Eric Lindsay's Blog May 2013

Tuesday 1 May 2013


A dull grey morning before six, with nine tenths cloud, possibly influenced by Tropical Cyclone Zane out there in the Coral Sea way off to the north of us. No chance to do more laundry, with scattered showers forecast.

My weight is 72.5 kilogram, hardly any loss at all, despite having an egg for breakfast yesterday, and no dinner. I should not have eaten the Death by Chocolate cheesecake after lunch yesterday, should I?

Off to discount pharmacy to restock generic prescription tablets. Got an apple slice at Brumbys for breakfast. Wandered into Woolworths and Coles at Willows to buy stuff that was on their specials lists. We try to stock regular long life stuff only when it is on special. Got half price thick sliced cafe style raisin bread, and Oak chocolate milk at half price. Had that for second breakfast. Diet, what diet?

Had the left over mince pie for a late lunch. Still not bad.

Off to the pub well after four. Ron, Ian, Jeff and Ray were there. Allen and dave behind the bar. Chris dropped in for a while. The bowlers attended after their game. Light beer, and whiskey on ice (my diet drink). Got away around 6 p.m. Home by 6:30 p.m.

I stayed up late with the computer, doing what must surely have been inconsequential. Did not get to bed until way after eleven.


Android winning the battle but losing the war says @JohnBirmingham He is correct. Android users not worthwhile.

Trust PayPal? I think not. @engadget: Log In with PayPal simplifies shopping, uses your account on merchant sites -

Not the Drop Bears! @strangedave: @rantalica good. All visitors to Australia must have a marsupial experience

Can I disable streaming HTML5 video? All I get on news sites are lying politicians. At least the TV feed has failed. #auspol

Dump negative gearing now! @GrogsGamut: Excellent by @petermartin1: Negative gearing costs other taxpayers $13B

Tactical nuke for me. MAD. @terryfrost: If #classwarfare breaks out, I bags a rocket launcher and a combat shotgun. #auspol

Ed is State not Fed. @TheKouk: So Coalition committed to lift defence spending to 3% of GDP but can't commit to NDIS and education.

Partly funded. Not enough income from it to cover costs. @paulkidd: PM confirms #NDIS to be funded by 0.5% increase in Medicare Levy.

33% up @JuliaGillard: Today I announced a modest increase in the Medicare Levy to support Australians with disabilities…JG Modest maths?

Why is Qld wasting time with even more political parties when we should simply secede from Australia?

States are all broke. No decent income stream for them. Give back Income Tax. @paulkidd: part of the funding will come from the states …

What? @terryfrost: softcock ;-) Too impersonal. I have to garrotte and knife everyone? I am retired. Too old for that shit. Tac Nuke.

Tasmania? @paulkidd: Let’s all move to Tasmania and then secede That will go well. The state is broke and going downhill.

Cloud. @mpesce: oh dear if google calendar API is down my life has suddenly become ungovernable and mostly unknowable So reliable. Not!

No good political party was ever formed in Queensland. All duds, if not originally then later. Palmer’s UAP, Katter’s KAP, ALP. #auspol

Lessons of Cyprus. You can not trust bank deposits, nor government money. Who will shoot the bankers?

These boycotts are hurting. I already have David Jones, Harvey Norman, Myer and Target on my GST boycott list.


I received a wrong number phone call around 11:30 a.m. This annoyed me enough (I never get real actual phone calls) that I stomped out to the cursed garden. Started digging out earth around the roots of the cut shrubs with a trowel, and ripping out root mass as I came upon it. I was just getting into the swing of this when it started raining, so I gave up.

Out in the garden again instead of having lunch. Hacked and sliced and dug up roots. Overturned large stones and concrete pavers and all sorts of stuff. Finally managed to drag out a large clump of root ball. Might need to wash it with a hose to get the earth off it and back into the garden.

One more clump of the shrub to go. However I am exhausted. 30°C and high humidity are not a good mix with trowels and mattocks.

Well after three. I attacked the last clump of shrub. Trowel work, and the mattock got much of the dirt from around the shrub. I ripped roots out wherever they went, moving large rocks and concrete slabs to get to them. Finally around 4:30 p.m. I got the last of the shrub roots out of the ground. Felt totally wrecked. Had a shower and headed for the pub.


In 2005, Intel detailed a roadmap of future products. They basically crushed all rivals, except the much lower powered and more battery efficient ARM. Intel used their tick tock strategy. Mask shrink for greater performance and somewhat lower power drain. Followed by architectural design change to the silicon, to improve efficiency. No other company could compete with Intel R&D. The Sandy Bridge architecture change tock of 2010 was followed by Ivy Bridge tick of moving to 22 nanometre feature size.

On 4 June 2013, Intel will begin shipping their new Haswell architecture tick (still in 22 nanometre) designed by their Oregon group. This is expected to dramatically reduce power demands, at least for the low power dual core design intended for laptops and tablets. If this works, battery life for laptops will be much increased. The major power drain may well be display backlighting. It is even possible (although unlikely) that solar powered laptops would become plausible. Some ball grid array models (soldered direct to board) may have Intel GT3 5X00 integrated graphics for twice the performance, not the older GT2 4X00. Cache can be up to 32MB, while Thunderbolt support is included.

Currently shipping to computer manufacturers for test production.


It seems clear that Europe is in recession. Unemployment rates are very high, especially amongst youth. This will feed into political violence, and lashing out against migrants. USA employment is also not really responding to quantitative easing. Europe, U.K. USA and Japan are all making serious attempts to drop the value of their currencies so as to become internationally competitive. Any inflationary effects hit the thrifty, the provident, and those who hold capital, more so than the improvident without savings. Interest rates are effectively below zero in most of the developed world. Economists are plotting how to use electronic money to reduce the face value of paper fiat currencies held for savings. The Australian mining boom is now entering a steady state, rather than massive expansion, so the construction trades will be hit. Manufacturing is in free fall, mostly due to the high Australian dollar. The Australian dollar will remain high, as it is one of about eight top rated currencies. Companies worldwide are on an investment strike. This is a mess. I believe depression will be next, as the GFC never went away. In the future, it will be rated in the West in the same terms as the Great Depression.

No one is willing to pay taxes (oh yes, some hypocrites say they are). If you do not believe governments are doing a good job, why encourage them by paying taxes?

DIY Web Sites

A list of DIY web sites.



Vimeo for video.

Wolfram Alpha calculation.

Thursday 2 May 2013


I awoke well after six, but still before dawn. The garden watering system was on when I checked at 6:20 a.m. but went off soon after 6:30 a.m. It seems that is working as scheduled.

Despite having almost no food (or so it seemed) yesterday, my weight has only decreased a miserly amount to 72.4 kilograms.

Jean insisted I have an egg for breakfast, for the protein. I argued raisins had protein. Not enough, she said.

We went for a walk at Willows. Managed three times around the place.

Laundry started when we returned, somewhat before nine. The weather had seemed very unsettled earlier in the morning, so we had not started it earlier. I recalled it should be finished when Jean left for her appointment. Put all the laundry on the line around eleven. Nice day, so it should dry quickly.

Walked to the restaurant, and ordered two of their lamb shanks to take away. Came on giant plates. Jean arrived while I was waiting, so I got a lift home with lunch. Weighs 1630 grams, of which the plate was 750 grams. After eating all I could, I had over 500 grams of meat and vegetable left over for later. So much for the diet.

Brought some of the laundry in after two. Mostly seems dry, except for Jean's large jacket.

Off to hairdresser for my 3 p.m. appointment.

Stopped at the bar on the way back. Chatted with Dave, Sue, Clair, Ray, and others, as there seemed a very lively Thursday afternoon bar scene. Chatted with Jo-ann, and the new assistant manager Lex. Chatted with Clive on the way home, which I reached around six. Not my fault!


I think Steven Soderbergh’s State Of Cinema Talk explains a lot about how much crap is in the cinema. When do you simply give up on going to the cinema, give up on buying a DVD until your friends tell you it is OK. I gave up on TV long ago.

Civil society depends on a minimum threshold of tolerance and mutual respect. Long gone. I would not give the Australian government the time of day.

The only reasons I would borrow money these days is to avoid paying taxes, or so I could repay less later in inflated currency.

Will I buy an Amazon mobi ebooks? Not unless global warming reverses and Hell freezes over.

Just stop using paper! Except in loo. @Paperless2013: The shared office printer… who would want to deal with this?

Because inflation robs the thrifty and provident. @TheKouk: Govt spending in the last Howard budget was 1,244% higher #uselessbudgetfacts

Homes still overpriced. Home build and extend. Don't buy. @TheKouk: Building approvals -5.5%... and still some argue against a rate cut

But can Bob Katter still buy an Arena model? @AlanKohler: … Akubra Hats and the Keir family. Can I?

No Internet All Year

A report by Paul Miller on spending a year without internet access. The lessons learned about life. The internet does not waste your time, unless you allow it to do so.

Apple Borrows

I see Apple (with lots of cash - $145 billion) taking on debt ($17 billion), partly to avoid taxes. Apple's cash reserves (like their earnings) are mostly outside the USA. Thanks to tricks like the double Irish Dutch sandwich, its tax on foreign money is less than 1%. If it brings the cash back to the USA, it gets to pay close to 35% tax.

Apple can borrow at under 2%. Actually, it issued 3, 5, 10 and 30 year debt, at under 1% short term, 2.415% for 10 years, and 3.883% for 30 years. It will use the borrowings to buy back shares. It pays $3.05 per quarter dividends on each share, which it should manage to buy back at around $450. So the tax deductible interest costs are a bit over $8 a year per share purchase, instead of dividends of $12.20 with no tax deductions. So borrowing is cheaper than paying dividends.

Apple can deduct the entire interest costs, and pay to buy back $55B in shares at about 60% of its borrowings in real costs. An efficient funding structure for a business is usually at the point where the weighted average cost of capital is the lowest. At current share prices, the buy back could be as much as 15% of its share holdings. Since the share prices will increase, Apple probably will only manage to buy back 10% of its share holding. It is still a great deal for Apple.

In my view, an early step in taking the entire company private. Shareholders are basically idiots who do not deserve a company like Apple.

Friday 3 May 2013


I awoke after five, but slipped off into sleep again. Did not get up until the sun was rising around 6:30 a.m.

Weight was now 72.1 kilograms. This seems totally unbelievable after the lamb shank and champagne excesses of the previous day. Not understanding this diet business.

Put sheets and pillowslips in the washing machine, since the weather looks nice for drying. Naturally the lawn sprinkler system sprang into action just when we were contemplating hanging out the laundry. We did other things until the sprinklers stopped, and we could hang laundry out back above the now slippery tiles.

Off to the egg shop to get a few dozen of their giant farm fresh eggs. Continued to the IGA, the only source I know of Neenish tarts. It turned out that the Rasmussen IGA store now stocks locally owned Misty Mountain Farms full cream Jersey milk. Although not exactly locally sourced, it is northern hinterland, in the Atherton tablelands. It is over $4 for two litres, pretty steep compared to $2 a litre milk. We will see if the taste is like the milk I remember as a child.

Jean took photographs of the stumps I pulled out of the garden over the past week. Not very impressive considering the sweating and swearing involved.

Liz at Reception and Jo-ann both say there is no need for permission to put up a house name. No forms for that. This leaves much latitude for challenging names.

Lunch at the restaurant. Ray, Dot and John were there. Told Jodie the Moray joke, since they were playing that silly Amore song. Brief chat with Clive about connecting an iPad to their inadequate video projector.

Tried to have some Devondale Colby cheese. The helpful Peel Here tab does not in any way seem to lead to any method of opening the plastic wrap around the block of cheese. I finally cut the end off the whole block. Stuff these bloody awkward wrappings. It was not as nice a cheese as I recalled either.


Negative deposit rates considered. Put money in a bank, and they steal some of it for keeping it safe. Safe as a bank? What rot!

Only if money were a real store of value (it is not) would negative deposit rates be of value. They started with gold smiths storing gold.

But can you colour change them remotely yet? @marcoarment: Already using 11 of those Cree LED bulbs…

Not while some have DRM. @annetreasure: Getting to the stage where I feel stupid saying ‘ebooks’. Can’t we just call them all books now?

