Thursday, December 30, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Here we have our longest day whilst others have their shortest coldest days- and how! We don't have twilight here and this week has been far from heat wave conditions - thankfully.
In what business can staff proudly wear a T shirt that states my boss is a clown?
Think golden arches...Ronald.....
Monday, December 20, 2010
Italian panettone. Tall imported cake arrives in a special Christmas container.
I'll be shopping at Woolworths supermarket this week because they actually close the store on Christmas Day and Boxing Day which is rather civilized. But, for all I know, they won't be alone with that arrangement.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Light-hearted Christmas Island series of stamps for the festive season picture a gift bound by flowers native to the Island and a Frigatebird all part of unique natural heritage in those tropical climes.
(See http://shop.auspost.com.au/collections/stamps-issues) The island once had its own postage stamps.
The island is a small territory of Australia, way off the coast, 2600 km NW of Perth WA, and 360 km south of Jakarta Indonesia, with 135 square kms of land and a few people.
It is a prison in the middle of nowhere, but close enough to S.E. Asia to promote illegal ill-fated sea voyages by refugees..
It is all part of the broader picture of mass-migration and deserves a global response.
In discontinuity, without a global perspective, our leaders have been very mean spirited and have fostered selfish possessive attitudes when communities are objecting to the prospect of building decent facility for immigrants anywhere near them.
These are not words from a 'bleeding heart'. Sure, uncontrolled migration is undesirable but still needs to be handled by humanitarians. And despite the fact that some people may leave for a journey to Australia just because they can.
The Howard government excised Christmas Island from the Australian Migration Zone meaning that refugees arriving there could not automatically apply for refugee status and a prison was set up there.
An undertaking we can be very proud of - not. Leadership and wisdom beyond compare. I was full of disbelief at the amazing solutions undertaken by our governments.
Friday, December 17, 2010
School year finished this week for about five weeks summer holiday.
From The Cultural Centre building, if that's the correct name, where a ray of sunlight shone throught the big fig trees and the trees won't be removed following a change of plan by city council.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
At the risk of spoiling any humour, contemporary literacy education might lead us to take another look at the above put-down of welfare recipients. But a model that uses critical literacy like this is under attack as a postmodern fad.
Just like England and America before us, literacy education is debated, often in our newspapers, and a very readable book by Ilana Snyder enlightens us about the prevailing politics and ideology which are hugh. But, tell it to the teachers and the experts. Also, where has my sense of humour gone?
The Literacy Wars Why teaching children to read and write is a battleground in Australia. Ilana Snyder. Allen & Unwin 2008.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Fast food developments.
High prices in supermarkets must be financing growth in construction of new supermarkets. (Another rant.) A suburb that had only one supermarket soon gets another and next thing, one or two more are planned for a population that has remained fairly stable (in size!). Competition is negated by the duplication of one supermart after another.
The cost of food is increasing faster than it seems it should. A local MP was supermartket shopping in Mayfield recently and I wonder if she noticed the price tags. Increases are no way incremental but jump by forty or fifty per cent. That goes for rent and food. At the same time, food is valuable and producers should be rewarded instead of current tactics.
Do prices bear any relation to the costs of production or to the nutritional value? No way. Prices are plucked out of the air. For example it can be seen that the very same batch of vegetables will have a different price tag each day or so and usually the figure goes upwards.
For those who are really, really struggling on a low income it is impossible to buy filling, nutritious, economical, basic meals for any length of time from our supermarkets. Old inexpensive stand-bys don't exist. Those male chefs in the ads have a lot to answer for!
Some of our Pacific neighbours literally live on boiled white rice and canned mackeral, (both fully imported and non-traditional), now there's an idea and more healthy in some respects. The 'golden arches' feature items under two dollars as another alternative!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
How embarrasing! National Australia Bank facilities were out of action today for an hour or so. Again.
Was it from those extra customers among the VIPs that have reached our shores?! I believe Oprah and co have arrived to tour and film several shows.
Trivia. Well, savings were made when my card was rejected during the meltdown-shutdown. The sales person could not understand the failure so, I left the shop for a jaunt along Westfield's 'grand circut', then down in the lift (elevator), out the doors, into the heat-wave conditions outside, along the footpath (sidewalk), to consult 'witch' bank, instead.
No, there was no problem they said checking my card. No risk of rousing their curiousity about ATM failure. Why didn't I withdraw cash there and then? Was out to challenge the system I suppose.
I retraced my steps back to the retailer only to find my card was rejected again. No sale. And it was a nationwide glitch in the system afterall. .
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Shopping. Which is right way up?
Although I prefer strange alternative fashions, but most of the time wear anything going, there are a few prominant people who dress very well with splendid flair and in classic styling and on that list are Quentin Bryce (Governor General), Kristina Keneally (State Premier) and Cate Blanchett (Actress). Cate is outstanding.
Allowing for the fact that Nicole Kidman dresses in a very different mode, most of the time she is far from 'looking good'.
Oprah is very stylish in a certain American vogue.
Julia Gillard (Prime Minister) dresses well but without much style or in the most flattering designs. All she needs is an expert who knows what's best to wear. Forget about personal choice just aim to look like a ' million dollars'. Money can buy anything like that.
Monday, December 06, 2010
Is Oprah or her retinue visiting Hunter wine country? A visit is rumoured but she has better security than the White house. We need an OpraGate to breach security but would this lead to censorship and exile into cyber outerspace which has happened over revelations around top global issues and Oprah's visit to Australia is far more serious than all that.
Freedom of speech is at issue according to some who study web leaks. Are we currently matching China in matters of censorship of the search engines?
Not outdone yet, WikiLeaks is 'mirrored' on 76 web sites.
Newer faster broadband is very welcome providing the wisest method is chosen and the implementation is regulated by those who are one step ahead of potential fraud.
New broadband services are declared as of unlimited benefit to our society. But how good? The global financial crisis was not averted. And consider the risk of empowerment of all and sundry. Hacking could knockout the essential service web sites as well as the controversial sites.
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Under the dust is a Velocette. Is it an early cross between a scooter and a motor bike? Notice the mechanical levers - riding was a full-on endeavour. Hand gear change, horizontally opposed twin cylinders and water cooled.
Tomorrow the annual Toy Run for charity takes place and scores of bikers take part. An organizer was on the lookout for participants. Everyone is very welcome but I hear about a scooter rider who is unwilling to join the pack of big boys on Harleys and all the rest.