Developers, lurk merchants, Hawkeye and bangers and mash

I have a delicious feeling of schadenfreude as I read about the Liberal Party’s lurk merchants being caught out by ICAC at the moment – and it is purely personal. It goes back fifty years or so to a time when my father was trying to be a land developer in a pioneering unit project in an abandoned quarry. In fact I named the project. I am being deliberately vague as the project – still with the name I gave it – is now a Sydney suburb. The upshot is that the whole thing sent my father broke and crushed him so that he never really recovered. I left university for a year and became for a time the family breadwinner. The project had been bankrolled, in addition to my father’s small equity, by lurk merchants in the Liberal Party – except that my father didn’t realise what they were until he pinged a piece of gross dishonesty in the prospectus they had published for the project. My father then fell on his sword rather than be involved in lurk merchantry – which he despised.

My point is that corruption and dishonesty are not new in the Liberal Party. Of course one only has to say Askin to recall the more spectacular lurk merchantry of a time not long after my father’s devastating experience.

On another aspect of that side of politics, and then I promise to leave it alone. I really did savour this: it is linked to the story, which is about terminal idiocy rather than corruption:


Here is Hawkeye:

The same model as they have at Wollongong Hospital. Fortunately it finished with me by about 1pm, so I hotfooted – or rather hotbussed— to the Diggers Club for bangers and mash, which somehow seems appropriate after a heart scan.


And very tasty it was too!

I don’t get the test results until Friday, mind. But the signs appear good so far.

Meanwhile on the blog

April endeth today! It has been one of the better months on this blog – maybe the best so far if the current daily average holds for a few more hours!

People have been visiting:

  1. Home page / Archives 790 views in April 2014
  2. Cigarettes $1 EACH! 43
  3. Noah again last night 29
  4. Family history–some news on the Whitfield front 24
  5. All my posts 23
  6. Last time Thor, this time Noah… 22
  7. Shellharbour 20
  8. Spent the night in hospital 19
  9. Gender non-specific – knowing norrie 17
  10. About 16
  11. Lost Wollongong 12
  12. #qanda in Shanghai and other tv 11
  13. Tom Thumb Lagoon 10
  14. More on Anzac Day, and other TV 10
  15. Kiama in the early 50s, and memories of car sounds… 9

Update 1 May

The blog finished April with a daily average of 45 visits, equal best with November 2013. Sitemeter shows pretty much the usual for the Floating Life blogs as a group – 4,661 page views from 3,542 visits in April 2014.

Today – into the machine

As I mentioned yesterday, I devote the better part of the day to hospital business. I had not noted that yesterday was also a Quit Anniversary. Quitnet emailed this morning:

Your  Quit Date is: Monday, February 28, 2011 at 12:00:00 AM
Time Smoke-Free: 1155 days, 20 hours, 5 minutes and 4 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 57792
Money Saved: $43,890.00
You’ve made it! A whole 38 months without a cigarette!…

Still on yesterday, here are some photos taken in West Wollongong on my way to the Yum Yum Cafe.


Mount Keira Road


Begun in July 2013, these units in Crown Street West are making progress


Older style

Return of the Yum Yum Cafe

You may have gathered, if you are a regular, that one of my haunts is the Yum Yum Cafe in West Wollongong – a nice morning walk for coffee and the newspapers. Alas, it was closed from Good Friday (18 April) through to this morning. They were doing some painting and other stuff down there.


And new signs…



And this is what it is about:


But alas no more until tomorrow afternoon, as I have an appointment at nuclear medicine at Wollongong Hospital for a heart scan – a follow-up to my short sojourn on Anzac Day night. No more caffeine until it is done. Better take something to read as it is five hours all up starting at 9.15 am.

I have had one before, but at a private practice not at the hospital. See my 2012 posts So this is how I passed my time from 10 am to 2 pm yesterday and Back to The Prof….

From my 2012 post

More on Anzac Day, and other TV

This year’s Anzac Day was rather wet, even here in West Wollongong.


You know how I spent the night from my previous post, but during the day I didn’t go out, except to buy the paper in the morning. I watched proceedings on ABC. I thought the telecast of the Sydney march was very well done – nice to see that large Sydney Boys High band marching too. It was bigger than this one, but on the other hand this was also rather special – 2010:


Anzac Day Commemorations held at Bullecourt France on 25th April 2010

I preferred the dawn service at Villers Bretonneux to the one at Gallipoli, I have to say – though it is interesting to reflect on the fact that New Zealand has a Maori Governor-General and to note the place Maori language had in the order of service.

Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae was sworn in as New Zealand’s 20th Governor-General for a five year term on 31 August 2011.   He has previously worked at senior levels in the New Zealand public service and military as well as contributing to many sporting and community organisations.

He was born in Whanganui in 1954 and went to Castlecliff School, Rutherford Intermediate and Wanganui High School.  Of Māori descent, his tribal affiliations are to Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Kahungunu.  He also has links to Tūhoe and tribes in the upper Whanganui.  He is New Zealand’s second Governor-General of Māori descent…

In the afternoon there were a couple of treats. 

First an excellent short movie, The Telegram Man.

Second, a 2011 documentary called — unfortunately if you try to Google it! – The Art of War.  No, not Sun Tzu!

The First World War has been examined in many programs from a political and military point of view but it has rarely been seen through the eyes of painters.

The period 1914-1918 was a virtual catalogue of art movements: Impressionists, Expressionists, Realists, Cubists and Futurists all contributed images from the battlefields which were both accurate and intense. These styles often reflected avant garde movements in a number of countries, particularly Britain, France, Germany and Russia. The list of painters includes Braque, Derain, Bonnard, Chagall, Kandinsky, Hitler, Otto Dix, Schiele, Picasso, Augustus John, Wyndham Lewis, David Jones and Stanley Spencer.

Before 1914 pictures of soldiers were patriotic or heroic. They were subjects of national pride but this war was different. It was mechanized. Technology enabled armies to kill each other on an industrial scale and the levels of destruction were unprecedented in history.

This unique documentary shows how the First World War transformed the world of art and changed the way images of war are conveyed.

And that from YouTube is all I could find about it! But you will note the international coverage in it.  An art historian named Richard Cook illuminated the many works shown, including these two:


Wyndham Lewis


John Singer Sargent — Gassed

Tonight ABC has a telemovie about war photographer/cinematogapher Damien Parer whose images of Kokoda in particular still resonate so strongly.


I would normally watch it, but for the fact that NITV is showing the final episode of The Tipping Points which brings it all home to Australia. After that I think I will watch Professor Iain Stewart, having greatly admired his earlier work – and being a sucker for Scottish accents.

Professor Iain Stewart, geoscientist and broadcaster, came to his old alma mater on the 4th of March.  Iain was at Strathclyde University to present the 2013 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Annual Lecture entitled “A Geologist’s View of Britain’s Energy Future”. Now at the University of Plymouth, Iain graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 1986 with a degree in Geology and Geography.  Since then he has built a research career examining earthquakes, natural disasters and their effect on human culture. Iain has won acclaim for his awe-inspiring BBC documentaries on our planet and the forces that shape it. This includes Journeys From the Centre of the Earth, Earth: The Power of the Planet, The Climate Wars, How Earth Made Us, How to Grow a Planet, and Making Scotland’s Landscape. He has also appeared in numerous Horizons and the Rough Science series.

His lecture at Strathclyde built on research for his new Horizon documentary he is currently filming. He summarised the current and future state of energy supply in Britain, and examined new sources of energy with a particular focus on shale gas and fracking. He looked in detail at the fracking industry of North Dakota.  Overall he took a neutral stance to this new way of extracting oil and gas, but his ideas constantly challenged the audience.  This capacity audience of more than 400 people included students and staff from seven Scottish Universities, representatives of the energy, engineering and water industries, local government, media and NGOs. The talk was followed by a lively debate around the future of energy supply in the UK, which ranged from discussion of gas extraction in Falkirk, the implications for Scottish independence, and issues of global politics, ethics and economics.

The documentary tonight is Fracking: the New Energy Rush. A blogging friend in the UK, Martin Lack, posted about it last year. SBS1 at 9.30pm.

Spent the night in hospital

Called the ambos around 11pm. Chest pains. Not too severe, but better safe than sorry, I thought. Seems it was a false alarm.

I wondered what it would be like, being Anzac Day and all – but it went smoothly, not too crowded or too noisy. There were police evidently guarding one patient – though he was separated from the main A&E ward.


Not as bad as that from 2009… Nor as this from 2012:


Finally got discharged at 5.30 am.  Have to get a precautionary MPS study done on Monday though.