Sunday, April 30, 2017

Rubber duckie v great white

 Sun and surf Caves Beach.  Surf Life Saving Clubs event yesterday.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Not many priorities other than climate change on this blog.
  Do state and federal governments prioritise what matters to our society?   It is not beyond us to recognise important and more urgent matters but it seems all matters are given equal attention by the parliaments.
  The bigger picture and more pressing global problems need emphasis.
  There is non-stop talk, negotiations, enquiries, legal procedures and an extra big budget connected with our refugee prisons in an all-consuming process when the refugees could be granted asylum and we move on.  Move on from our self inflicted problems around detention and move to the bigger picture of global migrations and prepare for the impact on society now and in the future with new policies.
  Recently, the wording of legislation to address hate speech, for want of a better description, occupied the whole political agenda and while it is important it cannot be given equal weight and time with other outstanding issues about our future.
  We can do much better than toy around and politicians who cannot see the bigger picture. How can the politicians earn their keep by spending their time on party politics, on their problems and in-fighting and vague policies about a few difficulties. 
 
 

Monday, April 24, 2017

March for Science.
My young relatives have been offered a reward to try a few little science experiments.  It takes more than giving a science set. Will a reward stimulate interest?  How much experiment is enough first up? How does interest continue?
   Studies about the behaviour of the learner look at the question of rewards but who knows as in my case the 'message' might get through when it is of immediate relevance and rewards were not on my agenda at the time.
    One hears (on ABC RN) about the young post graduate who ventures out into a remote national park or the swamps, (rather wet lands) in order to trap an endangered field mouse, study pollution or methane or some such all of which probably takes initiative, independence and flexibility or slight obsession.
   How can youngsters who are raised in urban surroundings be inspired to widen their horizons so as to undertake anything scientific or out of the ordinary or 'get their hands dirty'? Will they in turn take to the fields and swamps and that's not Trump's swamp.  
   However, field work is probably a phase after which there will be a return to conformity, a search for funds and toeing the line in a university which means a narrow urban up bring could be pretty suitable after all.    
 
 

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Off Hawkes Nest recently.
This is no Manchester By The Sea which is a very appealing setting for an unusual dramatic film.
The producers have copied the ways of the arty film genera which is fairly uncommon in an American work but it is unmistakably American yet unAmerican.
  We are not spared from conflict, irritations, silence, nor strong feelings yet amusement is often there and it generally moves with restraint. Yes, amazingly, exaggeration is limited. As well, the cold winter weather is special.
The score of classical music and other numbers is also surprising. The season finished in the city cinemas but the little independent Regal cinema came up with a screening good for those who missed out.

the morning after the night before....the USA is asked to the 'party' or either they take an invitation for granted......
A love hate relationship.  This country takes on risk while ever we support US installations for this or that and worse still blindly follow them into wars.
As for the regular military exercises in the NT it is not as though their own country is short of appropriate places to play war games.
Cultural exchange other than more pop culture would be very welcome.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Walking was very popular yesterday. In Newcastle - for a change.

New life new hope in this exciting time of disruption although disruption is at arms length in this benign life of complacency that is the experience of many of us.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Not long ago in the images fire was the big enemy when bush fires struck.
 Last week, it was a different story when the stubble left after harvest was burned off.  Small crops grown on the pretty undulating land of the central south west of the state were seen on fire here and there leaving large black and brown patches over the landscape.

  Recently it was said that agricultural fires are a big contributor to global warming via the emissions so are the fires very essential?

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Celestial chapel.

Toot Toot! A steam train? Impossible. Chuff chuff.  Sure enough.
Ah! It's Steam Fest. Stations of the cross... Hamilton....Waratah. Recalling dog collar and his tank engine Thomas.  Reverend steam punk. Playing trains and little boys. We won't go there but the courts will.

Friday, April 07, 2017


This is and isn't a fake view. Entirely out of season these tulips are in bloom in autumn in our southern climes.
Months of prep using refigeration and light control resulted in this display. The effort is appreciated. The business, down south, sells all sorts of flowering bulbs.
 Bulbs are not at home in Newcastle's climate.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017


Looking down

Travels.  A van with five cylinders has a good comfortable reliable 'beat' to it while out on the country roads even if it is not exactly quiet.   However, the Merc Sprinter has now updated from five to other configurations.  This diesel model was made in Germany while the same van might be found as a Dodge etc when made elsewhere. 
  Progress is made on smaller yet more powerful engines for Sprinters and led by the tighter controls on emissions. Small diesel European cars for city driving are frowned upon due to diesel emissions and normal petrol power has been improved.  Here the big semis are adding blue liquid to the fuel to combat pollution.

