Sunday, March 31, 2013

STOP REVIVE SURVIVE.  On the Pacific Highway between Port and Kempsey.  Three young travellers called in on the way to Byron and the Blues Fest and then Cairns which is several thousand ks, while they are here for a few weeks from Europe.
 If its the coral reef you want to see, it is closer to the coast at points south of Cairns along with the Whitsundays which are rather appealing and not as far away as Cairns.

Telstra Mobile Broadband is working this time  probably because it is earlier in the day and is a holiday

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sign says bypass now open.  No bottle neck with the one and only Buladelah by pass open for those making the treck north for Easter holidays.
Have often noticed Tom Cat Creek Rest Spot and here it is with picnic tables under the treees.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

 The Princeton, in Hamilton, was regarded as a popular venue for weddings parties and anything.  The dance floor is show here.  Things change.  Now the interior is divided up to provide doctors with consulting room and scanning and ultra sounds.
We are so fortunate to have medical services provided for little cost.  That is, if we really need half these procedures!  We have a wonderful health service, by and large.

Early today the beach side was idyllic, the water an inviting temperature.  The temperature, out of the water, has risen to 30 or so as the day wears on and the humidity is high (like February).  Hard to imagine the weather in England this week. Are they dreaming of a 'white Easter'?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The latest Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace ship, is in the Port. The masts leave something to be desired, usefulness must be the criteria.
More importantly, Greenpeace is adding weight to the anti coal terminal campaign.

Parts of the harbour are out of bounds. It was much more casual in the past. This is looking thru the fence of a shipyard which is up for lease which is after years with the same old company. Nearby, a forlorne William 1V is high and dry.

Monday, March 25, 2013

In Bolton Street, to the rear of the unused venerable old post office things are looking up and renovations are under way.  Hope the workers are under control and know what they are doing when it comes to an old building.

Politicians fail to get their message across loud and clear. With more media than ever, they could be more successful that way and overcome certain gaps in the media.
I am unable to analyse what politicans do and say, but often hear them straight from the horses mouth in interview and in parliament.

The public give ten second grabs where they describe various aspects that do not sound anything like the MPs that I have actually seen and heard.  Is it really the same person?
Do people recite what they read in newspapers, particularly the polarised and climate change denying press or is this overestimating its influence?
Democracy is clunky and we are ill informed.  MPs could take up the challenge and sell their policies much more effectively and attempt to explain and justify the complexities.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Climate and mystery.  The land of the long white cloud, New Zealand, is made up of a longish, narrowish north and south island. 
The most severe drought in history has overtaken the north along with part of the south and more droughts are predicted.
Normally, NZ exports a whole lot of milk and global milk prices are at a record high.

Secondly, one or two tornardos have occured in NE Victoria, Australia, and created havoc in several towns.  The towns are new to me and include Koonoomoo, Yarrawonga, Mulwala, Barooga, Bundalong and plain old Rutherglen.

On another topic, turning to ancient writings, a well known incident of betrayal is recorded. Simon Peter was by the fire in a courtyard where a maidservant said of him that he was with Jesus the Nazarene, who had been arrested.
Simon Peter denied it before all the company and said that he had no knowledge of him.  Then he went out into the porch and there heard a rooster crow.
A maidservant at the door said to the bystanders that Simon Peter was one of them but this was denied again with an oath that he knew nothing of the man.
After a while, the high priest's servant, a kinsman of the man whose ear Simon Peter had cut off with a sword said that he saw Simon Peter with Jesus in the garden. Others said that he must be one of them because he spoke like a Galilean.
Simon Peter began calling down curses on himself and swearing that he did not understand what they meant and that he did not know the man.
Simon Peter had been told he would make the denials and when he remembered this and again heard a rooster, he went out weeping bitterly.

So Easter Week begins today with the passion narrative.
And shades of this week in parliament come to mind.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Kargaroos hop around and relax on the lawn and under trees near these houses.  Whats the difference between a roo and a wallaby?  Who knows? Wallabies are small....   ;
Crocodile Kangaroo Dundee of Central Australia is popular in the UK.  News of his activities are filtering down on ABC1. 

From kangaroo to kangaroo politics and the leadership spill.  Why ever  would we contemplate a change of leader to a man who has been described as incompetent and, as someones else said, has mocked the party while the all hard yards have been done by other hard working members. The joker is laying or lying low. Was he true to his word or just lacking support?

