This many people have visited this site:
Kintail Burn, Dusky Track,Fiordland, NZ 2012 Six Moon Designs ‘Swift’ pack @ 450 grams
30/12/2015: Fire watch: Fire season again and we are once again endangered by two kinds of
maniacs: second: those poor benighted imbeciles who light fires on total fire
ban days (and who are not permanently locked up or executed for their misguided
efforts); and firstly: the crazy leftist bureaucrats and eco-nuts who (in a
misguided attempt to ‘save’ all our native bush) lock it away beyond all
rational use or management, ban any controlled fuel reduction burns, then blame
‘global warming’ when it all disappears in a gigantic puff of smoke on the
first really hot, windy day. What else was
30/12/2015: H.L. Mencken, ‘The government can not only evoke fear in its victims; it can also evoke a sort of superstitious reverence. It is thus both an army and a church, and with sharp weapons in both hands it is virtually irresistible. Its personnel, true enough, may be changed, and so may the external forms of the fraud it practices, but its inner nature is immutable.’
Our family celebrate Xmas tomorrow (due to work commitments), so what better day to continue our exploration of the ‘closed track’ which used to link Downey (North of Tanjil Bren) with Newlands Rd (Baw Baw Plateau)? We are hoping that this track will complete our ‘Winter Route’ of The Upper Yarra Track (http://www.finnsheep.com/THE%20UPPER%20YARRA%20WALKING%20TRACK.htm) . It has been very hard going, so we might have to find an alternative track up the ridge from Strahan (North West of Tanjil Bren) to the Block 10 Road.This track crosses the West Tanjil River just below Downey, follows it upstream on the true right bank for a couple of kms then heads up a ridge towards the plateau.
Spot is an expert at these river crossings, well practiced in keeping his paws dry. These huge iron pipes used to form an immense culvert.
He loves to lead the way; having a good time, I'd say! We are marking the track with tape as we go.
Sometimes it is hard going for the dogs (as well as the people)! This herringbone fern is particularly awkward to navigate.
Sometimes you come across the ruins of a forest giant. Who knows how tall this one was before its top broke off? Remember, these were the world's largest trees - up to 120 metres tall!
This younger tree is vying for the record.
It has come up right next to the stump of its parent tree. The younger tree is more than 3 metres diameter at its base; The stump larger still.
It was quite a substantial road once. This cutting is over 5 metres deep. 2-3 semis could easily pass on it. Such a pity such tracks were not retained for land management and recreational purposes.
Tiny just can't help but drink from every deer wallow! There was plenty of good deer sign, but the area must be well-nigh impossible to hunt.
Everywhere along the way are scenes of great beauty.
And interesting wildlife: this pigeon was almost as tame as Della's! Gippsland is wonderful!
we made it only about half way to the top. We may try coming down from
Even though the forecast was for 35C yesterday, at Mt Baw Baw and Tanjil Bren it only reached 21C! 14 degrees difference! We are so lucky to have these mountain areas (relatively) so close by. Wonderful for cool summer hikes. The Upper Yarra Track traverses the outstanding Baw Baw Plateau with many camping and scenic attractions. The Mt Darling- Snowy Bluff wilderness is also only a couple of hours away and (also) being around 1.5km in elevation is much cooler in the summer months. Of course, check the weather outlook. It can snow at any time of the year at these elevations - and there is always the risk of bushfire in very dry conditions. After rain is always nice, as everything will be cool and freshened up.
A.J.Campbell Junction of Yarra and Falls Creek (1905)
but rarelv visited scenes are to be found at the upper sources of the Yarra
between Mount Baw Baw and the main
a few surveyors, occasional prospectors, tourists, or opossum hunters the
region of the
For years I had desired to ascend to the fountain-head of the Yarra, and the chance came recently, when a party of four consisting of a surveyor, a Gippsland bushman, a field naturalist, and a photographer, undertook the trip.
The junction of Walsh Creek with the Yarra, 67 miles from town, is easily reached by rail and coach in one day. We put up at McVeigh's Upper Yarra Hotel, on the direct road to Wood's Point, where it commands a view of a fine flat in the fork of the two streams, at an elevation of 1,000 ft. above sea level.
At 7 a.m. next day we leave McVeigh's, with an addition of two to our party- a pack-horse and his owner. We need the horse to carry a tent and provisions for a week, and the owner to look after it. The track leads along the South side of the river, and is high enough to enable us to look down on the stream, bordered with fine ferns, and running swiftly over a rocky bed. Heavily timbered ranges rise from the opposite side. On our side, on a narrow flat, are some whitegums, 200ft., by actual measurement, in height. At half-past 9, several miles from Walsh Creek we reach Contention Creek. Why so-called we could not ascertain. We unpack our camera to photograph "the highest habitation on the Yarra." There is a gold-mining claim, yielding payable gold.
The occupant of the hut welcomes us with bush hospitality, and the billy is soon on the fire. After an hours spell, we dive in single file into the forest. At first the way, although overgrown, is tolerably good, but when we descend into the gullies, and get enveloped in thick scrub, we find the going difficult. Our packhorse, save when bumping his load against a tree, or when grunting loudly on the steep pinches, be- haves splendidly, and mile by mile we move along the mountain sidelings, while the river is heard below, though lost to sight in thickets. Not only are we getting smothered in timber, but the mountains appear to be converging. On the opposite side occasionally a valley densely timbered, opens, denoting that some tributary comes down to join the main stream.
It is refreshing to descend, when we get a little warm, into the beds of rivulets, to rest under ferns, protected by groves of sassafras and beech. We slowly but surely forge our way along through the forest, enlivened by the voices of a few birds-lyre birds, cockatoos, and parrots. Three snakes are seen but only one is dispatched. We sight a blazed tree on a steep sideling. "Ah", says the pack horse owner, "this must be where the last party lost their packhorse. They said they blazed the place." We shudder when we gaze down and wonder what we should do should our horse topple over with tent and tucker, and disappear among the vegetation far below. Our experience came on the return journey, when our horse fell twice, and nearly rolled into the river.
Abut 4 o'clock, when getting weary, we break suddenly upon a splendid stream. It is Falls Creek, where we pitch our camp. We indulge in mutual congratulations over our safe arrival. A circular flat is selected for the camp - a most charming and picturesque spot, enclosed by tree ferns, presided over by stout stemmed beeches. Between tent and stream is just space for a table and a fireplace. Ferny beds are made, and we feel exceedingly happy and snug when enjoying our evening meal. High ranges, clothed with vegetation, wall us in completely. The world is shut out, and we are alone, with the silence broken only by the sound of the running waters, and the rustling of the leaves when they are stirred by wandering airs.
The business of next day is to explore the creek from its junction with the Yarra to the top of the falls. Where the junction occurs, a hundred yards below our camp, the Yarra comes in seven paces wide, from the eastward, and the Falls Creek, with one third less volume, from the southeast. Crystalline waters meet on a shingly bed, ferns lending charm to the scene, and we get a lovely picture for the camera. The height above sea level is approximately 1,770ft. Keeping to the rocky bed of the stream, which is choked with logs, we gradually ascend.
We arrive at a pretty vista, opened up by the fall of trees which have cleared an opening along the creek bed. On our left is a wall of vegetation, chiefly beech, gilded on top with sunshine. At 11 a.m., after rounding a bend, and brushing aside overhanging fronds, we catch a sight of the lowest fall. The water descends in a leap of about 70ft. and spray from it is wafted upon us like "scotch mist". It needs no small effort on our part to climb over friable earth and large flat stones to the head of the fall.
Shortly afterwards we catch sight of a second fall. Before we attempt to renew the climbing process we sit down in full view of an interesting scene to lunch. When again on the move upwards, we find the climbing harder work than ever. It may even be said to be dangerous. As soon as the second fall is conquered, a third appears, and beyond it a fourth. Perspiring freely, we climb on, laying hold of rocks, tree stems, and tufts of grass to pull our selves up. As we rise, we notice that the scrub is thinning, and that the big trees are eucalypts, sure signs that we are passing from the region of moisture on to comparably dry levels.
Near the top we encounter an outcrop of silurian rock, with all the slate-like strata vertical. Where the falling stream meets the rock it is diverted at right angles and drops50ft. down a gulch. We surmounted six falls in all, and were not sorry when we came to the uppermost for we found ourselves almost "played out". Though we started early in the morning, we did not reach the summit till late in the afternoon. At the sixth, or top fall the stream is divided by rocks. It descends for a little distance in two branches which eventually meet in the sasaffras below. Our aneroids indicate that we have seen 1,000ft. since the morning. Between the first fall and the last we jump 700ft. in about one-fifth of a mile, their length being all told.
surveyor picks up the old Baw Baw track, by which we descend the sharp spur
dividing the Yarra proper from Falls Creek, and we arrive in camp in an hour.
When the track from Contention Creek to Falls Creek, a distance of about 11
miles, is reopened, a new and interesting route will be available for tourists
to one of the most romantic regions in
subsequent day we explored the range above our camp. Starting early we ascended
1,000ft. by the track which had brought us down from the summit of the falls.
The upper levels, above the scrub, were covered with big eucalypts and tall
grass. We headed easterly, and soon got into beech timber, mixed with
sassafras. The "forest floors" are carpeted with stiff
Our path is very scrubby and obscure in places, but the surveyor and bushman, who take the lead in turns, keep to it instinctively. Our traveling is slow-about a mile and a half an hour- through our having to step high over logs. Sometimes we brush through scrub bearing white star flowers, and the vegetable dust shaken off as we pass sets up irritating coughs. In a sunbeam we could distinctly see the dust when the scrub was shaken. The plant is called "choke" bush (Aster stellulatus). When we are fairly in the beech forest avenues of magnificent trees open up in every direction. Their stems are bedecked with moss and lichen, and they bear masses of dark green foliage. The track we are on cuts the line from Noojee to Aberfeldy, one of Whitelaw's early tracks; but we keep our own, passing a signboard on a tree marked "To the Yarra Head".
We come to a gumtree ridge, occupied with immense trees, and observe one or two black cockatoos, some gang-gang cockatoos, and a family of handsome King parrots. The scrub chiefly consists of a dwarf "Christmas" tree, or Prostanthera. Both flowers and foliage diffuse around a heavy perfume. Then we arrive at a tiny hill and an outcrop of granite, at an altitude of 2,000ft. above sea level. After that we pass through acres upon acres of fine, tall eucalypts, standing as close together as they can grow, straight stemmed, shooting skyward from 100ft. to 150ft. This wealth of timber is known to extend along the ridge for 10 or 11 miles. Once we are properly in the granite country the vegetation changes to acacias (silver wattle, &c.), pittosporum, native hazel, leatherwood, &c.
While photographing and botanising were proceeding, the surveyor pushed along the "T" track, encountering much fallen timber, and reached the Tanjil track at over 4,000ft. Turning south-west along it, and passing the "14-mile tree", he struck the Yarra for the last time. Here at 3,160ft., it is only two paces wide, descending by a depression from the base of Mount Baw Baw, whose rounded crest could be plainly discerned three or four miles away, backed by a great billowy cloud, while above all was the ethereal blue. Following the stream down with difficulty for about two miles, the surveyor reached the bridge where we were, and we all returned to camp, which was reached about 6 o'clock.
The fewness of the birds surprised us. We neither heard nor saw magpies above Walsh Creek, and very few laughing jackasses. In the beech forest we heard the pretty rose-breasted and pink-breasted robins. We saw a few pairs of flame-breasted robins on the saddles of the range. A lyre-bird entertained us there, whistling near our camp. We noticed many lyre- bird dancing-grounds in the gullies and in the open scrub among the tall gums. There appear to be no fish in the streams.
Of plants we made an interesting collection, some 300 specimens, representing about half that number of species. A yellow flowering tree, Daviesia, attracted us much on the ridges. Near Walsh Creek we came across a patch of about five acres of boronia (B. pinnata), with small but sweetly-scented foliage and tiny pinkish flowers. Subsequently, on our submitting a sample of the shrub to a perfumory chemist, he reported that it yielded enough essential oil to have a commercial value.
We tried to find Hoddle's marked tree, "1843", near our camp, but failed. Wear and tear for well-nigh threescore years had no doubt obliterated it.
Yarra Track 1912 Victorian Railways Brochure: Picturesque Victoria and How to
Get There: ‘Click on ‘The Warburton-Walhalla Trip Via the Yarra Falls and Mount
Baw Baw’: PS: It is in Pdf. I have tried and tried to convert this to Word so I
can post it whole, but I have failed…There is an absolutely beautiful [c 1900]
photo by A.J. Campbell of the junction of the Yarra and Falls Creek which I
hope soon to emulate. The Upper yarra falls were originally called ‘
22/12/2015: Hydrology trumps alarmism: It’s obvious really but only 1/4 of rain makes it to the sea: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150709141308.htm
22/12/2015: How many on the Left remember that the full name for the Nazi Party was the ‘National Socialist German Workers' Party’?
Yarra Track Winter Route:
looking for a ‘closed road’ which shows on the map Noojee
Turns out the GPS and map are seriously ‘out of kilter’ in this small area of map. I have found this before, eg on my walk to Mt Darling last year (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/snowy-bluff-mt-darling-wilderness/) I guess up to a km wrong! This meant I did a fair amount of bush bashing no doubt along what had once been old snig tracks etc, finding nothing but photo ops.
Finally we managed to locate the spot where the ‘road’ had crossed the river. Several huge pipes still lying in the river bed over which we were able to clamber without even getting our feet wet. This was on the way back actually. On the way across we took off our shoes and waded in our Crocs, as it did not appear we could make it dry-footed across the pipes. The water was so chill Della practically had a seizure. Sissy!
we had crossed the old road was easy to see and we followed it a couple of kms
up the mountain, but not quite as far as
Disease can sometimes look beautiful: observe this amazing gall.
has not quite recovered from her (second) eye operation, so we turned back
without having found our way to Frangipani Saddle where this route meets the
‘Upper Yarra Walking Track’ thus completing our ‘Winter Route’. There is always
room for another adventure. It will most likely be a couple of weeks before we
get back as we are working in the kids’ store Xmas-New Year. We have cleared
and marked the path (with blue tape) from the end of the driveable section of
at last: Eight days have passed since I observed these in full flower in
16/12/2015: Water: Hiking Desalinator or Survival Still @10 grams that may save your life: I am just working on this idea. Here I have epoxied a copper flange to an old can of powdered milk and attached 1 metre of old silicone tube. I was catching the water in a Vargo 450 ml (cool lips) titanium mug. I was just cooling the steam with wetted down tea towels. I collected nearly 400 mls in an hour. I need to improve the steam condensation. I will purchase a Platypus hydration tube (as that is what I figure folks will carry (which is a much lighter weight 102 cm PU tubing) which will hopefully shed heat better.
I will also make up a trough so I can cool nearly all its length with water. I expect I will more than double its output. If you needed to do this in the wild (presumably by the sea) you could make a trough in the sand, line it with your raincoat and fill it with water. You could also bury the collection cup in wet sand and perhaps cover it with something else to prevent steam escaping. Doubling output would produce more than 2 litres in 3 hours – enough for a day of low activity – so certainly enough to save your life.
I am imagining adding the flange to your existing billy lid or placing it in an extension ring which sits between billy and lid. Such an extension ring, if I can figure out how to make it adjustable (and fit) would weigh only 15 grams or so and fit with your other cooking things in your billy or pot.
PS: I just made the flange from a piece of copper water pipe using a plumbing flaring tool. You could cut the flared end from a car's brake line obtained from an auto wreckers. I used a small piece of 'Dynasteel Epoxy Putty' [250C] to attach it.
40,000 climate activists presumably pedaled home from
Child’s Christmas in
16/12/2015: Girl feeds crows; in return, they bring her gifts: ‘This amazing story caught my attention, having little girls of my own that love animals and birds, it is always nice to read little stories like these were reciprocity exists between different species on earth. In this case a little girls that feeds crows and the crows show their appreciation by bringing back little tokens. She's been collecting them’: http://www.offgridquest.com/life-stories/little-girl-feeds-crows-in-return-they-b
14/12/2015: Differences: King Canute’s people came to believe that he was omnipotent; ie that he could make rules which would change even the natural world. To demonstrate to them that they were wrong, he had his throne set up by the sea and ordered the tide to go back. Climate campaigners cannot be as easily convinced that we cannot alter the sun’s output by making whatever rules here on earth. What we can do is destroy the economy. Working hard at that!
a treat for Xmas: Dylan Thomas reading ‘A Child’s Christmas in
14/12/2015: Super AAA Torch: You really could spotlight a fox with one of these beauties: 175 grams, 4 AAA batteries, 320 lumens. Approx $70: http://www.ledlenserusa.com/p7-2-348.html#start=1
13/12/2015: Some people are just tired of living: http://imgur.com/NbdNuql
13/12/2015: 40,000 modern Canutes defy reason and evidence (the world has not warmed for 19 years despite a considerable increase in CO2, ergo CO2 is not a cause) to vote themselves an enormous bash and the world an enormous bill which will do nothing about climate (that is hubris), but will drag down economic development everywhere, and mean that several million more poor people needlessly suffer and die – just like the 100+ million people who needlessly died from malaria due to the wrongful DDT ban, or the hundreds of thousands who die every year because the West burns alcohol (food) as fuel, etc. I do so hate such pompous twats and statists of every hue. I see our own Svengali, Julie has signed us up to a new carbon trading deal we explicitely voted against. We need to get out of this mess: bring back Tony – and soon.
13/12/2015: If only Governments would pay a little more attention to folks like this, we could save a lot of money and inconvenience: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/12/04/cfact-presents-four-inconvenient-facts-about-global-warming-at-cop21-display/ They also have a new movie you should look out for: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/12/03/some-first-clips-of-new-film-climate-hustle-air-on-fox-news/
13/12/2015: Leeches: In Australia (and elsewhere) it is quite common to encounter these beasties in the wetter areas. They avoid sunny patches. They do you no harm, though many (like me) have an allergic reaction to their ‘bites’, so it is good to avoid them as much as you can. I have already recommended ‘Anthisan’ antihistamine ointment to treat allergic reactions to bites http://www.theultralighthiker.com/insects-can-ruin-a-camping-trip/ (you will have to order it over from a NZ pharmacy) and the practice of using surface spray (eg on your calves), tucking your trousers into your socks and wearing long-sleeve shirts in ‘leechy’ spots such as rainforest areas http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-personal-hygiene/ .
When you put up your tent for the night you don’t want to erect it on a hundred leeches and have them wriggling all over you all night. I have seen shady areas where when you wave your warm hand over the ground a hundred leeches will stand up and wave at you! You need to carry a small atomiser containing surface spray such as ‘Baygon’ (which can be bought from some supermarkets in bulk - ie not in spray cans) to suit such decanting. Atomisers of various sizes are available all over (try eBay). You will need to match the size to your need. You need to be able to spray the entire footprint of your tent plus an area say a metre around it. If/when you do have a leech attach to you, remember it will do you no harm (indeed they have been used for centuries for their supposed health benefits) and will eventually drop off. If you want to hurry that along a bit, a lighted cigarette or some salt will move them on mighty quickly.
If (like my wife) you don’t like the idea of sleeping on surface spray, carry enough salt in a snap lock bag to sprinkle the same area. This will kill and keep leeches at bay too.
13/12/2015: Just suppose you are a middle aged man who identifies as being a six year old girl…should you be allowed to keep your driving licence? http://moonbattery.com/?p=66265 Then again, if you are a teacher who refuses to call a biological girl a boy, should you be fired? Of course you should, you mad, evil monster! http://abc13.com/news/daycare-worker-claims-she-was-fired-in-dispute-over-transgender-child/1077575/ The world is becoming seriously, serially MAD!
12/12/2015: When I was young the word ‘discrimination’ meant exactly the same as ‘discernment’ ie the ability to tell the difference, yet according to President Obama, this is a woman, but these are not Muslims.
Trump says the
12/12/2015: Fanciful: ‘Just suppose it were possible to shoot people in the name of a religion and have the leader of the Free World, together with his media sycophants, deplore gun ownership among potential victims. Just suppose it were possible to shoot people in the name of a religion and have the leader of the Free World, together with his media sycophants, refuse to blame and name the religion. Just suppose it were possible to shoot people in the name of a religion and have the leader of the Free World, together with his media sycophants, mainly fret about a potential backlash against followers of the religion. Peter Smith, Quadrant: http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2015/12/terror-incognita/
If you go nowhere else in the world, at least go here. Just a few kms walk
outside the small
Many beautiful wildflowers carpet the verges: buttercups,
The dogs enjoy the rich, earthy smells of the deep forest litter beneath the majestic gums.
An old (closed) bridge begins Kirchubel‘s Tramway, its exploration to be saved for another day. Maybe some of the 18 old timber bridges yet survive?
first of the
is a cast iron pipe at the top of the falls. Water supply to the lost
recollections of this township (lost over 50 year ago) yet survive: Colin
Bigwood writes, ‘In the early 40's my
dad Roley Bigwood, my mum Elsie, and my younger Brother David and myself Colin
went to Kirchubel's sawmill to live. My Dad worked mainly on the breaking down
saw, and had a scar on his right upper-arm to show until he died where the saw
grabbed his thumb while fitting a packing block to the leading edge of the
bottom blade. He also was a leader in on one of the benches. When we first got
there Mr. and Mrs.
morning Commissar Turnbull is apparently backing a proposal to gaol
‘terrorists’ for life. At the same time a 15 year old schoolboy from Bass Hill
(where I used to teach back in 1974) has been arrested for planning a terrorist
attack! Back in the 1970s I taught at Punchbowl, Bass Hill, Picnic Point &
Revesby and my uncle Leo Richards was the postmaster at Lakemba (which was then
a middle class leafy suburb somewhat like Camberwell or Hawthorn). I doubt
there was a single Moslem there then. Yet 40 years later a vast area of Western
Sydney is a
11/12/2015: Levitation brace gives users spring-loaded knees Whether they're playing sports or suffering from joint injuries, some people could definitely benefit from using a wearable assistive device. That's where Levitation comes in. It's a spring-loaded knee brace that augments the user's quadriceps. I may soon need a pair of these: http://www.gizmag.com/levitation-spring-loaded-knee-brace/40709/
Yarra Track Winter Route:
There are a number of pleasant spots to camp along the way. I can’t tell you how many times my kids played on this old log as they grew. The oldest is now 34: she first went there when she was two! I have caught a couple of lovely crays or three underneath it. up
There are two campsites at Palmers. This is the first.
The second one where the bridge used to cross the river is where the tramline carried on to Growlers. It is still possible to walk along it – and the more who do, the easier it will be. You can continue on along the road, but the views of the river and forest are better from the tramway. nowadays.
A refreshing dip on a hot day will surprise you how very cold the water is on the South Face of the Baw Baw Plateau.
There are some wonderful rapids in this section of the river I used to enjoy when I was suicidally young and ebullient! There is also great fishing. The 2-3 km of the old railway is quite flat – a serene & peaceful camp could be made here and there along it. There is also a single pleasant camp where it rejoins the road just below Growlers, and multiple sites a little over a km further at Growlers itself.
The old railway is easy going in places at least.
With great views of the river.
And some amazing rapids.
You never tire of watching water flow over stone.
Spot enjoys the view too.
The road carries on up the river to Growlers.
There are many wonderful stands of ash regrowth.
Growlers is a pleasant camp.
A quarter century ago I used to walk across the bridge at Growlers and follow the road which has now disappeared into the forest a couple of kms downstream to where there were immense sawdust piles over 20 metres high scattered along the river flats. Who knows how many forest giants they represented? Their insulative ability and I guess decomposition in their depths made them magically warm spots in the forest where no frost or snow would linger. They were a favourite bedding spot for deer, for that reason. I often put up a fine stag here. The forest is probably far too thick for hunting.
After you come out on to the Tanjil Bren Rd it is only a few kms to the turn off to Christmas Creek, a very pretty camping spot where you may wish to spend a night a couple of kms off your main route.
