21 October 2021 - WHAT WAS 'RED OCTOBER'?




G'day folks,

No doubt, you have heard this term before, but what does it signify?

After the February Revolution in 1917 overthrew Russia's centuries-old monarchy, the conflict between the Provisional Government led by Alexander Kerensky and the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin intensified around the country.

On 7 November (25 October in Old Style) Bolshevik forces under Lenin's command seized government buildings in Petrograd (or St. Petersburg) and the following day the Winter Palace. This began the Soviet rise to power, and on 9 November the Bolsheviks proclaimed the creation of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the first socialist state so created.

The revolution did not end the struggles. Over the next 5 years the country descended into the chaos and anarchy of the Russian Civil War; the Soviets would triumph, leading to the creation of the Soviet Union in 1922.

Clancy's comment: Now you know. My personal experiences in Russia were delightful. That's all I will say.

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G'day folks,

One of London’s poshest shopping streets opened in 1819  – in a move to clamp down on litter louts and “undesirables”.

At the time Lord George Cavendish lived in Burlington House and was fed up with “ruffians” throwing rubbish – in particular, oyster shells – onto his property. He could, Trump-like, have built a wall, but decided on something far more ambitious.

He told his architect, Samuel Ware, to design a covered promenade of shops. This would not only solve the rubbish problem but enable Cavendish to enjoy the kudos of having created a development “for the gratification of the public and to give employment to industrious females”.

And so London’s famous Burlington Arcade was born. Linking Piccadilly with Bond Street in London’s exclusive Mayfair district, it was the world’s first shopping arcade and is now regarded as an architectural treasure.

The walkway was originally lined with 72 small two-storey units but mergers and changes of ownership mean that the opulent arcade now has only 46 shops. None of them are cheap.

Fancy a David Duggan Rolex watch or Manolo Blahnik shoes? They’re here. Or perhaps an exquisite Victorian gold-coiled snake bracelet, studded with rose diamonds and a pear-shaped sapphire from Hancocks the 150-year-old jewellery business? Yours for the asking.

Prices? As the old saying goes, if you need to ask, you can’t afford them.

But if you feel you would not be brave enough to enter a treasure house such as Hancocks, they would understand, knowing as they do, all about courage. During the Crimean War (1853 - 1856) Hancocks were asked to create designs for a new medal – the Victoria Cross. It would be the highest award in the British armed forces for gallantry “in the face of the enemy”. The final design was approved by Queen Victoria and Hancocks have produced every one of the 1,350 VCs that have been awarded.

There being no police force when the arcade opened, Lord Cavendish created his own – the Burlington Arcade Beadles. Recruited from his old regiment, the Royal Hussars, the earliest members included veterans from the Battle of Waterloo.

Charged with upholding a strict code of conduct dating from Regency times and dressed today as they were in 1819, the Beadles still patrol the arcade in traditional top hats and frock coats designed in nearby Savile Row. 

Pickpockets posed one of the problems that the early Beadles had to deal with and were sometimes thwarted when the thieves would whistle a warning to accomplices that a Beadle was close. Ever since, whistling has been banned in the arcade.

Today’s Beadles like to tell the story of an encounter in the 1980s when a Beadle was about to politely reprimand a shopper who started to whistle as he was gazing in one of the windows. The shopper turned around and was instantly recognised by the Beadle.

“Oh, Mr McCartney, I'm very sorry,” said the Beadle to the Beatle. “I didn't realise it was you. You are hereby given a lifetime exemption from the rule. You can whistle here any time you like.”

And so, the story goes, Paul McCartney is the only person allowed to whistle in Burlington Arcade.

Lord Cavendish’s former home, Burlington House, was sold to the British Government in 1854 for £140,000. The Royal Academy took over the main block in 1867 on a 999-year lease with rent of £1 per year.

And Burlington Arcade? In 2010 it was purchased for £104 million (130 million US dollars) by American property tycoon Joseph Sitt and European private equity firm Meyer Bergman. In January 2017, they put it back on the market with a price tag of £400 million (502 million US dollars).

Not bad for a development originally built mainly to deter litter louts.

Clancy's comment: Been there. Bought some woollen gloves for my girlfriend. No, I didn't whistle, but I was tempted.

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G'day folks,

Well, book four in the 'Kick-Ass' series is ready to hit the bookstores. Having said that, I seriously suggest you read the three previous novels before you read this book: 'KICK-ASS' TYLER' & 'BETTER THAN SLICED BREAD', and 'LIFE SUCKS!'. That way, you will follow Sam as she encounters life, and a heap of experiences along the way.



This book is dedicated to all those who stepped-up to support those who were facing injustice.



