takes her gear off.
Well, she would certainly get my attention and I would probably tell her my life story.

Now just for the sake of research, I did check her site.
Besides many photos of this young lady in varying states of undress, there were a few interesting statements.

1) Naked therapy allows, encourages and respects arousal in the therapeutic context.
OK, so sitting across the room from a naked young lady might get you aroused, but that is fine because it is therapeutic---
Yes, I've found that to be the case.

2) Traditional therapy forbids arousal, yet our world is saturated with arousal, and men aren't stupid.
Yes, I think saturated is a very good word.
Oh, and I've dated a girl or two in my day, who might not agree on the stupid bit.
Oh, and I want to know how the traditional therapists enforce that no arousal rule.

3) During these sessions, I use the power of arousal to help you gain more control over your life.
Well, I have doubts about being more in control when aroused.

You may find this hard to believe, but the majority of this young lady's clients are men--but she explains that more men need therapy and they are comfortable with her--but she does have some female clients.
Oh, and the clients can strip before or during the session themselves.
Hmm, was just thinking of all the bum prints on her leather couch---oh, and does she disinfect the couch between between sessions---or just hose it off.

Oh, and as an extra service, you can actually do your session on line---fancy that---you don't even have to be in the same country as some naked girl, while you are talking about your sex life.

Now you might think that this is a lot of crap---well, go and check it out--Sarah White, Naked Therapist.

Now not being one to miss an opportunity, I thought that being a very compassionate bloke and a good listener, I could start up something similar but with a twist.
Ms White seems to cater for the guys, so I thought that I could complement this service and cater for the ladies.
The twist---well, I always like to have people feel at ease, so in my service, the clients will be naked or can strip.

I will give my live on line address to anyone interested.

And remember--
I will respect arousal in the therapeutic context.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

HOT

Got an e-mail today from a bored local housewife, 43, who was looking for some hot action!

So I sent her my ironing.

That’ll keep her busy for a while.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

HEART 3

It was 8 months that I honoured another guy's ring but it was still hard to hear that Jenny had decided marry her interstate fiance.
Although I was in love with her, I couldn't help but think of Red---what now ?
Jenny wanted to take him with her but I couldn't talk my mate into selling him or giving him to a good home----after all, he was 9 years old and retired from the track.
I left him at Jenny's parents til the day after she left
I couldn't take him back to my mate, so I took him back to my trainers property---I was going to find him a good home, no matter what.

We were breaking-in two young horses that had been sent to us----our normal slow quiet process involved tying the youngsters alongside an older horse working in the cart and getting them used to the cart, the track and a horse right next to them.
Our biggest problem was that every horse we had in work, had some sort of problem and it would not be the greatest idea to lead a youngster from their shafts.---so I put old Red in the cart and took him out on the track to see how he behaved.
Compared to every other horse I had driven, he was a Rolls Royce--he answered ever call I made on him with voice or rein---I was in awe of this big red horse who had not been in a cart for nearly two years.
He was fantastic with the young horses--so patient with their buffeting and pushing but all of the time, proudly striding along.

I couldn't stop working him every day even after the youngsters were well and truly broken in----there was only one horse left to work so I was harnessing old Red for his outing when the stable foreman said he would like to drive him and I should take the other horse.
We jogged down to the track together and did our warm up two laps side by side---I moved into the lead and started to work the other horse into a full speed work out---I was expecting to pass old red as I lapped him but I looked over my shoulder and he was right on my back---I couldn't believe he was working at that pace especially without proper trotting shoes but I couldn't worry about him---I had the other horse to work--and as we turned into the back straight, I started to urge my horse along to finish his work in a sprint---but I could still hear him---I sprinted my horse to the finish and heard the old horse gallop under the pressure.

He excited me that much that I had trotting shoes put on him a couple of days later.