I threw it off, almost unaffected. @GillianPolack: Dear Conflux virus: I did not need you. I was lucky this trip.

US Stock Market High

A new high for the USA stock market. I am willing to call it a bubble. With basically no income from banks or bonds, and the toxic overhang of underwater mortgages on homes, how many other places can people park money and hope to make some earnings? Quantitative easing means the value of the US$ should be dropping, with cash earning negative returns. Cash money can be a medium of exchange and a store of value, but with inflation, the store is broken. We are in the fifth year of a recession, and all the government manipulation can only partly hide that.

European unemployment rate soars, especially youth unemployment. Even when partly hidden by counting just one hour a week of paid work as employed. It is now higher in parts of europe than during The Great Depression of the 1930's. Participation rate in the USA economy is down about 4% from over 63% to under 59% since the recession started, or around 10 million jobs, as people give up. Employment growth in absolute numbers is basically tracking or slightly lagging population growth.

Corporations are often sitting on cash. Often spending it on stock buy backs, for lack of a better idea. However they are unwilling to spend, because they do not see much of a recovery in sight. Plus who has any faith in politicians these days?


A real show stopper for buying a Segway. A Segway is illegal on the road network.

Saturday 4 May 2013


I slept just too late to see the International Space Station make a 5:57 a.m. pass over Townsville. Pity. Might have been a bit light already however.

My weight has declined slightly again, to 71.9 kilograms. This is a clear case of the merits of skipping full meals, and avoiding alcohol. Also luck.

Off to Willows for a walk. We got around about three times. Jean did some shopping in Coles. I carried the bag. Managed to score Oak chocolate milk at half price, which is basically the only way I will buy it these days.

Stopped at the Arts and Crafts Fair at the Carlyle Square in Carlyle Gardens on the way back. Jo-ann was supervising her work, but looked tired. Some wonderful handcrafts. Got some honey from the usual beekeeper (the tasty Blue Gum, medium Iron Bark, and light flavoured Macadamia). Checked the preserves, but although tempted by the lemon and lime marmalade, I still have some lime marmalade in the fridge. I would buy some more of the wonderful woodwork by our residents, if I could only work out what to do with the existing boxes and so on I have on hand.

Jean has cleared the kitchen table. She is busy cutting out the space and planets cotton material we bought at Spotlight about a week ago. Cutting out generally takes several days, as she tries to match patterns across the shirt design.

I had left over lamb shank for lunch. The shank meat was still mighty large. There are still some scraps left over, although Jean declares she has raided them.

I was doing rather well on the meal front (avoidance thereof - except for drinking all the previous container of Oak chocolate milk) until about 10:20 p.m. when I suddenly got very hungry. If I ignore it, it will go away. Official weigh in tomorrow morning. Glorious victory over body if weight is actually down. Drinking last of Oak chocolate milk will probably not help.


LNP managed that great result. @TheKouk: Aust had to bypass Basel III banking rules because gross debt was too low. Look at it now.

I can drop your products easy enough. @Nestle: Stop trying to patent natural medicine. via @Sum_of_Us


I found some soft areas of soil in the garden. Made holes with my dowel. Planted another few bits of the tall red Cordyline plant in those areas. I even got around to watering them.

Also of note, the sprinkler system ran this morning at 6 a.m. Seems like it may reset whenever you switch it to manual water.

I think I need to plant some more of the low purple and green plants. Not at all sure where. Probably someplace where the soil is soft. So much for planning.

Solid-Run Miniature CuBox Computer

A Solid-Run miniature CuBox computer costs under $200. Available in Australia via Spinifex Computers, who specialise in plug computers.

Sunday 5 May 2013


I was up at 6 a.m. after a good night of sleep. Weather has turned cold (for the tropics) in the morning.

Weight went up to 72.1 kilograms at the official weigh in. I blame eating. Wait! What else could cause weight increase? Insufficient exercise of the only kind that counts - pushback (from the plate).

Eggs on toast with half a cooked tomato on the side for breakfast. We are giving up on bacon. Orange juice.

We got 45 litres of fuel for Jean's car. It really was low. Then went to Willows shoppingtown. Walked around three times. Then collected a $2 pineapple and a $1 piece of watermelon at the open air market in the parking lot. I saw Ewan Jones, local Federal politician, doing his stint at the markets.

Cleaned up the new wooden base for my name sign. Well, once I found a rusty file and some sanding blocks. Seems a little cleaner. Probably should glue felt to the base.


To hell with Bitcoin and eMoney. I want money no government can forge or print. Private money may be safer than official fiat money.

What is the point of ditching FB for another advertising monopoly like Google Plus? Pure Evil. @paulkidd: … come over to Google Plus …

Schools are State, not Federal. Return the Income Tax to States. @SwannyDPM: …slashing the entire schools budget … #cutstothebone

How about policies instead of funny video? @LiberalAus: new video: Labor's headless chooks - #auspol #chooks

List disasters, drop cartoons. @LiberalAus: … Labor Ministers … one policy disaster to the next #auspol #insiders

A good start. @TheKouk: Abbott plan to reduce tax to GDP ratio [with] surplus will require cuts in spending of abt $15-20b a year…

Less waste, is great. @paulkidd: Gillard: If you want to see slash and burn under a Liberal govt, go and ask the people of Qld. #insiders

Enough with the chooks. Send policies instead. @LiberalAus: Each day Labor’s chook house … #auspol #chooks

Too many chooks spoiled party. Forget chooks. @TurnbullMalcolm: … Not as bad as that rabble! protest chooks

My weight was up. Insufficient exercise of the only kind that counts - pushback (from the plate).

No one forgets to eat. Being overweight is a health risk. So why is advertising food a tax deduction? Stop tax breaks for this advertising.

Before I die of boredom? @JuliaGillard: Labor is connecting another 1.3m homes and businesses to the NBN. TeamJG

NBN Rollout

A new release of suburbs intended to start to see National Broadband Network fibre optics rollout started by June 2016.

For the very first time, some of the suburbs where I have lived in the past are actually included. Zetland, South Hurstville (well, maybe not there), Faulconbridge, all in NSW. Not including Hurstville Grove, Mortdale, Waterloo. So I would count that as maybe a 50/50 chance of at least one place I lived in NSW actually being included, probably Faulconbridge.

In Queensland, Airlie Beach is included in the list. Mind you, being in an apartment probably means no fibre to the home, regardless of which government is in. If our apartment in Airlie Beach actually gets full speed fibre, I will move out of Carlyle Gardens and back to Airlie Beach. Condon in Townsville is not on the NBN list at all.


I cut the tops off a few more of the tall red Cordyline plants, and planted them in the garden. Basically where I could poke a decent deep hole in the soil with a piece of dowel. I stripped a bunch of the lower leaves off, like Laurie the gardener had told me. Watered them. That is about all.

I also put in a few more of the low green and purple plants.

Human Change World Millennia Ago

Humans' indelible stamp on Earth clear 5000 years ago. I still think we humans got massive emissions of greenhouse gases going just in time to moderate an oncoming ice age.

Github Pages

I note Github makes free depositories available for Github Pages. Github Pages accepts the output of the Jekyll static web page generator.

If you do not have your own web site, and intend to make any code you write available as open source, this can be worth checking.

Monday 6 May 2013


I was awake around four. Eventually got up and started on the computer. Cold air pouring in the open window. I do not like the climate inland at Townsville.

My weight was back down to 71.9 kilograms, basically thanks to starving on Sunday. Next stop 70!

We drove to Domain Central to get missing buttons and backing material from Spotlight, once it opened at none. That took us past the pharmacist, so Jean collected some tablets. A Domain Central, I checked Dexion (nothing like I recalled, but they had some great casters). I also checked the fancy Bootles timber shop there. Looks like they have some great timber. I fear the prices however. Jean found the required material in Spotlight, after some searching.

Returned via Dan Murphy, where Jean got a half case of Pepperjack Shiraz and a half case of the West Australian dry white. Cupboard stocked once again.

Hung the laundry out on the line.

At some time in the morning, someone came and took away my tree stumps. I did not notice this until I went out to wrap some branches in a tarp and put them out for the mowing contractors (who normally take it Tuesday morning). Not that I am complaining.

My attempts to get anything at all done keep failing miserably. Absolutely no traction.

Jean and I took a walk around Carlyle Gardens around sunset. We were very slow. Had to stop at one of the benches on the far side to rest, which is really unlike us. I took note the benches are from Replas.


Google Glass? Just avoid the glassholes.

Is Mega really wanting you to have Flash before you can download a file? @KimDotcom Does not sound likely.


I checked a seat at Carlyle Gardens. Replas made it of recycled plastic. Jo-ann tells me she wants to put seats in Stage A, and additional seats in the rest of Carlyle Gardens. However it is not the sort of thing the receivers will sign off on.

Looks like our seats are three leg Kimberley seats, probably KS2-1800 model. They seem pretty comfortable. Made of recycled plastics. Seem to cope with the tropical sun pretty well. I can not find any way to get a price list.

Make Use Of

A great website for finding interesting computer related material. Lots of reviews of great programs. It includes guides and manuals you can download.

Tuesday 7 May 2013


I slept well, through to about six. It is cold. Which for me means about 23°C. It is 19°C outside.

Weight is down to 71.6 kilogram, after a previous day of not snacking much. Hope this continues. I found a piece of paper containing lots of old readings of my weight. I will have to gradually add that to my spreadsheet. Preliminary seems to be my weight started to increase when I moved to Carlyle Gardens. I blame restaurant meals, level ground for walking, no incentive to walk. All negatives. I want to return to Airlie Beach.

Off to Willows to take a walk, not to do any shopping. Jean is not doing well on the walk today. I tried getting money from an ATM. Operator problem on first (only provided $20), failure without sufficient diagnostics on second try. Second machine could not read card. Third machine had a network failure. returned to first ATM. Finally got it to do most of what I wanted.

It rained on us, so I got wet returning to Jean's car. Got wet collecting mail. Rain is now pissing down. It is also cold. Not impressed with the morning. On the other hand, another book arrived in the parcel delivery.

I managed to dodge the rain on the walk to the restaurant. Dropped into the office first with a few concerns. At the meal were Pat, Jeff, Dot, Sue, Ray and John. I could not face a large meal, and got a few slices of Hawaiian pizza. I even dodged rain upon my return, and managed to collect the flyers from the local food shops like Woolworths and Coles. Nothing advertised that I want. What a bunch of useless paper!

It is now cold inside. The insulation is obviously still totally inadequate (not unusual in the tropics). I found a pair of airline socks to wear, but my feet are still cold. None of my modern computers put out sufficient heat to warm the place. I used to be able to warm my fingers over the RAM chips.

Had baked beans on toast for dinner. Put a little brown sugar in it, for taste. Returning to old habits. The compact fluorescent lights over the dining room are insanely slow to get to proper brightness. They are bright enough to use about the time you finish the meal. They are absolute crap.

I sent a note to Carlyle Gardens about the problem of safely disposing of fluorescent tubes.

Had a badly needed rum and Coke. Hope this does not ruin my diet. Have not had rum in weeks.

Apple is Doomed

Oh wait, Apple just got into the Fortune top 10 USA companies by revenue (sales) at number 6, up from 17. Maybe Apple is not doomed.


Just ignore the stock market. Why should speculators (just gamblers) have great influence on the real economy?

Just tax the stock market. Tobin tax all bids, raise a little money, discourage high frequency trading. Improved discovery my arse. Betting!

Negative gearing of property just increases prices, gives tax breaks to the rich. Keating was right to drop it.

RBA cash rate at record low 2.75%. If you are retired on investments, are you now rushing to spend up, or not spending on anything?

Interest returns drop. I give up books, magazines and newspapers. Give up restaurants and wine. Shopping? You joke. Great for Oz economy.

Great. In ten years, I can upload my photos faster via the NBN. @brotchie: What about next year, or five years?

Fast in a decade doesn’t help me in the next 5 years. @Imagine4756: How fast is the #NBN: #FTTH vs #FTTN #auspol

Open Street Maps

I see Open Street Maps is improving their map editing via a new iD Editor from MapBox. Looks like a good start for adding information to Open Street Maps. Apple are among many companies drawing part of their map information from Open Street Maps.

