Surfing Outback


This week LGS is stepping in the ol’ time machine (otherwise known as my dusty photo album) to go back some 15 years.  It was not the best of times for me.  I was very  stressed, terribly unhealthy and quite unwell.  During this dip in my life, I took a trip to Australia to visit relatives.  I was so worn out that I slept most of the time there.  But I did go on a road trip with them towards the interior of Oz.

Our journey started from Perth and we made our way south for hundreds of kilometers to Albany before we struck out to the north and inland towards the heart of the continent.

 

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As it was spring, the journey started lush and green and colourful (Stirling Range National Park)
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Canola fields
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After the Stirling Range, we endured seemingly endless boring kilometers of flat, dry , dusty featureless landscape (the wild flowers were pretty though)
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Any distraction from the long drive was welcome.  Even a dog cemetery.
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But there were beautiful things to see if you took your time to look
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And there were local inhabitants to meet
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Finally, we made it to our destination of Hyden.  This is where we spent the night.
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Near by is the Hippo’s Yawn Cave.  Caves nearby have aboriginal hand paintings.
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And finally, this was what we traveled all those long dusty kilometers to do!  To go surfing! (Wave Rock, Hyden)

No chance of drowning or shark attack here!

 

Original Weirdness


When I was trying to write my scientific thesis at University, an older and self proclaimed “wiser” student offered me this piece of advice:- “If you just quote from one source, that’s called plagiarism.  If you quote from many sources, that’s called research!”

That’s why, my last post included items pinched from several sources around the internet – that’s quality research!

However, just to prove that the Lone Grey Squirrel is capable of some original content, here for your enjoyment is some original weirdness that I actually found on my own while doing field research in my natural environment*.

( field research in my natural environment* = finding something to kill boredom while my wife does window shopping at the local mall)

The following are all originals by LGS which to my knowledge has never been loaded up on the internet.  With your help, I expect them to be a runaway viral sensation on the internet, thus making me world famous and landing me a lead role in Zootopia 2 opposite Shakira.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  Here are my originals for your enjoyment…….

1.  For the Men ………some pretty women going cheap

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2. For the Ladies …….. some Australian Beef(cake)

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3. For those who like to stand on their heads………..

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And you know, my all time favorite was the photo that got away.  They discovered their mistake before I could return with my camera.  My local supermarket was apparently selling “chicken dumbsticks”!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed my original discoveries and please feel free to leave caption suggestions in the comments!  That will make us an international collaborative research team.

Fun With Squirrels


This blog has lost its focus of late in that we haven’t had a post about squirrels for many moons.  And with the absence of squirrels, there hasn’t been much fun around here either; because Squirrels = FUN!

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Here are three videos to remind us all that squirrels are fun.  In fact, the sooner all you humans surrender and submit to squirrel domination and rule of the world, the sooner we can put all the unpleasantness and get on with having fun.

Video 1 :- Squirrel horsing around

Video 2:- Squirrel -the life of the party and

Video 3:- Squirrel spectator sport

All 3 prove that you can have fun with squirrels…….. now don’t we all need some fun these days?

 

 

The Good Ol’ Days


Ah, the good ol’ days.  Will we, in Malaysia, ever see the likes of those heady days again?

The year was 1980.  The nation was not that wealthy but we were rich in natural resources, bolstered by a burning hope for a brighter future and rich because we enjoyed a very special and unique heritage of multiculturalism in which there was much mutual respect and appreciation between the main cultural groups of Malays, Chinese and Indians and also amongst the other minority groups.

It was a Malaysia that many of us were proud of.  And perhaps rather emblematic of the nation’s psyche and indeed the state of the nation at that time, was our national soccer (or football) team.  1980 represented the pinnacle of achievement for Malaysian football.  It was the year that our ragtag team of part-timers shrugged off a couple of years of middling performance, rallied under a new coach, forged a strong sense of identity and defeated the much feared and favoured South Korean powerhouse in dramatic fashion.  They scored the winning goal in the last 5 minutes of the match to win 2-1 and it meant we qualified for the Moscow Olympics.  We even beat Arsenal and held other visiting professional clubs to a draw.

Unfortunately, the team did not get a chance to play at the Olympics as Malaysia joined the U.S. led boycott of the games in protest over the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.  Yet, despite the disappointment, it did not seem to matter cause the country was filled with optimism that better days and greater achievements lay ahead for soccer team and for the country.

