A businessman was at the pier of a
small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just
one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large
yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the Mexican on
the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch
them. The Mexican replied only a little while.
The businessman then asked why he didn't
stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had
enough to support his family's immediate needs. The businessman
then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time?
The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little,
play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria,
stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and
play guitar with my amigos; I have a full and busy life, señor."
The businessman scoffed, "I am
a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more
time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With
the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats;
eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead
of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly
to the processor and eventually open your own cannery. You
would control the product, processing and distribution. You
would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and
move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City
where you would run your expanding enterprise."
The Mexican fisherman asked, "But
señor, how long will this all take?" To which
the businessman replied, "15-20 years." "But
what then, señor?" The businessman laughed and
said, "That's the best part! When the time is right you
would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public
and become very rich. You would make millions." "Millions,
señor? Then what?" The businessman said, "Then
you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village
where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your
kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village
in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar
with your amigos."
The fisherman, still smiling, looked
up and said, "Isn't that what I'm doing right now?"
— Author Unknown
How much tuna are you working for?
Till next time then, and remember,
Don't Dream it, Be it!
Sat 18 Jun 2011
I've been a bit inspired by the products that
the boys are using to catalogue their photos and so have decided
to both try what they use (Bibble and Lightroom) but also upgrade
my home-grown program (SiiMAN, SImple Image MANager).
SiiMAN started life as Picman probably 15 years
ago in the heady days of VB6. On a few occasions I've considered
a rewrite in VB.NET and I even have a half-working program to show
for my troubles. But I've decided that I have too much time and
effort invested in my VB6 version so it's time for a revamp.
I still hope to give Bibble and Lightroom a try
but for the time being SiiMAN will have to do.
to some info about SiiMAN
Fri 23 Jun 2011
We're off today but before I have breakfast Chris
gets talking to a fellow camper. I join in and find that he (Lawrence
his name is) is a very interesting chap. He's English and has been
out here for six months every year for the last six years.
He's a scientist which is well above my pay grade
intellectually but we manage to cover subjects from Einstein's Special
theory of relativity to plastic bags. Why plastic bags?
Well it started when he said one of his interests
was proof reading and changing the rules for war games (one of his
hobbies), it seems he has a good eye for ambiguities in wording.
I see this all the time and it drives me nuts,
for example just the other day we saw a sign that read
"Please take you rubbish because bins are
not provided for"
Ummm, just exactly what is it that bins need anyway?
Lawrence's favourite appears to be (and here's
where we get to the plastic bags)
"Keep away from children in case of suffocation".
Well I've always been wary of children but now
I know that I can suffocate if I get too close to them I'll never
go near one again.
We finally leave the lookout, it's been a great
spot and we should be back here in a couple of months but for now
we have roads to travel.
We drive to Tom Price and for the first time see
the landscape between the Karijiji East and West entrances. It's
There's some shopping to be done in town, food
mostly but Chris is keen to get a doona to fight the night time
She sees one in Coles and grabs it, while there
she also sees some nice fleece blankets and gets them as well.
Then we fill the water tanks from the tap near
the squash courts and get back on the road, heading for Halfway
Bridge where we plan to camp for the night. It's about 35k down
the Paraburdoo road but when we get there we see it's not only small
but already crowded.
We continue a short distance to the Dingo Creek
track and pull in there for the night.
Sat 24 Jun 2011
It was very cold last night so Chris decided I
should have a doona as well. We drive back into town but they have
all gone. Bummer, but they still have the fleece blankets so I get
two of them instead.
Sun 26 Jun 2011
We drive for 250-odd kilometres to House River
bridge, a known good campsite but when we finally get there it's
a bit packed for our liking. We decide to continue and pull into
the first track we find but on our way out Chris sees a spot about
300m from the main campsite so we drop anchor there for the night.
Tue 28 Jun 2011
More driving, this time we plan to stay at the
Robe River rest area, however when we get there we find that the
only 3-4 good spots are taken. We do a recce 17k up the track to
Peter Creek and find an area just as good with no people.
