Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Ocean, Sky and Khaki is a blog set up to help support Australian military forces serving away from home, particularly those overseas, with things like care parcels and information on what to put in them and where to send them.
Kae, Boy and I want OSK to be a point of reference and meeting for those who wish to support Australia's Military and for members to contact us to let us know what to put in those care packages to make their lives alittle easier.
If anyone has any links or ideas for the blog please let us know at OSK.
Blurb shamelessly ripped from Kae.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Sending A Little TLC.Yesterday, Bolta brought to our attention the interesting tidbit that our soldiers need to cough up for their own life insurance.
The comments at the original article are enlightening. While plenty of pundits are outraged, there are also a few who don't seem to get the issue.
they get paid enough, what's their risk compared to a lowly paid cop.
True, Saint George of Brisbane. It's not like Mt Gravatt is any less dangerous than Afghanistan now, is it?
Then we have the remarkably astute Rex of Camp Hill:
JohnP (6) You say "..Govt SHOULD and MUST pay for life insurance". By that, you mean taxpayers?? These boyscouts are already overpaid for doing bugger all.
Boyscouts? My girl's in Scouts, and I don't see her roaming around Iraq trying not to get blown up, or the same in East Timor or Africa.
Why should I, through my taxes pay for diggers insurance? I did not ask them to take a job with the army/airforce etc. My employer (state government) does not pay life insurance for me, nor do I ask for anyone else to do it for me. Suck it up and pay it out of your own pockets. The Australian people are not going to add this to all the other perks you lot get for serving overseas. Remember, you chose that lifestyle, you were not forced. And before all the mums etc get on the band wagon, I honestly believe that we are sending troupes out to fight wars that are not of our making. We are only propping up other countries.
From mates of mine who've served overseas, I don't know a whole lot about perks. I've heard of the heat, and the boredom, and the tension and lack of sleep, and missing home.
In the comments at bolta's, Boy On A Bike pointed out something that really does need a bit more publicity than it currently gets.
Did you know that if you are in Australia, you can send a care package to a soldier in Afghanistan for free?
I did learn of it a while back, but didn't take advantage of that until easter when I sent easter eggs and other goodies over.
Slack of me, I know - I have tended to send stuff to people I know personally.
Unfortunately, not all of our guys and girls have anyone to send the things and just let them know that they are thought of and their work appreciated.
If I'm getting off my arse, it's about time others did too.
So many people like to put down America and how they act like they're so good, well when it comes to showing appreciation for their troops, they are light years ahead of us.
Let's have a look:
Wounded Warrior Project
Homes For Our Troops
These are only a few off the top of my head, and yes, I know they have a population of 300 million.
That's not the point.
They are our men and women in harm's way, so we should support them.
I've started making enquiries about what is appreciated, but as a starter kit, how about:
Via one source:
Lollies, small fruit cake, muesli bars, small deodorant, small sultana packs, soap, hand lotion (antiseptic type), ANZAC biscuits, short bread, vegemite and peanut butter.
Australiana is also popular for trade purposes such as pins of Aussie flags, kangaroos etc
Via source #2:
Snacks - nuts, chips, BBQ Shapes etc, Twisties, Cheezels - all are good, they'll be shared out among the Aussie contingent when we play cards of an evening.
Biscuits - other than Anzac bikkies. It takes about 3 weeks to get here, and often sits in quite hot warehouses on the way. Butternut or other types are good, even chocolate bikkies (not iced ones though)
Sauces and condiments - tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, asian sauces, Tabasco etc - We're mostly good for this stuff. The PX stocks most condiments.
Spreads - vegemite, peanut paste, jam, marmalade - Peanut Butter!!! The RSL sent us a heap of Vegemite (with ANZAC Bikkies and real knitted socks).
Drinks - Milo, tea, coffee - Again, the PX stocks most of this stuff, no Milo though.
2 minute noodles, packet soups - Rolled gold! All good. Also good would be those Continental meal sachets. We are cooking our own food, and some variety would be a bonus.
Chockies - violet crumble, picnic, polly waffle - Not likely to travel very well.
Minties or other chewy things - See chips etc.
Staminade/Gatorade powder - A good idea. Might be a bit bulky though.
