Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Extraordinary Ordinary Photographic Completion

The Extraordinary Ordinary Photographic Completion...

Today I can proudly announce a new photographic Competition for Pattycam Watchers, and anyone else who wants to join in.

Each Friday, an everyday subject will be announced, and you can have the week-end to go and shoot your images, then upload them to the Blog on Monday.

People can vote during the week, and comment on each image, and the winner will be selected the following Friday.

Have fun, Groovers!

Rules: Just photograph the subject selected.
NO photoshopping allowed, *coughs.
Have fun and don’t stress!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More photos - enjoy


Starbucks closes when it realises its coffee is shite

Coffee chain Starbucks says it will close 61 of its 84 stores across Australia by Sunday, shedding 685 jobs in an effort to shore up its international business.

The company says the stores will close because they have been under-performing.

Twenty-three stores will remain open in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, where Starbucks says it wants to refocus on its core operations.

The multi-national last month announced 600 stores in the United States would close as sales plummeted against a background of a weakening US economy.

About 12,000 jobs were lost.

In a statement, the company's chief executive Howard Schultz says the company is well into the implementation phase of transforming Starbucks.

The statement says today's difficult yet necessary decision will help support the ongoing growth of Starbucks' international business.

In a prerecorded interview released by Starbucks, the company's Asia Pacific president John Kulver says the company will help staff who lose their jobs.

"We want to make sure that we're doing everything we can as a company to support them with this restructuring," he said.


A customer at Starbucks' Albert St store, Nicola Rae, of Margate, said the global chain would probably not be missed.

"I don't think so, I think there are a lot of good coffee shops, especially privately owned ones and small businesses," she said.

Rod Wakefield, of Brisbane-based rival chain the Coffee Club, said Starbucks might have had issues with site selection and a limited food menu in "a very competitive industry".

"It is difficult to come into Australia, which has a mature coffee drinking population, and where there is a preference to sitting down and relaxing with a full cup of coffee instead of a paper takeaway cup," Mr Wakefield said.
Others in the industry suggested Starbucks was struggling with overpriced coffees that failed to meet the standard in Australia's $3 billion coffee market.

Jordan Stamos, co-owner of the Three Monkeys coffee shop in Brisbane's West End, said Australia boasted the last two World Barista champions and was increasingly well-educated about espresso.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Johnno at the Hairdressers

It's no surprise to find him at the hairdressers, but what colour will he be? woot!

Australia - Storm Tracker

Click the link above for great images of storms approaching, wind, lightning strikes etc, or go here for satellite images of Australia. Photo shows what bushfires are currently burning Down Under.

Food shortage expected with truck strike

SUPERMARKETS across Queensland are expected to run low on food tomorrow as angry truck drivers stand firm on their two-week strike.

Retailers, fearing the worst yesterday, started to stockpile fruit, vegetables and meat as thousands of truckies joined blockades to protest against low pay rates, new fatigue regulations and soaring fuel prices.

In Brisbane, 300 truckies backed a "go slow" through the CBD as supporters cheered them on.

National Retail Association executive director Gary Black said shops were prepared.

"Supermarkets will experience substantial depletion in stock within a couple of days," he said yesterday.

"This will mean that a range of alternative suppliers will need to be secured. At the moment, we don't think the strike action will generate sufficient momentum to have a long-term impact on supply."

However truckies said they were prepared to stick it out for the full two weeks if the Government did not act.

The strike does not have union backing, and is being pushed by two Queensland groups - the Australian Long Distance Owners and Drivers Association and the National Road Transport Forum.

NRTF spokesman Mick Pattell said the impact on grocery supplies could be huge.

Yesterday morning, 50 trucks blaring their horns entered the Brisbane CBD at Edward St, circled the Prime Minister's office at Waterfront Place and then headed up towards QUT Gardens Point, past the Botanical Gardens on Alice St.

The convoy continued back towards the city along William St, turned down Elizabeth St and back to Edward St.