I went to see my mate to see if he would lease me the horse on a racing lease--he said no but told me that he actually belonged to his mother, so I could ask her.
I knew his mother well and she knew her son, so she said that she would be pleased if I never brought Red home again and offered to draw up the lease papers if I liked to pick them up in two days. Of course I was there to sign the papers but she then said something strange--"That will be $50.00 please"---now you don't normally pay for a lease other than a fee for registering it with the trotting authorities and an agreed percentage of any prize money won back to the owner---but I didn't mind and gave her the $50.00 and was on my way to the Authority Office-----
I didn't even check the papers, just signed them and handed them in. The office girl said "$50.00, that's cheap"---I laughed and said "well I've never paid for a lease before"---she said "lease, this is a sale---you now own him"---I looked at the registration certificate and admit there was a tear in my eye---he was mine.

I could have sent him to Jenny but he had been back with me for 4 months and I really loved that old horse----he turned 10 years old and I started to doubt what I was doing but my trainer encouraged me by saying "Don't tell him and he will never know--you have him looking and feeling like a 5 year old"---she was right, he was magnificent.
A friend of mine had raced a pacer which just couldn't win a race and had converted him back to a trotter--(trotters are born, pacers are made)--very few pacers know how to pace til you hobble then and teach them the gait. Any way, he was telling me how fast this horse was going and asked me to come and watch him work---I wasn't being cruel when I told him that his horse was not fast enough and that I could beat him with a 3/4 fit old red off their automatic handicap marks---the challenge was on---really I shouldn't have done it because Red had won 14 races and off automatic handicaps, he had to give the other horse 140 metres start---my trainer was not impressed but told me to go ahead--it would give me a real feel of where we were as far as race speed was concerned.
I had to travel old red 200 kilometres to the country track---I thought it was just my friend and I in a match race but there was 8 other horses there and it was a full race trial.
The Authority race steward asked me who was driving Red---I told him that I was only there for track work against a friend and was not prepared to let anyone there to drive him---he laughed and said "Neither would I--and as you are starting 140 behind the front and 110 behind the nearest horse, I'll let you drive him"--hey, I don't have a trotting driver's licence.----
The barrier strands went back---well at least theirs did---they didn't have one for a 140 handicap, so I had a guy to yell go.
Old Red fired into a trot and started chasing like a greyhound--I had to ease him not to break his heart in the first lap but we had passed two horse that had galloped out of the race----half way through the second lap we were up behind another horse that had obviously made a mistake in the run but was trotting pretty well---it gave me a chance to let the old bloke have a bit of a rest but it wasn't long before he was telling me he wanted to go, so we set off after them---with a lap to go we were on the tail of the field and probably only 40 metres from the leader---I wasn't going to push the old bloke to hard but I eased him out three wide and he started his trek around them--I eased as I got along side my friend and asked him how he was going--the look on his face was priceless and he hit his horse with his whip--the horse went into a gallop as he fell further back in the field----I had nothing to prove to anyone so I just let Red have his head--we were third turning for home but the leaders were too far ahead for me to think about--but not Red--it was like he changed gear as he set out after them---no, we didn't win, but we were only beaten by less than a metre
I could not be prouder of him and I think he was proud of himself----we stayed at my friends place for a few hours and Red had a big lunch and a good afternoon sleep before we headed home----my friend retired his horse.

I raced Red vary sparingly over two seasons, with plenty of spells in between---he started eleven times for me--he won 4 races and was placed at the other 7---he won at his last start and was 12 years old.
I had every intention of giving him a home for life but he got bored very quickly and he could jump and I mean jump big fences.
I got back from a two week holiday to a problem---my trainer said that he went missing out of his paddock one day---they could't find him but he was back in the paddock at night---and it kept on happening---they had not caught him going but had caught him comming home.
I let him out in his paddock and hid back near the stables--he watched and once he thought he was clear, he jumped the front fence a headed down the road---I followed in my car and saw him jump into a paddock----there he was with a mare and her foal--and he was babysitting the foal---I went up to the house and was pleased that I knew the owner---he laughed and had no problem with Red being there but was worried like me, that he was comming down the road.
For his own safety, I had to lock him up in a big yard.