Cereals - weetbix, just right etc - No milk. They get fresh milk in Khartoum, but out here it is all powdered.
Magazines: Ralph, Top Gear, motoring or fishing mags. Home decorating and gardening (if you're into that) - Boys mags (not stick). 39 PSB send us some, but they tend to be Take 5 and New Idea, I suspect the guys in Khartoum are taking first dibs on what comes in - can't blame them I guess. The one female here is well catered for. Mags like Ralph and FHM should pass the "not stick" rule, and still give us the necessary ammunition when we brag to the other nationalities about how much better looking our girls are.
For a few extra bucks when you go shopping, I don't believe that it is all that difficult to put together a small pack that you can send for free.
I also like to send those biodegradable toilet wipes. I'm the biggest fan of baby wipes out, and these ones have the added bonus of biodegradability, which can only be a Good Thing.
The Robert Timms coffee sachets as well are something I have a stash of in the cupboard.
I don't have scales, but I add up the weights on the pack as I go, and can generally get it to within a cooee.
You can buy boxes to pack from the post office, or recycle boxes. I buy from amazon.com, and so I have a nice supply of boxes that are the perfect size. Two or three books at a time works best in the box department, or else shoe boxes. Nothing that can't be sealed with a bit of packing tape.
So, if you do decide to do like I have and get off your backside and down to the post office, where do you send?
I've only one address so far, and that's for Afghanistan. You can send to:
“An Australian Soldier”
Australian Defence Force
SYDNEY NSW 2890
In my experience, contact from home is the most longed for thing, but a few other goodies can only help.
And besides, it's free to send!
Email me if you want to know more.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Barry's Commencement Address At ASU.I have no idea where this station is, or who they are, but they've nailed Barry.
It's a shame I have no idea how to save this bloody file as it would be great for a laugh on the morning commute.
Click on the link and enjoy.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The TMI Files. *Yawn* Another Mothers' Day Gone.I'm not a big fan of Mothers' Day.
I haven't been since my mum died in 2001. I don't see the sense in mandatory celebrations of people that should be automatic.
My mum was one of my best friends, and while I have days when I don't think of her, that doesn't mean I don't miss her.
As for the usual queries of "what did you get for Mothers' Day?" Well I got 4 handmade cards, a hairclip purchased at the stall at school, and handmade chocolates.
And another handmade card, I think. I lost count.
People express surprise that I don't get flowers or anything like that on Mothers Day, or Valentines or my birthday or stuff like that, but as I point out... I don't have a bloke around to buy me stuff like that, and even when I did have someone around, flowers were rare.
I do actually have people in my life who buy me flowers occasionally, but that is because they want to, not because it's a mandated day to buy flowers.
Ultimately, though, it doesn't matter whether I get anything or not.
I have Magilla, and through her I get hugs and kisses, cards, drawings, flowers, rocks, and she brought home a bone she found in the schoolyard last week.
Who needs Mothers' Day when I have my daughter?
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Eddy and Timmy.
I picked up Twilight the other week, and actually watched it. A quick review is that it's very nicely made, and the subtext on abstinence is a welcome change in this day and age, even if the relationship is between a vampire and a mortal.
Not sure if that's a spoiler or not, considering that damned near every teenage girl this side of the black stump has either seen it or is reading the book before seeing it.
I did actually start the book, but it got in the way of more important things, like.... vacuuming.
Seriously, though, I will sit down to read it - I just don't read a lot of fiction in my declining years.
I have one issue, though.
Soundtrack and score: Wonderful.
Casting: Very good.
Script: Great for teenage girls - there's that nice touch of gothic that you don't see anywhere near often enough, and not enough emo to send me reaching for the razor blades.
Whenever I saw Edward:
I thought of Tim Finn. It was the hair and the makeup that did it. I mean, I look at the vampire "family" sitting around the table at lunch time and I think of Split Enz late 70s, early 80s.
The Godmother suggested that Neil Finn might be a better match for the Separated At Birth Files, and she could be onto something.
Unfortunately for me, copious googling has not enabled me to find exactly the pics I want of the young Finn brothers, so you'll have to do with another clip for the heck of it.