Reminiscing

As you do … on cheap electricity and a gas-led climate emergency.

The late, great John Clarke, together with fellow comedian, Bryan Dawe, explain Australia’s energy market. [Videos might only be available to Australian audiences.]

But don’t mention the planet.

You have to wonder if those companies with large long term contracts for electricity are paying proportionately much less than small users of electricity? It would make sense. Discounts for bulk purchases are pretty standard, aren’t they? I wonder if small users are thereby subsidising the big users? Do we know by how much? On top of that, the Australian government has committed $600 million to fund a new gas-fired power station to boost capacity when domestic demand and hence, gas prices. peak. As gas is expensive and government will want to reduce the budget deficit incurred from the pandemic (including clawing back the cost of its gas-led recovery investments), it doesn’t sound like future electricity prices will be minimised. Maybe this will just spur more businesses and individuals to go off-grid? That is likely to make it even more expensive for those who can’t afford to make that switch. It doesn’t seem to be a win for the hip pocket or the planet. Who does win then?

My Measure

The other day, my little dog chewed my eraser and ruler. She’s so adorable. It was her way of saying “Get my breakfast or pay the price.” My True Love (TL) joked that she had my measure. Unfortunately, he’s the one that has my measure.

My TL says that I am like a fierce little dog. When the little dog sees a person (in my case, a government spokesperson) walking past the house, a frisson of excitement issues from the little dog as it prepares to take on its larger foe and a volley of furious barking ensues. The little dog is so proud when its barking sends off the (completely oblivious) offender. It’s sport, it’s fun. Okay, I do admit to getting rather furious in defense of my position (ie. good public policy). However, sometimes a little impulse control wouldn’t go astray. So I’ve amended my last blog post so that it is more in keeping with a calmer, bigger dog.

Notice too, how I’ve issued this advice/apology on a Saturday when there are fewer passers-by (readers).

Woof, woof.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

The Changing Seasons – March 2021

Canberra (national capital of Australia) – March in satire. The empathy, or something, flows.

[This post contains material of a satirical nature. International readers should feel free to concentrate on the photos and disregard the sub-text.]

Spat in our eye then unleashed tears they learnt to cry in empathy training.

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The Changing Seasons – February 2021

Summer ends in the national capital, Canberra (Australia) – Clean air, clean water, good nutrition, shelter and safety; the essentials of life in the national capital, the rest of Australia and globally. I do think about these issues quite a lot. February was no exception.

It has been a grey, often wet and windy end to summer in the national capital. The sun has shone too but it hasn’t really had any bite to it like it has in recent years. Thank goodness, I say. Who needs that howling inferno we had last year. However, we know the clement weather is temporary so we enjoy it while we can.

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Walking With Magpies

This article contains material of a satirical nature that may offend some readers. Please note the photos are awful, but the story is good/scary/funny.

For months now I have been in serious training. Magpie training. It’s full on magpie breeding season here in Canberra (Australia) and for the unlucky few, a walk, cycle or broomstick ride, may lead to being dive-bombed by a rampaging magpie. As of a few minutes ago, the count on the number of magpie attacks that have occurred in Australia this year is 3798, with 466 injuries (see Australia’s Magpie Swooping Map 2020). The number of attacks and injuries are likely significantly under-reported. But have no fear, ladies and gentlemen, there are a couple of ways to mitigate the risks.

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The Returned

A Short Story

The old man slaps his car keys down on the kitchen table. It’s cold inside the house and he is tired. It’s been a long drive in heavy rain. He has to take a slash. His water works need fixing. That’s why he is here. Back in Canberra.

The mobile rings as he is zipping his fly. “H’lo,” he says loudly. It’s his eldest daughter on the line. The cranky one. Of course, it is not the youngest daughter. She doesn’t ring. She is too busy working in the old folks home. His son doesn’t ring much either. If the old man knew how to text, they might communicate more often.

