Finding Myself in China: The exact distance from the heart of Brisbane to Lake Baroon is unknown to me, but I can estimate that it is around 90 kilometers. It's a small manmade lake which in parts is at least 34 meters deep. This I know for a fact, because my brother, the penultimate sportsman who never likes to leave anything to chance, has a sonar device installed in the Kayak (our mode of transport for the occasion) that lets him know not just the depth of the water, but where the fish are, and whether or not it is worth the effort to circle the area in an effort to catch something.
This story, which was originally published under a slightly different title in my column at Magic City Morning Star News on Feb 5, 2010
Fishing in a Kayak
I have this week been publishing an account of my trip from Baotou in Inner Mongolia to Brisbane in Australia. I've written about the ice and snow in Baotou, my stay at the Beijing Olympic Hotel, My Qantas flight from Hong Kong to Brisbane, and my troubles getting my mobile phone to work when I arrived. Today I am going to tell you about a recent activity that would have shocked my father, were he still alive. I went fishing!
The only photo of me fishing that anyone is ever likely to see
My father tried his best to be a good father, and he loved fishing, but fishing is one of those things that I put on par with having teeth pulled at the dentist. My dad loved to fish, but for some reason thought it was a good thing for me (certainly not for himself), to take me out in a little boat with oars and outboard, to try my hand at the game. My father simply couldn't get it through his skull that I simply did not W-A-N-T to be sticking worms on hooks and nor could I master the simple art of tying hook and sinker on a fishing line. I frustrated the hell out of him on every occasion we went fishing, but he persisted. And I never learned a thing. Watching paint dry in my opinion was just as exciting as fishing, except when he would catch a shark.
My dad would hook the sods and spend ages dragging them to the side of the boat where he would proceed to bash their heads in with a hammer. I remember on one occasion when, having concluded that the shark was dead, he proceeded to drag it into the little boat. He miscalculated. No sooner had he managed to get the 2 meter monster in the boat when it came back to life. The boat was only 3 meters long (if that), and being shorter than either the fish or the boat was long, I was terrified. I have always been terrified of sharks, and with good reason. My father's favourite fishing spot was down at Hayes Inlet near the Hornibrook Bridge at Redcliffe, and the area was infested with the monsters. Hell they infest all the rivers as far as 40 kilometers inland. I've had a close and personal encounter with a shark in the ocean, and I fairly walked on water - or was that ran on water to get away from it.
No sharks in Lake Baroon. It is quite a small Dam at least 34 meters in depth in some places.
Queensland saw no rain from 2001 to 2008 and at one point the Dams were all but empty. Then of course the floods came and filled them up and then there was so much water that they had to release water. They are going through the same thing now in 2013. On the matter of sharks, not too long after the events of this story, during a flood, Bull sharks were actually seen swimming down the streets of the city of Ipswich. They had been washed out of the river.
Such is the morbid and ingrained fear of sharks that once when I went swimming in the Hanjiang river, just 100 metres from the Yangtze River junction, that it took real will power to convince myself that I had absolutely no fear of being eaten by a shark there - 1000 kilometers from the sea. Another thing that drove my father crazy when we went fishing was that I seemed to have a wonderful knack of getting my line tangled and he spent most of his time untangling my lines. To add insult to injury, if we ever caught anything, I simply refused to eat it.
But all that said and done I do admire my father for having had the patience that he did. It was something I could not give my own boys, cause they knew more about fishing than I ever did, so we didn't indulge in the pastime together. Sorry boys! Given my disdain for fishing, you can imagine my reaction when my little brother decided it would be a great thing if we caught up with each other and spent some quality time together by going fishing. I did gently try to dissuade him from the idea, but his love for the sport overrode his aural senses, and so it was that I found myself going on a fishing trip. At least I knew I was not going to have to contend with sharks, for he had chosen to go to Lake Baroon.
The sinkable kayak
This might give you some idea of where we are.
