Voice to Parliament

After a deal of consideration and prayer, I will be voting “No” in the upcoming referendum about a “Voice to Parliament” (Voice). It’s not a decision I’ve arrived at lightly. Let me outline some of the reasons behind my decision: The idea of a Voice that advances the ideas or aspirations of one (small) portion of the population without allowing all other members of society the same opportunity is inherently racist.

Another Three Years

It’s been three years since Mum died. I received a phone call from the hospital at around 1:15pm during our office Christmas lunch. I stepped outside to take the call and was told by the attending Doctor that Mum had died of a cardiac arrest and that the hospital staff had honoured her request of not attempting resuscitation. She had been hospitalised leading up to a medical procedure but her slight frame was not up for it.

Five Years On

It’s five years today since my Dad died. Sometimes it seems like only a couple of years. On other occasions it feels like ten or more years. We’re living in the house that he and Mum lived in for close-on thirty years at the end of their lives. There are a few remnants around the house–the odd bit of furniture, some cutlery, a stack of slides and photos to continue to cull and distribute.

goodbye nab

My wife and I have been customers of the nab for the past 27 years. But no longer. Over the past couple of weeks we have opened a new account with a bank that is not one of the ‘big four’. There were a number of direct debit arrangements to change; screenshots of the details of commonly-used payees to grab, and ensuring we had csv downloads of our recent transactions.

goodbye goodreads

After 11 years, 435 books read and 418 reviews I have deleted my goodreads account. I loved it when I first began using it (before Amazon owned it), and it is still useful to obtain some information about a book or author; but my screen seems to be increasingly consumed by advertisements and banners; and I seem to get logged out about once a week for no apparent reason. I wanted to keep a record of what I have read, what I thought about it at the time, and what I may want to read in future.

Left and Right: Politics

For much of my adult life I would have described myself as centre-left on the political spectrum and with some concern for environmental issues (amongst a range of other issues). When I was growing up the left-oriented party, the Labor (sic) party would stand up for workers rights and social justice whereas the right (the Liberals) were more interested in big business and sound economic management. It was said that one voted Labor to fix the country then voted Liberal to fix the economy.

Questions Without Answers

After nearly two years of governments changing narratives, being asked to trust ’the science’ and called a ‘wacko’ by the NSW Health Minister, I thought it time to post a series of questions concerning the state of the world today. There are few answers in the following, but there are some assumptions, suppositions and a few conclusions. Firstly, some questions: I thought ‘science’ was a process of questioning, creating hypotheses, testing, evaluating, peer review.

Classics VIII

A classic, acapella And something more widely known (gotta love that really deep voice, and the others are pretty good, too!)

Three Years On

It’s three years to the day since my father died. Interestingly our society manages death by calling it something else. Years ago people ‘died’, more recently they are said to have ‘passed away’, but these days they just ‘passed’. Does denial make it easier? Perhaps in the short term; but giving it a different name may only prolong the grieving process. Even though it is three years since the actual day of my father’s death, he really began declining ten years earlier and a few years after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

A crate day

A few weeks ago I came across a milk crate in our shed as I was tidying things up. Upon closer searching I actually found three milk crates that had been obtained (presumably by the previous owner) and secreted away. Milk crates are funny things. They are super-useful for storing and transporting things in; they often appear in yuppie or hip cafes as seats; they are often branded with their owners name, and it is illegal to hold on to them because they are owned by dairies.

Road of Slightly Dented Ideas and Ideals^

^Well, it’s significantly less dramatic than ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’. As we prepare to relocate from a small rural property that has been home for the past 11 years to a much smaller, domestic house and block closer to children we’ve begun clearing out/throwing away/tidying up what we brought with us 11 years ago and the extra that has accumulated in those same years. As I’ve been clearing up the shed and carpeted man cave I’ve paused to reflect briefly on some of the items being thrown away or otherwise disposed of.

Classics III

And another classic: By one of the so-called supergroups. Roy Orbison’s vocals starting at 0:41 are some of the clearest, cleanest notes you could hear.

Classics II

Another classic: The lead singer, Jay Siegel, can still hold that falsetto; and the backing soprano vocals by Kelley DeFade are unbelievable!

Classics I

A classic: I particularly like the change up at around 1:35. And here’s a bonus from the same impromptu concert:

A good egg

Yesterday I decided to have a couple of fried eggs on an English muffin for breakfast. I got the eggs out of the fridge around half-an-hour before I was going to cook them. They sat on the kitchen sink for that time and when I went back to them to cook them, here was the condensation pattern: A good egg with a smile, but looking a touch nervous over its fate.

Third time's a charm

At the end of next month it appears that I will be retrenched from my current position. I say “it appears” because the date is not firmly fixed and there are plenty of things that I do (and those in the same roles in other parts of the state who are also being retrenched) that no one else knows how to do, or even knows that someone currently does. It’s a little surreal, somewhat disappointing, not unexpected, and not entirely unwelcome!