Wednesday 8 May 2013


I did not sleep well, at least not before midnight. Lay awake listening to the bush stone curlews screaming outside the window. Up before six.

My weight was back up, this time to 71.9 kilograms. It seems I can not have baked beans on buttered toast for dinner, and a rum and Coke afterwards, and not have a weight gain. Who knew? Contemplates subtracting butter from the shopping list.

Off to Willows for a walk. After twice around, we went to Coles for shopping. They had a clearance of red salmon, so I bought all I could find. Our cyclone supply stocks of tinned fish had run down, and I am rather partial to a salmon sandwich. Got Tip Top cafe style thick sliced raisin bread at half price, which is the only price at which I will buy.

My attempts to get anything done are still mired in lethargy. Must delete many people from my Twitter feed. Who has time?

Said to Jean I would have raisin bread for lunch. She gave me a look. So I had baked beans on a slice of toast. Alas, the remains in the tin were about sufficient for half a slice of toast. So I had a slice of raisin toast afterwards for dessert. That is reasonable. Hmm, when I drop butter, that means I would have no reason to have raisin toast. It is basically merely a substrate upon which to pile half melted butter. This is sounding dire. First world problem.

To the pub after four. Jeff and Ian were there, along with the bowlers. Ron seems to have a plumbing problem, and I gather is staying at the casino instead while it is repaired.


New node.js based blogging platform Ghost is rapidly gaining support on Kickstarter. @TryGhost

Stylus looks possible as a CSS pre-processor. Available on GitHub.

Millionaires buy Australian residency. WSJ catches on, three months late.

Priests and god botherers the same. @LibertarianCiti: Always considered all pyschics to be frauds preying on people for money. #shame

Faith in god = fairies in the garden. Delusional, deluded or fraud. Which are you?

Least bad diet method I have found so far. Put the fork down and step away from the table.

Ask the dinosaurs how they feel about it. @EuanRitchie1: Extinction: is it really that bad? @ausgeo Opps, too late.

I just backed Retropolis Rocket Ship Limited Edition Archival Print on @Kickstarter Pulp-O-Mizer is wonderful!

Apple Developers

A web site that revs up my fans. WebCode Vector drawing app that instantly generates JavaScript+Canvas, CSS+HTML or SVG code. Plus image source compatible PaintCode is a vector drawing app that generates Objective-C code in real time.

Newspaper Paywalls

I see Fairfax newspapers are, like The Australian and the rest of the Murdoch press, withdrawing behind a paywall. The Australia will not produce any content unless you allow them to set cookies. this I am unwilling to do. So I now never link to anything in The Australian.

I did try some digital versions of newspapers. They were basically crap. Newspapers seem to be able to (just) manage websites. Apps? Forget it. Meanwhile, the utter idiocy of the election we are not having finally convinced me not to bother to buy printed newspapers either. The interest rate decline, and subsequent decline in my income, did not help either. I can really see the economy is doing well out of this self funded retiree.

The New York Times is also behind a cookie wall. Guess what. If I see a NYT link, I do not bother to follow it. I know it is a porous wall. I don't care. Stuff you.

A graphic of all known meteorite impacts with Earth. Very cool job by Carlo Zapponi.

Thursday 9 May 2013


I was up around five.

My weight has again increased, this time to 72.1 kilograms. I thought I had really managed to cut down yesterday.

Jean kindly drove me to the Reading Cinema at Sunland Plaza around ten. I was able to see Iron Man 3 pretty much straight away, on the 10:15 a.m. session, for $15.50. When I got out somewhat after midday, I noticed the 3D version of Star Trek: Into Darkness was screening at 12:50 p.m. about another twenty minutes. While I am not keen on 3D movies, it would have been a two hour wait for the 2D version I prefer. I saw the 3D version for $17. I am totally unsure what producing my Readings card does to the prices. However in the ticket dockets they gave me, I found one listing extra points, and another saying I had $5 off if I managed to use it within three months. Two movies in a day. That is probably more movies than I saw in all of 2012. Must do this again.

When I got out of the second movie around 3:30 p.m. I messaged Jean. She was just headed home from and appointment at Willows, so she collected me on the way. I had planned to walk, which is about three or four kilometres.

[Later note]. Best snark review of Star Trek Into Darkness


Nice! @mattgemmell: I added some JavaScript footnote-popovers to my blog, then put the thing on github for you: Needs JQuery, unfortunately.

The pollies managed to steal even coin metal? @ellinghausen: Australia's first triangular coin … Parliament House

No need to recognise. @JuliaGillard: …#referendum on constitutional recognition of local government … TeamJG

Idiotic idea, leave it to States. @MatthewBevan: Has anyone come out in opposition to the local government #referendum?

Read Govt report on local Govt #referendum first. Later read exact question to be put. Rejected twice before.

Never get between a local councillor and a pot of Federal money. Local government #referendum Of course councils say yes.

Howard Govt abused public money. Do not let ALP and LNP make this spending legal. Local Govt #referendum

Saw @StarTrek #IntoDarkness this afternoon. Nice nods to ST:TOS scenes. Neat storyline. CGI effects pretty awesome. Hated the 3D, as usual.

There goes the neighbourhood. @naagovau: Australia's 1st Parliament opened in #Melbourne #onthisday in 1901.

How much longer do we have to put up with Labor leaking all the bad budget news in advance? #auspol

Geeze, with the politicians out there, some days I am really pleased the TV feed has gone out of action. #auspol

Yes, yes, yes. @JohnBirmingham: Anybody else ever get the urge to just unplug from the internet, like, forever? Then I tweet trash.

Kevo Bluetooth Door Lock

A Kevo Bluetooth smartphone controlled front door lock from Kwikset, who seem to be a Black and Decker company.

Iron Man 3

Star Trek: Into Darkness

What The FTT?

A great article by Geoff Huston on fibre to the node vs fibre to the home. As you would expect from him, the details are wonderfully clear and educational. One of very few I have seen that actually points out that a PON FTTH network is not the best choice either.

Another article by Geoff Huston on IPv6 Primer, and how we continue to (sort of) dodge running out of IPv4 addresses.

Friday 10 May 2013


I was up at 5:30 a.m.

My weight is still 72 kilograms, despite very little to eat or drink yesterday. Getting my weight down is proving very stubborn.

Saw a few moments of the annular solar eclipse through the dark glasses when the cloud cover eased. The sun was about three quarters covered by the moon at 8:30 a.m. I saw a few more moments at 9:52 a.m. when the eclipse was almost over. Two eclipses seen this year, both through the usual tropical cloud.

Jean sent me off to do the shopping. Either her work is going well, or her shoulder is not. It turned out the Sunland IGA had the Misty Mountain milk. However it was shorter dated than Rasmussen. Bought it anyhow.

Mitre 10 hardware store had some more garden sprinkling system spray nozzles. Several colours. I believe our cheap watering kit was plain black, so I found and bought a few more of them (at 30 cents each). Also got myself a 600 X 900 mm sheet of three ply. Sick of trying to find suitable perforated metal.

Holger and Lexi were back. Offered flowers for planting. I asked Jean. She ran away. I am a bit nervous about real flowing plants.

Off to the restaurant for lunch. Only Ray there. He brought along photographic evidence that his garden now has a concrete block wall (part of the way). This means I owe him a couple of beers. It has only taken a year or so. Had a very nice rack of lamb for lunch. Totally destroyed my diet, I would think.

Frank was there with a bunch of younger folks. I encouraged him to supply a photo of himself for the web site.

It rained around sundown. Not happy with cloud and rain. Even less happy with internet being stuffed.


Overwhelmed by Twitter feed. Unfollowed a shitload of political and economics commentators. Mostly they just annoyed me.

Fitch tells Australian banks to boost deposit levels, reduce overseas funding, while interest drops. Do'h! How?

I plan to buy consumer semi-durables built overseas before Australian dollar plunges. There are no consumer durables.

USA is Incarceration Nation says Fareed Zakaria in Time. Failed War on Drugs is cause. Why visit USA?

If the internet were not crashing, maybe I should be busy running guns on bittorrent?

Liability law is problem @IanWoolf: National Volunteer week next week - time to recognize and respect volunteers...

Internet via ADSL reliability. Outage 10:09, 10:28, 11:04, 11:15, 11:31, after lunch out at 2:01 (power went out), 2:10. #telstra Sigh!

I am told it is decline in Australia. @tilthouse: @ericlindsay so people don't telecommute? Ready to toss internet.

I am outside CBD. Upload is 128kbps, download 1mbps. Forget streaming, etc. @tilthouse: I ask as a full time remote person

I avoid any product that requires Cloud access @tilthouse Reliability not there on ADSL. Dial up was more reliable (but even slower).

AFL and Cricket. Beer and chips protected species as sports ban healthy eating ads. Just boycott their games.

Why Local Government Should Not Be Recognised in the Constitution #referendum.

LNP #NBN a waste of effort. Labor PON a waste of time. Go straight to gold standard active fibre for anyone who can afford it. #auspol

Solar Hot Water

A lack of solar hot water (which is now lukewarm water) due to persistent cloud for the past several days. I switched on the electric booster at 6:30 a.m. I switched the electric solar hot water booster off at 8:15 a.m. (to partially avoid morning peak power drain). On my top of the head calculation, about two hours of 3600 Watt boost would get a lukewarm 250 litre tank to hot.

Internet is Down

I was reading complaints about LNP version of NBN on Twitter when the Internet went down at 10:09 a.m. Ping reports no route to host. Power cycled the Belkin ADSL modem at 10:15 a.m. Destination Net is unreachable on a numeric ping. Internet came back at 10:18 a.m.

First thing I reached was a News Limited site that rejected me because I reject their intrusive cookies. Fuck Murdoch Press.

Internet out of action again at 10:28 a.m. Numeric pings time out. Still out at 10:32 a.m. Power sequenced the ADSL modem again. Internet came back up.

Internet out of action at 11:04 a.m. Power sequenced ADSL modem yet again. Checked again after garden work at 11:15 a.m. No connection again. Power sequence the ADSL modem again.

Internet still out of action at 11:22 a.m. Power sequence the Belkin ADSL modem yet again. No connection.

Internet still out. Power sequenced the Belkin ADSL modem yet again at 11:31 a.m. Internet was still out at 11:35 a.m.

Jean had power sequenced the Belkin ADSL modem again. The internet was working again when I returned from lunch.

The power went out momentarily at 2:01 p.m. Naturally that took out the internet, possibly because the cursed UPS the modem is on can not handle a one second outage. Wonderful. Just wonderful!

Internet still down at 2:10 p.m. The modem lights were saying it was connected, but it was not. Power sequence the ADSL modem again.

I can get pings to with reasonable (45ms) response time at 6:22 p.m. Strangely, I can not get Common web pages such as Google are not coming up. Looks like the Domain Name Server is down. I am not resolving Google. Traceroute to is exceedingly slow, although individual hop times are fine. 6:34 p.m. and traceroute is still only 8 hops into reaching In effect, I no longer have Internet access.

Power cycled the ADSL modem at 6:56 p.m. Had an internet connection again by 7:03 p.m.

Internet out of action again at 7:14 p.m. Name servers not working. Numeric ping to working. Traceroute to same address is way slow. Many minutes.

Internet is basically out of action, although technically there is a very low bandwidth connection. No mail, no web connection (not even to light pages like Google). Traceroute takes several minutes to complete a numeric trace. Domain name servers are out. Ping works to certain numeric domains.


I installed a taller sprinkler head at the front of our garden, with a 90° microspray. The green and purple plants keep trying to eat it. Inserted a short 180° sprinkler near the path for the new plants. Dropped a 30 cent 90° sprinkler head near the corner of the garden. Never did find it. Luckily I had two. So the garden now has two more sprinklers covering the new plants. Amazing how much you can get done when the internet is crashing all the time.

Wine Tasting is Bullshit

Wine tasting is bullshit. Here's why.

