Category Archives: General Musings

Wet and Windy!

poolWind is making the palms dance and the pool overflowed two days ago. Since then we’ve had 235 mm of rain and the winds apparently exceeded a 100 km/hr.

At high tide today Brisbane CBD will once again flood although not as badly as in 2011.

Telstra stars;

Hundreds of thousands in communication blackout as Telstra outage leaves everything north of Gladstone without phone, internet or Triple Zero access leaving half of state in the dark.

I have a daughter at a retreat near Maleny just north of Brisbane and a long way south of Gladestone who had to use her Optus work phone to contact us as her personal Telstra is out of service.

The high winds are unusual as cyclones seldom get this far south but Oswald still had some punch as it hit Brisbane.  Trees blown across power lines has put thousands in the dark including my son who has just arrived to recharge his phone.

Another daughter with a premie baby is getting out of hospital and taking her new son home today. Access to her suburb will be difficult but possible as the Ipswich area starts to go under with a peak expected at midnight.

All in all, just another January in Brisbane.

Stats

stats

 

 

What’s with China this month – should I be worried?

The stats above indicate about 25,000 Chinese read my ramblings every week.

Ni hao you guys – leave a comment so I know your not a machine.

 

Interesting Mono wheeled bike

ryno

Move through the world in a completely different way:

RYNO Motors is in the middle of selecting a manufacturing partner for its production bike.

As a result our production schedule is looking like late 2012 to be shipping.

Target retail price for these bikes will be $4,500 US. Product will first be available in the USA with dealer networks being expanded into Europe mid to late 2013. South American distribution will be started late 2013.

There is an interesting video here.

 

What happened?

iggypiggy

So, its come to this.  As a young digger in the sixties I would have had a pinup of Marylin Monroe on my locker door. Now I’m reduced to Iggy Piggy and Upsy Daisy on the side of my bar fridge.

Maybe Upsy Daisy does has expressive eyes but seriously, I have no idea what Marylin’s eyes look like. You check them out  here (NSFW)

….Ok what colour are her eyes?

The bar I built the week before Christmas looks OK but it is let down by the Fridge adornment and I seriously I doubt I will ever be allowed to wind back the clock.

bar

 

 

 

Fire Fighting resources

I come from the Karri and Jarrah forests of SW WA and bush fires were an integral part of life and death on the farms and town in the small community of Pemberton.

For these reasons I am always aware of the dangers; I feel for the victims and the volunteer and professional firefighters.  I would also like to think that the firefighters get the best equipment available..

Yesterday in The Australian Geoffery Luck wrote of lack of meaningful air support for these guys.

The huge Sikorsky/Erickson S64 Aircranes that Australia leases from California may look impressive, but they represent gesture politics. What counts in water-bombing is turnaround time and load. Each of the giant helicopters can carry 9500 litres of water, but they take almost a minute to suck it up; they fly slowly to the fire at 100km/hour; and they can remain airborne for less than three hours before refuelling.

He suggests an answer.

bombadierThe Bombardier, a high-wing twin-turboprop aircraft, can scoop up its 6000 litres in 12 seconds, skimming any lake, river or the ocean at 130km/hour, fly to the fire at 300km/hour, dump and return for more while the Skycrane is still lumbering along with its first load. A single 415′s ability to deliver 80,000 litres an hour within a 4km radius of its water supply means a squadron could have saved Mount Stromlo in 2003 — as well as most of the 500 houses destroyed or damaged in the Canberra fires. The Victorian townships destroyed in 2009 were within operational reach of Lake Eildon, 60km away.

Spain has a mix of 14 older models and the new 415 series and  a GDP similar to ours so I wonder why the issue hasn’t come up before.  It can’t be the dollar and it certainly can’t be because we don’t have a need.

Queenslander and pilot Warren Bowen comments in a letter to the editor.

Australians should be aghast and dismayed we do not have a fleet of dedicated fixed-wing water bombers. The hire of American choppers must come at enormous expense each fire season. It is certainly high time federal and state governments, together with big insurance, embraced the concept. While Luck points out a fleet of six Bombardier 415 aircraft would only cost around $210m, the big costs come with crews and training.

As an ex-RAAF Vietnam vet and life-long airline pilot, I would guarantee hundreds of airline crew would volunteer for such a mission. Airline management would have to condone and authorise such arrangements as they “own” a pilot’s hours, which are restricted in time units by law. Many US airline pilots continue to fly fighters, bombers and transport aircraft as part of the National Guard and are subject to call for active service. If Greece can support a squadron of eight such aircraft, surely we could.

When I see the choppers operating it just looks like a thimble full of water being dropped into a huge furnace.

It has to be worth a debate at least.

Pirates doomed

BRITAIN’S first private navy in almost two centuries is being created by a group of businessmen to take on the Somali pirates who are terrorising an expanse of the Indian Ocean.