The loop was repeated, motorists were forced to divert, traffic backed up on Williams St and the police were out in force

Big chill hits Southeast Queensland

BRISBANE'S big chill continued this morning as the apparent air temperature dived down to a biting 1.7 degrees Celsius - and tomorrow is forecast to get even colder.

The mercury sank to 7.4 degrees at Brisbane Airport in the early hours, but the wind-chill factor meant it felt more than six degrees colder.

"The south-westerly winds which make it feel colder than it actually is when you're outside," Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Bryan Rolstone said.

He said tomorrow's actual temperatures were likely to be colder still.

"Brisbane will get to four or five degrees and the western suburbs should get down to zero and have plenty of frost about," he said.

Meanwhile, clear skies greeted residents of Stanthorpe this morning - signalling an end to yesterday's light snow.

Mr Rolstone said it was unlikely the Granite Belt would see more snow this winter - but there was plenty of frost about.

"We had just enough moisture yesterday for snowfall, sleet and some thunderstorms but that's dropped out of the airstream now," Mr Rolstone said.

"What we'll see now is drier weather and extensive frost over inland areas."

Although Applethorpe remained in positive territory at 0.6 degrees yesterday, the apparent temperature was a freezing -3.8.

Dairy farmer Wes Judd of Yangan, near Warwick, was yesterday moving about 350 head of cattle into shelter yesterday, as freezing conditions hit his farm.

"It's pretty cold," he said at noon. "I haven't taken my coat and beanie off yet."

"I just wish it would go away but it's just one of those days where you just have to grin and bear it."

Stanthorpe residents said they were sorry to see the snow go.

"It was nice to see it fall but it was basically only the outer skirts of town," said local newsagent Louise Bentley.

Relatively dry conditions are expected across nearly all of Queensland for the rest of the week.

Fog is expected on Thursday and Friday.

$50 Bucks is $50 Bucks

Morris and his wife Esther went to the state fair every year, and every year Morris would say, 'Esther,I'd like to ride in that helicopter.' Esther always replied, 'I know Morris, but that helicopter ride is fifty dollars, and fifty dollars is fifty dollars'

One year Esther and Morris went to the fair, and Morris said, 'Esther, I'm 85 years old. If I don't ride that helicopter, I might never get another chance.' To this, Esther replied, 'Morris that helicopter ride is fifty dollars, and fifty dollars is fifty dollars.'

The pilot overheard the couple an d said, 'Folks I'll make you a dea l. I'll take the both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and don't say a word I won't charge you a penny! But if you say one word it's fifty dollars.'

Morris and Esther agreed and up they went. The pilot did all kinds of fancy maneuvers, but not a word was heard. He did his daredevil tricks over and over again, but still not a word.

When they landed, the pilot turned to Morris and said, 'By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn't. I'm impressed!'

Morris replied, 'Well, to tell you the truth, I almost said something when Esther fell out, but you know, fifty dollars is fifty dollars!'

Monday, July 28, 2008


Well we had a busy weekend weather wise - at least northern and western parts of the North Island did - with a total of 25,000 lightning strikes clocked up from midnight Friday to 6pm Sunday.

Aucklanders were rattled awake on Saturday morning then a few random booms and hail storms sent people running for cover during Sunday.

Today we'll see a short breather - not just for Aucklanders but all of New Zealand - ahead of the next big winter storm. The low, which will develop during Monday in the Tasman Sea, between Tasmania and Southland, is expected to rapidly deepen and by mid-week will be affecting the entire country.

This system has the potential to be damaging with gale force winds affecting much of the country on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday (depending on where you live).

Not only that but a polar blast will develop on Wednesday in the far south and reach Auckland on Thursday - so yes, that means an end to the spring like weather that saw me wearing shorts and a T-shirt on Saturday! And seeing as my body hasn't really seen the light of day since March that's probably not a bad thing!

Now if you're travelling anywhere in New Zealand this week then you might want to take note of possible travel problems. Severe gales may affect the Cook Strait ferry service anywhere from Tuesday to Thursday. Those gales may also affect flights into the capital between those same days. On Wednesday gales may affect much of New Zealand so you might want to keep up to date with your airline if flying anywhere across the country.

