Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Quote for the Day

Oz Facts continued


A glitch in yesterday's final Irish blessing, it should have read:

May you enjoy the four greatest blessings:
Honest work to occupy you;
A hearty appetite to sustain you;
A good woman to love you;
And a wink from the God above.

Oz Fun facts and History

Continuing a look at some of Australia’s past through images. Text and images are from:

Bonus items are from me.

Aussie origins of Freddo the Frog

Australian confectioners, MacRobertson’s Steam Confectionery Works. 

The Fitzroy-based company had originally planned on releasing a chocolate in the shape of a mouse, but this was changed after a young employee by the name of Harry Melbourne suggested that a frog might be less scary for women and children. MacRobertson died shortly after this in 1945 and it was in 1967 that the company, along with Freddo Frogs, were sold to British confectionary giant Cadbury. 

Bonus Items:

I came across the uncropped image for the above pic whilst looking up Freddo’s, I mean looking into the whole of Freddo, you know what I mean. Here is the complete pic . . . 

Freddo Frog now

Freddo then - 1930 Freddo ad

In June 2006, a scare over possible Salmonella contamination in some Cadbury products in the UK led to the recall of around a million Cadbury chocolate bars, including the standard Freddo. As a result of the contamination Cadbury was fined £1M, and ordered to pay an additional £152,000 in costs.

Hollywood marriage torn apart by gruelling Australian tour

Hollywood legends Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier married in 1940 after a years-long secret affair. In 1948, they embarked on a six-month tour of Australia to raise funds for London's Old Vic Theatre; this photo was taken in June during their short holiday on the Gold Coast. Outwardly, the tour was a success: the pair sold out shows as Leigh charmed the press and praised Australian fashions. But in private, it was a disaster. The relentless schedule was especially gruelling for Leigh, who had bipolar disorder and was frequently ill, and she and Olivier often fought — sometimes violently. At the tour's end Olivier told the press he and his wife were "a couple of walking corpses", and according to one biography, the actor later said he "lost Vivien" in Australia. The couple divorced in 1960.

Bonus items:

Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in Sydney:

In the late 1980s a man walked into a Sydney bookstore. He picked up a book, walked to the counter and approached the assistant. 
'I met them when I was a child. She was wonderful, a real lady. He was awful.’ 
With that the man dismissed one of the greatest actors of all time, Laurence Olivier. He clutched to his chest a biography of Vivien Leigh, paid, and left the store.

The fraught history of the chocolate crackle

The first (known) recipe for chocolate crackles — a favourite snack for generations of Aussie kids — appeared in an advertisement in the Australian Women's Weekly in December 1937, under the entirely accurate headline "Gee, they're good!" The ad was placed to plug the vegetable fat Copha, one of the key ingredients of the crackles. The other key ingredient is crispy rice cereal, and in 1953, Rice Bubbles maker Kellogg's nabbed the trademark "chocolate crackles" (which it still holds). In 2003, Kellogg's reportedly stepped over the line when it attempted to (gasp!) trademark the crackles recipe itself. Fortunately, the story was more "media beat-up" than "corporate power grab" — it's all but impossible to patent or trademark a recipe. 

Bonus items:

Who else remembers these? . . . 

Who also remembers? . . .

(It was an ice cream bar called a Monaco)

Monday, May 30, 2016

Quote for the Day

“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can't make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you'll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.”

- Rick Warren

Richard Duane "Rick" Warren (1954 - ) is an American evangelical Christian pastor and author. He is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, an evangelical megachurch in Lake Forest, California, that is the eighth-largest church in the United States. He is also a bestselling author of many Christian books, including his guide to church ministry and evangelism,

Monday Miscellany - Odds, Ends and Personals


A number of people sent me emails commenting on the photo of a young boy on a bike with his father, in the belief that the young boy was me and that the male person was my father. Not so. I preceded the message with the comment that it was from Byter David B.

