Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kosciuszko, Moreton Bay, Bernard Fanning, and An Irish Mystery

1. Had deja vu when I saw this article.  

A doctor from Egypt, working in Western Australia, has been denied permanent residency because his daughter is disabled. She has cerebral palsy, and the government thinks she'll be a burden to the health system.

A few years ago the same thing happened with a doctor who's child had Down Syndrome.

I think they eventually let the family stay, but it was a battle.

I would have hoped their battle would have prevented other people from having to endure the same battle.

2. Learned from my Australia travel guide book that Mount Kosciuszko was named after a Polish freedom fighter.

I didn't know that.

Lord Wiki says the name of the mountain was originally Mount Kosciusko.  Then in 1997 they changed the spelling of the name to better match its namesake.

The guy who named the mountain was Pawel Edmund Stzelecki.  He was a Polish explorer who climbed the mountain and named it.

3. Consulted Lord Wiki about Tadeusz Kosciuszko.

He wasn't just a Polish freedom fighter.  He was an American freedom fighter.

He fought on the side of the colonies during the American Revolutionary war.  Then he became an American citizen.

4. Learned from Lord Wiki that Kosciuszko eventually left the United States. He left with Thomas Jefferson as the executor of his American estate.  He requested that his money be given to a fund that would free African slaves and help them become educated and independent.

Unfortunately, that went wrong.  People did wrong. And none of the money went where it should have gone.

5. Felt a little emotional when I saw from Lord Wiki that there are many places around the world named after Kosciuszko.  

There's a Kosciusko, Texas.  It's near San Antonia.  I think it's a pretty small town. I have to zoom in a lot on Google Maps before I can see it.  

Lord Wiki says America also has a few statues of Kosciuszko.  There's one in Washington D.C

6. Saw that the Australian dollar has gone up even more. It's now equal to 1.03 American dollars.

I have to go back to my old post to see what it was last time. I think it was 1.01 or 1.02.

7. Saw that the last time I looked at the currency thing was Sunday. And the Australian dollar was worth 1.02 American dollars.

It's comparison to the British pound has stayed relatively the same.  It's still worth about .65 pounds.

It's worth 6.81 Swedish Kronor.  Last time I checked it was 6.78.  It's gone up a bit there.

The Australian dollar has also gone up in yen.  The last time I checked it was worth 78.12 yen.   Now it's worth 79.1 yen.

8. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read a story thread called Or Perhaps You'd Rather Be Nude.

It takes place in a wizarding robe store in Oliphant Lane, Melbourne's wizarding village.

The two characters in the story are Eudoxia Karras and a new guy named Henry Hunter.

Henry is a professor of practical magic...probably at the university, but I'm not sure yet.

9. Started reading the story.

It's the evening of Sunday, October 16.

It looks like Henry Hunter has recently moved to Victoria.  In his previous hometown, the robe shop folks knew him very well. He could just walk into the store and they would have clothes ready for him.  They knew his size and what he liked. Now Henry is wondering how long it will be before he has that type of relationship with the shop in Oliphant Lane.

Eudoxia is also in the shop.  She's looking for robes for her brother. He has a thing about starting fires, so she's thinking of getting him a fireproof robe.  

That might be wise.

10. Saw Eudoxia and Henry exchanging some small talk in the shop. It started with a question about the weather.

11. Learned that Henry is from England, and he's teaching at the university.

12. Started to read the biography of Henry Hunter.  

His face claim is Gordon Ramsey—the cooking guy.   From what I know of that man, I don't like him.   But then I really don't know much, so I suppose I'm being a bit prejudice.

13. Watched a video of Gordon Ramsey getting angry.

There's a lot of videos on YouTube with him getting angry.

He has quite a reputation.

And maybe there's more to him than that. Maybe he has anger issues, but is really nice when he's not angry. Maybe he gives a lot of money to charity.

I'm trying to think positively here....

14. Learned from Lord Wiki, that Ramsay would lie to vegetarians and feed them soup with chicken stock.

Yeah.  I'm not finding much to love about this guy.  

15. Started to read about Henry Hunter.

He's 42.  He was born in London. His Patronus is a hedgehog.