Monday, April 03, 2017

On the border



This morning there is a beach but it is miles and miles from the coast, across is a steep sandy 'wall' that leads to a 'forest' of gum trees where bird life is loud mouthed and is all that is heard. Sunday's swimming and boating has ended.
  All is reflected in wide calm water with a beige appearance but on looking closer it is clear and cool but not icy in the morning sun, blue skies and nippy breeze.
  The River Murray near Cobram.  Its long jounney has hardly begun till it goes interstate and 'limps' into the sea afterall its waters that flowed to irrigate farms far and wide.
  Long sections have a wide 'corridor' of land on both sides of the river reserved as nature parklands.  In that specialised zone, the red gum trees, for one, depend on periodic flooding for their survival in a life that usually spans hundreds of years as the oldest trees are very sturdy, very tall and sprawling.
  Small anabranches and lakes are peacefull places for birdlife.  Camp grounds are found throughout.   

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Saturday, April 01, 2017


Interfloral contestant in the junior interstate comp at Melbourne Flower show.  Not only that, this is Jessie Smith of Warners Bay (Newcastle neighbour) taking part representing NSW..  Bridal bouquets have undergone change.
 Outside, the park had a range of exhibits, art, food and fun spaces.  Good weather was a bonus.

 Today, posting from near the Goulburn River in Shepparton, free of flooding.  The after effects of a cyclone are not likely to reach here in fact the land seems dry and ungreen. 
Irrigated orchards and water channels are in the surrounds and lakes have been formed.
 Here is the home of SPC  (Shepparton Packing company) canned fruits and vegies,including IXL and other brands in a very extensive sweet smelling factory with international sales, Campbells Soup factory was spied AND the one and only Furphys Engineering Works ('good better best' ) and that is dinky di.  

Friday, March 31, 2017


The Melbourne International Flower show includes a view over the veteran Exhibition Building.  The straightforward style, yet with restrained elegant decoration - not so apparent in this photo - is unique in this country in my humble opinion.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Taking the easy way out with this photo.  What's not to like?        Melbourne Flower Show.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


A zany poster is found everywhere in city Malbourne.  'A tram can weigh over 30 rhinos.... check for trams'.
Just how to go about driving on a road that is a tram route has one firstly checking out how others go about it before taking that first run. Multiple sets of traffic lights and road markings are a bit of a mystery at first.
A veteran (it is presumed) tram was part of the city circle's free transport.  The trams are frequent.


Saturday, March 25, 2017


At Glenrowan, Ned lives forever, the mythology is strong, a most notorious bush ranger.  Today, Ned Kelly, would be akin to a terrorist. 
 Glenrowan, Vic, is not far from the free way.  There, the site of all the action is marked and interpreted in a street on the other side of the rail line. It is free..
  A contest is on in between the towns of  Glenrowan and Beechworth to secure a centre devoted to all things Ned Kelly. His trial was held in Beechworth.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Group of grand old Bunya Pines in Beechworth, Vic, no doubt growing since colonial days and the local gold rush. .
 The town is a great place for trees and full grown beech trees. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Borobudur Indonesia

The vast monument of Borodudur, oft visited, oft filmed, Buddhist inspired in 1.17 minutes by slides.
video

Devotional or ornamental pieces with a likeness of the face and head of Buddha are very commonplace in our decor.  Did this idea arise from the destruction of the ancient statues?  Many of the figures have been plundered and disfigured and suffered bizarre head hunting but the general grandeur remains to be seen..



Monday, March 20, 2017

  
 I had a little nut tree, nothing would it bear,
     But a silver nutmeg and a golden pear.........