We return to the truck and move the whole circus
to Peter Creek.
Our campsite at Peter Creek.
Fri 1 Jul 2011
Of again, this time we expect to get to 40-mile
camp, we've been there before and it's not a bad spot. Right on
the beach which is nice but lots of people which is not so nice.
There is however a place we haven't been to before
about 35k north of the Fortescue road house. To be honest the description
doesn't sound that great but it's only 1k off the highway on the
Fortescue River Mouth road so it's worth a look.
We get there and immediately set up camp. While
one could say the parking area is a large sloping dust bowl with
nothing to recommend it, if you ignore that and look the other way
you have a lovely pool with plenty of bird life.
And I mean plenty.
There is a mob of corellas resident here that
must number in the 10s of 100s and as you may know most of the larger
Australian parrots are unbelievably noisy with a screech like a
banshee from hell.
So this ain't gonna be a quite campsite.
On the plus side corellas (and their galah cousins)
are a joy to watch. They are such comedians, hanging upside down,
climbing over each other, holding "hands", pushing another
bird away who appears to be getting a little friendly.
And then, for no apparent reason, the entire flock
takes off, circles a few times then lands again, sometimes in a
different set of trees, sometimes in the same ones.
Hours of fun for the whole family.
Corellas at the Old Government Well.
Sunset and a gum tree.
A grebe takes a bath.
Thu 7 Jul 2011
Gavin and Tracey arrive in Hobohome
and set up camp next to us.
Hobohome sets up camp next to us.
Dawn at the Old Govenment Well.
They have some work to do on the bus and figure
this might be a good place, especially as it comes with some built-in
help in the form of the neighbours.
It seems that they have a wheel alignment problem
and also the Bedford's brakes need adjusting.
Now you seldom get the words "Bedford"
and "brakes" in the same sentence without other words
like "crap" and "useless" included. I think
they used to be referred to as "retarders" not brakes
because all you can really depend on is that they will slow you
down somewhat, as for actually stopping, well that's in the hands
of the Gods.
Fri 8 Jul 2011
I help with the wheel alignment, or at least lay
on the ground under the bus so it looks like I'm helping. G&T
however decide to find a better place to do the brakes, they'll
wait until they get into Karratha where they will have access to
engineering facilities should they be required.
Fri 15 Jul 2011
Today we drive into karratha to do some shopping.
On the way back we pull over for a wide load.
A wide load on its way north.
The entire Pilbara is crawling with these wide
loads. This one isn't that large, some of them take up the entire
road and you really have to get out of the way.
Sun 31 Jul 2011
I spend some time photographing the Corellas,
as I said before they are a joy to watch.
More Corella hi-jinx at the Old Government Well.
Later, when making coffee after dinner, I go to
get some M&Ms from the fridge, they don't seem as cold as normal.
Maybe we left the door open for a while.
Mon 1 Aug 2011
One of the first things I do in the morning is
fill some water bottles and stick them in the freezer so we have
icy water to drink through the day.
This morning is no exception in that regard but
I notice that nothing seems as cold as it should be. Also the water
that has been in the freezer all night is not frozen.
The fridge has shat the bed.
I have a look at the back, remove the power and
replace it. The compressor runs for about a second then stops and
the diagnostic LED flashes.
I check the manual and that particular flash sequence
means either too much pressure for the compressor, a faulty compressor
motor, or a fault control unit.
Bugger, and we have a lot of frozen food.
Fortunately we have three other fridges but only
one of them us capable of freezing, and that's a small 15-litre
We start the other fridges and after a while distribute
the food between them. There's no way all the frozen food will fit
in the Engel so we have to decide what to eat and what to throw
Sat 6 Aug 2011
It's our last day here at the old well, we've
been here over a month now so I guess it's time to move on.
We've organised with a fridge mob in Port Hedland
to have them look at the fridge but we're running OK with the three
backups for the time being so there's no rush in that regard.
