Sunday, December 5, 2010

Year 12 Graduation

Our little girl graduated Year 12 last Friday.  How proud we are! It wasn't so long ago that she learnt how to ride a 2-wheel bike.  Next thing I know, she's stepping out of a black Chrysler limo and being escorted up the entrance steps of the National Convention Centre!
All those years of school and homework and after school jobs ... that's behind now.  Friday night was time to celebrate a change ...
 And, my darling blue-eyed daughter, if you can substitute 'brown' with 'blue' in this song/video compiled by another proud dad, it evokes in me a feeling of great pride and love whenever I hear it. Congratulations on your graduation!
Brown (blue)-eyed girl.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Story of Patrick McCarthy - Part 2

January 1803: HMS Calcutta departed England bound for Port Phillip Bay, where a new settlement was to be established.  The seven Gibraltar mutineers were aboard. Court martialled. Convicts now. Patrick McCarthy was one of them. Aged 24. Never to return to England or his Irish home.

Calcutta carried a crew of 150, 308 male convicts, civil officers, marines, and some wives and children. Sailing with her was the supply ship Ocean. They reached Rio De Janeiro on 19 July. After a short layover they sailed southward, arriving at Cape Town on 16 August. While anchored there, Calcutta received news that Britain was now at war with the Batavian Republic. The Dutch sent a representative aboard Calcutta to demand that she surrender. While the representative waited, Calcutta's Captain Woodriff spent two hours preparing her for battle. He then showed the representative Calcutta's sailors and marines at their guns, and told the Dutchman that "if he wants this ship he must come and take her if he can". The convicts were asked if any would volunteer to fight and work the ship. All volunteered (onya Patrick!). The Dutch gave Calcutta 24 hours to leave, saying that they "did not wish to capture such a large number of thieves".

On 12 October 1803, Calcutta arrived at Port Phillip Bay, anchoring offshore from the site of what is now Sorrento. The convicts were offloaded and a camp established.  Patrick McCarthy was appointed as a night guard, sufficiently trusted to police other convicts on account of his having been a soldier and there being insufficient Marines to provide guard services 24 hours a day. David Collins, the commander of the expedition, found that the poor soil and shortage of fresh water made the area unsuitable for a colony and by late January 1804 relocated the infant colony to the Derwent River on the south east coast of Tasmania (then Van Diemens Land) - the site of what is now the city of Hobart. The Calcutta and Ocean entered the Derwent estuary on 15 February 1804 - the first fleet of Britons had arrived in Van Diemen's Land. Some saw themselves as colonists. The convicts saw themselves as captives landed in a huge open prison. But there's no escaping - they were invaders. Military men, prisoners mostly, some settlers and crew.  This place was already occupied - but not in a sense that British law was accustomed to. Patrick McCarthy and all the other convicts were taken ashore and put to work establishing a camp. This land was about to change forever.
HMS Calcutta Unloading her Cargo at the Derwent River - February 1804.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Song of the Day

Time for something light......

Suzi says goodbye to the life in San Antone .... Tear Me Apart.

And just for fun .. more Suzi ... you rock girl!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oh Nooooooooo ...... So Close, But Missed by a Mile

The replay was a huge anti-climax.  St Kilda looked like losing from the very first bounce.  They were unable to move the ball out of the centre into their forward zone for the entire game.  Very depressing.

Enough said.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Draw ?#*!!!!

St Kilda withstood Collingwood's attack for the first half.  They gradually reeled the Pies in and then edged past them late in the final quater. The Pies edged a point in front with their last score of the day. St Kilda's final score of the game was a point, levelling the scores at 68 points apiece.

Stunned silence followed.  What now, we all thought. Extra time?  No - a replay a week later!!  Just like back in 1977.  I thought the rules had been changed since then, only to find out that all finals except the Granny go into extra time if there is a tied score at the end of a game.

Oh well ... St kilda get to play in a 3rd Grand Final in the space of 13 months!  For a team that's only ever appeared in 7 Granny's (including last weekends) in over a 100 years, that's gotta be good!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Grand Final Time Folks!!!

It's almost time ...

Colingwood versus Saint Kilda
The Grand Final parade was held today and, of course, Collingwood fans showed what undesirable types they truly are:

Nick ... you are a true sportsman and you showed that again today.  A win for the St Kilda footy club today and the footy gods will smile on you and the team tomorrow!!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Song of the Day

Time again for a musical break.

A little weak? A little pale today?  Looks like its time for that certain holiday! Mambo!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saints Win Their Preliminary Final!

