Sunday, May 14, 2017

Too early for me

I've never been a morning person so I could never get my head around the reason for putting our clocks back in autumn. It means that currently the sun rises at 6.30am. And look what that means as early as 5.00pm...the moon's up already!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Perfect autumn weather

It's just about perfect autumn weather here on the NSW Central Coast.

At The Haven, Terrigal, a clear blue sky, 24C, people on the beach, in the water, enjjoying a picnic.

And of course the pelicans keeping watch for fishermen coming back in, and lining up for left-overs at the cleaning station.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Poor economics -plus idiocy

We have yet another in an endless stream of examples of how our governments are serving us so badly, this one from the NSW state government.

The latest of the frantic selling-off of publicly owned (and profitable) assets is the Land & Property Information registry  against the advice of just about everyone.

That it's just ideological with no basis in economic or common sense is obvious, quite apart from the privacy, competence and cost concerns.

The registry produces a profit to the state budget of $130 million a year. It's been sold on a 35 year lease for $2.6 billion. Multiply $130 million by 35 and see how much more would be going into the budget if we kept it in public hands.

If we need the money for infrastructure now is the time to borrow it, with interest rates at historic lows. To borrow the $2,6 billion would cost about $75 million a year in interest, which could be paid out of the LPI's profit and still leave about $50 million or so in the bank.

Oh and idiotically, a billion of the vital infrastructure money is going on refurbishment of three football stadiums!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Promising new police commissioner

We have a new police commissioner just appointed in New South Wales, and he's been saying what I've wanted top cops to say for a very long time.

For decades now, here and overseas, police have forgotten their primary role - which is to prevent crime.

The emphasis has for far too long been on catching people after they've committed the offence.

It's been almost collusion between the police and the criminals. Let them commit the crime then we'll catch them.

New commissioner Mick Fuller said his focus will be on "prevention and disruption", which is exactly what we've always needed.

Get in early, have high visibility, and so prevent the crime from being committed.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Unseen effects of our extreme weather

The worst of the Category 4 cyclone in Queensland is over, although flooding from the heavy rain is the next problem.

Now that people can go outside the damage can be checked, and while it's reported to be at least $2 billion, it's less than feared.

Cyclone Debbie had recorded wind gusts of 263kph and hit the Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour the worst.

Fortunately the resorts are built to withstand Cat. 5 cyclones so structurally they survived. It was a frightening time for tourists though!

The usually unreported effects, on animals, was highlighted this time by a cockatoo which made the news.

It was found by a news photographer who went out to take photos of the aftermath and found it sitting in a pile of shredded leaves and branches under a destroyed tree.

The poor thing was stripped of a lot of its feathers, so she took it inside and wrapped it in a towel to keep it warm. When the weather eased it was collected by wildlife carers and is now recovering.

It's just one of probably thousands of animals, domestic and wild, that will have been hurt or killed by the cyclone.

And just a few weeks ago there was a photo of more animals affected by our extreme weather, on that occasion it was kangaroos trying to flee from a bush fire.

PS. Later update: Sadly, this morning the cocky was found dead in its box.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Late cyclone

While we've had record rainfall after record heat, Far North Queensland is currently getting battered by a late-season cyclone.

It's a bad one too. Category 4 and close to Category 5. It's just hit the Whitsunday Islands, with gusts of 263kph reported at Hamilton Island.

Now it's headed to the coast at Bowen but it looks like an area of over 100 kilometres will be affected.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Weather report

After several weeks with unusually high temperatures - high thirties C and up to forty on several days - we went into the beginning of autumn, which is March here in Oz of course, and the rain hit us.

Twenty of the first twenty four days had rain or showers, the most in March for over thirty years apparently.

A break in the rain gave me a chance to spend some time trying to tidy the garden and I almost walked into this:

I'm not sure whether it's dangerous but I wouldn't want to find it in my shoe.