Here is a quote from this book when Sam witnesses a waitress being assaulted by a lawyer in a restaurant: 

"Then, just as I was about to begin my dessert, I glanced across at the raucous table and noticed Stephanie leaning over their table to deliver a bottle of wine. As she did, the big-mouthed smartass placed a hand under her short skirt. Stephanie immediately pushed his hand away and stepped slightly to the side as she continued to collect plates from the table. The hairs instantly danced on the back of my neck. Furious, I got up and stood beside Stephanie. ‘Steph, I’ll take care of this asshole. Why don’t you take a break,’ I said with a smile ....

 I gently kissed Mick’s friendship ring; something I often did when I faced a serious situation.

With her hands laden with plates, Carlo’s daughter left for the kitchen, giving me full access to the guy who’d assaulted her. Fuming, I took a quick gasp of air and leant down to speak directly into the bastard’s ear.

‘Listen, asshole. I have no idea who you are and I don’t really care, but if you touch any of the waitresses again I’ll drag you outside and kick the fucking shit out of you. Have I made myself clear?’ I said, walked slightly to the right and looked directly at his face, wanting to gauge his reaction. The others on his table must have heard some of what I said. They all gaped at me in silence. So far, the offender had said nothing, so I pressed my point. ‘Hey, did you hear what I said, asshole?’'



Sam Tyler completes her law degree, begins work at a top law firm, runs a self-defence class at a youth centre, and meets members of the judiciary at Carlo’s Restaurant. After exposing a top lawyer for accosting a waitress at Carlo’s, she witnesses an accident which leads to the arrest of a colleague.

Working on a case, Sam discovers a murder involving a partner at her firm. She also finds a woman and two kids living in a car, disarms the woman’s violent partner, and finds shelter for the family.

Visiting her boyfriend Mick’s property with the State Premier’s three kids, Sam and the kids leave early due to a bushfire, and they are forced to find refuge in an old railway tunnel.

Sam and Mick become engaged, and Sam is involved in a court case involving faulty tractors sold to farmers. A class action is initiated, and Sam faces court with leading counsel, Dan Valenti. Using forged contracts, the company’s lawyer has gained court orders from the presiding judge, but Sam has explosive evidence from whistle blowers. Sadly, Dan Valenti collapses just before he makes his final presentation.

Will Sam make the presentation? How will the judge respond to their evidence? Do Sam and Mick get married?    



Law, courts, crime, violence, karate, starting work, ethics, principles, integrity, multi-cultural communities, friendships, court cases, racism, politicians, courage, youth, winning, farmers, farming communities, losing, and loyalty.


"I could not put it down. How you write these stories is amazing. Your main character, Sam, is truly inspirational ... so much courage.'


Clancy's comment: 

Now, don't be shy. Grab a copy for yourself, your daughter or granddaughter. Oh, this book is not just for females. Young men will find some serious reminders in this book. Trust me, this book will command your attention.


Email me for a copy: 



Love ya work, Sam!

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19 October 2021 - WILLIAM SYDNEY PORTER - O. HENRY - 1862-1910



 - O. HENRY - 1862-1910 -


G'day folks,

Athol Estes Porter died from tuberculosis, then known as consumption, in 1897. The event is significant because her husband, William Sydney Porter, who had been on the run after being charged with embezzlement, was arrested when he returned to be at his wife’s deathbed.

Porter was sent to prison in Columbia, Ohio, for five years and while there produced a body of written work that would help establish him as one of the world’s great short story writers. He wrote them under the pseudonym O. Henry.

He was born in North Carolina in 1862, the son of a medical doctor. Tragically, his mother was to die from tuberculosis when Porter was just three years old – the same disease which, 32 years later, would cause the death of his wife.

When he was 17 he began work in an uncle’s drugstore, and qualified as a pharmacist two years later. But poor health, specifically a persistent cough, made him decide on a move to Texas where he stayed at a friend’s sheep ranch, hoping that a change of air would help his cough.

An avid reader since childhood, Porter dived into classic literature while staying at the ranch. He also worked as a baby-sitter, a shepherd and a cook and learnt a smattering of German and Spanish from the culturally diverse ranch-hands.

His career and his life took a significant turn when he moved to Austin, Texas, in 1884. Porter liked to enjoy himself and became known among Austin’s younger set for his wit, story-telling and musical talents. He not only played guitar and mandolin, but sang in a church choir and became a prominent member of a quartet of young men who sang at social occasions.

One 17-year-old who was captivated by him was Athol Estes and the pair began a romantic attachment, much to the displeasure of Athol’s mother who wanted her daughter to concentrate on improving her health. She, like Porter’s mother before, was suffering from tuberculosis.

As a result of the parental opposition, the pair eloped and were married in 1887. Four years later Porter landed a job as a book-keeper and teller at Austin’s First National Bank, but his career there was cut short when he was accused of embezzlement. The police were not called but he was fired.