What we do need is water. We know where to get
some in Karratha but the tap is in a location that would not be
very convenient for us or indeed anybody else if we plonk the truck
next to it for an hour or so during a working day.
So we'll drive up to Karratha tomorrow, being
a Sunday there shouldn't be many people around.
Sun 7 Aug 2011
We drive up to Karratha and I pull into the Shell
depot in the light industrial area (LIA). This is where the tap
is and why I don't want to be here on a week day because I'll obstruct
a large part of the forecourt for ages.
I start filling up and a truck pulls in, there's
room for us both so that's not a problem. The driver and I get chatting.
He's Irish and over here working as a truck driver.
He was transporting live cattle up north but some politician said
the wrong thing and insulted the Indonesians who are the main customer
for our cattle.
They shut the trade down and this guy was out
of work. So he came further south and appears to have found another
With full tanks we drive around the corner and
set up camp on a vacant lot at the back of the LIA.
Mon 8 Aug 2011
We need a couple of gas bottles filled so drive
the truck into an open area near the main shopping centre. I take
the two bottles around to the sporting store and get them filled.
$39.95, ouch, that's twice what you would pay down south.
We then drive up to Wickam and park outside Andy's
place. Andy is a Pom who emigrated a few years ago. He likes 4x4
vehicles and is also something of a photographer and we met some
time ago through my web site. He's a prison chef and works on shifts
so we set up camp at the end of his cul-de-sac.
Tue 9 Aug 2011
We do some sightseeing today, drive out to Cossack
and Point Sampson and have a good look around.
Andy rings and asks if we want to go to the pub
for lunch, "You can get a great fish and chips for $20"
As that would be $20 each plus drinks I say no,
we can eat for nearly a week on that amount.
We get back to Andy's and he's real keen to go
down the pub. We still say no but then he offers to shout (pay)
so we weaken and agree. So it's into Andy's Landrover and back down
to the Point Sampson pub.
On entering the pub I see a sign that reads "No
colours or patches allowed", looks like they've had problem
with bikers in the past.
From a reader:
The “no colour patches” at the Port Samson tavern comes from
a time when the Coffin Cheaters owned it. They bought the
tavern, caravan park and fish processing facility back in
the late 1980s or early 90s and I think they still incorporate
a visit to the tavern as part of their regular runs to the
Pilbara. From memory there were issues with other bikie groups
visiting, so an edict was made that no “colours” (club emblem
patches) were to be worn in the tavern except when the Cheaters
were on a run, at which time the tavern was usually used exclusively
We settle onto some bar stools and order lunch.
Chris and I order one plate between us, partly to reduce the cost
for Andy and partly because we've just seen the plate sizes, they
are huge and half of one will be plenty for us.
We spend a couple of hours in the pub, all up
I reckon it cost Andy maybe $60-70, that's our food budget for a
week but he has a good job and nothing much to spend his money on
from what I can see.
Thu 11 Aug 2011
Time to leave Andy's, he's a great bloke and I
also really got to like his dogs, they would both try to sit on
me an lick me to death. One of them would lie all over me while
we were watching "Bush tucker man" videos.
We drive up to Hedland hoping to get to the fridge
place before closing but arrive at 4:35, they close at 4:30.
No matter, this is an industrial area, we'll fit
right in. We camp about 50m down the road.
Camped in the industrial area of Port Hedland.
Fri 12 Aug 2011
The fridge guy has a look at our problem. Fortunately
I designed the truck so you have access to the rear of the fridge
through a storage bin. If I hadn't done that we would be pulling
the fridge out about now.
He gets a new control unit and plugs it in. That
fixes the problem. Five minutes and $300-odd later the fridge is
up and running. Thank goodness that's all it was, not cheap but
better that replacing compressors at $60 an hour for labour plus
Last time we were in Hedland we stayed with a
bloke called Reddog, we got on really well so I ring him to see
if we can stay again and if the vacant lot behind his house is still
Yes and yes are the answers, although about half
of the lot has been built on.
