Friday, January 27, 2006

Another Day, Another Hot Day

Things I have learnt from watching Memoirs of a Geisha:

- It is okay to sleep with as many people as you like, so long as your stated aim is to get closer to the man you love. You now have a legitimate excuse. Feel free and liberated.

- Wooden shoes with heels have no practical purpose at all...but damn girlfriend, will they get you the props you deserve!

- Westerner's have no idea about Eastern culture. Not much has changed.

- As The Beatles song said, "Money can't buy you love." But it can buy you a nice virgin if you desire.

- Be under no illusion that your parents love you. If they need the cash for drugs, they WILL sell you into the rough equivalent of slavery. Remember this in numerous flash backs.

If you leave this blog thinking I didn't like it, you would be wrong. I actually rather enjoyed it. Don't be confusing the messages now.

Quick fire update. All smokey and hazy this morning, like a huge blanket covering the valley. You can just make out the hills. Just. Still expecting temperatures in the mid thirties today, with Erica being the major town under threat. According to the CFA, the front is only 1.8km away from Erica proper, and 1.6km away from the Tyers Junction (which, happily enough in this instance, is no where near Tyers), and it is moving in a South-Easterly direction towards those places. In total, some 14 000 hectares have been burnt since last Thursday. Be sure to check the CFA website for further details, particularly regarding road closures and community meetings. No new photos today - the movie is still up though, and plenty of photos are available through my flickr site.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 9:01 AM :: 1 Comments:

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Howard Wrestling: Our New National Sport

Lovely header on last night's ABC 7.30 Report: "Howard Wrestles With Nationals". I would personally LOVE to see our Prime Minister literally wrestle a few Nationals. Can't you just picture it now? Lewd yellow and green shorts, long socks up to his knees, crouching low and moving crab like (or Zoidberg like) around the ring before leaping forward like a perverse jack-in-the-box before biting down Tyson-like on the ear of Barnaby Joyce. Hilarious! He does, of course, already have his own moniker or stage name - "The Man Of Steel" - as given to him by Bush (now there's one fire I wouldn't put out). Now all he needs is a signature move. Maybe he could have The Apology, bringing hippies and conservatives alike to their knees in a weeping infused featal position. He could also have The Walk, a powerful stride into the knees of his opponent, whilst babbling on about how he could have played cricket for Australia. Please put your suggestions in the comments section below - lets help this man get a new career!

More reasons to institute the death penalty today than raisins in a muffin; fire fighters from Shepparton who had come down to help fight the Moondarra-Erica fire returned to their motel room in Traralgon to find that thieves had STOLEN their wallets, phones and even their clothes. So now my list of "hate crimes" stands at 3: people who light fires intentionally in bushfire season, people who molest kids and people who steal from emergency relief workers helping at the scene of the crime. Its below looting.

A quick fire update. Today's forty degree temperatures and potential south-westerly wind means that Tyers, Yallourn and Tanjil are back under threat, so fingers crossed all round there. The CFA are reporting that fifty four fire fighters from the NSW Rural Fire Service will join 287 Parks Victoria, DSE and CFA personnel today to replace the tiring crews and assist in preventing spot fires and an expansion of the front. It has burnt over 13 000 hectares of bushland since it started about a week ago. Below I have FINALLY uploaded the widescreen shots, taken last Friday-Saturday.

Erica Fire: Now In Widescreen

Erica Fire: Now In Widescreen 2

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 7:45 PM :: 2 Comments:

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Fire Update, Monday Jan 23rd PM

Haze has started to lift here and the fire front has receded somewhat, moving directly away from Moe and back into the foothills. Still abysmally hot and still out of control though. A number of smaller grass fires have been springing up in the built up areas, particularly Newborough (Haunted Hills Road) and even out the back of Churchill in the Jeeralang's. So for pity's sake, if you see someone lighting a fire delibrately, punch them in the face for me.

The CFA have updated the major incident section on their website, and here is the executive summary (as of 3.50pm):

520 firefighters
59 trucks
17 bulldozers
4 aircraft
4 helicopters

Firefighters were successful in stopping the fire three kilometres north of Yallourn North last night and the level of threat to the areas of Tanjil, Tanjil South, Yallourn North and Tyers has currently subsided, though it has started to move back towards Erica and Rawson. In total nearly 10 000 hecatres of has been burnt in the Moondarra State Forrest and surrounds. Community information meetings will be held this evening at the Newborough Town Hall at 5pm, the Yallourn North Fire Station at 6.30pm and at the Tyers Fire Station at 8.00pm.

