It’s All About Us

Hey gang

4:20pm 😉 Tuesday 13 September 2011
After getting cleaned up at the Dragons Lair, we headed out to Walker Bay. First we checked the North end, then headed to the South to find some shelter from the trade winds. We found a nice hidden clearing about a hundred metres (330ft) in from the beach. The thick coastal scrub just lifts the wind over our heads, but also lets the breeze flick in a little to keep things cool and fresh.

I learnt a lesson today. Tina should not have shopped by herself at the supermarket. She insisted though.
“I haven’t been in their for ages! I’ll do the shopping.”
Tina purchased some avocado, bread, tomatoes, eggs and potatoes. Cool. She also bought a tray of herbed steak, a cold chicken, some cheese kabana. Enough cold meat for three days. Cool too. Except we have no fridge or ice. 🙂
Now, we could have eaten the chook last night. But…we also had two live crabs that our bama mate had given us. They were happily resting in the mangrove leaves in the old blue Styrofoam esky we’d found at the Annan.

A Quick Diversion

Bama Explained
The term ‘bama’, pronounced ‘bumma’, is the local term in both guugu yimmithir and kuku yalanji languages for person or people. However, over time it has become the respectful term for differentiating between local aboriginals and white people. White people can sometimes be referred to as migaloo (whitefella), but that’s generally reserved for tourists who travel up here around the same time as the whales migrate North. We sometimes think there was an in-joke going on when the White humpback whale was named.

Crabs
Our somewhat famous mud crabs are arguably the best tasting crabs on the planet.
Mud crabs are most commonly found in tidal saltwater, mangrove lined rivers and creeks. They’re also found in mangrove lined coast.
Now, some people may argue with me, but in our humble opinions, the best way to cook Australian Mud crab is thus:

Assuming a 1 kilogram (roughly 2lb) mud crab.
It must be alive! If you can’t get live green mud crab, ignore this and buy a cooked one.
Euthanase it.
Squeamish people avert your eyes. Either place in a freezer for an hour,or spike it between the eyes with something sharp.

Preferably get a big pot of fresh clean ocean water,about 5 litres (1.3US gal) and bring it to the boil. Immerse the crab and allow it to come to the boil again. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes, then take off the heat. Let it sit in the hot water for a couple minutes, then remove and immerse in a bucket of cold saltwater.
Leave in water to cool for 15 or 20 minutes before eating.
Oh, if you put thick layers of fresh mangrove leaves in your esky with your crabs, they’ll live for days. Keep the esky in the shade and open it for fresh air a couple times a day. Replace the leaves every couple of days or so. Only mangrove though.

End Diversion

Anyway, we decided to cook and eat the crabs instead, and sacrifice the chook to the dogs in the morning.
Dinner was fresh Annan River mudcrab, boiled in Crystal clear Walker Bay ocean water. Accompanied with ripe Avocado, tomatoes, lettuce and soft multigrain bread and butter.

We went to bed early, listening to the ocean and the breeze we’d become so used to before Tina was diagnosed with the GBM.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

We both had an interrupted sleep. Tina was awake more often than me, listening to the radio and quietly shushing Jack when he barked at a hog or wallaby in the undergrowth.
I woke around 11pm. Then at some hour after that, I woke with an overwhelming urge to throw up.
After emptying my guts, I felt much better and slept til dawn, about 6:15am. Tina was fine. Not sick at all. Just not very tired.
I did something silly while cleaning up last night. It may have contributed to my sickness 😦
This morning, Tina had some steak and salad for brekky. I took our long bucket out to the beach with Jack to get some washing water. There’s a good 25 to 30 knot Sou’Easter blowing off the ocean onto the beach. Our spot in behind the 4 metre high, dense vine scrub is well protected, but the wind still rips through the canopy at the edge of the clearing, letting us feel her freshness when a gust rolls like a wave into our camp.
Which leads me to the beauty of Pig.