You can imagine camping by the bridge at Christmas Creek for a couple of days.
continue along the
Tanjil Bren, a really beautiful side trip is to walk west along the
Baw Baw Plateau: has to be THE most beautiful area in the world. We spent
yesterday afternoon driving and walking around parts of its South Face working
out possible winter routes for our Upper Yarra Track project, discovering
mainly that we need to go back there for many awe-struck days yet. More pics
and posts to follow but feast your eyes on these two gems: Sunset view towards
the Strezeleckis from the
09/12/2015: We went for a fantastic afternoon walk on the Baw Baw plateau near Tanjil Bren yesterday. Wonderful waterfall and inspiring beech forest were just two of the photoworthy features! Steve and I have concluded that we are so lucky to live in Gippsland with boundless magical beauty surrounding us! Anywhere else in the world, these features would be crowded with tourists and hemmed in by fences and explanatory signs!
07/12/2015: Kershaw Ken Onion Speedsafe Folders: If you need to get your knife open with one hand quickly, this range of knives may be right for you. The smallest (The Chive) weighs only 2 ounces, so may even fit with your ultralight hiking kit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRZNUioNPC4
= ‘Lily of the Nile.’ Gotta love that name! Our agapanthus are just coming into
07/12/2015: Even in Death, the Left hates Margaret Thatcher: the snooty decision of the Victoria and Albert Museum to reject the offer of the clothes of the country’s first female Prime Minister - and one of the greatest has led to this: ‘In a newspaper article in January 1975, Margaret Thatcher described private property as “one of the main bulwarks of individual freedom”. So it seems appropriate that her handbags, suits and necklaces will be sold for cold, hard cash to the highest bidder, rather than being saved for the nation.’ http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2015/nov/03/no-style-icon-but-an-image-maker-why-margaret-thatcher-was-the-wrong-fit-for-the-va
07/12/2015: Remember when the sisterhood all dropped ‘Miss’ or ‘Mrs’ and insisterd on ‘Ms’ – though I’m not sure whether they were ever as angry as happily married women misidentified by PC people as ‘Ms’ when they were proud to be “Mrs’. Now, the latest trend is to rid ourselves of the gender tyrannical ‘Mr’ as well, so that everyone henceforth will be ‘Mx’ (or ‘mixed up). Surely ‘Esquire’ or ‘Knave’ would be more suitable? http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/12/01/anti-science-new-york-times-uses-gender-neutral-mx/
05/12/2015: Some of Merrin’s trees (which we planted just before this time last year) are doing well. Here her quince fruiting:
06/12/2015: Jeeralang Sights: Right behind our home there are lots of forestry tracks where we usually go for a walk with the dogs of a late afternoon. This one (No 4 Road) is about 400 metres further up the mountain so it is much cooler on a 30C day like yesterday. Some shady spots we wondered whether we should have brought a jumper. Spot is always keen to lead the way:
Amid majestic blue gums and mountain ash. It is 50” rainfall country up here, just a couple of km behind us.
He can get a long way ahead. He loves to flush the swamp wallabies. Fetch ‘em up, Spot. There are lots of tree ferns…Tiny is becoming thirsty.
Fortunately there are beautiful cool springs and runnels for the dogs (and us) to quench our thirst. Della leads the way.
There are some really beautiful sticks of timber. A couple of houses here.
Lots of wildflowers: daisies,
And more daisies. These ones are so shiny, like they’ve just been painted.
Even common vetch has a beauty all its own.
Perhaps we will go for another walk this afternoon. It’s very hard to decide…
06/12/2015: Why Zuckerberg will be RICHER after he gives 99% of his money away (Don’t try this at home!): http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/04/business/dealbook/how-mark-zuckerbergs-altruism-helps-himself.html?_r=1
05/12/2015: Some of Merrin’s trees (which we planted just before this time last year) are doing well. Here her quince fruiting:
05/12/2015: DEMOCIDE: Socialism, Tyranny, Guns And Freedom: An apposite video. It is easy to understand why folks are buying more guns following (mainly) Islamist tragedies all over, and a vast increase in crimes of violence against innocent individuals (Thousand of percent since the beginning of the C20th! The State does not protect us. In too many cases the State is the problem. We need to protect ourselves. In this regard the State is the impediment to our protecting ourselves – and our loved ones. I certainly support changes to the law to remove bans on ‘concealed carry’ of firearms for self-protection. Such restrictions to our liberty should never have occurred: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVK0yZAhBKM https://www.change.org/p/fishing-hunting-australia-allow-australians-concealed-carry-for-self-defense?recruiter=91790719&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=mob-sm-share_petition-reason_msg&fb_ref=Default
of this please:
03/12/2015: Shiftwear: E-ink sneakers: These people will make a fortune: Play the video, I dare you. It will soon move to clothes I’m sure. I am planning to have my entire skin replaced with E-ink so that I can display all manner of interesting perspectives of myself instantaneously, even in video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5XhzmjUVnk http://www.shiftwear.com/
03/12/2015: Force, Sharing the Load vs Sharing the Wealth: Government IS force: Few if any of us get a choice to opt in or opt out; save a handful of token opportunities such as elections we needs must but ‘grin and bear it’. For most (Federally) this represents at most 20-30 opportunities in a long lifetime – merely to elect woefully misnamed ‘representatives’ who almost universally do the opposite of what the public wants...In (probably all) representative ‘democracies’ a two-party system ultimately operates with each party simply taking turns and colluding at least in assuring that no-one else gets a turn. Such a system is more like fascism than anything else.Ultimately anyway government is force applied by some people to others. Over time who is in which group has changed – as has what the ‘enslaved’ group is obliged to do by the ‘ruling’ group. Marxists (for example) used to see ‘capitalists’ (the Rich) in one group and the workers or proletariat (the Poor) in the other. If such a dichotomy was ever the case, it has changed utterly. As has what each group obliges the other group to do. Now for example, the ‘Advantaged’ must work to support the ‘Disadvantaged’ so that what once was the ‘working class’ is now the aristocracy – or the leisured class…Plus ca change!
03/12/2015: Moroka Gorge Falls: A friend sent me a digital copy of this C19th Von Guerard painting (below). I have lurked in the Mount darling-Snowy Bluff Wilderness quite a lot…I though we had been to the Moroka Falls (twice - eg http://www.theultralighthiker.com/camping-by-the-moroka-river/) but we had only been to the UPPER Falls - as the clip from Vicmap Moroka South T8223-2-S shows. This map plus the Avenza Pdf Maps App I have frequently mentioned (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/gps-phone-apps-25k-vicmaps/) should get us there (probably with a bit of bush bashing). Last time we were there we noticed no sign of the closed road or hiking trail to the lower falls. As well, if we wanted to stand in the same spot as Von Guerard it looks like we would have to come down from the Shanty Hollow track. As it is 1,000 metres higher than where we live (thus @ 8C cooler) we should find a day this summer to explore the area. Our friend will also want to be in on it! Of course the painting probably shows winter river flows: http://www.australianmountains.com/morokagorge/
02/12/2015: Civilisation and climate: What an interesting chart: View approx 50%: https://andymaypetrophysicist.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/younger_dryas_to_present_time_line_updated2.pdf
02/12/2015: Australian Liberty Alliance’s Leader Bernard Gaynor’s excellent speech; http://pickeringpost.com/story/-ala-senate-candidate-struts-his-stuff/5620
Yarra Track: Winter Route:
Caringal you can journey to
Pitmans Creek Track.
If you come down the Pitmans Creek Track from Buckle Spur you will first encounter Skinners camp just before you get to the river. It used to be a beautiful well-maintained camping area with toilets, barbecue facilities, shelter, information boards, etc. The Government seems to have abandoned it. You can still camp there though, or you can carefully cross the bridge and camp on the South side of the river. There are lots of blackberries and a few old fruit trees about, so you might get a feed – apart from the abundant trout and freshwater crays in the river. There are rabbits about in the blackberries too, so if you have brought your sling (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-to-make-a-sling/ - plenty of stones in the river) , you might be in luck!
The dogs managed the bridge - surely you can?
cross the river to the South bank there is a river heights gauge on your left.
It was just below .2 metres yesterday and the river quite canoeable. If you
walk East along the riverbank reserve about 200 metres, after crossing a small
rivulet you will come to the abandoned chimney of Morgan’s Mill which is on
private land. There are two or three cottages about. It is worth a photo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Tyers,_Victoria
I believe there is a road easement through the two locked gates (you can step around
them) on Morgan’s
Mill Chimney ruins.
Creates some interesting perspectives...
are a number of other pleasant spots to camp every km or so as you make your
way to the West along the
Upstream from the bridge.
Downstream from the bridge. Note gauge.
A Note on Crays: These guys are not yabbies. As you can see they are as big as lobsters, and just as delicious! They are easily caught especially if you have some string and bait. Some spoiled meat or fish-heads perhaps. I would usually put out a number of baits along the river in likely spots (near logs, bank overhangs, deep holes, etc) tied to @ 2 metres of string (I find the coloured builder’s line easiest to spot). As you come back to check them you will notice you ‘have’ a cray if the string is taut. Slowly pull it towards you, being sure not to jerk it and frighten HIM off. (Lady crays with babies are always out of season). A trout landing net is handy for scooping him up, or you can pin him with a forked stick, then step into the river and pick him up behind the claws. Don’t let those claws bite: it is as bad as getting on the wrong side of a ferret! If you don’t have any bait or string you can still pin them with a forked stick. A pair of polarised sunglasses will help you spot them on the river bottom where they are greenish rather than the red which is their cooked colour. When you cook them, you only need to wait until they change colour. A couple of minutes at most. If you haven’t a billy large enough, you might need to kill them by plunging a knife through their brains, then breaking them into cookpot-sized pieces - or throw them on the hot coals for a couple of minutes. They are Della's favourite food!
Typical Mountain Ash and Beech forest.
Much less typical, but strikingly beautiful plantation trees: Norfolks?
01/12/2015: Upper Yarra Track: Winter Route: Caringal Scout Camp: Tyers Junction
might reach here by walking down the rail trail from Collins Siding (10 km –
2-3 hours), where the cottages are on the main
See: Tyers Junction Rail Trail: http://www.railtrails.org.au/component/railtrails/?view=trail&id=49&layout=print&tmpl=component
Della, Spot, old railway cutting.
Caringal Webpage: http://www.vicscouts.com.au/caringal.html
There are both powered and unpowered campsites at the Scout camp. I notice other folk camp at the picnic area outside too, or on the roadside across the river. I imagine though a hot shower, proper toilet facilities, undercover cooking, maybe some company etc are worth the $12.
They also have more motel-style accommodation for less intrepid, better-heeled adventurers. Of course there is similar paid lodging elsewhere on the trail, for example: Yallourn North, Erica, Rawson, Walhalla, Mushroom Rocks, Baw Baw, Tanjil Bren, Noojee…
It is a
really beautiful spot where the waters of the East and
Caringal you can journey to
really beautiful. A job of clearing for someone, but maybe not me. It is worth
walking along it as far as the old washed out bridge. You might pick it up on
the other side (and if you have your machete with you http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-worlds-greatest-machete/
) journey on to
01/12/2015: The Most Astonishing Thing to come out of the recent Paris tragedies was that as people were forced to flee suddenly from their beds at 4;00am ‘many were dressed only in their underwear’ as the press had it…Really? The only clothes we have ever had on in bed are or bedclothes. Indeed my footwear has ever formed the majority of my clothes at all times of the day or night. How alien the great mass of humanity is. What? Are people seriously going to bed dressed? Prepared for what bizarre eventuality other than propinquity and sleep? What elese happens in bed? They are having to undress in bed if they just happen to have sex after they have gone to bed? All this is just too much for me!
01/12/2015: It is legal to marry your first cousin, niece or nephew, uncle or aunt – but it should not be. The increased risk of miscarriage (50-100%) and/or of the expression of defective recessive genes (13-18 times) means that the consequences for children are so just so dreadful (and the economic consequences to society of having to support them so great) that we should outlaw this practice. Certainly we should save these children, as we should save aboriginal children (and others) from the vastly greater risk of abuse they suffer. Incest is much more common in some ethnicities than others; where it has been practiced for centuries its ill effects are no doubt more magnified: http://pickeringpost.com/story/the-cost-of-islamic-incest/1316
Even a picnic table in a sunny clearing.
Lots of grassy flat spots to pitch a tent.
Mountain Ash grow quickly. This one easily 2-2.5 metres diameter at the base is likely younger than me!
water from the
Or a waterfall.
30/11/2015: White ribbons demonise men; ‘The May 2015 research report details homicides from 2002 to 2012. In that ten-year period, 186 people killed one or more of their children. Ninety-six, or 52%, were women; 90, or 48%, were men. And of the 654 homicide victims categorised as “intimate partners”, 166 or 25% were men.’ https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2015/11/blindfolded-white-ribbon/
Beautiful World: We did a little afternoon excursion today to check on the existence
of some old walking tracks around Erica. The first pic is of Steve Jones with
Spot where the walking track disappears at Tyers Junction near the Caringal
Scout Camp. It seems to be one of the 'roads less traveled' judging by the
overgrowth of blackberries and abundance of fallen timber. I am sure that not
too many feet have trodden that path since we walked along it a couple of years
ago. This is notwithstanding the numerous scouts in the camp ground who
obviously do other things than 'scout', it seems! The second pic is a quick
shot as we drove home through Moe. If sunsets are beautiful, then the cooling
29/11/2015: Jurassic Update: The Culprit: Caught in the act! You would think this blue tongue lizard would have a red tongue the number of strawberries he has eaten. He is trying to hurriedly make off, but in his haste he has tangled himself temporarily in the netting. He knows the way around it though. I just weeded that bed this morning. There were a few beauties I was drooling to devour myself tomorrow, but this little fella seems able to consume his own weight in srawbs daily. What to do? As you can see, the bed is netted against birds, but this bloke has an awesome network of tunnels extending more than twenty feet from the strawberry bed to the compost bins to a further system of tunnels underneath the greenhouse and old dairy nearby…Spot barks at him but he has been forbidden to bite him as anti-snake training; besides he might bite back. He can put on a fairly impressive open-mouth display. I am beginning to regret my many acts of kindness towards blue tongues over the years: rescuing them from roadways, removing ticks from their ears, etc. I could plant more strawberries but this little guy is no doubt working on planting more blue tongue lizards!
you Gaia; you are a bitch: ‘And guess what, beautiful planet – you’re not that
beautiful. A couple of mountain ranges, a
28/11/2015: Anguish: Spotted at the National Gallery last week: What a moving painting: August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck: ‘Anguish’. As a ‘sheephusband’ for over thirty years, how many times have I seen this? Sheep have a (measured) IQ of over 60 - more than many folks who are allowed to vote (for the Greens/Labor, I suspect)) – and crows too, I have no doubt are pretty smart. They have been recorded making TOOLS, for example. Yet we eat the former, and shoot the latter…The day they acquire guns will be our last!
28/11/2015: Murry Salby, prominent climate scientist, sacked because he doubts AGW: ‘In Salby’s view, the evidence actually suggests that the causality underlying AGW should be reversed. Rather than increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere triggering global temperatures to rise, rising global temperatures come first—and account for the great majority of changes in net emissions of CO2, with changes in soil-moisture conditions explaining most of the rest.’ The upshot is (of course) that we can expect very little (if any) warming from further increases in anthropogenic CO2. Read : http://joannenova.com.au/2014/08/its-an-unsettling-climate-for-skeptical-scientists-like-murry-salby/ & watch: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/04/13/new-video-dr-murry-salby-control-of-atmospheric-co2/
28/11/2015: The Stranger, Rudyard Kipling (1912)
Stranger within my gate,
He may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk—
I cannot feel his mind.
I see the face and the eyes and the mouth,
But not the soul behind.
The men of my own stock,
They may do ill or well,
But they tell the lies I am wonted to,
They are used to the lies I tell;
And we do not need interpreters
When we go to buy or sell.
The Stranger within my gates,
He may be evil or good,
But I cannot tell what powers control—
What reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood.
The men of my own stock,
Bitter bad they may be,
But, at least, they hear the things I hear,
And see the things I see;
And whatever I think of them and their likes
They think of the likes of me.
This was my father's belief
And this is also mine:
Let the corn be all one sheaf—
And the grapes be all one vine,
Ere our children's teeth are set on edge
By bitter bread and wine.
27/11/2015: It IS that time of year again (and of course we have another enormous delusional self-seeking power hungry talk feste in Paris), but since the Vic Govt spent over $100 million on LAWYERS having a Royal Commission into the blindingly obvious (the THIRD such!), there has been almost zero fuel reduction burning (just like before) as the greens and other crazy luvvies are agin them. That same money spent on track repairs (instead of closures), fire breaks and fuel reduction burns would have SAVED our forests and all the critters which inhabit them in a way that misguided National Parks NEVER will. Oh No, it could not be excess fuel which leads to destructive bushfires; it has to be global warming – such as caused the terrible fires in the 1850s and so on. Roger Underwood has an excellent article here: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2015/11/bushfires-global-warming/
27/11/2015: The Buggy Shed: An icon of our farm since 1924 has finally died. Strangely it did not happen in one of those big winds we have had. It just slowly grew older and tireder, settling ever closer to the ground, giving up its many years of faithful service with barely a sigh! We will replace it with a new vehicle shed (with a hoist for working on cars!) I wonder will IT last 91 years? I doubt I will be around to see!
27/11/2015: ‘Life will find a way’…we have a blue tongue lizard (@30 cm) living in one of our compost bins (he has lots of tunnels) who lives on the strawberries in our vegie garden, it seems. At least something other than us is eating them - and we have not yet caught the mystery thief. They are netted. Who says the dinosaurs are extinct?
24/11/2015: goTenna: 52 grams which keeps you in touch with other members of your party by texting with your phone, eg if they become separated. Works up to 6 kilometres even when there is no phone service. I think this would be a good option for Della and me when hiking just in case. We carry whistles, but whilst Della can here mine, I can't hear hers. It is much lighter also than carrying 2-way radios and messages are less garbled by text (when you are deaf like me)! Many have an epirb or satellite phone for emergencies, but this lightweight device would be useful if you just become separated where it is not an emergency. It would also be great for contacting each other (eg to save money, or if your are in a foreign city where you might not have a plan). Hunters (and others) might also find the device useful because it doesn't make any noise. Two for US$199: http://www.gotenna.com/index
23/11/2015: Upper Yarra Track: Section Four: Moondarra to Erica: 20 km - 5.5 hours
When you come to the end of the walking track, our walk continues on East along the W18 through beautiful serene forest. The first suitable campsite, a really beautiful spot with water is when the trail crosses Jacob’s Creek on the Old Traralgon ‘Road’.
It is about 11 km and 3 hours easy walking away. Follow the W 18 East 1.5 kms. You will see an old (closed) bush track exiting North. This loops back onto the W18 about 1km further along. It can be taken to provide scenic views of the dam, and a quieter walk (though the W18 track is never busy). It adds about 1.5 km to the trip. You could possibly camp along it and scramble down to the lake for water, but it is a fair way.
you walk along the W18 for approx 3.5 km to just before the tar road (1-200
metres). You will see a motorcycle track join the W18 from the South and exit
it to the North where it has more the appearance of a dirt road. This
motorcycle track parallels the main road (about 100 metres inside the bush) all
the way to the
If you are short of water you can take one of these and go out on to the main road (also not busy) as there are fire dams along it (at least ten of them!) every .5 km or so; the last being just after your turn-off at ‘Conference Corner’, where you would turn to go to Cowwarr Weir and Brunton’s Bridge if you were heading that way. Each of these dams is set back 20-30 metres from the main road and surrounded by a grassy flat. I imagine you could find somewhere along here to camp if you needed to.
approximately 5 km to the W2 Track or ‘
Jacob’s Creek to Erica: 9 km (2.5 hours) No water until you get to Erica.
this camp continue West on the Old Traralgon Road 1.5 km until you come to the
Old Coach Rd then turn North. Follow it 1.5 km until you come to Bluff (or
come in to Erica there is a Hotel (which serves excellent meals) on the West
side of the street and a
Remnants of the old railway line in Erica.
The Erica Walhalla Rail Trail Begins: Only `12 km to go!
The Vicmaps for this section are Moe North T8121-1-N and Walhalla South T8122-2-S
NB: These are ‘retiree’ walking speeds. The distances are approximate. You may do the trip much faster, but what’s the hurry? Moe-Walhalla will take 2-4 days. If you are young and fit you should be able to ride it on a mountain bike in about a day (approx 70km).
Moe – Yallourn North: 10 km – 2.5 hours
Yallourn North-Wirilda: 15 km 3.5-4 hours ( 25 km -5 hours)
Wirilda – W3: 7 km 2.5 hours (32 km - 7.5 hours)
W3 – Moondarra – 7 km 3 hours (39 km - 10 hours)
Moondarra – Jacob’s Creek: 11 km - 3 hours (50 km - 13 hours)
Jacob’s creek – Erica: 9 km – 2.5 hours (59 km - 15.5 hours)
Erica – Thomson Station 8 km – 2 hours (67 km - 17.5 hours)
Thomson Station – Walhalla: 4 km – 1 hour (71 km - 18.5 hours)
Walhalla – Poverty Point: 7-8 km – 2-3 hours (79 km - 21 hours)
Poverty Point – O’Shea’s Mill: 6 km – 2-3 hours (85 km - 24 hours)
O’Shea’s Mill to Mushroom Rocks Car Park: 6-7 km- 2-3 hours (92 km - 27 hours) Walhalla South Map
Mushroom Rocks Car Park to
Talhousie Glen - Whitelaw’s Hut Site: 9 km- 3-4 hours (111 km - 36 hours)
Whitelaw’s Hut – Frangipani Saddle: 7 km - 2 hours (118 km - 38 hours) Add .5 hours to water
Newlands Rd Camp to Toorongo (Link Junction - Water): 9 km – 2-3 hours (134 km - 43 hours)
Toorongo (Link Junction) – Hill 956 (Falls): 7 km – 2 hours (141 km - 45 hours)
(Falls Return: 4 km – 4 hours)
Hill 956 – Fire Suppression Stream (3 x Water) : 3 km - 1 hour (144 km - 46 hours)
(Fire Suppression Stream to Noojee @ 24 km – 6-8 hours = 54 hours =toMoe/30.5 =to Warburton)
Suppression Stream - Mt Horsefall: 6 km - 2 hours (150 km - 48 hours)
(Mt Horesfall- Penny falls (Water) 1 km - .5 hour each way)
Mt Horsefall - Davis No 2 Mill Site (Water): 4.5 – 1.5 hours ( 154.5 km - 49.5 hours)
Davis No 2 Mill Site - 7.5 North Loch Rd – 2 hours (162 km - 51.5 hours) (+1 km each way to Water)
Fire dam –Mc Carthy Spur Track 8 km – 2 hours (179.5 km - 56.5 hours)
McCarthy Spur - Lashos Corner (Water.5 km South) : 6 km - 2 hours (185.5 km - 58.5 hours)
Lashos Corner - Ada Tree: 5 km -1.5 hours (193.5 km - 60 hours)
Starlings Gap to Big Pats Picnic Area: 9 km – 3.5 hours (210.5 km - 66.5 hours)
Big Pats Picnic Area – Warburton: 6-7 km – 2 hours (217.5 km - 68.5 hours)
Warburton – Lilydale 40 km – 10 hours (247.5 km 2 80 hours) See: http://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/Lists/Parks-Facilities/Lilydale-to-Warburton-Rail-Trail
23/11/2015: Upper Yarra Track Update: Section Three: Wirilda to Moondarra
(@15 km – 6 hours) The track follows the true right bank (ie facing downstream) of the Tyers river until it crosses on an old pipeline. There are numerous spots where you could stop for a picnic, overnight or for a fish.
There are many beautiful wildflowers.
I usually don't like dogwood, but it has its beauties...
The impressive cliffs below Peterson’s lookout are a feature. Birdlife, wildlife and wild flowers abound. There are a number of side tracks which can be explored. Keep your eye out for signs of the old pipelines one of which was made of wood!
Old wooden water supply pipe.
Parks Victoria reckon this section to be 18 km and to take 5-7 hours (see brochure) http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/315766/Park-note-Tyers-Park.pdf
Giant Tor along the way: wouldn't have want to be around when the Titans were playing marbles with these guys!
Pipeline crossing just South of w3 track.
notes: ‘The open forests are dominated by Yertchuk and Silvertop, with an
understorey of wattles, tea trees, sedges and grasses. Along the ridges, an
Figure 1Old lime kilns on W3 track.
Frequent glimpses of the river.
