Friends Of Australia Friday: 29 July 2021 – With Photos

It’s once again an Australia Time Friday! It’s FRIDAY!!!!

This week I’m going to prepare the same meal as last week. Yes, it was that good. This time, I’m including photos ;-)

ATM, I’m sucking on a Fosters “Oilcan” Premium Ale (green can). Made in the USA, so only remotely Australian. Still, I think it counts a little toward supporting Australia. Though it doesn’t taste quite as good as the ones I had IN Australia… In Burke, NSW.

Looking at Google Maps Street View, I can not find the fine old pub I stopped in. IIRC, it was almost as you left town headed for the Back ‘O Burke (the real one, not the current touristy advertised named stuff). Then it was a darkish grey 2 story building with a classical old bar in it. I sat at the counter, ordered a beer. It was about 3 PM, in summer, and hot (as I recall it). There was one other guy at the bar, and a table with something like 3 guys sitting off to my left a ways. One of those old dark cool places without Muzak or excess lights. I talked to the bartender a bit. Don’t remember if I got a Fosters or their local beer. Carling? Whatever. I decided to indulge myself, as I’d been under budget by a lot. So… Told the barkeep: “A round for the house, on me!”. I always wanted to do that, and when would I have another chance to do it for the cost of 4 beers! ;-)

Well, needless to say I went from “Suspect odd stranger” to “Friend in the House!” right quick ;-)

I was then provided with lots of useful information about how to get to the end of the road where it becomes a track, when to stop unless I had 10 gallons of gas in cans, a full tank, AND lots of water. So I went as far as I could and no further.

At Back ‘O Burke, I met a family that ran a caravan park. It was technically closed, as they had retired, but they showed me around anyway. They had some “pet” kangaroos and Emus and I got to be up close and personal (at the fence line…) with a Big Red of theirs. It was really special to be conducted on a tour of their operation, then closing down. I hope they sold it on to someone and you can still camp “down by the muddy river”…

After that, I drove on to where the road ended and became two tire tracks in the dirt, straight as could be to the horizon. That was where I stopped.

All the way from Sydney to the Back ‘O Burke, the Eucalyptus got shorter and shorter in proportion to the lack of rain. From 200+ feet tall, to just shrubs. I got out of the car and suddenly felt like I was a giant 100 feet tall and about to fall off the world. Why? Because to the horizon there was nearly nothing. The Eucalypts were about 2 feet tall, and there was NOTHING to use as an orientation to size or scale. I had to turn and look at the car to get a sense of scale and that I was NOT 200 feet tall and falling off the world. Very Strange…

Only time in my life that’s happened. Also the only time in my life I was taller than EVERYTHING to the limits of vision.

Hopefully it’s just me not using maps street view well enough and that fine old bar still exists. I’d love to visit it again…

But on to dinner.

Here’s “Before and after” images of the tucker:

Lamb Chops and Seasoned Spuds before the oven

Lamb Chops and Seasoned Spuds before the oven

Then, what it looks like after the cook:

Cooked Lamb & Seasoned Spuds

Cooked Lamb & Seasoned Spuds

The Tucker

Once again will be doing “the usual” Loin Lamb Chops from Australia. Stood on the T-Bone fat end in a cast iron skillet in the oven at 400 F for about 25 minutes (for no-red inside, so less if you like rare).

Yes, I like these rather a lot. Yes, I’ll do some more interesting different stuff again one of these days, but right now, it’s hard to beat mini-T-Bones of lamb.

Sides will be those oiled seasoned potatoes and steamed chard. We eat both the leaves (ala French) and the stems (as the Germans) so leaves tonight, stems tomorrow. ;-0

I’ll be using a variation on this theme:

Bigger fingerlings will be cut in half lengthwise so all are about the same general size. I’m going to oil the spuds (not just the pan) and sprinkle over with Italian Seasoning, Salt, and Garlic mix (spouse is not fond of pepper so that I add to my plate…)

Then they will be arrayed around the lamb chops in the pan and it all roasts for 25 minutes at about 400 ish.