More articles. Tasting by Frédéric Brochet. A Hint of Hype, A Taste of Illusion. John Bohannon, Robin Goldstein and Alexis Herschkowitsch serve up Can people distinguish pate from dog food? Well, no, although 72% did think dog food was the worst tasting pate. Does all wine taste the same? Yep. Do more expensive wines taste better? If an experienced wine taster, then yes. If not, then no.

Power Outage

A glitch in the electricity supply. The power went out for a moment at 2:02 p.m. That also managed to take out the internet. However was it because the UPS my modem I am on failed (likely), or because the Telstra box in the street failed?


I heard about Bookos, and thought it was Booko, an Australian book and DVD search engine. However Bookos is a new free ebook startup, domiciled in Luxembourg. I guess that is how it evades some copyright issues. I saw mostly PDF and RTF books when I looked. It often makes books available in DRM free FictionBook XML format. No book design, merely content.

Bookos did not seem to have a specific science fiction section, so it was of limited interest to me. I am attempting to replace all my (many) paper SF books with ebooks, to empty my 42 bookcases, and reduce storage space. Obviously the easiest way is to buy an ebook. However unless it is a DRM free ePub version, I will not buy (too much work to break DRM and convert).

Readers don't owe authors anything, except not to steal their books. However there is nothing wrong with promoting books that you enjoy.

Farmdog Paragraphs

I am contemplating a Markdown text editor called Paragraphs from Farmdog. Not that I know anything about Farmdog. And not that you can not write Markdown with any text editor (that was, after all, the intention).

Markdown is well supported on the Macintosh, with a number of viewers, converters such as Marked and editors like Byword. There are Markdown cheat sheets and Markdown guides all over the place. Plus other applications. I recall getting Bloom Built Day One, a journal application that uses Markdown.

Saturday 11 May 2013


I was awake earlier, but did not get up until almost six. Cool and dark morning. Internet came up when I restarted the ADSL modem.

After a rack of lamb for lunch yesterday, my weight is up again, to 72.1 kilograms.

Off to Willows a little late, where we managed four circuits of the place before it got too noisy and crowded to suit us. Although I walked into the news agency, I did not buy any newspapers. I think my infatuation with newspapers is over. Total purchases. One bread roll for my lunch.

We had belatedly ran a load of laundry, and hung it up after we returned from Willows. We did a second load of mostly towels somewhat later. By then the sky was looking much more threatening. Clouds keep skipping over the sky, causing me to leap up and inspect the laundry, just in case I need to rush it inside. It rained just after two. After most everything was under cover. Also just after I finished having a salmon roll for lunch. If it had to rain today, it was good timing.

Jeff phoned to remind me the Wednesday pub meeting was also on Saturday. I had a good time at the pub with Ian and Jeff. Allen and Dave supplied some Hawaiian pizza, and later some chips. Two beers and three Jacobs Creek sparkling in three hours is only mildly excessive, right? Plus I need to show Jeff how to solder correctly.

Not getting much work done. Fear that weigh in on Sunday will not be good.

Internet Still Out

No change in internet access. Still stuffed up. I power sequenced everything I could find at 6:03 a.m. Internet connection restored at 6:09 a.m. Connection at 1085 kbps (136 KB/s), according to OzSpeedTest. Pathetic!

As usual, nothing in my search about why the internet was down for most of the previous day.


Kick the ice age in the butt! @plkidd: @mpesce can’t wait for 500ppm – not only will it be beach weather, the beach will come to me!

How do we get direct optical in? @mpesce: AOL vs Netflix - The Broadband Era Illustrated ping @TurnbullMalcolm #NBN

Yes, yes, yes! @DonnaMHanson: Darn it! I'm off to see Star Trek Great movie. But 3D was excessive.

Homeless are not a viable market. @IanWoolf: Is there a market in running training courses to teach people how to survive being homeless?

You Can Not ...

I see North Carolina will not let Tesla sell its electric cars, because it is not a motor dealer. Like Texas and Virginia, the state is acting to protect the vested interests of motor dealers. These guys are just middlemen rent seekers, who add very little of use to consumers. Can anyone give me a good reason why a car manufacturer should not be able to sell direct to the customer?

Sunday 12 May 2013


I did not sleep well, and could not go back to sleep, so I was up at 3:45 a.m. I think I need to avoid going to the pub on Saturday.

My weight was back up, to 72.3 kilograms. I think I need to avoid going to the pub on Saturday. Yes indeed.

Started the laundry a little after six, right after checking the garden water sprinklers.

A walk in Willows with Jean. Nearly four times around it. Got a bit crowded earlier than we expected, possibly due to Mother's Day. Got a bread roll for lunch. Last big spender.

A late lunch of salmon and lettuce on my bread roll, but it was almost 2;30 p.m. Had a glass of the decent milk also.

We went for a walk around Carlyle Gardens just after five. Took us a half hour to cover little more than two kilometres. Better than nothing I imagine.

I could not log on to the online Apple Store. Not a good way to make a sale.


A wallaby just hopped past my window. Noisy thumpers.


I checked the newly revised garden watering sprinklers at 6 a.m. They seem to be going really well. I have better fill from the two extra ones. The tall one also seem to be doing the right thing.

Later in the afternoon I dumped the remaining three hollow concrete blocks and the pavers into the back of the garden. Trying to work out which way to move for doing the rest of the garden. In the meanwhile, concrete is a good weed killer, right?


I noticed Jekyll is a Ruby Gem based static web site generation tool from about 2008. It accepts Markdown or Textile, plus HTML and CSS, and generates a static web site. Jekyll is easy to install. There seem to be a lot of sites using Jekyll. I think 2009 is about when I gave up writing my own generator, and just wrote everything in XHTML. There are several Jekyll introductions and tutorials. The main disadvantage seems to be Jekyll is blog oriented, which is a little awkward if you want something other than a blog.

There seem to be a whole bunch of Ruby powered static web site generators. StaticMatic, Nanoc from Denis Defreyne, Webby, and many other web site generators. There is also Punch, which is a node.js based version from Lakshan Perera in Sri Lanka.

Bloody Bugs

I can not get iTunes Store Australia to provide anything when I select either Apps or Podcasts. The page is simply empty. This happens on two separate computers. I have checked I am actually on the Australian iTunes Store. I can see both if I switch stores to the USA store. Weird!

I can not log on to the Apple Store online. Not a good way to make a sale.

My new Fujitsu camera was set to the wrong month (perils of setting it in a hotel room from a tiny type manual you can not read). Also one hour out due to stupid Daylight Saving in Sydney. So I have over 200 photos with the wrong EXIF information. The free Photo Time Edit says it can fix that. According to its own reports, it has. However that is not what Finder reports. Not even after I relaunched Finder. Wasted a whole chunk of the evening on that.

3D Gun Bypasses Security Theatre

A 3D printed plastic gun passes security theatre, reports the U.K. Daily Mail. The report was complete with colourful photos of desperado reporters holding the silly looking single shot 16 piece plastic zip gun. Naturally the gun was undetected by security, whose equipment was never meant to do that.

Big deal. Fully functional metal weapons are a problem, when some insane person makes a personal statement involving killing heaps of unarmed people. Bombs and explosives are a potential problem. This sort of zip gun is lost in the noise. Just forget about it.

Monday 13 May 2013


I got up just before six. Went out to check that the garden watering system was not working. It was not, which is correct for a two day cycle.

A win on the weight. Down to 71.4 kilograms. About time all this restraint and pushback had some effect.

Off to Willows with Jean. Bought some pain tablets that she will probably use, to replace depleted stocks. That seemed to take forever, since chemists need to check you are not buying for some drug dealing biker chemist. So my walk was not nearly sufficiently long. Jean managed to get around Willows four times.

I cooked myself half a steak for lunch. For dinner I had some cheese and tomato on biscuits. Despite which, I feel full.

We did the two kilometre walk around Carlyle Gardens in the evening. Lots of vehicles out today.

I could not get the Apple Store online to work at all. I could not log on. The shopping cart function was totally stuffed. Given up. I no longer trust what the Apple Store online is doing.


Channel 9 blocked Greenpeace advertisement asking Coca Cola to stop blocking anti-litter actions.

Put gun manufacturers out of business. Do not allow guns as a business model. If you want a gun, build your own.

PolitiFact truth-o-meter now fact checking what Australian politicians say

Pakistan Court rules USA drone strikes in tribal lands war crimes. No consent by Pakistan Government.


I keep wondering about what to plan next for the garden. Any heavy work needs to be done in the cooler months of winter. So the planning (and especially the supplies) need to be organised now.

Water from Air

A water from air generator called EcoloBlue. Uses around 300 Watts, produces around 20-30 litres a day, depending on humidity. Twelve stage filter, including UV and reverse osmosis. Variations produce hot and cold water, plus carbonated sparkling water. Price between $1000 and $2000. Australian agent is Advanced ECO Solutions.

Tuesday 14 May 2013


I was up in the pre-dawn dark at 5:15 a.m. The garden sprinkler system again worked correctly, so I guess I can stop checking that now. At least until the batteries go flat.

Weight was down to 71.1 kilograms.

We went to Willows for our usual morning walk. Got around four times, and then a bit more.

Off to lunch, with Jean walking over with me for exercise. Obviously she did not stay. Dot and Ray were ordering. I had problems deciding, but got the chicken Caesar salad, which was naturally too much for me. Sue arrived soon, and also had the CSS. Pat and Jeff arrived a little later. Walked back well before two.

Walked the 2.9 kilometres to the Reading Cinema starting at 2;45 p.m. It took me about 30 minutes, which was a little quicker than I expected. Oblivion commenced at 3:30 p.m. Got out about 5:35 p.m. Walk home in the twilight was a little slower.

After denying she wanted it, Jean eventually ate the left over salad. I had the left over bread roll from lunch for my dinner. Plus later sipped a small glass of Chivas Regal.


The 4 year old fibre optic connection that once provided our TV broke in Jan. @JohnBirmingham: To avoid the budget tonight … Not fixed.

It was worth a try! @JohnBirmingham: @ericlindsay I’m sorry. @annetreasure can fix many things, but not all. Shrugs, may read an eBook.

Both Ed and Health are State @CherylCritchley: As long as they've given education and health enough I'm happy… #Budget Not Federal.


Charity Fund Raising Costs

I wonder what happened to efforts to make charities admit to their fund raising costs? Back in 2011 some charities spent 60% of their income on fund raising. Other charities spend 2%.

Think about organisations like Rotary, who are totally volunteer and do not take out expenses. Or even Royal Flying Doctor, with about 2% administration costs.

Wednesday 15 May 2013


I must have slept very well, as it was well after six when I woke up. The walking yesterday may have tired me out.

Weight is now down to 70.8 kilogram. First time I have been that low in four or five years.

A walk at Willows with Jean. Around three times, and then shopping for fresh food.

The two Kogan 27 inch computer monitors were delivered soon after we returned home. As usual, no sign on the Post Office tracking web site of where they were.

Over to the office. The new signs outside went up last week, probably on Wednesday, according to Liz. I also asked about setting up a SmartHome. Send us something in writing, Jo-ann said.

Saw the last several songs or music items performed by the 1RAR (Royal Australian Regiment) band. They were collecting funds for Legacy, so I gave Blue $50 for the pot. Helped put the chairs away. Then lunch in the busy restaurant. Probus had the far end of the restaurant for their meeting. I had David (who I know from previous concerts) and Dave (new to me) at my table. As usual, I brought them drinks. As the meal was closing, Chris, another band member I knew, came and sat with us, so I got another round of drinks for them.

Back to the pub for the usual Wednesday evening drinks. Lots of the bowlers there. Chatted with Clive for a while. regulars were Ron and jeff. Ray arrived a bit later. I bought him drinks since he had finally had the concrete blocks put into his garden as edging.


I thought the Seniors Downsizing initiative to encourage moving to a smaller home had merit as a trial. You had to live in the home for 25 years, and could only put aside $200,000 for 10 years, but it was a start.

Labor dropped Conroy's stupid internet filter. Saved taxpayer $4.5 million. Saved ISPs and actual internet users far, far more. You can not efficiently filter the ocean tides.

However, despite this, ASIC has been ordering ISPs to block websites it believes are fraudulent. If it is fraud, take action in the courts. Meanwhile, the government should keep its fucking nose out of the internet. It is working well enough without government help.

