Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Game Of Chance.

Hangin' around. Waitin' for a spin. Chocolate Wheel or chook wheel or gambling wheel at Pippi's At The Point Hotel, Speers Point, nice view of Lake Macquarie.

Bingo! Another record: coal ships ancored off port: 73.
Global Warming: the stakes are high. To raise awareness, the first Wednesday of each month has been designated:
Lights Off Australia ............Sign up. Cool the globe. Our record here is terrible.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Domes 'r Us

Binishell Dome at Broadmeadow High. Apparently, these literally sprung up around the world and several were built for our high schools as a quick fix (looking not unlike an unwelcome war base)
Yes, another Italian, clever with concrete, Dr Dante Bini, uses a gigantic balloon and a robot to inflate the concrete load to form the shape. (ref Feb 1)
He has also set his sights on similar innovations to small-scale low-cost housing so as to ease housing crises around the world.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Looking Forward

It's not a L.E.D. sign about road works, no, it's far more emotive than that. Do you love your Mum? Book now for Mother's Day (in May?!)

The Madison Motor Inn, Madison Drive, Adamstown Heights, with city views and popular Restaurant.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

One Heck Of A Racket. Festival. VII.

With borrowings from the didgeridoo, that 1 guy (from Michigan) plays a magic pipe, "like a one-man band plucked from the pages of Dr Seuss...earthshaking future funk....". weasel pot pies was legendary number, so popular. He returns in April. The 7-foot tall instrument is hand made (!) from steel, duct tape and electronic gadgets.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Festival VI. Rhythm and Dance

Website for a tourist cultural park which offers a chance to be immersed in theatrical interpretations of Aboriginal Culture.


Didgeridoo played by a busker.
Notice it rests on the ubiquitous plastic milk crate, almost an icon and appropriated for all sorts of purposes. (Seen in Chinatown!)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Rebirth. 2.

Apartment building formerly accommodation for Newcastle Hospital nurses in times when nurses never 'lived out'

Wool Matters

Bales of wool awaiting sale. Merino wool fibre have tiny crimples that can be stretched to make wonderful fabrics and a lightweight suit, with a price tag in the thousands, they say may be produced from a kilo of wool which brings 1600 - 2000 cents a kilo.
Often, this fine wool comes from the New England area. Top shearers may shear 200 sheep a day and earn $2 a sheep, some say a skill shortage exists there.
The ancient, dry and fragile nature of the local soils and the highly specialised ecology does not go well with sheep farming according to some experts. Native fauna have soft feet and other suitable characteristics.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Renewable Future

Wind Turbine Generator (one only) on Kooragang Island, Newcastle, in close proximity to the coal loading activities.
Direct action, today, by two Greenpeace activists managed the impossible and halted coal loading operations and briefly held the off-shore armada at bay. Here is part of the conveyor belt that stretches along the wharf plus two of the coal loaders.
Energy from the wind turbine forms part of the renewable energy portfolio which includes solar, wind, hydro and biomass sourced electricity. For further information on how to become a renewable energy consumer with EnergyAustralia visit their site

Monday, February 19, 2007

5. Festival. Mini Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras aka Pancake Day aka Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent (which means Spring).........It's not Spring time here.... we're quite out of sync. Let's opt out of the calender for the northern hemisphere, it doesn't really suit us at all!

Have a whinge! Hot Cross Buns (traditionally for Friday of Easter) were put out on sale weeks ago just after Christmas. Well, so much for that little custom. Every event is a sales target.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Another Hog or Harley And A Duck or Duke

Another chautauqua. The Rebel bikies, en masse, have just had 24 hours in Newcastle. Someone said the distinctive note of the Harley engine was put up for patenting but was disallowed. Pity. .
On the other hand, beauty and technology from Bologna, Ducati Supersport 750 of unknown vintage, grounded, impatient. The banter goes this way: beautiful soulful v twin, quickest soul on wheels, mechanical sensuality! .
Films of interest. "The World's Fastest Indian" (Indian motorbike) is a very likable low-key tale taking us to Bonneville in retro times and of events leading up.
And a Ducati 996 goes Desmo prestissimo in a super chase in Matrix Reloaded.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

It's A Frightful Boar

His luck ran out, it wasn't his year, now he's for sale.
Just about anything and everything can be bought and sold at the Tender Centre, Hamilton North. Take your trash or treasure there to display and anyone interested can make a bid.

Xtreme Survival

The current mile high story is about Ralph Fiennes and a flight attendant, who reached new heights, however, a paraglider, not in Newcastle like this, but in the north of the state, was taken up to an incredible height by a violent storm, to 10 000 metres, frozen she survived 40 minutes of unconsciousness. Ewa Wisnierska is here for the world championships. One other paraglider lost his life. Reported by The Herald.

