Monday, February 20, 2017

Sorry Guys! There will be no posts for the next few days as Otto is currently unwell. Bytes will return soon. - Elliot

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Quote for the Day

Sydney Suburbs: Bella Vista, Bellevue Hill, Belmore


Bella Vista:

33 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of The Hills Shire.

Name origin:
lizabeth Macarthur, wife of famed colonial settler John Macarthur (who was in England much of the time), farmed sheep on her 'Seven Hills Farm'. The Pearce family later acquired part of this property and built the homestead that they named ‘Bella Vista' after the beautiful, panoramic views form the hills.

Some comments:
  • The original land grant was to Joseph Foveaux in 1799. In 1801 he sold it to John and Elizabeth Macarthur.
  • With a string of past owners and farm uses, Bella Vista farm has contributed significantly to the development of Australian agriculture, including the first Merino sheep farm in Australia and the foundation of the Australian citrus fruit industry.
  • Today the size of the farm has been reduced but it remains an intact farm including homestead and out-buildings dating from the original 1799 Joseph Foveaux grant. 
  • The farm is now owned by The Hills Council.
  • Enjoy a social picnic and make use of the public BBQ facilities in the outer grounds of the farm or simply wander the walk ways and view the avenue of Bunya Pines that form the original driveway to the homestead.
  • Until the mid-1990s, the area was primarily used for small-scale agriculture. The suburb now sports several shopping complexes and a major hotel. It is rapidly becoming the main business centre within the Hills District. The biggest commercial area is the Norwest Business Park which incorporates retail, commercial, industrial and hotel developments. The industrial areas in West Bella Vista are still heavily under development,.

Elizabeth Macarthur

Bella Vista Farm

Bella Vista Farm

Bella Vista Farm

Lake in the middle of Norwest Business Park

Bellevue Hill:

5 kilometres east of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Municipality of Woollahra.

Name origin:
In the early 19th century, Irish-Australian immigrants referred to the area as Vinegar Hill, after the Battle of Vinegar Hill, an engagement during the 1798 uprising of the United Irishmen in south-east Ireland. In that engagement over 13,000 British soldiers attacked Irish rebels, the last attempt by the rebels to hold and defend ground against the British military (The convict rebellion of 1804 in Castle Hill came to be known as the Second battle of Vinegar Hill, after the first in Ireland in 1798). Governor Lachlan Macquarie took great exception to area being described as Vinegar Hill and named the suburb Bellevue Hill, the belle vue meaning beautiful view.

Some comments:
  • Bellevue Hill is known as one of Australia's wealthiest suburbs. 
  • Bellevue Hill has several historic houses that are on the Register of the National Estate, including Caerleon, Rona, Fairfax House and Cranbrook House, used as Government House and home to three governors and their families from 1901 to 1917.

Defeat at Vinegar Hill - illustrated by George Cruikshank (1845)



Fairfax House



14 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Canterbury-Bankstown Council.

Name origin:
Known as Darkwater in its early days, Belmore was named after the fourth Earl of Belmore, Governor of New South Wales from 1868-1872. 


Fourth Earl of Belmore (1835-1913)

Burwood Road, Belmore

St George Hotel, Belmore, [group portrait], ca 1919.
A gathering of service personnel and civilians outside the St George Hotel, 618 Canterbury Road (corner of Kingsgrove Road) Belmore. The photograph was probably taken on ANZAC Day.

Belmore fruit and vegetable markets, 1890’s 

Schoolchildren line up for free issue of soup and a slice of bread in the Depression, Belmore North Public School, Sydney, 2 August 1934

St George Hotel, 1895.
It is believed this photograph was taken on 1 February, 1895, the day the Sydenham to Belmore section of the Bankstown Railway Line was opened. The banner across the upstairs balcony reads: "Welcome to Belmore" and features a picture of a steam train.

Photograph of the west wing of "The Towers". The Norfolk Island Pine (behind the cow) grew into a very large tree and was a prominent feature in photographs of "The Towers" for over 100 years.
Photo taken about 1890's.

The Towers today, a heritage-listed house in Forsyth Street

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Quote for the Day

Moonshine, Bootleggers and NASCAR



The word "moonshine" is believed to be derived from the term "moonrakers" used for early English smugglers who did their work at night, that is, by the light of the moon. This in turn gave rise to “moonshine” as the term for illegally distilled whiskey, the Appalachian distillers doing their production and distribution at night.

Californian police agents dump illegal alcohol in 1925,


Until the late 1800’s, the term “bootleg” meant the upper part of a tall boot. Those bootlegs provided convenient places to secrete items such as guns and knives. They also served to hide flasks of liquor. 

A woman secreting a whiskey flask in her bootleg.
The swastika on the floor was considered a good luck symbol prior to the adoption of it by the Nazis.