This was the pic and comment from David:

Talking of kids on bikes this photo might interest you. It shows a 6-7 year old me in ~1954 with my late dad. Prior to that i used to travel in a sidecar attached to the tandem ridden by my parents. And I think that I can boast that i was travelling by bike before I was born :-)

David, you might be interested in the following comments:

From Sandy:
Very cute picture of you as a young boy Otto.xxx

From Tobye in the US:
Hey Otto, thanks for sharing-the one from Sandra B is priceless! (This refers to the joke Sandy sent). 
And what a handsome man your father was-you look very cute too! 
Enjoy the weekend-we have a long one to look forward to-it’s Memorial day this Monday (kind of our Remembrance Day, as you probably know). 
Regards, Tobye
So David, a couple of people commented on how cute you were. :-)

An email from my father in law, Noel, a student of history:
Some of your devotees may not know what I regard as the most famous haiku in history, reputedly the work of Hirohito. 
It goes: 
Peaceful is the morning in the shrine garden.
World conditions, it is hoped,
will also be peaceful.
Loathe as I am to take issue with my esteemed and learned father in law, the above poem, which as he says was written by Japanese Emperor Hirohito, is not a haiku but a waka. A haiku has a 5-7-5 syllable structure, whereas waka have varied formats, the most popular of which is the tanka with a 5-7-5-7-7 structure. Traditionally a waka contains a wealth of double meanings, plays on words, metaphors, similes and references to Japanese art and works, the intent being to inspire thought and action.

The Emperor’s waka was written in 1938, a time when the Japanese Army had invaded and continued to occupy China.

Many of the Japanese troops in China took the waka literally and deserted, causing the Emperor’s poem to be withdrawn and suppressed.

Some more of Emperor Hirohito’s bon mots, also brought to my attention in the past by my father in law:

“There seems to have been considerable damage here.”

- On observing Hiroshima after the dropping of the world’s first atomic bomb

“…the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage . . . “

- Part of Hirohito’s 1945 radio surrender broadcast

Some Irish blessings:

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

May you have the hindsight to know where you've been
the foresight to know where you're going
and the insight to know when you're going too far.

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

May you enjoy the four greatest blessings:
Honest work to occupy you.
A hearty appetite to sustain you.

A good woman to love you.

And a wink from the God above.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Quote for the Day

Manson and Helter Skelter, Part 1

Caution: descriptions and photographs of violence

Yesterday I posted the notes on the Beatles' song Helter Skelter and said that I would post the Manson association with that song and album separately.  Here is part 1 . . .


Born in 1934, Manson was born of a single mother who was sentenced to jail when he was aged 5 for robbery. Manson was placed with relatives and later at age 13 in a home, from which he fled. His mother then also rejected him. A succession of crimes (including armed robberies), arrests, committal to juvenile institutions, escapes and more crimes followed. By 1967, the 32 year old Manson had spent more than half his life in prisons and institutions.

Manson had a charismatic personality, was skilled in manipulating the minds of people, and had hypnotic eyes. In a 2014 interview, Vince Bugliosi, who prosecuted Manson for the Tate –La Bianca murders, stated:
“He had a quality about him that one thousandth of 1% of people have. An aura. ‘Vibes,’ the kids called it in the 60s. Wherever he went, kids gravitated toward him”
Living in San Francisco in 1967 during the “Summer of Love”, Manson became a guru in the Haight-Ashbury hippie district. His philosophies were a mixture of bits and pieces of religions, cults and sci-fi, including scientology, that he had come into contact with in prison or which he devised himself.


The Family:

Manson’s followers were known as the Family and they saw Manson as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Manson himself fostered this belief by referring to himself as Charles Willis Manson, spoken slowly, so that it sounded like "Charles' Will Is Man's Son", implying that his will was the same as that of the Son of Man.

In the summer of 1967, Manson and his followers travelled from place to place in a school bus decorated in hippie fashion with the seats taken out and replaced by rugs.