A continued fixed price Carbon Tax makes a mockery of claims to be moving to a market mechanism. Governments just can not resist the temptation to fiddle when things do not work the way they want.

Red is the new black.

Apple Store Online

I just tried to use the Australia Apple Store online. As has been the case since at least Friday, the store does not let me access my account. I had discovered Apple now stock the Philips Hue light kit in Australia. But the store does not work. Shit, shit, shit!

Correction, the Apple Safari web browser (on two separate Macintosh computers) does not allow me to access my account. In contrast, the Google Chrome web browser does. So, I suspect some change in the Web Store, some change in Safari, plus some interaction with Extensions. Why a multiple change? Because if it were just Safari or just the Web Store, Apple would have noticed a reduction in sales by now, identified and fixed it.

I am unable to use Safari 6.0.4 to purchase from Apple Store Australia online. No response from Account or Cart. If I shop without login, I can fill a Cart, which then acts weird (items not removed correctly). However I can never access payment screen. This is not an account issue (iTunes accepts account). Nor is it a computer issue (tried on two separate Apple Macintosh). I am able to access the Apple Store online via Google Chrome, thus proving it is not an account or computer issue. I am able to purchase using Chrome (just received confirmation). I believe the problem must be related to an Extension. [Confirmed, now to work out which Extension]


Philips Hue light starter kit now finally available at Australian Apple Store @mpesce

Stephen Wolfram on Leibniz’s math notation.

Tobacco industry executives should be hauled out and shot. 6 million deaths a year, and they complain about packets.

Resort Manager

I have confirmation that Rose is leaving the Whitsunday Terraces resort in Airlie Beach on 30 June, when they move to Townsville. Rose has been by far our most successful resort manager in many, many years, over two separate terms in charge. I am very sorry to see her leave. I am sure that things in the resort will be far worse once she does leave.


I see Trevor Timm from Freedom of the Press Foundation reports New Yorker Launches New Whistleblower Submission System, With Code Written by the Late Aaron Swartz. Leaks need encouraging. Government need to lose.

The New Yorker announcement of Strongbox which can only be accessed via an annonymous Tor network. The New Yorker Strongbox uses open source DeadDrop for their drop box.

Unhosted Web Apps

Unhosted Web Apps run within the browser, using downloaded code.

Thursday 16 May 2013


I was up in the pre-dawn dark well before six. I skinned banana, mandarine and watermelon so I could put the skins out in the once a week rubbish. Temperature in the tropics is such that you have to keep scraps in the fridge otherwise, especially if it will be for the whole week.

Weight has gone up to 70.9 kilograms.

Willows walk, but only three and a bit times around. We did divert to view vacuum cleaners in BigW.

Opened one of the Kogan 27 inch monitor boxes.

Had to rescue the Roomba vacuum cleaner from underneath the bed. Jean can not easily reach it.

We did our afternoon walk around Carlyle Gardens, with threatening cloud. Runkeeper was totally unable to function. It could not get decent GPS readings from my iPhone 4. Jean's iPhone 3gs worked pretty well, once it started.

We got back just before it started raining. By dinner times it was raining rather heavy. May make the plants in the garden happy.


Correct. @johnallsopp: so, basically I can't really admin an airport extreme (mac address management, traffic monitoring etc?) Apple way.

If you install an Airport Extreme or Time Capsule elsewhere, you rarely get asked to come and adjust settings. @johnallsopp I am being lazy.

Intercept at modem/router @johnallsopp I wonder if I can intercept traffic at the router (not wifi sadly)? But I had WiFi.

Best if modem/router has all the neat controls you want. Not happy with my old Belkin or my Netgear for that. @johnallsopp

I have asked the Applix mailing list. @johnallsopp: times like these I need @irldexter! Some of them are on top of router capabilities.

Hell no. @paulkidd: Is Tasmania still in the migration zone? We are selling the Apple Isle to Apple as a secret base. Get off my grass!

No elephants. @mpesce: .@paulkidd @morebento Or Pratchett. In fact, the more I think about it, the more Australia has become Discworld.

The Theoretical Minimum

The theoretical minimum is a minimum series of physics courses by Leonard Susskind at Stanford, intend as an overview of modern physics. The physics courses are advanced but accessible. Mathematics required is introduced through the courses, but some history of having studied algebra and calculus at some time is assumed. Pretty awesome that this sort of educational material is freely available.

Tiny Solid-Run CuBox Computer

A company, Solid-run making a tiny 5cm CuBox Linux computer for under $200. Runs on 3 Watts. Has HDMI output and can handle 1080p video.

Friday 17 May 2013


I was awake around 5:30 a.m. so I put the laundry in the washing machine, and started it. I sure hope that the weather is actually suitable. Hmm, well that was a mistake. It rained while we were away.

My weight had gone up to 71.1 kilograms, despite what I thought was a very limited food intake yesterday. Bah, humbug!

Off to Willows for a walk, but this time Jean could only manage to walk around three times.

Back to writing mailing comments on ANZAPA, instead of whatever I should be doing.

Jean insisted I phone the restaurant. They had two rack of lamb left, so I ordered them. We walked over, arriving in plenty of time. I had a brief chat with Ray and with Dot. I also managed to get another magnetic back for my name badge from reception. That was nice.

Debt Loading Us Down

I see that Annabel Hepworth reports on a closed door speech. Debt load is dragging us down, warns Don Argus. There is a big difference between borrowing money for infrastructure spending that will benefit our children, and borrowing money to spend on ourselves today with no future benefits.

The gross national debt of households, businesses and governments had roughly doubled since 2005, with federal and state gross debt now at $500bn, consumer debt at $1.6 trillion and business debt at about $800bn.

Mr Argus found that interest costs had been growing at a whopping 26 per cent annual rate over the past five years.

The analysis found revenue growing at a 3.6 per cent annualised rate over the past five years, while recurring spending costs had grown at 7 per cent.


I dragged two of the heavy plastic pots overcrowded with tall spiky Mother in Laws Tongue plants from their unsightly (and unwatered) position next to the garage over to the garden. I eventually managed to get the pots over the wall and into the garden. I am hoping they will fill in the gaps between the even taller red plants. I had to dig the pots in a little to make them stable. They looked too stark with the pots visible.

Then I piled some of the rocks around them to hide the Mother in Laws Tongue pots. Not sure how this will work. Need to check when there is sunlight.

Desktop Computer or Not?

I need to decide whether to get another desktop computer, one with an Intel CPU, or whether my 2005 Apple iMac G5 was my last desktop computer. It is already obvious that the future of computers is far smaller (and more numerous) devices.

One reason for not having a desktop computer is mains power vs battery operation. In the five or so years a desktop computer will last, will we still have reliable power to the home? On past performance, and present trends, I now believe so. Going beyond five years, maybe not.

Saturday 18 May 2013


I had trouble sleeping, and did not awake until after six. Two crumpets for breakfast.

Weight has gone up to 71.3 kilograms, after a big midday meal of rack of lamb and vegetables.

Around Willows four time. ran of twice to take stuff to the car. Checked in news agency. The newspapers still look boring.

Half a tin of salmon on a bread roll for lunch. Cyclone supplies reducing.


I checked the garden. The water sprinkling system does appear to reach the newly repositioned Mother in Laws Tongue pot plants. I was not sure there was enough throw from the sprinklers in the middle of the garden. Nor that other plants would not block the mist.

One of the tall red Cordyline plants has a branch that is leaning over, shading some new plantings. That is a candidate for lopping and planting elsewhere. I did that later in the day. Now another branch on a different plant has started leaning over. Plus one of the bits of basil has fallen over.

Moved the last of the Mother in Laws Tongue pots into the garden, and hid the sides with rocks. It is starting to look better than I expected. I swear those rocks are getting heavier!

I had to lay down ant sand at several places around the house. Looks like there will be a battle for a while.

I need to take photographs of the garden today, to have a record of changes. But first I need the clouds to go away. At least the overnight rain will water the new plantings.


I backed the Light yet again via @MooresCloudTeam

@mpesce @MooresCloudTeam Err, should the store web site still say 6 months left? Or should date change?

Oh good, another mystery. @mpesce: @ericlindsay All will be explained soon. I guess I will have some Hue lights to play with while I wait.


A LifeStraw is a $30 water filter for outdoor or travelling use. Filters up to 1000 litres. Stores indefinitely. There is a $100 family size model as well, for flood and similar situations.

Sunday 19 May 2013


I was up at 4:30 a.m. unable to sleep, despite being tired last night. Got up and started the track pad batteries charging. The keyboard batteries are ready, having charged overnight.

My weight is unchanged at 71.3 kilograms, despite being hungry. Boo, hiss.

Eggs on toast for breakfast.

We went for a morning walk around Willows, and managed five times around. Good for us. Not near as crowded as on Mother's Day.

Jean completed my new planets shirt. Looks great. Must take a photo. Just the thing for a SF convention.

Cooked myself a very small steak for a very late lunch. Still hungry.

Went for a walk with Jean around the small side of Carlyle Gardens. Only a little over a kilometre. On the other hand, since the spontaneous reboot of my iPhone 4 this morning, RunKeeper has operated correctly in terms of GPS distances.

This evening I tested one of the new Kogan 27 inch monitors. That seemed fine, and worked straight off with my MacBook Air over Thunderbolt. A good start.


Mongolia rules! @Noahpinion: If China owns Okinawa, then Mongolia owns China. Sorry, it had to be said!

Not enough good political parties in Australia. So I joined the Lamington Party @lamingtonparty

Solar Hot Water

Jean sent me out to switch on the solar hot water booster at around five. There have been clouds for the past several days, although I do not think it rained every day.

I switched the solar hot water booster off again at around eight.

iPhone Reboot

I was sitting at my desk, and at about 6:25 my iPhone (which was charging) spontaneously started showing a small Apple icon. Looked like a spontaneous reboot. I have no idea what provoked it.

The iPhone 4 has been unable to handle GPS locations correctly for the past several days. This has shown up in large distance errors when using Runkeeper. I was attributing this to the heavy overcast spoiling GPS satellite reception.

Corner Desk

Jean told me to measure her old corner desk, which is in pieces the garage after she got her standing desk. I think the original corner desk has moved through about four houses. This directive was in case some desk pieces could be put to use as extra desks in my room. Alas, the 900x900 corner piece is too unstable to use without the extensions, but the extensions make it far too large.

I gave up on the desk, but considered the extensions. I could stick them on top of surplus bookcases (which are piling up as shelves empty). However a 600mm deep surface piled on top of one at most 490mm risks being unstable if weight is applied badly, as is likely. A little too much of a risk.

Finally I noticed the modesty boards. There are four of them, about 445mm deep, and various 800mm to 900mm long. These are a distinct possibility. They would fit between the bookcase upright. Could be rested on a shelf, if I moved a shelf a little lower. That would make them rather stable. Possibilities there.

Rename Account on Mac mini

I wanted to change old standard user account name on the Mac mini under OS X 10.8. I still had the original name I used in 2004 when I transferred a bunch of my files from a PC. I wanted a simpler version of that name.

Before I could start, I had to enable the root account. A regular administration account can not do the changes needed. I dislike enabling the root account (due to the damage you can do if careless). Indeed, I run everything from a Standard account, not an Admin account. I just provide an Admin password when required for installing software. These days you hardly ever run into programs that are unable to handle that.

This name change is so I can subsequently use Migration Assistant to transfer the contents of the Mac mini to the new iMac, when I get it. This way I can check for problems on the existing computer prior to the transfer.

One problem is that my photograph did not transfer over to the new account. Must add that.


I tried to Sync Bento on my iPhone 4 to Bento on my MacBook Air. Instead of Syncing, the iPhone lost everything in Bento. Not at all sure what happened. Maybe I was syncing the iDevices to the Mac mini instead of to the Air?

So I updated the Mac mini to the latest version of Bento. It was running an older version. This problem is looking like user error.

Monday 20 May 2013


I got up in the pre-dawn dark just before six. Got a glass of the full cream milk, since I was already hungry. Started on computer. First thing I hit on my email was a survey from The Kick fill in remote control light, so I completed that. By then I had forgotten what I intended to get done.

