Thursday, November 30, 2006
In the Hot Seat
Here's another photo from my day at the Richmond airshow. The RAAF guy let me climb all over his F-111. The most interesting seat for a bear is right at the tail on this nozzle between the engine tailpipes. I wouldn't like to sit here when the aircraft is flying though. It is the fuel dump valve and during the flying display it is where the flame for the "dump and burn" comes from.
On the Beach
Scruffy and I are busy playing on the beach at Matacawalevu in Fiji. Obviously this is a really safe beach for small bears, with not many crabs. Scruf is just the right colour to blend into the background and hide. Only his eyes and nose give him away. We have collected some of the seeds that wash up on Fijian beaches. The one I have is the biggest seed that I have ever seen. Mum says it is a coconut. If any crabs do get past the guards (Dad and Mum) I will roll them flat with this one.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
No Escape This Way
We spent last Christmas on Norfolk Island. Norfolk is a very pretty place with a very ugly early history. We spent lots of time visiting all of the old convict ruins. Mum drove every road on the island, even a few that she wasn't supposed to. No convict ever escaped from Norfolk. Scruffy and I can see why the ones who tried it in this boat didn't get very far.
Don't Miss the Early Ones
Blogs are kinda confusing to some folk. They are arranged with the last posting at the top. This means that the early ones fall off the bottom of the page. To see the early ones you have to look in the archive. You can see a link to my archive on the left of this page, near the top. Click on it to keep up with the continuing adventures of my mate Scruffy, the rest of my peculiar family, and me. By the way, the glassy-eyed look has nothing to do with Hamilton Island cocktails. That's our story and we are sticking to it.
Monday, November 27, 2006
We went for a drive from Coolangatta to Grafton and back again in February this year. We saw lots of lighthouses on the way. I managed to escape all the ambushes that crabs set up when we stopped at beaches, but this critter had me really spooked. Mum says it is a Big Prawn and that it only lives at Ballina. Maybe, but it is a lot bigger than me and prawns have shells and nippers so they are too much like crabs for my liking. I was very glad to be in the car where I could tease it but escape if it tried to get me.
Way back in July 2003 we went to Hamilton Island. Hamilton is a good place because you can get to just about anywhere in the Whitsunday group from it. Mum and Dad spent a lot of their time zipping around in boats to other islands. Scruffy and I usually stayed on dry land. The thing that I enjoyed most was the way you get around Hamilton. Everybody drives golf buggies!!!! Even bears can help drive. Here we are ready to head off to see more of the island. Mum is at the wheel, Scruffy and I are settled in the drink holders (ideal bear seats) ready to navigate her. Dad is late again. It is a bit embarassing to have to admit it, but Mum is a registered Hamilton Hoon.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Rocket for Bear
Santa bought me a rocket last Christmas. Here I am helping Dad set it up ready for launch. Sometimes Dad cheats and fires the rocket while I am clinging onto it. I don't mind because the trip is fun and with me attached the rocket doesn't go very high. To launch the rocket you have to jump really hard on the black bubble bit. This is hard for small bears so I get help from a heavier person. Can you see one in the picture?
Even in Canberra, it's hot right now. Sometimes we get to the beach in summer. Here I am sitting on a seat looking out on Manly beach. Manly is where Mum's family came from, so we visit it whenever we are in Sydney. Dad says Manly is not as good as the north coast beaches, but it is OK for me. Some day I will nag Dad into teaching me how to surf. In the meantime, the cricket is on and the Poms are in deep strife so I am sitting in front of the TV watching them go down the gurgler.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
The High Way From Kuranda
One of the things we do every time we go to Cairns is ride the Skyrail from Kuranda. We go up in the train and back on the Skyrail. Here's Scruffy and I in our gondola at the start of the trip, before the ground gets so far away. The scariest part for small bears is when the cableway drops over the edge of the range and down into Cairns. It is also when you get the most spectacular views so you don't really get too scared, not as much as some big people do.
Big Bro's Birthday
My bro Trent turned 24 yesterday. I like him because he thinks up lots of clever ways to tease Mum. Once he pegged all of us critters upside down on the curtain rails where Mum couldn't reach us. Another time he helped me look like I'd suicided by hanging in the garage above the spot where she parks her car. We took him out to his favorite Thai restaurant last night. I didn't like the food much, particularly Dad's really hot curry, but the wine was pretty good. They wouldn't let me have much.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Guess what. I can help drive trains. I think steam engines are the best. They breathe, hiss and puff just like a busy bear. This is the engine of the Zig-Zag Railway that runs from near Lithgow to Clarence in NSW. We were there in June 2004 and had a great trip on this historic track that used to take trains over the Blue Mountains. I got to climb on the engine, even in the driving cab. Mum roused on Dad for letting me get my fur sooty, but it was worth it, even the inevitable bath.