Last time the purple and red ones cooked really well, the yellows could have used a few more minutes OR cut a bit smaller. This time I’ll just use reds and purples. You can sort of make out a purple or two in the picture as near black…

The Wine

I have both the Little Penguin Pinot Grigio and the Samuel Wynn “Dice with Destiny”. I’m not sure which it will be. Most likely the red. But… I really like Pinot Grigio…

So will it be a reprise of the Samuel Wynn “Dice with Destiny” Red Blend 2017. A deep ruby colored red that has overtones of Shiraz in it, but mellowed by “something else”. Or will it be a lighter Pinot Grigio. Decisions decisions again…

In Other News

As a break from the dismal and political, here’s a bit about a woman doing the impossible.

Rebel Wilson is the “porkette” typically cast in a “comedy disparaging” role. I was “the fat kid” who also dumped a lot of weight at one time, so “I can relate” (rather too much…) I had no idea she was Australian.

So what did she do? Dumped a whopping big load of weight and became a real looker. (Photos in the story). Turns out the reason she did it is that she wants a better chance at having a kid. (Looking to freeze eggs and go that whole route as she’s in her 40s…)

Rebel Wilson has her heart set on starting a family.

The 41-year-old actress revealed that she shed 30kg in order to have a “better chance” at getting pregnant.

“That is such a massive question, but I’m going to try to answer it for you,” Wilson said during an Instagram Live in response to a fan asking why she decided to embark on her health journey in 2020.

“It first started when I was looking into fertility stuff and the doctor was like, ‘Well, you’d have a much better chance if you were healthier.’”

At 41 it is still possible, but the time for it to be easy ran out a while ago.

I find it a bit odd that she’s choosing a weight loss diet to be “healthier” as typically women are more fertile at higher body fat levels. At too low a body fat, the metabolism says “It is a bad time as food is scarce to take on making a new human” and stops fertility. But looking at her “now” pictures, I’d say she’s still in the “Oh Yeah it will work” range. (IF she needs some help with the whole thing I have experience with fertility clinics… just sayin’ ;-)

I found this bit facinating:

The Pitch Perfect star initially began losing weight in 2020, embarking on a “year of health”.

She shared her fitness journey and in October that year revealed that she was only 3kg away from her goal. A month later she finally hit her goal weight by switching up her exercise routine and eating healthier.

Since then, she has continued to show off her slim figure in thirst trap posts to Instagram.

Wilson is seemingly single, and apparently living her best life, following her break-up with her boyfriend of six months, Jacob Busch, in February.

She and the heir to the Anheuser-Busch fortune made their red carpet debut as a couple in September 2020.

So he looks like incredibly slim and fit in the photos. I have to wonder if he has a “thing” for dependent “fatties” who are often lacking self esteem, and when Rebel said “I can be whatever I want” AND got to be a “looker”, that threatened him. I know takes a huge effort and will to change everything about yourself to reach such a goal, as I did it. Some folks can’t handle that you chose to remake yourself and are NOT weak and dependent. All the loss to him, IMHO. Rebel can get anyone she wants, IMHO.

FWIW, I always to some extent identified with her character in her movies, as I understood the “Fat Kid” issues and the “jokes at my expense”. It endeared her to me. I hope she succeeds in her family goals as well as in her personal goals.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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16 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday: 29 July 2021 – With Photos

  1. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, I added some slices of orange and white carrots to the vegetable mix, and the wine ended up being the Pinot Grigio. I’d originally intended to just “do both” and start the white while cooking, shift to the red when served, but “oft gang aglee”…

    OTOH, it’s a nice mild wine and I’m not suffering any regrets ;-)

  2. philjourdan says:

    I did not realize Rebel was so old! I only caught her in the Pitch Perfect series. BUt she does look good,

  3. E.M.Smith says:


    Folks with extra body fat tend not to wrinkle and skin age as fast. Probably a mix of things. From the added stretch keeping the skin wrinkle free, to the fat acting as a an antioxidant to some extent (i.e. high food volume means more antioxidants and then also more omega-3 et. al.) then on to just not spending a lot of time in a skimpy outfit in the sun, so less sun damage.

