Saturday, June 26, 2010

Monster Croc Eats Bull Shark in Kakadu

Kakadu National Park - Northern Territory - Australia
Nadja Hainke
Northern Territory News
23-6-2010

This 16 foot crocodile has just proven who's the king of the swamp as he made mince meat of a bull shark at Kakadu National Park.

A bunch of tourists looked on in shock when they saw the croc chomping on the shark at the upper flood plains of the south Alligator River.

But tour guide Dean Cameron, 34, believed the shark would have been at least 10 foot long and 132 pounds. The croc would have taken the shark at night.

But it was not the first time a crocodile has been witnessed feasting on a shark. Maxine Rawson-Rodriquez was on a Jumping Crocodile Cruise on the Adelaide River - about 60 miles south of Darwin - when the tourist boat came across another crocodile eating a shark on 24 March.

Mr. Cameron, who has been a tour guide for two years and a park reabnger for several more, said he would come across such a spectacle once a year.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Australia has her first female Prime Minister

Click on the title to today's entry to read a blog entry by Andrew Bolt about Kevin Rudd's fall from favor with the Labor Party of Australia.

It felt very strange to wake yesterday morning to discover that at 9 a.m. Canberra time, we might have a change in leadership. An alien concept to Americans except in the case of assassination of our President.

130 parliamentary party members were about to make a decision for 22 million Australians.

Personally, I appreciate Kevin's attempt to change the Australian balance of wealth. He is an intelligent, capable man whose primary concern has not been for himself, but for the working class peoples of the country he was elected to lead.

Irony reigns as billionaire mining magnates coerced their employees to join them as they invested half a million dollars on emotive television advertisements in support of not taxing mining companies. Their purpose - to topple a prime minister who was working diligently, if not effectively, to give the working class citizens of his country some part of the massive wealth which the billionaires were digging from the soil and selling off to Japan and China.

So, I will miss the blond boy -

We'll see how his red-headed Welsh born second in command does now that she has the mantle of power on her shoulders.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Unicompartmental Knee Replacement

Saw the Wizard today and his hefty physios this afternoon -

Yep, I've done well..Six weeks after surgery, I have 115 degrees of knee extension and only four more degrees to go to get the back of my knee flat on the ground when extended...That's not perfect, but it's pretty damn good!

Walked home from downtown on Monday - not a good idea as there is a rather steep hill in the middle of the almost three mile walk, but I had been sitting in the movie theater watching Pirates of Penzance ah er Prince of Persia. Hard to find a more boring script although Jake was buff enough! He just sounded stupid!!

I have permission to drive the car! Hooray!! and am encouraged to spend more time on my bicycle. Currently, I only ride about ten minutes a day - gonna up it slowly to at least 30 min...good for the muscles that support my knee.

January - Watch out you Grizzlies in Glacier - Graham and I are coming to cross country ski at Isakk Walton.!

The goddess knows, I am one happy camper

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Magnificient Sunday

Autumn has to be the absolute best season in mid-continent east coast Australia.

Even the birds cooperate. Was talking on the phone to a friend in America this morning - sitting in the back garden surrounded by sunshine when a Kookaburra couple stopped for a visit. Such Aries birds - they absolutely had to join in the conversation with a three minute laughing cackle heard for a kilometer round. Which, of course, means my American friend was part of the friendly greeting.

Love this place. Difficult to think of leaving in order to spend some time in that other part of the planet that I love so thoroughly.

I have work to do on DAS BOOK...which has metamorphosed from 35 long chapters to 45 short ones. Today my job is to take out every adverb, preposition, cluttering term, unnecessary phrase, incident that does not contribute to the final outcome of the book. It's hard work - losing those darlings, but necessary. Yesterday took a total of 300 words out of the combined first three chapters - adds up to one whole page - (very,magnificently,birds nest descriptors). I'll save em all up and make a poem entitled - Omitted -

Happy weekend....to all and to all a fine day

Magnificient Sunday

Friday, June 18, 2010

Been a While

Yes, it's been a while since I last posted anything about life in Oz. Probably cause there's not a lot to tell.