Deck Sport Anyone?
Here's one of the things Scruffy and I did on our Fiji trip while the oldies were off snorkelling. The hardest thing was climbing onto the frame where the crew of "Reef Escape" stored the quoits set. I am good at climbing, just check my earlier postings, but Scruff needed a bit of help. Not that it did him much good. Just count up the coloured quoits on the post and notice which bear is in the lead.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Marvelous Milla Milla
We went to Cairns in September 2005. Scruffy and I took Mum and Dad on a drive around the Atherton tableland. Here we are at Milla Milla Falls, one of the prettiest waterfalls in Australia. Scruffy had always wanted to visit here since he first saw that shampoo add, but when we visited the girl was not there so he wants to go back sometime. The trouble with waterfalls is that the spray makes your fur all wet and Mum makes you dry off immediately. But at least there aren't any crabs there.
It's Cricket Time!!!!!
It's cricket season again.This year our guys get another chance to thrash the villainous Poms and regain the ashes. I will be cheering them on.
Last season I didn't have my new Mac to watch the games on, so when the oldies were out and the TV was off I had to swipe Trent's laptop. Here I am watching the Windies go under as Lara fails once again. Go for it Punters and Gilly!!!! I will be bouncing around and cheering. Mum and Dad are taking me to Sydney to see a day-nighter in Feb, so don't let a small bear down.
By the way, the netball waterbottle is definitely not mine.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Fiji is Fantastic
Scruffy and I went to Fiji in August. Mum and Dad came along too. We went cruising around the islands in a boat owned by Captain Cook. I think that's right; the crew called the company Captain Cook Cruises. We visited lots of islands. Mum and Dad snorkelled a different reef every day and visited villages and schools on some islands. Scruffy and I stayed on the boat. Here we are in our cabin looking out at Nalauwaki village on Waya island. The oldies went to church there and surprisingly the church is still standing.
Bart the Balloonatic
I love balloons. If you get enough of them they can lift you right off the ground. Unka Mark and Dad once sent me up hundreds of meters attached to a big bundle, until Mum made them bring me back down. These are some left-over ones from Mum's 50th birthday party. They were just right for me to drift around the house with my paws just touching the floor. The trouble is that they die after a couple of days or pop in a scary way if they hit something sharp.
Here I am at Fort Denison, right in the middle of Sydney Harbour. It was built way back in 1857 when everybody was scared that the Russians would invade Sydney. It is an interesting place to visit and there are still cannons in the gunroom. The builders put the cannons in first, then built the walls around them. The cannons are too big to get the out again. That's the sort of job that Dad would do. The convicts that built the fort called it "pinchgut" because they weren't fed very much. Don't try to pinch my gut.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
This is Something You Don't See Every Day!
Evidently I am not the only critter to climb trees to get away from crabs. This Melbourne cow has got its own tree at Victoria Harbour and is up there every time we have gone past in the last 4 years. I think it must have got its head stuck one time and swung by the neck for a while. Mum always says that cows are just a big box with a leg at each corner. She is spot on with this guy. Actually, I have never seen crabs around this area, so the cow must be really cautious.
Sitting at St Kilda
Melbourne is one of our favourite places to visit. Here are Dad and I waiting for the ferry from St Kilda to Williamstown. St Kilda is where Unka Mark's AFL team come from. I like this trip across the top of Port Phillip bay. In fact I like boat trips anywhere.
Mum reackons this photo shows the strong family resemblance between Dad and me. I think she means that we both wear backpacks on trips. She wouldn't be taking a crack at our shape, would she?
Friday, November 17, 2006
A Borderline Case
Here I am with one foot in NSW and the other in Queensland. The post is near the lighthouse at Point Danger in Coolongatta. Posts are harder to climb that trees and there are no branches to sit on. Crabs can't climb them. At least Australian crabs can't and I am not going anywhere near them coconut crabs.
A Giant !!
I never really believed in giants before I met this guy. Talk about huge. He is bigger than all of Mum's bears and cows put together. Even his bear foot is bigger than me. He lives up on a shelf in the Nimmitabel bakery, where we often stop for a pie and caffien fix on our way down to the coast. I guess he is hanging out up there because it is safe from whatever it is that's the same sort of pest that crabs are down on the coast.
Important Message From Bart!!!
Listen carefully, this is important.