The exact distance from the heart of Brisbane is unknown to me, but I can estimate that it is around 90 kilometers. It's a small manmade lake which in parts is at least 34 meters deep. This I know for a fact, because my brother, the penultimate sportsman who never likes to leave anything to chance, has a sonar device installed in the Kayak (our mode of transport for the occasion) that lets him know not just the depth of the water, but where the fish are, and whether or not it is worth the effort to circle the area in an effort to catch something.
Now you did read that right. In a lake - no sharks - with sonar and paddling around in a kayak. No ordinary kayak mind you. This one has peddles that you ride like a bicycle (both of you) and they power the kayak, being as they are, connected to paddles under the kayak. My brother assured me that I would not have to contend with worms, hooks, tying lines or untangling them. And he was right. There is no sinker on the line, and he uses lures with multiple hooks. You don't even tie them on the line. You just snaplock them into place and 'bob's your uncle.'
While all of that sounded great, what I was not sure about was the actual kayaking. I can't keep my balance at the best of time, and he warned me that I must never move suddenly or lean too much to one side or try to turn around in the kayak. So there I sat in the damn thing, transfixed like a kangaroo in the headlights of a car, fearing to move a muscle.
That little map I provided above to give you an idea of where we were ain't gonna be of much use to my readers in the USA and Canada, but you never know when you might be passing Australia and feel like dropping in. As kids we were often taken on long drives in the country on the weekends. I'm not sure why because I'm sure we drove dad crazy. It did however leave me with a love for the countryside and the Maleny-Montville area is certainly one of the more beautiful places that can be found within a short distance of Brisbane.
Just about to enter Maleny - a lovely little country town just north of Brisbane
Maleny Pub. Been there! Eaten there! Even had a brother-in-law who was a chef there
This is a real house. Normally 'Queenslanders' are set on 'stilts' to keep them cool and protect from flooding.
Taken from Landsborough Maleny Area looking at the glasshouse mountains
There are two good pics of all the mountains (volcanic cores) in the article listed below.
If you take a drive north of Brisbane, depending on your route you can pass through Montville, Maleny, Lake Baroon, and all the other attractionsin this area of the Sunshine State of Queensland.
Close up shot. The mountains from the sea reflected the light and so were called 'glasshouse'
Located to the north of the city and with views of the ocean, the area is quite hilly. The Glasshouse Mountains can be seen from most locations, and they are remnants of ancient volcanoes. Their name derives from the fact that from the ocean, they reflected the sunlight and so appeared to be made of glass. My brother was kind enough on our return trip, to stop in several places to allow me to take these photos which I am presenting here today for your pleasure. Just 4 days later I was back in the area with my cousins just for the drive. We went up to Montville (Travelling Around Montville) for breakfast at the Poets Cafe and had a bit of a 'chin-wag.'
We like to say that Australia is the lucky country, but within that country, I think the city of Brisbane is the luckiest place, because whichever direction you go, there are great scenic spots to visit, and of course, Lake Baroon where I went fishing, is one of them. We had almost no rain from 2001 to 2008 and our water supplies were down to just 5% if my memory serves me right, before we finally started getting rain. According to my brother, Lake Baroon is currently only at 40% of capacity, although given the rain we have had since the fishing trip, it has probably improved.
(Since this article was orginally published, Queensland has twice suffered devastating floods.)
View from the boat ramp. Sandy area indicates where the water used to reach
Never having been on a kayak before, I did not want to take my bulky camera out on the water and more's the pity. The wildlife is spectacular. Brother did however take his pocket camera, which is how I come to have a photo of me releasing a fish (First photo in this article). Dad would drop dead if he was still alive, to see me with my fingers in a fish's mouth. The photo was not staged, and I am proud to say that I not only caught the first fish of the day, but caught enough to have to release one since it would have taken us over our permitted catch. I did rather well for myself actually. Three big bass (less one I let go), one something else which, while small, was a legal sized fish, and one something else, also small, which my brother dropped while getting it off the hook. I did tell you that I don't take hooks out of a fish's mouth - yes? Well I don't!
There's the man himself.
