Sunday, October 31, 2010

Celebrate life!  Ethnic Community Council hosted a gathering for dancing and restrained feasting.
What price do you put on community happenings that give us gratituous happiness? 
Central park in New York was the scene of The Gates work of art which was celebrated by heapes of visitors but had a hugh price tag and some opposition.  
I was sorting out the audio things for the TV and came across this show (The Gates), on SBS One. The film had splendid images and music, and the work of art was food for the soul according to one of thousands who strolled thru.  Another said it looked like a car wash - a somewhat valid comment.  Then saffron drapes and Buddism came to mind.  

Friday, October 29, 2010

Now and Then.

A photo of sorts of Maitland Court House and a sketch, of sorts, made in about 1980.

Across the river is a house. A local said it was originally a Cobb & Co stageing post. A shaded side track follows the river.

This is Gresford, with,  I believe, the Paterson River which is providing water for the town and is having the small scale supply infrastructure rebuilt. The Allyn River in not far away either.

Health and weight: My cholesterol is lower and a good combination of fat prevails and statins staved off, but  keeping on track is what it takes and there is hope of that. Someone swore by the eating of beans every day, along with exercise, for overcoming some forms of diabetes. A reasonable endeavour no matter what.
Statins contributed to a dramatic fall in death rates in England and Wales last year says an official report. About 5 millions people in Britain are on statins. Other opinion totally rejects this conclusion, according to the Telegraph UK.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Maitland Station, on the main northern line, is a kilometer or so from the Hunter river but in the past, flood waters have filled a low lying area nearby and the station went under water with possible loss of life. Since then levee banks are designed to protect certain areas.
Update: levee banks existed prior to 1955 flood and went on to be widely improved. A story around the failure of the levee is that stock had crossed it and cut deep tracks that weaken the wall. Mount Pleasant Street area was largely washed away and water rushed on under the Long Bridge, while the other side of town met with other disasters.   
At the station, a door way is marked and shows the flood water levels. The lowest: 1949, next 1893 and the highest mark is for the hugh 1955 flood. The door way is on a stepped-up area above the railway line.
No really big flood has occured since 1955.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Not the first time it has happened by the look of this street art in Hunter street, Newcastle!
The object of protest by a Novacastrian during Q & A on ABC TV Aust  - our entry into war - is a worthy target of debate.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New footbridge to span New England Highway, Thornton - that's my guess.
Deceptive how it is long enough to span four lanes of traffic with grassy strip inbetween and a strip on each side.

A third crossing, as they say, over the Hunter river is under construction and is shown in the distance if you look carefully it is just visible. From East Maitland and Pitnacree Road, it crosses the flood plains and the farms, which,  post 1950,  have a system of levees to contain the river when it floods.  This area was under water and is what is intended in any future floods. New buildings are banned.
Old maps show a river crossing round this same point but perhaps the river changed course and a structure was washed away.

On the other side of the river the new route by-passes Maitland forLorn. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The lone store at the junction at Woodville sells fuel and a bit of everything and is an agent for Australia Post. Local kids arrive by bike after school.
The tall pine trees are dying of old age despite various efforts to preserve them.

Amazing news: Logging in old growth forests in Tasmania will end but it will take some time to achieve.
A real environmental activist knows how their work is a life time venture, it means involvement over the long haul.
Self interest motivates some other citizens. Do nothing about environmental issues until some threat looms which, for example, could marginally devalue certain property and ventures, then take to the streets in protest.
All the same, I do little for the environment except for drawing attention or supporting topics and efforts for a lighter 'footprint' wherever possible, like, questioning energy consumption. Take a look at the energy used by giant HD Televisions. LED LCD televisions use less power.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Turf growing and harvesting just out of Maitland.  White ibis-type birds follow the workings. A pallet is ready for transporting. 'Buchanan Turf. Home of Australia's Sir Walter. Always greener. Premium lawn turf' - one of the growers.

To a casual observer like myself, the river plains along the lower Hunter River grow grain crops on a smallish scale, lucerne crops are a given and potatoes were grown, probably along with some other food crops. Overall, this does not look like really intensive food growing - we havn't even begun. There must be a lot of potential for local  'food security'.

I can recall only one large 'hot house' farm - under cover - and it is closer to the central coast. From where does this region get most of its fresh food?
At this stage, instead of food, we can afford to grow turf and build roads and housing on what seems like  land more suitable for food growing - provided enough water is left in the Hunter and the other rivers.   

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nature is 'floodlighting' the valley.  The sun highlights one field after another as clouds roll overhead. This is unrelated to fractal geometry but a peep into that subject reveals how it deals in certain shapes and details therein.. One classic shape is similar to an inkblot but they certainly don't end there. Fractal computer art is very curious.

B Mandelbrot, who was seriously into fractals, died recently and his bio was revealed in the Sydney Herald this week.
Fractal. A rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced/size copy of the whole.
Clouds are not spheres, coastlines are not circles, bark is not smooth, nor does lightening travel in straight lines. Mondelbrot.

Mathematics...the chaotic and fractal systems and the Julia set are the domain of these experts.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

        Free range eggs.  Are they free or are they $2?
Leave money at the farm gate and collect fresh eggs complete with a feather.
No, not loose unpacked eggs - ye olde farm is right up-to-date. What was I thinking? Egg crates have been around forever. 
Eggs usually have brown shells, no white shells are found now.