A lovely old volunteer lady at work asked if I knew where she could get a cheap horse for her grand daughters---they lived on a rural farm and had one horse between the two of them.
I was hesitant but told her that they should come and meet Red and me the next time they were in town---she arranged it for that weekend---they were really nice polite kids--the oldest was 15---she loved Red from the minute she met him and he followed her like a dog---she took him for a ride and even let her little sister have a turn.
I said that the next weekend I would come to their property to check it out and that they should seriously think about having a horse that big.
Their place was perfect and the stable, yard and paddock that they had ready was wonderful---and yes, both girls wanted a big red horse----their other horse, a medium sized Arab gelding was in very good condition, well fed, well groomed and happy---I invited the girls down for the next day with Red---they loved him and helped out with the other horses---they were happy to get into all of the dirty work.
When their parents arrived, I told them that I couldn't sell Red to them--there was sad faces everywhere---but I told them that I would deliver him the next weekend and they could keep him for as long as they wanted him---but I would check on him from time to time--and if anything went wrong with him, he was still mine and had to come home to me---.
I did check on him fairly regularly for 5 years and decide that they loved him as much as I did---it was funny that he was still my boy whenever I arrived---he would call out to me.
The last time I visited I said that they should remember that he was still my responsibility, and they shouldn't hesitate to contact me when anything happened--he was 18 and even though in good condition, time wasn't on his side.

Well it was actually---there it was in the paper in the horses for sale section---an obituary---To my darling Red Heart 35 years old. I will love you forever. Thank you for being in my life. Michelle.
I could still shed a tear for him.

Oh, and Jenny---well her marriage lasted about 9 years---but I was married by then---she married again and I got divorced---she was diagnosed with MS and she and her husband moved to a warmer climate---she has always kept in touch---
Her husband cannot understand that her MS doesn't allow her to do a lot of things, but she tries---she is a fighter---oh, and so is he---it looks like their marriage is over.
She may be back soon

Oh, and thank you Red Heart for letting me be part of your life---I will never have a more courageous horse.

Friday, 4 March 2011

HEART 2

I had been working with a little stallion for over 12 months.
He had been sent to my trainer as a last resort after he had nearly torn his hoof off after rearing up and getting his hoof caught between two cyclone gates.
All veterinary advice had been to put him down but his owner wanted to give him every chance to live----so he arrived at the property unannounced followed by a pleading phone call.
Even if the cheques had stopped coming, I think we would have worked on him---he was a lovely horse with so much guts and seemed to have an understanding of his predicament---he helped us help him.
After nearly 12 months of glued on rubber hoofs, hand made leather hoof boots with rubber souls (thanks to my father's leather work skills) myriads of old witch's potions and a very inventive farrier, we had a very cheeky boy on our hands----and his three times a week swimming exercise had him feeling very well.

I pulled up next to the barn with my car and horse float---I had just been to the pool with the little bloke for his big swim----there was a car up next to the house that I hadn't seen before--it had interstate registration plates---
As I got out of the car, a girl walked up to me and said "I'm glad you're back--we were about to leave--let's see him"
Having never seen her before, I just looked and asked her who she might be and what was she talking about-----
Turned out that her father was the owner of the little stallion and she introduced herself as Jenny.
As I let the tailgate of the float down she said "Watch out--he rushes off---you cant stop him"---
I just chuckled as I swung the back bar across, put my had on his rump and said "Steady son---off you come"---and he backed off slowly, stood on the tailgate and roared like the very fit naughty boy that he was.
He pulled away as she grabbed for his lead rope, snorted and reared up over the top of her----she yelled and ducked as I yelled "Aye, that's enough"---he shook his head, snorted and walked up to me---I turned to she that Jenny was OK----she was standing there smiling---her father was with her---she said "He is a different horse--happy, fit but different"

Jenny kept coming out to the property and even came to the races with us
She had a love for horses and wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty.
It wasn't til we went out to dinner one night that I found out that she was actually engaged to a guy interstate but had come back when her parents moved home to work out if she really wanted to marry him.

