Friday Five Newsletter 2018.12.7

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Westprint Friday Five – Friday December 7th 2018

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 24th April 2015 to 24th December 2015

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 1st January 2016 to 23rd December 2016

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 1st January 2017 to 29th December 2017

Click here to view Newsletter Archives from 5th January 2018 to current


FREE postage on ALL folded paper maps. Laminated maps rolled in mailing tubes still have postage added as below.

FREE postage on ALL orders over $100.

Otherwise there is a flat rate postage rate of $9.50 on all books, DVDs and talking books, regardless of the number of items ordered.

To order any of the books listed blow, click on the title to open a web browser, then use the Add to Cart button and proceed to the checkout. (or continue shopping for any additional titles you want.)

Visitors are welcome to call in at 6 Park St, Nhill, Monday to Friday. Please phone/email beforehand as we are not always open. Phone. 0353911466.

Friday Five Books

  1. Growing Australian Natives - 2nd edition. $25.00. John Mason. The variety of Australian native plants is enormous. They are found in just about any situation, from deserts to rainforests to alpine regions. Many are tolerant of salt, some of arid conditions, others make excellent windbreaks, withstand pollution or tolerate flooding or frost. S/cover. 252pp. First published in 1997, this edition 2007.
  2. Outback Countout. $17.95. A beautifully illustrated book that teaches young children to count and at the same time learn more about the Australian outback.
  3. Allure of the Western Deserts - DVD by Helen and Frank Quicke. $35.00. Experience the beauty and mystique of Great Victoria Desert, Gibson Desert, Great Sandy & Little Sandy Deserts, including the Connie Sue Highway, Gary Highway, Gunbarrel Hwy and Canning Stock Route. This DVD brings to life the wonderful colours of our native flowers with all the vibrancy and vast range of colours that spread across the landscape when the deserts burst into full bloom following the winter rains. One copy only
  4. Wheel Tracks - W Ammon. $22.00. Wheel Tracks .... over the red sandhill, across the boggy claypans, into flooded rivers, cutting their lonely path through kilometres of wildflowers or desert blasted by the heat ... in the country of the wild turkey and the giant lizards, where a mob of kangaroos can be so big that it takes an hour to pass by; where Tom Davies perished of thirst, and Micky Brown rode the outlaw mule ... the land of Terrible Bill Cridlen, Gus the Swede, Brumby Pete, and the celebrated Musical Bogger. Wheel Tracks is the epic of the first transport drivers in the north west of Western Australia, told by one of their company. Men who began driving when the camel teams were still on the tracks, and continued until they were replaced by the new generation in their huge, modern semi-trailers. It was a life in which the drivers encountered every kind of weather from a three-year drought to a cyclone and met every kind of man, bird and beast that the Outback can provide; a life of humour, tragedy, endurance and adventure; and it is most vividly described in this memorable book. First published in 1961, this edition 1993.
  5. Field Guide to Australian Wildflowers. $45.00. Field Guide to Australian Wildflowers describes more than 1000 of the most common species found in Australia, each listed alphabetically within their family group. Colour photography illustrates each species and, where helpful for identification purposes, line drawings of the leaf or fruit are also included. The comprehensive introduction contains information on: - How to identify wildflowers in the field, including structure, form and function - Flower family groups - Classification and terminology - Vegetation zones. 442pp. First published in 1999, this edition 2012. 

Friday Forum

Happy 25th Anniversary to the VKS - 737 network.

vks licence

25 years ago, on the 30th November 1993 the first VKS-737 Radio Network Licence was issued by the Spectrum Management Agency which was the forerunner of the present Australian Communication and Media Authority.

The licence which was in the name of the SA Association of Four-Wheel Drive Clubs was for a single base station located at Hilton with a single frequency of 5455kHz. In those days the licence only covered the base station we then had to obtain individual licences for each of our subscribers at $48 per subscriber per frequency fitted in the radio, in our first year we had one hundred and eleven licences at a cost of $5328.

Luckily licencing conditions changed in 1995 to a system where there is now a charge for each frequency at each base station with no limit to how many Subscriber Licence Authorities are issued. Had the previous method of charging still been in place our yearly licence fees payable to ACMA would be in excess of one million dollars (in 1993 values).

In October 1996 the Australian National 4WD Radio Network was incorporated and the VKS-737 licences were transferred to the new organisation.

In December 1996 the Australian Taxation Office issued approval for the Network to become "a Public Benevolent Institution established for the relief of sickness, suffering, helplessness, destitution and misfortune to a disadvantaged section of the community, being all 'outback' travellers who are in distress by providing them with emergency assistance and support in co-operation with other organisations".

