Saturday, December 30, 2006
Don't Obey the Sign
You see this sort of sign all through our national parks. We found this one on Kangaroo Island back in 2003. The message may be fine when applied to roos, wombats and koalas but most certainly does not apply to the sort of animals shown here. Please, if you see these particular critters in your wanderings, feed them very well. The big one is partial to ham and tomato sandwiches and Cascade Light.
Hi everybody. No updates for a few days because I have been busy watching the cricket and learning to drive my new car.
What a poor show the Poms put up in the 4th test. I think their team will have to apply for refugee status here because they must be worried about having to go back to England. Beaten by an innings and 99 runs. Four losses out of four games. And they are supposed to be the second best team in the world! Bring the Windies back!
My car is great. Dad is getting pretty good at getting it to go the full length of the tiled floor downstairs, Mum worries about the furniture. The only problem I have is that Scruffy and Samisch keep piling on whenever they hear me start it up.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
I was up real early on Christmas morning. OK, I went to sleep on Santa Guard duty. Guess what. There was a whole new pile of presents that appeared overnight. The whiskery gent obviously snuck in after all. I crawled all over the pile looking for something labelled "Bart" and there it was!! A beautiful Bart-sized racing car, coloured British racing green. Not radio-controlled, but even better. This one is parent-controlled. Any accident, like bumping into furniture and leaving scratches on things can be blamed on them. I am going to have fun with this one and can't wait to see the looks on Scruffy and Samisch when they see it.
By the way, if you click on the photos on my blog you can see them much bigger.
Mum is a year older. Her birthday is December 22. This used to be a bit rough on her because everybody would combine her birthday and Christmas celebrations into just one event. This doesn't happen any more. Dad, Big Bro and I make sure she gets two special days. This year we took her out to the revolving restaurant way up high in Telstra tower. This is on Black Mountain, the highest place in the centre of Canberra. Great views from up there, specially when the lights come on after dark. Here's the view westward where there is not so much city. By the time it got dark enough and late enough for the floor to spin us toward the city Dad was too shaky to take unblurry images. It couldn't have been something in the wine, could it?
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Merry Christmas From Bart
Well, Santa didn't come early. I watched all last night and the only activity around this tree was family putting out their presents to each other. I know what's in most of these even if they don't. No sign of any labels saying "Bart". I hope they haven't forgotten that their guard-bear is included in this deal. I am hoping to meet Santa tonight. He won't forget small bears.
To all of my readers, have a safe, happy and merry Christmas.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Tonight I Go On Guard Duty
This is only the second Christmas that I can remember. It is the first one that I have been at home for. I am getting really excited. The oldies tell me that a Santa clone will dump all sorts of interesting stuff under this small tree some night soon. I don't see how that can happen, but I am not going to miss seeing it if it does. So tonight I take up a guard position under the tree and wait to see what happens. I have my trusty light-sabre just in case these reindeer critters get stroppy or the elves need to be kept in line. I am also wearing my halo so that Santa has no doubt that I have been a good small bear this year. I just hope I can keep awake.
Holidays are Here
Yay!! It's only two sleeps now until the whiskery old bloke makes his rounds. Most of Australia is now on holidays. Mum has a whole ten days off and we are planning a long session of painting and heiroglyphs. Dad is always on holidays.
I think that this cousin of mine has the right attitude to holiday time. Chill out and de-stress like him and his cobber. Talk about laid back, these guys are experts.
All the best for the holiday season from me and my peculiar family.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Them Whales Were Close
A pod of teenage humpback whales came over and played with us for a couple of hours. They were really close and really curious about the antics of the hyped-up passengers. One of them rubbed its tummy on the rudder. Another one spouted while Mum was taking its picture; it was so close that she got covered in whale snot (one of the highlights of her trip). These two came alongside while most of the crowd was looking over the other side so I got a good look at them from my window seat. One of them is "spyhopping" for a closer look at me. For a short time I was eye-to-eye with the biggest critter I have ever seen. I hope he was as excited as I was. We even heard them singing as they finally swam away, so they must have enjoyed the encounter too.
Watching for Whales
We visited Hervey Bay last September and went out for a day chasing whales. The boat we went on was a catamaran called "Shayla". It is a tiny boat, only taking 15 passengers at a time. It is also quite low, so you are right down close to the whales. It is not as fast as some of the big cats, but as the next post shows, you certainly get close to the whales. Here I am, sitting up near the front of the cabin keeping a lookout for whales while the people have morning tea. A bit of a problem really because I had never seen a whale before and was not sure what I was supposed to be looking for. When whales were spotted the people forgot all about me and rushed around getting great photos and even touching the whales. They left me sitting back here where all I could see was the backsides of people, not really a great view!!!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
We Got The Ashes Back!!!!!
What a Christmas present for us Aussies. Our lads thrashed the Poms and recovered the ashes. I have hardly moved from my telly-watching spot during the games. Now to see if we can make it 5 out of 5 and send them home really done.
By the way, don't forget to check the early posts in the archives.