16. Learned that Henry Hunter is not like his face claim.  He's friendly and has a good sense of humor.  He likes games and jokes.

17. Thought of the dad in Gremlins when I read these lines. 

The man is perpetually tinkering with one thing or another irrespective of the time of day or the season (or what company may or may not be over at the time), and he has invented just as many useless things as he has destroyed.

18. Learned that Henry is a bit sexist....or maybe a lot sexist.

He doesn't think women are suited for proper charm work.

19. Saw that Henry does have something in common with Ramsay.  He has a hot temper. However he doesn't hold grudges.

I wonder if Ramsay holds grudges.  

20. Started to read about Henry Hunter's history.

His father is a wizard, and his mother is a Muggle.

The two met at a benefit event for Muggles. The wizarding Hunter family cared about Muggle-welfare and involved themselves in those types of charities.

21. Learned that at Hogwarts, Henry was sorted into the Ravenclaw house.

22. Learned that Henry lost his Ministry job in the UK because he started a lab fire.

He escaped to Australia feeling they were a backwater continent, and therefore probably wouldn't have heard of his reputation yet.

23. Amused by this bit about Henry.

Easily tricked or distracted out of a temper (or assignment... or anything) with questions about things that interest him.

That's kind of cute.

Henry Hunter is described as being a mad scientist.  Besides the Gremlins dad, it also reminds me of the Back to the Future guy.   

Henry is creative, but dangerous.

It sounds like he's a bit like Eudoxia's brother.  I wonder if she'll come to realize that.  

24. Read something in Summerland that reminded me of Sarah's fight with the bullies, in the Tallygarunga story I read yesterday.  

The narrator of Summerland says,

If a woman has obvious flaws, a man can, mentally, take out his anger upon them.  He can silently curse her breasts slopping across her like a pair of jowls, her rippled cellulite, her thick waist, her lank hair.  And then his recovery starts: he scolds himself for his unfair wrath.  

I think that's fascinating, and I feel there may be some truth to it.

Our anger at people can make us think really nasty things—superficial things, bigoted things, unfair things.  I know I've done this at times.

If we're relatively decent, we feel guilty about these things.  Then maybe some of the anger and disgust we direct at the other person is redirected towards ourselves.  This might somewhat calm our anger towards the other person.  

The key word, though, in Summerland is silent.  When Sarah insulted the bully for his weight, she was far from silent.  Because of this, I'm tempted to believe she sees no fault in her way of thinking, and no guilt for her words.

I could give her  the benefit of the doubt if something slipped out once.  Sometimes our secret shameful thoughts are blurted out in a moment of negative passion. But if they're said repeatedly, I would think there's no shame.

25. Saw that my Australian of the day is George Appel.

He was born in Germany in 1823.

When Appel was fifteen, he went to London and started working in a bank.

In his late twenties, Appel decided to seek gold in Australia.

He arrived in Melbourne and then headed off to Bendigo. He didn't have much luck there.

He moved on to the Moreton Bay area, which is a little bit north of Brisbane.

He took part in the German community and was a founding member of the first Lutheran church of South Brisbane.

If I'm reading this right, Hamburg Germany appointed Appel to be a sort of consul to Brisbane. I guess he was kind of a liaison between Germany and Queensland. 

26. Went to Silkw0rm1982's YouTube channel.  

Here's his cover of Crowded House's "Fall At Your Feet".

I think he has a nice voice.

27. Listened to Silkw0rm1982's cover of Bernard Fanning's "Wash Me Clean".

It's quite lovely.

I'm not sure I've ever heard the original.

28. Started looking at John Lampard's Flickr set of a garden in Mt Eliza Victoria.

29. Saw that Mt Eliza is a tiny bit south of Frankston.

One of my favorite Australians lives in Frankston.

30.  Liked the trees in this picture

31. Looked at the Australian Monopoly board

The next space for me is Wickham Terrace.  Lord Wiki has nothing to say about it.  But I'm assuming since it's part of the red property group, it's in Brisbane.

I'm not saying the color red symbolizes Brisbane. But the other two red properties were in Brisbane, so I'm assuming that's the case for Wickham Terrace.