    But yeah, I’d figured her for a late 20 something to early 30 something at most.

  4. Pinroot says:

    I was a ‘fattie’ as a kid. At the end of the 11th grade, my parents made me get a ‘summer’ haircut (this was in 1972 in the south, where summer haircuts are a tradition). I got mad at them and didn’t eat for two days. That caused me to lose a few pounds, and I realized I could lose weight by not eating so much. I ended up losing too much weight (people told me I looked gaunt), so I ended up putting a few pounds back on. I managed to keep it off for a long time, but once I hit my mid 50’s I started putting some of it back on. The funny thing is that even though my weight throughout most of my adult life was normal, I still always saw myself as a ‘fattie’, probably because of being heavy for most of my youth.

  5. iggie says:

    It may be the forerunner of this new pub.
    Before that it was the North Bourke pub run by a man named Groube from 60s to the 80s. However, the original pub burnt down in 2010.
    You may have been drinking Carlton beer.

  6. philjourdan says:

    @Iggie – Does Oz have Carling beer? The US has that brand, but it is very low end (Carling Black Label). As I have never been to Oz, I found it interesting that they also had a brand by that name (Czech Republic has a brand Budweiser, but is in no way like the American Brand – it is much better!)

  7. E.M.Smith says:


    That could explain it. I vaguely remember it as a 2 story, but maybe it was just “One and a tall roof” as that looks common in some of the photos. It was located about where that one is. At the exit from Bourke. I drove to the edge of town, saw red dirt ahead of me forever, and turned around back into town, stopping at the first Pub I saw (so that puts the location about right). I remember some kind of Beer Sign modestly up on the exterior wall. I think it said Carlton (not Carling as in the USA). I had whatever was on tap and Australian.

    I really liked the atmosphere of the place. Sad when something old like that burns down. As I recall it, it was the classical Saloon layout with a neat old bar (mahogany? some dark rich wood you likely can’t get anymore… or maybe just dark lighting ;-)

    IF there was only one Pub in town, that would pretty much prove it ;-)


    The Czech one was first. For a very long time ButtWiper has been trying to get their name rights.

    They have even bought a rival beer with a partial claim to the name:

    Budweiser Budvar (Czech: Budějovický Budvar [ˈbuɟɛjovɪtskiː ˈbudvar]) is a brewery in the Czech city of České Budějovice (German: Budweis), best known for its original Budweiser or Budweiser Budvar pale lager brewed using artesian water, Moravian barley and Saaz hops. Budweiser Budvar is the fourth largest beer producer in the Czech Republic and the second largest exporter of beer abroad.

    The state-owned brewery and its Budweiser pale lager have been engaged in a trademark dispute with Anheuser-Busch, a brewery in the United States, over the right to market and sell the beer under the name Budweiser since the start of the 20th century. The brewery is incorporated as Budějovický Budvar, národní podnik (“Budweiser Budvar, national enterprise”).

    The history of brewing in České Budějovice (German: Budweis) dates back to 1265, when Ottokar II, King of Bohemia, granted the city brewing rights. At one point, the city was the imperial brewery of the Holy Roman Empire. To promote the quality of the drink, nearby towns were forbidden from brewing. To distinguish Budweis beer from that coming from other regions, it was called Budweiser Bier (“beer from Budweis” in German). By early 16th century, the Czech brewing industry was providing up to 87% of the total revenue for municipalities. The Thirty Years’ War between 1618 and 1648, however, devastated much of Central Europe and with it, the Czech beer industry. Concurrently, the Kingdom of Bohemia became a part of the Habsburg Monarchy after the war.

