Saturday, May 18, 2019

Funny? Not funny?

I meant to use this is in the previous post but I couldn't find it at the time.

God Has Died

Well, listening to radio yesterday morning, I really thought God might have died. Instead it was popular and populist former Prime Minister Bob Hawke. The good is remembered about him far more than the bad, and there was probably more good than bad and I remember both.

On the day Bob Hawke died, my gay friend at work was resoundingly elected to the position of Occupational Health and Safety Officer, or something like that. He is decent, sincere and honest person, who cares about his workplace and workmates. While he is a good bit younger than myself, he always has time for me and has for quite a number of years. We socialise together at times, usually he joining us with friends for dinner, back when we had them, and now at times just R and myself. Well done him.

So, it is voting day today for our Federal Parliament, that is the Australian government election. I would tell you how to vote, but it is pointless as you have all voted already. I need to get in earlier.

The sales of democracy charity fundraiser sausages at  polling booths will be well down with so many people voting in advance.

In Australia voting for Federal, State and Local Government elections is compulsory. You pay a fine if you don't vote. But when I say say vote, you don't actually have to vote. You have to attend and have your name crossed off.

We have an upper house, The Senate and a lower house, The House of Representatives. The Senate voting is extremely complicated and the ballot voting sheet was about one metre wide. The Senate, in theory, is a house of review of legislation.

The House of Reps is our local areas and that is where all the action happens in parliament, where legislation is made and then goes to The Senate for 'review'. Our system of democracy is not perfect, but not too bad.

When I cast my pre poll vote, me was the last thing I had in my mind. I thought about my mother's welfare, that of my two brothers, my nephew and nieces, and their children. What kind of world do I want the younguns to grow up in? A kinder and better, and greener world.

Australia really is at a low point at the moment as the country is raped by property developers and profiteers, with their god awful el cheapo tower buildings clad in something flammable and vast outer suburban estates without infrastructure, not a school, not a train, not a bus, not a childcare place.

The Ponzi Scheme of increasing the population and building of new homes to accommodate them just goes on.

I feel great sadness, as I don't think who you vote for, what is happening as described above won't stop. I am privileged and I will die soon enough. Not my problem. But my god, how my generation has really fucked things up. Yet we too are victims. All we wanted was a nice roof over our heads. We can't help that our home values increased so much. I could go on, but I am tired. Good night and good morning.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Winter has arrived

The sheet that I have slept under for many months will be washed tomorrow and put away, and I will sleep under my doona cover.

My ceiling fan remote control has been turned off, reverting to basic turn overhead light on or off at the switch.

While the air con has alternated between cooling and heating over the last few weeks, and a good bit of time just being off, I think it is now firmly on heating.

Adding cold water with my shower taps has passed. I now need to back off the cold.

We don't suffer extreme cold in Australia and we are not very well prepared for cold. I don't have really warm hats, coats and gloves. I don't have clothes that would keep me warm much below 10 degrees (50F) Our buildings are poorly insulated, so even though our weather is generally not extreme, well it can get very hot but usually dry heat, but not normally for long, we spend a good bit on energy to heat and cool our homes.

Australia has gone from open fire and stove heating, with some coal produced gas space heating, to oil space heating in the 1960s, to natural gas space heating in the 1970s, to ducted natural gas central heating in 1980s and now to electric reverse cycle air conditioning in the 2000s. There are still lots of gas central ducted heating units in homes though, and the residents are paying a very heavy price.

Each year in autumn and spring there are a few sweet weeks where heating and cooling are not needed. The longer the better. This is reflected in our own power use.

This is a graph of our electricity use for the year past. I really wish it was for 18 months. As you can see, we need a lot of heating when our usage peaks in July. It slowly declines to a low point in October in Spring. There could be an anomaly in this graph as February is often our hottest month, but given our power consumption, it wasn't. Our summer wasn't very hot.

At 62. I've lived for a while on this planet. The climate had changed. I suggest, you read Daniel Bowen's well reasoned post about climate change before you vote in Australia's Federal Election this coming Saturday.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Emergency Call

Hippie Niece called up in tears asking if R could repeat what he did last year, that is come down and be there with the twins when they woke, change their nappies, feed them and dress them. She had to leave for work with her step father at 4.30am and be back by 9am. Ex Sis in Law is away. Their uncle, Fire Fighting Nephew, had done the job for a couple of mornings and their grandpa, Tradie Brother, had done the job a couple of mornings but they were simply unavailable. R could come down the night before, if he liked, or early in the morning.

I had a medical appointment the day she rang. Unknown to me beforehand, I ended with a sore and swollen hand after a skin biopsy, so I am off work and I offered to go with him. We decided to go early in the morning so we were up before 3 and off for the over one hour long drive. We stopped for petrol and coffee on the way. Quite surreal at the service station where the bowser had to be turned on from the inside by the staff member, and the doors to enter to pay remotely opened.

