Monday, November 28, 2016

Garmin 72H / gpsbabel real time

ls -l /dev/usb/hiddev0

mark@mark-HP-15-Notebook-PC:~$ ls -l /dev/usb/hiddev0
crw------- 1 root root 180, 0 Nov 29 10:44 /dev/usb/hiddev0
Permissions need to be modified make USB fully readable.

mark@mark-HP-15-Notebook-PC:~$ lsusb
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 006 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 04f2:b40d Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 005 Device 003: ID 0cf3:3121 Atheros Communications, Inc.
Bus 005 Device 004: ID 046d:c534 Logitech, Inc.
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 091e:0003 Garmin International GPS (various models)
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

Friday, October 21, 2016

Solar Hot Water System

@ 32 degrees S - only effective in Summer.
140 liter party ice box. It will hold the heat reasonably well over night. NOTE the silicone hose placed in the centre of the tank. I have the hose drawing so as to be able to keep dirt out of the system by placing a cotton glove finger filter over the inlet and an inverted plate over the top to prevent it floating up and drawing air.

100 metres of 1/2 inch PEX hose is loosely coiled in the sun.

30w 3 l/min diaphragm pump. The white plastic base is trivial.

The pump circulates the water through the PEX hose and goes into and out of the reservoir through the one hole. 

The silicone hose fits snugly inside the garden hose to form a reasonable but not perfect seal. it then goes through 90 degrees and into the reservior about 18 inches to create effective scavenging in the body of the water mass. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Siagon - War Remnants Museum (trigger warning)

The Triggering.

The sight of teenage school students on an excursion sitting down and weeping quietly, privately, viscerally. They were not expressing emotion, they were not overcome with emotion, they were not sharing their emotion. They were just experiencing the natural reaction of a joyous and gentle soul to the obscenity that was a part of the facts and truth of living memory to the grandparent's generation. The teacher was also having difficulty keeping it all back.

As a guest in Vietnam you will experience moments like these. Seeing the Vietnamese for who they truly are.  It is both profoundly beautiful and gives rise to a sense of admiration for the grace of an ancient yet newborn people  that courses throughout your entire body like a shiver. They are hard as nails but as soft as your mother's skin.

Swearing like a Trooper. 

I was in Bunnings Hardware (think Canadian Tyre) this morning with "me old mate" from Vietnam. The bloke that served us was clearly ex military. He was small and wiry and smart. He was British SAS in Vietnam back in the day. He made some crack about Nanny State. I responded to this by saying           I just got back from Vietnam and
"Do you know what??!! They trusted us to drink on the train!!"
"When I was over there they fuckin kept shooting at me"
"They didn't shoot at me ! Ya must done somfin to upset them ya cunt!"
"Nah the NVA never shot at me coz they never knew where we were - it was the fuckin useless cunt Yanks."
I told him my first job in Tasmania I was trained how to work in the jungle by a British SAS guy who said almost exactly the same thing.
This awesome old warrior turned store clerk gave me the long "sit rep".

Pretty much this is how the game was played; He was around Nui Dat but travelled most of Vietnam. No point in keeping too close an eye on the NVA beyond troop numbers and condition. No point in observing where they were going because they would just vanish and turn up some place else. No point in engaging them in battle because there was no military point to such a stupid and dangerous exercise. The Americans were just going all Jack Flash and looking for a fight. The NVA only ever engaged them by choice. It would never devolve into a battle. The NVA would just light the yanks up. The Yanks shit themselves and call in air support. NVA would come in cozy right up close to the cowering Americans and after the airstrike would fuck off back through the blasted ground into the safety of cover. Any volunteer bush fire fighter would be completely familiar with the concept. how to get out of the Dead Man's zone. It is called "out of the green into the black".

So from this bloke's perspective his "sit rep" brief would be "Hide from the Americans." 

Seeing the battle field from the perspective of the enemy. 

I was a child when this was happening.

Let's get this straight right from the get go.  The Vietnam war was a civil war. foreign (wide eyed devils) involvement was a distraction. It got out of hand at times.

I have read Võ Nguyên Giáp and Hồ Chí Minh. 

Obviously I have read von Clausewitz and all the rest of the crew.  "Me old mate" keeps chiding me; "NO NO NO you keep thinking like a Westerner." 

To my mind the conflict was not played out in the classical mechanistic Western mindset of battle at all.   

No point in putting lead or steel in the bodies of the enemy. They are very good at lead and steel and can feed and repair bodies. They even like to see a few of their comrades die because it makes their adrenaline go high and makes them feel like gangsters in a fiction. 

Where they are weak is in their individual minds. In their collective organisation. 

They decided instead to fuck with our minds and that is how they destroyed a million bucks worth of helicopter with a stick of bamboo. And hosed the occupants out with a cuppla rounds. Left them to shit themselves. 