It had been about 4 months and we were playing the friends game---she still wasn't sure and I wasn't pushing---but she really wanted a horse to ride---wanted to keep it in a paddock next to her parents house in the hills---but she didn't want to buy a horse and then move away.
I went to see my mate, who had horses everywhere-----he always broke his horses to saddle before breaking them to harness---I asked if he had anything, maybe retired or out spelling that he would let Jenny have for a while.
He laughed and said that my timing was perfect "Here, take that big red bastard--he's good under saddle and he's kicking the place down"

I couldn't help myself---he probably wasn't suitable, but I took him---I knew that if I didn't, he wasn't long for this world.
I worked on him every day keeping him hidden from Jenny's eyes---I didn't want to disappoint her but more, I knew that I would find a home for him sometime.
Away from my mate, treated with kindness and fed like a king, he became a pleasure to be with---he had time every day in a paddock with my broodmare, he had an hour tied up and groomed, he followed as I led him on our daily walk and was happy to be led behind the cart of horses that we were working.
He had an awful reputation for tearing and destroying rugs but if he was going to be paddocked in the hills, he would need the warmth of a rug or two.
I had bought an old industrial sewing machine and a lot of canvas pieces at a property sale and had been repairing all of our old stable rugs---I found a couple of rugs that would fit him---sewed webbing belts with Velcro tabs from front to back and got my dad to make a leather bib with light chain work across the front
It was almost like a straight jacket when I put it on him and strapped him in--the bib went across the front and strapped back to the rug---and I stabled him for the night.
I watched his contortionist act while we fed all of the other horses but he gave up and headed for his manger as soon as his feed was poured in----I left him alone for about an hour and went back to give him an armful of hay to keep him occupied.
I couldn't be there in the morning--had to work---but I got a call to tell me that he still had his rug on----he wore it like that for a week, even out in his yard til I changed it---I took off the webbing straps so he could get to the sides of the rug--he left it alone---so I took off the bib and got the same result.

I had long since lost my balance for riding---don't know what it was, but I was not comfortable in the saddle any more. I went to bring big red out of his day paddock to stable him for the night---I don't know why, but we were just walking along the fence line and I walked up a strainer post and slipped onto his back---there was no flinch, no nothing---he just kept walking to the gate.
He surprised me as he backed away from the gate as I undid the chain---let the gate swing clear and walked through heading for the stable---
No sooner had my old trainer yelled "what the hell are you doing" than I was on my arse on the ground with old red looking me in the face---
It was my fault--no bridle, no saddle, no balance and the stable dogs chased chickens out through the door---red only ducked, but I didn't--I was just far too impressed with myself to think---not something you should do around horses.

He was ready---I was confident in him
I knew Jenny would be there in the next 30 minutes---I borrowed a riding saddle and bridle from my trainers daughter----I had to let every strap out to almost full length---he was a big boy.
I brushed him out to look his best, saddled him up and had him tied to the rail when Jenny arrived.
I was harnessing a horse to work when she came over to the rail--we talked for a while---she kept looking at big red and finally she said "He's a nice boy. Who does he belong to ?"
"Oh, him, he's yours"
It didn't sink in at first but then it was all smiles---OK, and kisses---she raced back to her car and grabbed her riding helmet.
She looked to me for a leg up, but I told her that if she was going to take him home, she had better work out her mounting for herself---there was a scowl, a chuckle, a yes well and she scrambled onto his back, adjusted her irons and away they went.
I've never been sure of who enjoyed themselves more but they were both fairly tired when I saw them about 3 hours later.

Thus started a love affair---oh, and I was there too

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

HEART

I first saw him early in his life.
There was something about him that made you notice him---not so much imposing, but there was this presence about him.
Some called him ill mannered, some called him mad but that fire in his eyes was not anger, it was fear.

There was no doubt about his talent but under pressure he was unpredictable.
Even though he had proven his ability he was was not well favoured by those around him and his manner soon saw him dispatched into the wilderness of life.

I caught sight of him a couple of years later.
He had changed significantly---yes, he was taller but lighter in frame---he looked beaten--no glow, no presence and a sadness in him eyes.
The talent was still there but there was no zest to his performance---just seeing him saddened me.