My weight had gone down to 70.9 kilograms. Day after weigh in, that figures.

Off to Domain as Jean had an appointment there. She dropped me at Bunnings. I was delighted to note they stocked Dremel Router kits for $50. May be just what I need. However I do not know the model number of the Dremel kit I have, so I fear I may not have a compatible model. I also looked at their other routers, and found an Ozito model at $60. That looks ferocious.

Elsewhere in Bunnings I found some joined radiata pine, sized 450mm by 1800mm, for around $26. That looks to me like it would make a very nice desk surface. I could probably use the bookcases as supports.

I checked the lighting section, There seem to be a lot of flat LED strips, for illuminating underside of items. I must think more on using these. Except I want colour change.

Outside Bunnings. Fundraiser for Cancer (well, actually against Cancer). So my Second Breakfast was a sausage and fried onions on a slice of bread. Proper Australian tucker. DietFail!

I checked Harvey Norman. No small bread making machines, alas. I need a maximum of 500 gram loaves. I already know I will eat whatever size loaf turns up. Diet Fail! Fancy TV no use, as I do not have a connection (fibre optics still failed). The computer section is much reduced in size and range. A heap of treadmills and exercise gear there now. An interesting change. Nothing there at Harvey Norman to buy at all really.

Howards Storage World. Seeking a stand for my hard drives. The helpful assistant suggested an item from the Elka range. When Jean reported she was ready to come collect me, I bought the three tier rack for $25. I think it will work. However I need to reinforce the front to accept the weight of hard drives without sagging.

Off to Dan Murphy, which had Jacobs Creek sparkling chardonnay pinot noir at around $43 a half case. They also had Pepperjack Shiraz at around $95 a half case. Good prices for each. I bought two cases of each while the prices were lower than usual. These are my standard wines for my parties.

Back home, unpacking wine. Chatted with Les when he drove past in the electric buggy. Fixed some of the garden lights the wallabies had knocked over. One I can not repair.

My Philips Hue starter kit of three lights and a controller arrived from Apple Australia. The LED colour change bulbs are ES27 style. I have some lamps that will be suitable. What great timing.

Lunch was a slice of cheese. Dinner was a slice of cheese, just before Jean got the last of it. Still hungry. Ate Darrell Lea orange choc balls I can only get at Townsville airport. Drank half a can of Coke. Second DietFail!


I sure am glad that TV does not work here (thanks to fibre optic fail) #sbseurovision #Eurovision

WTF? The Pope saying things with which I can agree? That seems a change.

There are 4 social networks? @witmol: When you accidentally post to four social networks and have to log in to each to delete it Who knew!

My Philips Hue starter kit has arrived from Apple Australia. WOOT! But I can not play with it for days:-( @mpesce

Future shareholders are mainly speculators. @TheKouk: When a company has debt, it that stealing from future shareholders? Equity, not bet.

Why I do not use Facebook

Really neat interactive timeline from today to the age of the universe at Here Is Today.

Yes! @mattgemmell: Come on, new 11” MacBook Airs. Want: Retina display, and much better battery life. Waiting for new GPU. No Retina yet?

Irish Pound is Punt @mpesce: Punt has entirely different meaning in American English. #4corners So it rhymes with Banker.

iMac Ordered

I ordered an Apple iMac, with a larger Fusion drive. I wanted it before the forthcoming price increase due to a lower Australian dollar. This despite the new CPUs about to appear from Intel. Most of the performance increases from Intel are better built in GPU. The iMac uses a discrete GPU from NVidea, so there is less effect on performance.

I am tired of playing silly games with external storage in a failed attempt to get my media storage to cope with puny little solid state drives. For my photos and my music, and especially for video, I really could use a truck. All the tricks I could (and did) pull to get around that did not eliminate the issue. Which is that a truck (a desktop computer) is the easiest solution for keeping a shitload of media close to hand.

On the other hand, this is probably the last desktop computer I will need. Solid State drives are way faster than rotating rust hard drives. Only the Fusion addition makes rotating rust drives worth considering. By the time I need another mass storage computer, the pricing of large solid state drives may be acceptable.

Apple Borrowing

My note to Business Spectator.

I gather Apple borrowed to pay for a share buyback, not to pay dividends. Its cash holdings were such that it can borrow at less than the cost of the dividends on the shares repurchased. Plus it can deduct the interest paid from its taxes. If it had instead moved overseas cash into the USA for share repurchase, it would have had to pay tax on the cash. All very rational moves. Would that government borrowings were all as well aimed at future returns.

Macintosh Does Tax

I am delighted to note that the Australian Tax Office is to release an eTax program that will actually work on an Apple Macintosh computer. After a decade of it working only on Windows. So we enter the 20th century. Just when a bunch of people have moved to tablets and phones.

It should have been web based. It should always have been web based. I do not understand this decision.

Rainwater Tanks

A Water Cube flexible rainwater tank of around 800 litres on less than a square metre of space.

Thin Tanks poly plastic rainwater tanks 2400 long 1850 high, and 240 wide for 1000 litres, available in eight colours. Width is 480mm for 2000 litres.


I was awake late, a few minutes after six. I hate how late the sun is appearing. Filled the washing machine and started laundry, despite a slightly margin forecast and clouds. Even more misgiving when we hung the clothes out.

My weight has gone back up to 71 kilograms. This is what drinking a can of Coke does to your diet.

Walking at Willows, followed by boring food shopping at Willows.

Seemed to take forever before we returned. I unloaded the dishwasher. Jean walked over to the restaurant with me, but as usual would not stay. Chatted with Ray as I passed through Reception. Pat and Sue were already at the table, and Dot was ordering. I had the lamb roast with mint gravy. Nice, but I could not eat it all. Dave put it in the fridge for me to collect later.

Out to harass the remaining Asian kitchen geckos around eight. Only three of them sighted. All sprayed. Must be at least one survivor. Skinks and lizards starting to return to the garden.

Star Trek Into Darkness

Walked the 2.5 kilometres to the Reading Cinema for the 2 p.m. session, and saw Star Trek Into Darkness in 2D on the cheap Tuesday rates. No headache this time, unlike when I saw it in 3D. Plus it was not as noisy. I think it holds up pretty well. Walked back, collecting my cold lunch from the restaurant. Sank a pot of beer. Nearly 3 kilometres back, around five o'clock, so over 16000 steps for the day. Not too bad.

Zero Lower Bound

How do you make money worth less? Not worthless; worth less. You build inflation into it. How do you stop people putting any worthwhile money into the mattress? You make electronic money the real money, and inflate it away. You make it impossible to actually hold real money. The first step was removing precious metals from the money system. The USA made it illegal to hold gold during the Great Depression. At some stage, in this Great Depression, you make it difficult to hold cash.

The question for economists (and politicians) when they want to force spending, rather than saving, is how to do it? After all, you would not think interest could go below the zero lower bound. Negative interest rates. Yet this is what they want. Money that is worth less when you hold it. However that is easy to do with electronic money. You charge a fee to hold money.

A Really Shitty Day

If you think you had a shitty day, watch this. Then give thanks.

Wednesday 22 May 2013


I was up just prior to six. Still and dark. Raided fridge for leftover can of Coke. Not a good start to the day. Has Weetbix Bites with honey for breakfast, and half a banana for Second Breakfast. Left over lamb from lunch yesterday for lunch today.

Weight was down to 70.9 kilograms. Which wan't much of a drop, but pretty good considering my snacking habits yesterday.

The gardeners were all over the public gardens today, trimming a heap of them with brush cutters. Very noisy, but boy are they neat and square now. I took advantage of the noise to drill some holes in some wood for a little project. The minor noise I made lost in the noise from petrol brush cutters.

I walked over to the doctor at 3:30. Jean walked with me as part of her exercise program. Doctor mostly chatted, and said make a longer appointment. Off to the bar to drown my sorrows with the usual Wednesday bunch.


Tweets linking to items behind paywalls or cookie walls are a waste of my time. Please stop doing it.

Cheaper for me with low tax. @GreatDismal: What's least to like about Apple? IMO, their tax avoidance strategies.

If I don’t like a capitalist, I don’t buy their products. If I don’t like a government, I have an actual revolutionary problem.

If a business does not like my attitude, it can stop dealing with me. If a government objects to my attitude, it sends armed people.

Qantas also supply an iPad to all passengers on Perth flights. @KristineRusch: Qantas to fly the literary skies

Neat way to fix budget. @mpesce: SELL SBS TO PACKER AND ABC TO MURDOCH. IT'S WHAT GOD WOULD WANT. Don’t give them ideas.

Only too late IF they get in. Many a possible scandal between now and election on all sides. @mpesce Where is my Light :-(

Cool idea! @paulkidd: 3D printed latté art. You heard it here first. But stupid thing to do. Charge idiots extra for it.

Party wingnuts in Qld. @mpesce: I always thought the true wingnuts lived in Queensland. Suddenly, Victoria is revealed as their true home.

I just joined The Lamington Party @mpesce Choice of Hanson Katter Palmer. Told you more party wingnuts in Qld.

Wanted: Hollow volcano island lair for Qld political party. Space launch facility desirable. No Greens. @mpesce

Recharging iPad Mobile Connection

I have a twelve month recharge because the frustration level of trying to recharge and iPad monthly via Telstra is too high. So I have to learn anew each year just what will go wrong this time. This year it seems to be that, despite accepting it, Telstra actually does not accept Amex cards. Got the recharge after three tries in 15 minutes, via a different card.

Right, this sort of shit is why we all need NBN in the home, plus why we will all live happily ever after shopping on the internet. I think not.

National eWaste Policy

A National eWaste Policy. It looks like Harvey Norman may accept TV sets. Said to be expanding over the next year or so. That seems about all.

Thursday 23 May 2013


I was awake late, well after six. Rain was coming down in a steady stream. No way I was going to be moving rocks through the mud in the garden today. So I need to find something else to do.

Weight is down again to 70.7 kilograms.

Chemist for more tablets for us both. Will rattle when walking. Walking three times around Willows for exercise. Boring.

Took photos of the new Philips Hue light bulb starter kit. Very well presented in a very fancy box. At that price (A$249) for three bulbs and a ZigBee hub, I am not surprised.

Sprayed anything in the garden that appeared to be a weed with RoundUp. Should have a great crop of RoundUp immune weeds by next year.

Interrupted by a delivery of a package for Jean. Her new overseas phone. Good stuff.

Gardeners are busy outside the window pruning the public garden at the side with brush cutters. Noisy business.

Off to the social club quarterly meeting. Not a lot of people attending, and the meeting business was over soon. They called for the new Carlton Theatre Group to explain how they were formed. Question about money (co-signed by management).

I stuck around at the bar chatting with Bob, Barbara, Geoff and Margaret.


W3C embrace of DRM is a mistake that will bite users now and forever.

Facepalm! @whump: At a conference in San Diego, someone is arguing that evangelizing God will be a reason for interstellar travel.

RT @LaurieBLondon: If you require me to sign in to your site via my Facebook account just to read your content, seeya. Won't come back.

RT @sternbergh: Million-dollar idea: KICKSTOPPER. People chip in money to stop something from happening. … clearly a winner. Stop spam?

Have bought a shit load of overseas gadgets prior to the Australian dollar crashing to 95 cents. 15% in my pocket is better than in theirs.

RT @danilic: If they privatised the ABC the first people to go would be B1 & B2…. Have you seen the price of Bananas. Huh? $1.95 a kg?

Printer jams mission? @KristineRusch: NASA asks: Could 3-D-printed food fuel a mission to Mars? via @washingtonpost

Victorian brown coal CO2 emissions to reduce in 2016 when #Ford closes manufacturing.

Housing prices set to plunge in Geelong in 2016 when #Ford closes.

First step in selling airwaves for mobile phones. @the_howie: All programming would be replaced with cooking shows. #InAPrivatisedABC

Too cool not to order. @stevewoz: Excited! I ordered my first medical tricorder @Scanadu Scout on

I do not want to get rid of ABC for their politics. I want to sell their frequencies for mobile data. Same with commercial TV. Useful then.

