Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Info Scout Activity

Since 9th Dec I have enjoyed a variety of skiing conditions . The first days were in limited areas since the snow available was manmade the result of the snow cannons which were able to operate when the temperature was cold enough .
Eventually the real snow arrived and the photo is of some tracks I made early Sunday morning whilst only a few snowboards were about and able to chop up the scene . Since the 17th December there have been a few more snowy nights but with the temperature being above zero the resulting snow has produced wet powder which takes great effort to get through . Memories of Utah Champagne Powder conditions on my visit in 1993 leaves me frustrated and hoping that eventually a day will come when I get amongst Powder snow that is worth the effort . Photo of 3 Para Skiers who chose to visit Mayrhofen with their friends , their annual visits have been jeopardised by the story related elsewhere .
Those of you that are with Facebook would do well to publish that story on your wall . My request for you to do so OR “ unfriend ” me appears at present to have fallen on deaf ears ! New year resolutions are difficult to keep but you can be sure that I am intent on succeeding ! Saddened to hear that the Northern Territory of Oz is suffering flooding once more , hopefully the series of disasters from early 2011 will not be repeated this year . Am surprised to see little coverage of the Sydney -Hobart yacht race to date but saw some photos of the stormy weather around the Sydney Eastern beaches .

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Facebook friend showed a fundraising photo recently and did not respond to my request for info on the current status of Karen with whom I had exchanged some emails as a result of her visit to the TDU last January . Those of you that visited my blog about that time will have seen those posts that many viewed . Personally I hate seeing smokers and their attitude towards others that do not smoke . As early as 1967 I remember tossing a party goer out of my house as he stepped on a cigarette butt on the carpet ! Could be that he had meant to toss it into the fire but was too lazy to pick it up . As an Aussie I am only too aware of the annual death toll in Bush fires as a result of the “ careless disposal of cigarette butts ” but even in the city the butt is tossed into private property due to insensitivity or a “ superior attitude that smokers have towards non smokers ! Could they think they are so much more because they choose to burn their money ? In 1966 I had the opportunity to smoke tax free on the Fairstar as I was sailing to Oz but chose that time to STOP ! All at some time suffer the temptation to sample smoking and giving up smoking or resisting “ Peer pressure” at a young age is a sign of maturity . Regrettably the majority of the world has only awoken to the dangers of passive smoking in recent years . So many by-standers have lost their life through the efforts of others ! Nobody intends to harm others when they smoke but research has shown that smoking effects ALL ! In my final years in Sydney I reached the stage where I did not date Ladies who smoked regardless of their attraction , who wants to kiss an ashtray ? Regardless of a person’s cleanliness smoke gets into the skin and elsewhere so no matter how much breathe freshener is used the taste lingers . Used to be the case where you arrived home from a night out and had to leave your clothes on the balcony to get rid of the smoke , occasionally you would wake in the morning with a headache from the effects of the smoke at the event . Thankfully this is no longer the case for me ! Here in Austria if you smoke in a Taxi you will pay a 100 Euro penalty , the driver or their Company/Employer will pay 1000 Euros for the first offence BUT subsequent convictions carry a 10000 Euros penalty ! Can remember the days I drove a cab and the passenger would insist on the windows being closed as they smoked to keep out the cold , as the driver you were bound by the Taxi Council Code to comply with the passengers wishes . Reg Kommode would have a lot to answer for theses days . YES you read it right Ten Thousand Euros Penalty for allowing others to risk their health ! Karen was a Non Smoker all her life and paid the price for others thoughtless behaviour ! Below is my email to Karen’s email address : From: Skippy McCarthy Sent: Wednesday, 7 December 2011 9:23 PM To: karen ridehardtobreatheeasy Subject: REPLY 7/12/11: REPLY 1/03/2011: checkout www.parrabuddy.blogspot.com Saw a Leongatha Fund raise item and wondered how you are faring ? Reply received today : “ Skippy, I am replying on behalf of my wife Karen because unfortunately she lost her battle with cancer in September. We are about to kick her website back into life and have a committee set up to run it so things will start to move in the future. She was an amazing women with a bucketload of spirit and we all miss her but will continue what she started to honour her memory. Regards, Steve Link to my Blog entries : www.parrabuddy.blogspot.com/Courageinthefaceoflungcancer!!revisited Karen lived life to the full and inspired many ! R I P Karen