Snow will fall to low levels in the far south on Wednesday night possibly closing roads and almost certainly closing roads by Thursday. The Desert Road may well be closed to snow on Thursday or Friday.

There is some good news - another dumping of heavy rain is expected for the hydro lakes. I always suspected the winter rains would arrive there.

It's going to be a stormy week for most New Zealanders and many of us will probably have a couple of restless nights due to heavy showers, hail, thunderstorms or gales. Lucky us!

Storm Time Line:

Monday: A short lived breather before the first front approaches. Warm nor'west winds will develop.

Tuesday: Heavy rain sets in to the West Coast with rain spreading to most other places during the day. Nor'west winds picking up to gale force from Canterbury to Wairarapa.

Wednesday: Thunderstorms along the nation's west coast and sou'westers rising to gales force for much of the country. Cold southerlies developing in the far south with snow developing in the mountains and lowering significantly in places like Southland and Otago by dark.

Thursday: Snow to low levels in the South easing, and snow possibly falling on the Desert Road. Severe southerly or sou'easterly gales for the nation's east coast gradually easing during the day.

Friday: Snow still possible on the Desert road and significantly colder over all of New Zealand but conditions improving gradually

The Weather Watch Centre will be closely monitoring this storm with a number of extra updates each day throughout the week.

Weather bomb hammers Auckland - storm of the decade

More than 50,000 homes have been left without power in Auckland on Saturday night, as the storm tipped to be one of the biggest to hit New Zealand in a decade causes havoc.

Auckland weather worsened throughout the day with the eye of the storm expected to pass directly over or very near the region.

The MetService has described the storm as 'potentially destructive and dangerous' which has hit Auckland with damaging wind gusts.

The storm whipped waves into a frenzy closing lanes onto the Harbour Bridge.

One boat lost its battle against mother nature, ending up battered against the rocks next to the bridge.

Motorists are still being urged to avoid travelling over it and the speed limit is down to 60 kilometres an hour, as motorists battle 100km winds.

Tamaki Drive along Auckland's waterfront is also closed as the giant waves create entertainment for the family.

Civil Defence advice is to batten down the hatches and only go outdoors if you really need to.

Power Outage

Power is now also being lost to homes in South Auckland as high winds knock down trees and power lines.

Over 53 000 homes in Rodney, Waitakere and North Shore areas have already lost power.

Vector says it is doing everything it can to restore supply but winds are stopping crew from repairing faults on overhead lines.

Power companies are urging people to be cautious and be aware of the potential hazards from fallen power lines.

Vector says it can't give an estimate of when power will be fully restored, and says customers should be prepared for prolonged outages.


The storm is also causing chaos for the Coromandel, with the Kauaeranga River south of Thames bursting its banks, forcing the closure of State Highway 25.

Civil Defence is asking people throughout the Coromandel and the Hauraki Plains to stay home unless absolutely necessarily.

Further South

In the Central North Island the Desert Road is closed by snow, and State Highway 12 in the Far North is affected by flooding.

Strong winds have blown over a campervan on State Highway One, south of Wellsford and two people have been taken to hospital with moderate injuries, including leg fractures.

Cars are also being trapped in floodwaters near Rakauwahia Road.

Police are asking motorists stranded at Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu to remain in their vehicles and wait for ski field staff to help them off the mountain.

About 100 vehicles are still on the mountain, and staff are working from car park to car park along the Bruce Road to free them.

New Zealand weathers 'storm bomb'

The country is set to be hit by another storm tomorrow before the clean-up from the weekend's battering is completed.

The third storm to hit in a week will not be as severe as Saturday's but will cover a larger area, the Radio Network's head weather analyst Philip Duncan said.

"Saturday's storm was relatively small in size but big in severity, this next storm won't be as intense but will cover a much bigger area, affecting most of New Zealand," he said.

The bad weather is expected to set in late on Tuesday with heavy rain developing across northern and western regions.