It is my penchant to go insular when healing - and the past five and a half weeks have been all about just that. The wound created by the insertion of two stainless steal apparatus on the inside of my right knee has healed.

Continuing is the work of re-enforcing the soft tissue around the new bionic appliance. Stretch, stretch, stretch..and limit swelling, strengthening muscles that need to learn to move in a new way - no more limp due to distressed knee joint. My whole right side has had to learn how to manage being balanced for the first time in 30 years.

The injury that eventuated in arthritis on the inside half of my right knee happened in 1979. Better known as the Olancha incident! :)

So, strength is growing,flexibility is increasing and soon I won't have any excuses for staying alone at home with my books and writing.

So, tickets to USA have been purchased. My last appointment with my surgeon is 17 August. We fly on 20 August and of course arrive in nordamerika the day we leave Brisbane. I could do with a day gained.

Our plan is to go directly to Nordacotah where the prairie house awaits continued rehabilitation of its own. :) New windows on the north east end of the house will open our view to the entire prairie..hooray for views from the flats to the flat lands.

In the meantime, we have had rain here in Oz for the first time since the beginning of the month. Autumn showers are good for the garden. Pointesettas and camilleas are in bloom. South African shrubs have created a carpet of white all along the front fence.

Life is good!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Surfing Crocs

Went to the beach yesterday!

Yikes, crocs!

At least we knew there were no sharks close by :)

Just joking..these big fellow, some 15-30 feet long live mostly in Australian's northern estuaries. However, they really do use ocean currents and surf to travel from their estuary homes as far north as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia where they bred and then return home to the comfort of their river banks.

Click on the title to this blog entry to get to the research data.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Helen Thomas

Well, truth is often uttered by those too young or those too old!

A lifetime of covering the administrations of government in the USA have given Helen Thomas a unique perspective. This time she has uttered what 3/4 of the world's population who pay any attention to the Middle East may be thinking but refusing to say in public.

Of course, she should have kept it to herself or at the very least mitigated the vitriol of her comment, but she certainly expressed the frustration the world community is having with an Israel that refuses to note that they are caught in the endless repetition of 'abuse creates abuse' which anyone with any knowledge of psychology understands.

I applaud an old woman who spoke candidly and I suspect it really is time for her to retire.

Click the title of this entry to go to the the Washington Post article on the event.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

John Wooden

Integrity! That's how one spells John Wooden.

A man with a conscience, a superb mentor, the best kind of teacher; a man who modeled what he expected his students to be, not just to learn, but what he hoped they would become.

He didn't try to do a make-over of any particular player. Instead, he gave those ten years of basketball players an outline, a structure on which to formulate their own life experiences. He gave them a hook on which to hang their jerseys.

He worked with the best and if you look at the young men who came under his tutelege, you'll see that the vast majority grabbed hold of the lesson Wooden offered and became not just national class athletes, but contributors to society in many other even more meaningful ways.

99! Wooden was 99 when he gave it all up. A century of being the best he could possibly be while at the same time honoring the best in others created a legend well worth remembering.

I feel blessed that I was an avid UCLA fan while Wooden was coach. His example supported vast numbers of people outside his personal venue via his actions and reactions in interviews about as well as during televised games. Watching the Bruins, watching Wooden model the best sportsmanlike behavior gave millions the opportunity to take on some of his characteristics.

I suspect many a high school or college b'ball coach who knew Wooden adopted his attitude towards players, the game, and life in general. After all, it was obvious that he must be right; games were won based on an attitude of respect and fair play, effort and integrity.

I haven't thought of John for a long time. Seeing the headline in the Los Angeles Times this morning reminds me, though, that I will still miss his presence.

God rest!