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Showing posts from August, 2016

Marree Man

This time with no mystery, the Marree Man had returned.
He has be re-etched on the desert soil.
The old outline has been freshened by a grader that cut 10cm into the soil.
It took 3 days and was done by local identities.

Marree Man is 4.2km tall with a 28km outline on the southeastern edge of Lake Eyre.

Long may he live and help to make the outback alive.

Tip: it's best seen from the air 😉

The Old Double Blues

A fantastic and huge plug for Sturt Football Club in today's Advertiser newspaper.
The plug is for the book 'The Old Double Blues - Celebrating the men of Sturt', written by Sturt tragic supporter Angel Fernandez.
It's nearly 700 pages and was compiled by oral interviews over the past five years.

The history of the club spans seven decades.

History spans from 1950s club stalwarts Wally May, Tony Goodchild, Dennis Rattigan, Bill Kutcher, Bob Marshall and Gus Hunter, to Brant Chambers, Greg Whittlesea, Brodie Atkinson, Damian Squire, Tim Weatherald and Jade Sheedy, and includes club legends such as Rick Davies, Paul Bagshaw and Peter Motley.

Contact the Sturt FC to get a copy.

Link to Sturt FC

Aussie Gold Rio 2016

The Olympics at Rio 2016 just doesn't have the usual Olympic buzz.
In fact, it seems to be a bit of a fizzer; just like the green slime (or whatever it was) it the swimming pool.
Maybe it's just me, but I doubt it.
People are not stopping work or dedicating time to watch events; like we used to.
The Olympics is all about the gathering of the greats from every country, in a quest of a win for their country.
Huge money is spent on nurturing and training athletes. I hear that $40m was spent just on our swimming team.
Results for Australia (so far) have not been great; way below expectations.
The reason for writing this is my annoyance at the expectations of success in certain events; and it didn't happen. He/She was a favourite, a certainty; and a win was just a formality; and it didn't happen. Shock when a perceived low chance SA swimmer Kyle Chalmers blitzed the pool and won Gold.
That's what the Olympics is all about ... a gathering of talented athletes and the bes…

Time to go LED

Shave heaps off your electricity bill by replacing old lights with warm white LEDs.
I've completed the switch from incandescent to fluro to LED.
I was tired of the lag time and warm up time with fluros.
They're still pricey, but they have a long life; and the payback time is quick.
It's nice to again have instant light.

A final tip: if the light switch has a dimmer, then you must get an LED that is dimmer compliant. I discovered this the hard way. They don't cost much more.

Here's a link to more information

Empirical data

The ABC Q&A session this week was riveting; good viewing with a science theme.
Newly elected One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts provided amusement and embarrassment (at his expense) by his scepticism of climate change; and his dismissal of everything through a lack of 'empirical evidence'.
The loveable Professor Brian Cox nearly wet himself at the encounter. He produced trend graphs for CO2 and temperature and talked about the scientific process for modelling and generating forecasts. All to no avail; Malcolm Roberts dismissed the Professor by citing corrupt and manipulated climate data and a lack of 'empirical evidence'. There seems to be a world wide manipulation of climate change data to benefit the big banks who want to trade in emission credits and make a huge profit ... according to Roberts.
It was a real hoot.
Oh, and by the way, when quizzed by Cox, Roberts did (to his credit) state that he did believe in the lunar landings. There are people out there (incl…

Council conflict

The issue of conflict of interest for Councillors (and Mayors) across SA is an absolute mess. Yes, conflict is a serious issue that needed to be dealt with; but it should have been done professionally and with input from members of the Local Government sector. The final solution (of what we now have to work with) should have been broadly reviewed by Councils before implementation.
I feel that the Minister for Local Government has been seriously let down by public servants who drafted the the conflict of interest provisions. The people who drafted it had absolutely no practical knowledge of how Councils operate procedurally. It's like getting a plumber to re-wire the electrical cables at home.
The Minister (who is a former Councillor) is sympathetic and understanding and I have been informed that all the problems will be resolved by changes to the regulations. That's a messy solution, but it's the only way to fix it.