Rock face just right for climbing.
approximately 2- 2.5 hours to two splendid camps on the W3 track. The first may
need you to carry water 15 minutes from the pipeline crossing point (sometimes
just under water) just below the W3. At the second camp where the old limestone
kilns and some ancient apple trees can still be seen, water can easily be
obtained from the river (100 metres). The cliff face opposite the kilns is
popular for rock climbing practice. Don’t! An alternative more private camp can
be found earlier by turning towards and passing through the locked gate when
you hit the W3 track, approx a further 1km along past it. Water is available
from the river. There are many miles of locked roads in the
It is a lovely little river.
So many pretty stretches.
The track descends from the W3 to Whites creek (water) then contours through fern groves until it meets a 4WD track which joins the W12. You follow the W12 downhill to the river. There is a camp 45 minutes along the track from the W3 just off the W12 track .5 km South of the bridge Just before you get to it you may notice another old picturesque water supply weir in the river. From the W12 track it is approx 2 hours to the W18 track (Moondarra).
The river is canoeable, but some places you can get stuck.
river is canoeable for a very long way…You can probably start at Christmas
Creek on the
A diverse range of different trees.
Camping on the many sandbars is an option.
The trout were rising here: fresh fish for supper!
After you leave the W12 the track crosses a minor stream (water) then zig zags upwards away from the river until it meets a 4WD track (the W18.2) which it follows for about a km, then it descends fairly steeply to the river once more. The track follows the river for the last kilometre or so and is mostly only 10-20 metres from it. You can be looking out for a spot along here to put up a small tent (even in the middle of the track would be fine); lots of spots. You can camp just before the Moondarra end of the track., just before the spillway viewing area (keep an eye out for it) , or near the bridge over the small stream about 200 metres from the W18 Track. The next good camp with water is about 3 hours further on…
Spillway from viewing area approx 300 metres from the end of this section.
View downstream from spillway.
When you come out onto the W18 track (which crosses the dam wall .5 km to your West – great views of the lake) you can also walk up to the gardens and recreation grounds a further 1 km beyond the dam viewing area where there is water and toilets and lot of mown grassy flats, as there is below the dam wall as well.
Moondarra end of the track within site of the railing of the bridge across the spillway.
This lovely stream: Last chance to camp.
The Vic map for this section is Moe North: T8121-1-N
Yarra Track Update: Section Two: Yallourn North to
(@15 km – 3.5-4 hours)
Yallourn North nestled in its hills.
Valley Bus Lines run regularly to Yallourn North and Tyers townships: http://ptv.vic.gov.au/route/view/8366
This can save you nearly a day’s walk if you are pressed for time. Enquire if
the bus will stop at
section is easy going along quiet country lanes with lovely vistas and ample
shady spots if you need a roadside rest to enjoy the view. You look out
Southwards over the verdant
Looking Back at Yallourn Power Station
Australian Paper refinery Maryvale; Strzelecki Ranges Beyond.
(There are also many great walks at Wilsons Prom http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/wilsons-promontory-national-park/things-to-do/southern-prom-overnight-hikes and just across the valley is the Grand Strzelecki Track with over 100 kms of trails: http://www.tourismwellington.com.au/balook-tarra-bulga/attractions/item/grand-strzelecki-walking-track .)
Loy Yang Power station, Strzelecki Ranges Beyond
leave the licenced Foodworks Supermarket, walk up the hill to your West (3/4km)
and turn North down
¾ km along Murray Rd you cross the very pretty Anderson Creek which is your last water for the next 12.5 km (3 hours) except for numerous beautiful dams in farmer’s paddocks (beware bulls if you need to jump a fence on a hot day!)
From there it is about ¾ km to lovely shady flat campsites along the river near the weir (great swimming hole in hot weather). Toilets, seats and water available. The Wirilda Track begins here and is clearly signposted next to the Morwell Pumping Station building.
Above & Below: Wirilda park - a lovely spot to camp.
You may happen to stay a few days at Wirilda: there are innumerable bush tracks and swimming holes to explore. The river abounds with trout, blackfish, spinyback crays (and unfortunately European carp) so a fishing licence is recommended.
4.5 km walk East in to the
Weir at Wirilda - a great swimming hole.
Abbott is clearly positioning himself to lead the conservative forces in
Sheridan in The Australian: ‘Have we become too morally and culturally weak to resist
even the claims of Islamic fascists? Can a civilisation really sustain itself
on the basis of an ideology of self-realisation and entitlement liberalism? If
so, it will be the first time in history. Not only that, even if the model was
internally sustainable, can it really produce a society vigorous enough to
defend itself against these multiplying security challenges…Every soldier,
every police officer, is ultimately prepared to sacrifice their life for an
idea, a set of principles, a set of values, that they believe transcends their
own experience and even their own mortality. Western society is moving ever
further away from the idea that anything beyond the individual can demand such
sacrifice. The internal liberalism has never been more oppressive, while the
ability to stand seriously against enemies is very much in question. Straws in
the wind even in
Our Own Side: Turnbull is turning his back on the plight of Christians (and
Jews) who are being systematically persecuted or annihilated in the
21/11/2015: He Hiked With a Falafel in His Hand: I already mentioned cooking falafel in the leftover fat from Chinese Sausages http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-food-protein/ (the first for dinner, the second for breakfast), but you can carry a pack of falafel mix and approx 60 ml of eg olive oil in a small plastic bottle. A fry up will make about a dozen falafels from a 200 mg packet. . You could form the balls and place them on a tissue so that you would have your billy free to put them in as they came off the pan – or you could just place them in your mouth. You can manage to cook them with only your hiking spoon. You have to add 200ml of water to the dry mix at the start and leave it to stand for ten minutes. I have found you can just eat the prepared mix cold and uncooked too, but it is better cooked. The 200 grams of falafel mix is 1580 kj and the 60 ml of oil about 300 kj, making1880 kj or over 450 calories – quite an acceptable meal for a carry weight of 260 grams – and for an interesting change.
PS: For more like posts try a search (top right corner) for eg ‘stove’ as above, ‘alcohol’ ‘food’, etc…
21/11/2015: Holy Cow: Big Brother is now listening to You: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/11/beware-of-ads-that-use-inaudible-sound-to-link-your-phone-tv-tablet-and-pc/?
Climate refugees: BBC http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34674374:
‘But there hasn’t been a dramatic exodus just yet. The
Ultralight Personal Hygiene: Some of these issues are a bit of a ‘No No’, but someone needs to bring them up. Personally I am particularly disgusted by folks who scatter personal hygiene products (and worse!) around in the bush. Please: bury, burn or carry out!
BATHING: Another Sea to Summit product: an ultrasil camp shower which weighs about 120 grams (without its silly stuff sack), and gives a lovely shower with two billies of boiling water plus two of cold – obviously add the cold FIRST! http://www.seatosummit.com.au/products/leave-no-trace/pocket-shower/ Della usually favours a sponge bath from the billy – a strategy which weighs nearly nothing – and gives a quite satisfactory result. Of course a quick dip in an icy stream whilst very bracing will still get you quite adequately clean. Weight: 0 gram! For a neat way to hang your shower see this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bush-shower-mechanical-advantage/ this would also work well if you are hanging heavy game overnight & etc. We find these lightload towels great for drying off, as washable handkerchiefs, as sweat bands, etc: http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/towel.shtml Most hiking towels do not dry and cannot be squeezed out except the ones which feel a little like cardboard when dry.
TOILET rolls should be BANNED. I wonder really that our emerald agitators have not hit on this particular remedy for the woes of our troubled forests. Why, when we are hiking we manage to get by with (at most) 2-3 Kleenex tissues a day (Fold & fold & fold), which saves a lot on pack weight – and the handy purse-sized dispensers prevent the tissues from becoming saturated and unusable in the rain (which would happen to a toilet roll). But, think of the vast forests to be saved if everyone was FORCED to do this EVERY day. Why, we should never resile from the ability to use force on the citizenry – to make them better, of course!
I always carry a sachet of Kleenex anti-bacterial wipes too, though I have now reprised their weight http://www.theultralighthiker.com/dettol-hand-sanitising-wipes/ Just one of these will give a satisfactory APC (armpits & crutch) clean-up, eg after you have been to the toilet or at the end of the trail day (if you aren’t going to bathe). Cleanliness in such areas may prevent some nasty (eg fungal) infections which will seriously slow you down.
CHAFING: Prevent chafing by applying some moisturizer to the area each day before the day’s hike. Likewise, heel balm all over the feet as an aid to preventing blisters or feet drying out and cracking. You can use a variety of strategies to prepare your feet in the couple of weeks leading up to a hike. Special attention to getting those toenails really short, & softening up the skin. Some recommend hardening the feet for a couple of weeks with alcohol. I have not tried this – seems like the wrong end to be putting the alcohol!
I can usually manage to dig a hole with the heel of my boot, but this tool may be useful if the ground is hard (or for collecting fishing bait, etc): Ultralight titanium ‘potty’ trowels (15 grams): http://www.suluk46.com/products%20%20-%20P11%20Titanium%20Trowel.html or http://gossamergear.com/deuce-of-spades.html at 17 grams. If you ever need to dig for water one of these might be a lifesaver. A sturdy metal tool would be preferable to a plastic pone which would not stand up to heavy use at need.
Microdripper bottles: http://gossamergear.com/mini-dropper-bottles.html These can be useful for storing small quantities (eg of wilderness wash, iodine, deodorant, insect repellent, etc – TIP: if you take the ‘roller’ off a roll-on, you will find it is a liquid which can be decanted into one of these). Drinking straws http://www.theultralighthiker.com/single-use-antibiotic-packs/ can also be made into useful containers.
For protection from insects and treatment of their bites, see: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/insects-can-ruin-a-camping-trip/ Leeches can be a problem too. Their bites can also be treated effectively with the antihistamine cream. For prevention of leech bites, make sure you tuck your trousers into your socks and your shirt into your trousers and wear long sleeves shirts in leech country. And keep an eye out for them. Some salt or a lighted cigarette will make them drop off. Spraying a surface spray such as Baygon is good for keeping them ‘at bay’ too. You might want to think about this for your whole tent footprint in heavily infested areas. Unlike ticks which usually brush off trees, leeches usually climb up from the ground, but can brush onto you in fern gullies, etc. A smaller quantity of surface spray for this purpose could be decanted into a small plastic atomiser bottle such as is used for perfume etc to save weight.
20/11/2015: Doug Keenan is putting his money where his mouth is. He is convinced enough that there is no trend in temperature records to offer $100,000 of his own money to anyone who can prove there is. What? You thought ‘the science was setteled’. Think again: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/11/18/spot-the-trend-10000-usd-prizes-to-show-climate-temperature-data-is-not-random/
11 1683, ‘The Day of the Siege’. A 2012 film about the day the Poles under Jan
Sobieski destroyed the Ottomans before the walls of
19/11/2015: The Baw Baw Frog: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-18/endangered-baw-baw-frog-to-be-celebrated-on-november-18/6951016?section=vic
should feel sorry for these people? MSNBC’s Chris Matthews ended his show
Tuesday night with two numbers — the number of Syrians the
19/11/2015: Desalination: As if it wasn’t bad enough to waste billions on a reverse osmosis desalination plant (when weirs on Vic rivers or pipelines from existing dams in Tas could have been added at a fraction of the cost), even when it was being built it was old technology having been superseded by forward osmosis…now along comes this: Shockwave Desalination: http://news.mit.edu/2015/shockwave-process-desalination-water-1112
19/11/2015: Dual sim adapter for mobile phones http://www.magic-sim.com/ You can have a separate dedicated data account to your call account, or services with two different carriers for approx $37. Or have two sims active at the same time with this $84 device: http://www.magic-sim.com/product/id/44/GoodTalk_DUAL_SIM_DEVICE_-_2_SIMS_ACTIVE_AT_THE_SAME_TIME!.html Add one of these to this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/cheapest-mobile-phone-service/
19/11/2015: Everyone is posting pics of sunsets, already. It's the decline of the West! Don't these folks ever go anywhere, do anything? Try the Upper Yarra Track folks: http://www.finnsheep.com/THE%20UPPER%20YARRA%20WALKING%20TRACK.htm
18/11/2015: Upper Yarra Track Update:
The trail begins...
Section One: Moe-Yallourn Rail Trail:
This lovely @ 8km (2 hour) trail starts @ 200 metres East of Moe Railway Station (just past the two railway bridges you can see from the station) at the corner of Narracan Drive & Bennett St.
Wiltshire Horn ewes and lambs no more than 200 metres from Moe Railway Station.
Within 100 metres you are in another world. On the right are the beautiful Moe Botanic Gardens; on the left a small paddock full of sheep – which is extraordinary.
Moe is a large country town (pop 15,000) a little over 1 hour by train with services approx hourly. You will be able to see a large Woolworths Supermarket on your left as you come up to the railway bridges. The shopping centre has at least one other supermarket and many other shops. The Botanic Gardens nestled along pretty Narracan Creek are worthy of a little exploration before you head off towards Walhalla. Then, on to the rail trail.
an old railway line it is obviously dead flat all the way to the Yallourn Power
Station on the beautiful
Obviously there are toilets and water at the Railway Station before you set out, again in Sullivans Rd halfway to Yallourn PS (signposted), then at the picnic area behind it (signposted on the Yallourn North Rd Bridge crossing), and finally in the main street of Yallourn North.
The sights are varied. Surprisingly for almost the entire length of the walk to the power station you are enclosed in a curtain of native vegetation (of varying width) with abundant wildlife (birdlife especially). There are always some beautiful wildflowers in bloom.
The concrete foundations of the old railway telegraph poles make excellent seats every 50 metres or so. Just great for a picnic lunch – perhaps a sandwich and a glass of wine bought back before leaving Moe. Here and there park benches are thoughtfully provided as well. The track has distance markers (which can be used as references for making emergency calls). Telstra NextG works fine the full length of this section.
In places the trail is fringed with forest.
there are glimpses of distant paddocks or beautiful
I see no reason you could not camp along the sides of the track (there are little flat spots here and there a tent could be erected), or along the banks of the Latrobe or in Sir John Monash Reserve. You would have to carry any water needed to them.
The cooling towers are great works of art.
The diversion is worth it, what you are seeing is the lower reaches of Lake Narracan sometimes glimpsed earlier through the trees to the North, but it is also worth backtracking along the ‘proper’ route when you get there a bit and viewing the wonderful towers through the frame of the underneath of the Yallourn North Road Bridge.
Sir John Monash Reserve
the ancient pines of Sir John Monash Reserve you can continue along 3-400
metres of riverbank track to the
I will also be doing a post soon about public transport to the track. For example, there is a regular weekday bus service to Noojee (about halfway), http://www.warragulbuslines.com.au/Timetables.htm#4 and obviously there are almost hourly trains/trams to Moe, Warburton and Lilydale. Mountain Top Experience provides a bus service from (eg Moe) to eg Walhalla/Mushroom Rocks Car Park etc, for those who might wish to shorten the trip a bit: http://www.mountaintopexperience.com/tours/
18/11/2015: Halal Defeated: It’s beginning to look like Kirralie Smith has WON and that the Federal Government will soon abolish the Halal certification racket which has so filled the coffers of Islamic terrorists worldwide: http://pickeringpost.com/story/the-end-of-private-halal-certification-in-australia/5559
18/11/2015: Why have a mobile phone plan when you can have a telephone number (with lots of calls for $5/month via Voip and can buy data for as little as $50/year for 5Gb? Add: Acrobits Softphone App (Play Store = Free); Plus: eg https://www.pennytel.com.au/personal-voip/plans/talk-till-you-drop $5/month includes DID phone number; Plus: https://www.telstra.com.au/tablets/prepaid-for-tablets $50/year for 5Gb. $140 for two years for 16Gb; Sim starter kit $2. All up less than $10/month. Compare that to your present plan! And did you know you could have a Telstra pre-paid mobile service for $70 per year? https://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/prepaid-mobiles/offers-and-rates
17/11/2015: How to make a Sling: What a useful instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/how-to-make-a-sling/ A little more information on ‘How To Use a Sling’ (Numerous Youtubes available) and I would be on my way, but I will certainly give it a go! Should only weigh a few grams (and like a fishing line) could provide some useful protein (and a change of diet) on the trail: plenty of bunnies, birdies and beasties small enough to be tackled with a well-thrown stone. Do NOT try this with BEARS! See also: http://slinging.org/index.php?page=how-to-build-and-use-a-traditional-apache-sling---l-w-forsyth & etc…
17/11/2015: Understanding the Macbeth mentality:
‘There is nor flying hence nor tarrying here.
I 'gin to be aweary of the sun,
And wish th' estate o' th' world were now undone.—
Ring the alarum-bell!—Blow, wind! Come, wrack!
At least we’ll die with harness on our back.’ (Act5 Ccene 5 Lines 48-52)
(due to climate change/inter-glacial factors?) ‘Birnam Wood comes to
Dunsinane’: the Taiga has been steadily advancing into the Arctic creating a
new forest much larger than
17/11/2015: Eschatology seems to me to get effect before cause. Remember the bumper sticker: ‘Don't Immanentize the Eschaton’: Immanentize means to make part of the here and now. Eschaton, like eschatology, relates to the branch of theology which deals with humanity's destiny. You know, the end times, when all of that wacky, end-timey, Seventh-Seal stuff happens (oceans boil, the righteous ascend to heaven, Carrot Top is funny, etc). Hence 'immanentizing the eschaton' means, in effect, trying to make what is reserved for the next life part of the here and now,’ (Jonah Goldberg). It seems utterly illogical to think of the future affecting the present and being used as the well-springs of action (such as suicide bombings for example). But ALL planning involves the future (icon?) causing the present action. The religious mentality is a sub-set of such phenomena. Meanwhile (in defence of religion…What? Really?) you get some interesting articles when you Google ‘an atheist’s defence of religion’, such as this one: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/an-atheists-defence-of-religion/article552347/
16/11/2015: Boojums: I mostly think there ARE no ghosts, aliens, bigfeet, nessies, pixies, fairies, dragons, panthers, bunyips etc because now that everyone has a camera on their phone, still nonetheless no-one has a photo of one. Howsomever, I spent a good hour trying to get a good snap of one of these little fellas in the graden (I often see them). They just about glow like neon actually and are around an inch long. I came inside with dozens of snaps taken no more then 6” away from this lovely lady, yet every time she had managed to hide. Obviously gremlins, trolls, firebraces etc are even more camera-shy. PS: I was surprised to learn that they were actually wasps and dined exclusively on mole crickets, which is no doubt why one often finds the latter scurrying along the verandah, fleeing them no doubt. I had always thought them ants. I CAN be wrong, you see!
16/11/2015: ‘Oppressing everyone to avoid oppressing anyone is the egalitarian ethos gone mad’. This guy’s take on the failure of both Left and Right is just great: http://sultanknish.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/our-state-of-police.html Short version: http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/23835-Social-problems-without-solutions,-and-the-police-state.html
16/11/2015: NOW, be honest, does this sound like your class reunion:
Sue and Mary haven't seen each other since High School. They rediscover each
other via a reunion website and arrange to meet for lunch in a wine bar. Jan
arrives first, wearing beige Versace. She orders a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Sue
arrives shortly afterward, in gray Chanel. After the required ritualized kisses
she joins Jan in a glass of wine. Then Mary walks in, wearing a faded old
tee-shirt, blue jeans and boots. She too shares the wine. Jan explains that
after leaving high school and graduating from
Words: Turnbull called it ‘an attack on all humanity’, Obama struggled to
remember the core phrase, ‘Life,
Australian Pygmies etc: Hundreds of these guys were measured at 4’6”-5’ (men)
and 6”-1’ less (women) which IS tiny. You can clearly see that they were a
negroid people not unlike the African pygmies with their short, curly hair, and
quite unlike the ‘typical aboriginal’ found most other places on the mainland.
Truganini (Tasmanians generally) had similar hair and shorter stature too. This
is quite a remarkable revelation, as I said in my earlier post (8/11), and
their stature was suggested by the size of the banana leaves. Bananas? Aren’t
they introduced? Not so. They originated in
encampment in rainforest behind
15/11/2015: Instant Archways: I just love star posts and weldmesh. There are so many things you can do with them. These arches are soon going to be festooned with pumpkins and melons.
Meanwhile, we have our first zucchinis already, started in the $60 Mitre 10 greenhouse:
These tomatoes though, seem to have gotten away from me somewhat!
14/11/2015: Living within your means and paying your way: Personally I was brought up with this duo pretty much as creeds. To many they seem quaint now, if people have even heard of them. Debt always involves printing funny money ahead of its being earned/created, hence it is the chief cause of inflation. It robs the future to pay for present excess, and always robs savers and rewards spendthrifts – so is unwise (as policy) at best. It can only be justified in times of national crises (such as imminent invasion). Unfortunately people come to believe in it, that it is normal/desirable even – and keep voting for it. The popularity of a proposition has no connection with its truth (or otherwise) – else there would not be so many billions of folk wedded yet to various religions, each believing their own to be the font of all truth, yet failing to grasp the obvious fact that whilst they cannot all be true, they can all be false - and almost certainly are. Imagine believing the ridiculous proposition that there is something after death. As if road kill was going to bound back to life. And such after-lives are still so woeful geographically, being associated still with well explored ups and downs. What? Will Voyager eventually encounter God? We cannot keep on racking up debt (either personally or nationally) as if there will be no tomorrow. The piper will eventually have to be paid. Unfortunately (as the fate of Hamelin reminds us) it will be our children who have to pay that price!
14/11/2015: Emergency, Dial: 112. This is good advice. You will connect through whatever carrier is available, even if your own is not. You will also bump others users off the cell as emergency numbers have priority. So you will be much more likely to get through. You will NOT get through if there is no coverage though. For this you need a satellite phone, a UHF radio or an epirb. http://www.theultralighthiker.com/emergency-cb-radios/ See Snopes: ‘Calling 112 on your cell phone will (in some parts of the world, primarily Europe) connect you to local emergency services, even if you are outside your provider's service area (i.e., even if you are not authorized to relay signals through the cell tower that handles your call), and many cell phones allow the user to place 112 calls even if the phone lacks a SIM card or its keypad is locked. However, the 112 number does not have (as is sometimes claimed) special properties that enable callers to use it in areas where all cellular signals are blocked (or otherwise unavailable).’ http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/household/cellphones.asp You may be able to extend battery life as an an option available on some brands of cell phone (such as Nokia) for Half Rate Codec, which provides about 30% more talk time on a battery charge at the expense of lower sound quality. This option is enabled by pressing the sequence *#4720#. A far better plan to conserve battery life is to put your phone on Flight Mode, or switch it off! It will last for MANY days.
14/11/2015: Left-wing journalism and ‘free speech’ at its best: This Prof of Journalism’s ‘research interests’ center on popular culture texts and audiences, particularly texts and audiences disdained in mainstream culture. Her work in this area is guided by audience studies, theories of gender and sexuality, and media literacy.’ What does she SAY to the Press? ‘Get Out!’ http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/melissa_needs_muscle/
13/11/2015: If this man’s incredible voyage proves true, he will have smashed the records of those other great survivors: Poon Lim, Louis Zamperini (‘Unbroken’), the USS ‘Indianapolis’ (http://www.ussindianapolis.org/story.htm) etc: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/jose-salvador-alvarenga-recounts-438-days-drifting-at-sea-and-the-day-he-was-saved/story-fnq2o7dd-1227606015987 See also: http://listverse.com/2012/02/16/top-10-sea-survivors/
13/11/2015: Should being one eighth ‘aboriginal’ (or having a murkily defined ‘religious belief’) exempt one from obeying the law everyone else must obey? I hardly think so: http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/discount_for_callum/
this: ‘If the wave of migrants keeps coming, in 10-15 years, Swedes will be a
minority in their own country.’ Do we want THIS for our country? http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6697/sweden-collapse
Then this: Just weeks after the little boy on the beach and two weeks after
Tony Abbott’s Thatcher speech,
13/11/2015: Cyclone Chair: https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Accessory/CycloneSLChairKit I thought I had posted about this wonder long ago, but apparently not. I always carry one of these. You can make a comfy chair with it out of just about any pad. (I use the Thermarest Neoair X-lite Womens myself). The specs say it weighs 180 grams but I’m sure mine is about 15 grams less than that. It helps to give structure to a frameless pack such as Gossamer Gear’s G4 (along with an Airbeam pad http://www.theultralighthiker.com/klymit-air-beam-inflatable-pack-frame-update/), it provides a dry seat which supports your (tired) back at the end of a long day and gets you 5-6” off the ground. I have spent many hours sitting on mine eg in front of a cheery fire in my Tyvek shelter: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tyvek-solo-fire-shelter/
Tales: Lewis & Clark, A Film by Ken Burns 1997. About the first crossing of
the American continent (by Europeans) in 1804-6. We have spent the last two
nights simply mesmerised by this amazing documentary. Ken Burns is always such
a treat! The scenery and photography were superb. It has hard to credit that
there are/remain places of such astounding beauty in the world/America. That is
aside from the gripping tale of achievement and heroism incredibly well told by
compelling narrators/commentators. If you love the wilderness, do acquire a
copy of it; I’m sure you will find it as much a treat as we did. It can be
downloaded here: https://kat.cr/pbs-lewis-and-clark-a-film-by-ken-burns-1997-1x1-720p-mvgroup-t7654424.html
Other lessons from the film: early on in their journey (within the first
month), Lewis had cause to have a small number of the party (which numbered
three dozen men including one African American, and later one woman!) punished
by lashing. One man, guilty of a capital crime (lying down and falling asleep
on watch ie endangering the lives of the entire expedition) lashed 100 times!
