Gary has lived under seven popes

This is his story

I first met Gary in 1970. He was then a middle level manager at John Martin and Co. in South Australia. John Martin’s was then a large retail organisation that had its principal office in Rundle Street, Adelaide, as well as three regional suburban stores. Gary was my boss.

Over time Gary and I became close friends and our respective families got along well with each other. Gary has been blessed with a very colourful and effervescent personality, that remains humorous and all embracing.  By this I mean that Gary has a very open and friendly personality, and somehow he seems to have had the knack of naturally attracting all manner of people towards himself. During his lifetime, Gary has assisted hundreds of people in putting their lives back in order, and he has also been a staunch and loyal member of the Roman Catholic Church in South Australia.

Gary also enjoys being part of the Australian political landscape, and he has had a close working relationship with Labor Prime Ministers Keating and Gillard. It is my opinion that, over many years, my friend Gary has played a significant role in the maintenance of Labor party unity and success in South Australia. He will be sadly missed when he is compelled to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of South Australian politics. Gary’s political stance tends to be left of centre. Gary is also my Godfather.

You will find Gary’s life story in the three sections that follow:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Firing at meaning. My views about life and people reflected in verse

Let’s be honest about our existence

Firing at (understanding) meaning. It is a challenge to do so

The words above are an example of the style of  text that you will find in my verse presentation.

What follows is an extensive series of verse that I created twenty years ago. At the time I was recovering from a complex surgical procedure, a period in which I had an ample opportunity to think not only about life but also what life may mean. I originally structured the verse in order to encourage people, including myself, to think about their everyday lives and what life really means to them. I also created them in order to encourage people to look more closely at themselves and others around them. You will discover that my verse are generally cryptic. Often they have different meanings. Occasionally I picked up on the ideas of others and remodeled their views into a form that I felt was complimentary to the broader style and nature of my own effort. Some of my readers may find some sort of deeper meaning in parts of my work. In summary I have done my best to encourage people like you and me to scratch a little deeper beyond the superficial gloss that we have so successfully draped across our culture and associated way of life. I never completed this project. One day I abruptly compelled myself to give it away. The untidy conclusion of my presentation is a reflection of this sudden decision. (You will also find another brief introduction to the verse presentation itself)

To review a pdf copy of the document, please click here: Firing at Meaning

A little information about my early life and adventures

You will find in the link below a little about my mother, my early life at a boarding school and my adventures

You will also find where I had exciting times on a passenger riverboat on the Murray river in the mid 1950s. I feel confident that you will find the information about these things revealing and interesting.

http://www.jonathonfreeman.org/foundational-presentations/

 

Why I love Dachshunds

sausage dog 002I have both owned, and occasionally bred dachshunds (or Dachies) since the late 1960s. In those early times, Dachies were a popular breed of dog in Australia, but over time, public interest in the breed has declined sharply. Dachies are said to have weak spines and thus are highly susceptible to spinal damage. During the many years I have been associated with dachshunds I have never owned a dog that has had back problems, except for my bitch Bridget who fell over a steep embankment onto her back and injured herself. This injury was quickly repaired with two sessions of acupuncture.

I am suggesting that over the years the dachshund became a much maligned breed, and I feel that this is a great pity. Dachshunds are very outgoing and, if appropriately bred and trained, are fearless hounds. For example, Dachies are quite prepared to follow rabbits, snakes and other vermin down burrows with total disregard for their own safety. The characteristic can be traced back more than three hundred years.

Dachshunds are intelligent and clean dogs, and they normally get along well with children and older people. They can also be very stubborn dogs when they put their minds to it. It now seems that a resurgence of the popularity of the dachshund breed is now occurring in Australia. I recently read that dachshunds are now the second most sought after breed of dogs in Australia [after French bulldogs].

I hope that you enjoy the range of Dachie material that I have provided for you to enjoy that follows.

 

I introduce you to my miniature dachshund Max. The following three photographs were taken when he was nearly three years of age. He is now four

 

DSC04587a-A3 reduced

Max out for his walk

max as pup 2

Tickle my tummy please

max as pup 1

Max in his backyard. His boss needs to mow the grass

Dachshund videos:

Hilarious video of a dachshund on holiday

Five week old miniature Dachies

Dachies having a pool party

Dachies love their lion friend

 

Dachshund websites:

General description and history of the Dachshund breed

A detailed description of the dachshund breed

Frankie the Dachie is now an international hero

 

Three special pictures I chose to make your day:

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e187ffa0dc940e722d2d8a38924abeb2--just-relax-cool-websites

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My friend Gary

I first met Gary in 1970. He was then a middle level manager at John Martin and Co. in South Australia. John Martin’s was then a large retail organisation that had its principal office in Rundle Street, Adelaide, as well as three regional suburban stores. Gary was my boss.