That's was we went for an got
But I much prefer looking at the views
We had a good day, and my brother learned a new side of my character. While Nixon couldn't chew gum and do something or other as well at the same time, I apparently couldn't talk and peddle the kayak at the same time. And when I didn't talk, I tended to think a lot, and that too was not conducive to peddling. Oh well! You get that with beginners. At one stage we were peddling along when something struck my line. I quickly grabbed the rod and started reeling the fish in, but almost immediately the line went slack. Oh well! Doesn't matter! About 5 minutes later brother yelled: 'I got one! Bring your line in so we don't cross tangle!' As soon as I started reeling the line in, I realised that it was a bit heavy and all of a sudden the line went crazy. We both had fish on our lines. I reeled mine in but brother dropped it before he could get it in the boat. Mine was a littlie (small one), but brother lost a big one. Them's the breaks!
A picture of a Barn. Brother stopped quite a few times on the way home so I could take pictures.
Pictures like this. I can't ride them anymore but they are beautiful
Such a beautiful countryside
I repeat: Such a beautiful countryside
It was an interesting morning and well worth the effort. It's hard work watching brother load up that Kayak; sticking in the peddles, attaching the sonar, loading the storage compartment (which leaked and flooded) with all manner of strange equipment. It was equally tiring watching him dismantle it all. But I did help him lift the kayak onto the car. It was a good day, and I am thankful that my brother gave me the opportunity to go fishing. Now I can add that to a long list of things I have done and will never do again. Next time he invites me out, I'm going to nick off with the kayak before he can load anything into it and just cruise around the lake. Much more interesting I think. Then again, if he doesn't get that dam leak fixed, I'll probably drown while strapped into my seat.
I do hope that you have enjoyed this little story about my vacation, and I hope you don't expect any more such stories. My idea of an exciting activity is getting up from in front of the TV and going out to the swimming pool to cool off in this summer heat. But if anything exciting happens, I'll be sure to let you know about it.
If you take a drive north of Brisbane, depending on your route you can pass through Montville, Maleny, Lake Baroon, and all the other attractionsin this area of the Sunshine State of Queensland. All the towns and villages are quite close together. For instance, Steve Irwin Way is the road you need to travel to Austalia Zoo. Noosa, Tin Can Bay, Rainbow Beach and Caloundra, are on the coast and from there you can travel to Fraser, Bribie and Moreton Islands. Actually, to get to Bribie Island you don't need to take a boat. You can just cross the bridge.
The 'elites' of the south can keep their big metropolitan lifestyles. The people from my part of Australia love the peace and serenity to which we have grown accustomed. And if the heart of Brisbane does not offer enough to see within walking, biking or river ferry distance, we only have to jump in the car and drive for an hour in any direction, to visit some of the best scenery in the world, in Queensland, The Sunshine State.
A Male Steward came off the plane and walked over to me and said: "It's alright! We aren't going to leave without you! Calm down! Catch your breath!" The 'So and So' was right. It was still another 30 minutes before we took off! I on the other hand was watching the driver through his rear view mirror. He seemed to be blinking an awful lot and his driving was a little erratic. Not that that is unusual in China, but when you are on the highway and you have 3 or 4 lanes to choose from and very little traffic, you would think that you could drive in at least one or two of those lanes for more than 500 meters at a time.
By the time I got home and did the packing for the trip, the morning had long gone and it was around 2 pm when I head off to Wivenhoe dam with my camping and fishing gear, for some solitary piscatorial adventures. I arrived at Wivenhoe and began preparing my tent, air mattress, cooking gear etc etc, before heading off to a 'special' spot for some surface action. This area, for the first time in years, has trees semi-submerged by the recently rising water levels. The sun is already low in the sky as I get close, but before I get there, I notice the swallows circling and diving just above the water, near the bank. This is a sign that they are chasing insects. I also notice fish breaking the surface as they too attempt to catch whatever insects land on the surface. I turned off the sounder and moved silently to within casting distance and began flicking surface lures, but to no avail.