No other punishments were needed throughout the ensuing three years. Indeed the
group was enormously cohesive and successful. Only one died (a victim of a
disease which could not be treated in
12/11/2015: The new ‘Je Suis Charlie’, Robert Ménard. Let’s hope he fares better than the last with the ‘religion of love’ brothers: http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/let_new_york_becoime_majority_muslim_and_then_you_can_talk/
11/11/2015: Emergency CB Radios: Lots of folk carry an Epirb. Some (like me) carry a Satellite Phone. Big bucks, but when your life/safety are the issue…If you are on a budget you might consider a Dual-band CB radio such as the Baofeng which can be bought for less than A$50 including a battery pack, which takes 6 x AAs – in addition to its lithium battery (or you might power/charge it with something else you already carry). Around 200 grams, I know but you get (receive only) FM radio (For weather forecasts etc), a UHF radio with duplex which can access the Channel 5 emergency frequency (you can be pretty sure someone will be listening anywhere in Victoria at least - http://uhfcb.com.au/40-Channel-UHF-Infomation.php), and HF (ham radio) as well (for which you should have a licence) but which propagates wonderfully from more remote locations. It would be a good tool also for keeping in touch with other users on the trail. You can also buy a higher gain antenna for a few dollars more. A car kit is also available. Available for example: http://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R-Dual-Radio-Black/dp/B007H4VT7A or http://www.ebay.com/itm/BAOFENG-UV-5R-CTCSS-Dual-Band-Radio-Walkie-Talkies-Original-AA-Battery-Case-pack-/391219854780?hash=item5b16853dbc (NB: I have been advised that this radio might not be Australian compliant, so it is your risk to use (many do). I use a (legal) GME (the last Australian produced radio) which handles the 40 legal Australian UHF channels (includes duplex), but costs a lot more.)
11/11/2015: Remembrance Day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRqMMaCZfHI
10/11/2015: Perennial Vegetables: You could buy the book, or
use his lists and Wikipedia as a guide. Some interesting suggestions here. We
are always thinking about adding new useful plants to our farm/garden. The
American Groundnut (Apios Americana) is a case in point (with yields of 30
tonnes/hectare growing as a weed! As is Udo (Aralia cordata). It is easy to see
how one can add 100 perennial vegetables to the garden, and at least that many
unusual fruits: http://perennialvegetables.org/ Udo can grow to 9' - seen here growing in
‘Islamist extremism is not part of a contemporary
10/11/2015: Interesting wet weather fire starter: Permanganate and Glycerine http://survive-prepare.com/2013/01/04/hyper-golic-fire/
09/11/2015: Is there something wrong with this or with me? ‘Singing the Australian national anthem or pledging support for democratic values in the citizenship oath was part of a state campaign of oppression and “forced assimilation” directed at Australian Muslims, Hizb ut-Tahrir leaders declared. According to media spokesman, Uthman Badar, the federal government “claims to afford freedom, but seeks to impose values and beliefs” on Muslims, specifically in the citizenship oath when new citizens were required to pledge allegiance to the democratic values upon which Australian society is based. “It’s not enough that you obey the law, no, you have to adopt [Australian] values” as well,’ & ‘The contrasting treatment of Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Australian Liberty Alliance is a measure not only of a major political shift but also of the disaffection among voters caused by ill-considered government policies — a disaffection that could well shape the politics of the next federal parliament.’ https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2015/11/tolerating-intolerance-denouncing-democracy/
09/11/2015: Handy DIY Greenhouse: https://thinmac.wordpress.com/2008/11/06/hello-world/
09/11/2015: What a useful article: http://preppingfortheworst.blogspot.com/2012/10/personal-defense-how-to-make-stun-gun.html
08/11/2015: Mind-boggling! For a whole variety of reasons: 'The story of human habitation of this continent is not the exclusive property of anyone. It should be the concern of all of us, black and white, to ensure it is told as openly and as truthfully as possible.' https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/history-wars/2002/06/the-extinction-of-the-australian-pygmies/
08/11/2015: Fluffernutter: Australians are SO deprived: WE cannot enjoy this early C20th American delight here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluffernutter or its many variants, eg with banana. (Update: All is not lost: you can buy marshmallow creme at places like the Reject shop most of the time): http://neighborfoodblog.com/2014/09/grilled-banana-fluffernutter-sandwiches.html
08/11/2015: If your caravan won’t quite make it there, you can bring it with you: http://www.rvshadeandcovers.com.au/
08/11/2015: Dettol Hand Sanitising Wipes vs Kleenex Anti-Bacterial Wipes: Dettol are 20cmx15cm. Kleenex are 20cm x 13.9cm. Dettol come in a 10 pack = 48 grams (4.8 grams/wipe) ; Kleenex in a 15 pack = 79 grams (5.2 grams/wipe). The pack is more compact too. If you are only going to use say 2 wipes/day, you save 39 grams in your pack for a five day trip. It all adds up! This is about a muesli bar’s worth of food. Ten savings like this and you have an extra day’s food!
07/11/2015: Yet another sentence you never thought would be uttered: http://beforeitsnews.com/libertarian/2015/11/equating-genitalia-to-a-persons-gender-is-and-always-will-be-transphobic-darleen-click-2622968.html
07/11/2015: Thomson River Canoe Trip: Here (as promised: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-thomson-river-gippsland-victoria/) is the video I shot of Steve Cleaver and I canoeing the Thomson River Gippsland Victoria Australia circa 2006. What a great trip! Click to open and play. Got to Youtube for full screen. This is the raw, unedited footage and soundtrack just as I shot it. These are 12′ Nylex ‘Pioneer’ Canadian canoes which Della has made some press-studded covers for supported by 3/8″ fibreglass electric fence posts. They have worked quite well enough for thirty years now! See also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-thomson-river-gippsland-victoria/
Gorge: Steve Cleaver
07/11/2015: How to open a can without a can opener, (and lots of other neat tricks): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH2NahLjx-Y
07/11/2015: Things you didn’t know: ‘agriculture is capitalist, racialized patriarchy.’ (yet we desex male animals only!) http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2015/11/battle-axe-pote.html
07/11/2015: If I self-identified as a dog would I have the right to cock my leg on the dining room table: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/us/illinois-district-violated-transgender-students-rights-us-says.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0
06/11/2015: How to treat a Gunshot Wound: I found this article (and its forerunner) very helpful. It certainly had me downloading a First Aid App for one thing (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cube.gdpc.aus) and reassessing my First Aid kit…PLEASE NOTE that this article contains graphic and disturbing images: http://guncarrier.com/how-to-treat-a-gunshot-wound-2/ Such an injury (which can cause catastrophic blood loss) need not be caused by weapons, whether accidentally discharged or not. One can imagine similar horrid events being precipitated by car accidents, chainsaws, agricultural and DIY machinery, etc. Being able to stabilise the catastrophic blood loss, deal with ruptured organs, and most important call for assistance is so important. This is when a satellite phone, epirb, UHF radio or external antennae for your mobile is so important, but two-way communication will more likely save a life as compared the passive epirb: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/mobile-phone-antennae/
06/11/2015: Ban the imported people, NOT the guns. The rest of us need them to protect ourselves against the former: ‘The shootings are not at random and are usually drug related and at the current time we believe they are associated around gang activity, middle eastern organised crime figures and their links into the outlaw motorcycle gangs’ http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/man-shot-in-leg-in-shepherds-grove-kings-park/news-story/477ee2bb9a67b13a0d08f2a7b01786fd
06/11/2015: Albanese & Plibersek Gone: ‘The Greens could win the Labor strongholds of Grayndler and Sydney if the party received Liberal preferences at the next election, according to a Parliamentary Library analysis of proposed new federal electoral boundaries.’ The Liberals must hold firm against such vandals! http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/trouble_for_tony_and_tanya/
Mini Gorge: Della Jones
I have canoed
this wonderful river so many times over more than thirty years, from the
Thomson Dam to Cowwarr Weir. Much of the water in the section from the dam to
the Walhalla Rd Bridge was stolen by Melbourne Water nearly twenty years ago,
so it is rare nowadays to be able to canoe it – and if you find enough water
you will likely find it rather choked with logs. You can put in at the Narrows
Gauge if you just want a short trip on a hot day; this also avoids the chute
and 3 metre waterfall immediately below the Low Saddle Track which many find
somewhat intimidating. I have seen others come to grief there. One would
certainly have died had I not been there. And I dropped and spilled my beer
when rescuing him. Damn it! I doubt his life was worth one cold beer. Is anyone’s?
It is about five hours from the dam, about two from the Narrows Gauge. Best
height this section is above .5 metres at the Narrows Gauge. From the Walhalla
Rd Bridge to
Fun below the Gorge, Bryn Jones
best section today is a two day trip from
Lovely water: Bryn Jones
The best thing about the two canoeable sections above Bruntons Bridge (for me) was that I could canoe them alone just using a mountain bike to get back to my canoe at the beginning of the trip – and I often did, back in the 80s and early 90s. Beautiful bike rides and a few hours of great canoeing. The section below Bruntons really needs a motorbike as well as a car (if you are going to canoe it alone) as it is quite a long ride from Cowwarr to Bruntons.
Lots of Grade 2 rapids
Marble Quarry Chute
Bryn Jones Swimming
There are many spots along the way you can camp, particularly below the Gorge. Be warned, however: there is about a week in summer when they let out a heap of water from the dam as an ‘environmental flow’. This can put the height up overnight eg from .25 metres to .5 metres, so be sure your camp is a bit higher than this and that your canoes are dragged up well clear of the water – otherwise you may be in for a nasty shock. I have asked those in authority to post this as a warning on the BOM River Heights Page, but as is usual with public servants, no-one is responsible, or willing to do any work! Pretty much the only spot you cannot camp is at the ‘designated camp spot just below the end of the T9 track which became overgrown twenty years ago! There is a small spot just upstream of there. There is another spot just before the Gorge. You cannot camp in the Gorge. You can walk out up the T9 track from the camp I mentioned: there is a large tree on the right bank with the number 20 painted on it at the ‘designated camp site’. (It is only 100 metes to the T9 track) and a much easier walk than the ‘designated escape route’ up onto the Marble Quarry Track, a very steep climb of about a km.
Camp at T9 Track
put in for a day trip too at the end of the T9 track, now officially closed –
but who cares? I had a walking track extending upstream and down from its end
but it is no doubt overgrown somewhat now. Feel free to clear it again though.
You need a (good) 4WD for the last approx 1 km on the T9 and there is very
limited room to perform a six-point turn. Be warned. It is a good place to put
in for a day’s pack rafting though, as you can easily walk down. Another good
spot to put in for a day trip (before the fire) used to be off the end of the
Mitchell Creek No X Track where a walking track to a campsite by the river used
to exist, a spot I have always called ‘The Poplars’ as will be obvious to you
when you get there. It would be nice to restore this too! You can also enjoy a
day’s packrafting by accessing the river from the T6 track off the
From the weir to Marble Quarry Track there are many entertaining Grade 2 rapids which may be somewhat more difficult to negotiate at lower water levels. After Marble Quarry there is a minor gorge section which is very pretty. The first chute rapid after Marble Quarry has a boulder in it near the bottom which can tip you over to your right. Beware of doing so and hitting your head. I usually stop for a cold drink at the base of the ridge off the Marble Quarry Track where there used to be an excellent camp site constructed by some miners who used to drive down the ridge from the B3.1 track. Feel free to clear that track too.
Gorge: Steve Cleaver
quite pleasant to walk up some of the beautiful creeks which enter the Thomson
in this section, particularly Lammers and Deep Creek. Both can hold excellent blackfish
in deep pools. You can walk all the way up Deep Creek, climb the ridge where it
splits in two (you will find an old track there) and exit at Binns Junction. It
is an excellent day or overnight walk. Very private now too since our ‘masters’
have closed all the access tracks to Deep Creek (T10, D1 & 2 etc). If you
are quiet you are likely to see a deer or two. There are some pleasant little
flats to camp on bends in the stream. It is an astonishingly beautiful valley!
You can walk down the (closed) T10 track from the
Mini Gorge: Brett Irving
The Gorge is the section which most daunts Della now she has lost so much of her eyesight, and I don’t wonder. If I had less than 50% sight it would daunt me too. It is such a shame though that she can no longer canoe the Thomson because of this, as it is an astonishingly beautiful (and varied) river. It takes about an hour to get through the Gorge which begins about a quarter hour below the 20 km Tree. There is not much stopping; it can be difficult to find a spot to empty your boat if it becomes swamped particularly above .3, or .5 metres. Last time I was down the river there was a quite dangerous log jam towards the end – which would be a very dangerous trap for unwary players. Watch out for it. You could stop just before it (on the right) and walk around. There are some wonderful camps starting below the Gorge. You don’t need to stop at the very first one (on the left) which is very nice as there are lots more!
Gorge: Steve Jones
Gorge: Alan Hall.
Below the Gorge (and elsewhere) there are delightful flat, placid sections where you can just about go to sleep in the boat.
Della loves these clear, quiet sections.
Della Jones: asleep?
About a half hour below ‘The Poplars’ you come to ‘The Triple Stager’. It is certainly a Grade Three rapid! You should not be asleep then; I once was – a very dangerous descent of the left hand channel (Don’t!) suddenly sans canoe! Fortunately I was wearing a life jacket else I would not be here to tell the tale! It is on a left hand bend. The river forks. Take the right fork. There are three distinct drops. It may be a good idea to get out on the right bank before the first and reconnoitre. You can carry your boat all the way to the bottom of the third drop (about 100 metres of rock hopping) if you so desire. Or, you can carefully descend each in turn, choosing to portage the third if your courage or foolhardiness is not up to it! The first two are best approached on the right side of the river, and you can finish each in a small still pool. To shoot the third you need to start on the left side of the river, then cross to the right as you enter it. There is a large boulder just left of centre which needs to be passed on the right. It can tip you our very nastily! Here is a photo of Della descending the Third Stage backwards, as it turns out – a very dangerous practice, but we have had lots of practice at being dangerous!
Della Jones: Triple Stager: Third Stage.
Della Jones: Triple Stager: 1st and 2nd stages.
The next Grade Three rapid is the Boulder Rapid which comes after about a half hour of a wonderful downhill section. It is a huge boulder which just about completely blocks the river – but that is not he worst bit of it. You should pull out on the left bank and inspect this rapid. If you have any doubt about it, drag your boat right around it on the left hand side. I have thought about clearing a complete new route around the right hand side of this rapid but I fear it is probably too much hard lifting for my back now. Otherwise there is a very sharp left turn followed very abruptly by a right turn, then you must go down the exact correct (centre) chute or you will be on the rocks and may break your arm. Be warned! That being said, it is a wonderful fun rapid and I have sometimes dragged my boat back up it to have a second go! Some of us are mad! Might not now I am nearly 70. I hope to see again this summer though!
Below the Gorge: Fred Bowman
Strange things the river has wrought: Fred Bowman
last Grade 3 rapid is less than another half hour downriver and is called ‘The
Chute’. The whole river goes through a narrow cut less than six foot wide. It
goes through very fast I can tell you, so you had better be lined up dead
square or you will think you have just been through a washing machine. If your
boat gets side on to it, it will snap it in two in a trice and plough you
straight through it to boot. Lined up straight, it is a doddle. You may not see
it coming, (though there is a steel ladder on your left just before it gives
access to the gauge there). Keep to the right in the pool above it from where
you will be able to spot it OK and line yourself up. You can drive down to it
in a decent 4WD. It is the T2 track off the
km above ‘The Chute’ there is a much more daunting rapid (I think) which I call
the chute there are a number of small entertaining drops, but soon you are in the
backwaters of the weir and if the wind is blowing upriver (it almost always is)
it can be a substantial paddle the last half hour or so. I usually aim for the
point on the far left hand side at the weir where the old (closed) bridge
Nearly there: Della Jones
STAY TUNED: I filmed a one hour video of myself and Steve Cleaver canoeing the Thomson in 2008. I WILL figure out how to post it soon, I promise!
‘A largely Muslim charity recently reviewed the work its people had been doing
to relieve the misery and squalor on the Sangatte refugee camp in
things (plants for eg) are very patient (unlike myself). I certainly wouldn’t
hang around in the
This pair of swallows has nested in our garage for maybe twenty years. Once
again this year they have raised four young. Other descendants nest in other
sheds, in the old dog-houses on the hill, under the verandah, in an under-road
stream pipe below the house & etc. Every year they go away, maybe all the
04/11/2015: Students who could not change a light bulb need this sort of JUNK: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/fighting-school-sexism-feminist-theory-hits-classrooms-20151030-gkn7an.html
04/11/2015: Islamophobia: This is a ‘religion’ which openly advocates my murder (as an atheist), and the murder of my Jewish, Christian and gay friends…yet if I speak out against it, I am inciting hatred under Section 18C of the ‘Racial Discrimination Act’ and can/will be punished – unlike the damned mullahs who daily preach my death!
03/11/2015: Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack: Great new hiking day pack: 18 litres, three compartments, water bottle pocket, 90 grams assorted colours, available: http://www.backpackinglight.com.au/ I think you could squeeze an overnight trip into it. Worth a try anyway. Add it to the suggestions here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hunting-daypack/
3/11/2015: National Anthem: When I was in Primary School we pledged our allegiance every morning at school assembly, rain or shine! Singing of our National Anthem (‘God Save the Queen’) was routine then, and you were expected to stand when it was played (in cinemas for example). NOW, ‘Moslem’ children can leave the room rather than show any such loyalty; a meeting of Hizb ut-Tahrir (a banned terrorist organisation everywhere else) about this very issue was attended by 800 people: 800 people who should immediately BE MADE to GO LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE! ‘They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind’.
private enterprise: ‘Every time I get to feeling sorry about taxi drivers and
their Uber-disrupted industry, I take a ride in a
02/11/2015: Ice Anyone? ‘A new NASA study found that Antarctica has been adding more ice than it’s been losing, challenging other research, including that of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that concludes that Earth’s southern continent is losing land ice overall. In a paper published in the Journal of Glaciology on Friday, researchers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the University of Maryland in College Park, and the engineering firm Sigma Space Corporation offer a new analysis of satellite data that show a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001 in the Antarctic ice sheet. That gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.’ http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/1101/NASA-says-Antarctica-is-actually-gaining-ice.-Does-this-mean-climate-is-fine & http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/31/ooops-new-nasa-study-antarctica-isnt-losing-ice-mass-after-all/
02/11/2015: Let There Be Light #2: At last, a replacement for the 100 watt incandescent globe: Phillips 18 watt 2000 lumen (!) That is 130 watt incandescent equivalent, so soon our lounge room will be back to the ‘good old days’ when we could SEE! Bulbs now available at Bunnings. They have smashed the 100 lumens per watt barrier by more than 10%. http://www.philips.com.au/c-p/8718696482926/led-bulb See also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/let-there-be-light/
02/11/2015: Eneloop Pro AAA Battery: Things just keep getting better…This is an improvement to their white 750 mAh battery (Recharge 1,000 times). This one is 950 mAh, is still 85% after one year and recharges 500+ times, but it is nearly one-third more available energy! Available Dick Smith, etc.
01/11/2015: BOM Seasonal Outlook: One bloke has been doing a bit of a study of this since the Bureau first stared issuing them (http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?cat=20) Turns out they have zero skill in predicting the season ahead, though they still claim to know what it will be like 100 years hence – yeah, Good Luck with that! But wait! If they are never right, then I can just look at their seasonal outlook to see what it’s NOT going to be like: OK, here goes: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks/#/overview/summary So, they reckon it will be substantially drier and hotter than usual here, so we can conclude from that we are in for a cool, wet summer. You Beauty! Oh Look: it’s already started to rain. We’ve just had half an inch in the last half hour. The US Weather Bureau (who are always much more accurate I’ve found - I always used them when I was going to cut hay –or go walking in Fiordland), the GFS claims we will have another 1 ½ inches by the end of this week. That WOULD be nice!
01/11/2015: Orwell: The old socialists were SO different from the modern ones
(or as Yeats had it, ‘The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of
passionate intensity’) Here’s George: ‘If I had to defend my reasons for
supporting the war, I believe I could do so. There is no real alternative
between resisting Hitler and surrendering to him, and from a Socialist point of
view I should say that it is better to resist; in any case I can see no
argument for surrender that does not make nonsense of the Republican resistance
I grew up in an atmosphere tinged with militarism, and afterwards I spent five boring years within the sound of bugles. To this day it gives me a faint feeling of sacrilege not to stand to attention during ‘God save the King’. That is childish, of course, but I would sooner have had that kind of upbringing than be like the left-wing intellectuals who are so ‘enlightened’ that they cannot understand the most ordinary emotions. It is exactly the people whose hearts have never leapt at the sight of a Union Jack who will flinch from revolution when the moment comes....
The young Communist who died heroically in the International Brigade was public school to the core. He had changed his allegiance but not his emotions. What does that prove? Merely the possibility of building a Socialist on the bones of a Blimp, the power of one kind of loyalty to transmute itself into another, the spiritual need for patriotism and the military virtues, for which, however little the boiled rabbits of the Left may like them, no substitute has yet been found.’ http://orwell.ru/library/articles/My_Country/english/e_mcrol
01/11/2015: Can Capital Cities be true/false? Islamabad, Bangkok, Baghdad, Cayenne, Cockburn Town, Dili, Flying Fish Cove, Freetown, Helsinki, Kingstown, Male, Moroni, Muscat, Road Town, Rome, Seoul, Stockholm, The Valley, Warsaw, West Island…I rest my case!
01/11/2015: Pen Fishing Rods: These are tiny: I bought mine from this guy but I see you can get what seems like the same thing on eBay out of China for @ $10, so…My rod weighs 64 grams and the reel (spooled) 142 grams – and you certainly can cast it and catch fish on it (I have), if you are careful. Apparently you can spool the fly reel with a special line too: http://penfishingrods.com/shop/index.php
Paleo Diet: Supposing that the science of ‘
‘MIDDLE Eastern gangs are to blame for a surge
of shootings in Victoria, mainly caused by drugs and territorial disputes,
according to police…Victoria Police Crime Command Acting Commander Peter de
Santo said ... “these incidences are isolated around
30/10/2015: Union membership is NOW down to a mere 10% of the workforce. This is what Shorten’s corrupt thugs have wrought to a once-proud movement: Official ABS figures: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6333.0?OpenDocument
29/10/2015: Caught: Thank Goodness police have apprehended the Stoccos and at least one of the evil slime involved in the ‘Baby in a Suitcase’ murders. Meanwhile the news is replete daily with other like ghastly misdeeds. Of course we will no doubt be edified to learn how many times the perps were previously released after committing like offences in the past. Simultaneously our State Government announces it will crack down even further on ‘illegal’ gun ownership – as if most gun ownership (whether declared illegal or not) was not at least partly for self-protection, a necessity when our various Governments refuse to rid us of vile criminals and/or import thousands more. Of course they also only recently increased penalties for fortifying one’s home. Our Green/CFMEU State Government is threatening to steal another huge chunk of our bush from foresters, hunters, fishermen and other recreational users (http://www.firearmscouncil.org.au/index.php/2015/10/27/the-great-forest-national-park-what-it-means-for-shooting-in-victoria/) This is an area where I have peacefully spent most of my adult life hunting. Of course once there is nowhere you can use a firearm for recreational purposes all firearms (except those in the hands of criminals can be banned). It is quite natural for otherwise law-abiding citizens to want to retain (or manufacture) such firearms for self-protection, if nothing else (eg euthanasia). The Nazis made firearm ownership punishable by death, yet millions of folks failed to hand them in. Anyone who studies the history of Leftist Governments will see that they have murdered hundreds of millions of citizens - hence a major reason for gun ownership is self-protection against such governments. It is long since time Governments stopped punishing and criminalising ordinary citizens and instead rid us permanently of evildoers.