Over time Gary and I became close friends and our respective families got along well with each other. Gary has been blessed with a very colourful and effervescent personality, that remains humorous and all embracing.  By this I mean that Gary has a very open and friendly personality, and somehow he seems to have had the knack of naturally attracting all manner of people towards himself. During his lifetime, Gary has assisted hundreds of people in putting their lives back in order, and he has also been a staunch and loyal member of the Roman Catholic Church in South Australia.

Gary also enjoys being part of the Australian political landscape, and he has had a close working relationship with Labor Prime Ministers Keating and Gillard. It is my opinion that, over many years, my friend Gary has played a significant role in the maintenance of Labor party unity and success in South Australia. He will be sadly missed when he is compelled to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of South Australian politics. Gary’s political stance tends to be left of centre. Gary is also my Godfather.

What few words could possibly favorably change the world forever?

I strongly believe there is a fundamental truth in the eleven philosophical words below. I suggest that you seriously think about them as well.

“See people for what they are and not who they are”

(Original author unknown)

Perhaps another way of conveying the same message is words such as ‘will the real Mrs Smith, and the real Mr Brown, please stand up’. In other words the real character and personality of an individual in lieu of any add-on-dressings such as culture, gender, religion and like that may otherwise dominate their essential selves as human beings.

Richard dreams about many great things

His principal goal is to help save mankind from itself, and in the process, the planet as well.

My friend Richard is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. In my opinion his general knowledge about a great number of topics is beyond belief. However, what sets Richard aside most of all is that he has had no formal tertiary education. He is a self-taught person! Richard confesses that he has made blunders along the way and also admits he has persistently misjudged human nature throughout his life. I see Richard as a gentle giant of a man, who is absolutely determined to save the planet from what he sees as the intrinsic evil of influential decision makers. He also loathes human complacency and our collective failure to not try to better understand what is really happening around us, and most importantly of all, not to attempt to do anything about it. I include the environment, economics and political and social justice with these words.

As a mark of honor and respect to Richard, I want to share with you three pieces of the voluminous amounts of material he has forwarded to me over time. For example, I may send Richard half a dozen lines about a topic I feel we are likely to have a mutual interest in, and he then spends countless hours forwarding back to me his ideas about the same topic. Not only does he spend extended time putting his ideas to paper but he researches it as well, principally from primary sources. Richard is proactive in the environment lobby. If Richard could influence a mere ten percent of the population to seriously believe Global Warming was a fact of life, I think he would succeed in his mission to save the global environment. If you take time out to read the three articles, I feel quite certain you would be in similar awe of Richard as I am.

●          Richard working out if he has bought the most efficient light bulb that is commonly available in the marketplace.

●          In response to a note I sent to Richard about the large amount of natural gas that exists in Russia, and the possibility that the Russian government would use these resources as a means of asserting greater political power, he responded in his usual most thorough manner. I had to think hard about a title to give this highly inclusive and interesting document. I could find no words that adequately do the job so I took a coward’s way out. I used language I feel most people could readily identify with.

●          Someone sent me an email comparing how Japan had emerged from the ashes of war to become not only a significant economic power but also has created infrastructure that is amongst the best in the world. The sender drew attention to his opinion that the U.S. was in its dying days of decline, and it was because Japan has no social security system and America has, he claims that this is why Japan is so far ahead in its economic progress. The author has attached copious amounts of photographs of comparison between each country to make his point, including derelict buildings in Detroit, which in its heyday was at the heart of the American automotive manufacturing industry. I think you will find Richard’s reaction as being to the point, and his use of language is vehement. Good on you Richard!

Richard various emails.pdf

My friend Fred

Fred and I worked in a retail store

I first met Fred around 1971. We worked together at a large regional retail store in the suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia. We regularly ate lunch together and over time we began to socialize with each other; this continued even after we both left the company. During this period we got to know quite a bit about each other, including our respective life values, hopes and life-long aspirations. However, more importantly than this, we shared our views about there being the possibility of a bigger picture pertaining to reality. In other words, the meaning of all things and what life is all about.

