Saturday, June 16, 2012


Today i became aware of the sorry way that USA treats it " Volunteer Fire Fighters "! Having lived in the " Bush / Outback " of Australia i was a member of a variety of the local township , Country Fire Authority , groups , joined in the training elsewhere , when away from home that Wagga Wagga and West Wyalong happened to be at various times in my younger years .

Recently i came across a bunch of DVD's , McLeod's Daughter , which contains footage of typical training scenario's . Can't say that i was impressed with the story line but it reminded me of many hilarious situations throughout the years . One benefit of being with the " Bushies " was that you got to meet the locals and the hospitality was amazing . Of course you also got to meet the Sisters and Daughters of your fellow volunteers , something that would not happen if you stayed in the local motel as you journeyed around the farms and stations selling the Steel Farm Buildings that Tulloch of Rhodes manufactured whilst they were trying to win orders for their " rattlers " that used to run around the railway system of Sydney . Tulloch even with diversification failed to make it into the 1970's so i joined Combined Insurance co of America . During those years i travelled throughout Victoria , Sth Australia and West Australia enjoying the scenery and the challenge that Selling Insurance to Farming Communities provided .

Being single i was footloose and fancy free and whilst " CIC " provided some structure to each day , in that we were  in each area , to renew Policies and seek new business , Monday evenings invariably started with a visit to the local " Fire House " seeking the schedule of local events and thus entree to meeting the locals . Of course being a new face in town could be a challenge to the local lads but as soon as they realised that i was only filling in time until the next location things became easier . Luckily for me , i rarely found myself in an area where there was a dangerous fire threat to deal with but i recall being in the Wimmera of Victoria when " Armstrong " was walking on the moon and the local area was flooding so donning Overalls and joining the pumping out of homes filled the day whilst my Team colleagues sat around in front of the TV .

Back to today ! How disgusting it is to see Fire Fighters being treated like " TRASH " by the US Insurance companies , unworthy of being allowed even basic Health Insurance , even whilst risking their lives to save the Insurance Companies having to pay out for Property lost in the fires that rage through negligence of the insurance holders ! That you can start a fire as some " Insured Firebugs " will often do , but not be able to be " insured whilst containing these same Fires " strikes me as weird !

Where do Volunteers come from , "MR Insurance Company "? Rarely do small towns have the resources to have 24/7 Fire Fighters ! So locals step forward and give up their family time or other personal time to serve their community . Certainly they enjoy friendships and other perks that come from these activities , but there are some that are more dedicated than others and to be left " UNINSURED " because they enjoy serving their community is WRONG !

Whilst working in Oz i was always " Insured " , never ever gave a thought to what would happen " IF "! I was as said before " young and fancy free , and things are different in each country BUT fire is dangerous where ever you are in the World and the least ANY COMMUNITY can do is make sure their FIREFIGHTERS have " Basic Health Insurance Coverage " ?

Go to this link and offer your support :

What is the saying : USA , land of the free , HOME OF THE BRAVE ? Time Obama did some " fence mending !

In another post , last year , i described the behaviour of some " firefighters " that sat by and watched the home of a " Non Contributing Local " , burn to the ground , hopefully those people have been censored by their community . Even more to the point , the people who lost their home , hopefully they are in a better situation these days ?

ADDED 6/07/12

Comment to that hopefully will remind those with neighbours NOT INSURED , to act on their behalf !
 Timely post since the summer with good weather also increases the hazards of living in the country !
 Those who go in " harm's way " to protect their neighbours rarely get the recognition that is their rightful due !
 Checkout and sign this petition :

Last time i was in the Salt Lake area was after 12ft of snow , the Skiing was excellent through the great natural beauty BUT i returned to Oz in time to join efforts to fight Bushfires on the outskirts of Nth Sydney another area of Natural beauty ! What a contrast !

 Whilst sitting in contra traffic whilst the roadside is being trimmed , remember that this is also a defence against the ravages of summer fires , some caused by the casual tossed fag end !
 Visit the link above , perhaps act on their behalf AND review your OWN preparedness for the by products of others misfortunes . Often wondered about Fatty's gardening activities and those of his neighbours ?

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Cuddles never was my favourite Cycle Racer , but these past few days have shown why he is such a champion and so badly misunderstood by many !

When i caught up with him on Saturday , i mentioned that i had been at L'Alp d'Huez for a couple of days with the Dutch " Alpe HuSes Challenge " , that Cancer Research Project , that raises masses of money ! I heard 32 Million Euros has been raised todate , this year , but there is still the Mont Ventoux Event , in September , to top off this year's result !

Incredible to think that 5000 Dutch Cyclists ride for two days as many as 6 times the L'Alpe d'huez climb , for many the highlight of their cycling season , for others a challenge hard to resist . When interviewed on Dutch National TV i stated i was there , since Cadel Evans was busy winning the Dauphine Libere , wearing a BMC kit , supplied by " GRAN BIKES " in Torino , i hope i looked the part .

Anyway Cuddles , replied that i did not look much like a " body double " !

Sunday morning , today , i was awake early and with a misty rain falling decided to ride the day's etappe early , as rain was predicted by many ! Getting around the course and back to Morzine left me fairly soaked so i was glad i chose to wear the BMC kit once again .

In Morzine , once again , i found the BMC Team Pullman , parked at the centre of town near the start line , luckily for me i arrived at the same time as Cadel , hence the photo !

After the event i came across Cadel as he rode from the Podium back to the Team pullman with his young son , with him , on the bike , photos here !

In McDonalds at Martigny without power cable , preparing for the Tour de Suisse in the morning so will add more later !

Earlier i had come across Brad Wiggins near the Podium . I said to him regarding the " Tour de France " ,
" Be the best you CAN , everything else will be icing on the cake "!

In other Blog Posts i have stated that i expect that the Winner of  this edition of the " Le Tour " will come out of the " Blue " ! Still believe this will be the case but hope that both Cadel and Brad will push the eventual Winner all the way to Paris !

Some of the French that are found at the Dauphine Libere :

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


With the sun warming Varese i arrived at the lake to find the cream of Australian Rowing Talent hard at work well before office hours !

My camera was not working so Curtis , a coach , kindly helped out with the photos .

Miss Australia looks like she would run 2nd to these ladies !

Fuller report will follow later in the week !

OF COURSE the men were at work also .