29/10/2015: Technology itself is like a Von Neumann Machine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-replicating_machine ) according to Matt Ridley. It is a sort of unstoppable juggernaut which (like so many things) probably doesn’t require government funding: http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-myth-of-basic-science-1445613954
29/10/2015: Our chief scientist (not to mention the US EPA) says FRACKING IS SAFE but do you think the Left will listen? http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2015/s4340246.htm
28/10/2015: Bacon Sandwich Anyone: Betsy Booren Vice President of Scientific Affairs North American Meat Institute, ‘They tortured the data to ensure a specific outcome…Red and processed meat are among 940 agents reviewed by IARC and found to pose some level of theoretical ‘hazard.’ Only one substance, a chemical in yoga pants, has been declared by IARC not to cause cancer.’ YES, Seriously: YOGA PANTS! I eat a lot of them! 40 out of 50 common foods also pose a cancer ‘risk’ according to this study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23193004 / What ARE we to eat?
28/10/2015: Little Girl in a Suitcase: as if this ghastly case was not weird enough, NOW it has been revealed that she and her mother were murdered by folks intent mainly on defrauding the Commonwealth of her welfare payments (as was the case with the dreadful “Snowtown’ killers). If welfare is so generous, and so easily come by that folks are being murdered for it, maybe this whole system of ‘entitlements’ and ‘privileges’ really does need serious reform?
28/10/2015: Escape Ring: I am not much into jewellery, but I might make an exception for this piece: this one contains a saw and handcuff shim pick combination tool which is completely hidden from view when worn. http://www.uniquetitanium.com/Titanium-Escape-Ring_p_493.html
‘migrant’ crisis in
27/10/2015: Ringworld Anyone? ‘Star’s strange lighting patterns could be caused by aliens
Astronomers can’t explain the bizarre light patterns on a far-away star — leaving some serious scientists thinking it might be aliens.’ I think this one is probably a spoof, but sometime we may indeed discover that an advanced civilisation has created something like a ‘Dyson Sphere’ a structure postulated by famous physicist Freeman Dyson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere ) where folks are able to capture all of the energy emanating from their sun – the Greens would most likely oppose this here!
27/10/2015: Modernized Phonographs: These are nice: http://www.trendhunter.com/slideshow/modernized-phonographs & https://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod2320166
27/10/2015: Segmented: Stuff Sack Organizes Your Gear: The SegSac has internal dividers to keep clothes and gear from floating around in your pack or luggage. http://gearjunkie.com/segsac-stuff-sack See also: http://gobigear.com/products/the-hoboroll-pinyon-pine
It was a hot day, the dogs were thirsty though they appear to be smiling – Tyers State Park is another spot they are forbidden to be; they seem unconcerned.
The Wirilda Track is down there on the other side of the river; some good swimming holes.
Wonderful jumping opportunities.
26/10/2015: Hiking Apps: This review is a good start to exploring Apps which can
help with your Outdoors activities. I would certainly agree with their
recommendations about Backcountry Navigator for example which is wonderful in
NZ (in association with the fre NZ Topo Maps). The First Aid App could come in
handy, but I hope it won’t - as could the SAS Survival App. Maybe you can have
fun with Star Chart? I also have installed Pdf Maps which is great (in
association with Vicmaps) for navigating in the bush in
26/10/2015: Don’t expect Bruce Willis to always be able to save us, or that AGW will always be our biggest danger: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/23/city-busting-earth-grazer-asteroid-imminent-near-miss-just-discovered-2-weeks-ago/
25/10/2015: Spaz Face Pulling: You will know how much I am in support of freedom of speech (and expression), but surely it is time we banned the pulling of ‘spaz faces’ (like this by Rachel Corbett) particularlay on television. It is just so disrespectful (particulaly now when post natal injections have almost eliminated spasticity itself). After that maybe we should think about banning transmisogyny too…there are just so MANY evils in the world! Meanwhile in Mexico Hurricane Patricia, the ‘greatest storm in history’ has turned into a ‘storm in a teacup’! What is the world becoming?
Some great warranties on Outdoor Gear: For example, Darn Tough
25/10/2015: Paedophilia: The Tip of the Iceberg: http://pickeringpost.com/story/commission-s-hands-and-tongues-are-tied-/5482 & http://www.news.com.au/national/crime/survivor-of-alleged-elite-paedophile-ring-including-former-prime-minister-speaks-out/story-fns0kb1g-1227579834065
24/10/2015: Klymit Air Beam Inflatable Pack Frame Update: After initially failing to inflate the pad from totally flat by mouth, I staggered to the incorrect conclusion that I needed some artificial means of inflation - hence the post about making an adapter for a Platypus bottle (which would work). Somewhere in there I bought a pack of Pope 4mm Sealing Plugs (possibly .1 grams each!) and decided to have another go. The inflation difficulty is caused by some narrow air channels along the top of the pad. You can easily infate the larger tube on the side. When you do that you can squeeze the air around these narrow channels after which the pad infates easily by mouth. Conclusion: you do not need to carry the pad inflater bulb, a saving of one ounce (28 grams – a Muesli bar or spare phone camera, etc). The pad tapers from 1 ½” (40mm) high to 1” (25mm). I tried lying on it as an extension of my ¾ length Neoair pad (230 grams) and it was fine. I will make an arrangement up so they can be hooked together using these stick on patches from http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/tape.shtml So, a pack frame and 110 gram lighter sleeping arrangement for a weight investment of around 14 grams. Pictured the inflated pad having been plugged overnight, the discarded bulb inflater, the pack of Pope fittings, Zpack patches, etc: 71-2 grams in this format.
24/10/2015: Interesting take: Women ‘were propelled into careers by the mass-produced modern kitchen, which, with all its flaws, remains one of the greatest feminist advances the world has ever seen.’ http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-10-19/kitchen-design-isn-t-sexist-it-liberated-women-
24/10/2015: Why Carry a Gun: ‘Police protection is an oxymoron: Free citizens must protect themselves because police do not protect you from crime; they just investigate the crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.’ http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/27062-Why-Carry-a-Gun.html The ongoing Kelly-esque search for the Stoccos underlines this point. Police seem entirely unable to cordon any area where these folk might be lurking (indeed they appear to be easily able to lurk off somewhere 400 kilometres away overnight!) Police have been as inept as they were in the hunt for rapist/killer Malcom Naiden a few years back. Both stories (Stoccos/Naiden) would make awesome blockbuster films incidentally - if you don’t mind films which glorify the ‘baddies’. Whilst this manhunt continues we are in ‘lock-down’ here. A variety of guns (pump actions loaded with SSGs, my trusty .308s etc) are ever to hand. We have no interest at all in becoming victims. Meanwhile, the police’s ‘solution’ to the threat of such scumbags is to further DISARM ordinary citizens. I think not! If a locked gate and a sign which says, ‘Trespassers SHOT!’ does not discourage evil vermin, I expect a volley of 12 gauge solids to the general region of their upper bodies might!
23/10/2015: Air Beam Pad: I have always used Gossamer’ Gear’s ‘Sitlight’ pad as padding and partial load transfer in my GG and Zpacks packs. This new pad beats them hands down for comfort and getting that weight down onto your hips where it belongs. The pad itself (12” x19” x ¾”) weighs 68 grams compared to the ‘Sitlight’ @ 49 grams. Unfortunately the pump weighs 29 grams. The pad is quite difficult to blow up by mouth (but on most trips re-inflation should not be necessary). I am working on plugging the ¼” inflation tube with a ¼” irrigation plug(or similar). I also hope to be able to modify a drinking bottle cap with a 1/4” irrigation fitting and some glue – somethig like my post here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/sawyer-water-filter/) so I can blow the pad up (if necessary) with my Platypus/Sawyer drinking bottle. The pad can also be used to extend the length of a 3/4 length sleeping pad (eg Thermarest Neo – 230 grams), so the extra 12 grams can be seen as a saving of 98 grams as compared with carrying the Thermarest Neo Xlight Womens which I normally use: http://gossamergear.com/gg-airbeam-pack-frame.html See also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-pack/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hunting-daypack/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-ideal-pack/
23/10/2015: Why is adoption of this healthy baby in a mere 14 weeks’ time not seen as the sane and humane solution: http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/suicidal-mother-pleads-for-late-term-abortion-at-royal-womens-hospital-20151022-gkfuiy.html
23/10/2015: Virtue Signalling: I see a lot of this: only yesterday we passed (twice) a trio of women essaying to be steamed hippopotami, decked out in all the most fashionable brand-name colourful sports gear, backpacks included (of course) going for a quite short walk along a busy road near Churchill (which has many quite lovely private walks nearby). This is only an example: I can usually tell (even by stance and facial expression) before the first three words are uttered EVERYTHING someone ‘thinks’ and ‘believes’. Most folks are just so desperate to broadcast their ‘goodness’ and conformity to the world. It is a phenomenon I have never understood. I can’t even remember the last time I agreed with someone (what a disagreeable experience THAT would be!) As for uniforms: I have always worn what I like and is comfortable; I am always appalled when my chosen shoes, shorts etc have become completely unavailable – as that fashion (even the fashion of making them in Australia!) passed some twenty years ago… http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/virtue-signalling.html
22/10/2015: Weird: It doesn’t get much weirder than this: Detectives link Wynarka girl’s bones in suitcase to ‘Angel’ bones in Belanglo: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/…/story-fni0cx12-122757686…|home|nca-homepage-masthead-feature|2|heading|homepage|homepage&itmt=1445394032613
22/10/2015: Hoverboard anyone: Canadian inventor tests new prototype of record-setting hoverboard: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/hoverboard-duru-1.3270569
22/10/2015: Heroes of 1948: Why men fight: the entire Arab army was 20 kilometres from Tel Aviv…the ever-present enemy, ‘What Hitler did will be nothing compared to what we’re going to do.’ https://vimeo.com/54400569
22/10/2015: CO2: The Culprit: Some things you might NOT know: Ice core expert Jaworowski states, ‘The basis of most of the IPCC conclusions on anthropogenic causes and on projections of climatic change is the assumption of low level of CO2 in the pre-industrial atmosphere. This assumption, based on glaciological studies, is false.’ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/17/deconstruction-of-the-anthropogenic-global-warming-agw-hypothesis-2/
21/10/2015: Sawyer water Filter: 2 gram back flush for Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter: I imagine this would work with the Sawyer Mini (40 grams) too, only a smaller hole would need to be drilled: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=78861
21/10/2015: Herbie the Hate Bug: Leonardo DiCaprio is to produce a film about the Volkswagen emissions scandal. That should be a real winner!
21/10/2015: Escape: This could come in handy some day: http://www.itstactical.com/skillcom/lock-picking/how-to-escape-from-zip-ties/
20/10/2015: Seeming: Rosie the Riveter: ‘But the woman in the patriotic poster was never named Rosie, nor was she a riveter. All along it was Mrs. Doyle..shortly after the photo was taken left her job at the factory. She barely lasted two weeks. A cellist, Mrs. Doyle was horrified to learn that a previous worker at the factory had badly injured her hands working at the machines. She found safer employment at a soda fountain and bookshop in Ann Arbor, where she wooed a young dental school student and later became his wife.’ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/29/AR2010122905336.html
20/10/2015: Telomeres: Abolishing the diseases that are old age and death: Good Luck with that project Dr Fossell, and don’t take too long: http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/curing-old-age/
20/10/2015: Wireless Extension Cords: What a great idea, ‘we've beamed power over 300 feet!’ (100 metres!): http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/41/wec.shtml
You probably saw this video already of a car/cleaver terrorsist in
19/10/2015: Clearly this ban should be extended to include ALL outdoor (and indoor) areas: http://www.betootaadvocate.com/uncategorized/surry-hills-residents-demand-official-gluten-free-zone-on-crown-street/
19/10/2015: Useful Gear List, much of which I would have recommended too, particularly Zpacks gear, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Women's Sleeping Pad, & Trail Designs Caldera Cone Stove Set: http://www.walkingwithwired.com/2015/10/wireds-2015-comprehensive-gear-review.html
18/10/2015: Bush Shower: This is an excellent idea: it would work well with a solar shower or camp shower too such as this one sold by Sea to Summit which weighs about 100 grams (if you ditch the stuff sack). I find two 1300 ml billies of cold water (add FIRST!) + 2 of boiling water gives a perfect shower in the woods: http://www.seatosummit.com/product/?item=Pocket+Shower&o1=0&o2=0&o3=195
18/10/2015: AGW: So, basically, they made it all up! No wonder it doesn’t show AT ALL on the satellite records: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/09/27/approximately-92-or-99-of-ushcn-surface-temperature-data-consists-of-estimated-values/ & http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/09/almost-all-us-temperature-data-used-in-global-warming-models-is-estimated-or-altered.php & http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/08/climate-change-the-hoax-that-costs-us-4-billion-a-day/
18/10/2015: Robert Menzies’ greatest speech: The Forgotten people: ‘The great vice of democracy - a vice which is exacting a bitter retribution from it at this moment - is that for a generation we have been busy getting ourselves on to the list of beneficiaries and removing ourselves from the list of contributors, as if somewhere there was somebody else's wealth and somebody else's effort on which we could thrive. To discourage ambition, to envy success, to have achieved superiority, to distrust independent thought, to sneer at and impute false motives to public service - these are the maladies of modern democracy, and of Australian democracy in particular. Yet ambition, effort, thinking, and readiness to serve are not only the design and objectives of self-government but are the essential conditions of its success. If this is not so, then we had better put back the clock, and search for a benevolent autocracy once more.’ Take the time to read it: http://www.liberals.net/theforgottenpeople.htm
Good: Hillwalking across
17/10/2015: ‘Only 8 per cent of all respondents thought Muslim immigration has been for the good…’ Graham Young, executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress:
‘What I also know, based on a qualitative survey of 1349 Australians we conducted and the study we have just released, is that if parties are based around concern about Muslim immigration, then a significant segment of the community is likely to welcome them.
I also know that while this concern is strongest on the Right, with 75 per cent of our Liberal and 69 per cent of our non-Greens minor-party respondents saying Muslim immigration is bad for Australia, on the Left 22 per cent of ALP and 18 per cent of Greens respondents thought the same. Even more startling, only 8 per cent of all respondents thought Muslim immigration has been for the good…
It is highly unlikely that resistance to Muslim immigration arises from some broadbased racism in society, as the majority of our respondents (69 per cent) favoured immigration at, or above, current levels....
number of issues characterise resistance to Muslim immigration and they almost universally
stem from a fear that Islamic culture is incompatible with Western culture as
These are perceptions… To successfully settle these new immigrants we need to work out whether these issues are real, and deal with them.
Above all that means acknowledging that these concerns are genuine to those who hold them. The lesson from our recent past is that ignoring them, denigrating them or trying to marginalise them will lead to a political explosion rather than harmony.’
17/10/2015: Pumps Woes: The last several days have been marred by these, as this Indian Summer accelerates our preparations for the advancing summer. Gradually getting on top of them I think …
16/10/2015: Spudzookas: These look like great fun: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spud_gun
16/10/2015: IPVanish: You probably heard the Australian Government started tracking all your internet/phone use yesterday. You need a VPN. We connected with these folk: hasn’t slowed the internet down a bit. Other things you can try: https://www.ipvanish.com/ & https://www.torproject.org/ & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Web & http://www.flashrouters.com/ddwrt-router-information
16/10/2015: ‘We Have No Right to Happiness’: C.S. Lewis. Read this article to the end; it is well worth it: http://www.generationcedar.com/main/2009/09/we-have-no-right-to-happiness-c-s-lewis.html
15/10/2015: Posterior Vitreous Detachment: Life doesn’t come with a ‘user’s manual’, and likely we wouldn’t read it even if it did – truth is there are just so many (sometimes bizarre) things can befall you. For me, yesterday it was this. The Vitreous section of my eye detached from my retina giving me lots of interesting flashes of light and dark patches something like spiders’ webs floating by the vision in my right eye. Have to admit we are both so caught up in Della’s vision problems (and mine has always been indecently excellent) I did not ‘see’ this coming, even though it apparently happens to the majority of ‘elderly’ men (& women) – and there we have it, the truth at last: old age! No doubt it has other interesting surprises in store apart from wrinkles and arthritis (Do I really want to know?) Old age is clearly NOT for the faint-hearted. And, Oh, in case you were worried: this condition is nothing; it will pass without any fuss, though I admit to a few anxious moments yesterday!
15/10/2015: Internet Speeds: We have been experiencing a variety of strange internet speed phenomena here lately, which our ISP (and electrical stores, even Google) have been quite hopeless about. I have struggled away with it, sometimes doubting my own sanity (a separate issue really!), and had finally come to the conclusion that I had radio interference with my wireless internet connections. This was finally confirmed by recourse to the excellent Adam Broadbent, who should really been my first port of call I realise now, as he knew all about it, and has been able to give me encyclopaedic advice in how to fix it. In brief: we had such strange things as quite intermittent speeds, varying oddly over different devices, including dropouts, and so on. Most modems/routers operate on the 2.4 gigahertz frequency. So do a lot of other gadgets (including Bluetooth devices, including hearing aid controllers) such as microwave ovens and wireless phones. If you have two routers (as we have (one for wireless NBN, the other for a DSL connection) they MUST be separated by preferably at least 5 metres. If some of your wireless computers (etc) are old(ish) they will be unable to connect at some NBN speeds, so the router will throttle back for them, affecting other newer devices. There are a variety of standards here (a,b,g, n etc). ‘N’ is good. Or can get at least 50 megs speed from such devices but NOT if you also have a slower device connected wirelessly. Some computers you can alter the Advanced Configuration settings of the wireless adapters (eg to switch to ‘n’, or ‘tweak’ in other ways); some you will have to switch the wireless card (because they do not even have ‘G’ – and ‘A/B’ will not get you beyond about 10 Megs) or plug in a USB wireless card. If all your devices have ‘N’, then if there is no other interference the router should switch to this mode and send and transmit at NBN speeds (in our case about 50 down and 25 up!) We have had to separate the modems, buy new phones (which run on 1.8/9 Gigs – fortunately these are usually cheaper than the 2.4 models!), and we need to be VERY careful about what other wireless/Bluetooth devices we have. Also important: the channels on the two routers need to be set as far apart as possible: 1&5 or 6&11 as the radio signals can ‘blur’ over from one close channel to another. I hope this info helps. Adam would be able to explain it better, but there doesn’t seem to be much other help out there otherwise. NB: a 5 Gig router might overcome some of these problems but apparently this frequency does not propagate well, so your range will be quite limited – it might not go from your lounge room to your kitchen, for example. Apparently those devices which re-transmit (eg television signals) can also cause internet mayhem. Most important: keep transmitters a goodly distance apart, and on different frequencies – have as little stuff on 2.4 Gigs as possible. You might be chucking quite a lot of electronic stuff!
15/10/2015: New report shows just how GOOD CO2 is: ‘Unlike the claims of future global warming disasters these benefits are firmly established and are being felt now. Yet despite this the media overlook the good news and the public remain in the dark.’ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/12/climate-doomsayers-ignore-benefits-of-carbon-dioxide-emissions-now-compiled-in-a-new-report/
14/10/2015: Inflatable Space Blanket Quilt: I applaud this chap’s ingenuity. I have purchased two space blankets and some ‘Gel Grip’ contact adhesive (works well on mylar) and a baby food juice container for the valve and intend (time permitting) to construct an inflatable space blanket which should weigh about 120 grams and help one survive down to sub-zero temperatures providing you can construct some ground insulation (Neoair or pile of ferns, grass leaves, etc): http://www.instructables.com/id/Survive-without-style-the-ultimate-garbage-bag-she/
14/10/2015: AGW & Theology have oodles of similarities (apart from the vast chunks of the Dewey-decimal system and our GDP devoted to them), but in the simplest undeniable symbolic logic terms they are both nonsense, ie: ‘If PƆQ, but ~PƆ ~Q’. In theology, ‘P’ would be ‘God’. You can substitute anything you like for ‘Q’. If there is no ‘God’ then nothing at all follows (‘Not Q’). In AGW ‘Q equals CO2 and ‘P’ equals ‘Warming’ and multifarious other diabolical nasties. In this case the satellite record shows that though there has been an increase in CO2 over the last (20) years, there has been NO WARMING, ergo CO2 does not have that effect. Case closed. Because theology and global warming are both JUST belief systems, no appeal to logic/facts will make the slightest difference. Scarey, isn’t it?
14/10/2015: It’s their culture: ‘In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base. “At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/world/asia/us-soldiers-told-to-ignore-afghan-allies-abuse-of-boys.html?_r=0 In a similar albeit more light-hearted vein: http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/so_you_think_you_can_dance_isis/ ‘I've danced with a man, who's danced with a girl, who's danced with the Prince of Wales’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I've_danced_with_a_man,_who's_danced_with_a_girl,_who's_danced_with_the_Prince_of_Wales
13/10/2015: Enough already: Dreamed last night I was just starting my first professional job (Trainee Analytical Chemist, BHP 1965). Oh No! Surely fifty years is enough!
13/10/2015: What do suburbanites gain that is half so valuable as the garden they forego? Latte?
13/10/2015: Organic: Personally I think the worst part is where you need up to 50% more land to grow the same amount of food, so that if we ‘returned’ to this outmoded and dangerous methodology we would either have to exterminate a third of the world’s peoples or clear the rest of the world’s wildernesses: http://www.hoover.org/research/dirty-truth-about-organic
12/10/2015: This is my 500th post here on http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ I have still maybe a hundred posts to carry over from my old website, and many more which need editing, photographs etc. Some of you will be pleased to know I also still have many ideas for future posts, and future adventures! So, I hope you keep on coming back, ‘like’ my page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/theultralighthiker?ref=aymt_homepage_panel) and recommend it to your friends. There are also now nearly 400 pages of Hiking/Camping advice here: http://finnsheep.com/HIKING.htm so maybe you need a quiet afternoon to do a bit of reading! Hope you continue to enjoy.
Seaforth River, Dusky Track, Fiordland, New Zealand, between Loch Marie and Kintail; Tripod Hill in background (2006).
12/10/2015: At 50:50 (this is as good as it gets- and with a 3% margin), does it make any sense to have the gutless, trendy opportunist Turnbull as our leader compared with a courageous, principled man who would take on the important issues of the day? Bring back Tony
12/10/2015: Correction: I recently posted that REAL butter no longer comes in tubs. I was mistaken. A desperate search of our own supermarket’s lugubrious shelves revealed most manufacturers do seem to have suddenly eschewed this most practical of container latterly, but amid the plethora of faux butters laced with who knows what dire concoction of homogenised pigs’ trotters and other nasties, there is this GEM: Mainland Buttersoft. It IS a real butter, quite delicious, and comes spreadable straight from the fridge, so: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
11/10/2015: Surprising Discovery: My own inner political correctness: I was just as surprised as you…I was chatting with a friend of Merrin’s at her soiree yesterday afternoon, sticking carefully to uncontentious topics (as you do) in this case gardening, something we have done wince we were married (in 1973) when we dug up the tiny pocket-handkerchief front garden at our first home, 33 Chelmsford St Newtown to grow cabbages, peas & etc. Part of the ‘etc’ were some “lobelia’ as I remember, a favourite food of mountain gorillas, yet we were never troubled by them as I observed at the time…I was drinking a smoothie the friend had made for me from Della’s raspberries (delicious!)…Anyway, I was somewhat taken aback when my observation that we have been feasting on our own seasonal fruits: tamarillos, pepinos etc was greeted with the riposte that it was so ‘good’ to be ‘sustainable’. I have certainly never intended our horticulture to be politically correct. ‘Virtue is its own reward’ I have always thought. Note to self: Need to make more of an effort to shock!