"By Wednesday it should be peaking with torrential rain likely, that on top of the saturated soil following this weekend's storm, could escalate the chances of flooding".

Heavy rain is expected in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, Manawatu, Nelson and West Coast while severe gales are likely in Manawatu, Wellington and Wairarapa.

Power was slowly being restored to thousands of homes today as the North Island recovers from the storm that in some areas was the worst in 30 years.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Scouting Re-union, 100 years of Scouting at Taringa-Milton-Toowong Den

OMG it was so good to go back to our beloved s couting den, to see old familiar faces and see how the kids have grown up form little 'cubbies' to uni-students.

I love my scouts, and feel a bit teary about the whole afternoon, recalling old memories... "I lost the map mum, and there was no way I was going back to Wonga without his map, so I walked back the 5 kms retracing my steps until I found it at the last gate, when I got back to the camp, Seaton had eaten all the food!"...

They were still using the old photo boards Lorraine and I had made up, all those years ago, and the whole thing was just marvellous. *swoons

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Johnnos early friday whatisit

Here is the answer, some were getting very close...if you look at the pic closely you would have seed the distinct shape of shark teeth on the left...this was a huge Tiger shark caught in one of our local creeks in 3 feet of water...thats why I dont swim in them...

I Put this in early so some of the overseas people can have a go...I wont answer anyone till friday

Friday, July 25, 2008

Christmas in July

Celebrating the end - forever - of Brisbane waer restrictions. Never again level 6, and 140 litres pp per day (although Brisbanites have only been using 129 litres pp per day) Once the water grid gets into commission, woot!

Keep it raining Huey!

And Merry Christmas to you all.

Me and my koala

Visiting Picasso

The worst thing you can say to me 'You can't take a photograph here'. It's a red rag to a bull.....anyway, here's to visiting Picasso....and another successful Friday Road Trip, woot! (Thanks Johnno for photoshopping the pic)

Sunday, July 20, 2008


WELL DONE was a big gun

Ok, try your luck...what is this item

Friday, July 18, 2008

Burke and Wills

Burke and Wills tree comes back from the brink

Map: Swan Hill 3585
Arborists are confident the Southern Hemisphere's biggest moreton bay fig tree is returning to health.

There were fears the 150-year old Burke and Wills tree at Swan Hill in north-west Victoria might die after starting to shed foliage from drought stress.

The tree was planted about the time the explorers passed through the region in their attempt to cross Australia from south to north.

But Swan Hill Rural City Council's environmental manager Sue Mahon says the tree is now developing new shoots and leaves after some intensive therapy.

"We've done some serious restoration works around the drip line," she said.

"We've drilled down using water boring, to increase water infiltration to the root zone.

"[We've] put about 8 centimetres of mulch over it and used some seaweed extract to sort of stimulate some weed growth, and of course we keep hugging it every week, and we enocurage anyone who's going past to give it a hug."


Look what my sister dug up, that's me on the right, with my cousin Dianne.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


This is the church at Marlow, the picture was taken from the bridge.

This is the bridge, I though it was quite pretty, as bridges go.

This is a picture of the Charles Frohman Memorial, High Street, Marlow. I really have no idea who he is, but apparently lost his life in the sinking of SS Lusitania in 1915, and the young person, who is the statue, was a member of his Marlow drama school.

Poppy fields

One of the colourfull Poppy fields in Oxfordshire.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Ad ID: 62349816
Visits: 33

Location: Brisbane
Date Listed: 14/07/2008



World's oldest blogger makes final post

Australian woman renowned as the world's oldest internet blogger has made her final post, aged 108.

Olive Riley, of Woy Woy on NSW's central coast, died in a nursing home just after 6am (AEST) on Saturday.

She will be mourned by family and an international readership in the thousands.

"It was mind blowing to her," her great grandson Darren Stone, of Brisbane, told AAP on Sunday night.

"She had people communicating with her from as far away as Russia and America on a continual basis, not just once in a while."

Olive had posted more than 70 entries on her blog - or as she jokingly labelled it, her "blob" - since February last year.

