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Aug 2011

More Good News

Posted: 28/08/11 7:25 PM

The Weather has improved miraculously. Friday was a wonderful sunny day with no rain and no fresh wind. Saturday was a very wet and windy day but today was back to mostly sunny and not windy.

On Thursday I had reported that the grass was growing indicating the arrival of spring. Everyone I have spoken to in town is as happy as I am that winter has ended. I love Barraba all the time but this good weather really makes me very happy to be here.

Today was a busy day

Posted: 25/08/11 8:43 PM

Today I had to do a number of chores on my task list because they all needed doing and the weather and my fitness made them achievable.

I had to do my haircut because my beard was getting very untidy. This task didn't consume a lot of effort. The next chore was to vacuum the floor all over the house. The vacuum cleaner works well but takes a lot of effort from the operator. At least the results were well worth the effort.

After that I tried to start the ride on mower because the recent spring weather had restarted the growth of the lawns which have been pretty short all the winter. I had some problems with the mower but eventually I got the engine running and drove the mower up to the front lawn. When I engaged the cutter discs the engine stalled. I realised that there was a problem in the drive belt which overloaded the engine when I engaged the cutter drive. Because I couldn't work on the belt drive because the access to the underside of the mower was not possible for me. I drove the mower down the road to the hardware store where I had bought it and asked the guy there to do the necessary repairs.

I had noticed that the front number plate on the Terios was badly bent so I had to remove it and flatten out all the bends before I could replace it.

The last task was to replace the filter elements in the kitchen tank water filter system. This job was quite demanding because the work caused quite a lot of water to wet the shelf in the cupboard. I finally put the new filters in their covers and re-fitted them. Sadly I hadn't fitted them properly sealed so more water leaked in the cupboard. I had to remove the filters and work on the o rings to overcome the leakage. After I re-fitted them they still leaked so I had the remove them again. I realised that I hadn't treated the o rings with vaseline and I had to go into town to buy some so that I could do the right thing. When I refitted the o brings and then re-assembled the filters they were properly sealed and didn't leak again.

I was happy with all the results of all this work and settled down for some rest.

Revised: 26/08/11 7:33 AM

Oh My

Posted: 22/08/11 9:23 PM

Having been busy all this month, I had to write the minutes of the early August CDC meeting. Unhappily, several times the Macbook spat the dummy when I was writing the minutes and I lost all the work I had done so I had to start again. Having to do this four times consumed lots of my time and a fair amount of my enthusiasm. I am so used to my Macbook working very reliably that I was amazed that the recent upgrades in the operating system Mac OS X 10.6.8 and the word processor Pages version 4.1 have become less reliable than the earlier versions. I know that one of the problems is my inaccuracy in using the keyboard but that shouldn't cause the programme to dispose of all the recent work. I am a great fan of Apple computers because of the high reliability and great consistency in the user interface in the earlier versions.

When I had to use Windows and Microsoft Office because of the computer that the Highway Wanderers Chapter of the CMCA bought just before I became the Chapter Secretary I found that unreliability and inconsistent user interface confirmed my belief that the Apple computers were much more desirable. If the Apple software has fallen away from its previous high quality I will just get irritated and will try and find ways round the problems.

The sad thing is that the amount of work I have to do as a volunteer in five local organisations and one nationwide organisation is so much that I am always unhappy about not being able to do the work in a timely fashion. I might have to retire from some of the positions to reduce that irritation. That would be sad because I am very keen of what these organisations contribute to our community.

Another Expedition

Posted: 20/08/11 4:11 PM

Sarah is a Census collector. She had delivered the 2011 census forms to a large number of residences in a specific part of Barraba which included lots of places outside the town in the large area, the previous Barraba Shire.

Today she asked me to drive her to some of the places she had to go to to get back the completed census forms. She was worried the the roads leading to some of the outlying places were not suitable for her to drive her Daihatsu Charade and thought that my Daihatsu Terios which is a four wheel drive would be more suitable.