We move around to the lot and set up camp, Reddog
is still at work but he has 4 days off starting tomorrow so we should
be able to spend a fair bit of time chatting.
Wed 17 Aug 2011
We leave Reddog's, we are now officially heading
for "home", which for the purposes of this diary is generally
anywhere over in the east and more specifically our block of land
near Gin Gin.
I've had a good couple of days getting to know
Reddog better, he's a lay preacher with connections to a certain
MCC that shall remain nameless, so we have a lot of common interests
or at least interesting things to talk about. We probably won't
meet again because he loves Hedland and doesn't plan to leave and
I don't plan to come back, still you never know.
Chris is shopping back in South Hedland so I pull
into Yule River by myself. This camp spot has essentially been ruined;
whereas you used to be able to camp all along the river there are
now bollards and boulders that stop you from doing so. The resultant
space is not very good and not very large.
We stayed here a few months ago and moved on after
one night. However this time I see that people are camped outside
the barriers and along the river bank.
Further investigation reveals that a path has
been made between the trees in a spot where no boulder had been
placed because I think they assumed the gap between two of the trees
was too narrow.
I measure the gap, it's 2300mm at the base of
the trees. The truck body is 2350 and the wheels are slight narrower
than the body so given that the trees lean outwards quite a lot
so we might fit. I give it a shot.
With some guidance from a fellow camper I squeeze
through with a tank hanger just scraping one of the trees.
As Chris is still not here and I don't want to
select a spot without the blessing of 'er indoors I chat with the
campers. It turns out that one of them is from Darwin and he knows
my cousins. Small world eh?
Chris arrives, we decide on a spot and set up
Camped at Yule River.
Fri 19 Aug 2011
I've got to know a group of campers here, nice
bunch Neil, Sue, Bob, Debbie and Shane. They are also "outsiders"
(outside the bollarded official area) and we've been getting along
Sat 20 Aug 2011
Just as I'm walking over to the other guy's camp
with a beer I see a bus coming through the trees. As he exits the
trees I see that he will be in trouble in about 10 seconds, 20 at
the outside. He's heading for the soft stuff.
Sure enough the rear wheels lose traction and
like most drivers he tries desperately to get out of trouble by
applying more power.
The arse of the bus drops like a stone. Even then
he keeps trying.
Rule #2, as soon as you know you're in trouble
STOP, and figure it out, don't just keep digging yourself deeper.
I wander over to see that the rear axle and even
belly plates and parts of the body are on the sand.
Rules #3, if the tide isn't coming in DON'T PANIC.
Have a cuppa or even better sleep on it.
My advice falls on deaf ears and he frantically
attempts to dig the bus out.
There's no danger from staying where he is, the
bus is even pretty level, it's getting dark, and it's past beer
o'clock so I leave him to it. If he's still there tomorrow I'll
Oh, and what's rule #1, don't go there in the
Sun 21 Aug 2011
He's still bogged.
Bogged at Yule River.
I can pull him out with our truck, but that means
a 90% pack up just to move 20 metres and I'd rather not do that.
One of the other campers has a snatch strap so
he decides to give that a try. I don't know if a 2-tonne 4x4 can
snatch an 8.5-tonne bus but I've seen those straps do amazing things
if used correctly.
Unfortunately the 4x4 owner doesn't know how to
use them correctly and he's really just trying to tow the bus.
I get him to back up so I can triple up the strap,
while doing so I notice the D shackles and can't see any ratings
on them so I tell everyone to move well back. Then I tell the driver
to gun it, but he's too timid and the 4x4 just sits at the end of
the strap travel spinning its wheels. It might work with experienced
drivers on both ends but it's not going to work here.
I reckon there's a chance we can dig it out so
I get my shovels and we make a start. I also get three jacks and
we manage to raise the axle by a few inches to pack under the wheels.
This take ages because we can't get to the directly to the axle,
we have to lift the body first.
After we managed to raise the axle several inches
one of the helpers is about to get in and adjust a jack, it's should
be pretty stable because one rear wheel is still on the ground,
but getting under an 8.5-tonne vehicle supported by jacks that are
in turn on wooden blocks on sand is not a great idea.
