The road ahead was clear of traffic. The recent bike lane addition made the road somewhat narrow, but hey, at least there were no bikes or cars to be seen. Had the zombie apocalypse occurred and the general break down in society meant that nobody got around to telling me? The youth music national broadcaster was still pumping out tunes, so perhaps the zombie apocalypse theory could be discounted. Yet the road was empty, and there was a heck of a stink.
Anyone who’s had the good fortune to be subjected to the stink of burning oil combined with partially unburnt fuel, well, they know what it smells like. To everyone else, trust me in this, it stinks. And the little dirt mouse Suzuki was full of the reek. A press of a button lowered the drivers side window and allowed the fresh cold winter air to wash out the reek.
That was a relief. But an unasked question hung in the air: Was the little dirt mouse Suzuki on fire? An alarming possibility, which fortunately was easily discounted. A quick stop by the side of the road, open the bonnet, no flames, no oil, sounds normal, and more importantly, no stink. Must have been a car up ahead somewhere in the unknown distance. Always best to check though, it was the second time that day the stink was encountered.
Lately, it is hard to ignore the many vehicles stuck and immobile along the sides of the freeway’s in the so-called emergency lane – a dangerous place to stop at the best of times. Was it a lack of petrol (gas in US parlance), or simply a lack of maintenance? Dunno, but there sure seems to be more of that gear going on.
Many years ago, when we lived in the big smoke, a neighbour used to work as a pilot for a major airline. He was a good looking bloke and had a string of blonde guests, although bizarrely it was the brunette who finally tied him down. An interesting bloke, always up for a chat. One story he recounted was that just prior to the collapse of another major airline (which shall not be named), they allegedly skipped on maintenance in order to reduce operating costs. With recent increases to interest rates combined with inflation, it’s possible a bit of that skippy-dance is going on right now in homes about the nation.
Badda, badda, badda, zerwing, boom, thud!
Chris, are you alright in there?
I dunno, it’s all a bit weird right now. Hang on, what’s this?
What’s going on? What the heck! Tell me this doesn’t say 11th July 2052?
Sure as shit, that’s what it says right there. Whoa.
Alright, get over it, what else does it say?
Hang on a second, we’ve got an obligation here not to upset the temporal continuum. You’ve seen Back to the Future, haven’t you?
You know, the film.
OK, well, we can say some things about the future, but we shouldn’t tell them the juicy bits, like the lotto number results. We keep that gear for ourselves.
Nice thinking, what’s that saying over there:
Kyiv voted world’s most liveable city, second year in a row
Russia’s emperor Vladimir II, was pleased to receive the accolade from the most prestigious Shenzen based publication: The Economist. Rigorous criteria put the 73 competing cities to the test, and Kyiv came top of the class due to it’s modern and refreshed infrastructure, excellent food, demand for labour, and low crime rate.
Well, who would have guessed that, not me. Hey, what’s that article:
Queen Elizabeth II still going strong, credits Kelpies for longevity
Recent talk in the press was that the UK’s long reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II, would retire from public service. The Queen is the patron of the much loved social programs: ‘Victory Gardens’ and ‘Save our Poo, Compost it’, which have greatly reduced hunger in the UK. Pundits have long debated that there would be great resistance to change. Her Majesty credits her longevity with the occasional nip of gin and a change in the royal kennels from the staid Corgis to the more athletic Australian Kelpie dog breed. Unsubstantiated reports suggest that the monarch was heard to say: “The little buggers keep you fit and active”.
Hardly surprising, but it doesn’t say anything about Charlie. Here’s an article on Australian politics:
Australian Federal Government blames former incumbents for economic mess
The current Australian Federal Government continues to blame the former incumbents for the economic mess the nation is in, despite having been in power for a decade. Responding to a journalists questions regarding the $120 lettuce crisis, the Prime Minister lashed out at both the journalists and the previous administration citing their incompetence.
Looks like not much has changed on that front. Hmm, house prices, a national past-time:
Population puts downwards pressure on house prices
The Federal treasurer was today quoted as saying: “Go on, have a kid for the mum, the dad, and the house prices, I mean sorry, the country.” Recent declines in the population have put downwards pressure on house prices, fuelling fears that the economy is going backwards. The three major banks fear that the average mortgage holder of $4m may be left with negative equity and unable to pay their debts. The bond market slumped at the news as trading algorithms downgraded the value of the investments within seconds of the announcement, but the government soon stepped into the breach with offers of support to the bond market.
What’s energy doing? This sounds like good news:
Fusion power two decades away
Scientists at the W.A.N.K.A nuclear research facility confirmed that fusion power is almost within their grasp thanks to the recent invention of the Boos-hit capacitor. The sector requested further funding to build upon the achievements, and speculated that within two decades, electricity will be too cheap to meter.