St Kilda vs Western Bulldogs

St Kilda overcame the Western Bulldogs in their Preliminary Final.  It was a tense battle in the 1st and 2nd quarters, with the Saints trailing by a goal at half time.  Then in the 3rd quarter, Milne kicked a quick goal to level the scores, and then Riewoldt dominated.  The Saints kicked 7 goals to 1 in that 3rd term to grab a stranglehold on the game.  Make no mistake - it was not just Riewoldt, it was the entire team that lifted.  Milne tackled ferociously. Kosi had some possessions. Schnieder and Peake worked tirelessly.  Gwilt, Blake, Fisher, McEvoy, Gardiner, Hayes etc etc ... all played strong, team oriented football.

Final score:
ST KILDA  1.5    3.6  10.10 13.10 (88)

WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.1   4.6   5.9   8.16 (64)

St Kilda: A Schneider 3 N Riewoldt 3 J Koschitzke 2 S Milne 2 B McEvoy B Peake M Gardiner.
Western Bulldogs: M Hahn 2 B Hall D Addison D Giansiracusa J Grant L Gilbee L Picken.

The Saints now go into a their second Grand Final in 2 years.

The other team to win through was Collingwood, with an easy defeat of Geelong.  This game was over at quarter time, with Geelong looking tired, slow and ... well ... they looked like rabbits in a spotlight. Dazzled and overwhelmed.  A real shame, because I was counting on Geelong to make Collingwood earn their right to a Grand Final berth the hard way.

Next Saturday - St Kilda vs Colingwood.  Last met in a Grand Final in 1966.  St Kilda won by a point.  That was St Kilda's one and only premiership.  Time now to make it two premierships. 

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

St Kilda Make it to a Preliminary Final

Friday 3rd September 2010
St Kilda vs Geelong in the first game of the 2010 Finals series. 

What a cracker of a game!   These two teams just slug it out til the end every time they meet.  This time - St Kilda won!!!! That makes it twice this season.  This by 4 points in a heartstopper. St Kilda grind their way toward the Grand Final. 

Collingwood won the other Qualifying Final.  Like St Kilda, Collingwood now have the next weekend off.  But Collingwood fans think they own the 2010 Flag and the Cup already. Well - newsflash all you Pies fans: you now look headed for a grinding game against Geelong.  That will be the end of Collingwood. Go Saints!!!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Story of Patrick McCarthy - Part 1

Born in 1777 in the parish of KeelGardoff, County Cork, Ireland, Patrick became a weaver by trade. On 6 March 1800, Patrick enlisted in the British Army - the 25th Regiment of Foot. He was about 23 years old, 5ft 4ins in height with a fair complexion, round visage, hazel eyes and black hair.

While serving with the 25th Regiment of Foot, Patrick was stationed at Gibraltar, where he became involved in a mutiny.

The men of the garrison at Gibraltar had a relatively easy life until the arrival of the Duke of York (Prince Edward) in March 1802.  The Duke was unimpressed with the laxity of the men and imposed strict discipline.  In particular, he introduced evening curfews and rigourous training drills by day to improve the sobriety of the men.  A significant trade in alcohol had grown at Gibraltar, founded on sales to the soldiers of the garrison. 92 pubs serviced 7,000 soldiers and civilians.

Payment Method - Value One Quart (Payable at R.  Keelings, Gibralter [sic] 1802)

Eventually, the Duke closed down most of the taverns. A plot was hatched by some of the soldiers to kill the Duke of York. On Christmas Eve 1802, they marched on Edward's quarters, demanding their grievances be heard. They were dispersed by shots fired by loyal guards. Two days later, the rebellion again escalated. The mutineers were fired upon with cannon, wounding 6 and killing 3 in the brief action. Again, the mood settled into an uneasy calm, but on 31 December 1802, the mutineers tried to kill their own officers. The Duke arrested the mutineers and ordered an immediate court martial. It was quick and decisive - 10 men were condemned to death, but only 3 executions were carried out. The remaining 7 soldiers were sentenced to transportation to Australia for life.  One of these 7 soldiers was Patrick McCarthy.

On 4 January 1803, the 7 mutineers were shipped back to England. On arrival at Portsmouth, they were immediately transferred to HMS Calcutta, a naval ship loaded with convicts ready for transportation to Australia.  HMS Calcutta sailed very shortly afterward, with the supply ship Ocean, bound for Port Phillip and under instructions to establish a new settlement there.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Bit of Fun

The Matrix Blitz - an Excellent Adventure!

Starring: Laurence Fishburne and ... that guy (what's his name) ... oh yeah ... Keanu Reeves (thanks Google).

I was looking for the Oompa Loompa Band plays Ballroom Blitz (Spicks n Specks) ..... but found this instead.  It's pretty good - set to an absolute glam rock classic, I never really understood The Matrix, but now it all makes sense!
 ... are you ready Steve?
All right fellas ........... Let's GO!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Song of the Day

Uh-huh!  Musical interlude time. Necessary when the recent topic has been a tragic episode in history.Tonight - because its my blog and I can do what I like - more Norah Jones!! Yay!!