From there it came to be applied to anything surreptitiously transported, sold or possessed. The term spread widely during Prohibition (1920-1933) in the United States, when production and possession of alcoholic beverages was outlawed by the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution. Those illegally distributing the unlawfully produced whiskey were known as “bootleggers”. Today the term refers generally to anything illegally obtained or sold: bootleg DVD’s, recordings, software, cosmetics etc. Interestingly it is usually used to describe something for which a lawful equivalent exists, hence there are bootleg DVD’s but there is no bootleg cocaine.

A truck ingeniously camouflaged by bootleggers during Prohibition, being inspected by authorities in Los Angeles, California.

Some prohibition pics . . .

Destruction of bootleg liquor


NASCAR and Bootleggers:

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) evolved out of bootlegging. Drivers ran bootleg whiskey, made primarily in the Appalachian region of the United States, to distribution outlets. They typically used small, fast vehicles to better evade the police and many modified their cars for speed and handling, as well as increased cargo capacity. For many the fast paced drive down twisty mountain roads became a thrill in itself. Prohibition was repealed in 1933 but many members of the public continued their taste for moonshine, keeping the drivers in business as they maintained their fast driving to avoid “revenuers”. As cars continued to improve, races and competitions amongst drivers started taking place away from the illicit alcohol delivery, especially in the southern states. That evolved into NASCAR. These days there is an annual reunion featuring retired moonshiners and the former federal agents who once chased them.



Beginnings of NASCAR:


Friday, February 17, 2017

Quote for the Day

Funny Friday Revisited

I am without internet at my home at the moment for an indeterminate period. As with most things in life, you take it for granted when it's there and don't appreciate it until it's gone.

As a result of not having internet I have not been able to prepare a fresh Funny Friday so here is a past Funny Friday posted from my office.

Hopefully you will enjoy it. Humour often deserves to be read and heard more than once.

Repost . . . 

A witch doctor, and related, theme this Funny Friday. It includes an item previously posted but as with some others in recent months, too good not to include. Enjoy Friday and the funnies . . . 

After being married for a few years, a man finds that he is no longer able to perform. He goes to his doctor who suggests a few things for him to try, but nothing works. Finally, the doctor tells him it's all in his mind and refers him to a psychiatrist. 

After a few visits to the psychiatrist, the shrink confesses, "I'm at a total loss as to how you can possibly be cured." 

In desperation, he goes to a witch doctor. 

The witch doctor tells him, "Certainly, I can cure this," and throws some powder on a flame. Suddenly there is a flash of billowing blue smoke. "This is very powerful healing," says the witch doctor, "but I must warn you, you will only be able to use it once a year. All you must do is say '1-2-3' and it shall rise for as long as you wish.

"What happens when it's over?" he asks the witch doctor. 

"Then, your partner must say '1-2-3-4' and it will go down. Do be warned though, it will not work again for another year.

That night the man is ready to surprise his wife with his good news. As he's laying next to her in bed, he says "1-2-3" and immediately gets an erection. 

Turning over towards him, his wife asks, "What did you say '1-2-3 for?" 

And THAT my friends, is why we should NEVER end a sentence with a preposition. 

A witch doctor from a tribe in deepest, darkest Africa is sent by his chief to visit Britain in order to sample a different culture. 

On his return the chief asks him how it was and what new things he did. 

The witch doctor tells him about this building he went into one night. He says, "There were loads of guys with big bellies drinking something called beer and throwing miniature spears at a circular board with a small circle in the middle and numbers all round the outside. The men asked me if I wanted a shot and I told them yes." 

"And how did you get on?" asked the chief. 

"Brilliant," replied the witch doctor. "Every time I threw a spear, I got it to land dead centre of the board and everybody in the place started cheering me and slapping me on the back." 

"Really", says the chief, "and what was this game called?" 

"Jammy black bastard," says the witch doctor. 

I was shocked when my adopted daughter told me she was going to marry a witch doctor. 

"Why do you want to do that?" I asked. 

"Pwobabwy for financial secuwity," she replied. 

A man found himself lost and wandering in a forest. After a few hours trying to find his way, he came upon a small house. He knocked on the door and was greeted by an old Chinese man with a long, grey beard. 

"I'm lost," said the man, "can you put me up for the night?" 

"Certainly," the Chinese old man said, "but on one condition. If you so much as lay a finger on my daughter, I will inflict upon you the three worst Chinese tortures known to man". 

"Ok," said the man, thinking that the daughter must be pretty old as well, and entered the house. Before dinner, the daughter came down the stairs. She was young, beautiful, and had a nice shape. She was obviously attracted to the man since she couldn't keep her eyes off him during the meal. Remembering the old man's warning, he ignored her and went up to bed alone. 