Dennis Wilson:

In spring 1968 Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys picked up a couple of hitchhiking women members of the Family and took them back to his house in Pacific Palisades. The next day he returned home to find Manson and 12 members making themselves comfortable in the house. Manson and friends, mostly women, double the original number, stayed for months. Wilson paid for everything including $21,000 to treat the gonorrhea of the group members. Wilson provided Manson, who had picked up some guitar and song-writing skills in prison, with recording and studio facilities. He also introduced Manson to various entertainment industry execs, including Rudi Altobelli who would soon rent a house to Roman Polanski and his actress wife Sharon Tate. It had been let to exec Terry Melcher.

Dennis Wilson

In August 1968 Wilson’s manager evicted Manson and the Family from Wilson’s premises. They relocated to the Spahn Movie Ranch, a former set for TV and film westerns. By the time that Manson took up occupancy, the buildings and deteriorated and the main source of income was horseback ride hire. Spahn allowed them to live at the ranch for free for doing work around the place. In addition, under orders from Manson, some of the women, including Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, had occasional sex with the 80 year old Spahn, who was nearly blind.

George Spahn

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme

From November 1968 Manson established a second headquarters in some unused ranches in Death Valley. Manson described himself and another male member of the Family to one of the ranch owners as musicians in need of a place to work. He gave the elderly owner a gold Beach Boys record, having been gifted several by Dennis Wilson.

Helter Skelter and the Beatles:

In December 1968 Manson heard the Beatles’ White Album for the first time and came to believe that the Beatles were talking to him through coded messages on that album. His views as to what was to come down was a mix of perceived messages from the album and from Revelations. By mid February 1969 Manson was preaching to the Family that:

o The four Beatles were the four angels referred to in Revelations 9.

o The locusts referred to in Revelations was a reference to the Beatles coming out upon the earth.

o The Biblical reference to prophets having "faces as the faces of men" but with "the hair of women" was also an identification of the Beatles.

o In Revelations 9, the four angels with "breastplates of fire" was a reference to the Beatles with electric guitars, the “fire and brimstone" being their song lyrics.

o The Beatles' song "Rocky Raccoon" meant black people

o "Happiness is a Warm Gun" was a song about getting firearms to carry on the revolution.

o “Piggies" meant members of the Establishment, who needed "a damn good whacking." 

o “Helter Skelter” was the coming race war between the blacks and the whites, hence the line from the song “Look out helter skelter, she's coming down fast.” He believed that the blacks would rebel against the whites but that he and his followers would sit out the race war in a city below Death Valley that they would access via a hole in the ground. When the war was over, they would emerge and rule, setting up a new order. The Beatles were sending them, specifically them, a message to enable the worthy to be preserved from the coming apocalpyse.

o “Revolution 9” was really a reference to Revelations 9.

o “I Will” was interpreted as being a call to Manson to make an album to send out his own coded messages to attract like minded people. He did in fact write songs for the intended album.

o “Honey Pie” lyrics recognised Manson as the new Jesus Christ. He and his followers sent several telegrams, wrote numerous letters, and attempted at least three phone calls to the Beatles in England to get them to join Manson but the Beatles did not do so.

Crowe shooting:

On 1 July 1969, Manson shot a black dealer named Bernard Crowe, who had threatened to wipe out the Family in retaliation for having been defrauded by Tex Watson, a Family member. Manson believed that he had killed Crowe and believed that he was a member of the Black Panthers, a violent pro-black activist group. Expecting them to take revenge and that this was part of Helter Skelter, he turned the Spahn ranch into an armed fortress.

Hinman murder:

On 25 July 1969, Manson sent Family members Bobby Beausoleil, Mary Brunner and Susan Atkins to the house of acquaintance Gary Hinman, to persuade him to turn over money Manson thought Hinman had inherited.

