Wednesday, November 28, 2018

From Papua New Guinea, the island to our immediate north, are carvings and weavings, story boards and shields.  Splendid face painting and body art plus wearable artifacts are seen at tribal gatherings and sing-sing activities for intense men and women.
 Recently foreign aid for PNG in the form of a national power network is planned by several nations working as a group which is a big challenge.  Imagine the cooperation called for and work in conjunction with locals as essential.  Solar should be suggested as top priority with appropriate technology thereby ahead of the donor nations. As well, aid needs to be on the ground ahead of China and its developments there.
 That we have a struggling country right next door is not on the radar of most of us apart from our long term aid budget which was liable to cuts until the Chinese ramped up their presence.  See the dreadfully slow improvements in public health.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

November, Jackaranda and Christmas Bush - what could be more typical?

The nascent Christmas Bush is not humming with bees.  When will they arrive?
 The blossom will gradually turn red over the next several weeks.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

National priorities. Idealistic nonsense. It's about the issues that can't wait.
  Call a halt on spending time money and energy on most things that we can well do without and instead address critical issues that cannot wait. The time is now.  The ultimate rewards will be ten fold.
 High levels of extinction of wild life is recorded globally. Insects...bees..failing. Fascinating animals gone for ever and the very web of life in jeopardy where our interdependence is crucial.
 It is trite to describe the world as worse than ever and be a victim of the news cycle that overloads us with national dramas but do we really come to grips with the size and scope of some trends? Communities in many areas are on mass migration. Environments are consumed by bush fires. Weather patterns are changing and records are broken. Those are the major priorities to address.

The sacrifices and horrors of war are not lost on me one bit. But, $500 billion to finance additions to the extensive national war memorial is unnecessary.  Empire building out of control. An investment to stimulate in the national psyche some sort of spirit based on war.
 We could be steered into positive, inspiring but pressing notions about out future. Spirituality is found in nature and its renewal not only in war, death and mateship.

Celebrate life. Celebrate the future, work for peace and make better use of money to fund urgent priorities.   

PS I am remiss and have had it pointed out that positive aspects about war need to be stressed in order to gain military recruits and approval of the next conflict.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Since about 100 BCE these two buildings have stood empty close to a now pivotal part of town. What is their story? Near Honeysuckle and Hannell.  Development is all around.
  Never mind. Other notable sites have moved ahead after sitting idle for aeons.  Latec House!

Thursday, November 01, 2018

See works from the Impressionists at the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney . On loan from The Hermitage.
The time will fly during a visit. Big names. A few have glaring colours. An audio visual is curious. The staff were attentive at the time.  Has an admission fee and usual appealing merchandise.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Friday, October 26, 2018

Outdoing Portillo.  NSW City Rail Sydney urban and Newcastle.  On a good day, no crowd, seats plentiful, the air-con was right temp, on time - which is usual - all good.
A couple of minor hitches of my own doing - the timetable has been up dated but using the old times there seemed no need to hurry but a Sydney service departed when just 20 metres away to buy a paper but the next train left before too long. There is no crass indicator at the point where the train departs.The indicator is some distance away outside the 'barriers'.
The rail website has no easy access to the timetables.  It has a service that offers a total plan for a proposed journey close to the time of looking but does not seem to cover a journey in the future. It is much more interesting to see a full timetable for flights, trains or buses and work around it instead of the use of a string of fictitious dates to research travel.   
 On returning it was decided to change to a bus at Broadmeadow but the bus timetable had been altered and the next bus was thirty minutes away. It had been seen as a better alternative to any delay at Hamilton or Newcastle. The apps would be the solution.

Monday, October 22, 2018

When will urgent policy on climate change be addressed?  The conservative Liberals lost a by-election and lost their majority.
 They are slow learners.  Their mantra continues 'economy... economy.. and jobs' which ignores what electors complain about. Many say they were rejected because of lack of climate policy and failure to act on our disgraceful refugee prisons and the children therein as well as the change of leadership. 
  When will they ever learn? With their days running out decent policy might be shelved. More delay, no pressure, we have all the time in the world to swan around.  