During the night, he could no longer bear it and sneaked into her room for a night of passion. He was careful to keep everything quiet so the old man wouldn't hear. Near dawn, he crept back to his room exhausted, but happy. 

He woke to feel a pressure on his chest. Opening his eyes, he saw a large rock on his chest with a note on it that read "Chinese Torture 1: Large rock on chest". 

"Well that's pretty crappy," he thought, "If that's the best the old man can do then I don't have much to worry about". He picked the rock up, walked over to the window and threw the rock out. 

As he did, so he noticed another note on it that read "Chinese Torture 2: Rock tied to left testicle". In panic, he glanced down and saw the rope that was already getting close to the end. Figuring that a few broken bones were better than castration, he jumped out of the window after the rock. 

As he plummeted downward, he saw a large sign on the ground that read "Chinese Torture 3: Right testicle tied to bedpost". 

One day there was an Indian chief who was constipated. he sent one of his warriors to the witch doctor to get some medicine. The warrior says "Big Chief, no shit". The doctor gave him a pill and told him that the chief should be fine tomorrow. 

The warrior went back to the chief and gave him the pill. the next morning the warrior was sent back to the witch doctor and says "Big chief, no shit". The doctor gives him five pills and tells him to give them to the chief. 

The next day the warrior appears at the witch doctor's house yet again saying "Big chief, no shit". The witch doctor gets annoyed and so gives the warrior the whole bottle of pills to give to the chief. 

The next day the warrior goes back to the witch doctor: 

"Big shit, no chief". 

In the greatest days of the British Empire, a new commanding officer was sent to a jungle outpost to relieve the retiring colonel. 

After welcoming his replacement and showing the courtesies (gin and tonic, cucumber sandwiches) that protocol decrees, the retiring colonel said "You must meet Captain Smithers, my right-hand man. God, he's really the strength of this office. His talent is simply boundless." 

Smithers was summoned and introduced to the new CO, who was surprised to meet a toothless, hairless, scabbed and pockmarked specimen of humanity, a particularly unattractive man less than three foot tall. 

"Smithers, old man, tell your new CO about yourself." 

"Well, sir, I graduated with honours from Sandhurst, joined the regiment and won the Military Cross and Bar after three expeditions behind enemy lines. I've represented Great Britain in equestrian events and won a Silver Medal in the middleweight division of the Olympics. 

I have researched the history of ...." 

Here the colonel interrupted, "Yes, yes, never mind that Smithers, the CO can find all that in your file. 

Tell him about the day you told the witch doctor to get fucked." 

Corn Corner: 

An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin strip of elk hide and gave it to the chief, instructing him to bite off, chew and swallow one inch of the leather every day. 

After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling. 

The chief shrugged and said, "The thong is ended but the malady lingers on."

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Quote for the Day

Last Words


"I'm going to the bathroom to read."

- Elvis Presley (1935 – 1977)

Spoken to his fiancee, Ginger Alden, in bed at his Memphis mansion, Graceland when he was having problems sleeping. She replied "OK, but don't fall asleep.” Two hours later she found him dead on the bathroom floor. Although he was taking multiple medications and drugs (in the first 8 months of 1977 his doc had prescribed him more than 10,000 doses of sedatives, amphetamines and narcotics), the autopsy attributed death to a sudden heart attack

Elvis with Ginger Alden

“I’m losing.”

- Frank Sinatra (1915 - 1998)

Sinatra died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles aged 82, after a heart attack. He had been in ill health during the last few years of his life and had been frequently hospitalized for heart and breathing problems, high blood pressure, pneumonia and bladder cancer. He was further diagnosed as having dementia. Sinatra’s wife Barbara was at his side when he died and had been encouraging him to fight his medical conditions but shortly before his death he spoke the words above. After his death, the lights on the Las Vegas strip were dimmed, the casinos observed a minute’s silence and the Empire State Building turned its lights blue.

Sinatra with wife Barbara Marx (widow of Marx brother Zeppo)

“Tomorrow, at sunrise, I shall no longer be here.” 

- Nostradamus (1503 – 1566)

Nostradamus was a French physician and reputed seer. Some swear by him, others say that alleged accuracy of his prophecies is the result of misinterpretation and forced explanations. He is alleged to have spoken the above words to his secretary on the evening before his death. Another version holds that he told his secretary "You will not find me alive at sunrise."


“Last tag.” 

- Richard B. Mellon (1858-1933)

Banker Richard B. Mellon and his brother Andrew played a game of tag that lasted seven decades. On his deathbed, Richard’s last words to his brother were as quoted above. His brother remained “it” until he died four years later."


“Yeah, country music.”

- Buddy Rich (1917-1987)

Drummer Buddy Rich died of heart failure following surgery for a malignant brain tumor. As he was being prepped for surgery, a nurse asked him, “Is there anything you can’t take?” Rich replied "Yeah, country music."