In July an agreement was signed with SA Police to provide a joint safety network for subscribers, SA Police patrol cars and police stations fitted with VKS-737 frequencies. Similar arrangements are now in place with emergency services in several other states.

In October 2010 the VKS-737 Radio Network formed a partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia  (Queensland Section and Western Operations) to provide Emergency HF radio communications services for the RFDS. As part of the agreement the VKS-737 Radio Network installed new base stations at the RFDS bases in Queensland and Western Australia, these bases operate on all VKS-737 frequencies as well as the existing frequencies licensed to the RFDS at the relevant base.

Since 1993 the Network has grown to seven frequencies at all of our nineteen base stations providing Emergency and General HF communications services for travellers in remote, rural and outback areas of Australia as well as also providing HF Radio-Telephone Services. 

The Great Melbourne Telescope

We ran a story a while ago about the restoration of the Great Melbourne Telescope. The telescope was built with riches from the gold rush in Victoria and after WWII it was sold to the Mt Stromlo Observatory in Canberra. Destroyed by bushfire in 2003 it sat derelict and unloved for a number of years. The Astronomical Society of Victoria is now restoring the telescope in what can only be described as a labour of love and dedication with just a little eccentricity and obsession thrown in. More than 20,000 volunteer hours have been put into the project and it is still years from completion. Chris from the ASV sent me this link from Nine News that describes the story so far. It is described in the attached news story as a 10 tonne meccano set with no instructions. That is probably an understatement. Jo. 

The Monkira Monster

Have you seen or even heard of the Monkira Monster?  It is a coolibah tree located near Neuragally Waterhole on Monkira Station and may be the largest tree in the world as measured by crown.

In 1954 the crown of this coolibah (Eucalyptus microtheca) was measured using the formula below and recorded at 72.8 metres. Other large-crown trees are the Great Banyan Tree (Ficus benghalensis) in India whose crown covers about 1½ hectares. The main trunk of the tree was removed due to fungal infection in the 1800s, and so now it is a tree colony rather than a single-trunked tree.

A monkey pod tree (Samanea saman) in Venezuela has been measured at 61 metres.  


Rick’s Kang Panang (Panang beef balls & curry)

This can be cooked easily in the wok. It’s not hard, nor does it take particularly long. The ingredients can all be kept in little jars etc, and so “fresh ingredients” are not absolutely essential.

Ingredients: (for 2)                                                             (Quantities for 6 people)

300 gm mince beef (aim for 10 balls/person)                 1.2 kg     

1/3 cup flour                                                                   3 cups +

2 cups coconut milk (or 1 medium can)                          3 cans

2 tablespoons Panang curry paste                                 8 tablespoons

2 teaspoons palm sugar                                                8 teaspoons

2 tablespoons fish sauce                                                8 tablespoons

2 tablespoons oil                                                            8 tablespoons

3 lime leaves – break in half                                          12 lime leaves

1 cup or handful basil leaves                                         4 cups

2 fresh chilies in long pieces                                         8 chillies



1, shape the beef into 3 cm round balls & roll the meat balls in flour

2. Heat oil & fry the meatballs in fry pan until brown & set aside

3. in a wok heat 1 tablespoon on medium heat & add curry paste, stir for a few seconds

4. Add ¼ of coconut milk; stir until it is fragrant and bubbling

5. Pour all the rest of the coconut milk into wok & bring to boil. Then add beef balls. Continue to heat for 5 mins.

6. add fish sauce & sugar & simmer for 10 mins or until beef is cooked

7. Add lime leaves, basil & fresh chilli.

Then pour curry in a bowl & serve with steamed rice. Garnish with extra fresh basil & slice of fresh chilli. 

More corners to visit.

I understand that there is a relatively newly named corner where the straight line between Victoria and New South Wales becomes a wriggly line at the head waters of the Murray River (named the Indi River at that point) close to Qawambat Flat (sometimes called Cowambat Flat). It is called Townsends Corner. There is a large cairn close to the spot. Peter

Stay tuned. I have been doing some research on this. More details next week. Jo. 

Carolyn’s Collection.

These books are not available on our website. To order any of these second-hand books send an email to  If more than one person requests any book a ballot will be held on Monday. This week we have a selection of books by Edward Vivian Timms (E.V. Timms). Timms returned from Gallipoli and was an unsuccessful soldier settler before taking up writing. He wrote many successful books and screenplays. All books are hardcover and in fair condition. A few have dustjackets.  Normally these books are priced between $5-$20 plus post.  This week’s special price is $4.00 per book. Please add $9.50 flat rate postage, regardless of the number of titles ordered.