If he had hoped that was the end of the matter his hopes were dashed two years later when federal auditors checked the bank’s accounts and discovered missing money. Porter was charged with embezzlement.

On the day before he was due to stand trial he fled, first to New Orleans and then to Honduras. In his writing he described Honduras as a “banana republic” – the first known use of the phrase. He was on the run for a year until he heard that his wife was dying of the same disease that had killed his mother. Porter returned to Austin to be at Athol’s bedside.

He was arrested, found guilty at his trial of embezzling $854 from the bank and sent to prison for five years. It was said that he needed the money partly to pay his wife’s medical bills. She died five months after his return to Austin.

While in prison Porter wrote many short stories including in 1899 "Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking” – the first to bear the O. Henry pseudonym.

Released after three years for good behavior, he went to live in New York, where his flow of stories began in earnest until, by his death, he had produced more than 600. His stories were distinguished for their witty approach, effects of coincidence on their characters and most often for their surprise endings. His readers loved them.

The world’s other great short story writer, France’s Guy de Maupassant, obviously penned thoughts that were of no appeal to Porter. He said: “I have been called ‘the American De Maupassant.' Well, I never wrote a filthy word in my life, and I don't like to be compared to a filthy writer.”

William Porter had long been a heavy drinker, and he died in June 1910 of cirrhosis of the liver, complications of diabetes, and an enlarged heart, aged just 47.

In 2012, political science professor P.S. Ruckman Jr. and Texas attorney Scott Henson filed a formal application seeking a posthumous pardon for the writer. Previous attempts had been made to obtain such a pardon under Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. It was never granted.

Cancy's comment: Mm ... an interesting life, but cut short. Hail all short story writers!

I'm ...










G'day folks,

The exclusive and expensive shop in Miami was called 'Look'. But when Felicidad Noriega, wife of the deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, came calling in 1992 she decided to do more than just “look”.

She was arrested after she and a friend were caught snipping buttons from 10 jackets on display at the shop, owned by the Burdines department store chain. Both women were charged with shoplifting $305 worth of buttons.

Police said that Panama`s former First Lady and her friend dropped the buttons into a bag of merchandise that they had genuinely purchased. After passing several cash registers in the store at the Dadeland Mall shopping centre, they left without paying and were arrested outside by the store’s security staff.

Charged with grand theft, the couple spent the night in jail before being released on $1,500 bail each. The police said the women caused $1,242 in damage to the clothes.

Normally, Felicidad would turn to her husband to resolve such a little local difficulty, but he had his own problems. He was nearing the end of his trial for racketeering and drug trafficking, for which he would soon receive a 40-year jail sentence.

In the end, Felicidad’s lawyers signed a deal with the State Attorney’s Office in Miami. The charges against her were reduced to petty theft and criminal mischief and it was agreed no further action would be taken provided she would undertake counselling or community service and pay $1,320 in damages. And that buttoned up the case.

Clancy's comment: Mm ... tell me the company you keep and I'll tell you who you are.

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G'day folks,

The first public buses began to run in 1662 – an idea probably 200 years ahead of its time. The service, introduced in Paris, was abandoned in 1675 and public transport did not return to the streets of any major city until 1895.

The idea was promoted by Blaise Pascal who was a man of many talents: physicist, philosopher, mathematician, inventor, author – the list went on. The Governor of Poitou, the Duke of Ronanes, thought it was such a good idea that he decided to back it and had seven horse-drawn carriages built, each capable of carrying eight passengers.

The scheme received royal blessing when King Louis XIV granted the Duke a monopoly, which meant that any competitors would face having their horses and vehicles confiscated.

The scene was set, then, for a grand opening ceremony of the service on 18 March and the Carosses a Cinq Sous, as the buses were called, began work. So a ride in the carriage (carosse) cost five sous, a sou being the least valuable coin in the French currency.

There are conflicting theories concerning the failure of the enterprise. One researcher thought that the service was very well received at first but since people were riding for amusement only, after a few weeks the popularity of the buses waned and the carriages faded into oblivion.

Elsewhere, it was suggested that the new mode of transport was taken up by fashionable members of Parisian society who crowded out the less advantaged citizens. Nobility and gentry were allowed to ride the coaches, but not soldiers and peasants. 

Blaise Pascal

As a result, the poor decided that buses were not for them and when the "trendy set" became bored the service was discontinued.

Pascal is best known today for other achievements: an early calculating machine and work on atmospheric pressure (Pascal's Law).

Wired Magazine reports that he also contributed numerous theorems in geometry and binomial mathematics, laying the groundwork for Fermat, Leibniz and Newton, and inspiring the name of a 20th-century programming language. His letters and philosophical works are still read, studied and admired.

Clancy's comment: There ya go. Busses are now a vital form of transport around the globe. 

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