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Monthly Archives: April 2012

From The Bucket’s Complaints Department

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Mr Anders Oberleuter from Kandersteg, Switzerland, wrote;

Hello there Mr Bucket,

This is being Anders here. On the last story you have been publishing photograph shooting from your house looking in the one direction only with the words telling me “Not a neighbour in sight….in any direction.” Yah? How can I know this to be true story from just one picture?
I am now needing the snapshorts looking onto the other three directions for me to believe you telling me the truth.

Long live all your dingoes in the billabong Cobber,

Anders.

Certainly Sir.   My pleasure.
You obnoxious distrustful culturally insensitive old bastard.
Here are the sights which I see when looking through the other windows of my house Mr Oberleuter.

View from the East window

View from the West window

.

View from the North window

OK, are you satisfied now?
I admit that I lied with my original statement, Mr Oberleuter.

The last thing I need is for the likes of you to come poking around these parts interfering with my view.

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This one’s for sunshine

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During recent years I have maintained a habit of taking time out
every day just to be thankful for the blessings I have in this life.
Occasionally I will share one with you.

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Golden gumboot at Tully

Most Australians are probably unaware that there is a tiny part of this dry continent which receives an average annual rainfall well in excess of 150 inches.  The coastal towns of Babinda and Tully bicker and snort at each other every year in their race for statistical rainfall superiority.

Mrs GOF and I live high up on the mountainside behind these two towns taking the full brunt of the powerful moisture-laden south-easterly trade winds after their trajectory across the Tasman and Coral Seas.
Because of the altitude and geographic location we would win hands down if ever a ‘miserableness factor” was applied to rainfall figures.

I never look forward to April, May and June. The blowing fog and heavy drizzle is relentless….day and night….. on average for 25 days per month, and unlike the coastal towns we never even get glimpses of the sun during these days.

For only the second time in 30 years this April has been different.  Whilst we have still received our average 500mm (20″) of rain, it all fell during 6 days, and for the remainder of the time GOF’s Paradise looked something like this;

The mansion

Not a neighbour in sight...in any direction

Pathway down to the "office"

One half of my "office"

The other half

The REAL cause of rising ocean levels

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SMIRNOFF, FULCRUM and GOF.

Environmental Engineers by Appointment.

Secretary-General,
United nations.
3 United Nations Plaza.
NEW YORK    10017

Dear Sir,

Thank you for awarding our company the consultancy to investigate the real causes of rising ocean levels. We also acknowledge and appreciate the $1,000,000 advance which enabled our distinguished Partner, the environmentally oracular Mr GOF, to travel the world collecting data.  

Before presenting our recommendations I must firstly pay tribute to Mr GOF for his conscientiousness in spending unpaid extra time on the waterfront at Rio De Janeiro during Carnivale in February, observing, measuring, and taking thousands of photographs.  

It is however regretted that one of your Portugese negotiators was required to travel urgently from Geneva in order to defuse the international misunderstanding which he caused, and to bail him out of police custody.  
In view of the attached comprehensive report we are prepared to take no further action regarding Mr GOF’s single ill-conceived moment of social exuberance.  He has been issued with an official reprimand.

SUMMARY

We have great pleasure in advising the General Assembly that rising ocean levels cannot be significantly attributed to any of the following;

A.  Global Warming resultant from increased CO2 emissions.
B.  Displacement caused by lost fishing sinkers.
C.  Burials at sea.

Eighty seven percent of the annual rate of increase in ocean levels is caused by MAMMALS, especially HUMANS and WHALES.

The biospheric physics is relatively simple.

Average ocean temperature = 17 degrees Celsius.
Average human and whale body temperature = 36 degrees Celsius.
Heat from any object is transferred 27 times faster to sea water than it’s dissipation rate into International Standard Atmosphere.

i.e. Too many humans and whales in the sea = increased ocean temperature = warming of atmosphere and melting of polar ice caps = higher sea level.