Simon Murray, Clencore chief, is building the force.

Its armed vessels – including a 10,000-ton mother ship and high-speed armoured patrol boats – will be led by a former Royal Navy commodore. He is recruiting 240 former marines and other sailors for the force.

The pirates will face former marines in armoured patrol boats capable of 40 knots and able to withstand incoming Kalashnikov fire. They will be armed with close-quarter battle weapons, such as the M4 carbine, and sniper rifles with a range of 2km.

I could never understand why shipping companies and/or their clients didn’t do something about the piracy. A well trained Infantry section of ten men could stop piracy dead in the water and they wouldn’t cost much. Include a cameraman to film the destruction of the pirates and their small craft and send that to be transmitted on local Somali TV and the problem would fade.

“The guys started off with their own PR being around poor fisherman having waste dumped in their waters. But sympathy disappears when you start killing people and extorting companies,” says Sharp. “There are 38 piracy training camps run by rogue special forces. It’s financed by people buying shares in their teams. So if you fund their boat, you get a share in the ransom.” Sharp believes the proceeds are fuelling micro property bubbles in places as far afield as Nairobi.
“Ultimately that’s being paid for by Lloyds and the insurance market,” he adds.

I admire the initiative and hope it comes to fruition

New Theme

I’ve had to change theme due to the old one becoming unworkable.  The advent of Word Press 3.5 has brought many problems to the blogging community and a lot of theme coders are yet to catch up.

I guess the new year is a good a time as any to change and to prepare for the election year when we finally get the chance  to elect  adults to the Treasury benches.

Hoax calls

Reading this morning’s paper I notice some people were amused at the hoax perpetrated by two 2Day FM talking heads prior to the news of the hoaxed nurses suicide.

Making telephone calls that make decent honest folk going about their business look rediculous is funny?

I listened to a spokesman for Auststereo describing how devastated they were at the news of the suicide and how they were worried about the two talking heads. They are receiving counselling FFS.

In my opinion the only counselling they should be getting is from Centre Link.

Poor taste merchants making people look stupid for ratings – a good reason not to listen to FM radio.

Today the station claims they tried to phone the Hospital before they put the hoax to air. This is the first time that it has been mentioned so it looks like an invention to me and I wonder if they approached this alleged call with the same vigour applied to the original call.

On Saturday Southern Cross Austereo chief executive Rhys Holleran said the two presenters involved were “shattered” by Ms Saldanha’s death, but said he was confident no laws were broken.

No laws broken!   It’s not about the law you scruff,  it’s about poor taste and the obvious lack of any standards of decency.

Deja vu

Re reading The Fatal Shore when this caught my eye.

Governor Darling is having an argument with the media in 1826.  He is losing to Wentworth and Hall who are pressing for trial by open jury and representative assembly so he;

…makes a clumsy lunge against the opposition press. He tried to muzzle the Australian and Monitor by imposing newspaper licences, which would be withdrawn if they printed a ‘blasphemous or seditious libel”  John Macarthur also urged him to kill their circulation with a stamp duty of 4 pence per copy.

186 years later they’re still trying it on.

 

AWU

The ALP are getting desperate as they try and deflect peoples attention away from the AWU saga. Julie Bishop gets a mention as one of the Lawyers working for CSR in the asbestos claims and the ALP accuse her of trying to delay the cases.

Ms Bishop  says she was simply doing her job as a lawyer – taking legal advice and acting on it.

…..she was advised on the cases by two of the nation’s most senior barristers, Robert French QC, now the Chief Justice of the High Court, and David Malcolm QC, who is a former chief justice of the West Australian Supreme Court.

The ALP’s raising questions on Julie Bishop finally give the ABC and in to discuss the performance of ex-lawyer politicians. For some reason they couldn’t bring themselves to discuss the matter until a conservative politician was called into question.

Problem is, there is no evidence or even a believable suggestion of malpractice on Bishop’s part. Not quiet the case with Gillard.   Abbott is quiet happy for the ALP to question Julie Bishop’s actions as a lawyer and even encourages it.  While the ALP raise Bishop in their defence of Gillard’s behaviour at Slater & Gordon then why wouldn’t he.  It gives the Coalition open season on pursuing Gillard for some answers to a litany of allegations that seriously reflect on her ethics and values.

The problem for the ALP will not go away until Gillard fronts up and actually answers questions.

Doug Cameron wants everyone to stop being personal – good advice Doug  but you need to get that message through to your boss.  The baseless ‘Misogyny’ speech gives the Coalition open licence to attack Gillard on her questionable legal career when she was shacked up with AWU thief Bruce Wilson .

And talking about that, it would appear that files are disappearing all over the country . Whatever the truth of the matter, it smacks of clean-up gangs going from state to state searching for incriminating evidence and ‘losing’ it.

The debate continues…..

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