Our beautiful quince I planted a generation ago will give someone a tonne of fruit annually for centuries.
Our avocado (likewise) is laden: must pick some today!
11/10/2015: The beginning of the end, perhaps: Turnbull was jeered and booed by his own party whilst Tony Abbott was (deservedly) given a standing ovation: http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/malcolm-turnbull-booed-by-his-own-party-members-during-speech/story-fn5tas5k-1227564341518
11/10/2015: Very interesting internet security device; add this to your VPN: http://mashable.com/2013/01/08/itwin-connect/#d8rUNq8tsPqq
Grand Mufti: Eighteen years after arriving here from
10/10/2015: Perhaps you don’t need a 3D printed gun, so what about going fishing: http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Printed-Pocket-Fishing-Rod/
interesting idea: it might just catch on. One thing I recently noticed: We
visited the Ikea store in
500,000 people: It certainly is a formidable task, isn’t it? Using our entire
airline fleet it might even take a week! Still, if it was so easy to import
them, it should not be any more difficult to deport them. I would imagine that
long before the last terrorist outrage, (or the next) the average Aussie has
long since decided on the desirability at least of turning off the tap AND
removing the most undesirable. Surely we do NOT want citizens who repudiate
their oath of loyalty ie that they give their primary allegiance to
09/10/2015: Plus ca change: Study Correlates Opposition to Homosexual Agenda With Mental Illness: For thousands of years homosexuality was acknowledged as a form of disease. For example, it was listed as a mental illness in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual until political pressure from the Left resulted in it being removed in 1973… http://moonbattery.com/?p=63668
09/10/2015: Phone case multi-tools: various people are making these, eg: http://www.thetasklab.com/task-one-multi-tool-case
This is our creek. The trees are Blue Gums (Eucalyptus Globulus) reputed to be
a local variant peculiar to the Jeeralangs where we live. Up in the top of the
one on the left this morning was this little fellow, again common to this area
(and also reputed to be a peculiar local variant of koala. You may not realise
that I have always called these critters ‘coal-a’ bears having been taught to
do so by an old family friend, Max Saunders when I was very young. I still see
his point. They are not so numerous around here that they have eaten out all
the gums as happened at
Parramatta Terrorist’s School:
07/10/2015: Illegal guns #2: After Port Arthur and Howard’s gun buy back I was frequently offered illegal guns to purchase. This was because many of the guns were not destroyed by police, far from it – as I observed when I handed two old firearms in which Howard had made illegal. Some guns went into the press to be ‘destroyed. Typically police crushed either the action, or the end of the barrel (usually the latter), so one gun could later easily be made out of two. The fact that some actions were not being crushed on the day filled me with some dismay, I can assure you. I observed some however were taken immediately to a back room without any damage. Not long after (as I said) I was offered a list of over one hundred illegal guns by a bent policeman (a distant acquaintance), an offer which I did not take up as I would never trust such a person. If you are going to buy an illegal firearm, trust maybe ‘honest’ criminals, but bent cops? You have to be kidding. Around the time I saw nothing odd about someone who simply wished to continue to own a type of firearm which they had owned most of their lives and which they had bought legally prior to there being any permits required. To my memory the 1970s are not so long ago when you could buy a semi-automatic rifle from Kmart! Since then there has been a huge increase in the importation and trade in illegal firearms, particularly pistols. There has also (much more worryingly) been a huge importation of undesirable people! More than any other thing, it is these people who are the problem. You could (unlikely) rid society of every gun, yet these people would still be an immense (and increasing) danger. There are lots of other means of killing people and causing vast destruction other than guns. We need immediately to begin ridding our society of such people. There are plenty of simply awful countries where they can be sent!
‘The constitution of the
furore at a rebellion, for example, Athenians once voted to kill all of the
adult male subjects of the
Romans knew enough about mercurial ancient
The half-millennium success of the stable Roman republican system inspired later French and British Enlightenment thinkers. Their abstract tripartite system of constitutional government stirred the Founding Fathers to concrete action. Americans originally were terrified of what 51 percent of the people in an unchecked democracy might do on any given day—and knew that ancient democracies had always become more not less radical and thus more unstable. For all the squabbles between Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison, they agreed that a republic, not a direct democracy, was a far safer and stable choice of governance.’ http://www.dinocrat.com/?p=46298
Illegal guns: A few year’s ago out hunting a friend brought along his new
(legal) Glock pistol to show me. It had cost him over $2,000 not including the
necessary licences, memberships etc. What a beauty it was. At about the same
time I was offered the identical pistol in a
06/10/2015: Already addled modern medicine has taken the next step after indulging the pathological delusions of men who want to deform themselves into crude parodies of women. Psychologist Pours Drain Cleaner in Woman’s Eyes Because She Thinks She Was Meant to Be Blind - http://moonbattery.com/?p=63680
05/10/2015: Turnbull suggests, ‘The Australian Muslim community will be especially appalled and shocked by this...’ Yet note: Nothing from the Grand Mufti, so quick to publicly damn Tony Abbott. Nothing from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils. Nothing from leading Islamic clerics… ‘This Parliament is the weakest in living memory. It has no intention to stand and protect its people from Islamic violence. It has no intention to stop the proliferation of mosques which are at the very root of this evil. It refuses to close the Islamic book stores where Muslim youths are trained in the techniques of killing Australians. Our current Parliament will not stop, nor even stem, Muslim immigration which means the problem will only increase.
Abbott was right... Muslims cannot be trusted!’ http://pickeringpost.com/story/bugger-why-didn-t-someone-de-radicalise-me-/5408
05/10/2015: Orthorexia nervosa – Wikipedia: ‘is an eating disorder characterized by an extreme or excessive preoccupation with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthy.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthorexia_nervosa
04/10/2015: Venus Bay No 4 Beach, Gippsland Victoria:
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
(Sea Fever By John Masefield)
04/10/2015: Turnbull suggests, ‘The Australian Muslim community will be especially appalled and shocked by this...’ Yet note: Nothing from the Grand Mufti, so quick to publicly damn Tony Abbott. Nothing from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils. Nothing from leading Islamic clerics… ‘This Parliament is the weakest in living memory. It has no intention to stand and protect its people from Islamic violence. It has no intention to stop the proliferation of mosques which are at the very root of this evil. It refuses to close the Islamic book stores where Muslim youths are trained in the techniques of killing Australians. Our current Parliament will not stop, nor even stem, Muslim immigration which means the problem will only increase.
Abbott was right... Muslims cannot be trusted!’ http://pickeringpost.com/story/bugger-why-didn-t-someone-de-radicalise-me-/5408
04/10/2015: Orthorexia nervosa – Wikipedia: ‘is an eating disorder characterized by an extreme or excessive preoccupation with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthy.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthorexia_nervosa
03/10/2015: Dr David Evans is one of those (90%? of) climate scientists who finds fault with the current orthodoxy of AGW. Instead he finds that CO2’s ‘forcing’ role has been over-estimated by an order of magnitude (READ 10X!), and that the world will be COOLING for some time to come: http://joannenova.com.au/
03/10/2015: On the other hand, turning us into dwarves with night vision will save us from climate change: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/01/bizarre-idea-turning-us-into-dwarves-with-night-vision-will-save-us-from-climate-change/
03/10/2015: Bore Sight: This is just about the best $20 I have ever spent. All my rifles were just a little bit ‘out’. My 22 Magnum was way out. Foxes around here will now have to watch out. Thanks eBay:
& Bishop show themselves as evil idiots who seek to place us in like
company on the UN Human Rights Council with fellow members:
02/10/2015: Yogi Berra: ‘You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours.’ http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/yogi-berra-quotes-funniest-one-liners/2015/09/23/id/692882/
02/10/2015: Here is a useful site for installing handy Apps for your new computer/tablet. They are already virus free: https://ninite.com/ I received a new Asus Transformer Book for Fathers’ Day. I thought it would be handy during the interminable doctor’s visits with Della – and just in case we ever get to go caravanning…It cost me about a week of my life setting it up and getting it to work, (Be warned!) Windows 8/10 is a nightmare – but there is no going back, unfortunately. An interesting glitch it came with: the Bluetooth Mouse I need (because of my arthritis) INTERFERED with my home wifi internet system in a chaotic way! This was only one of MANY problems. It came pre-installed with viruses and malware. Yes! Absolutely the first thing you need to do if you should buy one is install and run Norton & Malwarebytes, otherwise it will just get worse and worse. You will almost certainly have to reinstall Windows 8.1. Whatever you do, do NOT upgrade to Windows 10. (It doesn’t work) – and there is no going back to 8 once you have, even though it promises this will not be so. Beware computers bringing promises!
01/10/2015: Rokon Scout, a 2WD motorbike. I like the green colour. If you find muscle power alone won’t get you where you want to go any more. You might try one of these: https://www.rokon.com/bikes/scout Would be a fitting accompaniment to your Mokai: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/?s=mokai
01/10/2015: Swallows nesting here at Jeeralang Junction: ‘We take the fall and spring migrations for granted, but they are in fact miraculous feats and remarkable adaptations to the climate changes of the ice age era (which we are still in today - and have been for 2.6 million years with lulls and expansions of northern hemisphere ice. If you can apply "normal”; this planet normally has no ice).’ (Bird Dog)
01/10/2015: So many ‘problems’ arise because many people are ‘orally fixated’ instead of auditorally. Their problems arise from what they CHOOSE to put in their mouths and have come out of them. If they paid more attention to their ears (eg listen to good advice) their problems would disappear. Surely more than enough money has already been spent on brochures and education programmes explaining eg why smoking is bad for you, how to avoid diabetes, drugs are bad, exercise is good, etc? I add advice about not spouting angry vile stupidities out of them, blaming others, one’s own ‘disadvantage, etc. The individual alone is responsible for one’s own situation. No-one else is. No-one else is able to lift you out of a bad situation either. If you don’t ‘pull yourself up by your own bootstraps’ no-one else will or CAN! ‘Victims’ (and perpetrators) of domestic violence, the ‘diabetes epidemic’, aboriginal ‘disadvantage’, poverty, homelessness…they are ALL the individual’s FAULT. The ‘victims’ alone can help themselves. Not a cent of public money should be spent on such ‘social problems’. People MUST take responsibility for themselves. For example, if people are on ‘welfare’, unemployed and unemployable, morbidly obese, diabetic, illiterate, smokers, drinkers, drug addicts, neither grow nor consume fresh fruit/vegetables, attempt to subsist alone on junk food (proven how many times to KILL lab rats?), it is their own fault, their own problem. The sooner they either lift themselves up or are gone from the planet, the better.
30/09/2015: Not Quite Alone in the Wilderness
I faced a week of enforced bachelorhood anyway (as Della is craftily away) so I decided to take the pups for a week’s walk…Four hour’s driving later including a couple on bumpy 4WD tracks we gazed up a river somewhere, wondering…
Who knows what wonders lie around the river's bend? Delightfully there are a number of Victorian wilderness rivers whose entire catchment has only one (or NO) vehicular access point eg the Wellington, Avon, Moroka (none of which THIS is…)
Sometimes I have to get myself and the two dogs across. You need to find a shallower spot (this looks good). Tiny fits in my daypack worn backwards on my chest. Spot has perfected his trick of standing on my shoulders. Away we go:
A few hours’ later we are at one of my old camps:
Against late arrival I always leave a cache of firewood at my campsites.
My first Tyvek bivi design provides luxury accommodation for 2-3 at least. It clearly has the JR’s tick of approval. It is a triangle with base 32’ and height 10’ (the roll width). Pitched thus it forms a triangular shelter approx 8’ deep and 16’ on a side. The two ‘wings’ can be swung inwards to provide more shelter from rain (or smoke) if the wind shifts. I have spent at least 100 dry nights camping thus.
Side view: I like an open shelter, because you have a greater sense of freedom, a better view, and access to the warmth of a cheery fire.
Like this: It’s great to be putting my feet up at day's end.
The modified 200 gram dog beds worked a treat down to 0 C
Tiny agrees. I have ordered materials to make the dogs new beds at approx 100 grams each. I will post the design when they are done. They would scale up for larger dogs, though why you need larger I cannot imagine…
Spot actually prefers my sleeping bag.
Perhaps both could fit?
Next morning, how's this for a kitchen sink?
There are so many beautiful side streams to explore. Another time for this one which rises many miles away…
Of course it is Spring. The bush is alive with wildflowers. The dreadful prickly Hakea is ablaze with colour. There are always Erica festooned with tiny bells. Many wattle species yet shed their gold along the river…
Traveller's Joy lies ever beneath my feet.
Everywhere clematis clads with snow plants it holds in wild embrace.
The road goes ever on and on...
Secret pioneer pack tracks provide access yet to many wild places.
So much work went into their construction. So much work (by me) too went into (re)discovering them and clearing them twice or three times over the last 10-15 years. This one is nearly 30 km long! Here the Gerber Brush Thinner machete (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/?s=machete) is an excellent tool. Of course where I led others certainly have followed, but when I first ventured here, no-one had journeyed along this river for many years. There were thickets hundreds of yards long along the river not even deer could force their way through. Deer were as tame as sheep. Fortunately the deer have worked alongside me, keeping the path largely open.
Another day over, Tiny remembers this is a fine place for a camp.
Herbivores are wonderful. They maintain so many beautiful park-like clearings along the river flats.
The birds are slowly returning: pallid cuckoo. I tried and tried to get more bird photos, but they are so quick. There are now many warblers, sitellas, wrens, honeyeaters, kingfishers, parrots… By day along the river there is much wondrous birdsong, but yet nowhere near the cacophony of old. The evening chorus is muted yet…
There is beauty everywhere: afternoon white ant flight.
The trout agree they are beautiful as they hunt them down…
Here too there be dragons...
Very warm weather arriving and forecast to continue, worsen even, I decided we might canoe out:
Faux packraft cache, complete with an Aerovest for emergency life jacket: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/home-made-pack-raft/
Duct tape is SO versatile. You can also use polystyrene balls for tie outs. http://www.theultralighthiker.com/worlds-lightest-tarp-clip/
Ready to set sail.
Unfortunately we didn’t get far. Two dogs and a heavy(ish) pack meant that this wasn’t going to be much fun for the dogs, particularly Tiny. One dog is one thing, two quite another. Tiny at 15 ½ is getting a little beyond some of these trips. My intended morning and evening hunts were much curtailed by her indeterminacy. She just could not decide whether to stay in camp or follow, and being partially sighted and deaf, it was quite uncertain whether she would find me if she set out later. I had to be sure to return along exactly the same route, could not cross the river in case I lost her & etc. I guess this must be nearing her last long wilderness trip. Bittersweet. Her balance in a canoe is not what it was either, so that after a couple of spills which she didn’t enjoy, I backtracked, repacked the raft and decided to hike out again.
I had 'picked' a poor time for a hunt (though a good time for a walk). The Spring growth, the warm weather, the full moon all meant that the deer were very seldom down along the river during daylight hours (much moreso in winter when feed is scarcer). Of course they can see excellently in moonlight. Every night they visited us in our camps, honking constantly to keep us wake. I could have shot a number of fine stags by torchlight. http://www.theultralighthiker.com/mini-super-torch-a-weeks-light-weighs-50-grams/ I'm sure others would have. Who, but for conscience is to know?
Drying out: a little warmth from last night's fire yet lingers.
Tiny is such a grub: she loves a wallow, and needed a good wash (which she resented) in the river every time after we passed one.
The bone reminds me: Steve once shot a deer for me right here. It lay here just like this:
And he shot a lovely stag just for me just around that bend past those leaning trees. Ah, memories...
There remain other mementoes of past hunts.
Perhaps after all though they look better here than on the wall?
30/09/2015: As I enjoy my slice of toast and vege this morning I cannot but fail to note that butter in tubs seems to have completely disappeared from our supermarket shelves (Yes, there is an enormous proliferation of faux butters)! We are relegated once more to those paper wrappers of our childhood, which were much handier when mum cooked, but are the devil for spreading…why this deterioration in public standards?
30/09/2015: Feminists have again been banging on that more needs to be done to wipe out domestic violence, which they read as men bashing women rather than the more common violence against men (but, whatever!) Most seem to revel in the awful Rosie Battie (who like Adam Goodes has done so much to denigrate the concept of Australian of the Year); I can only imagine that her sole redeeming feature is that she comes over as ever so slightly middle class (unlike the majority of such ‘victims’). I fail to see in her case however how she can be a ‘victim’ when SHE clearly failed to remove herself and her son from someone she knew was an evil madman – failed to even alert the police of his presence on that fateful day, even though she had a restraining order against him, even allowing her son access to him – then blaming the System and the Police for a tragedy clearly very much of her making, much like a pedestrian who refuses to learn how to cross a road blaming the presence of cars for their death toll - nearly 2/3 of Victoria’s total road carnage…Listen UP, you WILL have more domestic violence, ice addiction, crime (you name it) when you PAY PEOPLE TO BREED! THAT is the problem. And the solution is to stop. Just go completely cold turkey on this squanderous misuse of public money. It is one thing for the productive members to pool their resources for projects of ‘Common Weal’ (the NAME last I looked of our great country) and quite another to have our hard-earned ripped off us by force majeure and shovelled remorselessly into a vast pit of sloth, decadence, depravity etc world without end, without requiring ANYTHING (even ‘common humanity’) from the recipients of our largesse. There will never be a lessening of hands held out whilst ever you keep crossing their palms with silver; those hands which are the Devil’s work and whose days ought be spent in honest toil, not bludgeoning their supposed ‘loved ones’ to some grisly deaths! Where do you suppose the victims of ‘domestic violence’ live do you suppose? Is it in honest working class or middle class suburbs or in the welfare dystopias which proliferate everywhere the handout is king, where the Government is the de facto husband? http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/mirandadevine/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/domestic_violence_miranda_devine_answers_her_critics/
Blair: ‘Twenty minutes into his ludicrous interview with Satyajit Das, the
ABC’s Phillip Adams offers a modern version of an age-old lefty lament: I’ve
just been travelling around a communist state. The hammer and sickle is still
on display. It’s a remarkably relaxed society compared to the one next door,
25/09/2015: Four Gram Fishing Handlines: Found these 100mm x 12 mm screw cap aluminium canisters in the shed. Room inside each for a few hooks, sinkers, spinners, a needle etc. So I have ditched the 15 gram dental floss, and my 10 gram BCB fishing kits. This Dyneema line will suit well enough for fishing, repairs, first aid etc. My whole fishing kit is now less than 2 oz (50 grams). I used to figure 150 grams for a fishing kit was justified if I landed the odd 250 gram fish (I frequently did). This is even better. I am heading off soon for a wilderness trip for a week with my two JRs. They deserve to enjoy our wonderful National Parks they pay so much in taxes for! Whilst I was shaving down my fishing kit, I also shaved 834 grams from my pack weight in toto – which I find hard to believe, as I have gone through it so many times before. If I had a little more time (I leave tomorrow) I figure I could find another 200 grams. Soon my pack will be carrying me! I regret that the material I ordered for my new JR beds has not arrived yet, as the new ones will weigh 100 grams each (with a waterproof bottom), as compared with 200 grams for their (remodeled) old ones. I think I have a really good design for a dog bed now. I will let you know what the dogs thought of them when I return. Of course, I have dehydrated a week’s rations for them too!
25/09/2015: OK. This boatload of refugees can come, and then no more…
24/09/2015: Paw Paw: There is a North American variety which should grow in
Labor minister Peter Baldwin on the invasion of Europe by hundreds of thousands
of Muslims: ‘In 2004, Bernard Lewis, the distinguished historian of Islam and
the Middle East…predicted Europe would be majority Islamic by the turn of the
century “at the very latest"…But predictions of gradual change are
rendered irrelevant by the dramatic events of the past few months…A realistic
debate needs to acknowledge that Islam is not a race but a belief system, with
tenets that many of its followers take extremely seriously. Key among those
tenets is the requirement Muslims fight to make Islam dominant over other
creeds and belief systems…Islam does not recognise separate civil and religious
spheres. The modern notion of diversity is utterly foreign to it, at least in
the sense of different belief systems coexisting as equals. How many, if any,
of the several score Muslim-majority countries grant genuine civil and
religious liberty and equality to non-Muslims? …The goal should be to ensure
decent living conditions for all the displaced people until they can be
resettled safely, preferably in the(ir) region… If
24/09/2015: Who PAYS for these studies? Scientific studies reveal that most men feel attracted to sexy younger women. Duh! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3243803/Research-shows-men-attracted-women-early-20s-no-matter-old-get.html?ito=social-twitter_mailonline
23/09/2015: Ultralight Pack: It is quite difficult to buy a sub-600 gram pack (@55 litre) ‘off the shelf’ for reasonable money. I have tried a number over the years and would not carry anything else. The ‘list’ below is not exhaustive but intended as a good starting point:
Gossamer Gear’s (now 54 litre http://gossamergear.com/g4-ultralight-backpack-all-bundle.html) ‘tried and true’ G4 lead the field (576 grams inc hip belt) US$150 and was my first ‘ultralight’ pack; (You can sew in some pieces of webbing to enclose carbon fibre arrow shafts for load transfer or, I find Big Agnes’ ‘Cyclone Chair’ underneath the ‘Sitlight’ pad works quite well).
Mountain Laurel Designs have an excellent contender with their Exodus pack (485 grams http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=103) at US$195. Certainly the lightest and most rugged ‘off the shelf’ model. I’m sure Ron will sew in a couple of pad holders or webbing tubes for carbon fibre arrow shafts if needed for a custom charge. I might also option the pockets in solid Dyneema as I have found the netting which many manufacturers use for their pockets to not like blackberries overmuch, but Ron has at least made the critical wear surfaces of these from Dyneema!
Granite Gear’s Virga 2 (54 Litre) 540 grams http://www.granitegear.com/virga-2.html US$139 is another fine option.
Terra Nova’s Quasar 55 is another option at 436 grams http://www.terra-nova.co.uk/packs-rucksacks-poles/all-packs/quasar-55-pack/ and US$320
Zpacks Arc Blast 52 litres (595 grams http://www.zpacks.com/backpacks/arc_blast.shtml) $US315 looks a beauty and is pretty much the only one with load transfer, though I query if you are carrying less than 10 kilograms you need much load transfer. You can upscale to their Arc Haul in Dyneema (680 grams for 60 litres) if you want something completely bulletproof.
Joe will still make you one of his ‘Blast’ packs (optioned from his ‘Zero’ range) - try the ‘Wayback Machine’ (https://archive.org/web/) to see what these were like. In 1.43oz/yd2 cuben a 58 litre ‘Blast’ weighs 235 grams approx $200 (Yes!); 339 grams in 2.9oz/yd2 ‘Hybrid’ cuben material; & probably around 420 grams in 4.8oz/yd2 Dyneema. I can’t see how you can go past that 339 grams. Della is still using her 235 gram model, but mine needed quite a lot of repair tape: I am rougher on my packs than she is, and mine has had a lot more use. The original Blast in Hybrid/Dyneema with Pad sleeves for my chair and Sitlight pad is my choice. I option an oversize pocket one side for my tent.
23/09/2015: Lloyd Marcus: (man who rightly does not want to be known as an ‘African American’), 'In other words, stiff-necked, hateful, and racist blacks are doomed to squander the blessing of having been born in America – the greatest land of opportunity on the planet.' http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/09/our_american_paradise_is_not_lost.html
22/09/2015: Spectator columnist Rod Liddle seems a little annoyed by pig-ignorant lefty click activists: ‘Click here to stop the Tories selling off our hospitals to their vile friends in the City. Click here to stop austerity right now. Click here to let everyone into the country and click here to stop us deporting Mohammed Jihadi al-Semtex, a really lovely bloke who somehow got stitched up by Cameron’s fascist goons. Oh, and the bees, the bees. The bees are dropping dead all over the place. Click here to save the bees. If you don’t save the bees your children will be next, etc. So click here. Put your name to the petition and make a bee happy today. It’s always from the maniacally obsessive, relentlessly involved liberal left, this stuff. Always. There is never a right-wing petition to be signed. You never get an offer which says ‘Click here to deport everyone and don’t let anyone else in’. Or ‘Click here to gas a badger’…There are no normal people at all in this online activism: normal people are all at work or down the pub. It is a tiny fraction of the population – I’d say much less than 0.5 per cent – and they are all psychotically furious about everything and think that you are scum. And they are winning…Thank you, the internet.’