William Bartlett pears $1 kg.  Four pears cost 60 cents.
 We need more respect for the little treasures from the farm.  An orchard is tended and pruned, the fruit is picked and packed and transported long distances to distribution centres and then moved to the supermarket.  All this for next to zero return.  This low price is very unusual.  Think of the grower who works for nothing.
5, 6, 7 or 8 serves of fruit and vegies each day is declared mandatory for good health and illness prevention. 
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Saturday, March 18, 2017


   On Scott Street Newcastle.
Teas and coffee. Industrial chic?  Originally many of these corners in the city were the site of a hotel.
Beer drinking is overtaken by change of old routines and by coffee drinking.                               Coffee from Timor Leste can be found sold by friends of that newest little nation to our north.  Their economy relies on oil export alone.  Their economic wealth is tiny.    In the past we witnessed their struggles and a referendum and the bullying tactics then they were done over by unfriendly neighbours with wholesale destruction of the infrastructure .       Australian policy towards ownership of off shore oil is almost as bad in cheating Timor Leste out of their oil resources.  It is our responsibility to hand over the oil developments that are within the domain of Timor and withdraw claims of ownership of the seas in question.   


Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Down horse stud lane it was different to see the surroundings in softer light after rain.

Do you believe in miracles?  Anything is possible.  Our political man at the top has phoned Tesla.
 Mr Turnbull has deceived us in ignoring renewable energy in the past, failing to debate or plan and all the while he has solar and a battery storage at his own residence it is said.
 Tesla had twitted that the company would build battery storage for South Australia within 100 days or no charge (!). More words go back and forth
  South Australia is now taking charge of its own electricity.  No more ridicule.  The state will develop renewables.  It will develop natural gas and use it to power new generation. This is unlike others who export too much natural gas and leave us short as they seek the higher returns.
  Soon our household is going onto batteries. Whether off the grid or not remains to be seen.  Other aspect of the house need work done and that will come in time. Inshalla.
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video
This week big thunder storms are occurring around the state and recently a 'cloudburst' round Jerrys Plains made driving difficult and we stopped and pulled over a couple of times. Rain was as heavy as.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Following the pack.  Camel rides and belly dancers were out in force at Hamilton street fest known for staging cultural presentations from new comers from other lands. The belly dancers were probably not in that category.
Despite the exotic vendors I couldn't go past the sushi bar....conveyor....automaton.. .. . . maybe Korean style is best as sushi varies a little.
Sushi -  another rice product. Is nothing sacred, a program with good credentials told us that rice is naturally contaminated with arsenic and suggested that soaking and rinsing and boiling in a large volume of water is mandatory.  Amazing. We wondered if the contaminate has cleared up, used up, leeched out of the environment in Eurasia where rice has been grown for centuries. However, contaminate might arrive with each new flood from the rivers or from the rain fall.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


This property was in total disarray after fire went through.  Below is a fire free scene.
It could be said some farms look topsy-turvy at the best of times.
Every second vehicle was a B Double hauling a bumper wheat crop grown out west. 'Make hay while the sun shines' for research has found that wheat cropping is compromised long term by climate change.
 Gradually farmers will become unable to compensate for change in temperature and water resources and a region will cease production, less wheat, while a different climatic region might continue on.  

Friday, March 10, 2017


 Fences have been replaced as thousands of kilometers were lost to the fires.  Donations of materials have been made and fencing teams have been to work but there are not enough to go round.
 Blaze Aid gathers volunteers to work as fencing teams at trouble spots such as this.  Blaze Aid is on the web.

Thursday, March 09, 2017


Stock were lost in the fires.  Left with no pastures or fences, live stock has gone on agistment.  At the same time truckloads of feed has been donated and transported by growers.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017


A lot of farm houses and sheds were burnt down in the bush fires. Pastures and grazing lands with even short ground cover were engulfed by flames.  Two weeks on and green shoots are breaking through.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

 
Bush fires have raged in the central west of the state seen here yesterday beyond Cassilis.
Photo in panoramic mode which for various reasons distorts the semi and has it driving in the opposite direction as in left hand right hand drive.  Fake views!


Saturday, March 04, 2017

The Greens and community survival

It was dangerous and it took bravery to go along to a meeting with the most disrespected disliked group in the community.  Of all things, The Greens seek to preserve the environment and our health and the Great Barrier Reef by means of more renewable energy production and by phasing out thermal coal mining.
 Senator, Dr Richard Di Natale, Leader of the Australian Greens, (at the rostrum), Senator Lee Rhiannon, MLC Jeremy Buckingham presented daring plans for more employment on coal mine remediation among other plans, during an ordered transition from coal.

