Saturday, June 30, 2012

For King and Country.  A war memorial seen from indoors.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Top: Sunderland (aircraft)  and Lancaster (bomber) squadrons and Australian air crew in the UK in WW2.  The Sunderlands kept the sea-lanes clear.
There is no point in gloryifying war but honour is given to the airmen of WW2  with a new memorial in London's Green Park.  Very elderly Australian vets have joined the British, Canadian and New Zealand Bomber Command for the dedication by the Queen this week.  (No doubt other nationals are involved as well).
 Thousands of Australians are among the 55 000 air crew who lost their terrible dice with death. I presume these figures refer to the European front.
War time publications feature the RAAF in the Middle East and S W Pacific with Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands and S E Asia, example Burma, resources were very stretched yet others went to the UK.   Airmen for the 'Empire' trained in Canada.

RAAF Log etc published by Australian War Memorial, Canberra 1943
Middle East.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Good news. New bubs are now having a simple test done to screen for heart problems.  Pulse oximetry is quite non invasive and may detect certain, I guess, fairly uncommon but serious problems sooner than before.
Clothing. On baby, a good old Bonds jumpsuit is de rigueur. Did Bonds invent this classic suit in towelling? What about a two piece suit for a six month old baby as in the adult's suit - trousers, coat, shirt and tie in a dark colour?  Surely it would result in a Warwick Davis look (the vertically challenged entertainer). Apart from that, jumpsuits are literally the only babywear found in the shops, admittedly coming in a range of fine styles.

Possibly social media apart, not much conversation is published about gay marriage and the topic of reproduction considering that the family, as an institution, is usually 'put under the microscope'.
Family is an institution that is undergoing change at a rapid rate and in a taken for granted manner while other institutions change at snail's pace or not at all. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Was I in Station Street or on the waters of the Port of Newcastle.  More councill vans.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

   The Junction at sunset and it sets early these days.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Four and twenty black birds and a reflection at The Junction.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Small fry.  These were
the youngest feet in Newcastle earlier today.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Remember summer?
Some say not to live to the West of your workplace because getting to and from work will be right into the glare of the sun. More difficult to do considering our long eastern coast settlements.
Today's the shortest day, sunny, chilly and breezy. Sunny but everything has tilted away from the sun and the shadows are long and tall trees are likely to cast some shade onto the solar panels.
For old fashioned savings consider your power schedule on Smart meters with the supplier or biller TRUenergy trading as EnergyAustralia.

PEAK rates 2pm - 8pm on working days: 40.26 cents /kWh.
SHOULDER rates morning and evening: 7am - 2pm and 8pm - 10pm on Mon - Fri: 14.96 cents.  Also 7am - 10pm on weekends and public holidays also 14.96 cents.
OFF PEAK rates overnights 10pm - 7am: 8.80 cents.  rates include GSTax

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Real men drive vehicles likes these.
All round the valley, the warriors of mining and construction sites are found busy in 4X4s that have identity markings and fly a flag and have giant mud flaps.  A peverse  gimmick is to copy this style onto a regular car or to echo in street art.

Is Gina Rinehart following in Murdock's footsteps and seeking out a media gallaxy? Hand in hand with the Miners' Advocate!

ABC Radio and TV need an increase in staff to take up the slack and produce additional quality content. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Vintage Cafe.
Remarkable. Prophetic. The Newcastle Herald used to be called .....Newcastle Morning Herald and MINERS' ADVOCATE. The Hunter Valley understands mining and might do a deal with Gina.  Go for broke, what have we got to lose?
Or could a preservation order be applied to a newspaper that dates from the beginnings of a community? In Sydney and/or Newcastle.