    A separate brewery, Budweiser Bürgerbräu (Czech: Budějovický měšťanský pivovar) was founded in 1795 by the city’s German-speaking citizens and started brewing Budweiser Bier in 1802. The company began shipping its beer to the United States in 1875. A year after, Adolphus Busch, a German immigrant to the United States and a businessman, encountered the brewery’s Budweiser often during his visit to Europe. Thus, he decided to name his own beer Budweiser and brew it according to the Bohemian process. Budweiser Bürgerbräu was acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2014 to aid its claim on the Budweiser trademark.

    Budweiser Budvar Brewery was incorporated in 1895 as the Czech Joint Stock Brewery when local Czech breweries in České Budějovice, then part of Austria-Hungary, merged and started brewing Budweiser with new technology. With the German occupation of Czechoslovakia during World War II and its communist-rule during the Cold War, the brewery was unable to compete with the American Anheuser-Busch as production faltered. By 1948, all Czech breweries had been nationalized by the communist government.

    The brewery reported in 2015 that it had grown by 226% since 1991 and that its total sell volume had increased by 39% in the last ten years.

    FWIW, I’ve bought their beer locally and it is really good! Note that the name may change from place to place. The basic dispute over the name is an interesting one. They signed over the name in United States of America, but not the Rest Of World. ECJ has ruled in their favor in Europe… (Thus the buy of the Other 3rd Budweiser…)

    Trademark dispute

    Main article: Budweiser trademark dispute
    Budweiser Budvar Brewery and the American brewery Anheuser-Busch have been engaged in an ongoing trademark dispute over the name Budweiser since the start of the 20th century. In 1939, only one week before the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, Budweiser Budvar agreed to concede exclusive rights to the American brewery in the United States area. During World War II and the Cold War, Budweiser Budvar was unable to compete with then independent Anheuser-Busch. In 1994, then CEO of Budweiser Budvar Jiří Boček decided not to sign a trademark agreement with the American brewery to divide their territory across the world. On 29 July 2010, Anheuser-Busch lost its last-instance appeal in the European Court of Justice, meaning it may not register the name Budweiser as a European Union trademark for beer.

    Due to the trademark dispute, Budweiser Budvar beer is imported as Czechvar in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Philippines and the United States and Anheuser-Busch sells its beer as Bud in most of the European Union.

    And know you also know the “back story” behind “This BUDs for you”… attempting to make a dual identity.

    The traditional method:

    Budweiser Budvar

    Budweiser Budvar beer is produced only in the brewery headquarters at České Budějovice according to the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot beer purity law from 1516, drawing artesian water from wells beneath it and brewed with Moravian barley and Saaz hops, known as a noble hop variety, from the Žatec region. The lagers are matured for a minimum of 90 days. Nick Redmayne of The Independent newspaper contrasted this with 72 hours of lagering (maturation), after which mass-market beers are sold. In 2004, the European Union awarded Budweiser Budvar a Protected Geographical Indication status as a traditionally and regionally produced good. Budweiser is considered the brewery’s “signature product” and a “symbol of national pride”. Author of influential books on beer, Michael Jackson, said the following of the company’s lager in 2002:

    Budweiser Budvar is a great beer because it has great raw materials and great brewers. They produce it in a slow and painstaking way. Its integrity is best served by its being produced in its town of origin, in a region with pride in its beer.

    In 1990, the company brewed 450,000 hectolitres of beer a year and exported to 18 countries; in 2013, 1.42 million hectolitres and 66 countries; and in 2015, 1.6 million hectolitres and 76 countries, respectively. It is the most bought foreign beer in Germany, selling approximately 290,000 hectolitres per year according to a 2016 news report and the best selling Czech beer in the United Kingdom according to a 2003 news report.

    NOTE: Anheuser-Busch is not an American Company any more. It was sold to InBev:

    InBev (/ˈɪnbɛv/) is a brewing company that resulted from the merger between Belgium-based company Interbrew and Brazilian brewer AmBev which took place in 2004. It existed independently until the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch in 2008, which formed Anheuser-Busch InBev (abbreviated AB InBev). InBev had operations in over 30 countries and sales in over 130 countries. In 2006, it had a market capitalization of €30.6 billion and net profit of €3.2 billion on sales of €13.3 billion.