(Originally a 4 part article) On January 14th 2010, I commenced my trip back to Australia. The temperature at that time was varying between minus 15 and minus 20 degrees. It was for this Aussie, despite living in China for 7 years, truly cold. I flew from Baotou in Inner Mongolia to Beijing and stayed one night in the Beijing Aulympic Airportel. The Hotel is located very close to the airport. The fees were very very very low and that suited me fine. I did not expect however, that the hotel would be as nice as it was. Next day I flew to Hong Kong where I connected with a Qantas flight travelling to Brisbane Australia.
Today, I am using a recent letter from Jerry, to tell a story – a sad story. It is a story rooted in Ancient and Modern Chinese Culture. It is a story of an impossible love. It is a story I have heard so many times before, of families who refuse to allow their children to love whom they will. It is a story about how in the 21st century, Chinese children must still obey their parents and marry the one of whom the parents approve.
The day I was due to Leave, Zhan Yan turned up at my house saying that his summer camp had been cancelled and none of his family were in town. So guess who came with me? There is no commentary apart from the fact that it costs 50 RMB for the entrance ticket
(Note: Chiara Braccagni's articles are in both English and Italian)
Una ridente domenica mattina di fine marzo, un'allegra comitiva di 4 giapponesi e due italiane si č inerpicata su un minibus alla volta di un villaggio a una novantina di chilometri dal centro di Pechino, Cuandixia. Cuandixia č situato nel fondo di una vallata abitato da uno sparuto numero di famiglie (circa una settantina) che hanno deciso di aprire le loro case ai turisti. I punti di ristoro sono le loro cucine; il museo delle tradizioni popolari, il soggiorno di casa.
In this file I merely present photographs accompanied by a sign at Du Fu Thatched Cottage park, and a sample of Du Fu's poems. I hope you enjoy this presentation. At the end are some links to other articles and photographic files at Magic City and KingsCalendar. The Relic Exhibition Hall is the most important Part of Du Fu Thatched Cottage. It is located on the site of Du Fu's former Residence. In the late winter of 759, Du Fu went to Chengdu to avoid the disasters caused by An Lushan Shi Rebellion. In the next year, he built a thatched cottage on the bank of the beautiful Huanhua Brook, where he lived for four years and wrote more than 240 poems.
Marxists believe that the existing society must be destroyed in order to successfully establish the new order. They believe that society, like the Phoenix must die so that out of the ashes can rise the new Phoenix. I don't think that they realise that it is the same bird that rises, not one with a new design. Cultural Marxists pay no attention to the lessons of history, and it is we who will suffer because of it. We must begin to question what we have been taught. We must begin to see where our societies are headed. And most importantly, we must stop being bystanders who believe that there is nothing that they can do. (History, accelerated by science, is compressing itself, and our misfortunes, into ever tighter spirals. Can we cope? We can if we recognize the fact that man's astonishing technological progress presents just as many dangers to society as opportunities; and if we remember that utopia, or the Kingdom of Heaven, or whatever you choose to call such a state of grace, is not something that we confer on our society with science or social institutions, but forge within our souls by an act of devotion to some thing or principle greater than ourselves: Wm. B. Fankboner
The Ancient Roman and Greek Empires are now but ruins. The British Empire which began to bud with Elizabeth I Rex and came into full bloom in the reign of Queen Victoria, is now reduced to just a 'Commonwealth of Nations.' And the Empire of the United States of America? The U.S. is only 400 years old (depending on how you define 'U.S.') whilst England is 1000 years old. Americans would hardly define themselves (at least as far as world politics goes) as an 'Imperial State' or an empire, but if one did, then surely that too would be very young, perhaps no more than 100 years.
Could the land not just be given to the Arabs 'with the trees intact'? No! Ownership of 'legally' vacant land (not identified by ownership) is based on who actually 'works' the land. Remove the 'Jewish' trees and the Arabs can claim the land for themselves. Something they have already been doing with the assistance of Anti-Israel Foreign Activists who pretend that they are not Anti-Semites.
Yesterday, Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at about 11am Beijing Time or about dawn in Israel, I published an article at Kingscalendar asking why Israel does not fight back. This morning (7 am Beijing Time) I read that Israel had commenced operations against Gaza. Tonight (6.15pm Beijing Time) as I sit in China reading world news I am disgusted by what I see.
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]