Pig, of whom I think you are intimately aware, provides our cooking fire, warmth and entertainment during our nights here in Paradise. Pig can contain a fire and its ash in a 20 knot wind. I reckon it could handle more though. The mesh on the vent at the bottom of Pig, Pigs Arse, holds the ash until it has completely burnt. The ash can’t start another fire outside Pig. The only evidence of Pig that you’ll see after we leave a camp after a few days, is a small pile of ash that might, but probably wouldn’t fill a 10 litre (4gal) bucket. Thankyou Legend Of The North, Pig is good 🙂

Tina weighed herself Tuesday morning at the Dragons Lair. She was 67.7kg (10.6 stone 150lb).
Prior to the Dexmethsone treatment, well actually, the Thursday Tina flew from Cooktown a month ago, she weighed 58kg (9.1st or 128lb).
An extreme appetite is a common side effect of Dexmethsone. There are others as well, some quite serious. I think it is either the Dexmethsone or the omezaprole that lowers your immune defenses. We have to be careful in case Tinas system weakens.

Today will be a quite lazy day for us. We’ve gathered wood, collected water, cooked breakfast, checked the weather on the radio, and decided to do a lot of nothing today.
Images today are of The Penn rod we found washed up on the beach. Which reminds me. I forget when we’re in range to Google this rod. Do any of you fisher folk have a replacement value for it?
There is also the float we found that will be for JJ or The Legend, a few obligatory Jack and Floyd shots (puppehz izz cute), and whatever else I have a whim to show. 🙂
For example, Tina dozing in her ‘Fraggle Rock’ t-shirt 🙂
Pig is there with his Blue 5 litre enamel pot (another gift from Legend). See the ash pike? That’s from boiling two crabs, boiling the billy twice, pan frying steak this morning,and boiling off the crab water this morning.
OK, here is a Tina-ism. It might give you an idea of where her head is at at the moment. Her confusion with naming things is more pronounced early in the morning, or at night when she is tired.
“These guys taste pastel!”
…said whilst eating weet-bix with creamy mixed powdered milk at 10pm one night. Pastel=like cream…duh!
…and Aussie kids are weet-bix kids! Sport, team, guys…
If you don’t know weet-bix, Google them too.

Lunch time!
A Tuna salad of Avocado and raw Broccoli florets with seasonings. Too nice on a tropical Wednesday.

We have plans for next month while waiting for the Pensions to come through. First,Tina is adamant that we attend the Wallaby Creek Music and Arts Festival. We’ll get a Centrelink payment on Thursday the 22nd before Wallaby Ck, which runs from the 23rd to the 25th. The tickets will cost us around $200 for the weekend, but dogs are banned. What do we do with Jack and Floyd? I heard a place in Rossville will board dogs for the two days. Jack and Floyd would be very well behaved, but I guess rules is rules.

3:30pm. Time to sneak into town and get some non-perishable food 😉

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A Beautiful Evening

Monday evening, the trade winds have taken a spell. It is about 6:30pm and it is dead calm. We can hear the sound of the waves as they gently roll Northwards up the beach. Once again the crickets have begun their nightly chorus.
The sky was pastel pink in places. The thinnest wisps of cloud picking up the last rays of the sun. Sadly, the phone xamera doesn’t do  the real view justice. I’ve included some photos of the track to no-where 😉