   My gross weight: 81kg that's minus .5kg.... exercise... exercise...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Another Norton Commando 750. Yesterday.
 Another win for Stoner.
Another mysterious intervention: Motorcycles..Stoner...Australian...Winner...Ducati Team...Italian...Vatican...sainthood...!!!

In the background, a former bank building has reinvented itself as a coffee shop or bed and breakfast as often occurs in small country towns after the financial institutions have moved out. Banks were usually among the few buildings of note in many a small country town.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

That is not to say we are all hooligans all the time, but from cafe to cafe, from time to time, hell yes I'm a hooligan, rough and rowdy and aggressively determined to feel alive in a way that is frightening.
From the Powerhouse collection, Tamworth. Quoting an unknown. As if motorcyclists needed any encouragement!

Philip Island is on the wish list, along with nature and the penguins I may take a look at the motor cycle races. Go Stoner. Major event there today.
Believe the above is 'Norton 1969. 750c commando S Type Great Britain. Model released in 1969 claimed to be first superbike. Rubber mounted engine relieved engine vibration. Did not handle as well as the featherbed frame'.... evocative language...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The 'sunburnt land' is green, as seen this week
Last night, the Murrumbidgee River joined in the water 'wars'!  The river has asserted itself - take heed!

Mystery rise in the Aussie dollar is bound to be heaven sent to assist those on passage to the Vatican state for this weekend! And there will be no throwing or levitating of washing machines by pilgrims. (see story from Delhi games)


Kiosk by the beach

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hunter River at Melville Ford  - yesterday, Thursday.
Water 'wars' are breaking out in regions where we try to limit unsustainable agricultural methods involving irrigation which leaves the river habitats high and dry.... at least I imagine those are the issues.

Would some charismatic leader eco-warrior please come forward and lead the counter revolution for sustainability -(costly as it is in the short term)?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On 17th October, Mary Mackillop will become the country's first saint. This little shrine is in the church in the suburb of Waratah.
A message from the Prime Minister refers to Mary as ...a courageous woman of willing spirit and deep faith, who from a modest background and with few resources, and social justice (were foremost concerns).
While I might struggle with some of the spiritual aspects surrounding sainthood, I have due respect for her life well lived, and enjoy the commemoration, reactionary and counter-cultural as it is and how it flies in the face of sceptics, rationalists and most of all unromantics. 

Urban jungle. It is not unusual to find a gang of Bearded Dragons in the garden. This character is about two 'hands' in length.  In fact I am only guessing that this lizard is a Bearded Dragon.
Gardens that are overly pristine and contrived fail to provide a habitat for local frogs, snakes, deadly spiders or you name it. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

As it turns out photograph '101' has a surprising subject! A variant of the better know trailer-sailer? Photography 201: the pre-requisites are too high. Ambition can remain undevleoped.

Many of us are a bundle of inconsistencies. It has been said that we dislike what we see of ourselves in others. Just what is the right blend of responsibility, ambition and pushiness remains a mystery to me. A safe pilot is one who has a good excuse for being annoyingly responsible.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Well, there is always delight from Chinese art. Upper figure: Han dynasty 206BCE - 220 CE - no less.  Painted figure of a standing lady. Earthenware. Her demeanor suggest she represents a courtly attendant. Typically made from moulds, luted together, hand finished. A white base with traces of detailed painting. Second figure: fiesty?

Does anyone really understand the country that is China? The past century of turmoil in China is also marked by strange interventions from foreign powers and is littered with drastic incidents involving Europeans and others. Now it's a Nobel peace prize. No doubt injustice should be outed.  Full marks Stockholm for trying.

figures from the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Who's the giant?

Friday, October 08, 2010

Aussie dollar is at a record breaking 99 cents against the US green back, they report. So, our travel dollar goes further, just imagine joining the Rally to Restore Sanity or Keep Fear Alive or an afternoon 'tea party' . Then again, is it more or is it less sanity that will keep the US dollar down? My selfish viewpoint to the fore.

As tourists or whatever we have reciprocal health care agreements with NZ, UK, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Belgium, Malta and Norway. Cool if Spain, Russia and Canada were there.  No USA on the list  where perhaps universal health care remains a dream.
Stewart and Colbert do a lot for the American image  (ABC 2 Aust). And I'm being positive! An antidote to Read love and eat or Eat Talk and Eat or whatever.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Dudley headland from Merewether with male in towel.

My gross weight: 83kg that's +1.5kg.  Anti-cholesterol medication is just around the corner.  Will I comply?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

These old fig trees are on death row. Experts have examined, considered and consulted and say the trees are unsafe. A group of citizens do not believe in these fears and have even held protests and bedecked the trees.

On another topic, at this time, Right to Die leglisation is under consideration and is a broad and valid topic. Comfort and peace is said to be well within reach of those that need it but other big issues are in focus.   

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Year of the Rabbit that's 2011. Return of the mega fauna. Be afraid or be fascinated!
Here, used plastic bottles and bamboo are assembled to breed an organic rabbit destined for recycling. Rebirth. Samsara.  Indian and Chinese fusion.