Titles are:

They Came From The Sea

The Big Country

The Beckoning Shore

The Scarlet Frontier

The Pathway of the Sun

The Valleys Beyond

The Fury

The Challenge

Roof Over Heaven

Shining Harvest

Friday Funnies


A couple go for a meal at a Chinese restaurant and order the "Chicken Surprise". The waiter brings the meal, served in a lidded cast iron pot. Just as the wife is about to serve herself, the lid of the pot rises slightly, and she briefly sees two beady little eyes looking around before the lid slams back down.

"Good grief, did you see that?" she asks her husband.

He hasn't, so she asks him to look in the pot. He reaches for it and again the lid rises, and he sees two little eyes looking around before he too slams down the lid. Rather perturbed, he calls the waiter over, explains what is happening and demands an explanation.

"Please sir," says the waiter, "what you order?"

The husband replies, "Chicken Surprise."

"Ah... so sorry," says the waiter, "I bring you Peeking Duck"


From Kate, next time you have a bad day at work ... think of this bloke. 

Guy is a commercial saturation diver for Global Divers in Louisiana. He performs underwater repairs on offshore drilling rigs. Below is an E-mail he sent to his sister.

She then sent it to radio station 103.2 Indiana, who was sponsoring a worst job experience contest. Needless to say, she won. 

 Hi Sue,  

Just another note from your bottom-dwelling brother.

Last week I had a bad day at the office. I know you've been feeling down lately at work, so I thought I would share my dilemma with you to make you realize it's not so bad after all.

Before I can tell you what happened to me, I first must bore you with a few technicalities of my job. As you know, my office lies at the bottom of the sea. I wear a suit to the office. It's a wetsuit. This time of year the water is quite cool. So, what we do to keep warm is this: We have a diesel-powered industrial water heater. This $20,000 piece of equipment sucks the water out of the sea. It heats it to a delightful temperature. It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose, which is taped to the air hose.

Now this sounds like a darn good plan, and I've used it several times with no complaints.

What I do, when I get to the bottom and start working, is take the hose and stuff it down the back of my wetsuit. This floods my whole suit with warm water. It's like working in a Jacuzzi.

Everything was going well until all of a sudden, my butt started to itch. So, of course, I scratched it. This only made things worse.  Within a few seconds my butt started to burn. I pulled the hose out from my back, but the damage was done. In agony I realized what had happened.

The hot water machine had sucked up a jellyfish and pumped it into my suit. Now, since I don't have any hair on my back, the jellyfish couldn't stick to it. However, the crack of my butt was not as fortunate. When I scratched what I thought was an itch, I was actually grinding the jellyfish into the crack of my butt.

I informed the dive supervisor of my dilemma over the communicator. His instructions were unclear due to the fact that he, and five other divers, were all laughing hysterically.

Needless to say, I aborted the dive.

I was instructed to make three agonizing in-water decompression stops totalling thirty-five minutes before I could reach the surface to begin my chamber dry decompression.

When I arrived at the surface, I was wearing nothing but my helmet.

As I climbed out of the water, the medic, with tears of laughter running down his face, handed me a tube of cream and told me to rub it on my butt as soon as I got in the chamber. The cream put the fire out, but I couldn't poop for two days because my butt was swollen shut.

So, next time you're having a bad day at work, think about how much worse it would be if you had a jellyfish shoved up your butt.

Now repeat to yourself, "I love my job, I love my job, I love my job."

Now whenever you have a bad day, ask yourself, is this a jellyfish bad day?

The Fine Print

How to include your items in the Friday Five. 

Articles for this newsletter can be emailed to We cannot guarantee any item will have a particular publishing date as sometimes the FF is prepared weeks in advance, but we do our best to keep topics and events current.

About the Friday Five

This weekly newsletter is designed to be informative and entertaining. Wherever possible we try to acknowledge the source of all information contained in this newsletter. We also try to check for accuracy but being a weekly newsletter, this is not always possible. We offer no guarantees for accuracy, but we do our best.

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Phone: 03 5391 1466. Fax: 03 5391 1473

Business address and Mail: 6 Park Street, Nhill, Vic, 3418.


Please note that the opinions and articles expressed in the Friday Five are not necessarily those of the Westprint mob. Also, we do not endorse any products (other than our own) or tours listed in any contributed articles.


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