Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A New Tool

Southern Cross Posted by Picasa

Looks like a patch of black dunnit?

You may not be able to see it here, and by the looks of it it the resolution may have been lost in uploading. But if you click on the above to expand the photo , you'll see the Southern Cross constellation upside down at the base of the picture where the brightest dot is. I received a camera tripod for Christmas and now can take steady shots at night using up to a fifteen second exposure. The photo then has to be adjusted way up with photoshop. This opens up all sorts of night time photo opportunites. The heavens have opened!

The top left corner patch of light is the neighbours porch light. I think I'll have to wait for new moon nights in really dark places in the middle of the scrub.

Christmas was ranging from the strange to the good. Witnessed another families argument which will take aeons to heal, too much food including a kilogram of the crispest freshest prawns (shrimp) I've had in a long time, no clothes as presents for me (which is a good thing) and a sitdown by the DVD to watch the Indiana Jones and Kill Bill series of movies.

And keeping with the spirit of Christmas theme with battlling siblings and the like, I've taken up playing old circa '97 versions of Microsoft's "Close Combat". A delightful diversion.

Ho, ho,ho.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Updated Links

I've just updated some links and tidied up the sidebar. The poll is gone!

I've added Mary at Shorty Pyjamas.

Deleted Phil Gome's old blog (which doesn't exist any more) who now resides at Lavartus Prodeo amongst a gaggle of equally talented writers. I also deleted young Nic White who justfies state sanctioned execution and who previously justified the shooting of that electrician in the London tube by some trigger happy coppers, that was a no brainer. I kept Bob Ellis because whilst his essays are a little dated, they are still relevant today( wish he's write more).

Harry's link will forever remain. How I miss the old organ harvester. He's doing OK BTW ;-)

Australians are a weird mob.....

Hot December Morning Posted by Picasa

I took this photo of a fiery orange sun at 5:44am this morning which gives an indication of the blistering hot day ahead. It's going to be about 40 degrees centigrade which is ummmmmm bloody hot in Farenheit.

It is now where I live.

Bushfire alerts are out in NSW and already I've seen some hot gully winds shreiking their way through the valley, blowing leaves and bark from the trees. Hot weather plus hot strong winds points to high bushfire alert mode around here. If there's a fire in strong wind, burning leaves are blown kilomters starting new fires.

Eucalypts IMHO were intelligently designed both to propogate in and propogate fires. Their leaves are like little helicopters and the oil in them is highly flammable, even the bark drops off and causes fire fuel at the base of the trees. There's thousands of them around here, just waiting to go off.

My "must take this" list is being prepared in case there is a fire, the bush can be beautiful at times and can turn nasty pretty quickly. Evidence of old bushfires here can bee still seen on some old gum trees in the valley below.... so one is in a state of wary preparedness.

Now to Christmas.

The weather guys say it's going to be another scorching Christmas. And yet the Christmas songs in the shops downunder sing of snow, reindeers and sleigh rides. Such is the European and Northern Hemisphere cultural propagandal influence. Even the Greek Fish and Chip shop owners were sweating yesterday in the heat at 7 pm, their front windows frosted over with fake snow in some sort of strange homage to wintery Christmases up north. Bizarro. I expect those in Miami and Arizona in the USA deal with the same sort of strange phenomena.

At one time, sitting down to a roast dinner and boiled pudding still had its allure, red faced housewives perspiring in hot kitchens. Bringing out a heavy, hot meal to Dad and the kids dressed in Hawaiin shirts and surfing shorts. At least a cold beer went down well! Some people still do the traditional fare, I used to cook a big turkey in my Weber barbeque, starting at 7am and smoking it until it pretty well fell apart at around 1pm.

In these more modern times there has been a shift downunder from traditional stodgy English fare to a more lighter choice of cold meat, seafood and salads. It's a great way to spend Christmas, in your swimming togs, munching on a prawn(shrimp) with a beer in the other hand, on the beach with the radio blaring songs about "White Christmas" which take on a whole new meaning with our sandy white beaches. ........and yet another meaning given the recent race riots in Cronulla!

I'll be enjoying some cold ham and turkey and salads with friends around here.

I hope everyone who passes by here has an enjoyable one.

Some photos from Gold Country

Now Unused Motel Sign Posted by Picasa

I was clearing out my camera and discovered some photos that I was going to use here but didn't get around to it. So here they are :-)

I took the photos around six weeks ago when the countryside was a little greener and the weather was a lot cooler. Most of them are from a small town called Lyndhurst between Cowra and Bathurst. It appears to have once been a bustling little town which is now in the final stages of decay as traffic had been diverted by other, shorter routes.

The above motel sign rusting away in some weeds was typical of the area and a sign of better times. (Pun intended)

Rusting tank, weeds, peeling walls and iron red roofs Posted by Picasa

I Love the fly screens on this old weatherboard. They've been roughly cut out and nailed in. The tanks are showing some calcium deposits from the holes which give the rusty tanks some lovely hues.

Old Chicken/Fish and Chip Shop Posted by Picasa

A beaut old shop in the town of Blayney. It was still operating as you can see by the coat of fresh French Blue and cream paint but not going well enough to repair the corrugated iron porch roof and the old neon sign.