What are the chances of keeping enough land free of mineral or gas extraction so as to dedicate it to an array of radio telescopes in Western Australia?  The chances are not good. Perhaps the two will co-exist and fullfill the promise of a role in the biggest radio telescope ever built.
In May it was announced that the telescope will be hosted by South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.  The project will investigate untold mysteries of outer space and will combine the signals received by thousands of small antenna spread over thousnads of kilometres with construction likely to continue till 2025.
Most of the telescopes will be spread over some seven nations in southern Africa.
Land north of Perth WA will also be used but it calls for swift action to grab the land before any miners move in! Then keeping it is another question.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Autumn leaves now but an Inner-city Quickening is in the air.  Vacant properties in Newcastle CBD  have been purchased by Land Com (to do with State Government) for development.  Links with another commercial development are likely. This is welcome news even when it is something like a take over by strangers.

Take over?  Change. The mining baroness millionaire, Gina R, is buying up Fairfax media shares.  It's the end and will test out editorial independence.  Is nothing sacred?  Was it insider trading?  Today Fairfax announces very hugh drastic changes to its operations.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Flock of cockatoos.  Following the crowd.  What do the ground keepers think?

The old radio is always available whilst occupied doing other things.  Without screen or print.  A couple of entertaining visitors were doing the rounds of the media including ABC radio.

The off beat,  Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is written by Jeanette Winterson who tells a good story showing off a good deal of wisdom.
It is gratifying when certain hunches are validated.
And even more so from a second interesting character, Ethan Watters, journalist, whose writings are mind blowing. Culture continues to fascinate....dominate.
What would old Persig think?
Is it easy to be flippant and use too much a common sense approach to issues?  Very tempting.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

 In Syria, ancient cedar-trees frame this showfield where Australian Infantry skiers practise winter maneuvres.  Published 1942.
And other work in the Syrian campaign WW2.

In WW2 is found another chain of battles that have a somewhat similar outline to those of the first world war. The allies were wresting Syria from Vichy control, for portions of the French Colonial Empire still held loyalty to the Petain Government in Vichy.
Free French forces and many locals were pro allies.  The legendary Foreign Legion was active.  Signs of German involvement were observed in Syria.
The Steep mountain countryside of Syria and a clever enemy resulted in a very slow and difficult war.
Air Force support was very important, for example, Australians flew rakish Tomahawkes against Glenn-Martin bomers, Dewoitine fighters and Potez 63s.
Damascus surrended.
Vichy representatives took part in a cease fire and ended the campaign.

A look at the chain of events since then indicates that unfortunately Syria has had very unstable forms of government. And once made an agreement with the Soviet. Then others in turn.
2012 brings  civil war.
Ref: Photos and information published by Australian War Memorial Canberra ACT during the war years, 1941 etc.

This chautauquan is long.  Lawrence of Arabia continued his time with the Arabian tribes. In conjunction with the allies they fought their way north to Damascus in Syria where an armistice with Turkey eventuated. 
Lawrence and Amir Faisal (son of Husseim of Mecca) and the Beduins fought onwards.  Australian soldiers, along with the rest fought. One tactic was to create trouble on the Railway line and lead enemy forces to defend it and leave other places vunerable.

An incident is recorded with Lawrence and the Australians.  Against expectations, Lawrence did not enter Damascus first at the time of the surrender.  An Australian War Memorial account explains that communications were unclear and Australian Light Horse went ahead before him.  Some say Lawrence was embitted by having been beaten and he downplayed the role of the Australians in the war.
Concessions to Arab nationality stipulated French colonial rule in Syria would be in the coastal regions.

Lawrence went with the Arab delegation to the Versailles Peace Confrence where they fully expected to be rewarded with independence for helping the Allies. Britain and France carved up the Middle East into their Zones of influence and the French even ejected Faisal from Damascus. (History Learning Site)
So WW1 ends. Do they have short memories in the Middle East or is that why troubles brew against the West?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Like most coutries, Syria has an extraordinary history. One rather minor figure was the legendary Lawrence of Arabia, who, as an undergraduate, visited there on an archeological dig and later did a solo walking tour of some 1600 ks to the crusader castles.  Did he see the ruins of the outstanding Roman city?
Lawrence's return to Damascus was far more dramatic in later years of WW1.