22/09/2015: I agree, the Pope is a scientific and economic illiterate hijacked by Leftist trendies, living in a cosy thought bubble: ‘This pope is not equipped for either politics or diplomacy. Those are not his jobs anyway. His special job is ministering to poverty of spirit and not material comforts’: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/424287/pope-francis-economics-poverty-capitalism
21/09/2015: Dyneema Braid: Most fisherman already know this stuff is around and is replacing nylon monofilament, but you may not. I bought this .34mm lineit to make a method of securing my hearing aids against loss. (See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/securing-hearing-aids/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/spots-hunting-adventures-mystery-river-3/) I may well restring my 10 gram handline with it, as its 50 lb breaking strength will make it more suitable for many uses: emergency guylines, repairs etc, and dipped in some Methylated spirits it will no doubt still work well for first aid: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bcb-fishing-kit-as-good-as-it-gets/
We were watching an old episode of 'All Creatures Great and Small': over
breakfast Siegfried looked up from his paper to announce that Yeats was dead,
'The best lack all conviction; the worst are full of passionate intensity.'
20/09/2015: The result in Canning - Liberals 55 to Labor 45, and a seven per cent swing to Labor. This is worse than the 57 to 43 that the Liberal’s polling a week ago said was possible, under Abbott (see yesterday’s post). Remember this is the ‘honeymoon’ period! I believe the Libs could/should have won under Tony. You may be surprised I will not be voting for them under Turnbull. I fear Morrison has damaged himself badly during this fracas. Bishop is toast. It is inconceivable the Libs have jettisoned a man of honour in favour of duplicitous bastards, but they have. We may be looking a long way down the list for help…Josh? Senator David Leyonhjelm damaged the brand, I suspect, by preferencing against the then Abbott-led Liberals: The Liberal Democrats finished last…What a disaster the last week was!
20/09/2015: Woven Dyneema: new fabric for hiking packs etc. This stuff should be ultra tough yet very light. It will be difficult to even cut it with a knife! So far these folks seem to be the first to make it into a pack, but I’m sure more will follow. I am hoping that it will also come in grey or green further down the track. I was going to order a new (Dyneema Ripstop) pack from zpacks for Xmas, but I may hold off until this stuff is available. http://www.cilogear.com/dyneema60.html
Cilo 60L Worksack
19/09/2015: Canning: Remember this: Tony Abbott expected to win that by-election comfortably and use the result to calm the panic in the party. Internal party polling suggested the result would be better than the 53 per cent to 47 recorded by Ipsos, and possibly even the 55 to 45 tipped by pollster William Bowe. Turnbull needs to do much better than that to justify his treachery! Unlikely!
19/09/2015: Elephants in the Room: The Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II: http://www.amazon.com/Elephant-Company-Inspiring-Unlikely-Animals/dp/1400069335 ELEPHANT BANS make no SENSE (but when did the touch-feely crowd EVER make sense?) http://moonbattery.com/?p=55901
19/09/2015: ‘The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off’: http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/09/16/31-of-the-best-retirement-jokes?eNL=55fad770150ba0492d357e0b&utm_source=LHPro_YourPractice&utm_medium=EMC-Email_editorial&utm_campaign=09172015&_LID=139529093&page_all=1
19/09/2015: More Emergency Boats: The Tarp Boat: This demonstration leads me more and more to the inescapable conclusion that it would be possible to make a canoe using a poncho as the skin. More about that later: http://willowhavenoutdoor.com/general-survival/improvised-tarp-boat/
18/09/2015: Improvised Bow Saw: You can make an improvised bow saw from a bent branch and a couple of large key rings (or similar) I noticed Erin & Hig used small carabiners in Ben Fogle’s New Lives in the Wild Episode 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOUcDt96IrU Since a bow saw blade itself only weighs 50-100 grams, this could be a useful addition to a wilderness camp. Many areas in the Victorian bush are a bit light on short pieces of firewood since the bushfires cleared much of this debris. By the same token those same fires have killed and brought down so many trees, there is an ample supply of longer pieces of firewood. This cooked hardwood burns more like pine though, so be warned you need at least twice as much of it as unburned wood. For other info see: http://willowhavenoutdoor.com/featured-wilderness-survival-blog-entries/fat-guys-in-the-woods-blog-skill-series-make-an-improvised-bow-saw/ & http://rockymountainbushcraft.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/how-to-make-primitive-bow-saw-in.html
18/09/2015: Spooky! Move over Ted Bundy…Scroll to the bottom and read the poems first, then read the story: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/new-evidence-links-serial-killer-stephen-wayne-anderson-aka-the-bard-of-death-row-to-35-year-old-murder/story-fnq2o7dd-1227502529582
18/09/2015: You may not want to, but you really should read this (and absorb its implications): http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/no_but_yes_green_groups_really_do_want_deindustrialisation/
17/09/2015: Surprising Treasure Hidden Within A Nine Volt Battery: 6 x AAAA batteries: http://survivaltek.com/?p=4535
17/09/2015: So the Libs have received a 3% boost in the Reachtel Poll (just about the same amount as the poll’s level of error!) Such is the reward for treachery and self-seeking! How long will it last? I seem to remember Turnbull #1 having the Libs polling worse than Abbott ever did. Naively perhaps I believed the public would grant him a second term because he was clearly a man of Principle, something we have pretty much NEVER SEEN in politics in my lifetime! NB: The Gillard and Rudd assassinations in contrast produced a 10% lift in the polls for the traitors!
17/09/2015: Malcolm Turnbull on Labor’s knifing of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (What a duplicitous humbug!): ‘I will never forget the day that you gave your press conference following your removal as Leader of the Labor Party by your colleagues. It is etched in my memory. It was one of the cruellest moments I have ever witnessed. I had lost the leadership of my own party but, frankly, in a dispute about policy…The betrayal of you as leader of your party was one of the most shocking events I have ever witnessed, and I would think any of us have ever witnessed, in politics—the scale of it. The idea that the man who had won, in this presidential campaign, an election against John Howard was then going to be disposed of, discarded like another course on a lazy Susan in a Vietnamese restaurant—the cruelty of it was extraordinary!’
17/09/2015: Monsters Amongst Us: This morning I heard that police have eliminated 130 children as suspected victims in trying to identify the little girl in a suitcase in SA. Given that they know she died in the last 8 years (and was a girl), there are clearly a lot of other missing children out there, obviously at least twice as many - just in the last 8 years! I can remember with what horror we greeted the disappearance of Graeme Thorne back in 1960 –so far as we knew this had never happened before in Australia (it was a MUCH happier, better country then!) I find it as hard to believe that there are such people as that there are people who do not believe in the DEATH PENALTY (and WORSE!) for such creatures as child rapists/murderers
Country: we give it up to others at our extreme peril: ‘Giuseppe Mazzini, the
‘father’ of modern
Before associating ourselves with the Nations which compose Humanity we must exist as a Nation. There can be no association except among equals; and you have no recognized collective existence…
A Country is a fellowship of free and equal men bound together in a brotherly concord of labor towards a single end. You must make it and maintain it such. A Country is not an aggregation; it is an association. There is no true Country without a uniform right. There is no true Country where the uniformity of that right is violated by the existence of caste, privilege, and inequality—where the powers and faculties of a large number of individuals are suppressed or dormant—where there is no common principle accepted, recognized, and developed by all. In such a state of things there can be no Nation, no People, but only a multitude, a fortuitous agglomeration of men whom circumstances have brought together and different circumstances will separate…
A Country is not a mere territory; the particular territory is only its foundation. The Country is the idea that rises upon that foundation; it is the sentiment of love, the sense of fellowship that binds together all the sons of that territory.’
16/09/2015: War on Weeds: I have been busy spraying weeds: thistles, capeweed, rushes, blackberries…on our farm here at Jeeralang Junction. Evidently so has Moreland Council (more work than most public land managers do). I had not realised the resource I was depriving luvvies like these two of. Perhaps the Council could find a spray that would eradicate Greenie nut-jobs like this. I would be happy to help with their eradication: http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/flowerpot_men/
15/09/2015: Dreadfully, this is all too true – if the Liberal party has become the Labor party, we need a new Liberal Party, and we need it NOW. They must TODAY undo what they did last night, perhaps install Morrison (as I suggested long ago), but NEVER Turnbull. Fortunately for me where I live I can vote National or Liberal Democrat: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2015/09/wont-get-vote-mr-turnbull/
15/09/2015: Mokai Jet: You are going to want one of these modular jet-powered canoes with a draft of 100mm (4”) powered by a Subaru engine. 8-10 hours cruising at 15-20 knots. US$5,400. That would have to get you effortlessly to some interesting places, up or downriver (over 100 km round trip; some great places await!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=48&v=HfmWzP_FSqk & http://www.mokai.com/the-mokai-es-kape/
15/09/2015: Something else new under the sun. Move over sheep: http://www.inspirationgreen.com/suzanne-lee-kombucha-fabric.html
‘Hizbut Tahrir…who want an Islamic revolution in
awoke this morning to the news that
14/09/2015: On this same night I went to bed having learned that the Liberal party had chosen madness over goodness. What an awful day!
14/09/2015: Sale Common: After we closed the shop at lunchtime we went across to Sale and spent the afternoon walking along some of its dozens of kilometres of amazing wetland walking paths which would take days to fully explore: Gippsland’s ‘Everglades’! What a gem, whose existence is almost certainly a secret to most people. You should give it a try on a couple of beautiful days like today; take a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine…there are innumerable great places to sit and wonder at the area’s delightful natural beauty and astonishing wildlife!
There are miles and miles of beautiful walking paths
Majestic river red gums.
14/09/2015: Some very good advice here, but I must admit to having visited Centrelink in the last year (to enquire about hearing aids). My impression of the other folks there was that they need some much more basic advice than this: http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/if-you-cant-get-past-the-interview-stage-youre-probably-making-one-of-these-mistakes/story-fnkgbb3b-1227504402634
14/09/2015: ‘Dindu Nuffin is a pejorative term that originated on Reddit to mock and criticize black people during the numerous riots throughout 2014 and 2015.’ (Wikipedia)
13/09/2015: Securing Hearing Aids: Having nearly lost one of my Siemens Aquaris Hearing Aids during my recent walk (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/spots-hunting-adventures-mystery-river-3/) I have had some feedback from a reader who has managed over time to lose three of them, all covered by insurance at the time, but he has now been refused insurance, as the bastards do! Given that most Oz audiologists want @A$7000ea for them; these folks http://www.hearingsavers.com.au/ A$4200 and these folk http://www.thehearingcompany.com/ US$1595 (= A$2248!) you wouldn’t want to lose/destroy too many of them, which is why I opted for this model – the world’s only WATERPROOF hearing aid, as I had previously had lots of issues with my older aids getting wet/dying etc. You CAN get a ‘Sports Clip’ for the Aquaris (http://precisehearing.com/hearing-aid-accessories/siemens-aquaris-optional-sports-clip) which has a covered bendable wire which additionally secures the aid below the ear. Also Siemens have a ‘Concha Lock’ for RIC hearing aids (comes standard with Aquaris) which do help a bit. My reader has decided to have his ears pierced and to connect the aids to studs in his ears - which is going a bit far to me (do not like cicatrices anyway!), but reasonable in view of his insurance situation. I notice the ‘Life Tubes’ on the Aquaris, the clear bit that go down into your ear, has a hole drilled in it to which you could attach a split ring or cord. A cord could attach the two together around the back of your head (so that you would lose both at once!) You could continue the cord around your forehead and tighten it with a micro cord lock. You could also slip the arms of your glasses through the split rings then link the arms with one of those neoprene or etc glasses ‘keepers’ so that you don’t lose both. I will be pursuing one/other of these measures to ensure I don’t lose my aids hiking/canoeing etc as I am not, (contrary to rumour) made of money!
Sports Clip: The plastic bit clips over the BTE aid and the wire bends underneath the ear.
13/09/2015: Corbyn will BURY UK Labour. Hopefully Shorten will do the same here…Now, if only we could bury Turnbull!
13/09/2015: Good Point Peter Smith, ‘The plight of “refugees” is emphasised, but no mention made of the plight of taxpayers who will have to feed, clothe and house them.’ https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2015/08/keep-calm-europe-death-knell/ ‘85 per cent of refugees (are) on Centrelink benefits in their first five years here.’ http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_boatloads_of_welfare_recipients/
12/09/2015: Spot’s Hunting Adventures: Mystery River #3: Despite having a cold developing, I decided to take a couple of days off from my weed spraying, fencing, tree planting, sheep husbandry etc and head back to the ‘Mystery River’. While I live I can yet journey on, one step after another – unlike my schoolboy friend, news of whose unpleasant death reached me as I was about to set out. The pleasures of my latest hiking adventure were somewhat muted eg as I listened to the Seekers sing ‘The Last Goodbye’ on my smart phone whilst reading Conan Doyle’s ‘the Lost World’ – none of these coincidences planned…I’m sure he would have preferred to be with me.
I spent the afternoon of the first day exploring some country upriver where there are some beautiful flats and clearings – unfortunately they do not join up easily with the flats where we camped. I essayed a riverbank approach but was continually bluffed out till I gave up. There is a lengthy traverse across the top of a promising grassy gully to get there, which would be difficult in fading light, should I take a companion/s with me planning to split the hunting opportunities.
My cold slowed me down somewhat and robbed me of energy so that I did not cover much new country. I continued to observe though that some much less ethical tally hunter had (again) followed my instructions to this spot and had been shooting numerous deer and leaving them quite otherwise untouched to rot mostly along the riverbank: half a dozen at least! Spot was keen to roll in them but was sternly rebuked for his ambitions as I certainly did not want to share a small even open tent with a foul-smelling canine. All the dead deer I found could have been shot with a telescopic sight from the other side of the river, perhaps explaining why they had been left (but not why they had been shot!) Some would have been very long shots.
The quite numerous remaining deer have quite naturally become a little warier! Except perhaps for this youngster stalking Spot and I as I went for water at sunset. So often I see deer whilst about this chore. It is next to impossible to ‘bag’ a decent trophy armed only with a billy and water bottle! She was just crossing the river towards me and was quite taken by Spot’s fetching new Tyvek raincoat which I had just put on him against the descending evening chill. (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tyvek-jack-russell-rain-coat-13-grams/)
She had certainly never seen anything like that and was keen to get a closer look. She approached to less than 3 metres from us before fleeing in alarm. I was keenly snapping away with my new camera, and was so assured of some great shots I failed to snap his mother afterwards honking at us from the opposite shore from amidst some shrubbery as I reckoned (probably correctly) that the light was against me. When I returned to my tent’s glowing firelight I was appalled to find that the control knob on the camera was somewhere between ‘Auto’ and ‘Short Movie’ so all I had except these blurry shots was even worse blur of a deer face to face. Dammit! I will have to decide on a strategy to prevent this in future! Imagine how badly I would feel though if this had been the first NZ moose photo in @ 50 years!
Young deer @ 10 metres crossing river centre just below bank and right of overhanging tree.
Deer (centre) approaching Spot @ 5 metres with ears held upright in a questioning manner.
The same deer ears straight up @ 2.4 metres about to bolt.
The deer’s ear language is interesting. This deer is curious and determined . So many critters with mobile ears and tails express interesting nuances with them. I have spent thirty years observing body language in sheep, which is much the same. Everyone understands the meaning of a ‘hang dog’ look. You can certainly judge whether you have been ‘made’ (out) by a deer by paying attention to its ears. I maintain that looking it straight in the eyes is a dead-set giveaway. For example, a dog will wag his tail to his right side when he is feeling happy, positive or confident about approaching something. On the other hand, the dog will wag his tail to the left if he feels scared or wants to bolt from the situation. When observing deer, keep your attention on their ears and tails.
I just could not believe what my camera had taken!
The same spot next morning - it is a beautiful river!
During the night a very large deer approached quite near our camp (perhaps 3 metres away) before it honked deafeningly and bolted for the river. I caught a glimpse of its derriere in my torchlight before it hit the screen of shrubbery along the river’s margin, which is why I know that this shot is a deer print next to my glasses case – else I would have had to suspect a moose (!) or cattle. There is a small herd of wild cattle about. I saw a mob of approx six (didn’t think to photograph them). None had ear tags, and they were a long way from someone’s farmland, but may be rounded up some time I guess, if anyone suspects they are there. I would guess this print belongs to a resident stag who most like is only out and about at night, as is their wont. If his rack is anything like his feet, he is a monster. Mind you I have shot does with feet near as big as this. Foot shape and size is one of those myths of the tracking world: like people deer have different foot sizes and shapes. There is some correlation between size and gender, but the notion that rounded tips are stags and pointed ones does (or vice versa) is down to someone who has not paid any attention to the feet of the deer they have shot, or they have not shot many. I did once start on a collection of deer’s feet, but they were smelly things to have around and the dogs were apt to find and eat them! Clearly though a long stride bespeaks greater height, and splayed toes indicate flight (or downhilling). They will use their feet as tools betimes: to gouge out a lick or a bedding spot, or when jousting, preaching etc. Likewise their antlers.
There is a VERY large deer FOOT around there somewhere!
This was our comfy little camp for a couple of nights by the river. Amazing that all that gear can fit in such as mall, lightweight pack. As usual I took too much food and came home with it. Exercise diminishes my appetite for some reason. I need urgently to undertake a very long journey…well, I am working on it!
Hard to believe all of this fits in the small grey-green pack right.
Spot likes to help with packing away!
The second day I decided to explore the pack track downriver I had stumbled upon before. I had decided to camp the second night on a river flat I had glimpsed from a hilltop in the distance previously, so I eschewed just taking my daypack (worse luck!) and set out with all my gear. I had a detour of a couple of kms exploring a nice clear double gully system: there is some beautiful grazing around there. Clearly in the past there was a grazing licence or private property which has reverted to the Crown as evidence of this old fence shows:
Historic remnants - hard to believe someone once building a rabbit proof fence in this terrain. A good deer trail Spot found.
I was marking the pack track (perhaps for a later machete clearing job so I can
bring Della with me) by breaking the odd dogwood or manuka branch off along my
route. It is very overgrown (mostly due to the fires a few years back), and
seriously eroded and hard to follow in places, but altogether worth it on
balance. Eventually after a few kms it met an old overgrown vehicular track
heading downriver whose gentle gradient made easy walking. I guess I had
proceeded along it a couple of kms before I noticed that one of my hearing aids
was missing. These (Siemens Aquaris waterproof – highly recommended!) cost
upwards of $7,000 each in Oz (though I bought mine from this guy in
So, instead of proceeding forward to a nearby camp and rest (!) I headed back whence I had come thanking my lucky stars I had been breaking trail as I went so that I could be assured I was looking in the right place (except for one enormous detour though mostly over clearish country). I had Spot sniff my remaining hearing aid in the hope he would get the message I was looking for one of them. Unfortunately hearing aids do not have four legs! In the end he walked right over it as I nearly did too. I had been expecting it might be hung up in one of the whippy branches but in the end it was lying on quite a clear patch of ground, still very hard to spot. It must have come off my ear and balanced on my pack for a time before sliding off. It was hard enough to find on clear ground; I would never have found it in a worse situation – though you can be sure I would still be looking!
Spot’s nose (or his training) might have failed him in the hearing aid hunt, but his breed (Jack Russell) really is a scent trailing type. I have noticed many times him ignore the clear sight of some game at distance whilst he proceeded to follow their scent instead. Mind you what passes for ‘clear sight’ to me might be quite different when your eyes are less than a foot off the ground! On the way in on the first day we put up a large animal on a stag’s rub line. These are boundary lines anyway, so it could be that it was a doe, though it no doubt adds a tingle of excitement to imagine it has a large tempting rack! There had been some rain recently, though the bush is becoming surprisingly dry and ‘crunchy’ underfoot, so its tracks were not so hard to follow. I showed his nose the marks and indicated ‘fetch’ (which would be no mean feat!). He led me on its trail a couple of kms downhill, (every now and again accompanied by a distant thump as it struck the ground in warning with its forefoot, or the crack of a distant twig) until it finally crossed the river and eluded us. I am certain that (properly trained – this may never happen to mine!) Jack Russells will make excellent deer dogs – their keenness would be accentuated wonderfully by shooting a few deer off them now and then, if only I had the enthusiasm (or hunger)to do so. They are wonderfully compact dogs who can fit inside your shirt or balance on your shoulders on difficult river crossings; their gear and food weigh so little, yet they are just as great a companion as bigger dogs, and just as useful in the hunt.
Downstream a step or two: Another beautiful river shot!
When I found it, I confess it felt a bit like winning the lottery. I have just become used to hearing ‘properly’ again having found some wonderful people who WILL tune my hearing aids even if I bought them more cheaply overseas (http://www.hearingsavers.com.au/). Most won’t. Audiology is a huge scam costing the Federal Government billions – but I can assure you the pollies don’t want to know! I had been tuning them (poorly) myself these last several years. Only a couple of weeks ago these folk had tuned my aids for me - and I can hear all sorts of things now/again.
birds, for example. Maybe when I was young I would have heard the very high
pitched warblers which abound along this stretch of river. Small dun-coloured
sparrow-sized birds they are. I was never able to get a good look at them (or a
photo), though I tried, so I don’t know their species. They have clearly been
breeding very successfully as there was one every 20 metres or so, but always
concealed in dense vegetation. They must be more aggressive to each other than
The search for my hearing aid was the reason I camped again in the same spot as the first night, the deer now giving me a wider berth. I only stayed the two nights as the temperature was warming too much, and I did not look forward to the danger of snakes to Spot or having to haul myself vertically the few hundred metres to my waiting vehicle in temps in the twenties. And of course at home, there are still plenty of weeds to attack & etc. Also my cold was dragging my energy levels down after a longer than anticipated day carrying my full pack. But, I shall return. I daresay come summer we will venture carefully down this river in our canoes. It is a big river with lots of water at the moment, though the rapids I have seen look manageable. We will have to feel it out carefully as my wife’s failing eyesight make negotiating large rapids treacherous for her nowadays. We have canoed much in the past, and expect a few riverine adventures yet. Hopefully the most dangerous rapids can be safely portaged. I may have to do the trip by myself the first time to check it out – or perhaps I can enlist one of my ever-diminishing group of friends to accompany me; though so many folk my age seem to feel they are safer home in their beds – ‘most people die in bed, therefore bed is a dangerous place and should be avoided,’ my grandfather used to say. Give me the safety of wild places any day!
Spot does enjoy his sleeping bag atop my pack! Of course, at night he nestles inside his sleeping bag: this one weighs 200 grams: he is soon to get a new one which will weigh 102 grams! Every little bit helps! This lady is a useful resource for those who enjoy making their own gear: http://www.questoutfitters.com/index.html You might think about making the ‘Bilgy’ tent and G4 pack or insulated clothing pattern, for example.
12/09/2015: You should read this one minute lesson in economics: http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2015/04/materials-i-use-to-teach-my-90-minute-economic-class.html
09/09/2015: Birds in our garden: My new camera is allowing me to make a bit of a collection/study of these guys. We are lucky enough to have over a hundred species of birds visit our garden fro time to time, so it will take a while o get a )complete) collection together, but here’s a start:
Grey Thrush 6/09/2015
King Parrot 06/09/2015
Firetail Finches 06/09/2015
White Backed Magpie 08/09/2015
Pee-wit or Mudlark 07/09/2015
Crimson Rosellas 07/09/2015
Jenny Wren 07/09/2015
Blue Wren 07/09/2015
09/09/2015: Last night I learned of the death of one of my oldest friends, John Seamer whom I have known since we were in Year 10 (1964), so 51 years! We were very close at University and in our twenties. Having now lived most of our lives half a continent apart with irregular phone calls and even more irregular visits, I am surprised at the depth of feeling of loss I have this morning: You may guess I ‘hear Time’s wing’d chariot hurrying near’ – and it is true. You may well think there is time aplenty to do all those things you dream of, but for John there is no more time at all, so I hope he did not die with many regrets of things left undone. I had planned a three day hike with Spot in my beloved Gippsland mountains starting this morning, so I will waste no time leaving that particular ambition undone…
than 350,000 migrants have fled to
08/09/2015: An unmarried couple can score US$75,000 tax free in benefits; I wonder how much here? Anyway, certainly more than they could EARN given their level of skills and energy. I had just been astonished eg that single people were being provided with entire (new) Housing Commission three bedroom houses at ‘peppercorn’ rents whilst eg folks who work around the city (who are paying for this largesse through the tax system) are paying up to $150 pw to SHARE a bedroom in a (private) rental house (ads seen at Readings in Lygon Street). The WELFARE STATE needs to be ABOLISHED! http://americandigest.org/mt-archives/5minute_arguments/the_road_to_moocherville.php
was V.I. Lenin who sneered that the last capitalist would sell communists the
rope to hang him with. That's what happened in the Soviet Empire, which ran
07/09/2015: Another lovely Father’s Day. Thanks to my wonderful family.