I rather like the old non-operating neon signs they have an air of the 60's about them. I can imagine in times gone by, the fish and chicken neon on this shop gaily flashing in time with the string of lightbulbs along the porch fascia.

Wooden Shed and Wheelie Bin Posted by Picasa

I din't know whether to run over and move the whelelie bin out of shot for this photo or not. So it stays. The old with the new. There's a few different types and grades of weatherboard timber siding on this old shed. Most likely old houses long gone.

Rusty Old Cottage Posted by Picasa

Corrugated Iron everywhere on this old cottage, even on the walls. Give it another 100 years and all that will be standing is the solid brick chimney. the rust and termites will take care of the rest!'s been busy.

Real busy........

The silly season is almost over.

In a mad rush to get various kinds of carbonated beverages out into the marketplace, the company I work for decided to fill out manufacturing schedules chocker block each week for the past four weeks. So there was some light blogging as I alternated between working, driving, sleeping and then back to work. Some production lines have been going non stop for the past four weeks....and that means non-stop, 24 hours a day seven days a week. No meal breaks, cleaning breaks or rest breaks.

And its all over now as we go into the post Christmas trough. The supermarket shelves are filled and work is done for another year.

So there should be a bit more time for blogging. To be honest for a while there I'd look at the blank screen, think about what to write, nod off, wake up a couple of hours later in my office chair and go to bed. That happened a few times.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Riots in Sydney

I suppose some people have read about the recent riots taking place over the past couple of days in Sydney on the southern beaches at Cronulla. This was mainly fuelld by blanket coverage of a couple of lifesavers being bashed last week by some guys of "middle eastern appearance." For me it's about as alien as reading about the riots in Paris, Cronulla is a fair way away. Life in the Blue Mountains seems to be as normal. No doubt there were people in Paris and Toulouse reading about parts of their city that were undergoing riots.

"Locals" and outsiders of anglo background decided to have a protest which turned ugly last Sunday, fuelled by a lot of alcohol.

I had a listen to the talk back shock jocks yesterday and was..... as usual..... disappointed by the reaction of the public in general. Most of the talk was in favour of the drunken Aussie yobs who saw fit to take a little bit of vigilante action into their own hands and single out individual "people of middle eastern" appearance for some white bread justice.

Some young guys in cars "of middle eastern appearance" with revenge in their minds did a hit and run raid in Cronulla last night, this time some "middle easten justice" . Again singling out individuals.

Both groups in my opinion are arseholes. An article at Crikey wonders why the terrorism laws have not been enacted against the WASP kids on Sunday.

In reality,not much has changed, just the players......the cycles of time repeat past things that we'd rather forget about. I remember an older guy telling me how "The Auburn Boys" (who were Australian at the time) used to go to the southern beaches and get in a fight with the surfies, the surfies then would return the favour destroying the local hangout of the "westies" in Auburn. This was in the 60's.

The thing that has changed is that the "race" card has been played on this time by the media which is basically a turf war. The geographical regions are basically the same, merely the birthplace of the parents has changed. Darpism goes into this a bit more over here, he's the first blog I went to as it is his niche. the ugliness of racism downunder.

My opinion is young guys like this from both sides either end up in jail, die an early death or perhaps wake up and go and get a mortgage and have 2.5 kids.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Windmill Posted by Picasa


Sedition Posted by Picasa

I'm going down, down, dragging me down.

I'm thinking of the Sex Pistols song "Submission" when I hear this word.

Couple of stories about recent sedition laws, one passed downunder and one passed somewhere else in Belarus.

From downunder.

Sedition laws 'a bridge too far'

The federal government "has gone a bridge too far" with its sedition laws and is more interested in protecting itself than the Australian people, opposition leader Kim Beazley says.

With the Senate due to pass new counter terrorism legislation today, Mr Beazley said the Labor Party supported tough laws to help the struggle.

But he also said the government had gone too far with its sedition provisions within the legislation.

"We think the government has gone a bridge too far with its sedition laws," he told the Nine Network.

"It's now wandering around protecting itself, not the Australian people with sedition laws.

"We don't think you need to jail cartoonists, we do think we need to jail terrorists."

Mr Beazley said the government was rushing through the legislation as it had with its industrial relation laws and its welfare overhaul which would make life bad for a number of Australians.

"But you know the horrible thing about all this," he said, "they simply don't care any more. They care about their friends, they care about themselves but they simply do not care about what is happening to ordinary Australians."

From Belarus

Belarus passes new sedition laws

The parliament of Belarus has passed drastic new sedition laws.

The laws will make it a criminal offence to discredit the Belarusian state, both within Belarus and abroad.

Offenders can expect to spend up to three years in jail.

Officials in Belarus say the new law will help to prevent protests similar to those that led to the ousting of Ukraine's government earlier this year.

The US and the European Union have described Belarus as Europe's last dictatorship.

And from the Fairfax Sydney Morning Herald. Seven people from the arts community write about their impressions of the new Aussie laws. I actually saw one of them Jonathan Biggins in the theatre production"Stuff all Happens" at the Riverside Theatre. Biting satire which nowadays may get Biggins locked up.