A five minute chat with them and they were off to work. R dozed and snored along with their dog. I couldn't doze off. The twins woke at about 7 and instead of tearing around the house and crying for their mummy, they were happy and laughing and remained that way. After cleaning them up, dressing them, some cereal and toast, we took them out for a walk and they were truly like angels. The had a play in the garden, pulling out grass and denuding a pot plant of some leaves and then watched some children's tv. But as soon as Hippie Niece turned up, late at 10am, they became sooky and clingy to her. Quite interesting.

We took our leave as she took them to creche and went back to work. Are we whacked after such an early start? We are, although R who can sleep anywhere anytime is ok now. I feel like my eyes are hanging out of my head. Early night for me and a good long sleep.

Yakkerboo Festival

Yakkerboo is a festival in Mother's town that began in 1976. On the Sunday there is a street parade along with a carnival and market. Yakkerboo is an Aboriginal word meaning 'greener pastures'. The parade used to be down the main shopping street but with the expansion of the retail area and it being such a busy area, it has moved to residential streets. It travels along Mother's street on the edge of a park, but turns off  just before her house, that she no longer lives in. It was handy to be able to park four cars in her driveway.

Mother said 10.30 was too early for her to be ready to see the parade. We met Sister and Little Jo and wandered around the carnival and had coffee, then later met Hippie Niece and her twins, Tradie Brother, ABI Brother and surprise surprise, Mother made it.

It is not a Mardi Gras level parade, just a local community event but the children seemed to enjoy it regardless. The weather was grey and the light poor. Rain threatened but did not arrive. I wish I taken my camera as I can control it much easier than my phone.

The parade kicked off with vintage and not so vintage cars.

Needs some work.

Work done on this one.

A De Soto. Beautiful.

There were a few minis. Morris Minnis, that is, later Leyland.

I have seen this Humber ambulance before. It is kitted out in the back as it would have been at time, including a dummy prone patient, at least I think it was dummy.

A purple Mini.

An Australian Ford Falcon from the early 80s or late 70s.

I don't know what these are called around the world, but here they were known as a Mini Moke. Pretty eyes and buck teeth.

I think this is a late 80s Ford Falcon.

A 1960s Chrysler Valiant. Great car.

MGB, I guess, another Morris car.

No idea.

Maybe a General Motors Holden.

Built for speed, not comfort.

Motorbikes and sidecars.

Here comes Mr Yakkerboo, the product of someone's wild imagination. He is the third Mr Yakkerboo incarnation. The first just disintegrated, the second was burnt in a shed fire.

The tail is a question mark, as everybody asks what is it? Nobody knows.

Now come the marchers. Scouts.

A group representing the story in the Jungle Book.

The Wizard of Oz, by a local dance class company.

A local kindergarten.

Martial arts students paused and performed.

The Very Happy Caterpillar by a local primary school.

Kooweerup Secondary School Band.

Roller skaters.

The Cat in the Hat by I think a rural town school.

Not sure about this one.

Another local town, Bayles, with a Frozen theme.

Someone had to do Harry Potter.

Local Sikhs.

Local Hindus. There are quite a number of black African people now living in the wider area and they were not represented. They should be encouraged to participate. Relying on stereotypes, they really would add some colour.

I should know this theme, but I don't.

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

Seems to be a pirate theme.

Op Shop is Opportunity Shop, usually a charity run second hand goods business.

Is that Tin Man?

More Dr Seuss. The truck wipers were on and waving the red and white hats.

Very commercial.

And that's about it.

We all went to the cheap Scottish family restaurant for food. The twins had a play on the indoor slides and we then went our separate ways.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Wounding Words

Apologies for three posts in one day. This one seemed a little urgent as a decision is imminent.

I am old enough and ugly enough not to be too fazed about the Twitter utterances of a religious crank, Sydney rugby player Israel Folau. Those missionaries sure got into those Islanders in a big way, and the repercussions are felt to this day.

Folau is free to believe what he wants, free to say what he wants to friends and family. But he is, or was, a respected public sports person.

Now if I name my work place in my blog, anything I write here will be deemed to reflect on my employer via its social media policy. I expect this post would get me into trouble.

Why not Folau? He is a very highly paid sportsperson. He has been warned previously about such matters. He is unrepentant, refuses to delete the Tweet and accuses anyone who has concerns that they are trying to stop him following his faith. Of course all the religious nutters have gotten on board and agreeing with him that he should be allowed to practice his faith. Total red herring. No one is saying he can't practice his faith.

It is about him bringing his employer into disrepute by offensive tweets. As I said, I personally am not so troubled by them. I've heard and read such utterances and worse all of my life. But the young me certainly was troubled by them. Why in this day and age is someone allowed to get away with saying such hurtful things? You may well see confident young gay men out and about but not all are, in fact I suggest most are not confident and this kind of thing does their heads no good at all.

Fuck off Folau. Rugby Australia should terminate your contract and not pay you out.

PS. I don't know what idolaters is or are. I am probably guilty of that too.