Two years in a row the Tennessee County of Obion’s Fire Fighters have arrived on the scene of a fire and because the family did not pay a $US75 annual fee let their property burn ! Standing by displaying the resources they Could be using sends a message that is chilling to ALL ! Are the bean counters to pathetic that they allow the equipment to be used ONLY after they have checked their records to see if the unfortunate have paid the annual subscription ? Or was the Fire deliberately set because the unfortunates had refused to subscribe and thus these people were chosen to make an example and encourage others to meet their demands ? Getting a fire unit and the personnel to the scene of a Fire costs money and resources BUT to then sit on their hands and allow the people’s property to be consumed by fire shows the most selfish and heartless attitude . That the mayor of that area is “ Just Fine ” with these “ Adults ” behaving in this despicable manner sends a message far different than that intended ! Those living in or near this community must be disgusted by these actions and wonder if they will become the subject of this pathetic behaviour if they find themselves financially embarrassed in the future . One wonders if these firefighters attend any of the local churches and how their fellow worshippers feel about welcoming them at thses services ? Anywhere else in the world the firefighters would risk life and limb to save Life and Property and worry about “ membership dues ” after the event ! Normally those that join the Emergency services are a special kind of person , caring for their neighbours and dedicated to doing the best job they can . In many places that I have lived these Firefighters are Voluntary and thus give up their free time to train and leave their “ workplace ” when called out to attend any emergency where their skills can be used . Normally Fires and Road accidents are their province of operation but climbing trees to save cats and even waterborne events are some of the occasions of which one reads . About this time of year you will find many events in Austria which the Firefighters attend that prove to be fundraising efforts for additional equipment . So many of the “Oktoberfests ” have entry fees levied by the local volunteer ( willigend ) “ Feurwehr Personnel ” and there will usually be a refreshment service serving food and drink also run by them . AS Australia enters another “ Bush Fire Season ” there will be events caused by both those callous and thoughtless , that will result in destruction of property and even life . Many families will lose property and homes maybe even loved ones BUT you will hear of stories where neighbours have risked their own homes to go to the aid of other neighbours’ property . Could any Aussie imagine the situation that has taken place TWICE in this Tennessee County . International news reports frequently on Worldwide disasters that see “ Firefighters and Other Emergency Service personnel ” catching early flights to the disaster zone ! Some of these are Professional Rescue people on standby but frequently they are Volunteers travelling at their OWN Expense to assist “ Those in Need ” ! These fine examples of Humanity would even turn out to help those in Tennessee if they saw those in need to their help . SouthWestern Mexico has just been hit with an earthquake and there is a Drug War in progress there making it an extremely dangerous situation but this “ Band of Brothers ” will put OTHERS needs before their own safety ! One of the Events that I hear of from time to time are the “ FireFighter’s Games ” which are attended by Fire Services from all over the world . I remember the day I went riding with Richard Virenque the Monday after he rode to victory on the Mont Ventoux . I was staying in the Avignon Hostel and met a fellow Aussie who seeing me in my cycling uniform started a conversation that led to him telling me of the “ Firefighters Games ” that he had just attended . Being a keen cyclist he was interested in my exploits and had he not been heading off for his flight back to Oz would have unpacked his bike . Those in the Fire fighting Community both Professional and Volunteer should take a look at this story : http://thinkprogress.org/special/2011/12/06/383580/tennesee-fire-fighters-family-home-burn/ And get together and send a message that excludes them from participation in ANY Event that they hold because these “ peasants ” are unworthy of being treated with any respect . No person that fails to render assistance to another would be happy with themselves for their cowardly actions but to sit by and enjoy others distress when you have brought the means of assistance to the disaster scene is beyond contempt !