I tell the fellow to hold on until I get another
jack properly adjusted. I no sooner touch it when bang, the bus
moves sideways and comes off the jacks. Unbeknown to me another
"helper" had been clearing sand from the wheel I thought
was on the ground. This meant the the entire rear of the bus was
sitting on two unstable jacks.
Any all's well that ends well, it takes maybe
an hour before I think it's worth a try.
I tell the driver to rock forwards and backwards
maybe 4-5 times until it feels right then go for it and don't stop.
Unfortunately the gearbox has a strange pattern and it's difficult
to get from 1st to reverse and vice versa so he has trouble rocking
Nevertheless he does get started in the right
He gets just far enough for people to start cheering
then he stalls the motor.
I can't face that lot again, I'll pull him out
with the truck.
It takes about ten minutes to get everything battened
down then I move Wothehellizat to be roughly aligned with the stricken
vehicle. We real the winch rope out...
Realing the winch cable out.
Man am I glad we have that plasma rope, the old
5/8th steel cable is a real pain to work with. This plasma weighs
nothing and moves easily around the pulleys.
Then I get into the cab to operate the winch.
I haven't used it for so long I've forgotten which levers do what
and it takes another 5 minutes to get the thing sorted.
Once it's working though it pulls the bus out
as though it's not even there.
Mon 22 Aug 2011
We're not entirely sure who's land we're camped
on but our prospects of tenure aren't improved today by a talk back
I didn't hear it but the others did and apparently
people like us are responsible for all sorts of things from littering
right up to shooting the cattle and raping the women (or was it
the other way around).
Anyway it seems that one of the people phoning
in was the owner of Mundabullangana station (which for some inexplicable
reason is usually referred to as "Munda") and he say's
that he's "Just driving across the Yule River bridge and I
can see all sorts of people camping on my land, including a big
Maybe we should launch a pre-emptive strike and
get him booked for talking on a mobile phone while driving.
None of are sure what this will amount to but
let's just say we're not planning to be here much longer.
Tue 23 Aug 2011
I spend half the day looking out for a "station
ute", meaning a vehicle that looks like it spends it's time
as a work horse on a station. My theory being that such a vehicle
will contain the station owner.
Sure enough just such a vehicle does arrive, it
drives right past the "legal" campers without so much
as a how's your father, threads its way through the trees, then
up along the track for a short while before making a bee line for
of Bob and Debbie's campsite.
Shane is there with them, he's a big bloke and
Bob looks pretty rough as well, so naturally they send Debbie out
to face the farmer.
Meanwhile I've got my fencing pliers out and am
heading into the bush to fix a cut fence we found the other day.
I figure that if I appear to be useful that may help.
I don't get to the fence though because I see
the farmer's body language change from confrontational to relaxed.
Reasoning that is is now safe to join the conversation
I do so.
Cut fences are a problem out here and the farmer
eyes off my pliers at first so I quickly explain.
He says its the black fellas that normally cut
them and he'll send a worker to fix it.
Anyway as it happens this isn't the bloke that
was on the phone yesterday, this is the owner and the guy on the
phone was the manager (his son).
We chat for quite some time with the end result
being that we have permission to stay here.
Mon 12 Sep 2011
Chris drives into South Hedland while I pump up
the truck tyres. She's been feeling a bit crook lately, I reckon
she's got Sickalosis, and I'm hoping it doesn't escalate to Reallysickalitus.
Later in the day we get talking about the prices
up here in the Pilbara. Now if you're over in the east watching
the news and hearing about the fantastic wages here and thinking
that maybe you'd like a piece of the action, here's a reality check.
Last time I was here I enquired about a job driving
a dump truck. The money sounded good at first but if you divide
the hours into the wage it was about $57 per hour. Not a fortune
but OK and if you fly in fly out (FIFO) you get to pocket most of
But if you live here — assuming you can
find somewhere to stay in the first place — here's roughly
what you'll pay to rent a roof over your head (per annum).