07/09/2015: Christopher Monckton: ‘One-third of Man’s entire influence on climate since the Industrial Revolution has occurred since January 1997. Yet for 224 months since then there has been no global warming at all (Fig. 1). With this month’s RSS temperature record, the Pause sets a new record at 18 years 8 months’
07/09/2015: This is an absurd situation. Forget about a Uni degree and get a trade: http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/the-tradies-australia-really-needs-64-ways-to-a-new-career-path-as-young-workers-snub-apprenticeships/story-fnkgbb3b-1227512810982
07/09/2015: Save the Christians: If we must bring in refugees from the Middle East, let’s bring in the Christians: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/operation-rescue-the-christians-of-the-middle-east-face-extinction-20150906-gjg9p2.html After all, there are plenty of Moslem countries their own refugees can go to: http://directorblue.blogspot.com.au/2015/09/why-have-oil-rich-arab-countries.html
06/09/2015: Great Ideas which will not work: ‘The Government should do…’
06/09/2015: Poverty/Disadvantage: This supposed connection is highly spurious: As a child I grew up in what could only be described as a ‘poor’ family. We had no running water or electricity, no heating, no sewerage or septic tank, no ‘family’ car, no television, no ‘made’ road, adequate but (likely) protein poor diet, no ‘holidays’, very few toys, no ‘treats’, second-hand/repaired/home-made clothing, (I personally wore no shoes until I was in High School), haircuts performed at home, we grew most of our own food (so nothing out of season); we all suffered from boils (Vitamin deficiency or inadequate washing facilities?)…the list goes on. We never felt ANY sense of disadvantage. Certainly there was nothing about this situation which prevented us from excelling. Both my parents were quite literate, had beautiful flawless copperplate handwriting and were well informed about world events and the progress of ideas. ‘The Poor’ today are rich beyond my parents’ dreams of avarice (not that they had them anyway), their homes and lives crammed with sci-fi gadgets and robots beyond imagining, their stomachs full of a cornucopia of overly nutritious goodies…their minds and spirits are unbelievably vacuous however, and they are unable to do anything – as the recent SBS programme ‘Struggle Street’ so tellingly illustrated. ‘Disadvantage’ is all in the mind.
06/09/2015: Phosphorus: In the 1960s I was a shift worker for years in a superphosphate plant (Sulphide Corp Cockle Creek Newcastle) and in one of the acid plants, the ‘C” for clean Acid plant, in contrast to the ‘D’ for dirty Acid Plant. REALLY! The 'clean' (battery, etc) acid we made by burning sulphur; the ('industrial') acid used to make 'super' was a by-product of lead smelting. It did contain quite a lot of (radioactive) cadmium. Enough that certain plants (tobacco, for example) concentrate it to dangerous levels if a lot was used on the crop (which is probably why lung cancers are radioactive). That being said, it made the phosphorus soluble and available for plant use. As many Oz soils are seriously depleted of phosphorus (due to centuries of wanton burning) we need to add it to soils to produce a decent crop. Otherwise nothing would grow but inedible grasses (such as poa) and similar 'weeds' such as gums/wattles!
05/09/2015: gnancy on it. The bag also had a purple wallet in it and some important medical documents inside. We would really appreciate if you could share this photo far and wide and hopefully someone has spotted it in the hands of someone else or has found it dumped somewhere. It is very unlikely that anyone in the Latrobe Valley would own this same bag and phone so if you see them please contact the Traralgon Police Station Ph.51722700. If you have these items in your possession please find it in your heart to hand them into the Traralgon Police Station or return them to Yinnar General Store 44 Main Street Yinnar 3869, we don't care about the cash just the sentimental value of the phone's memory card and the bag. Thank you.
Of course it is a tragedy.
05/09/2015: Medicare billed a million times a day: Medicare cost the taxpayer last year $21 billion. In the last decade, the national population has grown 19% but the demand on Medicare in the same period has climbed 104% : https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/29419991/medicare-billed-a-million-times-a-day/
05/09/2015: Water Anyone? ‘Many people believe that the source of this myth was a 1945 Food and Nutrition Board recommendation that said people need about 2.5 litres of water a day. But they ignored the sentence that followed closely behind. It read, “Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.”’: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/upshot/no-you-do-not-have-to-drink-8-glasses-of-water-a-day.html?_r=0
04/09/2015: It’s no different here:
04/09/2015: New Camera: Thanks to my children I received a new (birthday) pocket camera, a Nikon S7000 with 16 Megapixels and 20X zoom which weighs 162 grams complete with battery, micro sd card and wrist strap. I may now get a chance to take (& post) some snaps of astonishing things I sometimes see in the bush which I could never bring into clear enough resolution before. Here for example, is a pair of Yellow-tailed Black Cockies seen at sunset on our walk last night; (more to follow):
03/09/2015: Will be available free by subscription; apply at your local Centrelink office:
03/09/2015: Upper Yarra Track Mementoes: A Big Tree Nr Mt Horsefall (before the 1939 fires!) Thanks to Thomas Osburg for the wonderful photo. I love the dog. I wonder are there still a few of these hiding in the catchment somewhere? Won’t know unless I take a look!
camping at Mt Horsefall: Mt Horsefall has a beautiful @ 5 acre grassy clearing
at its summit with @360 degree views so on still days it is a beautiful spot to
camp. Unfortunately there is no water. There is water at the
03/09/2015: Kim Beazley Snr in 1970: ‘When I joined the Labor Party, it contained the cream of the working class. But as I look about me now, all I see are the dregs of the middle class. When will you middle-class perverts stop using the Labor Party as a cultural spittoon?’ For many years now this has been my view exactly. I remember a night at an ALP meeting in Bendigo in just such a gentleman’s house when I began to separate myself from it too, perceiving how the new political class who had never worked with their hands (or minds) to make themselves (or others) better disdained his modest achievements, disdained his working for one’s and society’s betterment - and offered simply redistribution and Government control as the only worthwhile goal. Today’s ALP is way Left of where the Communist Party of Australia was as I grew up. The Greens are even more evilly Left of them, perhaps even left of Mao & Pol Pot in that they would see most of humanity gone. Meanwhile the Chinese Communist Party is way to the Right of the ALP – I fear even to the right of today’s Liberal Party! Where can a working class Conservative’s vote go? Perhaps the Liberal Democrats?
03/09/2015: AGW Made easy: You might have to be a pretty smart 8 year old to follow all of this, but it is a pretty good explanation of how the whole farce got started: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/08/31/the-epistemology-of-explaining-climate-forecasting-so-an-8-year-old-can-understand-it/
02/09/2015: You should read this essay not because it will make you rich but because it will make you rich in wisdom. An example, ‘We all live in a prison house of self. We naturally see the world from our own perspective and see our own point of view as obvious and, if we are not careful, as the only possible one. I have never heard anyone say: “Yes, you only see things from my point of view. Why don’t you consider your own for a change?” The more our culture presumes its own perspective, the more our academic disciplines presume their own rectitude, and the more professors restrict students to their own way of looking at things, the less students will be able to escape from habitual, self-centred, self-reinforcing judgments. We grow wiser, and we understand ourselves better, if we can put ourselves in the position of those who think differently’: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/why-college-kids-are-avoiding-the-study-of-literature/
Dehydration: As mentioned before we have a food dehydrator, so Della often
dries some of her superb meals for our later delectation on the trail (her
Shepherd’s Pie, for example). I know some of you are not so lucky (as to have
either a dehydrator or a Della!). You will just have to do without the latter,
and if you can’t afford a dehydrator, you can, very carefully - perhaps with
the oven slightly open, and on the lowest setting, and checking and stirring
very regularly, dry food on a dish/tray in the oven. See: Google. I have just
1 can corn left, 2 cans sauce right.
01/09/2015: Housing: Once again some folks are suggesting (as a means of lowering real estate prices) that people be able to use their superannuation to buy homes, and that interest on home mortgages should be subsidised ie be Pre-tax, (No mention of other real estate purchases eg farms and businesses – unimportant to socialists!) Obviously such measures would simply inflate real estate prices further, as you are making more money available to purchase them. Why is it such folks refuse to understand how markets work? If you want prices to go down you must increase supply or make money more expensive. If you do the opposite (as suggested) prices will increase. Transferring retirement income to housing will only create a greater problem in that area down the track too.
01/09/2015: Attributed to Sherlock Holmes, ‘If you put a frog in boiling water, it won’t jump out. It will die. If you put it in cold water, it will jump before it gets hot—they don’t sit still for you.’ https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2015/08/adventure-antarctic-anomaly/
01/09/2015: Tick removal: Spot’s First Tick: This is the very first tick either myself or one of my animals has acquired in Southern Victoria – even though I hunted with hounds here for over thirty years and have owned as many as a dozen and a half dogs at a time. I used to see tiny ticks infecting the ears of Bluetongue lizards probably causing the deafness which results in their suffering from so many road casualties. It is possible to tediously remove them – an operation they lizards do not appreciate – but I have long since given up on it: in no time they find some more anyway.
Spot acquired this particular tick West of Yinnar yesterday when he was trying out his handsome new raincoat (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tyvek-jack-russell-rain-coat-13-grams/) . I can report I have discovered yet another reason for preferring methylated spirits as a hiking fuel. After dousing the parasite liberally with it (from a teaspoon), and waiting about a minute, it was easy to pull the dead tick out complete with its head (as you can see) leaving nothing to cause an infection or irritation. I used a fine pair of tweezers gripping it just above its head. Easier than pulling a tooth! I have no idea whether it is a paralysis tick (probably not), but you do have to be careful to check your pets for the blighters as they can cause death!
In the US ticks have been implicated in the spread of Lyme Disease (a real nasty previously mostly an occupational hazard to rat-catchers!), so apart from the fact that they will create a very nasty itchy spot, and maybe an infection, it is important to get them out (particularly of yourself) as quickly and safely as possible. The meths is also a good antiseptic.
31/08/2015: Tyvek Jack Russell (Rain) Coat: 13 grams! My little chaps can get quite wet and cold if we are in the bush for long days in the winter so I thought I would treat them to some waterproofing. Surprisingly, my first effort worked very well - you can see Spot modelling it here. He was quite happy wearing it for all of our 5km walk (run for him!) this afternoon and didn’t want me to take it off when we came home and I wanted to make Marque #2 using it as a pattern. He needed a little more cover at the rump, along the back of his neck and along his sides. I will just keep using the last one as a pattern for the next one until I get it just right, then will post the pattern, so be sure to come back and check, but you can probably figure it out from the pix. I just used stick-on Velcro for the four attachment points: seemed to work OK.
Stand up & show off Spot. OK!
Do you like it Spot? Yes, Sir!
Can you still run fast in it Spot? My Word!
Tiny: I am not amused. Where's my magic cape?
Left: Marque#1, Right Marque#2.
31/08/2015: Fingers crossed that Dyson will stay the course!
31/08/2015: Are you REALLY in favour of multiculturalism? ‘Indian sisters told they will be repeatedly gang-raped as punishment for their brother's crime launch appeal at Supreme Court’: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/indian-sisters-fleeing-rape-punishment-appeal-to-supreme-court-for-protection-10476581.html & http://www.news.com.au/world/indian-village-council-orders-rape-of-sisters-after-brother-runs-off-with-high-caste-woman/story-fndir2ev-1227504634694
31/08/2015: We have hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants on our streets. Query: How exactly do you establish their status (and deport them) if officials are not allowed to ask them to show their documents? I have always understood I have to provide my identity to any police officer/government official who asks. Have I been mistaken all my life? http://pickeringpost.com/story/70-000-visa-overstays-claim-racism/5309
30/08/2015: Duct Tape Fire Starter:
Fire starters are easily lit and are created to sustain a flame while the tinder placed above it catches fire. In lieu of fire starters, selecting a good material for tinder can be an asset. Small strips of tire inner-tube work well. I have carried one for more years than I can recall. Surprisingly you can use of duct tape for this purpose.
You can take a 2 inch square of tape and drape it over a piece of tinder and place more tinder over it. Then you can light an edge with a match or lighter. Once it catches on fire it burns with a sooty but strong flame. To provide a longer burn time you can create a free-standing candle with it.
You can carry a length eg spooled on your water bottle. If it doesn’t get used for fire starting it may have some other use for repairs. I I imagine other tape (Tyvek, Cuben, etc) burns quite well too.
30/08/2015: Bottom Story of the Day: Lion Kills Man: http://moonbattery.com/?p=62323
Will the touchy-feely crowd bang on forever wanting to save this lion too?
Miranda Devine: ‘SO let’s get this straight. The biggest scandal in
29/08/2015: Fishing with Floss: It comes in a small plastic box that fits comfortably in your pocket. The 50 metres of cordage inside can be completely withdrawn and tied onto a pole for conventional fishing. Alternatively you can tie an overhand knot on the end and slip it onto your finger or wrist.
Take your floss box and have a rummage through your tackle to see what hooks and sinkers will fit inside the container and if possible look for flies or plastic nymphs too. However there is no substitute for live bait such as bugs or worms that you can find under a stone or log. For a float you can use a length of stick or the polystyrene balls I mentioned here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/worlds-lightest-tarp-clip/ .
I usually carry it for emergency use (repairs/first aid) http://www.theultralighthiker.com/rope-dont-leave-home-without-it/ but it would come in handy for a spot of emergency fishing too. You will notice that there are (amazingly) several kinds of self-threading needle you can use for repairs. I know the Clayxeye fits in a floss container as I have had mine there for over twenty years (and effected many repairs with it in that time!)
50 metres o floss weighs @ 10 grams
Spiral eye needle
29/08/2015: Have things gone too far? Have progressives become authoritarians requiring that none other than their views be implemented, even discussed? I certainly think so. Not so long ago it was unquestioned by almost everyone that heterosexual monogamous marriage was desirable and the norm. Now, those who disagree with this, indeed practically anything, are labelled as extremists, hate speakers, threatened with legal injunctions…whilst all sorts of strange experiments are foisted on society. (PS: I think it should be illegal to tattoo, pierce or otherwise main/scarify children under 18). For example: http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/mirandadevine/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/gayby_baby_imbroglio_denials_fear_and_a_lack_of_tolerance/
One Month & Still No News on the Flaperon (save the weighty suspicion
really that it is a false lead!): The entire saga of this tragedy has been
shambolic in the extreme. To begin: utterly inadequate processes remained in
place to prevent one of the crew murdering an entire aircraft (perhaps still
do!); inadequate safety installations prevented the aircraft from being tracked
or found; radar systems intended to detect, track and intercept such events
were inoperational in Malaysia, AUSTRALIA (whose head has rolled over this
one?), India…the initial search was inexcusably delayed, then failed to identify
that blips from a supposed black box on the aircraft were moving (a fact I
noted straightaway, for several days and millions of dollars); experts have
consistently & protractedly failed to notice that the absence of a debris field all along signaled that the
aeroplane landed intact somewhere – if in the Southern Indian Ocean, then it
would have turned, descended slowly and chosen the best place to land. There is
where you should look, NOT along a computer generated straight line ‘course’. I
know nothing about landing a jet liner, but there are thousands of people who
do. ASK them? I would imagine that it is best to land into the wind (more loft,
less disturbance), so the aircraft would probably have turned (West?) and
glided down from 7km up (putting the landing site clearly what? 50 kilometres?
OUTSIDE the $100 million search area. It would have chosen the least choppy
piece of sea, and the clearest sky. Satellite and weather data was available to
identify such a site. If the plane landed it might have sunk very slowly.
No-one was looking down there for nearly TWO WEEKS (except perhaps
co-conspirators - if he had any), so it would have drifted with the current
most/all that time (at least 50 km PER day: a total of 500 km BEFORE the search
began!). The directions of such currents are known (and again nowhere near the
current search area). It never ceases to amaze me how IMPORTANT people, paid
lots of money to do their jobs, nonetheless continue not to do so yet remain
full of their own self-importance. Just going back to the Australian defence
authorities for a minute: It was known when the plane flew over
28/08/2015: Finding Your Way: You don’t really need a compass (and you may not always have one - though a compass and a self-winding watch are a good idea as they are two of the most reliable aids you can have). In the Southern Hemisphere the sun is always in the Northern (third) of the sky. At mid-day it should be pretty much due North.
You can estimate how far it has to travel (or has travelled) by measuring finger widths to the horizon, each finger representing approximately a quarter hour (at arm’s length). (This is just one of my ‘rules of thumb’). Usually it won’t matter if you are a few degrees off your route: you can’t travel very far in a single day anyway, and if you are lost for more than one day, something is seriously wrong, but if so, think about either heading in one direction (the closest known civilisation and/or following water downstream. If you were paying attention when you set out, and as you travelled along, you should always be able to find your way back to where you started that day. Just keeping in mind where a generally Northerly direction is, by the end of the day you should not be more than a couple of hundred metres from any destination you have chosen for the day. If you are not, you have not been paying attention.
You should note important landmarks on the way out, and turn around as you go out so that you can remember what they will look like on your return trip. This is VERY important and should never be ignored.
When you are walking you don’t need any more directions than (at most) the eight cardinal points of the compass. Usually your direction at any given time is determined by topography anyway, so that if you DO want to generally head in a particular direction, necessity will bend your course away from it either to the right or left. You will need to walk for approximately the same amount of time in the opposite (left or right) tendency to keep to your course anyway.
If you need to think more precisely about direction than that, here is another ‘rule of thumb’: the palm of your hand (at arm’s length) is approximately 15 degrees. The tip of your little finger at arm’s length is approximately 1 degree). Should you really need to know (precisely) where East and West are, shove a stick into the ground and mark the spot where the end of its shadow touches the ground. Mark the same spot say 15 minutes later. Draw a line between the two. That line is precisely East-West. Obviously North-South is precisely perpendicular to it.
If you cannot SEE the sun (because it is cloudy etc) often a stick will still cast a faint shadow on pale ground. If not a very small hole (eg made in a leaf) will ‘project’ the sun’s disc onto the ground. Looking around through such a small hole should enable you to work out where the brightest spot in the sky is.
A thumbdial, when you know the time of day tells you the direction of the sun, thus providing orientation. The secret of the thumbdial is that it reveals the sun’s location by revealing its shadow. Begin by standing in an open area and placing the tip of a knife blade on top of your thumbnail and rotate it slowly, watching for a slight shadow to be revealed on the matte textured surface. The location of the sun of course is on the opposite side of the knife blade from the shadow. The wide and narrow silhouette of the blade helps to accent this. The sun’s brightness is defused in fog but still maintains a brighter presence which is revealed by the very slight shadow.
If all else fails moss/lichen grows on the South side of trees/rocks in the Southern Hemisphere and on the opposite side (the one which gets least sunlight) in the Northern. Really though, if you can’t work out where the sun is, you probably shouldn’t be out there unchaperoned!
I bought these watch bands on eBay for $1.99. I think they are great because you don’t lose the watch if you snag it on some brush or a vine and tear out one of the pins (which happens). I also added a wrist compass ($3.99) which makes this Seiko auto-winder ($49.99) set-up just about perfect:
28/08/2015: Waiting for the Barbarians C.P Cavafy
Why are we all assembled and waiting in the market place?
It is the barbarians; they will be here today.
Why is there nothing being done in the senate house?
Why are the senators in session but are not passing laws?
Because the barbarians are coming today.
Why should the senators make laws any more?
The barbarians will make the laws when they get here.
Why has our emperor got up so early
and sits there at the biggest gate of the city
high on his throne, in state, and with his crown on?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and the emperor is waiting to receive them
and their general. And he has even made ready
a parchment to present them, and thereon
he has written many names and many titles.
Why have our two consuls and our praetors
Come out today in their red embroidered togas?
Why have they put on their bracelets with all those amethysts
and rings shining with the glitter of emeralds?
Why will they carry their precious staves today
which are decorated with figures of gold and silver?
Because the barbarians are coming today
And things like that impress the barbarians.
Why do our good orators not put in any appearance
and make public speeches, and do what they generally do?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and they get bored with eloquent public speeches.
Why is everybody beginning to be so uneasy?
Why so disordered? (See how grave all the faces have
become!) Why do the streets and the squares empty so quickly,
and they are all anxiously going home to their houses?
Because it is night, and the barbarians have not got here,
and some people have come in from the frontier
and say that there aren’t any more barbarians.
What are we going to do now without the barbarians?
In a way, those people were a solution.
28/08/2015: Ain’t it the truth: ‘The dominant issue in the West is immigration. The ruling elites are obsessed with filling up our lands with people from other lands. It’s nearly impossible to get members of the elite to discuss the matter, much less explain their reasoning. A politician or party that embraces immigration reform, even mild reform, is treated like a Holocaust denier. Even climate change, which is pretty much a religion at this point, is more open to debate than immigration.’ http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=5228
28/08/2015: Something new under the sun; a new kind of glass: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2015/08/13/molecular-scientists-unexpectedly-produce-new-type-glass
27/08/2015: ‘Violent crime, and homicide in particular, has been cut by approximately half since the mid-1990s, a time that coincides with liberalized gun laws in many states and more widespread ownership of handguns. Why do gun control advocates never acknowledge these basic facts?’ Time we (re)allowed the carriage of handguns for self-protection, a protection the police and the State fail hopelessly at (if indeed they aren’t the main problem!) http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/08/the-facts-dont-matter-the-answer-is-always-gun-control.php
27/08/2015: Farewell to the Three Little Pigs:’ To avoid the risk of potentially offending a Muslim somewhere, [Oxford University Press] has banned the use of the words “pig” and “pork” from children’s books as it might offend Islamic readers.’ http://moonbattery.com/?p=61909
27/08/2015: World’s Lightest Tarp Clip: You can buy these approx 1” polystyrene balls from Spotlight for @ $2.40 for 20. They weigh about .2 gram each. You can carry a few of these in your repair/fishing kit (along with some string, eg 1-2mm Dyneema) for use at need, eg when you need some additional tie-downs for your tent/tarp or when you have torn one out. They also come in handy as fishing floats for use with your http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bcb-fishing-kit/ You could use them to attach the bottom reinforcing tarp to your faux packraft http://www.theultralighthiker.com/home-made-pack-raft/ first tying them to the material as shown below (on the emergency mylar tent http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pitching-the-poncho-warning-this-may-save-your-life/), then tying an overhand knot in the remaining ‘tail’ and joining all the tieouts together with another length of string and pulling it tight so as to secure it to the raft.
World's lightest tarp clips
Tie the slip knot like this:
26/08/2015: Not only is Lockheed Martin right on the track of nuclear fusion but Boeing has just patented a nuclear fusion jet engine http://www.businessinsider.com.au/boeing-just-patented-a-jet-engine-powered-by-lasers-and-nuclear-explosions-2015-7#boeings-new-jet-engine-works-by-firing-high-power-lasers-at-radioactive-material-such-as-deuterium-and-tritium-1
25/08/2015: Other people's money? I really think margin loans should be discouraged. So far today the ASX has been down 100 points and up 220 from that low!
25/08/2015: Who ARE all the people who think they can make a profit out of selling their shares at a loss? Methinks leveraged gamblers have a lot to answer for. Unfortunately their recklessness writes down the assets of careful savers as well!
25/08/2015: This all sounds just too familiar: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6379/ikea-murders-sweden Alas that Cassandra should not be believed.
24/08/2015: Merrin: ‘Not a bad day for building a fence! Mum’s garden was looking amazing as usual.’ Steve: We are stealing a patch of flat ground below our driveway from the sheep to increase our orchard. We already have the plumcots, crab apples, fujis, etc ready to go in as soon as I have finished the fence. I have to build a new fence anyway to keep the wayward JRs in (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/spot/) so it is a case of opportunity. We still have over 100 trees to plant before Spring (?) so we will be busy! Those we planted last year have been doing very well.
you had dined at the Pratt St Alehouse in