The pig is burning away. We just finished braised chicken with rice. All cooked in two bread baking tins over the pig.
A Recipe
Buy some largish chicken wings. A small to medium meal for two people requires four good sized wings, legs or breast pieces. I used wings bevause we got six for about $3.50 Australian. The two I stripped last night and fried the meat with vegetables
OK.
Take the first baking dish. Pour in about a cup of rice and sprinkle in some salt to taste. Add about a litre of water (in a 2 litre bread tin). Place this on the pig, uncovered. Stir regularly while it comes to the boil. Don’t let it stick to the bottom of the baking dish. Your fire should be flaming at present. Now, scrape some big slices of butter and lay them in the bottom of one of the other tin. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper, then lay the four wings onto the butter, meat side down at first. Sprinkle a packet of cheap onion soup and some mushroom soy sauce over the wings. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of raw sugar over this mix. Then add enough water to almost cover the meaty ‘thighs’ of the wings. Seal the pan tightly with aluminium foil.
Check the rice. If it’s almost soft, remove it from the fire. I hope you’ve been stirring it regularly. Cover it with foil and set it aside to absorb the rest of the water.
Place the chicken on the pig. The fire should still have some flame. We need to get the chicken steaming, then simmering. Watch the pan. If steam starts to escape, use a rag and your fingers to reseal the foil. The foil needs to bulge in order for the chicken to pressure steam and braise properly. Let it cook for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and flip the wings. Reseal the pan and put back on the pig for another 20 minutes.
Once cooked, you’ll have fall apart chicken wings in a rich, glaze sauce. By this time the rice will have absorbed all its moisture. Spoon it into the chicken pan and fold it into the sauce.
Enjoy. Total cost is about $10 including a big bottle of mushroom soy sauce, with 2 chicken wings, 3/4 of a nob of butter, and a near full bottle of soy left over.

I’ve tried adding a short video of the pig in action. If it doesn’t work, such is life.

Back to work tomorrow (Tuesday).
It will be a tight three weeks money wise. We have $6 but plenty of rice, oats, noodles and potatoes. We’ll get by. I’ve missed potentially five days of a 14 day fortnight so far. Booked up $100 worth of beer on the tab too 😦
That’s a $500 loss so far. I should grow a bloody cash crop in the bush somewhere 😉
Once we get over this hurdle we need to seriously plan what we’re doing for the wet season.
The rains will start in roughly three months. We need to make a really good rain proof shelter, or move and set up for the wet season.

But besides all that, it’s these nights of natural beauty; silent but full of sound , that make me want to stay awake all night, lest I not get to experience another.
The moon is now over half full. It casts enough light that we don’t need to use the 12 volt flouro. I love a waxing moon.

The last photo in this lot is the pig at raging point. The pig loves a good burn.

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A Beautiful Evening

Monday evening, the trade winds have taken a spell. It is about 6:30pm and it is dead calm. We can hear the sound of the waves as they gently roll Northwards up the beach. Once again the crickets have begun their nightly chorus.
The sky was pastel pink in places. The thinnest wisps of cloud picking up the last rays of the sun. Sadly, the phone xamera doesn’t do  the real view justice. I’ve included some photos of the track to no-where 😉

The pig is burning away. We just finished braised chicken with rice. All cooked in two bread baking tins over the pig.
A Recipe
Buy some largish chicken wings. A small to medium meal for two people requires four good sized wings, legs or breast pieces. I used wings bevause we got six for about $3.50 Australian. The two I stripped last night and fried the meat with vegetables
OK.
Take the first baking dish. Pour in about a cup of rice and sprinkle in some salt to taste. Add about a litre of water (in a 2 litre bread tin). Place this on the pig, uncovered. Stir regularly while it comes to the boil. Don’t let it stick to the bottom of the baking dish. Your fire should be flaming at present. Now, scrape some big slices of butter and lay them in the bottom of one of the other tin. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper, then lay the four wings onto the butter, meat side down at first. Sprinkle a packet of cheap onion soup and some mushroom soy sauce over the wings. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of raw sugar over this mix. Then add enough water to almost cover the meaty ‘thighs’ of the wings. Seal the pan tightly with aluminium foil.
Check the rice. If it’s almost soft, remove it from the fire. I hope you’ve been stirring it regularly. Cover it with foil and set it aside to absorb the rest of the water.
Place the chicken on the pig. The fire should still have some flame. We need to get the chicken steaming, then simmering. Watch the pan. If steam starts to escape, use a rag and your fingers to reseal the foil. The foil needs to bulge in order for the chicken to pressure steam and braise properly. Let it cook for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and flip the wings. Reseal the pan and put back on the pig for another 20 minutes.
Once cooked, you’ll have fall apart chicken wings in a rich, glaze sauce. By this time the rice will have absorbed all its moisture. Spoon it into the chicken pan and fold it into the sauce.
Enjoy. Total cost is about $10 including a big bottle of mushroom soy sauce, with 2 chicken wings, 3/4 of a nob of butter, and a near full bottle of soy left over.