 Coal is a major contributor to climate change.  As the largest coal export port, Newcastle succeeds in shipping destructive climate change to the globe.  Day and night.... day and night....

Friday, March 03, 2017

Newcastle or Newie

                              .....Warts and all

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Retromania


Unlikely yet inventive motor home from the fifties or sixties.  Probably a recent import from the USA of an old model.
The rest of the show room was full of motor homes each with 16 rooms at least.  And two by two trailers unfold to reveal about 10 rooms. Not.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Miracles in bamboo

video

Bamboo as an extraordinary building material.  Greenschool Bali Indonesia.  Unique?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

video
This part of town would be photographed over and over but that didn't stop this version.  A small slice of a large city.  Slides are included and they take their time.
Imagine knowing the subject matter and the vibes of a city, planning and making a series of presentable films to do it justice.  It would just be a personal challenge as there is an abundance of media to get lost in.         

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fajar Utama or Argomuria train

video
A one minute ride recorded in the latest hand held medium (!) for this express service is belting along.

Monday, February 20, 2017

                                                 more of the same

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pre construction

 Hunter Street West, Newcastle.
  House prices have doubled or tripled in recent times so most people in Sydney are excluded from the market.  Concerns, dismay, debate, lip service have resulted.
  Increased revenue from state stamp duty; double percentage profits to real estate agents; hefty long term bank loans to profit the banks;
the home reduced to an investment commodity;  negative gearing tax breaks for investors;
high demand for rental properties and profiteering;
liberal free market non-intervention policy of do nothing.
These must be a few of the points that prolong the situation.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

                                        closer to the beach pictured yesterday

Friday, February 17, 2017

                                a terribly quiet evening.....

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Beach goers and wheel chair with 'off road' tyres suitable for beach. And lifesavers.
Issues will disappear from the news cycle now the weather is cooler. Sustainable power and carbon emissions staved off for now.
South Australia has lowered carbon emissions which is the point of the whole exercise never acknowledged by the critics. Full marks to SA for grappling with the problem of alternative energy.
 The length of daylight saving could be increased in the Eastern states so as to have peak energy consumption during sunlight hours even drawing from South Australia where the peak is later who in turn draw from the west. Western Australia has sunlight when it is after sunset in the east.  The east should establish solar power in the West or buy their power to cover the peak in the east by way of a network.
 Lifesavers
 Our countryside is made up of extensive wooded areas of vegetation despite the land clearing activities. Surely the extent is significant in countering global warming.
Our endless yet lightweight forests and scrubby bad-lands will be lifesavers on the world scene in conjunction with similar regions around the globe. To a traveller of our country the vegetation of green  and 'shades of grey' is seen as a truly vast asset.  We must halt land clearing now.
  Trees soak up carbon dioxide and store it and release oxygen, they filter other gases and little pollutants, they are involved in the water cycle, in all, an amazing resource in combating global warming.
Halt all land clearing now.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Communications

 100% fiber to the home, yes, to the home, fiber optic network by Indi Home Fiber, photo taken last year in Indonesia and well outside a major city area. It can be seen the cables are above ground.
  Indonesia is represented as a tolerant society and, same as everywhere else, a minority, it is presumed, demonstrate in objection to Ahok and his pronouncement. The 'fever' is not a good look to an outsider who is taken aback by the size of the protests and sound grabs from the zealous leaders (via ABC reports).
  The Jakarta newspaper, on line, is ok tho it takes more effort to delved into the reasons for the unrest as the charge against Ahok has assumed much importance.
 Do his rivals want him discredited to leave the field open for nepotism with a military flavour. Do the ABC correspondents baulk at providing an in-depth report?  Does our media watch its Ps and Qs in Indonesia?  Has its budget been trimmed too much.
 It is difficult for an outsider to be well informed without effort. Tourists in Indonesia and elsewhere blindly forge ahead in ignorance. The little you know adds a useful bit of risk and challenge while not trivialising any big local concerns.
 Whose job is it to judge what constitutes a life and death issue?  It is tempting for an outsider to do so even while ill-informed.