Bobby Beausoleil,

Mary Brunner

Susan Atkins 

Hinman was held hostage for 2 days, during which time Manson also attended and slashed Hinman’s ear with a sword. On Manson’s instructions, Beausoleil stabbed Hinman to death, the words “Political piggy” being written on the wall in Hinman’s blood. His blood was also used to leave an image of a panther paw, a Black Panther symbol.

Beausoleil was arrested on August 6, 1969, after he had been caught driving Hinman's car. Police found the murder weapon in the tyre well. 

Two days later, Manson told Family members at the Spahn Ranch, "Now is the time for Helter Skelter.”

Tate murders:

On August 8, 1969, Manson directed Watson to take Atkins, Linda Kasabian and Patricia Krenwinkel to Terry Melcher's former home and kill everyone there. 

Tex Watson

Linda Kasabian 

Patricia Krenwinkel

Manson had met Melcher previously, was aware that Melcher owned the house and he had briefly attended at the house a couple of times previously. When Manson sent the murder team there, the house was being rented by Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant. Polanksi was in London, working on a film project.

Sharon Tate on her wedding day to director Roman Polanski on January 20, 1968.

Sharon Tate

Also present at the Tate house that night were her friend and former lover Jay Sebring, a noted hairstylist; Polanski's friend and aspiring screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski; and Frykowski's lover Abigail Folger, heiress to the Folger coffee fortune.

Jay Sebring

Wojciech Frykowski

Abigail Folger

Shortly after the group arrived at the property, 18 year old Steven Parent drove up, intending to visit the property caretaker. Despite pleading for his life, he was slashed with a knife, then shot dead.

Steven Parent

Gaining entry to the main house via a window, Watson then let in Atkins and Krenwinkel, telling Kasabian to keep watch at the gate.

When a sleeping Frykowski awoke on the living room couch and asked Atkins who he was, Atkins kicked him in the head said "I'm the devil, and I'm here to do the devil's business."

The other occupants of the house were forced into the living room, where they were tied up. Watson tied Sebring and Tate together by their necks with a rope over one of the ceiling beams. When Sebring protested at the rough treatment of Tate, Watson shot him. He was then stabbed multiple times by Watson.

Despite attempted escapes, both Frykowski and Folger were caught and killed, Frykowski was stabbed in the legs by Atkins as he struggled to get away, then was bashed with a gun multiple times by Watson, shot twice and stabbed. He was stabbed a total of 51 times. Folger was stabbed 28 times by Watson and Krenwinkel.

Tate pleaded for the life of her unborn child and offered to be a hostage but this was ignored, Either or both Atkins and Watson stabbed Tate 16 times. Watson later wrote that Tate cried, "Mother ... mother ..." as she was being killed.

When they had been sent by Manson, he had told them to "leave a sign ... something witchy". Using a towel, Atkins wrote "pig" on the house's front door, in Tate's blood before they left.

Polanksi at the premises upon his return.
There are photographs on the internet of the crime scene, including of the bodies of Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring, which I have chosen not to post.
Eerily, there are also photographs of Roman Polanski posing in front of the large bloodstain from his wife's slaying, plus posing in other parts of the house including on his wife's bed.

LaBianca murders:

The next night Manson sent out another killing team, the four from the previous night, plus Leslie Van Houten and Steve “Clem” Grogan.

Leslie Van Houten

Steve “Clem” Grogan

Manson had expressed displeasure at the messiness and panic at the Tate house and went with them. Deciding on the LaBianca household, Manson and Watson woke and tied Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary. Manson then left and sent Krenwinkel and Van Houten to join Watson to kill the LaBiancas. Police found Leno LaBianca with a knife lodged in his throat, twelve stab wounds, and seven pairs of fork wounds. The word "WAR" had been carved on his stomach. Rosemary LaBianca was found with multiple stab wounds in her chest and neck. On the LaBianca's living room wall, written in blood, were the words "DEATH TO PIGS" and "RISE." On the refrigerator door was written, "HEALTER SKELTER."

Leon and Rosemary LaBianca

Continued next week.