Indulging in orientalism, the epic film, Lawrence of Arabia, came to light and is a golden oldie, with wonderful images  streaming with natural light and the pace unhurried. The film is not dumb, somehow realistic with screenplay by Bolt and is an all English production. It has no role for women. 

The original Arab Revolt or Awakening was there in 1916 when the Ottoman Empire (Turks) was a target. Turkey sided with Germany so the English protected various interests, Suez and oil for a start. Somehow French, Indian, Australian and other forces were very involved on those battlefields of the Middle East.
At the time, Lawrence was in the English military and was seriously intergrated into the Arab tribal forces which undertook battles from the south up to Damascus, in Syria  (as far as the film narrative is concerned). 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Luckily, an appointment at the hospital didn't have to be taken too seriously.  As a cosmic mariner - destination unknown - I arrived on the shuttle (bus) then first it was a dose of XRays in a darkend room where the technicians hid behind a force field, then the final page, from the clinic, buzzed on a device, which lit up just when the last chance for nourishment was at hand indicated by a large digital readout showing my fateful number to get the hot liquid from the hissing expresso machine manned by dazed barister robots.

At least I wouldn't starve on this journey.  The buzzing and flashing lights continued as I hurried past the flying saucers overhead, evaded the satellite admission and made it past the chopper as it took off into space.  Just in time, back to rejoin the endless line of citizens seeking a magic cure.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

a bourse of gossip...hotel on the waterfront....port of newcastle...a pale ale at dusk....the end of the week returned to calm conditions

Saturday, June 09, 2012

 ...soon I'll hear old winter's song...the days grow long. no, short.

Friday, June 08, 2012

For a long time, a small group of houses has sat beside the sea shore in the path of stormy weather which, this week, destroyed the white fence and not all that long after the fence was renovated.  High tide and pounding waves have caused problems all round.
Below: Cowrie Hole is the name on one house!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Very strange.  Wattle is in flower at the same time as autumn leaves make their appearance.  And cats are usually snoozing in a warm corner at this time of day.  It must be climate change!

Another strange fact.  A journalist has been heard to state that he has no part with Facebook or Twitter.  Couldn't this networking be delegated to the minions - before the minions all go?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

In between formalities during garden nuptials.

High style and class was evident in some of the footage from London.  Royalty, as an institution, is absurd but what an excuse for pomp and circumstance and quality.  Superb fanfares and music, choirs, horses, livery, the Red Arrows and the feu de joie! And was the Duke really ill?

McChesney, who is into the Media, is right onto current issues and one look raises awarness of journalism in independent new online ventures.  One could begin by picking a few sites and 'road testing' them on a regular basis and get with it for I have never become very comfortable about reading wordy material on line but news items are more ok in that form.        

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

There is no escape from winter. World Environment Day and certain lines of escape from global change are in our hands.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

 Strength in Unity!

A terrible week has ended, terrible in parochial terms.
1 Shooting and hunting has the go ahead in National Parks thanks to the so called state Liberal Party. Who cares what's done overseas?  Leave the management of parks to a strong workforce of rangers.
2 State power generation is sold off. Ditto.
3 Certain jobs with the Newcastle Herald (Fairfax Press) will be outsourced, across the ditch to New Zealand workers. Everyman and his dog attended a protest rally (except Nathan T) and expressed disbelief over this drastic policy and questioned the sanity of Fairfax decision makers.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Tranquility theme. 
The cocktail room in the grand old Paragon in Katoomba NSW where the fox trot, the 'all stars', glitter and glamour and sobranie smoke haunt the stillness therein. 

Whatever was I thinking in acquiring this large 'masterpiece'!  The mouse indicates the scale.  It could act as an unusual flower vase and is an inexpensive imitation.
Sadly, I had to pass up a samovar - something of a wish list along with visiting Russia, Azerbaijan and all the rest.