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Seen: a large old mincer.  Not the mincing attachment for a mixer.  The brand is Ruberg which sounds European.
We had a similar smaller mincer and as a child I saw cold roast meat minced up, probably for cottage pie.
A standing rib roast was a great favourite and one that is not usually made available now.  It was made up of Sirloin or T Bone steaks in one piece.
The old rolled roast can't be good enough anymore or butchers have no time to prepare the roll which means using skewers and string to hold it together.
Our usual diets change over time. As well, Low Carb might ward off ubiquitous diabetes 2.  Then, like most diets, it has its detractors.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Meet Lord Jagannatha. Sanskrit for Lord of the Universe. The name given to the form of God, Krishna. An Eastern Indian festival has a huge heavy image dragged through the streets. (It has given rise to the word juggernaut).
Vegan and vegetarian dining in a practical manner is partaken in Mayfield West at a shopfront centre of the believers.

Unrelated topics-
Deutsche Grammophon marked its 120 annive rsary with an orchestral performance at the Forbidden City in Beijing.  The palace would have its own magical presence.  (J Post, Jakarta)  Just as well I can resist the regular emails about 'deals to get you packing'

A small flock of sea eagles, (I presume, probably wrongly, were large, not huge and shrieked) about 4 birds, created a big stir among the local birds who suspected them of predatory moves.  This morning all the birds cried out and the visitors shrieked and circled around and trespassed into the tree tops. A kookaburra and then magpies joined the small critters and flapped into the action. Then things settled down again after ten minutes.
The first intermittent repetitious solo call of a certain bird that arrives each summer has just been heard back again, welcome back, Koel!

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Do something NOW for the next generation. Urgent and unprecedented action is called for by UN to deal with the rise in global temperatures so that at worst no more than a 1.5 degree increase is reached by 2050. And that will result in significant climate change.

 It is in our hands to act now for it is said that we can still avert extreme problems.
 The UN group, backed by the works of the scientific community, made many points and seeks a reduction of 75% - 90% in thermal coal use by 2050,  so, will my local powers that be, do just that alone?  We must use our influence to do the right thing to reduce coal use and do much better than that scenario.     

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Retro imports it anything to do with free trade agreements?  Despite the complete folly, the size and style is notable.  A two door Continental. 
 In Rutherford, Midlife Crisis, a car yard with links to the net sells Yank tanks inside an electric fence.  All left hand drive.
The previous words were of the earthquake in Indonesia.  All that could be said is that life is cheap.    While resources are not unlimited the response appeared callous and terribly lacking in speed and usefulness.  The tardy acceptance of foreign aid was also unbelievably bad. 

Feast or famine.  A local Hunter valley vineyard for wining and dining.  Spring was in the air the day before amazing

welcome rain came along.  Wine tasting looks more formal ...professional... once it seemed ok to sample a few wines for whatever reason.  I wouldn't know, have left it all to the tourists and sadly only try a very occasional wine as it is difficult to digest.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

People of Sulawesi, an island of Indonesia need assistance and our thoughts following an earthquake and tsunami. Placid water may change on extremely rare  occasions.
 The bow in the photo of the port of Newcastle, is a ship that is a floating medical service belonging to a charity or religious group, I believe, who sail and care for people in the Pacific islands.