32. Found Wickham Terrace on Google Maps.  It's near Brisbane Private Hospital

33. Saw on Google Maps, that there's a Wickham Park.

34. Learned that the name Wickham comes from a guy named John Clements Wickham.

He was a captain on the HMS Beagle.  This is the ship that was made famous by Charles Darwin's adventures.

He later became a police chief of the Moreton Bay area. 

This is the second time I've run into Moreton Bay today.

I'm having Moreton Bay synchronocity.  

35. Saw that there's one of those non-sleepover hotels on Wickham Terrace.

It's called The Mill Hotel

I'm looking at their menu right now.

They don't have a vegetarian option on their kid's menu.  I don't like that.  There's not many vegetarian options on the menu...period.

That doesn't necessarily mean there's no food for vegetarians.   They might be willing to make something vegetarian or put together a side plate of vegetables.

I've been to some places in which every dish has meat, and if you ask for something without meat, they look at you like you've lost your mind.    Actually....I've been to only one place like that recently— a Vietnamese restaurant in Fort Worth.  Most places these days are vegetarian friendly. The thing is, it's not just vegetarians who want to order meatless dishes.   Before I was vegetarian, I often wanted meatless meals.

36. Wondered. If I expect meat restaurants to serve vegetarian food, should I then expect vegetarian restaurants to serve a few meat dishes?

I decided my answer is....


There's a difference.

Meat eaters usually still eat vegetables, grains, and other stuff.  Unless they're on some kind of extreme protein-only diet, they should be able to find a vegetarian dish they can eat.

I do think the best restaurants are those that serve meat from ethical sources, and then also have a lot of vegetarian and vegan options.  Elevation Burger is like that.  The dead cows they use in their burgers are grass fed, organic, and free range....all that fun stuff.   Then they also have a vegetarian burger AND a vegan burger.  Oh, and what I love is they have a burger called Half The Guilt Burger.  You get one beef patty and one vegetarian patty.

37. Looked at my Australian travel guide.  I read about an explorer exploring a place.

Guess what place it was....

Moreton Bay!

That bay is haunting me today.

I'm going to be honest here.

The Australian travel guide is my designated bathroom book.   I like to read when I'm on the toilet.  I don't often mention that, because it seems to be such a guy thing.   But...well....there you go.

Maybe most women do it too.  Maybe I'm not alone.   It's just I more often hear men admitting to it.

Anyway, so I went to pee and ran into Moreton Bay again.

38. Consulted Lord Wiki about Moreton Bay.

Lord Wiki says it's the only place in Australia where the dugong gather in herds.  I guess it's their hang out place.

39. Learned the Aboriginal name for Moreton Bay is Quandamooka.

40. Learned that Moreton Bay is named after a Scottish astronomer named James Douglas. He was the Earl of Morton.

The change from Morton to Moreton was due to a spelling mistake.  Oops. 

James Douglas was the 14th Earl of Morton.  Now Scotland is on their 21st Earl of Morton. This guy's name is John Douglas.

I'm guessing all the Earls of Morton are related.

Why do they use the name Morton?

Why not say they're the Earl of Douglas?

41. Learned that Captain James Cook only passed by the bay, and that's when he named it.   That was in 1770.

Twenty-nine years later, in 1799 Matthew Flinders was the first to go IN the bay.

Twenty-five years after that, a guy named John Oxley brought in the first settlement.

It's amazing to me that so much time passes between these events.   My brain knows that.   But a part of me imagines it all happening at once.  Well, I don't picture it happening simultaneously.  I imagine it happening within a few months or years.  Sometimes, though, it's decades.  

So in the 1820's, there were convicts and soldiers in the area.

In the 1840's, ships with immigrants started to arrive.

41. Saw that one of the immigrant ships has the same name as a Tallygarunga wizard. Artemesia.  

Artemisia was the first ship to bring immigrants into Moreton Bay.  She arrived in December 1848.  