My mind's racing from Chasing Pirates (live):

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Van Diemen's Land

... by James Boyce. I just finished reading this excellent book.

With a family connection to the earliest days of the colony, this book is exactly what I needed to understand life in the early years.

The history of the island of Tasmania is fascinating yet tragic. For the first time I became aware of individual Tasmanian aboriginals, such as Mannalargenna, whose “influence amongst his people was great. He was universally admired by all the native tribes who knew him as being the most able and successful warrior of the Aborigines.” This was written by George Robinson, who I remember learning about when I was in [Lenah Valley] primary school. Robinson had been portrayed to me as simply someone who attempted to round up the Aborigines, but with little success. James Boyce demonstrates the critical role this materialistic, self-centred individual played in the demise of the Tasmanian Aborigines. Boyce also highlights how the convicts were induced to do much of the killing and how securing the material wealth of relatively few large land owners was a crucial driver of the Governor’s policies.

Thank you, James Boyce, for a fresh perspective on the social environment of those early years. Australians can grow by reading your book, which should become a mandatory high school text book.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Song of the Day

It's that time folks ...

Anybody remember Elvis? Or Cheap Trick, maybe?

This is the best cover I've heard, more upbeat than the original (the original is always the best) and the pregnant pause is very effective. Are the background dancers leftovers from Robert Palmer's Simply Irresistible shoot?
......... Don't be Cruel

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Silver Suited Kids Morph Into Real Individuals

I became a "follower" on Angela Cartwright's blog today! 43 years after getting hooked on the iconic sci-fi TV serial Lost in Space, I browsed through Angie's site and found an interesting artist and photographer. Be warned - her's is very much a girlie site. Nevertheless, I couldn't overlook the opportunity to follow her bloop .. I mean blog, for .. bloop .. old time sakes .. sorry AC!  By the way - if you check out her Altered Paradox blog page, have a look at her street scene paintings.  I wouldn't mind one those in my lounge room. Nice stuff Angela!

AC's blog also links to Bill Mumy's webpage.  He doesn't have a blog, but if you're also a Lost In Space fan, you might like to see what he's up to now.  He's much into music (always was). His webpage also has links to his kids sites (Seth and Lilliana). Lilliana especially has been busy in the Hollywood showbiz lifestyle.  
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Song of the Day

It was 1986...  Dire Straits... in Sydney... live!

So far back in time now ... this calypso version was brilliant ... So Far Away From Me. Just the best version of all!


It was also a time of great guitar based rock ... such as .. (live again) ... with their sunglasses and their stratocasters ...ladies and gentlemen ...The Cars ... My Best Friend's Girl

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Space - the Final Frontier!

The Apollo 11 crew portrait. Left to right are...
Captain's Log: 21-July-2010.

41 years ago today (Australian time) Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon.  "The Eagle has landed" - heard those famous words on the radio one cold Melbourne winter morning as I got ready for school.

Listen and watch the excitement of that 1969 morning!  What genuine excitement we all felt!  PEOPLE were on the Moon! That thing in the sky - two guys were sitting in a tiny metal craft perched there on the surface. Incredible.

My 1969 perspective:
Left: Prof. John Robinson, Centre: The Robot; Right: Dr Zachary Smith

Image via Wikipedia
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Song of the Day

Norah Jones, Blaisdell ArenaImage via Wikipedia
I love this tune. It reminds me a little of Linda Rondstat's 'Blue Bayou', because it's so soulful I suppose.

It is, of course, Norah Jones' 'Cold Cold Heart'.

The double-bass is really cool as a foil for Norah's brilliant piano work. And what a voice!
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Friday, July 16, 2010

Family History

As a child, I asked my father - where did our family come from Dad? I knew we weren't indigenous and non-indigenous folk had only arrived in Australia about 200 years earlier.

Neither of my parents knew where their ancestors came from, nor when. All they could tell me was that our families were from the United Kingdom. One exception to the generally 'blank page' was my father's mother. Dad knew she was born in Dalton-in-Furness, Lancashire, England and had left England as a 3-year old when her parents migrated to Tasmania seeking work (more on the Hornby family's story a little later).

However, the general lack of family history knowledge astounded me. How could our family history have been forgotten over such a relatively short period? We had relatives in Australia - cousins, aunts and uncles; grandparents that passed away when I was still very young. It seemed no-one in my immediate family had asked the question about our origins. I was to learn, many years later, that I was not the only family member to embark upon a genealogical quest to re-discover the family history.

Across the Murrumbidgee to Mount Tennant

Thinking of visiting Australia? It's a wonderful country and NOT necessarily the place you think it is.

My home is in Canberra, a town that totally differs from your typical global concrete jungle. This scene is almost at my backdoor, its such a picture so I turned it into an oil painting : )


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