My mate in Erica said that the fire got up to 22km/h at some stages - "almost filled my nappy" was his quote. Here are some of his photos closer to the front:

Fire Bombing, Helicopter Style

Closer To The Front

For those locally, there are a number of road closures (as listed on the DSE website):

Purvis Rd at Becks Bridge Rd -No north bound
Walhalla Rd (Moe-Erica Rd) at Purvis Rd - No north bound
Tyers- Walhalla Rd at Rintouls Creek Rd - No north bound
Cowarr-Walhalla Rd at Maffra Rd - No north bound
(Parker corner) Walhalla-Thompson Valley Rd - No south bound
Walhalla Rd at Tyers-Walhalla Rd - no south bound
Tanjil Bren Rd/Mount Baw Baw Tourist Road - CLOSED
Old Sale-Walhalla Rd at Hunter Hill Rd - CLOSED
Hernes Oak - Freeway over-pass - no north bound
Coach Rd at Old Sale Rd - CLOSED
Moe North Rd at Golf Links Rd - CLOSED

A quick reminder that you can still download a short (less than 1mb) video of the firefront as of late Saturday afternoon by clicking HERE.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 4:28 PM :: 2 Comments:

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Fire Update, Monday Jan 23rd AM

Local ABC is now reporting that some 5000 hectares of the Moondarra State Forrest has been burnt and, still, no houses have been lost. Keep up the good work CFA.

The CFA website is now reporting that some 123 trucks are working on the Moondarra fire. The wind change came last night, pushing it back away from Moe-Tanjil South-Yallourn North-Tyers, but back onto Erica and Rawson. A mate up in Erica said that the fire was getting up to 22km/h at some stages. Quite a few of the pine and eucalyptus plantations have also gone up in big clouds of smoke.

No new photos: too much haze and smoke obscuring the mountain. Will get to the wide angle shots this afternoon and post an update then.

Another point for discussion in the comments section - "Deliberate Fire Starters Deserve The Death Penalty In Bushfire Season. Discuss"

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 9:16 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Moondarra Fire Video: 21-1-2006

As promised, a small panoramic video of the fires at Moondarra-Erica and now Yallourn North-Tyers et al. Provided by the happy go lucky folk at

Access the video HERE. (click the "here" word for the uninitiated...if you are old school:

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 9:53 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Night Time Burny Burny

Night time at the Moondarra fire. Pretty, in a worrying kind of way.
Night Time Burny Burny

More night fires

Yallourn North, now officially being evacuated totally. The real worry? A fire threatening the open cut, the biggest hole in the southern hemisphere aka a big coal mine.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 9:34 PM :: 1 Comments:

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The Roof Is STILL on fire

Latest photo, taken about 15 minutes ago from the front patio.

Erica Continues To Burn

Fresh wind gusts are playing havoc with fire control, and the front has spread, endangering the bigger towns of Yallourn North and Tyers, which is under "ember attack" as I type. To add insult to injury, one of the special helicopter water bombers just crashed after take off here at Latrobe Regional Airport. Pilot a ok, helicopter a total mess. Like the fire fighters needed that right now.

Will endeavour to upload more photos from yesterday to flickr, and yes still trying to get near a computer to do that widescreen shot:

In other news, it was my Dad's birthday yesterday, 70 years young. W00t for Dad!

***INCIDENT UPDATE 6.09pm***
Just got off the CFA (Victorian Country Fire Authority) website: The Moondarra-Erica (Region 9) fire is still friggin' huge and is classified is "going" as in...going badly. 118 trucks are there now, from places as far away as the Dandenong Ranges, and even some from outer NSW or so we just found out. There's a heap of traffic hitting that site, so be patinet.

Will also aim to put up a small video ASAP.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 5:56 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Roof Is On Fire

I live in the Latrobe Valley, some one and a half hours from Melbourne. It's nice. I like it down here; close to the beach, close to the mountains.

Maybe too close.

Erica, a small township some 15 - 25km from where I live, is on fire, or at the very least, surrounded by it. Badly. So is the Moondarra State Park. Has been since Thursday, when come muppet decided to light a fire on a 30 degree plus day. On my way out of town, I saw five more fire trucks on their way up to the mountain from as far away as the coast near Phillip Island. Today, a further 9 rocked along through the main street on their way up, this contingent from the Dandenong Ranges. By yesterday afternoon, there where some 25-30 trucks up there.

Erica Burns 4 Erica Burns 5

These photos were taken about 3.30pm yesterday afternoon and as yet the fire is yet to be brought under control. The fire has already burnt between 2800 and 3100 hectares (depending on whether you hit up the CFA or DSE) and has crossed over the Moe-Rawson Road.

The red line has to be an approximation, as the fire keeps jumping containment lines, and running along into the valleys. The grey area in the top right is Erica and Rawson. Next stop, Moe! Break out the bbq and lets have a brew.

So in your travels these next few days, think of the firies who are volunteering from across the country to put this bad boy out. Many thought to Andi, kicking it with the Erica CFA up there too. And for God's sake, don't light a naked flame on a hot day...

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 10:16 AM :: 1 Comments:

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Monday, January 16, 2006

Boonie and Stardust (I feel a musical coming on)

After nearly seven years, millions of dollars and more than 4 billion kilometres traveled, NASA's latest adventure returned to Earth yesterday...




