" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

July 29, 2016

The Dead Man's Hand

The Dead Man's poker hand, a
pair of
aces and eights. 1881?
I see that in recent months my blog has attracted the attention of a large Russian audience and that the post that seems to be the most popular to that audience is my post titled -
"Touch" the Deadman's Hand Coincidence
I have no reason why it is so popular with Russian readers of this blog.
'Touched' by the Deadman's Hand?
Maybe they like 'The Church''s You Tube songs in that post, and/or are fans of the TV show 'Touch'?

I did write about one of my favourite beers in that post, "This is one of my favourite Australian beers and I've been drinking it on and off all year, and it was only today that I noticed on the bottle that it has been brewed since 1881!?!"
The t-shirt I bought at Boag's brewery
I ended up doing a brewery tour of Boag's Brewery on the one day that I spent in Launceston, and I ended up buying 
a deck of playing cards and a t-shirt.  
Boag's Brewery formally Esk Brewery, established 1881
I was told on the brewery tour that there is rumoured to be a ghost that haunts this brewery, too.

Looking out at the carpark in the back from the
'Boag's Centre for Beer Lovers'
Looking out at the Boag's Brewery from the
'Boag's Centre for Beer Lovers' window
The tour starts at the 'Boag's Centre for Beer Lovers', where you are given ear plugs, safety glasses and a hi-vis vest.
"...where you are given
ear plugs, safety glasses..."
The Boag's Centre for Beer Lovers
"The Lame Dog Hotel (later known as the Tamar Hotel) was constructed in 1826 and by the 1930s the Georgian-style building had become one of Launceston's most notable hotels.
George Radford and his family operated the hotel for 26 years. 
The building was restored to house the
Boag's Centre for Beer Lovers."
Oddly enough, the young lady who took our diverse group of travelers (travelers from Brisbane (me), two guys from Perth, and one from Adelaide) around the brewery was a pastor at a local church. 
I sampled all of the Boag's beers after the tour and by the time I hit the footpath to walk back to my motel room, as the lights had come on at the brewery.
Great tour and I highly recommend doing it, if you like beer.  
My"no smoking" gun motel room
 in Launceston, Tasmania:-)
Inside room 233 ... not room 237:-)
I think my motel room may have been haunted, as well, as every now and then a very violent banging sound would come out from the front of the bathroom sink when no water was running through the pipes. 
This happened a few times during the night I was there, and I couldn't work out how this was happening, as it wasn't something like pipe hammer.
This sink would just make a violent and very loud banging sound at random moments.
It was like a medieval room, which was cozy, but a bit spooky at the same time.
Lifting the Venetian blinds to look across
 to the King's Bridge Bar
The King's Bridge Bar and Restaurant
It was my only night in Launceston and after driving all day from Port Arthur and doing the brewery tour in the afternoon I decided to grab a meal at the King's Bridge Bar and Restaurant and then head back to my motel room to watch the State of Origin Rugby League game between Queensland and New South Wales on the room's TV set.
Unfortunately, the best team lost again;-) 
Fish and chips and a Wizard Smith to wash it down with
I bought one of the beers that I had sampled at the brewery that afternoon to have with my meal that night and kept the bottle as a souvenir to take back to Queensland, as this beer is only available in Tasmania at the moment, but a little cute birdy told me that this beer may soon be hitting the mainland of Australia

Fingers crossed.
I love the story behind the making of the Wizard Smith Ale, worthy of a major motion picture I thought, as I had never heard it told before.
"Wild and wet Tasmania was even wilder and wetter than usual in the autumn of 1929
With 10 inches of rain on the old scale, across two sodden days, Launceston was inundated and 4000 residents left homeless.
James Boag’s, of course, kept heavy draft horses to deliver beer around town and malt to the brewery, and these hefty animals were stabled right in the thick of it on the town’s river flats.
Fortunately for the horses, Tasmania’s unique and rugged environment also yields unique and rugged individuals. 
And the drayman at James Boag’s Brewery was one such, with the unlikely name of Wizard Smith
Wizard rushed to the river, waded through the rising floods, and led his valuable and much-loved charges to dry ground and safety.
James Boag III, who knew quality just like his father and grandfather, awarded Wizard with a job for life and, eventually,
a pale ale in his honour
And with respect for a legendary Tasmanian, the legendary James Boag’s Wizard Smith Ale is only available in Tasmania."
 Now there is a movie for Joel Edgerton and his brother to make, or Russell Crowe.
I'll let them fight over that one;-)  
Oddly enough, I would be leaving Tasmania on June 23rd, which happens to be Joel Edgerton's birthday, as I just found out. 
Consider the idea about the movie a gift from me Joel;-)
King's Bridge Bar and Restaurant
King's Bridge Bar and Restaurant
The empty seat sitting across the table I was
eating at with a Dark Mofo poster behind it
Room 233 is above the reception area of the motel
It was a great little motel and it even had a windmill in it's car-park, which I parked my car near for the night.
The Windmills of My Mind

Leisure Inn Penny Royal 

Hotel & Apartments

"This is a tourist attraction based on the original
Penny Royal Windmill which was built in 1840.
Completed in the 1970s, it now comprises accommodation and reconstructed 19th century mills and attractions. There is a 16.5 metre windmill, a fort, a gunpowder mill, a paddlesteamer and a cannon foundry." 
I wish I had have had more time to spend in Launceston, but I had commitments in Melbourne for that coming weekend and couldn't stay longer.
So, I would like to spend some more time in this town to look around in the future if I'm ever down this way again.
That's dependent on the cosmic dealer in life's poker game I guess;-)  


  1. Hello Darren, long time since I visited you. Nice to see you're still blogging. Always interesting to see what you put. I too have been receiving a lot of attention from Russia! 607 visits yesterday? What's going on?

  2. The Church- "Milky Way" song is the kind. A great video on You Tube with the Milky Way stars. Respectfully, Dennis

  3. Hi Stella, 607 hits from Russia yesterday?
    Your blog must be more popular than mine then in Russia, as I only got 483 hits yesterday (that Blogger could track, that is).
    Here is a run down on traffic to this blog yesterday by country-


    United States




    United Kingdom





  4. And here are the hits for the week as recorded by Blogger -


    United States



    United Kingdom