Saturday, February 02, 2019

Maybe retired

Well folks, I think I have done my last day of paid work. It is unlikely I will return to work but you never know. I am taking paid leave until September and I might resign before I am due to return. I have had the best last couple of weeks at work because I made a big effort to flirt be sociable with everyone. My shifts were pretty good and after working full time pretty well for 45 years, I have had enough, this job for just short of 40 years and will be over 40 years if I resign.

I can crack up so easily at the thought of leaving my workmates, even though I feel a little estranged at work with so many new people at work. I feel somewhat generationally disconnected from all the new people at work and I tried to explain this to R, but he  told me he I was talking a lot of shit did not understand. I truly love my long term workmates. I remember them when they were young and I am pleased to know them when I am older, as are they.

But then I think of the basics of work and how pleased I am to leave. I have had enough. Aside from an anonymous Christmas card thanking me for work a few years ago, I have never been complimented about my work until just this last week . How sweet was that. She has no idea what an impact she made in my last week of work with a simple comment.

I thought my last day before leave would be ok, but of course as is typical of my job it wasn't. Always problems and issues. My immediate superior came up to me as I began my lunch break at work to wish me...........well, happy leave, and for me to enjoy myself. I'm afraid I cracked and had to walk away. A couple of minutes later she texted me and apologised for upsetting me. She was not to know that it was such an emotional day for me.

So, I am not yet officially retired, but no longer working. Lordy, the traffic on the way home from work. No, I am not sorry to be on long term leave. There is much I will miss, but the price has become to high.

There will be discussions to have with R about the division of labours. Err, I have to do more! But more importantly about improving out fitness levels and losing weight. Although we are both selfish enough to not want to be the last person standing, but still, there is still a lot to live for.

Friday, February 01, 2019

When Hell Freezes Over

The people of Hell, Michigan, USA are very busy completing all the tasks that they said they would not do until when Hell freezes over. Lake Michigan, Chicago, certainly looks cold. What a fab photo, from AFP.

Meanwhile Australia has had its hottest summer January ever, but it is nothing to do with climate change, and our government's head in the sand approach is nothing to do with the coal mining giant Adani donating AU$1.2 billion to the coffers of the Labor, National and Liberal Parties, along with One Nation. 

Liars, Thieves and Charlatans

The South Australian Royal Commision report on the enacting of the Murray Darling Basin Plan is scathing. 'Gross negligence' were the words used about the MDBP authority. All along the rivers people have been stealing water. Nevertheless, it seems the rice and cotton farmers are acting legally, so that is surely the problem. NSW rivers dry up downstream while cotton and rice farmers have massive storages of water upstream, as they are entitled to do.

A gazillion river fish have died and our governments do nothing, not even enact any emergency action, perhaps forcing some cotton farms to release some of their massive water storage.

I am tempted to say what the fuck, but as I don't swear, how on earth has this happened? Surely the real issue is growing rice and cotton, both water intensive farming, on the driest continent on Earth. Let Asian countries with tropical rainfall supply us with rice and cotton and hundreds of years of knowing how to grow these crops in a sustainable manner. There is adequate water in Queensland, that should flow through New South Wales and flow on to South Australia to be used along the way in a measured way for agricultural, stock, environmental and township water supply. Yet, it being retained by cotton farms quite legally. The Murray Darling Basin Plan was set up by former Prime Minister John Howard. He has a lot to answer for.

In a few days the Federal Royal Commission report on banking and financial planning will be released, and it is assured it will be scathing. The very fact that dead people were continued to be charged financial service fees speaks a lot. What else can one say than Crooks, Liars, Thieves and Charlatans.

We live in a supposed first world country. It should not be like this.

Thursday, January 31, 2019


I managed to schedule two posts yesterday and so now I have to write one for today.

A bit of family news.

I am having a bet with R. As Mother is no longer living at her home, she seems to have an adequate supply of money to spend, and that is what she does and has done for her whole life, spend. She bought three dresses two weeks ago. Last Thursday was too hot for her and R to go out but this Thursday we are sure she will return one, two or all three dresses to Target. They all looked quite nice. It is way too time consuming for her to try them on in the store, so now she takes them home to try them on and then returns what she doesn't like or doesn't fit. But she has always been a returner of clothes, even if she has tried them on in store. I bet she will return one, R bets at least two. She wanted some pants of some kind. She has never worn anything but dresses and skirts. But, in spite of me pointing out to her that every second woman in the street over 50 is wearing black pants, she doesn't like black. Stalemate on that one.

As I mention a few posts ago Sister was in the north of the state in Bright and swam in the local pool. A day or two later she swam in the Myrtleford pool, and a lifeguard approached her and asked if he had seen her at Bright. She was a activist among others who saved the local swimming pool where she grew up, and instead of closing the pool, the council spent money and improved the facilities. Her daughter Little Jo grew up swimming at Nanny's pool when visiting, just like Sister did when she was young. Her aim is to swim in every public swimming pool in the state and she has ticked off many already.

Two days of work to go for me before I begin leave, week 1 of 33 weeks. I will try to get a post about it written for Saturday. I expect R is dreading me being home so much but more on that later.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019


I stood there with a plastic bottle in my hand, that I had picked up from the street gutter. The sign says bottles and cans. Does that include plastic bottles? I ended up putting it in the general waste. The will to recycle is great. Why is it made so hard to understand what goes where?