New Year

Friday, February 16, 2007

Chinese New Year

The Shrine is that of an elderly Sydneysider. The son has a Chinese restaurant in Newcastle. Somehow, just about every counrty town had a Chinese cafe once. The Chinese diaspora is amazing.


Backpackers By The Beach. (right)
34-36 Hunter Street, Newcastle. ph 49263472. Not exactly by the beach but very close.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Top Gun

Newcastle Beach from "The Hill"
In the distance an aeroplane was doing extraordinary dare-devil aerobatics. The engine revved up and down madly and smoke trailed out behind. It was so realistic and deceptive but was it too good to be true? Yes! it was a darn good model aeroplane probably controlled from at least two points.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine and Affaires of the Heart and the Purse.

The local suburb of Valentine is pleasantly perched on the hills and shore of Lake Macquarie. This older house is for sale for $1.3 million. It fronts the lake with a narrow park between it and the water.

This week, the mobile blood unit is seeking generous loving gifts of blood from the people of Valentine. Red Cross at work.

My Valentine Festival 4

Is this love - is this love
Is this love that I'm feelin'?
..I wanna know now!.... Bob Marley..Dreams of Freedom

Today, coal ships waitin' off shore: 65. The energy crisis is right before our eyes if we could really "see".

Monday, February 12, 2007

Born Again 1

Wool Store in Islington converted into apartments.
Wool trading and exporting from Newcastle has had its heyday. Winchcombe Carson were extensive Stock and Station Agents around the eastern states from the Eighteen hundreds onward.
Now they appear to be into far easier money from financial planning

Whats In A Name?

It was "bigger than Ben Hur". The Newcastle train service was entirely taken over by buses so as to allow for track work. New sleepers were to replace all the remaining amazing old relics. Original post box sits in the midst.

Friday, February 09, 2007

McDonalds. 3

McDonalds, Broadbeach, Qld.

Weather cam today: Cloudy, chance of a shower, humid, SW wind, 24C/75F, surf temp 21.8C, high UV, Sun up 6.23, down 7.51.

Coal ships off port: 58.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


National Tractor Pulling Championships, Ohio, USA
mixed media assemblage, $3 500.
By Catherine and Jennifer Strutt, of Newcastle, shown in December at Damien Minton Gallery, Redfern.
Their take on more unusual festivals around the world.

Doublecross On The Beach

Royal Newcastle Hospital, views, fresh sea-air, lull of the surf, (won't mention the marvellous gales), evacuated for the 'quake, innovative past.
A new hospital has been built elsewhere and, with community consultation (wow), the site will be redeveloped for private enterprise.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Wicked Camper 2.

Have you spotted any nomads in a Wicked Camper, each with a unique design? Travel to the "top end" or the "long paddock" would be all the more eventful because of cyclonic flooding (in far north Queensland, home of the "banana benders") What's more, banana (find quaint animation ) supplies maybe jeopardized again!

April onwards is a super time to travel north. Toyota vans could be recommended as largely indestructible; the going may be flat but the distances are immense hence fuel economy is another factor so the small car has something going for it; all the major roads are sealed - are there any real frontiers left?

Ten To Six Or Five Fifty

City Hall, Newcastle.
Time and tide wait for no man/person!

Earth Hour is approaching. Join others in switching off the lights for an hour so as to cut emissions.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Waiting For The Action

In top conditions and surroundings, Newcastle Triathlon Club met last Sunday morning. My, so bright and chirpy!
A swim from Queens Wharf, cycle around the beachside circut and finally a dash around the foreshore park.
At least some of us are trim and taut yet anyone can take up the challenge - my latest resolution.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Civil Unrest

The civic beehive housing the City Council. Preview of Latino Nights and the quasi Club Havana Band.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Street art

Communication - one way or another
a. . . .hi speed
b. . . spray can
Graffiti: Italian from graffio a scratch, from Greek graphein mark, draw, write. (macquarie dict)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Men at Work in Waratah

A concrete slab is poured over a base (of polystyrene blocks), and at set spaces, flows down between them onto the ground, to form deeper 'ribs'. Steel reo is supported by small plastic fittings or 'bar chairs'and form work sits around the whole outside. A peristaltic pump (aping human physiology) is probably used to pump the cement.
Local men with an Italian background often had a concreting business, afterall, concrete was an important innovative building material used in ancient Rome. Examples are found among its famous buildings and believe these were decorated with paintwork.
Gradually the old built environment gives way to the McMansion, the duplex and the town house which does help prevent suburban sprawl from getting totally out of hand.