Australia - The Land Down Under

Brian brought my attention this morning to a snippet on our friend Gabriel's @gvisoc 's profile, announcing that he was made an Australian citizen.

I'd like to present a couple of tributes in honour of Gabe and his family.

The first is traditional

and the second one has a different spin on it, from Sammy J

Well done, Gabe and co.

BTW in the old days we used to call it "getting naturalised" - did that mean that before that, they were unnatural?

Now you don't see this every day.

Yesterday I was pouring myself a scotch and coke in the laundry, and I saw a smudge I had not cleaned up.

I noted its shape and grabbed a desktop lamp and plugged it in to make sure I was not seeing things.


Clearly, a map of Australia, although Tasmania appears to be heading towards the South Pole, I think.

Truth is stranger than fiction?


""A nation aware of its weaknesses as well as its strengths, which knows it is not the greatest but which always, deep down, believe it could be. A nation of doers, a nation of dreamers, a nation of hard work and helping hands. A nation that is forever changing, but which still maintains that thing — that feeling, that spirit, that identity, whatever you want to call it — that generations of Socceroos have embodied since the first team formed 100 years ago.""


The Socceroos are more than just a football team. They're a reflection of everything that makes Australia what it is

"It's been like that forever," Arnold said. "We had so many nationalities that came out and lived in Australia. They got their Australian passports and became Australian citizens. Our country gave them that chance.

"I think back to some great moments in time where you're playing against the nations where they were born. One memory is from 2006 when we played Croatia at the World Cup: We had Tony Popovic, Zjelko Kalac, Josip Skoko, Mark Viduka, all Croatian boys. And their determination to beat their home country was incredible.

"It's the Australian way, always having that passion. That badge on your heart. You see it with the team now: Jason Cummings coming here all the way from Scotland because he had a dream to play for Australia. He has that opportunity. It's the same as Garang Kuol.

"The reason I did the Olympic team was to help the kids. They're all from different nations, and we've had some that have gone through tragic things early in their lives. They've come to Australia as refugees and Australia has helped them pursue their passion.
"Awer Mabil has more tears in his eyes when he plays for Australia than probably most people who were born here. It's the gratitude to what our nation has done for them, for their families, for their communities.

"That's what Australia is. It's a multicultural nation. And the Socceroos are probably the biggest reflection of that."

Many journeys. One jersey.

Remembrance Day​

On 11 November 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after four years of continuous warfare. With their armies retreating and close to collapse, German leaders signed an Armistice, bringing to an end the First World War.
As a mark of respect to those who have died and suffered, Australians are encouraged to pause at 11 am to observe one minute’s silence and remember those who died or suffered for Australia's cause in all wars and armed conflicts.
Collection Item C1005627
Accession Number: A03267
An unidentified cinematographer capturing the last shots to be fired before the armistice on 11 November 1918.



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Yup. We call it Veteran's Day here in the US. Some others call it Armistice Day.

Today is the USMC birthday.
I watched Cricket for a bit. I had someone who knew the game trying to explain it to me.

I understand the rules about as well as I understand the rules for Aussie Football. (Go Blues!)

The Rules of Cricket

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.
Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out.
When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side thats been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out.
Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.
There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.
When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!
that is the end of the game!

That's about how I remember it. I've also whacked a cricket ball with the bat before. I played a lot of baseball when I was younger and the mechanics were different but not entirely dissimilar.

As for the Carlton team (Go Blues!), I was lucky enough to visit your country a couple of times. I went there to spend time with a very lovely Aussie chick - who lived way out in the middle of nowhere, more or less. She was from Cann River.

Alas, I wasn't willing to move to Australia and she was unwilling to leave her family. We agreed that that was a bit of an impasse and still sometimes exchange pleasantries. Shortly after our separation, she got her ass kicked by a magpie. Her face was pretty messed up, but you can't tell today. She still looks as lovely as always.

So, that's how I'm a Blues fan (and not just the music). I had to root for someone, so it might as well be the 'home' team.

I kinda want to go to Australia again, but I want to go for other reasons. It's a darned shame that Sandown is closing. I guess they're gonna slap condos on it. They could have taken a hint from VIR and installed condos all around the track and then sell them at outlandish fees to racing enthusiasts.

I want to do so under a fake name, so I'll just say that I'm interested in renting a seat for some weekends in the Australian TCR circuit. It's really not as expensive as people think. It's not cheap, but as far as racing goes it's downright affordable.

Also, I think I may have mentioned some of this before. Ah well... The thread's so long who's gonna remember?!?

Well then, you've now heard at least part of the story twice.

That's not too bad... Wait until I'm on the 6th time recounting the tales and have completely forgotten that I'd mentioned it before!

I am getting old, after all.

There's a lot more to the story, but I enjoyed your country a great deal. I did not get killed by any drop bears.
Last night, a line of severe thunderstorms built up in eastern South Australia and proceeded to run in a nearly unbroken line across inland New South Wales and northern Victoria. These storms were fast moving, getting across most of the state and affecting the Tablelands and ACT, including Canberra this morning. We have already seen more than 300,000 lightning strikes until 8:30 this morning (an average of 10 strikes each second!). However, that is just the start of a potentially dangerous day for thunderstorms across eastern Australia.


Thunderstorms have already ripped through South Australia yesterday, causing very heavy rain and damaging wind gusts for many areas, and bubbled up across inland NSW through the afternoon. Within these storms, Adelaide Airport recorded a wind gust of 106 km/h, Moomba recorded a wind gust of 115 km/h and Grafton in NSW recorded a 93 km/h wind gust. This was in addition to almost 400,000 lightning strikes within 300 km of Adelaide yesterday that left more than 80,000 South Australians without power last night.

Today, the outbreak is expected to become much more widespread, with severe thunderstorms possible across inland NSW, southern Qld, and most of Vic, potentially including Melbourne. These storms bring the risk of destructive winds, large, possibly giant hail and heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding. As the afternoon continues, the risk will spread towards the coast, with a small chance of severe thunderstorms across Sydney in the afternoon.

That's a pretty big storm. I should look up a satellite view. Even Cann River is in the midst of it.
and wait !!....there's more

That article is dated 12th November....Today (14th) the weather here is very strong winds ....and looking and feeling very unsettled

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