A few years later I was at a friend's stables and helping him for a week with a few horses because one of his employees had left. He asked me to get feeds ready and feed the four horses in the outside yards behind the barn because they were not in work---I'm always glad when he leaves me to feed as I am a fairly generous feeder compared to his norm and believe our animals should enjoy meals as much as we do.
I got to the last yard and there he was.
He had put on some condition but his coat was dull and there was still that sadness in his eyes. I walked up to him in the yard but he swung away as I tried to put a hand on him---I poured his feed into his manger and waited for him to come to it but he just stood back----I talked softly to him and sat down next to the manger.
I don't know if it was his stomach or his curiosity that got the better of him first but he finally came over to eat----I just sat and talked to him---he kept an eye on me all of the time and flinched every time I moved a hand---but I stayed and talked til my friend came looking for me.
"Jesus Clyde", he yelled, "what are you doing with that brumby---he bites, he kicks, he tears rugs to pieces and tries to tear his stable down---if my mother didn't own him he would be at the knackery by now"
I got up to walk out of the yard and the big horse swung his rump to me to kick--I just roared "Don't you" and he stopped--he turned and walked forward and let me rub his face as I talked to him.
I spent time with him every day while I was helping my mate and every day was a more trusting day.

I had a full time job and horses of my own at another property so I didn't see him again for over a year. I had asked about him and knew that my mate's mother had made him put the big horse into work.
We were at the race track with two stable horses, neither with much talent but their owners loved them and we did our best to get them to the line. I was harnessing up one of our horses when I was bitten in the middle of my back by the horse being led into the next stall and heard this voice say "Geez, he remembers you"----I turned to see this magnificent big red horse---it was him.
He stomped his feet like a petulant child and roared like a wild beast---he lashed out behind and kicked the backboards of the stall and lunged forward to bite the stable attendants---I was pleased to see him looking and feeling so well and grabbed the stable girls hand as she tried to find his manners with a whip..
I walked up to him talking all of the time---his ears pricked up and he looked and snorted as I help out my hand for him---he stood like a statue and let out with a low murmur as I stroked his face---I looked at my friend and said "Yes, he does remember me"

We had a horse in the next race and after driving him in the parade ring, I walked up to watch him race----we had planned everything out for this horse for months and this was going to be his best chance of winning a race---we told the owners to have a bet on him but not much.
There was a lot of smiles after the race as he won by the shortest of margins but he had won his race--it was almost sad because we had said that he should retire if he won and the owners agreed---but we knew he had a good life ahead.

There was a lot of yelling as we got back to the stalls---there was the big red horse tied to the fence and my mates racing cart in pieces all around him---someone had forgotten to tie the kicking strap behind him as the pulled the cart over him and he lashed out--and once he had started, he kept going til there wasn't a lot left of the cart.
My mate said that he couldn't race now because no one in their right mind would lend him a cart for the big kicking bastard---I laughed and pulled my cart over to him--I grabbed the big horse by the bridle and spoke to him as they tied the cart down and away they went to the track.
He ran a great race without having any luck
Two weeks later he led all of the way in a Cup series race and my mate decided to retire him----not so much for the sake of the horse, but more because they couldn't get on with him----and they doubted him winning in the class he was now in.

more later

Friday, 25 February 2011

QUESTIONS

It really doesn't matter how or where you meet someone, you always have some questions that you will ask.
Even if they are just acquaintances or friends, you want to know something about them and usually a bit more than they will volunteer----after all, you don't want to be seen to be friends with a mass murderer or rapist----but then again, they are not likely to tell you about that.

I must admit to being a bit of a stickler when it comes to relationships or even the very rare one night/day stand---I actually want to know if the person is single--well at least not married and living with a husband.

My ex wife, so I've found out since, was not so fussy----tried to get a lawyer friend of mine to represent her in our divorce by offering favours----favours that she had offered him before when we were living together in our marriage.---oh, and he wasn't the only one.
I did tell my mate that he should have accepted her offer
1) I would have loved to battle him in court (I did my own divorce and property settlement)
2) My ex wife was very good when it came to bedroom gymnastics.

Any way, the reason for my post
As a relationship develops, there is more and more that you learn and want to know about your partner.

In America recently, a woman was arrested for the murder of her step daughter.
The girl's father was an Australian and had met this woman on line---the relationship developed and the woman came to Australia.
They married and moved to America
He knew that she had been married before and was divorced----but it wasn't until she was charged and arrested that the investigation showed that she had been married seven times before----he didn't know
You would have to be wary of a woman who had been married seven times before---you just cant be that unlucky in love.