The ardent Sydney Swans AFL fan shared her day-to-day musings and her life's experiences raising three children on her own, living through two world wars and the Depression, her work as a station cook in rural Queensland and as an egg sorter and barmaid in Sydney.

In her final post, dated June 26, an increasingly frail Olive noted she couldn't "shake off that bad cough".

She also: "... read a whole swag of email messages and comments from my internet friends today, and I was so pleased to hear from you. Thank you, one and all."

Olive's musing live on at and more recently at


She was born in 1899, and would have turned 109 on October 20.

"She enjoyed the notoriety - it kept her mind fresh," Mr Stone said.

"What kept her going was the memories she had, and being able to recall those memories so strongly."

Olive's funeral will be held at Palmdale Cemetery, on the NSW Central Coast, late this week.

A Dark Sky Over Death Valley

This is from Astronomy Picture of the Day July 13, 2008
A Dark Sky Over Death Valley Credit: Dan Duriscoe, U.S. National Park Service
This eerie glow over Death Valley, shows a spectacular view from one of the darkest places left in the continental USA: Death Valley, California. The above 360-degree full-sky panorama is a composite of 30 images taken two years ago in Racetrack Playa. The image has been digitally processed and increasingly stretched at high altitudes to make it rectangular. In the foreground on the image right is an unusually placed rock that was pushed by high winds onto Racetrack Playa after a slick rain. In the background is a majestic night sky, featuring thousands of stars and many constellations. The arch across the middle is the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. Light pollution is threatening dark skies like this all across the US and the world, and therefore the International Dark-Sky Association and the US National Parks Service are suggesting methods that can protect them.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Moses and the Bush

Recently, while going through an airport during one of his many trips, President Bush encountered a man with long gray hair and beard, wearing a white robe and sandals, holding a staff. President Bush went up to the man and said, "Has anyone told you that you look like Moses?" The man didn't answer. He just kept staring straight ahead. The president said, "Moses!" in a loud voice.

The man just stared ahead, never acknowledging the president.
The president pulled a Secret Service agent aside and, pointing to the robed man, asked him, "Am I crazy or does that man not look like Moses to you?"
The Secret Service agent looked at the man and agreed.

"Well," said the president, "every time I say his name, he ignores me and stares straight ahead, refusing to speak. Watch!" Again the president yelled, "Moses!" and again the man ignored him.
The Secret Service agent went up to the man in the white robe and whispered, "You look just like Moses. Are you Moses?"

The man leaned over and whispered back, "Shhhh! Yes, I am Moses, but the last time I talked to a bush, I spent 40 years wandering in the desert and ended up leading my people to the only spot in the entire Middle East with no oil."



Monday, July 07, 2008

Saturday, July 05, 2008

High Urinals

A group of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, accompanied by two female teachers went on a field trip to the local racetrack, (Churchill Downs ) to learn about thoroughbred horses and the supporting industry (Bourbon), but mostly to see the horses.

When it was time to take the children to the bathroom, it was decided that the girls would go with one teacher and the boys would go with the other.

The teacher assigned to the boys was waiting outside the men's room when one of the boys came out and told her that none of them could reach the urinal.

Having no choice, she went inside, helped the boys with their pants, and began hoisting the little boys up one by one, holding on to their 'wee-wees' to direct the flow away from their clothes.

As she lifted one, she couldn't help but notice that he was unusually well endowed. Trying not to show that she was staring the teacher said, 'You must be in the 5th grade.'

'No, ma'am', he replied. 'I'm riding Silver Arrow in the seventh race, but I appreciate your help.'

Friday, July 04, 2008

Help us catch a Campervan Thief!


If you can help us please contact us.

It was taken from Motorhomes Queensland at Warana, Sunshine Coast on the afternoon of Tuesday 2/7/08.

The QLD licence used had the name Ian West.

He left a stolen Audi A6 Wagon Allroad Quattro with fake QLD plates and an Audi Centre Gold Coast sticker even though stolen from NSW. This person was on his third visit to the dealership.