42. Learned from Lord Wiki that the relationship between the Quandamooka people and the Europeans was not a sweet one.   The white people showed a lack of respect for Aboriginal marriage rules and they desecrated sacred sites.  The other problem is the white people took over the land and there were not enough places for the Aboriginal people to hunt and father food. They started going after the stock animals, which I think is fair and understandable. 

The cattle grazers didn't think so. They thought this gave them valid reason to massacre the Quandamooka people.

43. Learned that, in March 2009, there was an oil spill in Moreton Bay. It was an environmental disaster.

That's bad, but the badness doesn't end there.   

In the 2011 Queensland flood, contaminated water got into the area.  Fishing folks were told not to catch anything.  The water was investigated, and the investigators learned there was sewage, pesticides, and metal in the water.  

44. Learned that there are 360 islands in Moreton Bay.

One of the islands is Bribie Island. I think I've heard of that.

Peel Island was used as a leper colony from 1907-1959.

45. Learned from Lord Wiki that there's a song called "Moreton Bay".

Now that he's said that, I'm thinking I've heard it before.  

46. Watched video with Moreton Bay song and scenes from the Ned Kelly movie. 

It's a pretty song.

Lord Wiki says it's about convicts being treated with brutality by a guy named Patrick Logan.

Logan was in command of the penal colony there from 1827-1830.

The convicts thought he was hateful, but some people see him as the father of Queensland.

It's interesting how there can be so many varying views about a person.

47. Learned Bernard Fanning is the one singing "Moreton Bay" in the video above.

It reminds me of this song that played at the end of this TV movie about Protestant and Catholic Irish children.  I forgot the name of the movie.  There was a program in America where they'd take in two kids—one from each side of the conflict.   It was a peace initiative.  

I like stuff like that...things that promote peace.  

48. Struggled to find the name of the movie.  This is frustrating.  It's so rare that I can't find the answers with googling.

I DID find that the program is called The Irish Children's Fund.  

You'd think knowing that would help me find the movie, but I'm still not having luck.

Anyway, it was a good the movie.   I used to love it. They played it during a tearjerker moment.

I'm guessing it's a style of music.  Irish folk music, perhaps?

Lord Wiki says "Moreton Bay" is an Australian folk song, which makes sense since it is about Australia.  I'd also say it was Irish, though, since the creator of the song was an Irish convict.

49. Listened to John Denver sing "Moreton Bay" on Spotify. I downloaded Spotify months ago, but didn't have a need to use it until today.

I tried to find Denver's performance on YouTube so I could embed it, but no such luck......

50. Listened to Barry Crocker sing "Moreton Bay".

I'm falling in love with this song.

I can totally imagine it making me cry if I heard it in a movie.  

51. Remembered the name of the TV movie!

I'm so happy.

It's called Children in the Crossfire.  

I found it by looking at the RareTvMovie YouTube channel.   They have a huge collection of American TV movies.  I actually didn't see that movie.  I saw a movie called Cross of Fire.  But that triggered my memory of the other movie's name.  

I think if I kept digging on this channel, I'd find Children in the Crossfire as well.   They seem to have everything.  

52. Searched through the channel.  It seems they DON'T have Children in the Crossfire. Oh well.   I'm still grateful to them for helping my memory out.  

Now that I've found what I was looking for, I have to admit I kind of enjoyed the challenge of searching.

53. Thought I wouldn't be able to find the song in the movie, but I did!

I thought the song was played only in the end, but it's also played in the least a little bit of it.

Google Video has it.  

54. Found the name of the song!

It's called "The Town I Loved So Well" and it's by the Dubliners.  

I think these are the lyrics that are played at the end of the movie.

But when I returned how my eyes have burned
To see how a town could be brought to it's knees
By the armored cars and the bombed-out bars
And the gas that hangs on to every breeze.
Now the army's installed by that old gasyard wall
And the damned barbed wire gets higher and higher
With their tanks and their guns, oh my god what have they done
To the town I loved so well.

Now the music's gone but they carry on
For their spirit's been bruised never broken
They will not forget but their hearts are set
On tomorrow and peace once again.
For what's done is done and what's won is won
And what's lost is lost and gone forever
I can only pray for a bright brand-new day
In the town I loved so well.

Here's a video of the song.