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Gash in the Fabric

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

Well scheiße, ladies and gentlemen, what a crappy few weeks it has been downunder. How’s that for an impressive, or pathetic, example of tautology? It has been all about the corona virus (Covid-19) these last couple of weeks. You know the old saying, “Pride goeth …” Hubris, pubis. Australians have been so self-congratulatory about how we got “on top of” the virus. Apparently and allegedly, all the time we thought our borders were closed, our borders weren’t actually closed, if you know what I mean …

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Crisis Management

Australia today.

Given the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment for health workers and the shortage of test kits, Australia appears unprepared for Covid-19 to accelerate rapidly. Governments have a duty of care to take all necessary steps to prevent infection or face another catastrophe.  If the Australian government is not getting this advice, it is consulting the wrong people.  If Government is getting sound, evidence-based advice (including on the level of preparedness) and ignoring it, then that is a significant issue.  The advice of the Australian Medical Association should be heeded now.   Is this a re-run of the bushfire disaster?  I’m hopeful for a better response this time around.  Much is at stake.

Irrespective of official advice, organisations that run public events and employ staff should consider the legal implications for their organisations, including the potential personal liability of directors/officials, if their event or business acts as a host for the spread of Covid-19.  They should also consider their duty of care to participants, staff and the wider community, including the impact on local health systems and critical supply chains.  Risk management should be part of all organisations’ planning.  Thankfully, many are doing just this and are leading the way in responding to the crisis.  Organisations/companies should not expect governments to indemnify them for bad decisions taken, should they?

Without a vaccine, enough PPE, or test kits, social distancing appears to be the only practical option to buy more time.  This is not business as usual.  Now where have I heard that before?

There is no time to waste, Australians.  I went to my doctor for my pneumococcal vaccine last week. I overheard the receptionist talking on the phone about a potential Covid-19 patient who they had sent back to their car to wait to be triaged there. The office staff gave the distinct impression of rabbits caught in a spotlight.

UPDATE – I have been hearing from friends who work in the health system that our governments have been too slow to ban community gatherings.  Those are on the front line are asking citizens to voluntarily quarantine themselves right now.  NOT TOMORROW BUT TODAY.  Act now to prevent the transmission of this virus in the community.

We (governments and the community) must do everything possible to protect front line staff and if that means being overly cautious, so be it.  Be calm, but act.

How apt this video seems now.  Sorry about the political stuff tacked on the end of it though.  Let’s keep politics out of it and be guided by best practice.

Regards.
Tracy.

Further information:

https://ama.com.au/media/ama-federal-council-covid-19-national-public-health-emergency

To Behave Or Not To Behave

Human behaviour is a funny thing, isn’t it?  I suppose that is because we are all different.  Some of us are naturally very organised.  Some of us aren’t.  Some of us are thin.  Some of us aren’t.  Some of us are old and some of us aren’t.  Some of us are fearful and some of us aren’t.  There is a spectrum, isn’t there?  Also, how you might feel on any given day might depend on whether you managed to buy a few toilet rolls before they all sold out.  It is all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?

Welcome to my regular Friday song day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.  I am also combining my song day with the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge — Change Your Perspective.  Let’s rock ‘n roll. Read more

Christmas Time In The City

A little Aussie satirical poem because, well, life vapes and then you die.  This is not the happiest poem so you may want to skip it.

It’s Christmas Time In the City

no joy no joy no
air no air no air none

kirribilli smokin’
white men jokin’

it’s Christmas time in the city

make haste to land of the smoke-free

blow smoke up ya
are we having fun yet?

not me not me not
happy mo-mo

no joy no joy no
air no air no air no

Christmas barbie in the city

Sorry about that, ladies and gentlemen.  It happens when you’re starved of oxygen.  I will resume my normal calm programming as soon as we can breathe again.  Maybe in a few months time.  Or maybe when we meet our Paris emission target through accounting loophole.  Not happy mo-mo.

Regards.
Tracy

Australia.  Perfect one day.  Bushfires the next.