But is that a question that you ask ?
Oh, you are divorced---how many times have you been married ?
No, it's not a question you ask and I guess that if you are the woman, it's not information that you volunteer.

I did get a bit of a chuckle at this story.
I really don't know why, but I was looking for something in my wife's robe and saw her wedding dress---well, actually there was two----yes, well I knew she had been married before---oh, hang on, there's three wedding dresses.-----so I had to ask---6 years into our marriage---and yes, I was victim 3----she had forgotten to tell me about number 2---and she was still married to him and living with him when we went out on our first date.---I never knew

You see, I just never asked the question, so she never volunteered the information
My fault
Maybe it is a question you should ask----divorced---lovely--how many times

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

HONESTY WORKS

Some people describe dating as a minefield.
They spend so much time trying to impress a new prospect that they lose sight of the truth.
It is not as though they set out to create a total false persona, they just exaggerate to make themselves more appealing or acceptable.

The problem with doing that is that you have to live up to your lies and in the majority of cases, you will get caught out

You may find that you are in a relationship that you like and you live in fear of discovery---or you decide that you should tell the truth.
Which ever way it goes, it is not the way to start a relationship.

If you cant be honest from the start, don't expect anything to last.
It may turn out to be just one date with a hamburger for dinner----or it could be more.
Try it---you never know where honesty will get you




video

Saturday, 12 February 2011

SOCIETY'S APPROPRIATE RULES

Where did all of these rules of appropriateness in relationships come from ?
Who made these grand decisions on "what looks good" and the "timing" of things ?

I suppose my parents were rebels in their day in as much as my mother was 10 months older than my father

There was this rule that the man should be older and that about 2 years difference was about right.
Then there was this rule that it should be the man asking the lady out and that she should not be forward enough to even encourage him.
And of course there is the rules on the appropriate number of dates before anything should occur.

I guess even through my generation, the age difference rule seemed to apply---most of my friends were in relationships and ended up in marriages where there was a 2 to 3 year age difference.
I got married a little later than most of my friends but the age difference was still the same.
I was so in love with a girl from work but never acted upon it because she was 7 years younger than me----not bad now but 17 and 24 "didn't look good".

I seemed to naturally adopt the rules on the number of dates before there was any sexual activity---it seemed right and it was almost an unwritten rule that at the third date there should be some hanky panky.

But maybe these rules only apply during those years when society expects you to be single and out there dating or in relationships---
Well it seemed that way because my first relationship after my divorce was with a girl 17 years younger than me, who asked me out.
Because of some work constraints (legal issues) I had to refuse her first advance but as soon as those barriers had expired, she asked again and who was I to refuse.
Our first night out dispensed with another of society's rules---a first for us both, but it seemed so right.

Since then, my relationships seem to be with partners at least 20 years younger than me.
That's not something that I have planned---it has just worked out that way---maybe that's why they haven't lasted.

I seem to have a lot of female friends (I don't make enemies too well, even with ex's) and most seem to be from younger generations.

I worked a part-time job for year with bookmakers on the local racecourses--I became friendly with a young girl working for another bookmaker and ended up giving her a ride to and from the racecourse and then to and from our full time jobs in the city. She was going overseas for 12 months and to thank me for my help and support, she took me out to dinner. When I dropped her home she invited me in to meet her parents. She left me with her father in his shed while she went to make drinks. I could see that her father (who was younger than me) was uncomfortable talking to me especially when I mentioned my age. Apparently his daughter talked about me all of the time. I had to laugh and said to him "It's alright John, I'm not fucking your daughter--we are just friends." She was 24 and I was 50.

The 7 year difference girl from all of those years ago has come back into my life but we just cant seem to get our act together and seem to be off with other people when we should be working things out.

I really don't think much about age differences but recently had a rude awakening about what other people think.
I was in the local pet food shop waiting to be served by a lovely young Emo girl. I didn't mind waiting while she was talking to a good looking young bloke but I couldn't help overhear their conversation. Ha was telling her about a girl he had an on-going relationship with and was living with and how she had got upset about him meeting up with an old girlfriend who was back in town. He went out for dinner with the old girlfriend and even brought her home---even suggested a threesome. His girlfriend had kicked him out and now she is going to meet up with some old bloke from America who she had met on line. He thought it was disgusting that this American was 60 years old, so he probably had a walking stick and there was no way that he could get it up to satisfy her.