I drove 64 km (40 miles) on some good bitumen roads, some good dirt roads, and some very rough and muddy dirt roads. I was really pleased with the expedition because I had helped Sarah and it reassured me about the wonderful countryside around Barraba.

A GetUp Rally in Tamworth

Posted: 14/08/11 6:47 PM

Today I went to Tamworth in the morning to take part in a Get Up Rally which was about supporting our Federal MP, Tony Windsor, in his efforts to ensure that Australia works on programmes to reduce our country's carbon footprint to ensure that we participate in the planet wide work necessary to minimise the risk of catastrophic Climate Change which could make life very dangerous for our great grandchildren.

We had several good presentations from local farmers who were in favour of the anti climate change government activities. A lady had complained about the reports in the local paper, the Northern Daily Leader, which call Tony Windsor an idiot. She said that she always wrote a letter to the editor to indicate the lack of acceptability of those reports when Tony Windsor is clearly very intelligent and very accurate in what he says.

I was able to make a short presentation urging people to seek the evidence of anything anyone proposed in the press, on TV, or in debate, so that they would know what was untrue and what was true.

I used an example from our local paper which I call the Northern Daily Mis-Leader which had reported a motor vehicle accident 35 km south of Narrabri on the New England Highway. The report was untrue in its naming of the highway because the road south of Narrabri is the Newell Highway and the New England Highway heads north of Newcastle through Tamworth and up the Great Dividing Range to Armidale in the New England and Warwick in Queensland. The fact that a local newspaper report was erroneous in naming the Highway was a real problem because clearly the reporter didn't know the true names and the editor was not ensuring that such errors were not removed from reports.

The Rally applauded my contribution.

I got into conversation with one guy who was clearly a denier because he said that he had measured the temperature at 100 degrees under a fruit tree in his garden when he was a boy which he said proved that the science of climate change is wrong. I told him that his measurement was related to weather not climate and he should understand that the science assesses the trends in average global temperatures which are not represented by specific weather measurements only calculated from great amounts of global weather information over much time. Another person in that conversation agreed with me.

More problems with the 21st century culture

Posted: 14/08/11 8:57 AM

I read this morning a in a blog and in a SF newspaper, that BART, the local train service in San Francisco, had switched off the mobile phone service they provide in some of their stations because they had found many people were using their mobile phones on the platforms to organise extraordinary mob protests which interfered with the trains stopping at the station thus disrupting commuter travel and was very dangerous for passengers on crowded platforms who might finish up on the train track.

I was horrified to read that the ACLU were fighting BART because what they were doing was interfering with "free speech".

My response to that was extreme. If people like ACLU defend criminals to protect their ciivil liberties they don't understand that criminal behaviour is not subject to any kind of liberty. If they succeed in getting criminals this kind of freedom we will all be at unacceptable risk.

Another Barraba Artisans' and Farmers' Market

Posted: 13/08/11 8:54 PM

The weather early this ,morning was quite unpleasant, we had a very foggy and cold morning.

I had to go into town at 8 o'clock to start the set up of todays market and it was not at all pleasant. By the time the market was open, 9 o'clock, the weather had improved quite a bit because the sunshine had dissipated the fog.

Later in the morning there were lots of cirrus clouds which reduced the intensity of the sunshine but didn't eliminate it at all.

The market was unusually small with less vendors and less locals coming to the market.

My job is to Meet & Greet visitors to Barraba who come to the market and today I met 12 such people which is just a bit less than the recent market days when I met 13 or 18 people.

I always find that the visitors to the town are pretty impressed by the town and the market. Most of the local who come are also impressed.

We are looking forward to September when spring will have started and the weather will probably be much more pleasant. That might well increase the number of vendors and the number of local visitors and the number of out of town visitors.

We will revert in the spring to having two market days each month, the second and fourth Saturdays so our work will increase.

A trip to Tamworth

Posted: 10/08/11 3:33 PM

Yesterday I had to drive to Tamworth to buy some things we can't buy in Barraba.

On the drive south I had several particular experiences.

10 km south of Barraba I had to remove a small roo from the road on the east side.

22 km south of Barraba I saw two beautiful wattle trees in bloom.

