Friday, December 21, 2012


I called this post ‘Secret men’s business' as a reminder to men to have regular health checks. This post also might seem a bit clinical but I think it shows the results of neglect which in some ways I think equates to incompetence.

I was amazed when I discovered they take pictures of your operation (left)

The story simply reads that 10 years ago after some minor bowel symptoms was sent off for a colonoscopy. At that time a couple of small polyps were discovered and removed. All good. I was then warned to have regular colonoscopies… Nip them in the bud so to speak.

(The post’s point) I didn't have regular check ups and the story continues 10 years later… Symptoms again that could easily be ignored but this time the blood results came back as showing elevated cancer markers. Again off for a long delayed colonoscopy but this time with an added endoscopy. Results… one 10mm pedunculated polyp, one 7mm pedunculated polyp, one 40mm villous tumour and a large polypoid tumour removed in 3 pieces… All off for biopsy and all because of missing regular check ups.

I'll find out if my neglect has the potential to kill me early next week. So an example of what can go wrong for middle aged men who think 'it will never happen to me' or who ignore minor symptoms. I urge you to have regular medical checkups. We are not as tough as we think we are.



Friday, December 14, 2012


On a ride the other day we called into the Cotter and snapped a few pictures. Its the first time I had been there in a while and was impressed with the revamped recreational area. The only shortcomings from my pre fire-storm memories is the absence of a Cotter Pub.

As chance would have it the Canberra Times reports that the new enlarged Cotter Dam will reach its biggest milestone to date when sometime on Saturday evening the last of 365,000 cubic metres of roller-compacted concrete will be placed. This will take the wall nearly (cap remaining) to its maximum 80-metre height.

A zoomed in photo on workers on the dam wall gives a little perspective to the size of the undertaking. One million tonnes of rock were crushed to make the concrete. Completion is scheduled for sometime in the Autumn.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012


Good weather for a ride, a few available mates and we took advantage of it. One of the pleasant things about a week day ride in Canberra's mountains is the near total absence of traffic. Its a nice run leaving the traffic at Banks via Tharwa to Tidbinbilla Road, up Corin Road, looping back through the Cotter, back through Weston Creek and home.

Corin is of course a part of Canberra's water supply. The dam is the first in a 'chain of ponds' system flowing down through Bendora Dam to Cotter Dam and the pumping station. As John Evans says we'll be drinking it in a couple of weeks...

Dam levels seem to have dropped a little since my last visit when it was full to capacity...

The view down stream...

Looking down the rock wall...

You can see the latest high water mark...

Cotter River...

Ride or drive its a picturesque destination.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Motorcycle Riders Assoc. ACT Toy Run

Update: 8/12/12 - It was a perfect summers day...

After an absence I'll probably be posting a bit more soon...

Today was the Annual toy run for the ACT branch of The Motorcycle Rider's Association. Canberra turned out a beautiful clear summers morning for the ride from Old Parliament House out to Woden, returning Kings Avenue Bridge to the Carillon.

The run is in support of the work of the Salvation Army and hundreds of Canberra's motorcyclists turned out to enjoy the ride. I was hoping to get some better pictures today but alas never seemed to be in the right place having joined the packs end. Regardless.

We got there a bit late. This was about half way towards the end of the line on the old House of Reps entrance (bowling green side)...

My old mate Dave...

A few Santas...

Assorted Harley Davidsons under the shady trees...

Oh! The bells... the bells......

Politicians speeches and competition draw...

Guns & Roses...

For the King the Law & the mob... 

One to scare the kiddies with...

A great morning.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Final ever update on the cemetery repair issue..: 14/11/12

Estimated completion date for repairs has been set for MAY 2013. Allowing for weather.

I was offered the opportunity to talk with Genevieve Jacobs at  ABC 666 Canberra yesterday- 13/11/12. after the repairs were announced. 7 minutes of fame...

 Sound Cloud...

Some information links and a look at the cemetery in better days...

November 2010

De Salis Cemetery - Cuppacumbalong - Tharwa


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Monday, November 5, 2012


Ride with a mate today to re-discover Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. I am finding that experiencing some places on a motorcycle takes you from viewing the environment through a frame to really experiencing it. Mainly because you are physically in it. Anyway its an interesting new perspective for me.

