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Monday, 31st October 2011
Today was the last session of our Energymark Project. There were only three of us in the Barraba Energymark Group. I was the convenor and the other two members were Sarah, my daughter, and Ruby Kynast one of our friends and one of the other members of Towards Transition Barraba.
We have been meeting since late July and have had 7 meetings in the 14 weeks. At the meetings we discuss the information provided by the CSIRO Energymark project on several subjects about climate change, energy consumption, and our individual carbon footprints.
Today we needed to discuss both the final sessions because Ruby in going to India at the end of the week to spend three months at her favourite Ashram.
Because this was our last meeting, I organised a celebratory lunch for my volunteers to thank them for their contribution to the project.
I cooked beef curry, dhal, bhajias and papadums which were much enjoyed by Ruby and the rest of us.
I have been thanked by CSIRO for the reports about our meetings which I have sent them.
I am impressed that CSIRO are giving us lots of good information about climate change and energy consumption. I also appreciate that they want our feedback because that will help them to assess how the people in Australia concern themselves with the issues of climate change and energy consumption.
Our feedback included lots of stuff about our concern about the need for adequate water supplies in the future even if climate change causes a reduction in the natural supply of water in Australia which is the driest inhabited continent on the planet. We also expressed the view the Australia, like th rest of the nations, needs a major increase in renewable energy supplies.
Some more machinery problems
Friday, 28th October 2011
We had another 3 hour blackout one night recently. Lying in bed I thought that I had to confirm that the back-up generator was working. When I tried it I found that the battery wasn't fully charged so I removed it and connected it to the charger. After a large number of hours the battery was well charged. When I re-installed it the generator wouldn't star so I will have to get the Small Engine Repairer to see if he can fix it.
Sadly when I got the mower working a fortnight ago I didn't mow all the back lawn before the mower failed again. When I tried to restart it it just made some mechanical clicking sounds and wouldn't even rev up. I will have to get the same guy to see if he can fix this as well.
Some more technical trouble and some more really good music
Saturday, 22nd October 2011
I have been having much trouble with the Optus wireless modem because the Barraba cell was not working. I asked Telstra for a new account for my previous modem but they said that I could not use that modem unless I had an ABN (Australian Business Number). I explained that I was a non business volunteer and they told me that I would have to get a new account from Big Pond. I phoned them and they said that they would send me a new modem. It arrived quite soon but when I tried to install it in line with it's start up instructions, I was unable to get the modem yo load it's software on my MacBook. I rand the tech support and they told me to down load the software from their website. I did that and found that it would not let my MacBook communicate with the modem. I rand tech support again and they told me that I needed version 3,5 of the software instead of version 3.4 which I had down loaded. They told me that I couldn't download it but could get it from a Telstra shop. I rang the Telstra shop in Tamworth and they said that they didn't have the software. I rang the Inverell Telstra shop and they said they could do it for me. I drove to Inverell (130 km - 0over 80 miles) and when I went to the Telstra shop the tech was asked to help me. He loaded the software onto my MacBook but I found that he had down loaded version 3.4 which he said worked with the modem they had in the shop and they didn't have version 3.5. I asked if they used PCs rather that Macintoshes and he said yes so I had to tell him that I would have to get in touch with the tech support to tell them I still wasn't able to use the new modem, hoping that they would be able to provide me with version 3.5. I got a phone call from tech support and he said that they couldn't send me a CDR with the software on it and they couldn't get version 3.5 put on the website but he would try and solve my problem by getting my modem to load it's software onto my MacBook next Monday.
Last night we went to a concert at the Playhouse Hotel. The pianist was Ambre Hammond who had performed here last November. She had arranged to play with Marcello Maio, an Italian/Greek composer and an expert Piano Accordion player with whom she had arranged lots of music by Astor Pantaleon Piazzolla and some other composers. I was most impressed with the concert and talked to them both afterwards. I reminded Ambre that after her last concert in Barraba I had congratulated her and told her that she was performing for us after Roman Rudnytsky, a very famous travelling classical pianist. She was most impressed with that comment then and last night she said that she remembered me. I also congratulated them both on their music and I told Marcello that I had been to Athens when I was at London University so he smiled at me.