It is a Volkswagen T5 LWB 1.9 TDi 5 Speed in White, with a a TRAKKADU II Conversion. This vehicle was a Demo and in as new condition with low mileage.

Rego No: 7 0 9 J V X ( Probably changed to a fake Personalised Plate)

Chassis No: W V 1 Z Z Z 7H Z 6 H 0 5 0 5 9 5

Engine No: A X B 1 1 1 0 2 0

Colour: White

Rego Sticker is 30 /6 / 08 ( Rego paid but new sticker not attached) It will be cancelled.

Police reported to was:

Veronica LARSEN

Constable 18924

Kawana Waters Police Station

Ph: 07 54937100

Any sightings or help catching this person would be appreciated.

Babies, Bunty and BBQ's

Babies, Bunty and BBQ's

Babies, Bunty and BBQ's

Had a lovely stay with mum - lovely to see our little babyb boy too, good stuff.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Try this

An exclusive insight into the likely content of a new 'Aussie values' test for potential Australian citizens which will come into effect later this year.

Sample questions devised by the Federal Government:

1. Which colours are represented on the Australian flag?

a. Green and yellow

b. Red, black and yellow

c. Blue, red and white

d. Orange and purple

2. Indigenous people have lived in Australia for ...

a. At least 40,000 years

b. About 8000 years

c. About 800 years

d. Less that 400 years

3. Australia's national flower is the ...

a. Rose

b. Wattle

c. Kangaroo paw

d. Banksia

4. Which is a popular sport in Australia?

a. Ice hockey

b. Water polo

c. Cricket

d. Table tennis

5. Australia's political system is a ...

a. Parliamentary democracy

b. Monarchy

c. Dictatorship

d. Socialist state

6. The Capital of Australia is...

a. Sydney

b. Melbourne

c. Hobart

d. Canberra

7. Which animals are on the Australian Coat of Arms?

a. Wombat and echidna

b. Kangaroo and emu

c. Kangaroo and dingo

d. Lion and unicorn

8. Where did the first European settlers to Australia come from?

a. Spain

b. France

c. England

d. Ireland

9. Who is Australia's head of state?

a. Prime Minister John Howard

b. Queen Elizabeth II

c. Governor General Michael Jeffery

d. Premier Steve Bracks

10. Who was the first Prime Minister of Australia?

a. Sir Edmund Barton

b. Sir Henry Parkes

c. John Curtin

d. Sir Robert Menzies

11. What song is Australia's national anthem?

a. God Save the Queen

b. Star Spangled Banner

c. Advance Australia Fair

d. Waltzing Matilda

12. What do you call the elected head of a state government?

a. Governor

b. Premier

c. Mayor

d. Prime Minister

13. Which federal political party or parties are in power?

a. Australian Labor Party

b. Australian Democrats and the Australian Greens

c. National Party

d. Liberal Party and National Party

14. Which of the following are Australian values?

a. Men and women are equal

b. `A fair go'

c. Mateship

d. All of the above

15. Australia's values are based on the ...

a. Teachings of the Koran

b. The Judaeo-Christian tradition

c. Catholicism

d. Secularism

16. What does Anzac Day commemorate?

a. The Gallipoli landing

b. Armistice Day

c. The Battle of the Somme

d. Victory in the Pacific

17. In what year did the first European settlers arrive?

a. 1801

b. 1770

c. 1788

d. 1505

18. How many states are there in Australia?

a. 5

b. 6

c. 7

d. 8

19. Australian soldiers fought in ...

a. World War I and World War II

b. Korean War

c. Vietnam War

d. All of the above

20. What is Australia's biggest river system?

a. The Murray Darling

b. The Murrumbidgee

c The Yarra

d. The Mississippi


1) C, 2) A, 3) B, 4) C, 5) A, 6) D, 7) B, 8) C, 9) B, 10) A, 11) C, 12) B, 13) D, 14) D, 15) B, 16) A, 17) C, 18) B, 19) D, 20) A


My new front door mat at work

This is my NSW co worker after her team lost last night