Blog stats first quarter 2016

The years do go faster as you get older! In March this blog has averaged 43 visits a day, up from last month. Now two sets of stats:

Top Posts for 31 days ending 2016-03-31

  1. Home page / Archives 749 views
  2. Ziggy’s House of Nomms 32
  3. They can’t POSSIBLY elect T. Rump, can they? 32
  4. Outnumbered, Merlin, and other recently seen TV 28
  5. All my posts 22
  6. Linda Jaivin on Hou Dejian 18
  7. Fairfax woes and a bit more on T Rump 18
  8. Random Friday memory: 1 – John Mystery, my brother, Illawong 18
  9. Tom Thumb Lagoon 17
  10. The swimmer 15
  11. Remembering my mother on my sister’s birthday 12
  12. Hey hang on! That has to be nonsense… 10

Top Posts for 90 days ending 2016-03-31

  1. Home page / Archives 2,055 views
  2. Ziggy’s House of Nomms 137
  3. All my posts 79
  4. Outnumbered, Merlin, and other recently seen TV 53
  5. Random Friday memory: 1 – John Mystery, my brother, Illawong 44
  6. Tom Thumb Lagoon 43
  7. They can’t POSSIBLY elect T. Rump, can they? 32
  8. The swimmer 32
  9. Some great stories, and some of them new to me… 26
  10. About 23
  11. Random Friday memory 17 – Caringbah 1965 23
  12. Hey hang on! That has to be nonsense… 23
  13. Reclaiming Australia Persian-style in Wollongong 22
  14. What a treasury of family history! 21
  15. Family history–some news on the Whitfield front 20


Wild cockatoos at “The Bates Motel” West Wollongong


TV series “My Place”, M, and a blog glitch yesterday

Did you see My Place (2009-2011)? Very good children’s TV. There is a teacher companion site.

On this website you will find rich educational material to support primary and lower-secondary teachers using the My Place TV series in the classroom. Explore background information, aligned with the My Place stories, on events and people significant to Australia’s history. Download clips and stills from the TV series, as well as teaching activities and student activity sheets that relate to current themes. Go behind the scenes with production information and interviews, or chat with other teachers and share stories in the teacher’s forum.

Imagine my surprise when I found my friend M, the one I mentioned in the Linda Jaivin post a few days ago, is in there!


See Celebrating citizenship, Sydney, 1997. A great William Yang photo – and I was of course at that party.

This asset reflects the enthusiasm with which many migrants embraced Australia, seeing it as their new land of opportunity – Australian citizenship was created on 26 January 1949 by the ‘Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948’ (later renamed the ‘Australian Citizenship Act 1948’); since 1949 more than 3 million migrants have become Australian citizens, with over 70,000 joining them every year; the granting of Australian citizenship to an individual requires certain commitments both from Australia and from the citizen and gives the person rights and responsibilities; not all migrants become citizens, with more than 900,000 opting instead to remain as ‘permanent residents’; ‘Citizenship Ceremonies’ are held across Australia, often hosted by local government councils in a town hall or another building of significance.


My Place

Yesterday something very peculiar happened to this blog, and later to Neil’s final decade too:

Shock! God knows why! is no longer available.

This blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service.
For more information and to contact us please read the message in your dashboard

WordPress was quite fast in dealing with the issue once I let them know. (Thanks, Leroy.)

One of your sites… was mistakenly flagged by our automated anti-spam controls. As a result, your account was prevented from registering new sites. We have reviewed your site and have removed the suspension…

We greatly apologize for this error and the inconvenience it caused.

The glitch only lasted for an hour or so. 

Miscellaneous and health issue

I have added substantially to Linda Jaivin on Hou Dejian. Thanks kvd for highlighting the possible contradiction in the first version of that post.

Yesterday I took a problem that has been bothering me for a week at least to the doctor. A skin tag on my neck had been bleeding and was a nasty colour. It also stung. So the doc told me it was dying and he cut it out, sending the result for biopsy.

Skin tags are generally fairly harmless and quite friendly. Except for the cosmetic appearance, they essentially cause no physical pain or discomfort. These tiny skin growths generally cause symptoms when they are repeatedly irritated as, for example, by the collar or in the groin. Cosmetic removal for unsightly appearance is perhaps the most common reason they are removed. Occasionally, a tag may require removal because it has become irritated and red from bleeding (hemorrhage) or black from twisting and dying of the skin tissue (necrosis). Sometimes they may become snagged by clothing, jewelry, pets, or seatbelts, causing pain or discomfort. Overall these are very benign growths that have no cancer (malignant) potential.