As it turned out, Malaysia’s fortunes in the beautiful game declined steadily since then.  Our FIFA world ranking fell from a high of 75th position to 174th position; placing us in the same group as countries like Timor Leste which doesn’t even have any proper soccer facilities.  Critics refer to the end of meritocracy, the rise of racism and political interference as well as corruption as the causes of the decline of the national team.  Sadly, this seems to have mirrored what has happened to the country in general.

This year, a movie was released called Ola Bola which its director claims is “inspired” by the true story of our national team’s glorious march to Olympic qualification in 1980.  In fact, much of the movie seems entirely true to the actual historical events.  The three main heroes of the movie were Tauke, Ahmad Ali and Muthu who were quite clearly based on Soh Chin Aun, Hassan Sani and Arumugum – the real three Malaysian football heroes who also happen to be Chinese, Malay and Indian respectively.  Many Malaysians enjoyed the movie because it reminded many of a better time when racial harmony was not only stronger but in fact held up as an example internationally.

Indeed, many urged Malaysians today to take up the message that Malaysia would be stronger if we were united despite our different backgrounds and not divided along racial lines.

A powerful message indeed and one really worth heeding but sadly, there is also a point of controversy.  The movie changed the winning score of that game with South Korea from 2-1 to 3-2; perhaps for the sake of greater drama. But the movie also changed the identity of the person who scored the game winning goal. If the movie were to be true to history, then the character Eric (who is based on the real life Malaysian soccer hero, James Wong) should have scored the last goal.  Instead, in the movie, Ali is the game winner; leading some to wonder if that decision was made so that a certain segment of Malaysian society would be more willing to watch the movie – which seems to compromise the anti-racist message of the movie.

Ah, Malaysia…..if only we could go back to that simpler, happier and more hopeful time.  I miss it so.

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Comparing the actual players and their respective movie characters from Ola Bola
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Some of the Real Heroes today :- (L-R)  Hassan Sani, Soh Chin Aun, winning goal scorer James Wong and Santokh Singh

Thanks for the Laughs Ronnie


I love comedy and one of the comedy greats that gave me belly aching laughter for so many years was Ronnie Corbett.  He passed on this week at the age of 85.  This British comedienne was one half of the successful comedy act “The Two Ronnies” together with Ronnie Barker.  I used to laugh at their routines till I cried.

My thanks to you Ronnie Corbett for being a source of so much laughter and joy.  I have posted on the Two Ronnies before but here once again are two of my favourite sketches from their partnership.

The first is entitled “Swedish Made Simple”

 

And the second is “Hieroglyphics explained”

Children are Our Future


Things have been just terrible all around the world.  Bombings, killings, greed, corruption, injustice …….  I am not blind to these horrors but I don’t think you need me to repeat the list of atrocities here.  We are almost constantly assailed these days with bad news every time we watch TV or check things out things on the internet.

It goes without saying that the Lone Grey Squirrel is greatly saddened by the loss of life and the suffering that is occurring.  And yet, when we get an overdose of bad news, there is always a danger of being desensitized – when the next atrocity or bad news no longer impacts us anymore – when we become numb.

The best way to avoid the numbness or to avoid becoming cynical is to remind ourselves that we humans can also create great beauty, exhibit great kindness and do much good.  And one fantastic source to draw on for such a spiritual uplifting are children.  As the song goes, children are our future.  They are our hope.  Their innocence, their unquestioning trust and their unconditional love can really roll back the dark clouds.

I have been blessed by the children that go to the children’s playgroup that I volunteer at.  I always come away with a spring in my step, an extra beat in my heart and with my joy of life restored.

So please enjoy the following video and may it restore your faith in humanity.

 

Ooops……or maybe not.

(featured image from https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sneezy-The-Penn-State-Squirrel/386655541377081)

Et Tu, Beauty?


LGS: I was thinking about a suitable post for this Easter week and pondering what to share when I came across this post at beautybeyondbones.  Her very personal sharing of what Easter means to her says it all.  The squirrel knows when it is right to step aside and let someone else do the talking…… God bless you this Easter as we remember the pain, the sacrifice, the love and the victory of Jesus our Lord.

See what I did there? Et tu, Brute…Et tu, Beauty? *Air-fives self*😛 OK, so yeah, the title has to do with Caesar…buuut, I kinda feel like it sets the mood for this piece. Because we&#…

Source: Et Tu, Beauty?

Viewing the World Through the Observation of Squirrels

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