 Totally unrelated is a classic retro gas stove for sale among some old gear. Everything old is new again.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Not much is done without a crane.  Christmas decorating has begun at these shops. Hard to believe but dozens of lights will look good eventually when they brighten the night. And despite the price of energy.
Sitting high without a crane on a leafless frangapanni.  There is a  big contrast between the winter tree and the lovely summer version.  The birds are splendid all year round. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

 The Macquarie Pass is a terrific route to take from sea level up to the Southern Highlands NSW.  West of Albion Park the coastal strip meets the steep escarpment and the motorist is soon up beside the once distant rock face along the very top and on into Robertson not forgetting a pie shop there.   
The drive is relatively short past appealing thick greenery and tall trees and fresh air with glimpses out over the sides to the coast far below and hairpin bends are a feature.  It is not a major route, is in good shape and busy enough.  It is one of several roads from the coast but it has the edge.
The reflection of the maps spread on the dash is not a good look.  Despite the devices, map reading is still an old habit.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Courage....sing for joy...for water gushes in the desert,
streams in the wasteland, the scorched earth becomes a lake,
the parched land springs of water.......Is 35:4-7.

Words from sacred texts, centuries and centuries old, were read globally this week in the church that is global.
Drought is with us.

A convoy of farmers is heading for the nations capital, amazingly their message to the government is to increase efforts to prevent global warming.  They like to call a spade a spade when it comes to global warming and the effects on our land. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Dinosaurs and our wildlife.   Dinosaurs are an established part of children's toys, books, games and movies - they are featured everywhere.  The name of each creature is known by little kids and there are dinosaur models galore.  Dinosaurs came to an end never to be seen again and more could be made of the aspect of loss and extinction and what it can teach us.
How is this related to our wildlife?  Is extinction aok? Instead of the ancient past stress the importance of our own wildlife and how we need to take measures to protect it from pressures on the environment and halt the growing rates of extinction that our country is know for.
The 'ready made' topic of dinosaurs is lazily exploited instead of the reality of our present day so that it is out of proportion.  Of course, dinosaurs are very interesting, (didn't some have a type of feather covering?) we just need to keep the right perspective.  

Photo: environmental enemy: coal mining engineering: in transit, the body part of a behemoth without the wheels.  This 'tip truck' will perhaps stand several stories high.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Road Kill.  This is the fate of many kangaroos on Hunter valley roads.
Some say that at night  moisture runs off the roads and waters the grass which the 'roos graze on too close to the traffic.  Roos have virtual paths that they traverse, regardless of highways and used to seek out food and water or so I believe. 
It is best to avoid driving at dusk or dawn and largely in between times. Motorists are protected by high fences along sections. Serious car accidents can result from roos. The same with stray cattle. Animal rescue volunteers say to rescue baby roos from the pouch of the injured animals.  I am a so called animal lover but would have difficulties with that move. Killing in a humane manner would be suitable.

End times... we have lost our prime minister who communicated well and behaved in a professional intelligent likeable manner which we could be proud of regardless of his politics,
 A dreadful successor is muted as well as a few others. Bring it on. Dreadful is highly suitable so as to aid defeat in the next election. The humour is dark....the party was not conservative enough for the likings of some members!!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

 From the coast to Warkworth and in between the wattle season is looking good.  It can be depended upon each and every year, so far, unlike our politicians who change like the wind.
 Yesterdays bon homie is a different story today with back stabbing to the fore.
What a pity their antics get all the attention...its only the federal liberal party not the state apparatus who does all the work....I want attention to the things that really matter... fairness, humane solutions for refugees, education, drought and climate change.
 Parliament may be adjourned for a while as a last resort ....they are not doing anything worthwhile...its all constitutional who-har.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The river between Denman and Singleton flows onwards through brown vegetation in a dry environment except for green patches of irrigated crops where even guards might be an idea to protect the fodder - not that it has come to that. Every spare field by the rivers could be growing fodder during this state wide drought.
 I know nothing about farming but notice the haphazard way that stock are fed with grain or hay, the way it is dumped on the ground without any order, perhaps grain could be put on a light weight flat long narrow feeder that could be moved to fresher ground with every feed. Sheep originally came here from greener pastures overseas and are expected to live in extremes such as semi desert where pastures are seemingly invisible and any old ground is good enough prior to their destination and torture during so-called regulated live-shipments to indifferent markets overseas. Stop live export.
At the same time the countryside is full of kangaroos suited to our land and a ready source of meat that needs more exploration.    
Most places like stores and clubs are pledging funds from our purchases towards drought relief. 
The Commonwealth Bank went totally out of service for some hours - another irriate hacker taking them to task for their daylight robbery??