Home Computers Do Nothing for Schoolkids?

Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement among Schoolchildren by Robert W. Fairlie and Jonathan Robinson. A large field experiment in randomly providing free home computers to students. Although computer ownership and use increased substantially, we find no effects on any educational outcomes, including grades, test scores, credits earned, attendance and disciplinary actions.

Bird Flu

It seems H7N9 avian influenza virus which emerged in February is also spread by an unknown host animal. So costly shutting down of live poultry markets may not be sufficient to stop it spreading in wild populations of birds. Tests in ferrets (which react similar to humans) show airborne infection is possible, but not as frequent as contact contagion.

Some day having such large populations of food animals co-located with large human populations will produce a airborne version. If contagion occurs before symptoms (as is likely), the spread could well be catastrophic.

Friday 24 May 2013


I did not sleep well. Got up at three, for lack of a better idea. It is chilly here this morning. I do not really like the climate in Townsville.

Weight was now 70.8 kilograms, despite empty calories at the bar. Since I can get a rack of lamb for lunch today, I expect it to be higher tomorrow.

Started laundry at 6:12 a.m. I wonder when it will be ready? Around 7:45 a.m.

To Willows with Jean for a walk.

To the restaurant with Jean, where we sat isolated at our own table and had a rack of lamb each. Seems very popular. I wandered off a few times and chatted with Dot and with Ray. Chatted with Holger and Lexi. Chatted with Wally and Dorothy. Chatted with Jerry when he came in. Fly got in my wine, not drinking much.

To the restaurant with Jean coming along for a walk. It has been several weeks since I attended the social club Friday sessions, and I wanted to put in one appearance before disappearing again. The attendance seemed somewhat restrained. Dave had brought a bottle of Pepperjack shiraz for me. So I got to drink a rather nice shiraz at a rather high price. It was good. I won a $20 IGA shopping card in one of the raffles. That was nice, although not why I buy tickets.


If Australian car manufacturers can not make a car suited to Australia, who can? No tariffs, no luxury car tax. Build them right. #Ford

Google Hangouts chat replacement for Talk stores messages, is not interoperable. Useless to me.

USA Politicians shakedown Apple, for ignoring them.

Ban driverless cars. They put honest taxi drivers out of work.

Ban driverless cars. No place for traffic cops when all cars obey the road rules.

Ban driverless cars. Driving instructors need jobs.

Ban driverless cars. They displace low use bus services.

Ban driverless cars. A few hire cars are replacing regular car sales.

Stop dumping my tax dollars on obsolete car manufacturers. Let the car industry crash. Remove all tariffs. Let me choose the car I want.

FT is behind a paywall. Fuck them. @TheIoT: Cyber crime: Thinking fridges raise threat level - FT #IoT

If driverless is safer why does it need a driver? @strangedave: someone with a valid drivers license is in the driverless car.

In a world of driverless cars, why does any mere human require a driver’s licence?

Just snarking. I would actually love to be in a world of driverless cars. @strangedave: Caught between buying second car, or using bus.

Jean needs car in Townsville. @strangedave I do not need car in Airlie Beach (all walkable). But little transport between. Dilemma.

I like silly solutions. @strangedave: @ericlindsay you raised a silly problem - I provided a silly solution. What, that want the point?

Jean is wearing new slippers on the wrong feet. She has a logical reason for this. I do not want to be here.

Energy Demand

A clear unforcast drop in electricity demand, and thus greenhouse gas emissions, on the Australian East Coast grid. However the 7.4% fall from 2011-2012 seems to be partly due to reduction in manufacturing. The Kurri Kurri aluminium plant in the Hunter Valley dropped 2500 GWh per year when it closed, and that all came out of black coal power. Plus a longer term consumer response to a doubling in price over the past five or six years. A very small part of that consumer price rise was the Carbon Tax.

Fossil fuel use is reducing. A few years ago it was over 90%. Last year around 86%. However most of the renewable energy replacing it came from the Snowy Mountains and Tasmanian hydro plants, which had full dams. Indeed, a couple of brown coal power plants were out of action for months due to flooding. If you go back 30 or 40 years, the Snowy Mountains scheme produced something like 20% of Australian electricity.

Saturday 25 May 2013


I was up before four. This was not a good thing. It is cold now here in Townsville. It was so cold I had to find some fleecy cotton track pants and top. The outside says it is 14°C. Inside it is only just 20°C.

Weight is now down to 70.7 kilograms. This is finally enough to get to the 25.0 mark for Body Mass Index. After a lamb roast for lunch yesterday, I expected to be heavier.

Jean and I took a walk around Carlyle Gardens, plus a little extra to bring us to 2.5 kilometres. It was cool even at eight, thanks to the southerly wind. Jean says a classic high is over South Australia, bringing cold winds across the east of Australia.

We discovered that the Easy Meals were close to the Best Before date. So we each had one of them. Had a glass of wine at lunch with mine. Leftover Easy Meal for dinner. I suspect we will eat our way through several of them this weekend. I need to do the same at Airlie Beach.


I wasted a half hour in the garden in the morning, planting rocks. Mostly putting some nicely marked larger rocks out the front, behind the plants Laurie brought us. I can pretend having only a few plants is my intention. I also moved some smaller rocks to help hide one of the three pots of tall spiky Mother in Laws Tongue plants. I have way more success with minerals than with plants. We don't talk about animals, in case the wallabies invade.

Another quarter hour in the garden in the afternoon got stones hiding the remaining two Mother in Laws Tongue pots. At least, hiding them from view from the front of the garden. Later moved and extra three largish rocks and planted them towards the front of the garden. Looks like it was planned, for small values of plan. Not doing my back much good.


Hiding the profits of Australia’s big companies in tax havens.

Is a Tesla electric the best car ever built? It is not enough to be a good electric car. Cars all need to be better.

Bottle Deposit Scheme Not Easy

I see the Greenpeace advertisement that targets CocaCola for not doing more about recycling containers. The Northern territory government tried a recycling scheme. Coke won in court against recycling. It also seems Coke managed to buy top advertising spot on Google. Buying AdWords of a competitor's name is legal in Australia, since a recent court ruling. Coke say they support recycling but Container Deposit Schemes – Not as Simple as They Sound

Coke make a good case for container deposits hurting recycling revenue. However the major problem I see is that many people are thoughtless slobs, and simply throw away their containers. I have plenty of photos of filling a bag with discarded containers in the course of a walk through resort grounds. As long as people are slobs, you need more than recycling bins. You need deposit legislation. Or you might try actually enforcing littering fines.

The key point for an individual seeing this is what do you think is fair? I do not think Coke is being fair here. Not that Greenpeace is ever fair in their emotive advertising. I remember their attacks on Apple, mostly as a means of gaining publicity.

What do you do about this, as an individual? The three solutions I use are clean up other people's rubbish, and a boycott on both. I do not contribute to Greenpeace. I no longer buy CocaCola.

However not buying Coke was mostly driven because I want to lose weight. Coke has calories (and I can not stand any of the artificial sweeteners). Everyone loses.

Sunday 26 May 2013


I slept until late. Not impressed by the very low temperatures in Townsville now we have clear skies. Overnight low of 11°C. Up around six.

Weight is still 70.7 kilograms.

A couple of eggs each, on a single slice of lightly buttered toast. With orange juice. Our treat for the day.

Jean and I took a morning walk around Carlyle Gardens. With the little extension that was a bit over two kilometres. We took another walk over much the same streets late in the afternoon.

Had another Easy Meal with rice for lunch. Enough left over in the fridge for tomorrow, I believe.

Worked on ANZAPA format during the day. I was sort of hoping for 12 pages, but managed only 10 pages. All collated, so I will need to get it ready to mail. That number will have to do.

Jean completed another shirt for me. This time it is the orca pattern material. She says she is avoiding doing ther things.

Went out to kill off some more of the Asian kitchen geckos with Crawly Cruncher when they started chittering. Way too many end up at our house, as the last in a row of houses. However I have killed so many that some of the native skinks and lizards are turning up in the garden.


Make cameras with decent viewfinders? @EricHazard: The national nightmare that is tourists taking photos with an iPad must come to an end.

Gave up newspapers for the Election. @Aerohaveno: You may gather I’ve just looked in the Melbourne & Sydney Sunday papers’ iPad apps.

Sugar, it's a natural. Now even cockroaches have to avoid eating sugar.

7 Minute Exercise Plan

A link to a popular article on the Seven Minute Workout in the New York Times. Here is the original paper on high intensity seven minute workout using body weight with all references. Here is the 7 minute workout web app to automate your exercise so your computer displays the exercise and times you doing it.

Reducing Stock Control Units

A classic way to reduce waste in production and retail is to reduce the range of stock control units you handle. I reckon it also reduces your sales of other items.

Example. Old El Paso Spicy Bean Dip is no longer sold by Coles or Woolworths (for a while I could still find it in IGA). I used it as a nacho topping, to make use of the end meat in BBQ chickens after they had been in the fridge a few days. It was a dish I could prepare pretty easily, so I was fairly keen on it. So I reduced my consumption of corn chips (the base of my nachos), and realistically have pretty much given up buying corn chips. I no longer bought taco sauce (which I used to add some spice to my nachos). I always kept some grated cheese in the freezer for nachos. Now I don't buy grated cheese. If I knew I would be having some nachos for a day or so, and was out shopping, I might have bought an avocado, and maybe even some sour cream. Now I do not buy them either.

It is not doing the sales of these stores much good. It is however sure helping my diet.

Monday 27 May 2013


I was up very late for me, nearly 6:30 a.m. Despite it actually starting to get light already. The temperature outside was 11°C. Luckily we ha remembered to (mostly) close windows, so it was still 20°C inside. It feels cold, of course.

My weight is stubbornly slow at reducing, but is now down to 70.6 kilogram. No walk this morning. Too cold for us, and by the time we were awake, it seemed a bit late.

Holger is seeking people to become secretary of the Social Club. I fear I am away too often, even if I otherwise had time.

Ate remains of Easy Meal for lunch. It was a totally inadequate quantity of food. This diet really sucks.

Walked over to doctor with Jean (who was mailing envelopes). Wonder of wonders, there was not a giant queue of people already there. Receptionist said it was exceptional. Large quantities of painkiller injected with the smallest needle I have seen. He took a small chunk of something from my back, and put in some stitches. Handed me the specimen to look at. I told his nurse I had changed my mind, and wanted it replaced. No pain at all from the procedure. Sleeping tonight may be another matter.

Undid box with the other Kogan 27 inch monitor. Pulled the monitor out, while the anaesthetic was still working.

Had lime marmalade on two slices of toast for dinner. Inadequate. Need more. I figured I needed a bit of rum to help ease the pain from the stitches in my back. What pain? Shut up!

Still hungry. Had a glass of water. Had half a can of Coke to help the rum go down. When the Coke runs out, I will not be buying any more. This diet routine is getting very tiresome.


Sin taxes do not work. They encourage law breaking. They hurt the poor more than the rich.

No tax deduction @TheKouk: I wish people had the same passion about junk food advertising during kids shows as they do with sports betting

No tax deduction for unsocial advertising @chriskkenny: . @michael47818552 @TheKouk yep ban all the ads we don't like - … #nannystate

No tax deduction on food advertising @chriskkenny: @michael47818552 @TheKouk yep ban all the ads we don't like - … #nannystate

Too recent food replacement to be possible @IanWoolf: @ericlindsay looking for a comparison of soylent with other meal replacement drinks

The fibre optic line that feeds my TV signal died in December. Australian TV is so poor that I have not missed it.

It doesn’t work at night. @Annaleen: Instead of a flying car, you got solar power. Stop whining. Lousy design. Stop the Sun.

Really neat packaging on Philips Hue Starter Kit from Apple Store Australia. Fanciest light bulb package I have ever seen. #philipshue

Installed the lamps, and the controller, plus the app on my iPhone. No drama at all. Philips Hue lamps worked first time. #philipshue

I guess public servants will be riding around on bicycles? @RealBobKatter: All vehicles purchased by State & Fed Govt should be Aus-made …

Now that would be a handy tax! @TheKouk: Australia could register massive budget surpluses if we had a carping tax.