Some more reading
Tuesday, 18th October 2011
I have been reading Dick Smith's book "Population Crisis". I have been most impressed. A lot of what he says is in line with another book I am reading Richard Heinberg's book "The End of Growth".
I decided to email Dick to tell him how much I appreciate his work. I plan to tell him that his book is in my Transition Library with wonderful books by other authors including Tim Flannery and the Meadows who wrote "The Limits to Growth" which Richard Heinberg mentioned that he had read in 1972 and it had started him thinking about the major problems of overuse of non renewable resources. I did tell Richard Heinberg that I had read the book in 1972 too and it had made me concerned about the major problems of overuse of non renewable resources, those thoughts are still with me and support my strong desire to hope we get a sustainable and resilient future.
Another busy week
Wednesday, 12th October 2011
This has ben a busy week. My number of executive volunteer jobs result in my having to do lots of work at home as well as at the meetings.
We had a Community Development Committee meeting on Monday night which required a fair bit of preparation. Being the Assistant Secretary means that I have to take notes at every meeting and then develop the notes within a few days into a formal format so that the Secretary can use my stuff to help her draft the minutes so that they can be checked by the Chairperson before we get them confirmed at the next meeting.
Being the Secretary of the Red Cross Branch requires me to do lots of work, minutes and agendas which are needed for every meeting and the preparation of required outgoing correspondence as well as the receiving and registering of incoming correspondence for every meeting. I have recently received the new Red Cross Branch and Club Manual which I will have to read and use to ensure that our Branch operates in the way that the Red Cross requires us to.
I am also a Junior Red Cross Co-ordinator and have to supervise a breakfast club at the Central Primary School two days a week and I have to prepare supplies for the breakfasts and organise a roster of Junior Red Cross members to assist me at the breakfasts.
The Barraba Artisans' and Farmers' Market appointed me to the position of Meet and Greet Officer. I have to talk to as many of the out of town visitors as I can to promote the significant features of our lovely town but I also get as many as I can, locals and out of town visitors to fill in a survey form which I later analyse to determine what they all think of what we are doing. I have to send the results of the survey analysis to the Co-ordinator and the Secretary. I also publish the record of the out of town visitors to each market day on the Barraba Artisans' and Farmers' Market Facebook page so that the people who read the page, most of our members, some of our visitors, and some of the other organisations we are working with including the Tamworth Regional Council, will be informed about how successful our out of town promotion is. I am always pleased that the visitors are impressed by the town and the market so we are achieving some very good promotion of Barraba.
I am also the Convenor of the Barraba Energymark Group which works with the CSIRO to promote their technical stuff about Climate Change and Renewable Energy policies. We have meetings every two or three weeks and I have to prepare for the meetings and deliver reports to the CSIRO about every meeting.
I am also a Managing Partner of Eco-camping Australia which is a volunteer organisation which has the following Mission Statement:-
The aim of Eco-Camping Australia is to promote eco-sensitive camping by advocacy, education, and technical programme development.
The public advocacy programme is directed to all authorities controlling campsites and is designed to bring to their attention the benefits of allowing certified self-contained campers to have access to bush camp sites.
The education programme is directed to all campers and is designed to bring knowledge of the principles of eco-sensitive camping to all who would camp in bush campsites.
The Self-containment Certification Scheme is designed to bring the benefits of Self-containment Certification to as many campers as are capable of, and committed to truly eco-sensitive camping.
I do have work which I must do for this organisation,
Another Barraba Artisans' and Farmers' Market
Saturday, 6th October 2011
Today we had another spring Artisans' and Farmers' Market. The weather report predicted some rain. In the morning before the market opened we had good weather with blue skies and sunshine.
There we only a few stalls because the some of the farmers have not been able to grow vegetables because spring has not been reliable.
We had a good first hour with the good weather still happening. Later it started to rain and some of the stalls had to move onto the Queen St pavement under shop awnings. The rain continued for some hours and it caused most of the locals not to come to the market.
I greeted 13 out of town visitors and they were all happy to be visitors to Barraba and to the market.
My survey forms indicated that a number of visitors and locals were impressed with the market so we were happy to have that response even though the weather had been unhelpful.
All the vendors left before the nominal end of the market at 1 pm because the number of visitors had dropped to zero. After lunch the weather improved but we had all gone home.