Just for interest

Today, 21 June, is the winter equinox, the shortest day of the year. Maybe tomorrow, but anyway.
I did a series of photos spaced exactly 2 mins apart from 4.46 to 5.46pm, 69 shots. No effort on my part – camera on tripod, intervalometer set for 2 mins, GO. The result is above.
I think this has been a complete waste of my time. Blogger is so bug ridden that I can see already there are major faults.
Yes, it is a disaster. This Google Blogger is so full of bugs that every post is a battle. The video above is 6.08MB in size. That’s 48.64Mbits. I have a roughly, 4Mb/s connection, so it should have uploaded in 12 seconds, yet it took nearly 10 minutes and it’s full of errors. Nearly every image I post takes 3, 4, 5 upload tries to get an undamaged example to post. It takes ages.

To keep uploading this is going to take me hours and will be a waste of time.  For comparison, I downloaded a 10.8MB video file from another source this morning and it took roughly 11.9secs! I was amazed and pleased.

So much for that experiment. It’s a bit interesting anyway.

Hmmm

Space timelapse   Credit NASA
Interesting day today.
As I drove to Karrinyup, I was stopped at the lights behind one of these:
Mercedes SL350 Coupe
That’s the rear view I saw. It oozes power and money. It’s much bigger than your piddly little CLKs.
On the seat beside me, I had two letters I’d just received: one from Kidney Health and the other from World Vision.
I was sorely tempted to get out and knock on the window of that Merc in front of me and ask if they’d take these letters and donate.  The price of that car, new, is $242,780.  Even a 4yo used one costs more than $150,000.
That kind of money given to World Vision would keep a hundred villages out of poverty for a decade, I would guess. Yet here, it’s a plaything, a status symbol, an executive’s reward, the payoff for a share deal or something. 
I’m sure they donate, but on the table beside me I’ve got a newspaper cutting: Too few participate in philanthropyResource-rich West Australians “are not spreading [their] effort enough.” The average annual donation in WA is $303, 40% lower than the national average.
No point me saying any more.
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As I drove, I was having a little trouble holding the steering wheel. My right hand has become cracked and painful with little cuts. They’re not injuries, they are just severe dry skin opening up. As I went on and into the mall, pushing a trolley, I found it’s even oozing a little (there’s that word again). Yet it’s only the right hand. Why?
No smutty jokes please. I realised this morning that it’s the hand I’ve been using to rub Aveeno Skin Lotion into my legs, which are doing the same. The lotion seems to have only minimal effect in easing the itching, yet my hand is suffering. I wonder if the lotion is causing some of the problem with my legs!
I’ve switched to Australian Lanolin and Lemon Tea Tree creams instead. At $1.98 per tube, versus $8.95 or so for the Aveeno …
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Coincidences again. I was in BigW and heard an ad on the store radio: “Are you not tall enough to reach some of your cupboards …” or something.
At that very instant, an amazingly tall African woman strode past me. She must have been well over 2m tall and played basketball for the Nigerian Globetrotters, I’m sure. Coincidence again!
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Oh, you stupid Aussie shopkeepers. I was in Dick Smith and asking about Samsung Galaxy tablets because I’d just seen the Galaxy Note and it sparked an interest.
Yes, we stock them said the girl, and led me to a locked glass cabinet. There it was in a box, but she made no move to show me. Er, can I look? I said. She unlocked the cabinet, got the box out, opened it with some difficulty and let me look inside for about 1 second then closed it again. Er, am I allowed to get a better look? No, we aren’t supposed to open the box because once we do, we can’t sell it as new.
OK, girl, you’ve lost that sale! I didn’t say it, but that was that. I wandered off, still curious and another guy came over, very cursorily said, need some help? I said, er, I was wanting to look a the Galaxy Note but it seems I can’t. Sorry sir, and he walked off!!
Then, still wanting to look around (this is the new Karrinyup Dick Smith – first time for me) I started looking at a bargain box marked From $2.  It had lots of Verbatim DVD-R/DL in boxes of 4. Wow, are these $2 each? I started to load up.
But not one of them had a price marked. What does from $2 mean? I looked around for help but no employees were to be seen, except that useless guy and he was busy. Just then a loud beep alarm went off in the shop. I stood there for a minute or two, trying to get help, getting frustrated by this annoying alarm, but it went on and on. No-one was cancelling it.
After a while I threw the disc box down and walked out. Yet another no-sale. Probably won’t go back either. I will look on-line instead. It’s hopeless.
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Poor Minnie. As I was going out this morning I thought, uh oh, did you fart, Minnie? She usually never does, it’s not a problem, but I could smell it.
An hour ago I could still smell it and went looking. Oh dear, she has pooed in the spare bedroom and passage. No problem, it’s bare concrete, easily cleaned up.
Dogs NEVER poo in their own nest. It hasn’t happened since she was a puppy. But now I realise —-  last night in that cold, wet, winter evening, about 9:30pm she wanted to go out. I tried to get her to go out the front door if she must, but no way. I got so mad I shouted at her. Eventually she turned and went back to her bed inside.
After I went to bed at 10pm or so, I heard her moving around in the passage and called to her to join me in the bedroom, but as always, she wouldn’t. Now I know why she wanted to go outside and why she was moving in the passage. She couldn’t hold on any longer.
Holy Dawg, I don’t deserve this dog. I am mortified. Serve me right.