With a teaspoon of dust.

Now I don't know about you, but for all that time, money and effort, I would want a little more than just a teaspoons' worth! I would want rocks! Flowers! Alien life forms! A long lost clone of Ripley's pet cat! EXTRA GODDAMN FRIES! Maybe I'm just a jaded, fast-food living, angry white boy rap person here, but American TV got it right! We want it bigger, better and NOW dangnamit!

It is in times of great distress such as this, that I turn to every blue blooded Australian male's icon: Boonie. Problem is that at the moment, Boonie just won't shut up:

...there's the Foster's sales guy who was out on the road on Friday delivering a box of 50 Talking Boonies to a hotel when they all came to life and started shouting at him. Luckily they all asked, "When are we going to the pub?"

Ahh Boonie. You make it all worth while.

Finally, it wouldn't be a Monday without some clergy involved in a sex-related controversy: The Church of Norway has forced a priest to resign from a panel set to judge bikini-clad women competing to be the country's Miss Universe contestant. Sad but true. Oh, it is a sorry day when priests cannot judge bikini contests! And lo! Did they weep as she removed her size 8, crying with praise for the Mounds of Sinai...

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 3:48 PM :: 2 Comments:

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

I Am Back/Why Am I Here?

Merry festive seasons to all. By now you should have finished celebrating whatever it is you choose to celebrate. I hope it was a happy and safe one for you regardless. Mine involved too little reading, many a close and quiet moment with the Pod of Dave and eating like a king. I recommend a check back at DealerMcDope's Live Journal page for a rundown on Hotham shenanigans).

And it is this time of year where tradition holds that we must reconnect with our innerselves on all sorts of levels. Feeling well connected enough with my inner (and outer) man, I decided I would merely reconnect with This Blog here. This Blog is, like all good wall mounted air conditioners, a really excellent place to vent. This Blog is, despite my best journalistic intentions, not written coherently or indeed correctly. This Blog is like a fine cheddar cheese left at the bottom of the fridge for a month; flaky, random, interesting and not something you want to eat before you go to bed. This Blog is, if nothing else, a bit of fun.

So, seeing as Januaray is The Official Month For Making Annoying Lists No One Cares For, I will add to the chaos with my top 4 predictions of 2006:

1. The World Cup of Soccer, for all its best intentions, will be a massive televisual, entertainment and sporting flop in all nations bar the US Virgin Islands and Peru. Brazil will win again, playing seven strikers with only a token defender, the Italians will be caught in a scandal involving shampoo products whilst the Americans will go back to being also-rans, under the excuse of "we just don't care".

2. 2006 will suck so much better than 2005. This is because we always have to improve. This year, its the economy that will collapse in a screaming heap, thanks to opium addled OPEC reps dumping tonnes of oil onto Christmas Island. The world will switch back to the barter system, coconuts will become primary currency, and millions of fans of Monty Python will be seen haggling over the price of a number of lovely gords...

3. Virtual music of the Crazy Frog/Idol persuasion will continue to be popular, but the number one hits from around the world will actually come from dead people, mirroring an increasingly disturbing trend of the past few years. Hendrix will reach number one in the Ukraine, Lennon will have a hit album in France, whilst a collaboration between John Denver and Tupac will have England grind to a halt. Brittney Spears will top the charts in Japan, further proving that they have their finger on the pulse of popular music; yes she sucks, yes her career is deader than a cat swung too many times in a dunny.

4. For all these shocks, 2006 will bring a number of certainties:
- 27 new varities of iPod will be marketed and break new buying records (the Orange Jaffa Scratch-and-Sniff iPod will prove to be popular amongst junkies and DJs alike)
- Mariah Carey will mary someone in position of authority, and someone with a personality, filling the huge voids in her own make up.
- Scientology will crawl back under a rock and Kabala will no longer be popular after Madonna finds spiritual enlightenment within the pockets of Guy Ritchies pants. The new 'in' religion of 2006 will this be called "Lintopia", with many hayfever sufferers jumping on board.
- After filling the void with Poker left by the ice hockey lockout, ESPN will realise that no one watched hockey anyways, much to the disappointment of the Ottawa Senators who finally seemed to get it right. With a small nod to Cotton McKnight, the new insport will be EXTREME ARCTIC BLINDFOLD BILLIARDS! WHOOOOOAAA!
- Not so much a certainty, but a hope: Misha Barton, Tom Cruise and Kirsten Dunst will all be hit by the same bus as they leave a taping of Oprah after announcing their secret love tryst.

Lock this in the time capsule people. Its bound to be influential come December.

I thought we would kick off 2006 in style, and with a small nod to the true meaning of christmas; erotic bible calendars.

Finally, go vote in the Triple J Hottest 100. It's the top 100 songs you probably couldn't play to your mum, but are, surprisingly enough for most of you docile masses, alot more talented and musically adept than the 15th finalist on Australian Idol XV.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 9:57 PM :: 3 Comments:

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