Mostly, however the game was to sucker the Americans into killing Vietnamese loyal to the opposite camp in the conflict. The most lethal weapon Võ Nguyên Giáp had at his disposal was the American Military.

I am no expert. I am really just having a wank here.

I could be much more specific and instructive about all this stuff but I refuse. 

You wanna know about this stuff? Get off your fat arse. Pony up for a trip to Vietnam. Sure it is important to understand History! But do you understand why you care for the value of your own life right now? This very minute?

I could tell you more grim details about past wars lost and won. But I couldn't be fucked. If you really want to know go find out for yourself. 

Actually NO ! This bit just sticks in my throat and I could never look in the mirror if I did never vomit this up and let us both look with revulsion at this obscenity.

Curtis LeMay. 

Even when I was a little kid I had neighbours in my village who were refugees from Dresden in Germany. They had also heard of this guy.

But realise also, that life is happening right now. Saigon has the most socially sophisticated night spots on the planet. Phu Quoc is the perfect spot to fake out, an over work nervous breakdown. Only risk is you will never be cured. You will continue to live there for ever. Who do you love ? Yourself or the boss?

Vietnam is like Australia was back in the 1950s.

I grew up in Tasmania where is is just fucking cold.

I remember the first time I stepped off a plane in the Pilbara it was like stepping into the mouth of a furnace. "Yes.. I will Never be cold again!!"

Stepping off a plane into Vietnam is like that but not just for the meteorological climate. It is also the intellectual and spiritual climate.

Those of you "wide eyed devils" who have stuck with this exposition so far will most probably be familiar with the poetry of Robert Service; Let me just beg of him an indulgence ;

"Since I left Hoi An
back in Vietnam ..."

you can guess the rest.

Hang on a minute weren’t we supposed to be talking about the fucking war ?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The familiar animals

The unicorn ("Ly" - or "Lan") is like a dog in it's loyalty, inherent friendly nature and it's care for our well being and like the lion when driven to the extreme of his anger.

The Wardung (Corvus coronoides) and the Chitty Chitty (Rhipidura leucophrys) manifest the same duality in Australian culture. The Wardung for his wisdom and the Chitty Chitty for his joy, diligence and courage.

Would that we could have the attributes of both!!?

Both the Wardung and the Chitty Chitty can impart wisdom and warn of danger.

The unquiet spirits of our ancestors can flare up and bring great mischief. We "wide eyed devils" seem to have forgotten this manifest fact.

But it is the Koolbardie (Cracticus tibicen) that confers the gift of communication. The Koolbardie confers the mixed blessing of consciousness. The Koolbardie will make humans vomit out the words they have no heart to say. 

UPDATE: I did a task this morning and the Chitty Chitty followed me closely. This will confer good fortune upon my endeavour. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

bánh mì thịt - Best on the planet

Bánh Mì -  Vũng Tàu

Is the best on the planet. Anthony Bourdain reckons the best one is in Hoi An. He is wrong about that. 

(08) 9342 6888
Shop 1, Newpark Shopping Centre, 
Marangaroo Drive, 
Girrawheen, Perth, WA

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Traffic in Vietnam

I have read little about the traffic in Vietnam before experiencing it. It seemed callow, on one hand hysterically fearful, and on the other, blithely and ignorantly patronising towards the Vietnamese who are getting killed on the roads.

I decided to stop reading and see for myself.

And, see it I did, on day 1 and 2.
One the way to Ha Long I saw a women off a motorbike on the macadam looking decidedly grey. The first responders were not doing what I would have done, by way of first aid.
The second was a chap crushed under a truck. Bits of his clothing and his helmet had been stripped off. It was clear that his life was over. It was what we would have refered to, in my days working in the hospital as "coming in in a wheel barrow." It wont have been the truck that got him though, it will more likely to be he lost control of the bike, ended up dirtside. The truck crush was a secondary consequence.

There really are three types of traffic same as every where in the world.

1. Big City. Saigon. Very safe but mind blowingly confusing. See below.

2. Country roads. The most dangerous of all. My host drove for 5 hours to get 200 kms. His maximum speed was 80 miles an hour. There are children playing in the traffic at night. They are increasingly drunk after 5 pm.

3. Back streets. Safe. A no brainer.

Crossing the street in Saigon; much is made of this.

Don’t just launch out into the street without reading the traffic and the signs. Unlike Australian roads the motorists will do thier best ont to run you down and ARE paying attention but they are only human.

Use pedestrian crossings and cross with the lights. Wait for gaps in the traffic.

Once you have commenced the crossing under NO CIRCUMSTANCE vary your pace or hesitate. The motorists will have seen you as soon as you started and will have planned to avoid you - trust them. Also bear in mind the traffic speed is about 30km/h.