The Ring Road would have to be the most sedate, picturesque drive in Canberra. The road, return, is about 14 km starting at, and returning to the visitors centre and speed is limited to 35 km per hour everywhere on the loop. The road is narrow but in great condition. The speed limit is quite understandable and quite appropriate. 
Always worth a visit the displays at the centre are great although my indoors photography, through glass, was a challenge.


Feral Cat

We visited the ruin of Rock Valley Homestead, The Sanctuary and the, unfortunately closed from storm damage, Koala enclosure in the Eucalypt Forest. There are plenty of interesting places to stop and take in what the park has to offer. Then of course there is what Tidbinbilla is famous for its wildlife...

Apart from an indulgent ride in the warm wind another purpose of the visit today was to find a dramatic backdrop to take some pictures of a mate's new bike. Tidbinbilla Mountain sounded the go. The lookout...

Tidbinbilla in my opinion is worth visiting several times a year and an annual pass is peanuts. It's always an adventure.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012


While I am on a motorcycle bent I asked Trove when the first 'official' Motorcycle Club was established in the area? This clipping seems to be the first reported move towards a club. 1925. The equivalent today would be the ACT Motorcycle Club, or Canberra Rider's I suppose... Although my personal favourite is the Canberra based Fat Bastards.

Queanbeyan Age and Queanbeyan Observer - Tuesday 4 August 1925

National Library of Australia


Sunday, October 28, 2012


Canberra turned out her finest weather today for the Annual 'Pink Ribbon Ride' organised by 'Girls on the move'. The ride is of course a charity ride in support of Breast Cancer research. 

 Our little band met up early in Erindale to fuel up and get organised before it was off to Old Parliament House to register. Also an opportunity to stock up on raffle tickets for the ride's end at Eagle Hawk on the Federal Highway.

The kick-off was , rather respectfully I thought for a Sunday, at 10 am.

I would estimate about 200 bikes were there lined up under the Australian coat of arms. I was 154 and we were early so a rough figure. All up an impressive mob. There was a huge array of makes and models of bike with many contesting for the best dressed bike and riders in the pink theme. 


Registration and bikers of all flavours...

A few Spyders followed the main pack...

Coffee @ Bungendore...

From there it was back through to the Federal Highway and south towards Eagle Hawk pub where the raffles were drawn. A little sad to learn after the ride but this is probably the last year the Girls will be hosting the event. In fact the word was the club was disbanding. I hope another riding group in Canberra takes up the reigns and continues the tradition next year.

For us it was then off to Rose Cottage Inn for a retro afternoon band and a refreshing beverage to end a great morning.


Thursday, October 18, 2012


A trip today just past Tharwa to the Tharwa Sandwash. Beautiful weather, no traffic, just a leisurely ride in the warm sun.  Not that I did but it's a great spot for a swim on a hot day. Depending on the river flow it can be as pictured or showing sandbars when the river is lower. It's been raining somewhere... I learned something today about the effects of historical land clearing in the region. The ACT Governments information board is interesting. It paints a picture of a much different place in the past..  From the signage…

Alan Cunningham 1791 - 1839

Clues to the past.

“This area looks very different to how botanist-explorer Alan Cunningham saw it in 1824. The Ribbon Gums – tall white eucalypts with peeling bark – provide an ecological clue. They are all that remains of the original lush sheltered forest, where lyrebirds scratched for food in fallen leaves among tree-ferns and giant daisies.

With settlement came tree clearing. The water loving shrubs lost their protection and dried out. Tougher grasses moved in, and the riverbanks, like the surrounding hills, became home to dry forests of Scribbly Gum and Red Stringybark.

Fortunately, all is not lost. Protecting the remnants is important. Wet forests still exist along the creek banks in Namadgi National Park and the Brindabellas, and the Murrumbidgee is flanked by nature reserves along most of its ACT route.”

Re-creating habitats.

“The Murrumbidgee used to contain deep pools, where native fish would thrive. But human activities, floods and droughts changed the river’s flow. Sandwashes along the river’s Tharwa stretch left it just 30 to 40cm deep in places. 

As the deep pools silted up, local species became rare.
Captive breeding is helping – 100,000 young Trout Cod have been released near here to re-establish a wild population, but they need good habitat for long-term survival.”

Tree plantings along the riverbank...

View South

View north...

You are here...

Through Tharwa... Nass Road... Turn left at Smith's Road... Entry on left just past bridge over Gudgenby River... Nice spot.

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History lost through lack of funding

  The following ABC article laments the possible loss of many historical audio visual records that are waiting for digitising into modern fo...