I’ve tried adding a short video of the pig in action. If it doesn’t work, such is life.

Back to work tomorrow (Tuesday).
It will be a tight three weeks money wise. We have $6 but plenty of rice, oats, noodles and potatoes. We’ll get by. I’ve missed potentially five days of a 14 day fortnight so far. Booked up $100 worth of beer on the tab too 😦
That’s a $500 loss so far. I should grow a bloody cash crop in the bush somewhere 😉
Once we get over this hurdle we need to seriously plan what we’re doing for the wet season.
The rains will start in roughly three months. We need to make a really good rain proof shelter, or move and set up for the wet season.

But besides all that, it’s these nights of natural beauty; silent but full of sound , that make me want to stay awake all night, lest I not get to experience another.
The moon is now over half full. It casts enough light that we don’t need to use the 12 volt flouro. I love a waxing moon.

The last photo in this lot is the pig at raging point. The pig loves a good burn.

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Time For A Yarn By The Fire

The billy is on. Pull up a stump and take a load off ya feet. It’s been as slow as a wet week these past few days and I feel like chewing the fat for a while. If you want, I’ll translate that last sentence from Australian to English for you.
‘I’m boiling a pot water for a cup of tea. Find a chair and have a rest, because the past couple of days have dragged on and I would like to talk with you for a while.’

Went back to work on Tuesday after four days off (but broke) and my baby has been crook most of the time. Her neck is giving her bad headaches and making her feel sick…like throwing up sick.
I took today (Thursday) off to stay with her. Poor Tina has been in some pretty bad pain since this morning. We have no pain killing drugs until we go to town tomorrow. She is sleeping now though.
The weather has been typical dry season here. The sou’ east and easterly winds generally blow from  the end of May through to October/November. The winds on the coast get up to 30 knots or more, with an average of 15 knots through those months. Come November, the winds will ease and the temperatures will rise. The humidity will remain as usual, in the high eighty and ninety percent range. It will be tropical. Then the rains will come. Monsoonal torrents will soak the Far North for the better part of six months, isolating towns and properties as The Wet revitalises the landscape.  At the moment we’re lucky to be getting the odd coastal shower to keep the coconuts, our baby tomatoes, Paw-Paws (papaya), passionfruit and chilli bushes thriving.
Yes, we are cultivating.
This may be a sign of our evolving from a nomadic lifestyle to that of a combined hunter/gatherer farmer. But probably not. What will be nice is the thought that in five years or so, someone will turn up here and there will be ‘wild’ paw paw and passionfruit growing next to the coconuts. Maybe future visitors will plant more seeds, or help by replanting seed from the fruits they eat.  We’re planning on growing some fast greens like Bok Choy or Rocket. I’ve also got to catch up with Willie Gordon and ask him about local greens and fruits that are around here. I would prefer to cultivate local native foods than exotics.
We discovered a Mango tree at the Southern end of the beach last  week too. If wasn’t for the profusion of flowers on it, we may have completely missed it. It is well back in the scrubland, about 100 metres from the high tide mark. The tree is surrounded by Wattle, some She-Oak, and other native species that grow in the old, mulch rich former dune zone. Come November it should be laden with juicy, pink/green skinned, orange centred fruits of wonderfullness. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it yet, so I’ll tell you anyway. A few weeks back, a bloke roughly our age, and his presumably youngest boy of about four, came into the camp to say hello. It transpired that this very cool gentleman once had a shack on the beach back in the late eighties to nineties, and planted the majority of the Coconuts that thrive around here. Not only was this a cool bit of local history to have learnt, but it also gave us an idea of how old the local palms are.
We’ve been boiling the billy on the pig a lot. 4:20 is usually the best time for tea and we’ve had a bit lately. 😉
Coffee too. Oh, and we have been cooking bigger and better meals on the pig with one frypan and a big pot. Cheaper than the meals in the previous post. I might relate some recipes in future posts because they are “To die for darlings!”
You might be wondering how we can grow food in sand country near the beach. Well, we found an old scrub turkey nest. Basically a 4 metre by 6 metre mound of well rotted leaf, branch, root and other organic debris. All mixed with some sand to enhance drainage and composted by a dedicated bird a few years back. We collect this from in the bush and use it straight as a potting mix. It’s bloody brilliant stuff. I’ll show you some photos later.
I wanted to tell you a few little snippets of trivia that have been flitting around my head of late. That’s why I boiled the billy in the first place.
Actually, some of it isn’t mere trivia. One factoid is actually a sobering thought for some depression sufferers.