It isn’t as crazy as it seems at first but don’t lose your concentration.  

Exotic Food

Pig's Guts. (Probably mostly the cleaned out digestive tract). I am not going to exagerate for effect (as is my customary wont), in this instance. 

We need to keep this real.

Full Disclosure: the ingredients for this wonderful meal were sourced from Farmer Jacks in Girrawheen Perth. "Your go to Guy for all things porcine and visceral" My local store.

My mate's Mum made us a meal that needs Exponential notation to describe the Umami punch this dish packed. I have broken bread with the Welsh and by comparison it makes them seem like lettuce nibblers.  After enjoying this dish the car in which I travelled home stank like an abattoir. Just from the exudation from my skin. I kept the socks I was wearing and could tell at a distance of a few feet, purely on the schnozz, which were my regular pongers and which had the added piggy zest. Loved it to bits BTW. 

"A holodeck vista of protein chemistry and porcine disembowelment.   A dish I recommend to those planning on visiting a Mosque." 

Wild Pig. Barbecued. Delicious and much tastier then domestic pork. The Skin is made into a chewy "crackling" which is also marvellous.

Duck Embryos. Poached. A poached duck egg has to be one of the most wonderful dishes on this planet. The Vietnamese cuisine (as always) goes one better. The eggs have been fertilised and incubated till the embryo has developed to about the size of the yolk. They are cracked on the side of a hot pot and delivered into the broth. It is impossible to see if they writhe as they come up to the temperature where the protein begins to denature. The skeleton of the embryo gives the dish a wonderfully sub crunchy texture. You are yet to live.

Congealed Goat's Blood. Poached.
Porcupine Stomach Wine.

Rat. Sans skin, Marinaded in Coca Cola and barbecued. Tender and delicious.


Raw Prawn.

Mouse deer. The Vietnam mouse-deer (Tragulus versicolor) is an utterly appalling creature, thankfully on the brink of extinction (it has this in common with the Australian kangaroo.) "Exterminate all the brutes!" A toothsome dish.

Lotus Wine.
Chicken heads and feet.

Fish heads. Grilled over charcoal. Dig out the tender meat behind the cheeks and suck out the aqueous humor. The rest of the fish is pretty good to. They don’t scale them but let the barbecue weld the scales to the skin and peel it off. Shame to waste the skin.

Dog. Has a pungent dipping sauce that smells like human faeces and has a profoundly umami taste reminiscent of pigs intestine . Reputedly a bit strong even for most locals. The flesh is smooth and delicious with the fat flavoursome and tender. The meat is faintly beefy but could pass for pork.
Be sure not to part wind in company after consuming this delicious meal.

The Lotus

Almost every poster of Ho Chi Minh had a lotus in it as we drove around Vietnam however a Google image search found mostly Soviet style grimly determined but blissfully happy proletarians. I hope this change continues and I have reason to hope that it will.
 Hue - the moat of the ancient palace. The perfume from the flowers  every where.
 In the country side in the farmlands near Hoi An.

A restaurant between Cu Chi and Saigon.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Rory's bar phu quoc

Rory really rubbish pool table with no chalk. Great for hits and giggles.

Antique Bicycles

A whole warehouse of French bikes from the 30s. Aluminium frames!

Buddha Buddha

M1 Garand


## AK 47 You tube AK 47

 M 16


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016


Phu Quoc - The perfect place to stay.

Like something out of a Graeme Green novel.

Our scooters are being delivered.

“Like a dream come true.”

Some friends in Vietnam told me they would advise me of the very best places to visit on my holiday from Australia. Without their recommendation i probably would not have found out about this gem. The hotel itself is beautiful and well constructed. The pool is clean and fresh. The food is remarkably good. We went over to the beach for a night stroll and the water was sparking in the moonlight. We visited Rory's Bar which is right out on the beach and so idyllic and atmospheric I thought it could only exist in a movie not in real life.

What really shone out, above the rest, was how friendly and accommodating the staff were. They made me feel like family. I would give this place ten stars out of five if I could.

Contact Info

Phu Quoc Resort Ocean

Address: 4, Cua Lap Hamlet, Duong To Commune, Phu Quoc District, Kien Giang Province
Phone number: 077 370 3228

Vietnam Electrical Wiring

Didn't see a single solar panel.

Classic Bikes - the Honda 67

Cu Chi

I have always  been skeptical about the Cu Chi tunnels, until I saw them.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Call me Nguyễn Ishmael

Went off on a fishing trip with a rather jolly bunch of chaps on a little wooden boat.

All of a sudden, I found myself in love with the world
So there was only one thing that I could do
Was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long

Fish barbequed on the beach with congenial comrades some Tiger and White Lightning and plenty of heat. 
Then we got monsooned on.