The shop girl thought it would be a good idea to serve me before this conversation went any further. I thanked her, got my change and I looked at the young bloke---I couldn't help myself---so I said to him "So, this old bloke, he's got a walking stick, or you think because he's 60, he should have one"---He looked at me and said "Well 60 is pretty old and he's probably got one"---I laughed and said "So you think he wont be able to get it up at that age"---He said "No way--maybe with some little blue pills or something"
I had to laugh--I couldn't help myself----I said to him "I guess you haven't got many years to look forward to---but I'll tell you something---I'm that old and my partner is 26 and she is happy with our sex life"
He looked stunned and it was the Emo girl who said "With little blue pills?"
"Sorry", I said "It all works well without medication"

I was kind of stunned by their thoughts on age and when things should stop working. My partner thought it was a great joke.
Unfortunately the joke was on me because two days later after hearing from her parents who had been caught in the Queensland floods, my partner decided that she should go home to help them---when I suggested that I go with her to help she had to explain that I was older than her father and that he wouldn't understand---so she went alone. Her parents property was in the path of the cyclone that hit Queensland two weeks ago and she has decided that she is going to stay and wont be coming back.
Oh, and she has told her parents that I was 40---they were outraged and told her she should look for someone about her own age.
Hey, I understand---I suppose if she was my daughter, I would think the same.
But I also hope that I would understand that love has no age restriction.

A happy ending---OK, I'll tell you.

On Thursday I raced into the pet food shop right on closing time---little Emo girl was there---she looked up and smiled and said "I'll just pull in the signs and close the door before anyone else comes in--it's closing time."
She got my order ready, took my money and as she handed me the change she said "You really surprised my friend a few weeks back. Is your partner really only 26?"
I chuckled, but told her that my now ex partner was 26 but she was now gone and told her why.
She said "Oh, that's bad luck--I guess you will have to find another young one"
I explained that I really didn't care about age and at 60, I had a broad range to pick from.
As I was walking for the door she said "So does it really still work without those blue pills?"
I assured her that everything was still in good working order and that I hope that it would get some use soon.

I admit she surprised me when she said "Show me"

Some of these young people are so forward----I'm sure there's rules about that.

Friday, 4 February 2011

SUMMER SKY

It has been a very funny summer in Australia

Poor old Queensland, our northern tropical state has been flooded with tsunamis (fucking big waves) in their river systems and damage caused all over the place.
Then they get a category 5 (fucking big ) cyclone cross the coast between two major cities and wipe a lot of people out----few deaths but big damages.

But down south here, we have been having some hot weather.

Now it's not abnormal for dog and I to be up early and getting a good walk on the beach before the heat of the day hits
Both of us have been getting a Nanna nap in the middle of the day to make up for lost sleep.
What has been unusual is the number of late night walks we have had on the beach to cool off before trying for a good night's sleep.

I'm not sure, if you don't have a beach or a desert or a country field close to you, if you have seen the night sky as I have in the past few months.

There is always the same number of stars in the sky but if you are laying flat on your back in the middle of a beach, they seem to change.
The nights of a full moon, there seems to be so much illumination yet the stars are there, but there doesn't seem to be as many, but a crescent moon and the stars are brighter and fill the sky.
Are there more stars or do you just see more or is the glow just brighter when the moon is not so bright.-----can you count them or does your count just run out when a wet dog licks you up your nose.
Is there someone out there?
How far away are they?

And then there is the cloudy nights---the sun sets into a red or golden sea from clouds of fire---the stars are less but still a few.
And then your dog is sitting next to you---wet but leaning against you and you know.

Then there it is----lightning on the horizon---lighting up the cargo ships on the deep sea anchorage---the rumble of thunder and you wonder how she knew.

Every night there is a new sky but unless you are laying on your back on the beach or in the fields or out in the desert, you don't see all of it----but it is the same sky as you that I have never met will see tonight.