Consider this. Recents studies have shown that sufferers of depression who treat themselves with some thing or method other than prescription anti-deppressants, have a 25% chance of relapsing after ceasing treatment. However, those studied who used chemical anti-deppressants had a 42% relapse rate after ceasing treatment.

I’ve been picking up little bits of information at night when I’m not sleeping. Late night ABC Radio from about 10pm when Tony Delroy has ‘Nightlife’, through to Trevor Chappell at 1am onwards is 3 to 6 hours of brain food.
For example. Stephen Spielberg had a lecturer at uni when he was studying  drama and art. The lecturer’s name was Alan…Anakin. No, I kid you not. Darth Vaders real name Anakin, was Stephens lecturers name.

Peter Wier(sp?) first movie was ‘The Cars That Ate Paris’. You really should check this masterpiece of early Australian  cinema and classic sci-fi. Apparently this movie is widely regarded amongst sci-fi afficionados as a hallmark movie of its genre.

Another presumably tax payer funded study has found that the worlds happiest places to live, also rate in the places with the highest rates of suicide. Eg, Hawaii at number 2 happiest place has the worlds 5th highest suicide rate.

Here’s something that maybe one of you dear readers might find interesting. This a mash up of Captain Cook trivia that I knew as well as some stuff I didn’t know that I heard today when Dr Karl was on the ABC Local Radio.
Cooks ship, the Endeavour, was an ex Coal haulier that once carried loads of the stuff around Great Britain. The bark was renowned for its sturdiness in the wild North Sea. What I learnt was that James Cook chose that particular ship because of its robust reputation. He also picked this ship because of its size. The Endeavour wasn’t so much long as it was wide and spacious. The good Captain knew that the ex coal hauler could easily accommodate food, including livestock, to keep 90 odd men alive for three years.

More on the Endeavour. The United States Space Shuttle Endeavour is named after Captain Cooks vessel. You see, the Endeavour made many journeys in what may as well have been outrr space in her day. Also, one of Cook and the Endeavours primary tasks was to plot the path of Venus for some mathematical equation that would make Gt Britain superior in navigating the oceans or somesuch. Anyway. On her final flight, the shuttle crew spoke to the crew of the Endeavour replica ship that is currently circumnavigating Australia. The echange happened as the shuttle came in over Australia and the Great Barrier Reef.
The shuttle took 8 minutes to cross the Australian continent from the far South West through to the North Eastern tip where the HMB Endeavour replica was located. The same journey will take the ship til next year some time.
Another Endeavour related piece of news. I promise it to be the last in this post. A few posts back I mentioned that the Endeavour replica did come to Cooktown. But the harbour was too shallow for her to moor at the wharf. Plus, the weather was too rough where she had to anchor for the crew to put ashore.
As an indirect result of that circumstance, the government has committed a few million to the Cook Shire (I think) so that the harbour can be deepened. Of course, this will allow the larger cruise ships to berth at the wharf as well. This will enhance tourism, but geeze it’s gunna piss the local fishermen off! Dredging fouls the water for months. It takes a good ‘Wet’ to flush the detritus stirred up by the process. Then the big ships block off the fishing spots on the wharf!