So hopefully all is now well.

Finally, I used to have a blog on Blogspot. I stopped using it in December 2009, though there was one post in April 2010. Most of its content has been hoovered into my WordPress blogs. One example:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009




Belmore Park, Sydney

NITV gives again…

I have mentioned SBS’s NITV Channel 34 quite a few times since it went national in late 2012: How NITV and ABC News 24 have transformed my TV habits…, A must: NITV News really is a nonpareil, More surprises from NITV – and a rare bit of election comment, Mandela–great viewing on NITV, and more tonight on SBS and later on ABC, December movies on NITV.

Lately NITV has rebranded, though its essential programming is still “a must-watch channel if you want an authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective on just about anything.”


Not everyone welcomes the rebranding, including the post that I have quoted just before the image. I note too that the slogan “for ALL Australians” may be seen now.

Still, NITV continues to please and surprise, yesterday being a good example.

920x920 That still is of Bonnie Raitt and BB King in Lightning in a Bottle (2004) which was on NITV yesterday afternoon. I had not seen it before. What a documentary this is! Look at this summary from YouTube:

On February 7, 2003, renowned artists across music genres and generations commandeered the stage at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall to pay tribute to their common heritage and passion: the blues. Shared with thousands of fans in attendance, legendary performers from the roots of rock, blues, jazz, and rap joined forces for a once-in-a-lifetime salute to the blues benefit concert whose proceeds went to musical education.

Executive produced by Martin Scorcese, produced by Alex Gibney and directed by Antoine Fuqua, LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE captures the night’s magic and weaves a history of blues through the juxtaposition of performers, backstage interviews, rehearsals, and archival clips of some of the greatest names in American music.

Part concert, part history lesson, part summit meeting, and all blues, Lightning in a Bottle puts a bright spotlight on this quintessential American music. There are some heavy hitters at work here, both behind the camera (Martin Scorsese executive produced, while the film was directed by Antoine Fuqua of Training Day and King Arthur) and especially in front of it, with a superb house band and a mind-boggling array of musicians (including B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Solomon Burke, Keb’ Mo’, Macy Gray, the Neville Brothers, Robert Cray, and John Fogerty, to name but a few) performing at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in February, 2003. The idea was to trace the music from its beginnings; thus we get an African song (by Angelique Kidjo), some early gospel blues (the great Mavis Staples), acoustic Delta blues, and so on, right up to blues-drenched electric rock and even some rap (a riveting version of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” by Chuck D.). Virtually all of the immortals who defined the blues (Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, and even Jimi Hendrix, whose fiery style is re-enacted by Buddy Guy) enter the picture, either through vintage film clips or new performances of their songs. One might wish for more insight into the influence of the blues on jazz (Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit,” sung here by India.Arie, is a fine song, but it’s not a blues tune) or country, but overall, Lightning in a Bottle is an edifying and, most important, highly entertaining portrait of the music and its heritage.

WOW! That’s all I can say. The Washington Post said:

The director also snoops around backstage, capturing such priceless conversation as King and Burke complimenting each other’s gaudy suits, and folk-blues diva Odetta lambasting the house band (which includes certified rock royalty Dr. John and Levon Helm) for drowning out Ruth Brown’s vocals. In one of several pre-show interviews, Burke tells a story about how he once played “Down in the Valley” at a Ku Klux Klan rally.

Kicking off the evening, a typically nerdy, nervous Scorsese shuffles onstage and says the concert’s focus is “to tell the story of this great music from its beginnings” — that is, from Africa to the American South to Sweet Home Chicago and beyond. The movie manages to educate without losing steam. The song title, the year it was originally performed and the original artist are provided for each number, and a screen behind the stage gives a rolling history lesson of the genre’s birth as an African American art form. Grainy footage of slaves toiling in fields gives power to Angelique Kidjo’s chilling “Senie Zelie,” and visual bios are provided for such long-gone gutbucket progenitors as Blind Lemon Jefferson and Robert Johnson…

The blues “allow a man to vent his feelings with pride,” Ruth Brown explains at one point.

And how.