6 km S of Manilla I saw a dead roo off the road on the east side

When I had taken off after I had moved the small roo just south of Barraba, I was in front of a big truck. I drew away from him quite a lot. When I was 6 km south of Manilla my CB radio announced that a truck was crossing the Manilla River bridge. I assume that it was the same truck.

When I got to Tamworth, I went to Bunnings to get a cat flap so that we could leave the screen door on the deck closed as we are presently leave it open so that the McAlpine cats can come onto the deck to get at their food which we are looking after.

After that, I went to Dillons and got some advice about the water heater which is behaving a bit erratically. I asked the technical guy to get the price of a new gas valve. He asked me to get the plumber to check the gas regulator with a manometer and replace it if the pressure was too low. He also told me that the subsidies for solar water heaters had been cancelled so replacing the gas water heater with a solar system which would be good for our carbon footprint, would not be affordable.

In Tamworth the air was very chilly but as I stopped for lunch before noon a bit of sunshine happened. My lunch in my favourite cafe was pretty nice and the internet access allowed me to do some software updates.

It was raining a bit most of the time when I was doing the shopping, so I bought a new umbrella to protect myself. I also bought a new book by Dick Smith about the problem of growing populations. I also bought some new under pants from Rivers because the recent weather in Barraba had not allowed us to do the laundry so I needed some more.

When I left Tamworth after all the shopping was done, I found the weather was quite grey.

On the way back I saw some trees in flower and some more wattles in bloom.

After I passed Attunga 20 km north of Tamworth, there was still lots of clouds but everywhere there was sunshine on some of the countryside and on some stretches of the road.

When I was just south of Manilla I was driving on a sunny stretch of road but was getting rained on. Sunny rain is pretty rare in the New England.

7 km north of Attunga I saw a dead roo off the bitumen on the west side of the road and 7Km north of Manilla I saw another one also off the bitumen on the west side of the road.

When I was getting near Barraba there was still sunshine on some areas in the countryside. When I got into Barraba it was all grey.

Bad News

Posted: 6/08/11 6:55 PM

Watching the news on the TV I was really upset. The facts that the stock market had suffered a great down grade was suggested as being a reflection on the health of the economy.

I know that the trading in the stock market is simply people buying pieces of paper from other people who owned them because they bought them from other people. The trade is simply a "market" which is actually a gambling scene. People buy shares hoping that they can sell them for more than they paid for them. When they can't do this and they choose to sell them for less than they paid for them they are indeed losing money but this has nothing to do with the basic economy.

The basis of the economy is the operation of organisations (companies" which make and sell products or provide services needed by people in the society.

The suggestion that the positive or negative effects on the stock market are a representation of performance of the basic economy is not true. It is simply some propaganda which attempts to have us all believe that those trading in the stock market are the most important elements in the economy even though what they are doing does not have any effect on the basics of the economy.

The thought that people should be able to become rich without making any contribution to the basics of the economy is a characteristic lot of bunkum in the 21st century.

Today's Work

Posted: 1/08/2011

Today we had a Local Government Week visit in Barraba from the Tamworth Regional Council. I felt it was important to go to it.

I got there early and was able to talk to the Mayor about Eco-Camping Australia which is a not for profit partnership ( Ross Kassebaum and me) which has devised a very good technical scheme to certify RVs which are self-contained because they can camp in sites without causing any environmental effects. The Mayor who told me that he and his wife travel in a caravan was impressed with what I said. I gave him a print of our "Information for Site Controllers" and he thanked me for that. I also told him that the time limit on the Barraba Lions Park was improper because the CMCA had failed to follow the schemes inventor's ideas, to have RV Friendly Towns make visitors comfortable in free camp sites near the town for several days so that they will spend their money in the town to fill up their pantries and fridges and their fuel tanks and to go to cafes and specialty shops as well. He smiled at what I said.

This evening we had a CDC meeting which I had to attend because I am the Assistant Secretary and the Secretary has recently resigned.

The meeting was quite quite good with several debates to try and achieve a consensus on a specific issue.

Revised: 3/08/11


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