Ok then. What else has happened of note?
I saw a very large Brown snake this afternoon. Jack the Dog and I were heading to the beach and this snake crossed the track roughly ten metres in front of us. My conservative estimate put this big Brown at 1.6 metres long and 2.5 to 3 cm in diameter at its thickest. That’s about 5’6″ and 1 to 1&1/4 inches respectively in imperial scale.
We’ll need to stay aware of snakes here. That’s the third snake I’ve seen around here. So far it’s one Taipan, one Brown, and what I think was a Red Bellied Black snake.
Snake trivia time. The Red bellied Blake snake is as its name describes it. Jet Black, wirh an almost Scarlet underbelly. But it is actually a member of the Brown snake family. The three snakes I have mentioned above are in the top five deadliest snakes in Australia. Now, normally this wouldn’t concern me. Snakes generally avoids humans. We’re instinctively dangerous to them, so they stay away. But they also love rodents.
The rodents love where humans live.
Conflict of interest methinks.
We are controlling unwanted rodents though. Jack the Dog has caught and killed at least four. We’ve drowned three in traps and I’ve caught two by hand. Oh, if someone ever tells you they killed a ‘Yellow- bellied Black snake’, explain to them gently that they just killed a green tree snake. The Northern from of the common Green Tree snake has a very dark back. It’s almost Black. The underside is Yellow. The southern form has a much lighter Green back. They’re also more commonly seen on fences, low tree branches, or in your rafters. If you disturb them when they are on the ground, they tend to flatten their necks to appear bigger than they are. Green Tree snakes are usually quite slender snakes, growing to 3 metres (in our experiences). They are harmless to humans, so please don’t kill them. One last thing about venomous snakes. Don’t rely solely on colour to identify a snake. I have seen Brown snakes, the venomous type, ranging from a dark brown through to fawn. I’ve also seen a brown snake in the wild that was orange. To add to the confusion, I’ve seen photos in snake field guides showing juvenile browns with banding patterns. So I guess if you want to be sure, avoid or at least don’t purposely upset a ground dwelling snake. Chances are around here is that it is venomous. The only pythons I’ve seen are couple of Black-headed Rock Pythons, dead on the highway at the southern entrance to town.
You’d think that we’d be trekking through the local scrub with our hiking boots, thick socks, spats and denim jeans on after the above stories. But no. We still get around in shorts and thongs. We’re just more aware of our surroundings when we do.

(Friday): I’m going to set up a bucket trap for tonight to catch some rodents. Tina was sick still today, so I let her sleep and stayed home again. I have to go to town this afternoon and see the boss. We can’t phone from here because we have no reception. I also need to get the pain meds from the chemist for my Baby.
We’ve had some fairly good rain overnight too. The temps have stayed in the 20’s from my estimate. That’s the poroblem with no reception. No weather reports except for the radio. I need a rain gauge and a thermometer!

Back from town.
I couldn’t find the boss, but I did get groceries. Just the basics. SR flour, sugar, powdered milk, oats, peanut butter and some bread & butter. Bought some discounted garlic steak and turned it into a stew with onion, spud, tomato and some spices. Simmered over the pig for an hour or so until the beef softens.