- Campsite in a caravan park — $20,000
- One-room in a shared house — $25,000
- One-bedroom flat (apartment) — $93,000
- Two-bedroom house — $120,000
- Five-bedroom house — $182,000
Like I said, if you FIFO you can do very well,
and maybe living in the camps doesn't cost much I haven't got any
figures for that. But if you have to rent locally that's a whole
different ball of wax.
Then there's the media crap about the mines being
desperate for workers, on shows like 60 Minutes you'll see a story
about a girl who was a librarian last week and who is now driving
a dump truck and gets $150,000 a year.
Now of course I can't say that doesn't happen,
but I can say that they are not walking around with "workers
wanted" sandwich boards or press ganging able-bodied people
We've been here a few times over the last 5 years
and I always look in the employment agency windows. There is never
anything advertised for a "greenie" (someone with no experience).
"Must have 5 years on a CAT 953, Hitachi
XYZ and and tickets for least two of the following..."
Is typical for an advert in the window.
I went in once and asked for dumptruck work, there
was nothing available.
Now I stress that I'm not actively looking for
such a job (or any job for that matter) and that will add a bias
to what I find.
Tue 13 Sep 2011
I've been helping a mate in New Zealand with some
programming, specifically a method of high-speed frequency counting.
We've been using a chat thing on the web for a couple of days trying
to get this code working, and at nearly beer-o'clock today we finally
Here is a transcript from the last few minutes
of the chat session.
[15:25] <@WanaGo> still working :D
[15:25] <@WanaGo> will reset
[15:25] <@WanaGo> still working
[15:25] <@WanaGo> haha
[15:25] <@WanaGo> ok - I am going to have a celebratory
[15:25] <@WanaGo> back in 10 mins - that ok?
[15:26] <graynomad> ok
[15:26] <@WanaGo> ill send you the file
[15:26] <@WanaGo> on its way
[15:26] <@WanaGo> back in 10 mins tops
[15:28] <@WanaGo> beer on laptop shit
[15:37] == WanaGo [73bc9468@gateway/web/freenode/ip.22.214.171.124]
has quit [Ping timeout: 252 seconds]
Note the entry at 15:28, I think he got a bit
excited. And this is a new laptop, the last one died after his wife
spilt coffee on the keyboard.
Mon 26 Sep 2011
For about two weeks now we've been leaving here,
we just don't somehow seem to get around to it. "We'll go on
Thursday", "We'll go on Saturday after I've got the newspaper",
"We'll go on Sunday when there isn't as much traffic",
"We'll go on ...".
We really must go tomorrow.
Tue 27 Sep 2011
We finally break the hold this campsite has on
us. We just have to move camp or we'll never get anywhere, and besides
we're getting low on water. Chris leaves first then gets out of
her car to guide me through the trees, as before it's a very tight
squeeze but I get through unscathed and we proceed up the access
After a short time we pull over, it's not one
of our longer trips and although my digital speedo is very accurate
in general it's not so good with distances of this length.
Best I pace it out I think...back in a minute...OK,
that's near enough to 200, metres that is.
Not very far I admit, but the important thing
is that we made the effort.
Tomorrow we'll be heading south for real.
||29 Oct 2011
||Near Leonora, WA
||29 Oct 2011
||29 Oct 2011
||30 Oct 2011
||Lenoir City Tennessee USA
||30 Oct 2011
||30 Oct 2011
||30 Oct 2011
||Karel van der merwe
||30 Oct 2011
||01 Nov 2011
||01 Nov 2011
||01 Nov 2001
||02 Nov 2011
||Liverpool NSW Australia.
||05 Nov 2011
||Toongabbie NSW Australia
||06 Nov 2011
||06 Nov 2011
||07 Nov 2011
||07 Nov 2011
||20 Dec 2011
|| Dave King
||Portland OR USA and Formerly Biloella QLD
||29 Dec 2011
||29 Dec 2011
||NE Oregon US
||31 Dec 2011
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