Cool, although we’ll probably be dead by then. Ah, health seems to be improving at least.
Medical researchers confirm deadly strain of Lambda Lambda Lambda SARS
In breaking news, medical researchers today confirmed an outbreak of the deadly Lambda Lambda Lambda strain of SARS. Medical experts demanded reintroduction of recent mask mandates and urged for new and tougher lock downs of the population. Historian of recent popular culture, Hans Offsem, when asked about the pronouncement, was quoted: “They’re just a bunch of nerds getting their revenge, you know.”
Do you reckon the climate improved over the decades? What’s the newspaper saying:
Droughts and flooding rains prophesied in 1908 by poet Dorothy MacKellar, come to pass
Australia’s tropical north is in the grip of an unseasonable and prolonged dry spell. Cattle station owners have had to reduce herd size for the twelfth time in a decade. Export meat supplies continue, but local supply is restricted and politicians are bracing consumers for meat shortages and price hikes at the supermarket. Politicians have initiated another inquest into the cause of the drought. Meanwhile, on the east coast of the continent, another East Coast low storm system, the sixth this year, has produced more flooding in towns already flooded four times this year. Academics are calling for a retreat from those flood vulnerable areas. Locals demand assistance to rebuild. State governments are unwilling to change building codes and instead called for mandatory flood insurance to be provided. Best selling author and social commentator, Simon Sheridan in his book: “Australia, wake the f#$k up”, put the predicament this way: “What part of droughts and flooding rains don’t you mofo’s get?” A succinct summary from the best selling author citing the 1908 prophesy.
Here’s another article on climate:
Tourist gunned down in popular beachside suburb of Caulfield
Earlier today an unidentified gunman fired upon an unarmed recreational fisherman in the popular beachside suburb of Caulfied. The gunman remains still at large as authorities investigate the incident. With recent sea level rises, the former bayside suburbs of Elsternwick and Elwood are now under water. The submerged suburbs provide artificial reefs, the like of which has not been seen before, and fish populations have boomed. Huge numbers of recreational fishermen regularly descend upon the area. Tensions with locals have escalated recently as competition for the food source increases. Many locals have suggested off-the-record for fear of reprisals, that the unidentified gunman allegedly may have been one of their own number. With no further leads, police look set to close the case, yet tensions are continuing to escalate and there have been suggestions to this reporter that a fishy payment has been made to the authorities and they’ve now clammed-up on the investigation.
Seriously, I could tell you the rest, but you wouldn’t believe me.
Four days ago I began cleaning up some of the forest litter left behind after a century of logging in this mountain range. It really is a mess, and winter is a great time of year to do the work, because the snake bite risk is low. Other than the explanation of: “this will be cheap to do”, I can’t fathom the actions of the loggers from those days.
Four days after the fire was ignited, the material has now reduced to a large quantity of ash which will be spread around once cooled off.
The winter weather this week has been cold and occasionally wet. During a short break in the rain, I connected up two of the seven water tanks recently relocated to the large shed. They had been put in place, but not connected.
The largest water tank on the right hand side of the above photo had a slow water leak around the valve. The tank was almost full when I removed the water valve. A good way to get drenched on a cold winters day. A new valve was rapidly installed and tested for leaks. The process was repeated twice, before the leak was fixed. I was grateful for the burn-off fire, as I could warm up and dry off.
The chicken enclosure has been free of rats for about three weeks now. The rats will not be happy about the loss of most of their friends and lack of easy access to the chickens grain supply.
My friends of the big shed fame held a master cheese making course over the weekend. Sandra and I learned how to make Fetta; Curds; Haloumi; and Mascarpone cheese. It was a fun and lively hands-on course which we enjoyed thoroughly.
On the way to visit the big shed dudes, we paid the highest price for Unleaded Petrol (ULP or gas in US parlance) we’d ever seen. An impressive achievement and we’re glad to be driving a little fuel efficient Suzuki. A little bit of energy goes a long way in that Dirt mouse Suzuki.
A wombat has chosen to construct a brand new burrow under the courtyard. Observant and alert readers will note that this recent marsupial innovation is conveniently sited to the raised vegetable beds – which have been stripped of winter rocket.
You can tell the huge burrow is a wombat because the cheeky marsupial leaves calling-cards to mark out it’s territory.
Onto the flowers:
The temperature outside now at about 10.00am is 6’C (43’F). So far this year there has been 524.8mm (20.7 inches) which is up from last weeks total of 519.4mm (20.4 inches)