Preaching to the converted, I think. If their eyes are down on their phone screens, they won't see the sign.

Old Elvis comes up with some absolutely wonderful photos, in a huge size so that you can see detail. I am not sure how Blogger will deal with the size of this photo. Click on the photo to see.

This is how I like to remember him, in black and white. Can anyone tell me who he is with? His mother perhaps? Her thin lips are in contrast to his voluptuous lips.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

You are warned

Maribeth's mother told her about the evils of swearing and Maribeth doesn't like swearing and I am not so keen on it either. There is swearing in this video and by someone who I think is too young to swear in a professional performance. But I am old and I know young people use such words at the drop of a hat and place little importance on such words. Click play at your own peril. Nevertheless, I think it is quite funny and the performance was before the Brexit vote. Originally posted by Gosia.

Monday, January 28, 2019

It wasn't half hot man

Last Friday was extremely hot in Melbourne, with the temperature reaching 43 degrees, 110F. There were rolling power cuts to many suburbs and towns, lasting about an hour.

Fires in NSW tripped the power feed to Victoria twice and two of our dirty and polluting brown coal generating plants failed. We are told by some that we need base load stable generation, and this means burning coal. Well, the coal plants did not exactly cover themselves in glory in our hour of need.

It is amazing that things weren't much worse. What did save us were solar panels on home and business roofs, wind and solar power generation. I expect we pulled a bit of power from South Australia's massive battery power store. Our much less polluting gas power plants were probably at maximum generation. Alcoa shutting down its energy hungry aluminium smelter at 2pm and the arrival of a cool change in Melbourne perhaps also saved the day.

We have suffered two power cuts here. One was not avoidable (not a bad read. Every commenter has disappeared since, bar one. Take a curtsey Jah Teh. The Famous Bearded Media Person has become The Senator and his wife has is now his ex, among the many of his ex wives. We had some private email exchange after the event as he wrote things a bit wrong about the matter on his old blog) and one was because of rolling blackouts. These happened ten years ago. I maintain that where there is a high concentration of highrise buildings, these areas should not be blacked out, as people get trapped in lifts which is far worse than just feeling hot for an hour or so, and especially bad for anyone who is inclined to be claustrophobic.

If you lost power, you do have my sympathy. Very unpleasant. But this nonsense below was published in The Age newspaper. How long was their power off? Why didn't they take measures to stay cool? I expect Mr and Mrs Ojha may have induced a stress panic attack in their daughter. I hope it was a cool shower, not a cold shower.

“They could at least inform us half an hour before that your power is going to go out," he said.
Soon after his house was plunged into darkness (darkness in the middle of the day?) and the airconditioning ground to a halt at 1.30pm, his five-year-old daughter started feeling unwell.
She began vomiting. His wife tried to cool her down by putting her in a cold shower. “She had heat stroke,” Mr Ojha said.

People used to just deal with the heat without aircon and generally if youngish and in good health, did not die. Heat stroke after half an hour of no aircon, what nonsense.

There was something that really pleased me about the whole matter of the power cuts and that was the frankness and technical explanations by Audrey Zibelman, chief of the Australian Energy Market Operator. I had not heard of her until last week and as I heard her being introduced for a radio interview, I thought, here we go, another spin doctor who won't answer direct questions and will waffle on, telling us how good things are and how good her organisation is. But she wasn't at all. She was frank, direct, knew in depth what she was talking about and answered questions. This was on the already hot Thursday and she warned that Friday afternoon would be the critical time. Amazingly we were sending power to NSW on the Thursday.

After the above was set for publication, Daniel Bowen retweeted this from former State Labor government minister John Thwaites. It seems base load coal powered generation is not at all reliable and never was. 

When I was Acting Premier 19 years ago on a very hot day like today we had a far worse incident of load shedding. How could this be? We had Hazelwood and few renewables. Key contributor to extensive load shedding on that day? - Hazelwood units failed

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Taking a fall

Only people of a certain age take a fall. Younger people fall over. The older person may need to see their doctor. The younger person may need to see a doctor. Wow, third sentence in and I am off on a language tangent.

Melbourne's underground Parliament Station has, perhaps, no one is sure, the longest escalators in the Southern Hemisphere. It has been recently reported that there are quite a number of falls on the escalators (if you don't use the term escalator, I mean a moving stairway).

I have used the escalators and I never fell down. What is happening? Why are people falling down on the escalators? The danger point is surely getting on or off the escalator, but that is not where people are falling. They are falling mid flight, so to speak.

I agree with the opinions that there is a lack of vertical architectural elements and the escalator surrounds also lack horizontal elements. I also agree that perhaps lighting and reflections are a problem.

But you know, I was observing a lass on a much shorter escalator at the QV shopping centre in the city. She was totally focused on her phone. Her whole body started to tilt forward.  She caught herself  by grabbing the moving rubber handrail and steadied herself. Could it be that people looking at their phones and not looking around be the cause of rise in escalator falls at stations, that is they lose their spatial orientation?

Well, I understand some very ugly markings on the escalators have been installed. But if phone staring is the problem, will this help?