A Most Dangerous Place
This peaceful-looking patch of sand near where we stay at Bateman's Bay is actually one of the most dangerous places for small bears. When the tide is high the sand is covered by water and kids play, swim and paddle boats all over it. But when the tide goes out it turns into a bear-trap. Crabs come out of their burrows in the millions. The sandflats are covered by a moving, clicking carpet of sudden death to toes. The only sensible thing to do is just what Scruffy, Samisch and I are doing. Retreat to your cabin, shut the doors and wait for the little monsters to go back when the tide comes in again.
Another Captain Cook Trip
Last September we went on a cruise along the Great Barrier Reef. The ship was Captain Cook's "Reef Endeavour". This is a bit bigger than our Fiji boat "Reef Escape", but it gets you to just as many interesting places. Scruffy and I spend a lot of time on these trips looking out our window at the islands and reefs. Here we are looking at a very big island. It is Australia. We are anchored off Dunk Island and the houses on the mainland are at Mission Beach. Mum and Dad are getting ready to go ashore and explore Dunk. Scruff and I are settling in for an afternoon of watching boats go by.
Monday, December 18, 2006
My Very Own Business Card!!!!!
Guess what. Mum has got me my very own business card. She gave me a bundle of them as an early Christmas present. It has my blog url and my postal address on it, and looks great with my pawprints on it. I hope there are other presents in the pipeline.
Failure to Launch
I don't only like big boats like the Captain Cook ones, I like little ones too. This canoe was just lying on the river bank near our cabin on one of our trips to Bateman's Bay. I wanted to use it but Dad said it belonged to somebody. I watched it for hours but nobody came near it. So after everybody had gone to bed I sneaked out and tried to get it into the water. Remember, crabs are no problem when you are floating on the water, they are stuck on the bottom. Why do they make these canoe things so heavy? I had to give up and dodge hundreds of crabs on the way back to the cabin. Talk about failure to launch.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
An Interesting, Scary Place
Scruff and I are sitting in the Butterfly house at Kuranda. This is one of the places we visited during our Cairns trip last year. It is an interesting place, just like a small rainforest but totally indoors. It is full of butterflies of all descriptions. Some of them are almost as big as me. The most speccy ones are the blue Ulysses and the green Birdwings. The butterflies flutter right around you and land on everything, including visitors. I don't really like moths and butterflies fluttering around my head, neither does Mum.
My Fiji Ship
This is the ship that we go on to cruise around the Yasawa and Mamanuca islands in Fiji. It belongs to Captain Cook Cruises. Its name is "Reef Escape" in English, but if Fijian it is "Dro Ki Cakau". Our cabin was on the other side of the ship on the top deck. Trips on this boat are fantastic. It takes you right to the best reefs and villages. The crew is the friendliest and most helpful people that I have ever met. Scruffy and I are ready to go on it again anytime Dad gets the money together (hint, hint).
Friday, December 15, 2006
Waiting for the Ferry
One of the things we did on our trip into Queensland this year was to ride the ferry between Tewantin and Noosa. This is a very pretty trip along the Noosa river. You get to see some strange houseboats and the biggest pelican ever built. Mum, Scruffy and I are waiting for the ferry to arrive at Tewantin. Like all mothers, she is keeping a tight grip on Scruff and I so that we don't wander off and fall into the river while we are watching the fish below the wharf.
Waving Warily From the Window
This is the biggest aeroplane that I have been allowed to roam around in. It is a Boeing 707 converted to a tanker for the RAAF. The crew took me all over it at the Richmond airshow. Here I am waving to Mum and Dad from the cockpit window. The way Mum was panicking you would think that there were no parachutes on board.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Sitting on Top of the World
I'm sitting on toppa da world. We went down to Sydney last year to see an exhibition of ancient Egyptian stuff. Mum and I are learning heiroglyphs and we needed to practice on some real ones. We stayed in a tall hotel and I snuck out to see how high I could get. There was a rail all round the top floor and I was sitting on the rail when Mum and Dad caught up to me. The view was fantastic, but I got into trouble again. Evidently I should have taken my parachute or a bunch of balloons with me just in case I fell. Sometimes I don't understand my big people.
I Just Love Presents
Presents are great. It's really fun watching the face of someone unwrapping something, hoping it won't be another pair of socks. Here's Unka Mark unwrapping his birthday presents. No socks this time, and he let me help. Of course it is only 11 more sleeps now until Santa is supposed to do his thing. I hope he realizes that small bears are on the list as well. I am hoping for a foolproof, escape-proof crab trab and a Bart-sized car.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
There is nothing as relaxing as cruising. Fiji is our favorite place and Captain Cook's cruises are our favorite way to see it. When the oldies are off in the evening doing whatever they do in the lounge and dining room, Scruffy and I have the cabin to ourselves and we can just sit and watch the islands drift by and the Sun go down. Not sure what island this was because Dad had swiped the map.
Don't forget to check out the early posts. They have dropped off the bottom of this page but you can see them in the archives. Just click on the link at the left top of this page.