Compare the speech of the fiesty red head to the trite words from Julie Bishop, charming as she is. Gillard can say it like it is. The leader of the opposition has to be avoided and the mute button comes in very handy.
It is something to have a slightly unconventional, less squeeky clean, slightly boring, effective leader of the government and one who can go for spunky futuristic policies. 

We  must reject sucking up to Israel.  The threat of chemical warfare in Syria, got a mention but how could the big leaders swan about close to the terrible disasters in Syria and Lebanon without offering more to those countries.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

As we have shipped out our source of air pollution and climate change to Asia, visibility was stunning in Newcastle today.
TEN coal ships were moored out to sea.
Instead of sitting around, gulping down potato chips and scraps, the seagulls were doing a spot of fishing, for a change.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

 Perfect sunny warm calm weather and music.  What a day for a protest against the extension of coal loading facilities in Port of Newcastle.

See the dense atmospheric pollution in Beijing.  The burning of fossil fuel makes a hugh contribution to pollution. Even Chinese members of The Party are objecting to the pollution. 
(All the same, topsoil has been blown over northern China in the past and along with local weather has contribulted to air pollution.)
Hunter Valley companies exports pollution to China and elsewhere and plagues our localities with unhealthy levels of coal dust.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Old King Cole?  Nat King Cole?

No. King Coal the black mineral.

This morning protestors marched to Civic Park Newcastle.  Everything about coal is 'making us sick'.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Roll out the National Broadband network NOW.  We are twenty minutes from town and ten minutes from a smalll coastal resort and Telstra Turbo Mobile Broadband hardly works at all.
We have three mobile sim cards!  One is sure to get thru. To add a photo would be tempting fate.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The university was  deserted by the end of this rainy day and the damp renovated court yard was forsaken for the Godfrey Tanner bar. An overseas student remarked in an interview that there were no bars on the campus in Scandinavia. That's food for thought.

According to Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board, we could be in for a correction and a swing back to the centre. Sounds awful like a Howard revival afterall.

Instead, for all its problems, give me the current vision for an education revolution and progressive policies as the only way to go.

Mary Kissel is a very engaging speaker but one has to make allowances for the Murdock press.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

 Is a Guinness Pub phoney?

Something like a Neo-Howard future. 
Frequently the Libs refer to Howard's way.
Long ago, yet it is still frightful.
Is that our future?  Is that about as stirring as the Libs get?

In contrast, the 'dining room' in the hotel in Maitland was probably original with upholstered tapestry seating, wrought iron features and elegant coloured light fittings which the camera does not do justice too.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

The road to Paterson was closed by water and the group were looking at the Paterson River flowing over the levee and forming a wide expanse of calm water.
Ahead, the bridge was high and dry
No worries, a tractor returned thru the water, any excuse, a farmer said that cattle on the other side had to be attended to.

The family group rode home on the back of the tractor.
Safety on the farm is in good hands.

Past Tocal, an alternative route was almost below flood level on one side and quite close to the wild and wet Paterson River on the other side.

Sign of the times.  Farewell,  The Sydney Morning Herald will go tabloid on Monday.  The term compact is preferred.  The rain must have got to our crumpled edition. 
Also, my vote does not go to Rudd.

On Sunday morning, after the amazing Pop Asia on SBS and gangnam goings on one can go to Hymns of Praise from the UK.
No doubt special preparations would be made by the church goers of all ages in readiness for the BBC cameras.
All the same, it contrasts with our situation.
We are not a nation of church goers.  Even government schools in the UK launch into upbeat hymn singing contests which the students seem to enjoy.  Selected students probably.  Never the less, religion based activities are banned in our state school and would be unlikely even in our church schools. 
Our focus is narrow. 

Friday, March 01, 2013

Earlier in the week, inbetween the wonderful downpours, joggers and fishers had to dodge the sea spray and low tide at that. The sea has been 'whipped-up' lately.
I suppose it is rather pleasant to live by the coast. Most people cling to the coast in this big continent. The ocean would be missed. 

Wow!  shooting in national parks has been postponed for a while.  I suppose it is some tactic by the O'Farrell government before they go ahead with this sick plan.  Indeed, all we need is sufficient staff to manage the parks. Or will we all need fluro vests!

Amazingly, the same government has made certain areas exempt from gas drilling. I believe only small areas at that.  It seems that effective leglislation is possible. But more land must be protected. So many are immune to everything in the countryside except the dollar.