I entered university as a mature age student and Fred did similarly around two years later. We saw very little of each other from that period onwards as our lives went in different directions because of our respective marriages. I had a young family and  Fred was determined to reach the pinnacle of his academic career. I had always felt that Fred was highly intelligent, and I believe that his Catholic upbringing played a large part in his progress. His impeccable sense of honesty and dedication to any task  set him apart from most others. Fred completed a Ph. D. in Biology and later IT studies. As far as I know he now works for a large interstate bureaucracy

The reason I created this blog is because one day around 2000 I received a note from Fred suggesting we get together to once again chat about all things between birth and death. We did eventually meet but our busy life styles at the time were not conducive to meaningfully connecting in the way I had hoped it would. It was apparent to me that our educational differences also probably played a part in this failure to communicate.

Because Fred and I are both living around the fringes of permanent retirement. I will periodically insert material into this blog that I feel may be of interest to him with the hope we may one day resume old times chatter about all things between birth, death and perhaps more speculatively, even beyond that.

My friend Richard of the 70s

I met Richard at University

I first met Richard in 1978. We were both enrolled in the discipline of Sociology at a well-known university. Richard was some fifteen years younger than I. I had enrolled as a mature-aged student at around the age of thirty-six. Richard, I and another mature aged-student (Kaye) formed a fairly close relationship, and at times the three of us would have long chats over a glass of red,  and from time to time get a little high on magic mushrooms. I did my best to get into the spirit of university life, but I never took to mushrooms at all. My domestic life at the time was pretty heavy going, as I was compelled financially to work nearly full-time as well as remain enrolled as a  full-time student. My wife gave birth to an infant son that was very ill from birth, and this did not help my already tight living situation. My income came from a small business I operated from home, offering my services as a handyman doing such things as cleaning, gardening, painting, repairing roofs, grubbing blackberries and the like.

Having completed my ordinary degree, and because I could not find suitable conventional full-time work, I had to make a decision as to whether or not to enroll in the Honours year. I subsequently did so. I kept my little business going and once again I enrolled as a full-time student attempting to complete a double major in Sociology and Politics. Needless to say, with my hectic employment schedule and an awesome amount of university work to complete, I quickly learned that I had taken on  far more than I could possibly chew and began to flounder. It was at this point that Richard came to my rescue. Richard was a highly intelligent young man who went on to complete a Ph.D. in Sociology. He was also a highly efficient operator in terms of completing his own education. Richard graciously stood by my side for almost the whole of my Honours year. He helped me construct essays. He helped me understand highly abstract material relating to Sociological theory, which included Marxism. At the time Richard was a diehard Marxist, so I guess we were both lefties together, but I never really got the full hang of what Marx was on about. I ended up squeaking over the line at the end of the year, but merely by a whisker. Without Richard assistance at that time, the year would have been a disaster for me that would have probably have had a negative effect on my psyche for the remainder of my life.

These are the reasons why I publicly express my gratitude to Richard, who now lives with his family in Switzerland. It is my hope that one day we may again be able to recommence sharing our respective life experiences and contemporary beliefs and values.

Is special connectedness the most important thing in life?

The views of the retired chief justice of the High Court of Australia

I wrote a blog entitled “Are we lacking connectedness?” and in it drew attention to what I see as being the significant changes in life values, standards and habits between members of contemporary culture and those of a century ago. Readers who have reviewed this blog will have found that I placed emphasis on the need for enhanced tactility and intimacy between individuals, which was quite evident in the late nineteenth century. I touched on this same theme in another blog entitled “Deep connectedness between men in times of war“. It is my intention to add more slide attachments to the ‘Are we lacking connectedness’ blog, as there is new material I have found that I feel needs to be brought forward for reader benefit. This includes rare articles I have discovered relating as to why intimate relationships flourish in jails.

The extract below is quoted for a particular reason. The former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia (Justice Kirby) delivered a speech to his colleagues at a reunion in 2007. I feel that the underlying message he conveyed at the time is especially significant for what I feel is uneasiness today. I see his words as not only reinforcing my opinions in the lacking of connectedness I cite above, but they are also relevant because they were delivered before a group of judges, arguably the cream of society. They were not laypersons. Justice Kirby stressed the idea of the importance of life-long special bonding between all people, a type of bonding that transcends the elite nature of the profession of those present.  He also talks about family life being more important than anything else in life, including love. I urge you to read the short extract as I feel confident it is likely to encourage you to look at your own life values, hopes and expectations. It did so for me.

THE AUSTRALIAN CLUB KIRBY 12apr14.pdf