See, we are connected
Winter or summer
Enjoy

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

NEW YEAR

Dear Universe,

All I ask for in 2011 is a big, fat bank account and a slim body…
please don’t mix these up like you did last year.

Amen.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

UPDATE WITH A SMILE

It is hard to smile at anything in this flood disaster but late today there is something to smile about.

A news report just showed a real Queensland Horseman and a couple of his mates, in a small aluminium boat, roping and lashing horses to the boat and getting them to high ground.

The best news was that he got the three horses that earlier reports had shown, standing on a second floor deck with their heads on the roof of the house.

Of course with fast flowing water, these horses have suffered substantial injuries, but enter a veterinary team who had heard about these rescue guys and the horses have feed and care.

Another wonderful story of a guy who nearly drowned getting his wife and children up on the roof of their house---but he didn't forget his dogs and went back for them---got all four of them on the roof including what was described as "the big fat old dog"

As the water level recedes in some towns, people are going back to see if there is anything left of their homes----and there it was---good Aussie humour in the face of adversity----someone put a sign on a fence---"Missing---three goldfish. Last seen swimming in their bowl two days ago"

You can take our homes, but you'll never take our sense of humour

THEY DON"T UNDERSTAND

Australians are renowned for their laid back attitude to life.

Nothing is really too much to do for your mates if they need it----nothing is too much for your country because you should do it.

We live in a country that is regularly beaten down by tragedies that mother nature throws at us, but we just keep coming back for more.

If our neighbours have been ravaged by rain or wind or fire, we just pack up and go and help til they are back on their feet.

We rubbish each other across state boundaries that we are the biggest and the best and there is pure hatred when it comes to sport but when it comes to real life, we are one and there is no boundaries to help our mates.

The fires of a couple of years back seemed devastating and they were----but fire fighters, fully trained and volunteer gathered to stop them as best they could---they crossed state boundaries like they didn't exist---we were one nation---all mates---and we do that.

But now we cant stop it----it's water---it's an inland tsunami----the rains have saturated the land and the water is flowing into creeks and rivers---and the creeks and rivers are emptying into major rivers and it is a rush of water like we have never seen----how do you fight water ?
Towns are in the way of this wave and are disappearing at too greater rate---the roofs are all that can be seen above the water----to comprehend the area, it is bigger than the whole of the British Isles.
The rain has stopped but the water keeps coming, flowing to the sea---and in the way is the 3rd biggest city in the country---it sits on the banks of a tidal river---so twice tomorrow mother nature will deal them a bad hand---with the phases of the moon, Brisbane will have two king tides at 4am and 4pm----so the sea will be trying to push this tsunami back, so where will the water go---right though Brisbane.

We know all of this
We can prepare
Some towns knew the water was coming and evacuated people
All towns now know how bad it is
We understand----
We will deal with it
We are Australia

But today I say news footage of three horses with their heads resting on the roof of a submerged house-----obviously, they were standing on the second floor deck of the house---but where were they to go, what did they understand, what would happen to them, did they know to stay there.
And then there was footage of another horse swimming---people in a boat tried to rope him---I don't know what they were going to do with him---but he panicked and went under and didn't surface again.
We may understand---we may stay on that deck----we would let people pull us into a boat or lead us to safety.

My tears are for the loss of human life---for those who have lost everything---but I cant help thinking of those who don't understand.

My prayers are with the animals----all they know is fear----they don't understand

I phoned a friend today---she said "Oh, we are ok. We've got the dogs up at the house and the caged birds are up high enough-----but the cow got washed away"----she is realistic but I cry for the cow.---she didn't understand.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

GOODBYE

Thank you but

Goodbye

It's been fun but not so much at times.

I'm Glad it's over

There is nothing more to say

So Goodbye 2010

You weren't the best year that I have had but then again you weren't the worst

But I figure I get a fresh start again-----so everything is now forgiven---the slate is wiped clean and we can all have another shot at having a good year---
It's not like Santa---you don't have to BE good, just get out there and enjoy it


Ha ha ha---you were cheering because you thought it was me going
Sorry, I'm here to annoy you for a while yet

So get on with it---enjoy it----it's all fresh and brand new
So don't stuff it up

HAPPY NEW YEAR