Additionally Archimedes Theorum comes into play. Bodies of humans and whales immersed in the sea displace equal volumes of water.

At any given moment there is an average of  23,631,203 humans swimming, skinny dipping, diving, frolicking or wading in the ocean, and 11,000,003 whales doing all of the above except wading, the displacement water from which has only one way to go.
 
i.e. UP = rising ocean levels.

RECOMMENDATIONS;

1. Ban and forcibly remove all humans from the sea.
Since we are now evolved with bipedal competence, there is no excuse for revisiting the primordial brine, slime and froth from which we emerged.  

2. Encourage the Japanese to catch more whales.
After all, they only ‘do it for research’, and ‘research’ must surely be a very good thing.

3. The remaining whales which are surplus to Japan’s immediate research requirements should immediately be fitted with ‘rubber duckies’ as a temporary measure to float them ON TOP of the ocean. This action alone will see a reduction in the global ocean level of 7 inches, and make these giant environmental hoodlums easier to spot and harpoon when the Japanese whalers mount their next research expedition.

Thank you for awarding our company the honour of serving the world. Please find enclosed invoice for $2,500,000 being the balance owing.

Yours Faithfully,

Vladimir J. Smirnoff
Director.

c.c.   Greenpeace.
Save the Whales.
Yakuza Fish Factory.
Benny Hinn Ministries.
Brazil Naturist Society. (for urgent attn. Paula)
President, Federated States of Micronesia.
(together with an aid gift of 20,000 flippers and snorkels.)

.

P.S. …. SMIRNOFF, FULCRUM and GOF apparently have a vacancy for a competent accountant.

Assorted crud in The Bucket

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Nice aeroplane

Therapy centre for sleepwalkers?

It feels like the lower right 5 Mr dentist.

GOF feels an artistic urge coming on.

 

God’s obscenity

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Warning; Please do not proceed if bad language offends.

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Melanesian Tok Pisin is the primary lingua franca used in Papua New Guinea, a country with more than 600 languages.  It is derived mainly from English but also has roots to German, Indonesian and several other tribal languages.

One unintended consequence of the Australian presence in PNG last century was that many Aussie profanities were rapidly incorporated into Tok Pisin, often without the speaker having any understanding at all of the original literal meanings of the words.

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Mrs GOF, in her adult life, has retained many endearing (and occasionally infuriating) carefree youthful behaviours. Some of this innocence came to an abrupt end in April 2000 when her Mum died in the remote PNG village which was her home.

As the eldest daughter in the family, tradition dictated that Mrs GOF was in charge of preparing the body for burial.   I will always be proud of her unflinching acceptance of this extremely confronting and daunting cultural responsibility.

The body had been frozen in the morgue pending the arrival of all family members, so on funeral day Mrs GOF and her siblings cheerfully chatted away to their Mum while she was defrosting, assuring her that she was in good hands and being well cared for.

A Village Pastor, locally trained at the Logaweng Lutheran Seminary, was a family friend and he officiated at the funeral ceremony.  After the various eulogies from family members had been delivered, Pastor Pukot gave a final address which concluded as follows;

(I have translated it from Tok Pisin……all except the final unambiguous directive which is reproduced verbatim.)

A man or woman who has lived a good life on earth, who has been honest, and treated other people well, will be rewarded by God after death. Upon arrival at the golden gates of heaven they will be welcomed by the angels who will have reviewed the life of the deceased and reported to God, who will then pronounce “You have lived a good life. Welcome to Heaven.”

It is however another story for those who have been bad and lived meaningless or dishonest lives. They will arrive at the gates of heaven and the angels will present the unfavourable report to God who will become very angry, point in the opposite direction and, in a loud voice, tell them to “FUCK OFF”.

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The gathered mourners accepted this sermon as being appropriate, dignified and meaningful……all that is except for the two English-speakers present.

Mrs GOF, and her brother (who had traveled from Minnesota) glanced at each other and, despite the solemnity of the occasion, just could not help cracking up with laughter.