My blog is now big enough that it can't fit onto one web page. To see the earlier postings you need to look in the archives. There is a link to them on the left of this page. Remember that blogs are organized with the latest posting at the top and the earliest at the bottom. My earliest postings are important because they introduce you to my crazy family and friends. Please read the archives occasionally.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Scruffy and I at Smoky Cape lighthouse near South-West rocks in northern NSW. We visited here in August. The lighthouse is easy to drive to, but the walk up to it from the car park is steep so Dad had to carry us up. Maybe we will go back sometime and stay for a day or so in the keepers' cottage. Lighthouses are great places. They are usually so high up above the beach that there aren't any crabs around.
My New Computer
This is my new Mac. Mum and Dad bought it for me just so that I could do my blog. I think that Mum got fed up with the naughty words that Dad used when talking to our old PC and the viruses that it collected. She took us down to the Apple Centre and we got this beaut machine. I sit here every day telling Mum and Dad what to put in my blog. Mum and I are using Google Earth to plan our next big trip. She has promised to take me to Egypt next year so that I can see what the place on the monitor is really like. Just as well I have my passport and suitcase.
This is my Uncle Patrick. He is measuring me for something special that he and Mum are cooking up. The meanies won't tell me what they are up to. Uncle Paddy comes from the USA and has just become an Australian citizen. At the moment we trying to teach him the way words are said here in Australia. Dad calls this "de-Yankeefication and Dinkumization" of the language, whatever that means. Sometimes big people are confusing to a small bear.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Loaded With Bear
Another photo from the Richmond airshow. It shows why you should always treat small bears with respect. You never know what we have to bite you with. The RAAF pilot who sat me on this missile on his FA-18 said that it was the first time he had been loaded with bear rather than loaded for bear. I don't think that he really hunts bears in his jet. He seemed too nice for that. Anyhow, bears are too smart to give a jet a clear shot. In fact he wanted to keep me as his mascot but Mum wouldn't let him.
Where Did They Go?
These guys were a strange crew that I made friends with last Easter. They evidently liked the Canberra cold because they lived in the fridge for a while. When they got warm they really did start to sag and go soggy. They disappeared a couple of days after Easter and haven't been seen since. When I ask about them Dad just rubs his tummy and looks thoughtful.
My Aunty Vicki
This is Aunty Vicki, Mummy's friend. She keeps me from freezing during the Canberra winter by making sure I have warm clothes to wear. Here she is giving me my favoriter jumper which she had just knitted. Everybear needs an aunt like Vicki.
Meet Unka Mark
This is my big, tough Uncle Mark. He thinks up new things for me to do. He flew me on a kite and sent me up hundreds of metres tied to a bundle of balloons. I think it is fun but Mum panics until I am back down. Uncle Mark lets me drive his car too. He is a good guy even if he does barrack for the wrong AFL team.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I like trees. They are great to climb, to hide in, and to escape from crabs. One of the biggest ones I have seen so far is a big Morton Bay Fig tree on Norfolk Island. Scruffy and I went there with Mum and Dad last Christmas. The tree is so big that us bears look tiny in it.This photo shows you just how big the roots are. They are called buttress roots because they look like castle walls. Dad calls them "butt rest" roots because they are just right for him to sit on. Scruff and I preferred to sit on the rock.
Where We Sat on the Reef
Here's where Scruffy and I spent most of our time while Mum and Dad were snorkelling Hardy Reef. It is the porthole of the cabin on the pontoon where overnight visitors stay. Sitting here we had a great view of the reefs either side of the deep channel that the Reefworld pontoon is anchored in. We even sat here after sunset while Mum and Dad partied with the crew who live on the pontoon.
On the Reef
Scruffy and I went to the Whitsundays with Mum and Dad back in July 2003. We stayed overnight way out on the reef at the Reefworld pontoon, anchored at a place called Hardy Reef. We were the only visitors out there after the day trippers left at 4pm and Mum and Dad had the whole reef to snorkel by themselves. Scruffy and I stayed dry and saw lots of fish from the underwater theatre. Next day we all stayed dry while the day trippers clogged up the snorkelling area. We watched the reef as the tide rose and fell. Here we are on the top deck of the pontoon.
I really don't like crabs. They sneak up and nip your toes when you aren't looking. Every time we visit the coast I get nervous. When we went down to see the white lions we stayed in a cabin right near the water and there were stacks of crabs. Fortunately the little pests can't climb trees so I spent a lot of time at the top of this one. Dad took this photo when he was trying to get me down to go to bed.
Monday, November 13, 2006
My favourite way to relax after a hectic day is to borrow Mummy's iPod. Actually it is mine, but I let her think it is hers so that she keeps loading new music onto it for me. The iPod goes everywhere with us and even makes long car trips bear-able.