Saturday
Tina is still basically bedridden. We didn’t go into town today. I started the table work and did some gardening. We did manage a short beach walk, but that made Tinas neck worse.
I’ll have to go to town tomorrow. For nothing else but to see if I still have a job.
Saturday evening. The fire is going. It’s a clear, cool evening. The sea breeze is finding its way through the scrub, giving the wind chimes an excuse to sing. The crickets have started their nightly ritual, trying to find a mate. The ocean is kissing the beach. The moon is almost directly overhead and almost half full. It is casting a nice glow across the ground and on the trees.
Tina has been asleep most of the afternoon. I hope her neck eased a bit for her. In the past three days I realised how lonely it would be here without her. She has slept on and off when she could. But only half hour or hourly. Each time she rolls, the pain wakes her up. As a result, conversation and interaction with her has been fleeting, even though we’re less than a metre apart most of the time.

Righto, that’s enough. Sometimes I can talk underwater with an apple in me mouth.
Photo time!

For your viewing pleasure:

The billy on the boil.
Jack the bodysurfing Dog.
Jack wants to go to the beach.
The baby Tomatoes.
The beginnings of our new table.
The Bamboo is seasoning well.
The back of our pig pen.
The front, with our wood drying fire.
We need firewood.
Late afternoon. Vegie patch at centre, with our ‘Guest House’ in the background. Jack and the pig on the right.

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OK, We Need To Organise. Advice Greatly Appreciated.

Righto, we need to get sorted. @Onegreenbus and I @UncleChilliMan are within 2 weeks of leaving here. However, we have things we need to decide.

We have our home, the 4WD we lovingly call ‘Jimmy’.

Our 4WD, Jimmy

Jimmy the 4WD, looking after us when we got stranded at Hedlow in November

Now, at present, Jimmy isn’t registered & he needs some TLC to get him roadworthy. I can do the work, & I have another Landcruiser to butcher for good parts. But we don’t have the patience/time to do that. We want to go within 2 weeks.

So, these are the options we thought of. I’d love some feedback from anyone who takes the time to read.

Option 1: Spend some money on hoses etc, replace clutch which is dodgy, & ‘run the Police Gauntlet’ to Gordonvale, then head up to GOF’s place. This option has been discounted. & rejected already. But my ‘Thelma & Louise’ mentality makes it worth mention.

Option 2: Pay to send Jimmy & our stuff packed inside up to my mate Barnesy’s place in Cairns, then hitch & walk with the two dogs, Billy & Jack (the names are an inside joke for us old movie buffs) This could pose some problems though. It is VERY hard to get a lift hitching nowadays, let alone having two dogs in tow. However, Jack & Billy are family so if we had to walk 1200km, so be it. I can’t mention Billy & Jack without introducing them. Billy is the younger of the two:

Billy & Jack

Billy & Jack

Option 3: Leave Jimmy with family here. Buy 2 pushbikes & 2 trailers. Load the trailers up & ride to Cairns/Bloomfield etc. with the dogs running beside us & resting on trailer when they’re buggered. We both like this idea.

Option 4: Do the same as option 3, but get sponsorship from Tuckers Avanti Plus bike shop (bikes & trailers for the trip) or someone else. Then advertise the trip madly through media, both mainstream & social, & raise more money for disaster relief or some organisation that can use the money.

Now, option 4 is not an attempt to get a free ride to FNQ. We’d be happy to pay our way. However, given that travelling North by pushbike is a rarely documented (though common) event, it might generate some interest & raise a few bucks. We’ll be blogging & Tweeting throughout our journey, so it might be good publicity for a business or two, and raise money for some good cause.

This could even be good for raising money for books or computers for remote communities (@AboriginalOz @bitethedust @DotComMob).

Actually, it would make more sense to do that than ‘flood money’. I’m pretty sure the needs of flood affected folk will be met. Raising money to get things to stimulate the minds and creativity of kids in remote communities who might otherwise not get these things is of ongoing importance.

Anyway, we need to decide what to do soon. Whatever happens, we’re out of here within two weeks. Not much time to organise anything I suppose, but hey, that’s the way we roll. By the by, manana, que sera sera. A slow bike ride sounds nice though.