    On July 13, 2008, InBev agreed to buy Anheuser-Busch, forming a new company to be named Anheuser-Busch InBev. It was reported that Anheuser would get two seats on the combined board. To obtain antitrust approval in the United States, InBev agreed to divest itself of the company that imported Labatt’s beer, another InBev brand, into the United States; this transaction was completed on March 13, 2009.

    The all-cash agreement, for $70 per share, or almost $52 billion, created the world’s largest brewer, uniting the maker of Budweiser and Michelob with the producer of Stella Artois, Bass and Brahma. The two companies would have yearly sales of more than $36.4 billion, surpassing the previous largest brewer, London-based SABMiller.

    On October 10, 2016, Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired SABMiller for £69 billion (US$107 billion). SABMiller then ceased trading on global stock markets. The new company, now Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, subsequently sold SAB’s MillerCoors beer company to Molson Coors and sold many of the European brands to Asahi Breweries.

    So good luck figuring out who makes whatever “brand” of beer you drink… and / or what country they are from.

    IF you can find the Real Czech Budweiser, it’s a gem.

  8. Iggie says:

    I lived in Bourke in the mid-60s and often drank at the North Bourke Pub (sometimes called Riverview). It was north of the township and just across the bridge (Darling River). There were two dirt roads back then – one north to Engonnia and the other west to Wanaaring. Back then there were 7 pubs in Bourke and 3 clubs – now there are only 2 pubs.
    Don’t remember Carling beer, only Carlton.

  9. John Hultquist says:

    Regarding Bud, see .. .

    from DuBois, PA — near where I was raised.

  10. another ian says:


    I figured it was that pub. IIRC the airport is in the general area too. I’ve been around that corner heading north/south a time or three.

    At that stage the main business centre looked like a Middle Eastern bazaar – openings eitgher bricked up or weldmesh

    There is Colin Buchanan’s song on “The Wanaaring Road” which I’m having problems getting a link for here

  11. another ian says:

    More on that

    E.M. if you’d gone about 300 miles north you’d have been in my territory.

    Iggie – by then NSW were serious about a decent 2-lane bitumen road to the border. I started with a one-laner north from there and eventually we got the decent 2-laner too.

    More on the down-town

    One of the best ethnic jokes I’ve heard came from South Africa –

    “What do you get if you cross a Doberman with a Rottweiler?
    A predominantly white suburb”

    Went over a treat in Bourke.

  12. H.R. says:

    What is our Aussie contingent’s take on troops enforcing lockdowns?

    Is it localized? Is it noticeable everywhere or just at some locations?

    Is it affecting any of the regulars here?

  13. philjourdan says:

    @EMS – I know the Czech came first. While I have not purchased any locally, I did drink some in Frankfurt am Main, and asked then if it was related (and was then laughed at by the owner of the Gasthaus). But what do you expect from a 17 year old kid?

    I have a couple of cans in the Fridge. My grandson’s GF is part Czech and she went back to the motherland before Covid and brought me a couple of cans.

  14. another ian says:


    AFIK only in Sydney.

    Nothing at all in western Queensland – not even a lock down, no masks when I went to town on Saturday. Neither there should be as there have been NO cases west of about Toowoomba

  15. H.R. says:

    Thanks, another ian. I read the reports of troops, but I had no idea what the reality of the situation was.

    I did suspect that in high-density population centers, a show-of-force smackdown would probably be ordered to cow the populace.

    But we have enough commenters here from all over Oz that I suspect that the show of force is localized and high profile in population centers and the rest of Australia is more in the “meh” camp.

    Thanks, Ian. Maybe a few others will weigh in to give a better picture.

  16. iggie says:

    According to the Army, they are only helping to take food and packages to homes in the areas that are currently locked down in Sydney.
    NB ‘According to the Army,’.

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