Dad showed me one of the ways cookies get into the cookie jar. Here we are getting a batch ready for cooking. This is one of the jobs that I think I will like. For this special chocolate batch the first thing is to get a bag of boring old arrowroot bikkies and bash them into powder. Dad let me thump the bikkies with a pestle and later on we mixed in coconut , chocolate and other yucky stuff. Mum says we made a mess, Dad ate most of the cookies and I had a sore back for a day or two.
My Marvelous Mustang
We went to the Richmond Australian Defence Force airshow on Sept 23. There were lots of aeroplanes; old ones like Dad likes and new noisy ones that Mum likes. I was able to climb on most of them even though they were roped off to keep people away from them. Here I am helping the ground crew prepare the RAAF museum's Mustang for flight. More aeroplane pictures later.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Cooky Jar = Trouble
I got into trouble today. Mum has got this very interesting new jar. When Dad had his morning coffee he took the top off it and guess what - it is full of cookies!! I had to see how the cookies grew in the jar so I climbed in when nobody was looking, but I got stuck. The meanies wouldn't get me out until they had laughed themselves silly and taken a photo. I still don't know how cookie jars grow cookies.
At Crowdy Head
We visited Crowdy Head lighthouse on Aug 22. Mum and Dad always visit lighthouses on our trips. They aim to get to every one in Australia that oldies can get to, so there will be lots of lighthouse pictures on my blog.Here is the gang at the lighthouse. Since we were travelling through dairying country we took our friend Holly Cow along so she could see cows in action. Actually cows don't get much action; they just eat all day which may explain Holly's shape.
At the Canberra show this year I met my TV hero, Constable Kenny Koala. His cute lady policeman helper let me get my photo taken with him. There were lots of Kenny clones there and I couldn't understand why. Dad explained that with an important job like Kenny's he needs lots of help and he has to use clones, just like Santa does.
My Big Brother
This is my big brother Trent. He is a rising young executive and owns a very flash car, so is reluctant to have his photo taken with teddy bears. To get this one Mum had to sneak in with me while he was still asleep. It will be fun when he checks my blog next.
Friday, November 10, 2006
SE-5a is a cutie
Last year I helped Dad build this model SE-5a for the Narromine Aviation Museum. It was not finished when this photo was taken. We still had the hardest part to do; the rigging. That is the stage where Mum blocks my ears so I can't hear some of the things that Dad says. We built 4 models for the museum. Visit and see them if you are going through Narromine. You will see lots more of my models here later. Mum says that I help keep Dad civilized and Dad says that I keep the Styrenus monsters at bay.
I really like fish. Mum and Dad spend a lot of their holidays snorkelling with fish, but they say I am too small and too much like shark-bait. They do take me to see fish though. This is one of the big tanks in the Melbourne aquarium. It has rays, sharks and lots of big fish and you can stay dry while you watch them.
Lions and Bear (no Tigers)
We often visit the Mogo Zoo, on the south coast of NSW. These cute little guys are a pair of white lions that had just been put on public display. I wanted to pat them but my mean Dad would't let me get any closer.
September last year (2005) we went to Cairns. Dad surprised Mum by taking her on a dinner cruise on "Ocean Spirit".
Mum can really dig into prawns; by the end of dinner the table was a great pile of prawn shells. Personally, I am a very tidy eater and don't go much on prawns.
The Bear Gang
Here's the gang, just after we got our passports. The other two are Scruffy and Samisch (Sam or Baby for short). Scruffy is the oldest, the shortest, and has a real grumpy attitude. Samisch is the youngest and is a bit of a fraidy-cat. Just as well they have me to balance things. The passports will be needed when we go overseas next year.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Transit of Mercury
This morning I was up before the Sun. We went to the top of Red Hill to see the Transit of Mercury. This is me using Mummy's Coronado PST. Cloud was a problem but we saw First Contact and about half the transit.
Meet my Mad Dad
This is my crazy Dad. His name is Vince. His great-great-great-grandfather was sent to NSW as a convict in 1830 and the convict ancestry shows every so often, like on this night during our visit to Norfolk Island. Dad retired this year after 40 years as a research astronomer at Mt Stromlo Observatory. He is teaching me to build model aeroplanes.
Meet my Yummy Mummy
This is my Mummy, Kim. Mummy loves travel, history and is studying Egyptian hieroglyphs. Mummy and I practice writing heiroglyphs every day. She has also been an astronomer for 35 years and owns two telescopes - one for looking at stars and galaxies and one especially designed to look safely at the Sun. She is teaching me painting and beading too.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Welcome to my blog!
G'day! I'm Bart and this is my blog about all of my adventures. I've travelled around lots of Australia and the South Pacific.
Keep watching as I post my stories.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
This is me!!!!
This is me. Since I've got my own green suitcase I'm ready to go!
Log in tomorrow to meet my family.