This whole mess will take months to resolve.
Meanwhile we…

Letter to media 14/08/2016

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Here's a letter to the editor, published on 14 August 2016 ...

When the time comes to resurface King William Road in Unley, if the decision is to use asphalt (rather than brick paving) then I have a vision that we use a coloured asphalt rather than boring black. A brown or tangerine colour would be nice. At intersections the asphalt could have a brick paving pattern in-laid to create a ripple sound and promote awareness. It must be a colour other than black. I suggest that there be a survey of locals to determine the colour. It would look fantastic and help to revitalise the road and precinct.

Councillor Bob Schnell
Goodwood Ward, City of Unley

Letter to media 01/08/2016

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Here's a letter to the editor, published on 01 August 2016.

The Census crept up on us without much warning and with zero education about the process. There is lots of hysteria and concern about online privacy issues. Yet, only a few weeks back people were agitating for online voting at the Federal election. You can't have it both ways. People need to understand that paper forms get scanned and the details are stored electronically. I have confidence in the integrity of the stored data - unless it is stored in an offshore Cloud database.

Councillor Bob Schnell
Goodwood Ward, City of Unley

Extended warranty scam

The other day I went to buy a new iron, you know the type used to press shirts and trousers etc. When finalising the sale I was asked if I wanted to buy extended warranty.
I said no.
It's all a scam and you rarely get any real value for this 'extra protection'.
It was a modest amount for the iron, but it can be a huge extra amount when buying a higher priced TV or a car. The salesperson pushes you hard, because they (and their company) get a cut on the sale ie. they get a commission.
Avoid the temptation and don't get sucked in; it doesn't make economic sense.

Here are some finer details about extended warranty from an official consumer protection source ...

The salesperson may offer to sell you an extended warranty or care package when you purchase goods such as a new computer, television or fitness tracker. But sometimes paying extra for an extended warranty doesn’t actually give you anything extra.
If a manufacturer’s warranty is only for 12 months the retailer …

Chinese power bid

Thank heavens the Federal Treasurer blocked a Chinese State company from a take-over bid for AusGrid, the NSW electricity grid. It's one matter allowing Chinese nationals to buy Aussie homes; it's another matter to allow a massive economic invasion. Actually there were two Chinese companies bidding.
The reason cited for the rejection was based on national security advice; and thus the reason could not be stated; a nice response.
A sensible decision.
And it's all a one way street with Chinese investment in Australia; using the artificially (State) priced Chinese yuan to buy up premium stock in the rest of the world. How tolerant is the Chinese State Government to foreign investment in their country. How often do we hear of ex-pats buying houses in China? We've heard of sad cases of when foreigners are economically successful in China and the State fights back to cripple them and facilitate a State takeover.
We as a nation need to be vigilant and continue to oppose signi…

Salmonella childbirth pain

I've never had serious food poisoning or given birth, but I understand that both have some discomfort.

Recently there was a case of salmonella food poisoning that affected 32 people who had a buffet breakfast at a big hotel on North Terrace, Adelaide. I understand that it was the eggs.

One of the women affected described her ordeal of week-long pain as worse than childbirth. The pains of childbirth over one week would have been horrendous. It puts salmonella food poisoning into perspective.

Twelve Apostles

I was up at Stone Hut in the mid north of SA. I was on the way to Quorn at the start of the Flinders Ranges and I'd pulled in for a pie (or two). The pies there are the best in the State. You simply can't drive past.
Anyway, in the outdoor dining area (under some grape vines) I saw a large group of reasonably friendly birds of a type that I didn't recognise. They were munching on bird seed that the pie lady had put out to feed the birds and to entertain the pie eaters; even in the rain. And they were friendly and loved some stroking down the back; and a tickle under the chin.
I asked about the birds and pie lady said that they were called Apostles; named after the Biblical Twelve Apostles; because they usually hang out together in large groups of usually twelve. They are very social groups and have a sense of family.
And they love hanging around with people; probably to get some tidbits.
Amazing that I hadn't encountered Apostles before.
They were entertaining to watch…