Friday, August 17, 2018

 A Hunter valley coal mine with a mountain of tailings. Closer and further views and the dry countryside.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

 It continues to be beyond any politician to state any positive views about reduction of carbon emissions related to power generation by our coal fired generators.
  Never will they commend us to reduce power consumption or to pay the price nor commend international agreements nor promote alternative power generation.
 They are incapable of 'raising the bar' nor leading us into a sane future. Not only do they ignore carbon emissions they promote an increase and actually hate remediation.
  At the same time as a state wide drought of terrible proportions and the spectre of climate change is with us it has no real meaning.
 Scene - Bayswater coal fired power station from the highway just to our north and the more illusive Liddel coal fired power station nearby.  

Friday, August 10, 2018

 Oyster shucking...pity this endless task at Sydney fish markets which were packed with hundreds of diners.  Four deep we lined up to buy plates stacked with marine life. The crowd generated an urgency.
It was as if a day in Asia, the food, the faces, the languages, the hub bub, the eager family groups and the absence of those of my own background was a taste of adventure.          
Incidentally, the food we purchased was not amazing, too many items were laced with chili powder and bravely I returned a portion of tough dry rubbery lobster tail for a substitute half wondering how I would manage when I only speak English and why was I so out of step when everyone else was ecstatic yet I managed.
 The outdoor tables were an alternative.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Towards Central Station Sydney.

Today, NAB bank at Kotara lost its connectivity in every way and could not function, The manager was at the entrance directing customers to other branches etc.  ( I dont bank there)  Was an aggrieved customer to blame?  The enquiry into banks is revealing the bad processes that we only feared might be true.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Snouts in the trough BASEment level.  Restaurant prepares for the evening crowds. 

Coles supermarket has let the side down.  Their plastic reusable shopping bags have changed from 15c to free of charge only several weeks in, they say customers are not ready to do better. Coles cannot tolerate any threat to shoppers or to profits.
  The thick plastic reusable bags are a stupid move.  They need to give way to a long-lasting fabric bag.  Some reports are of reusable plastic bags thrown out as single use - like one might expect  - and those bags would be even worse as land fill.
  We cannot put off the transition to sustainability. 


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

 Berowra area, old Pacific Highway once had toll gates somewhere on this spot which has become a rest area and firefighter's base.
A drive to/from Sydney included a toll to use the long new descent to the Hawkesbury River on the beginnings of the M1.
  The old two lanes were a steep climb of horseshoe bends and progress was very slow or in fits and starts but of interest. Engines boiled. 
Relatives have said they packed a thermos and food to have refreshments during a traffic jam, like outside the car - perhaps it was an exaggeration.
The old Pacific highway, is much improved and continues from the above point and motorcyclists seem to like its challenges.    

Friday, July 27, 2018

This route past the beaches is sure to please us. 

 A total turnaround has happened to local media and has been rapid. Newsagents were a sought after thriving business - not any longer, lottery sales seem their mainstay in those that remain in business.
  Just the other day as they say there was a rally in the city to support the local Fairfax newspaper from outsourcing important tasks - now there has been a sell out to Sydney's brash Channel 9 and doubts about the future of a whole network of country newspapers.
  In a relativly short period newspapers have had their day.  A local state of the art printing press of  fairly recent times has ceased printing the local rag and jobs have been lost - didn't management  see the writing on the wall?

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

 Progress with light rail in Hunter Street with this section east of Union Street just before it was opened to traffic two days ago and includes a new road link with Honeysuckle near where the light rail emerges onto Hunter. Then the same section as it was a month ago.