Rotten to the core

They’re everywhere!   Credit NASA

 Apple (the computer company) has been fined more than $2.5 million for making misleading claims about 4G compatibility of the iPad 4 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-21/apple-fined-over-ipad-4g-claim/4083874

They knew it was wrong: the iPad 4G function/connection does not and cannot work in Australia, but they went ahead and publicised it anyway. They knew they were doing wrong, they just didn’t care.
They also get their iPad, iPhones and other Apple products made at Foxconn in Shenzen, China, where working conditions are so horrible (eg employees must stand, are not allowed to sit on stools while working) that workers are committing suicide from the stress.
I have one Apple product (iPod Touch, bought 2 years ago) but I refuse to buy any other Apple product.
In the same item, internet firm (ISP) TPG Australia has also been fined $2 million for continuing, over a long period, to push a low priced deal which they could not provide to lure customers. Despite legal warnings, they knowingly continued to make false advertising claims, misleading customers into signing up for more expensive plans.
So we’ve reached this stage: companies will defy the law if they think they can get away with it.
A certain big newspaper proprietor has allegedly been caught out allegedly perjuring himself in the Leveson Inquiry in London. On oath, he has allegedly made claims about phone calls to the British PM of the time which the PM’s office has denied took place and can prove it. It has also been shown that this ex Aussie pushed Tony Blair to take a stronger role along with George W. Bush in the Iraq war. (The Guardian – I urge you to support this paper.)
A newspaper owner, pressing for greater war efforts! Men were laying down their lives in Iraq, but the ex Aussie wanted more aggression! More men to die, because he thought so. Unelected, not in any government, not even a Brit, but inserting himself into British political decision making!
He has yesterday, made a bid to gain even greater control of media in Australia. Having 70% of newspapers was not enough! He’ll win, too. And Gina Rinehart is not buying into Fairfax just to make money – she is doing it so that the papers will push her anti-government, anti-resource tax, anti-carbon dioxide emission tax views. She’ll win too. That amount of wealth, $30 billion is unstoppable. This is frightening.

I no longer buy Murdoch newspapers nor read any Murdoch web content. This man is not good news. Nor will I read any Fairfax news from now on.

(The bugs in this Blogger software are unbelievable. The font size has just reduced for no reason. I waste so much time correcting bug induced errors! They are bizarre – random shifts and changes that sometimes can’t be fixed. Oh, I see, it has reverted to Arial without any command from me. Shaaaat!)

It’s RAW!

 
Brrrrr!  It was 3degC this morning and it’s not even real winter yet. August is the worst month.
This was the backyard this morning. I took it just to show how different the light is from yesterday afternoon, but notice how contrasty it is? Our eyes cope with this but ordinary photos can’t deal with such a range. This is the jpeg image straight out of the camera, ie as the camera processed the sensor data.
This is exactly the same shot, taken at the same instant, but this time I used the RAW file from the camera and made adjustments in Photoshop. It looks a little flat in this form, actually, but you get the point. RAW is good. RAW saves information for later fixing. Use it if your camera is capable of it. If you care about good photos for the future.

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See that bare tree in front of the shed, btw? In about 7 weeks’ time, it will be a mass of white. It’s an almond tree and it bursts into flower about a week into August every year. Very nice. I’ll post a comparison photo, and if possible (weather permitting), do a time-lapse movie of it.

It will also be humming with bees, come for the flowers. I felt very bad about a news item yesterday. You may know that bees are dying out all over the world from the Varroa virus – extremely dangerous because we depend on bees for pollination.

Except in Australia. This country, so far, is free of the virus. Phew. We may be the last island with disease free bees and that has huge implications for the future.

But someone in Newcastle in NSW got into a farm and sprayed insecticide over about 150 beehives, killing millions of bees. It caused about $150,000 worth of loss, but more importantly, it wiped out an entire colony of bees. The beekeeper said it will take him at least two years to recover, and the bees used to move to Mildura during the almond blossom season in August. They can’t do that now, so we don’t know what the effect will bee (sic).

Sick is right. What kind of person would do this? It’s not the first time. Someone in Qld has been doing something similar to vege crops, spraying entire crops with pesticide or some poison. These aren’t normal humans; they’re not animals either, they are sub-human.

This madman must be found and stopped. They don’t know who did it yet, but I think he should be put into a room of bees and left to his fate. This is almost worse than murder.

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Minnie slept inside last night and even now (11:30am) is inside in the warm. Quite unusual.