M-R and Windows 8

Just had to reblog this one. I have been using Windows 8 for nearly five months and it is the greatest heap of rubbish I have ever had the displeasure to use. I agree with all the comments made in this video review…especially those asking how the older generation, or in my case students who have never used a computer before, will handle it. Personally I would sack all the engineers at Microsoft. Finally, and I NEVER thought I would say this, I am becoming ‘Apple-ised’. All because Microsoft will not stick at doing what they are good at. I think Microsoft is trying to emulate Apple and doing a horrid job of it. This video is worth watching.

Wordless Wednesday-Puppy-Love


Puppy Love


Maggie enjoying life.











Probably my first almost Wordless Wednesday.


Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday (create-with-joy.com)


Craftyspices.com_Wordless Wednesday



A Word a Week Photography Challenge–Water


My contribution for this week’s

 Word of the Week Challenge…



Some shots from Warrnambool’s coastline.


The next three shots are of a reef just on the seaward side of…


the Warrnambool Breakwater.


water_0913Balyang Sanctuary…

duck_0022so peaceful and serene.





Cee’s Black and White Challenge-Small


This week’s Black and White

Small Things



A large tree with some dwarf mongoose at home.


Even using my 300 mm zoom lens, on full zoom, these little fellas still looked small.





Weekly Photo Challenge-Letters


My contribution for this week’s challenge…



 Last Thursday, April 24th, I was told by a government source (that sounds good doesn’t it?) that there is to be a ceremony to commemorate the centenary of the firing of the first allied shot in World War I, later in the year. This is of interest to me as my grandfather was part of the Gun crew which fired across the bow of the German steamer ‘Pfalz” as she tried to escape from Port Phillip Bay only hours after war had been declared in Europe.


The 1994 article on the left of this photo details how a group of volunteer students uncovered the gun emplacement, that fired this shot along with the gun emplacement from which the first shot of World War II is believed to have been fired.  Both sites had been buried under sand for more than forty years.



The photo on the right accompanies an article written about the firing of the first shot.  The officer standing in the left of the photo, Lieutenant Charles Morris, gave the order to fire.

About two months ago while listening to my favourite Sunday morning chat show on ABC radio I heard a guest talking about World War I.  After having many school children not believe me when I ascertained my connection with the start of WW I, I quickly tapped out an email and hit send….thinking that it would go into the ether and nothing would come of it.  But I felt better. 🙂

I quickly forgot my actions in favour of a Sunday morning breakfast.  However, about two hours after breakfast I answered a phone call from the grandson of Lieutenant Charles Morris.  One of his friends had heard my email being read by ‘Macca’ (the chat show host), phone calls were made and eventually Charles’ grandson contacted me.  At that stage he did not realise that my grandfather was part of the crew….just that I had an interest in the firing of the first shot.



The central typed page details how, when, where and why of the morning’s actions and was sent to me by Lieutenant Charles Morris’ grandson.  On ANZAC Day I phoned my auntie and told her of my conversation with the relevant government secretary.  She is eagerly looking forward to the commemoration and told me she would advise her sister and all families involved.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters




Cee’s Black and White Challenge-Big


This week’s Black and White

Big Things


Cannot believe that I have completely missed this challenge



However, I think this qualifies as ‘big’….at least I would not like it in my mouth.





Travel Theme-Glow




Travel Theme

for this week.


The Australian Rules Football season is into its sixth week of competition…twenty-three weeks in total, plus finals.  Twenty years ago two major AFL teams in the league, Collingwood (The Magpies) and Essendon (The Bombers) played the first ANZAC Day game and a tradition was born.


Ever since these two teams have been scheduled to meet on ANZAC Day, April 25th.  As dedicated Collingwood supporter I think I have watched each game on television.  This year, however, was different.  I had a ticket for the game.


The Melbourne Cricket ground has a capacity of nearly 100,000.  Today I was one of 91,371 AFL supporters attending and arrived shortly after 1400 to watch the pre game ANZAC Day ceremony.  I have often heard commentators talk about this day.  Now I was to see for myself.


 In a sign of unity both Collingwood and Essendon used the same ANZAC Day themed banner as their run through prior to ceremonies commencing.


Usually each team has their own banner to run through.


A voice in the crowd bellowed “Quiet” and all the fans immediately rose and ceased talking.

In the glow of a mid afternoon April sun the pre match ANZAC Day ceremony commenced.

Some time later an announcer asked us to stand and remove hats.

A gentleman in front of me could not rip his baseball style supporters cap off quick enough.


The last post was played, followed by a minute of silence.

Ninety-one thousand, three hundred and seventy ones fans were so quiet I could hear a

mobile/cell phone ringing about forty to fifty metres away.


I have often heard how moving this ceremony was and could not believe that so many people could become silent and show so much respect for the ANZAC tradition.

In this atmosphere, while thinking of my grandfathers and other relatives who served in World Wars I & II, it was difficult to maintain dignity and stop tears rolling down my cheeks.  As the final strains of the National Anthem died away the same voice that quietened the section in which I was seated, again  bellowed, “Carna Pies“.

This was a signal for fans everywhere to begin cheering for their team.



Where’s My Backpack?: Travel Theme: Glow


All these photo were taken using my HTC mobile phone




Several months ago I had cause to drive back to the Western District of Victoria to Branxholme, a small town not far from where I grew up.  Unless there was some more of the township situated off the main road, Branxholme consists of a typical country store which handles everything from mail to coffee.


While waiting for the other half of the meeting to arrive I noticed this memorial across the road.

branxholme_0463In all the small towns I have visited I have never seen a memorial like this one.


Most houses and outbuilding of that era were made of blue-stone pitchers such as these…

branxholme_0465a memorial to all those early settlers who pioneered the way for us today.


Branxholme, in all likelihood was settled by pioneers who struggled to create roads, communities and a lifestyle no-one would ever dream of these days.


The Branxholme timeline traces the history of the township, noting its population decline and the establishment of its school, Number 63, when the town’s population was listed as 221 and ‘probably included Condah’ another nearby town.  My home town’s school was numbered 766 which was always thought of as an early school.  Branxholme was established years before my home town if the two numbers are anything to go by.


Facing the memorial to the early settlers is another memorial those locals who have served in major conflicts around the globe.


 I could only think of the sacrifices made by Branxholme volunteers in all conflicts and how it has impacted this small district.


This morning, at Branxholme’s War Memorial, I am sure the gathering would have been as solemn as it was in other centres around Australia and New Zealand.  As well as Turkey (Gallipoli) and townships throughout France reports indicate that many other towns and countries observe ANZAC Day.

I would like to visit Courcelette, in France, sometime in the next few years as my Grandfather served on the Western Front and was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal at Courcelette during World War I.

Links to 2013 ANZAC  Day posts:

ANZAC Day – 2013

ANZAC Day Dawn Services – 2013

World War I Diary Extract – 2013


Look Up, Look Down-Wk-36-ANZAC



Look Up, Look Down

for Week 36


War Memorials


This afternoon I happened to glance up at a War Memorial.


Being ANZAC Day tomorrow, April 25th, I remembered that one of my first posts was the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day at this memorial


 It appears some people have left their memorials early.


Behind the original memorial…


is a more contemporary Memorial…


to those who served in conflicts after World War II.


As Thursday’s sun sets I know that at 0600 tomorrow this area will be…


surrounded by 400 or 500 hundred people remembering loved ones and the liberties they delivered us.



Look Up, Look Down, challenge