Classic Poppop

My father, known to his grandchildren as “Poppop”, was known for his fairly quick and somewhat acerbic wit. He was also a pragmatist (wonder who inherited some of those characteristics!) An example of his somewhat unusual humour was when he bought a mobile phone at around age 80 and then proceeded to try to understand the instructions as they related to the phone in front of him. He annotated one page of the instructions with various questions as to “where?

Nanna and Pop welcome Micah

We were informed this evening that at approximately 3:30 this afternoon our first grandchild, Micah Theodore, arrived. Well done Emma and Ben, and thank you Lord for the safe arrival.

Another legacy

Around 17 years ago I kept a daily journal. My memory told me I kept it for over twelve months writing every day and then let it diminish to zero. Reality tells me that I kept for around 8 months on a daily basis, but that there are over 350 entries including a false start in 1999, another false start in 2000 but some consistency from late 2001 to near the end of 2002 and then sporadic entries for the next couple of years.

It's a New Car

One of our vehicles was nearing the end of its useful, economic life and so we began the process of searching out a suitable replacement. The vehicle to be replaced was a Mazda Tribute - a 3.0 litre gas-guzzling SUV that has transported us safely but expensively for the past seven years. It was bought second hand in 2011 when it had around 60K on the clock and we’d taken it up to around 255K in those seven years of ownership.

New blog name – hypothetically

I had a thought this morning – not always a good thing – that if I were creating a website where the purpose was to present Biblical truth regularly, then it would be hard to go past the name “Bible Butcher: Fresh Meat Daily!” Perhaps it is a good thing that I’m not creating such a website, otherwise biblebutcher.com may have been registered.

Murder in a nutshell

I came across an article on local news site this morning that spoke of something I’d never heard of – the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death Fascinating – that a lady in America in the 1940s, Frances Glessner Lee made dioramas of murder scenes to assist in the training of homicide investigators. The level of detail is extraordinary. More detail and pictures can be found at the Smithsonian American Art Museum site.


Some words I like: gravitas clarity chutzpah appalled

bugging out

After remaining resident for some 3 1/2 weeks, the beetle in my ear was removed quickly and efficiently by the ENT specialist earlier this week.

Something's Bugging Me

Warning, very mild horror story ahead! I woke up with a start at around 1:15 this morning when a bug fell into my ear. I tried to shake it away and push it off but it obviously felt the safest place to be was further in my ear canal. I jumped out of bed, turned on the bathroom light and continued shaking my head and poking at my ear to try to encourage the bug that my ear wasn’t a good place for him/her/it.

Oils setlist

My wife, eldest daughter and I had the privilege of attending the Midnight Oil concert in Coffs Harbour on 19th October. In total the Oils played 23 songs and, at the time, I thought a lot came from their albums of the middle period from the early to mid eighties. I thought I’d work it out and let everyone else know, too: # Title Album Count ……….. ………………………………… ……………………………….. ………. 1 Outside World 10 to 1 1/5 2 Only the Strong 10 to 1 2/5 3 Stars of Warburton Blue Sky Mining 1/3 4 Dreamworld Diesel and Dust 1/8 5 Whoah Diesel and Dust 2/8 6 Lucky Country Place Without a Postcard 1/1 7 Section 5 (Bus to Bondi) Head Injuries 1/1 8 Sell My Soul Diesel and Dust 3/8 9 When the Generals Talk Red Sails in the Sunset 1/3 10 Short Memory 10 to 1 3/5 11 Treaty (Yothu Yindi cover) - 12 US Forces 10 to 1 4/5 13 Kosciusko Red Sails in the Sunset 2/3 14 No Time for Games Bird Noises 1/1 15 Put Down That Weapon Diesel and Dust 4/8 16 Warakurna Diesel and Dust 5/8 17 Beds Are Burning Diesel and Dust 6/8 18 Blue Sky Mine Blue Sky Mining 2/3 19 Forgotten Years Blue Sky Mining 3/3 Encore: 20 The Dead Heart Diesel and Dust 7/8 21 Power and the Passion 10 to 1 5/5 22 Sometimes Diesel and Dust 8/8 Encore 2: 23 Best of Both Worlds Red Sails in the Sunset 3/3 I was surprised to discover just how many songs came from Diesel and Dust.

moon phases

I’ve often been intrigued by the moon. When I was a teenager I had a (very) modest refractor telescope and would spend parts of evenings outside in the cool inviting mosquito bites as I looked at the moon, jupiter, saturn and venus. I could identify a fair proportion of the southern hemisphere night sky (well, that “fair proportion” was probably 5% of what was visible). But back to the moon: Around 250,000 miles from earth, sufficient to give light at night for at least half of the month, exactly the right relative size and distances from the earth and sun to provide eclipses, powerful enough even though inert to provide tides through gravity.