Sewers=govt. Phones=capitalism. @paulkidd: …6 billion have access to cellphones, but only 4.5 billion to toilets.


I moved the large rocks I had stockpiled. Made a fence around the Mother in Laws Tongue pot plants so that I do not see the pots from within my room. I think it looks a lot better now.

Philips Hue Starter Kit

Really neat packaging on Philips Hue Starter Kit from Apple Store Australia. Fanciest light bulb package I have ever seen. Hard to believe how well packaged they are. No wonder, given the price.

Installed Philips Hue Starter Kit. Put lamps in the floor lights I had scattered around my room. Installed the controller with an Ethernet connection to the Apple Time Capsule. Installed the Philips Hue app in my iPhone.

Absolutely no issues in the install. Without controls, the lights come on a warm white. With control from the app, you have a number of scenes. Each of the three lamps took a different hue. Very cute.

Revisions of the app allows your own scene setting. Added timer and proximity controls as well. Looking like a lot of fun. Contemplating additional bulbs.

Tuesday 28 May 2013


I was up before 5:30 a.m. Not as cold this morning. My back does not feel too bad considering. I think the doctor does good stitching. Had the last of the can of CocaCola to get myself started. Marmalade on toast for breakfast.

My weight remains at 70.6 kilograms.

A walk in Willows, then some food shopping in Coles. We could not get the Misty Mountain milk. When we finished we went to IGA at Sunland. There we were able to get Misty Mountain milk. I also bought some neenish tarts to take with me.

To lunch at the restaurant. They had a lot of lamb. lamb's fry, lamb shank, and rack of lamb. I had the rack of lamb on mashed potato. Five chops in it. I took two chops and the vegetables home, since I could not finish them. People present were pat, Ray, Dot, and a little later, Sue. At lunch, Sue identified two of the plants in my garden. Mother in Law Tongue, and Cordyline. Jeff did not manage to get away from his meeting. Pat is not looking the greatest, alas.


Been waiting since 5:30 a.m. This better be good! @mpesce: NINETY MINUTES UNTIL THE REVELATION OF NEXT BY @MooresCloud! …

Yes! Holiday by Moores Cloud @mpesce I had already priced the Light LEDs so I could build this myself! Yes, yes!

Preordered four Holiday lights by @MooresCloud This was just what I was going to build for Xmas (except done far better). @mpesce

Raise you, ordered four! @DannyDangerOz: So, just put in 2 orders for Holiday by Moorescloud. - go check it out :)

Damn! @DannyDangerOz: @ericlindsay Got me there. But I'm still prettier ;P You win.

Internet Banking

Awards can get stuffed (yet again).


At lunch I learned from Sue that the tall plants with red leaves are cordylines. Alas, there seem innumerable variations on that group. I also learnt the tall spiky plants in the pots are Mother in Law Tongues. Both these plants appear in list of plants that you can not kill.


A last minute fill in. Peter Bennett did a splendid job of filling in. The topic was computer tablets. Laurie attempted to assist by bringing along a slate tablet, to illustrate our level of knowledge of tablets.

A capacity crowd was along, with about sixty people attending. The lovely after meeting supper was attacked with gusto, with all the scones soon gone. I managed a couple of pieces of the fruit cake, which I learned came from the supermarket. It was delicious.

Wednesday 29 May 2013


I was up around 5:30 a.m. Temperatures acceptable not too cold). It must still be overcast.

My weight was up to 70.7 kilograms. Not surprising after having most of a rack of lamb for lunch. Annoying.

Had two slices of toast with heapings of lime marmalade for breakfast. The weather cleared up later, so Jean said she wanted to do laundry.

Off to the budget meeting.

Geoff asked me to install an Apple TV for him. I initially declined, as I knew I was running short on time. But I decided I could manage it instead of lunch as I headed home. Took a little while, mostly due to updates. I may need to find him better instructions.

Got laundry in around 1 p.m.

To the pub around 4:30. Jean walked over with me for exercise. Present were Ron, Ian, Jeff, Ray, and a whole bunch of the bowlers. Eddie reminded me of tickets, which I knew nothing about.

Not much for dinner. Probably a bad move.

Philips Hue

I set up the three Philips Hue lamps in the Starter Kit to respond over the internet. A test seems to indicate it works, with about a ten second lag.

A second check from a distance claims it is not connected. However after a much greater delay, all three lights come on, one at a time. Turning lights off worked as quick as a direct connection. Very strange. Seems like yet another Cloud thing that demands speed I may never have for proper operation.


I went off to the budget meeting. A very clear presentation. Several points were raised regarding assets formerly operated and paid for by Greens, which now seem to be only operating due to residents intervening. Examples were the bowling green, and the Carlton Theatre. The bus was also always expected to be self funding for repairs, maintenance and replacement.

Thursday 30 May 2013


I was awake around four. Could not get back to sleep, so I got up. Sat in the dark typing on my MacBook Air. Checked outside just before six. Too dark to see anything in the garden. Then the water sprinkler system came on. Too late after that.

Weight is still 70.7 kilograms. Proving very stubborn.

I walked over to Carlyle Square to drop off our tickets in the RSL mail box. Eddie had reminded me. I asked Jean, and she already had them ready to go. They had been overlooked.

Jean made eggs on toast for breakfast. Feeling full.

Jean dropped me at the bus terminal around 11:15 a.m.


Photographing the moon with an iPhone. Cool results.

Revolting money grab by parties. @GuardianAus: Coalition in revolt over political party funding deal #auspol

Where? @marciamarcia: In a library, writers starve. In museum you are dead. They feed animals in zoo. Choose zoo.

Bus to Airlie Beach

As Jean drove me along one of the main roads in Townsville, we could see the bus to Mackay just in front. We passed it on the dual lane. It took the same convoluted route we took all the way to the bus terminal, always in sight.

Unloading and loading the bus always takes at least ten minutes, so I had plenty of time to present my ticket and board for the 11:30 departure. Evan, the driver, announced a stop outside Bowen, instead of Bloomsbury. Given the shorter distance from Airlie Beach to Mackay, that made a lot of sense for the passengers continuing through.

Not too many delays for road construction. I did note brand new signs boasting about Federal and State funding at each construction site. We had almost 20 minutes at the usual stop outside Bowen. Still reached Airlie Beach on time.

During the trip there were incidences of light drizzle from time to time. Seems strange to have that outside the usual rainy season.

Airlie Beach

A longer walk from the new terminal, which is about 400 metres further from the centre of Airlie Beach. No great worry, provided it is not raining. I stopped at Brumbys and bought a pie for dinner.

Stopped at the optometrist to inspect glasses frames. I had a bad experience with OPSM in Willows, Townsville late last year. Wanted a replacement for my prescription sunglasses. Thought I had a pair selected. However when I returned, they said they could not use that set of wrap around frames for prescription lenses. I did (finally) find a pair of computer glasses frames (most were too small). However later use showed the nose piece was corroding so badly I end up with a green smear on my nose. Useless bunch. So this time I intend to use a local who has been here for years.

Collected several weeks of the Whitsunday Times newspapers.

Whitsunday Terraces

I stopped at reception and chatted with Rose. Luckily no mail is getting to me here, which is how things should work. Collected accumulated mail for Jim, since I would be going by. No answer at his door when I tried to deliver it.

I had only just switched on systems like the hot water and watered the plants when Jim knocked on the door, clutching bags. He had been off at the farm for about five weeks. I gave him his mail and suggested when he was unpacked he drop in for a G&T or two, since I had the supplies on hand.

Jim complained his SMS was not working, with no messages received. He could not send SMS to me, nor did my SMS reach him. Nothing wrong with his settings, so it sounded like his provider. Later in the evening I got a Test SMS, to which I replied. Seemed like these may have worked.

I watched three episodes of ST:DS9 during the evening. Meanwhile, I read through all the accumulated copies of the Whitsunday Times. Three more shops closed in the main street. Added the few real estate prices I was interested in to my files. It looks like most plan an auction. Sorted out some of the papers I need to run through the scanner.

Friday 31 May 2013

Morning Walk

I set out before the sun was over the hill. Across the construction site that still occupies much of the main street. Then a very pleasant walk around the lagoon, along the boardwalk and Bicentennial path to Abell Point Marina. On past that to Cannonvale beach, along the new boardwalk and through the new botanic gardens which still lack some biological diversity.

Inland to the main road, Shute Harbour Road, where I continued along to Bunnings. They have the advantage of opening very early. Alas, I could not find a router fitting for my Dremel drill. Nor could I find anything else that really took my fancy. Pity about that.

Back along the main road to the shopping centre. Another market shop is closing at the smaller shopping centre. Milk, orange juice, tonic water. Chocolate biscuits were on special. I bought Chocolate Obsession ice cream, because it has disappeared in Townsville. I fitted rather more than I expected in my shopping basket, so it ended up very heavy. More expensive than I expected also.

Caught a taxi back to the Whitsunday Terraces with my copious food supplies. It turned out I had rather more of some items in the fridge already. I guess I had mostly checked the cupboards for food when making my list, and bought rather too much that was not on the list.


A final solution. @GuardianAus: Almost half of people shot dead by Australian police were mentally ill

Solar Power

My solar inverter output figures are 4405kWh in 12781 hours. The previous figures in April were E-total 4318kWh, h-total 12445 hours. This makes 87kWh power generated in 326 hours. 2.8kW per day or 267 Watts per active hour, in May. Panels are 1000 Watts nominal, and it was really cloudy through the month. Those results are lousy.

The Ergon electricity meter on 30 April 2013 showed Tariff 11 at 4558kWh purchased, Tariff 33 at 4076kWh, and the export of power from the solar panel at 1972kWh since installed. New figures for the end of May 2013 are 4732kWh purchased on Tariff 11, Tariff 33 is at 4098kWh, and solar power export is 1998kWh. Use for the month of May is 174kWh, air conditioning use is 22kWh. Solar export is 26kWh.

Power Price Rise Queensland

An increase of electricity tariffs by Queensland Competition Authority. The standard household tariff 11 will increase to 26.730 cents per kilowatt hour from 23.1 cents. Residential charges will be 50.22 cents fixed for access to tariff 11 compared to 26.2 cents currently. The effect is being projected as 22.6% increase.

Townsville City Council in north Queensland plans to raise rates and utility charges by 5.3 per cent next financial year.

Internet Speed

Internet is currently (8:55 p.m.) working slower than dial up. 10 kbps (1 KB/s). Wonderful, just wonderful. Luckily it speed up again later.

Efficient Ceiling Fans

I have heard the most efficient domestic ceiling fans are Haiku by Big Ass Fans. According to Energy Star, these Haiku fan provide Airflow Efficiency by Speed (CFM/Watt) at low speed 910, at medium speed 734, and at high speed 549. This is for a rather large fan, around 60 inches, drawing between 2 Watts and 30 Watts.

I would like these figures in cubic metres per hour. Multiply by 60 to get hours gives 54600, 44040, and 32940. Divide by about 0.0283168466 to get 1546, 1247, and 932 cubic metres per hour per Watt.

A three blade Aerotron fan is much smaller, around 1260 mm, and Aerotron is not as efficient as Big Ass Fans. On low (51 RPM) Aerotron uses 3.8 Watts, moves 2555 cubic metres per hour, and has an efficiency of 672 cubic metres per hour per Watt. On medium (103 RPM) it uses 7.5 Watts, moves 5696 cubic metres per hour, and has an efficiency of 759 cubic metres per hour per Watt. On high (158 RPM), Aerotron uses 18 Watts, moves 10331 cubic metres per hour, and has an efficiency of 574 cubic metres per hour per Watt.

Looking for quiet efficient fan.

Noted Aerotron cubic metre per hour airflow per Watt is much better than most flat blade fans. However it is about half that of the (much more expensive) Haiku from Big Ass Fans. Any comments?

I have been unable to locate any actual sound measurements of Aerotron (or Haiku). Can you point me to any SPL readings?


I tried to get some of the paperwork in order. Mainly, I went through back issues of Silicon Chip. Pulled out articles to scan. Threw the remains into the recycling.

Home and Away

AB 2, CG 29, T 0

Eric Lindsay's Blog May 2013