Massachusetts & Maine, USA

June 13th, 2000

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Greetings Slack Attackers,

Hopefully this letter finds your tax man trembling at the mere mention of your name.
Just a short note this time. Time and effort are in short supply for some reason. But firstly I must get a couple of things out of the way.
The annual Australian Rugby League "State of Origin" has been run and won by the mighty BLUES who crushed the CANETOADS 3 games to nil. I'd be the first to admit that the referees won the first game for New South Wales. The second game was a real arm wrestle until Queensland took a 5 minute nap and let in three quick tries. The third match was a cricket match.
The Finke Desert Race saw Greeny (Stephen Greenfield) take the outright title back from the cars and make it 3 firsts for him in 4 years. Call me old school but the Finke has always been a bike race to me. Greeny and Gogs had better have a green can or two for me!
A great thing for me to see was "Mr. Perpetual Nice Guy" Randall Gregory finishing the race on a quad. What's the significance of this you ask. Randall is a 5 time winner of the Finke, but a spill from a bike saw him lose the use of his legs permanently. He has endured a lot of medical dramas along the way but it was good to see him back in the saddle and leaving quite a few riders in his dust again. I take my hat off to him.
The trials and tribulations of building a new house continue. Hopefully this will not end up like the shed we previously built. I've had to change subdivisions from where I was going to build my 1900 sq. foot house due to issue with the developers and the slow moving lots. The developer wanted me to give him a grand for "optioning a lot" and not purchasing it. Well, anyone who knows me would know that his idea went over like a wrought iron hang glider. The developer was told in enough English what he could do with his "option fee" in correspondence that included terms that included "self suppository" and him walking "funny". I think he got the gist of it and withdrew his "option fee" request. Anyway, onward we move!
I must say that having an Aussie accent is a great thing to have, here in the States, in most respects. But in business dealings (i.e. buying large ticket items like cars, mortgages etc) I get treated like I fell out of the family tree and smashed my head into each branch on the way down. I take it all in my stride, but I push back by taking their statements apart with research, cunning and a good dollop of bullshit thrown in for good measure. I've learnt two things about living in the states, (a) get everything in writing, and (b) don't be afraid to bluff. Just ask Ruth what I'm like when I'm shopping.
Today's "Flashpage" update is of two little towns we trundled through on the 2 week East Coast trip around May last year.

Keep the e-mails coming as it is good to hear from you all.

Stay Happy ;-)


May 17, 1999
You find the funniest signs on your travels. We saw this one on our way out of Newbury, Massachusetts on route to Maine.
May 17, 1999
We stopped at this farm house in Greene, Maine that was being used as a antique shop.
May 17, 1999
Stuff was spread out everywhere across the farm house, barn and even the fields.
May 17, 1999
The whole property and antique store was owned by this eccentric little old lady who wouldn't open any of the buildings until we proved that we were in the antique business.
May 17, 1999
Once we were accepted she showed us everything imaginable. We even got the tour of her own "private" collection. She even threw in her life history as part of the 4 hours we spent there.