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McFamished

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This scourge managed to invade Australia last century, then multiply on a scale only previously seen with the rabbits, prickly pear and cane toads which had preceded it.

We now have a plague of calf-scour-yellow arches.

Good friends introduced me to this escapee from America 20 years ago.  Despite their error of judgment they remain friends.
The quality of companionship on that day was five-star, whilst that of the food was kennel.
I vowed to never again allow such garbage to foul my perfectly pristine peristaltic processes.

Principles, even mine it would seem, can be compromised by hunger and desperation.

During my recent sojourn in Brisbane to bestow upon baby GOG some of the grandfatherly bonhomie and beaming conviviality for which I have become renowned, the only conveniently located take-away food establishment open for breakfast before the 7 am hospital appointment time was the House of McYuk.

Before entering, I paused and thought for a moment about the superior nutritional benefits which might accrue from ratting through yesterday’s left-overs in the KFC bins next door, but instead opted for something warmer and marginally less fetid and congealed.

Top of the breakfast menu I observed was a bacon and egg muffin thingy.  (I’m attempting to avoid legal ramifications here)
My stomach and salivary glands spontaneously went into overdrive secreting gallons of digestive juices in preparation for receiving the item illustrated in glorious spotlit panoramic technicolor on the four-foot-square wall poster.

Bacon and egg muffin thingy

This was obviously going to be a meal of sufficient size and calorific value to fuel an overweight worm-infested Sherpa laden down with oxygen bottles all the way up the final 10,000 feet to the summit of Mount Everest.

I briefly gave consideration to stealing a neighbouring resident’s wheelbarrow from his back yard in order to cart this gastronomic monstrosity back to my motel, then hiring a crane to hoist it up to the third-floor balcony before somehow squeezing it through the doorway to my room using a system of rollers and a crowbar.

The product was made even more enticing by the promise of “freshly cracked eggs”.

Now I just happen to be an enthusiastic disciple of the Freshly Cracked Eggs Movement.
No antique-cracked eggs for me. You may well prefer the added crunchiness, chewy embryonic texture and subtle salmonella taste of  more mature cracked eggs, but all-in-all I remain an admirer of the “freshly cracked” variety. Call me pernickety.

As it turned out I never did have to go and look for a wheelbarrow.

After taking two little nibbles I felt sorry for the starving anorexic-looking cricket who had spent all night in room 309 with me unsuccessfully attempting to gnaw her way into a sachet of raw sugar, so I gave the remainder to her.

She gulped it down in a single mandibular mouthful, then hopped up into my shirt pocket after which we wandered back across the road to the KFC bins in search of a proper-sized breakfast.

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Siwea airstrip, Papua New Guinea

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This story is to jog the memory of all the old PNG pilots who will never forget Siwea.

It is also for all the arriving passengers who, during the final landing approach (when most of the airfield disappeared from view because of a steep uphill landing threshhold) were terrified and thought they were going to die.
Departing passengers too, whilst falling over the edge and dropping down into the Tewae gorge to gain flying speed with the Cessna stall-warning horn blaring, were also tricked into thinking that the future looked rather bleak.

To my knowledge the only person who ever did die in an aviation-related accident at Siwea was a pedestrian who was struck by the propeller of a landing aircraft.

The Siwea ‘strip was constructed circa 1970 by villagers using shovels to dig back into the mountain. It was 1500 feet in length at almost 6000 feet altitude which severely limited the performance of most light aircraft. The ‘runway’ surface was nominally grass but often just mud, and the airstrip provided an outlet for smallholder-grown arabica coffee, strawberries, onions and other fruit and vegetables.

Siwea was, in 2011, no longer an operational airfield.

(Photographs taken by Mrs GOF, 2011)

Siwea airstrip, view from the landing threshhold.

Siwea airstrip, view during landing roll.

Siwea airstrip showing total length in takeoff direction.

Siwea airstrip showing direction of takeoff and the typical weather conditions which made in unusable after 10 am on most days.