Eclipses are the Greatest
Mum always wanted to see a Total Solar Eclipse. Dad had seen three and Mum thought that was grossly unfair, so when one happened in Australia on 4 Dec 2002 there was no way we were going to miss it. Mum, Dad, Scruffy and I flew to Adelaide and hired a car to drive to Ceduna. None of us had ever been there before and it was a very interesting trip. Dad has just started scanning the photos from the trip, so you will see more of them later.
Ceduna was flooded with astronomers from all over the world. We found a spot right on the centre-line and away from the crowd. Now there is one thing you have to be really careful about when you are watching an eclipse and that is to protect your eyes. The Sun can blind you if you look right at it. Scruff and I had the proper solar shades. Here's Uncle Joe setting us up so we can watch the whole show. Mum went totally hyper at totality and can't wait for the next one at Cairns in 2012. Neither can I.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Santa Claus is Coming
Guess what. It is only a fortnight to Christmas. This is the first Christmas that I have been old enough to help plan for. It is a bit difficult keeping all of the secrets that Mum, Dad and Trent tell me. I know what they are giving each other. Nobody has told me if I am getting any presents. They say it is Santa's job to look after presents for kids and small bears. I have my hopes. Anyway, we put up our hi-tech fibre-optic tree today and I am camping out under it so that if Santa or any of his snoopy elves come around I can get the word straight from them. Mum can have these ear-danglies back soon; they make my ears droop.
The Biggest One
This is the biggest model aeroplane that Dad and I have built so far. Actually Dad built a bigger one, a B-36, but that was before me so it doesn't count. This is B-52B. We have a later version, a G model, to build later but this has to wait until Dad builds more shelves. We have over 800 aeroplane models in Dad's hobby room. My job is to help him read the plans, help cuss the mistakes, and fight off the Styrenus monsters that live in the carpet and eat small components that get dropped. I am good at it.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Bear near Bondi
It's 32 degrees in Canberra today. Days like this I think of the beach. This photo was taken on the coast walk north of Bondi. Mum and Dad took me along bits of the track in summer 2003. This walk along the beaches in Sydney is a great one for really fit people, but lazy bears use the Bondi Explorer bus and hop off at interesting spots for a while then hop back on to go to the next beach.
No post yesterday because I was so exhausted cheering our lads on in that brilliant win over the pernicious Poms. One more win and the Ashes come back where they belong.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Is This Really Necessary?
Now just hang on a minute. I know I said border security was necessary but this is going a bit too far. All I wanted to do was to go up to the observation deck at Q1. Q1 is the world's tallest fully residential tower. It is on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Before I could even get in the door the security guy grabbed me and put me through a full body search. As if a small bear would be a suicide bomber! Anyhow, it was worth it. The view was spectacular and I met a real cutie. You may see her photo later.
My favorite TV show is "Border Security". As an experienced traveller I know how important Customs and Immigration control is for our country. I like to see the "clever" types and the idiots get caught. If it was up to me I would be a lot harder on most of them. It is really sad that my application to be a sniffer bear was rejected.
Here's That Spitfire
I promised you this last time I posted so here it is, Australia's newest flying Spitfire, and I am here with it at Temora. This one is a Mk XVI, one of the last Merlin engined ones. It is great to have a place where small bears can see two Spitfires flying. Mum says a day at Temora gets me higher than a day on too much red cordial.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Another Foto From Fiji
Here's a photo of Scruffy and I playing Robinson Crusoe in Fiji. We have climbed up this coconut palm to see how far we can see across the Naviti channel. If we were a bit bigger we could have got some coconuts as well. On one of the other islands we had a drink of coconut milk from a nut that one of the island boys opened for us. I didn't like it much. Dad said he preferred Fiji Bitter, but the meanie wouldn't let me try any. By the way, Fiji crabs can't climb this high.
Temora is Terrific
On Saturday we went to the flying day at Temora Aviation Museum. This is where you can get really close to come interesting aeroplanes. They fly really close to the crowd and after the flying is finished for the day you can go out on the tarmac and talk to the pilots. Dad likes the old 'planes like the Ryan STM behind me. Mum likes the jets, so she was really happy when an FA-18 turned up unexpectedly. I like all of them, especially the Spitfires. I will put a Spitfire photo on the page tomorrow.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Sitting on the Fence
It was a cold, drizzly afternoon when this photo was taken. We had gone down to Merimbula for the Jazz Festival in June 2005 and the weather turned bad. I had to wear my cold-weather gear that Auntie Vicki made for me. We went for a drive down to Eden and up to one of our favorite lookout spots where you can see boats and sometimes even whales. While the others were looking out to sea I climbed over the safety fence to see how deep the inlet was on the other side. Mum was not happy.
A Puzzle Solved
Mum takes lots of video everywhere we go. She has been a bit puzzled by segments that she can't remember taking. She blames Dad for putting these bits on the tape to embarass her when she is showing the video to friends. Well, Dad is not guilty. The truth is that the fiendish combination of Bart (ace camerabear) and Scruffy (director and lookout) are responsible. We have taken some spectacular stuff when nobody is looking, so figure we should 'fess up and get the credit.