Today’s ReTweets

Green news…

CO2 Solution and Codexis strike carbon-capture research deal with power-equipment giant Alstom SA… http://www.alternate-energy-blog.info/?p=1898&asid=48dcb2d0

China’s renewable-energy capacity to reach 500 gigawatts by 2020… http://www.alternate-energy-blog.info/?p=1897&asid=48dcb2d0

Up and coming filmmakers challenged themselves to lend a creative perspective to Ecomagination. Amazing videos!… http://www.youtube.com/user/ecomagination

Flexible Solar “Power Plastic” Hits New Efficiency High… http://www.ecogeek.org/solar-power/3367-flexible-solar-qpower-plasticq-hits-new-efficiency?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EcoGeek+%28EcoGeek%29&utm_content=Twitter

China Blows Past US in Wind Power… http://www.earthtechling.com/2010/12/china-blows-past-u-s-in-wind-power/

Compass: Quitting Oil, One Day at a Time… http://sierraclub.typepad.com/compass/2010/12/quit-oil-part-2.html

 

Cool Technology…

BIG’s Green-Roofed School Blends Into the Environment… http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/7lJRxh/inhabitat.com/bigs-angular-green-roofed-school-blends-into-the-environment//r:t

Are mobile phones the next life-saving medical device?… http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/news/chiefeditor/2010/12/mobile-phones-as-medical-imaging-tool.html?source=link_tw20101206ngnw-phone

How would you like to create a generator which creates free electric power? Here’s how… http://www.magniwork.com/?hop=bodovan

 

Quotes…

From admrich… “The WikiLeaks fuss makes 1 pause 2 reflect Voltaire’s quote “I disapprove of whatyou say, but i’ll defend to the death your right to say it””

From SubMedina… “If Assange was in China doing the same thing, the West would have called him a dissident and given him a Nobel prize”

From GreenBiz_Pro… “In one year in the United States, the recycling of steel saves enough energy to heat and light 18,000,000 homes!”

 

And a shameless plug for WordPress…

By londonwordpress… “I think everyone should use wordpress!! It’s way better than tumblr!!”

 

Today’s ReTweets

Yep… we’re now tweeting. So, I thought it apt to show you a few of the stories that I thought were worthy of retweeting today. This new catagory will become a regular part of the blog… I hope you enjoy.

Green News…

The one below just made me very angry. Seriously… are there still people like this out there? What a scary world.

And this one just because I love the quote. It comes from the internet sensation, Cee Lo Green “I’m wild and loose, a basket of strange fruit”

Thanks for the smile Cee Lo.

Re: Ravenshoe wind farm (by GOF)

There’s a brilliant discussion on wind farms happening over at GOF’s blog. I wanted to pass on some of that great discussion here, but I couldn’t do any better a job than GOF has at this point… so I’ve decided to just link to his post. Please take a look if you haven’t already… there’s some cool stuff there.

100% Renewable Energy Within 10 Years… Is It Possible?

Please have a read of this article, follow some of the links to other discussions and then come back and tell me what you think…

http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2010/08/24/plan-seeks-100-pct-renewable-energy-australia-ten-years

The report, entitled Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan, “outlines a technically feasible and economically attractive way for Australia to transition to 100 percent renewable energy within ten years.” The plan specifies that the 100 percent renewable grid be “based on proven technologies that are already commercially available and that have already been demonstrated in large industries.”

Read more: http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2010/08/24/plan-seeks-100-pct-renewable-energy-australia-ten-years#ixzz13yl4xwuV

 

Offshore Research

Here’s a couple of thoughts for you…

Why do we insist on making all the smart people go overseas to develop their technologies?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to subsidise those interested in advancing renewable energies to stay here, giving our country a boost in the renewable market?

I think we have it all back-asswards. We should be kicking out the polluters and encouraging those with the good ideas.

But that’s just one silly greenie’s opinion…

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/05/3029366.htm?section=justin

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