Dear Senator Abetz, about that job …

At the request of Get Up! I’ve sent in my job application, one of the 40 per month that Senator Abetz requires. I’m working on the other 39 distinct applications, but I can tell you now, all of them will be to his office.


Dear Senator Abetz,

I wish to apply for employment in your office as a Policy Advisor. I believe I could bring a wealth of experience to the position, and with a lifetime’s life experience and a tonne of common sense, I believe I could do at least as well, and probably better, than your current staff. Let’s face it, I’m way overqualified.

I’m 67 but I’m willing to lie about my age. I’m in poor health but that won’t matter to you, will it? After all, you won’t care.

I was an electronics technician all my life so I’m very used to dealing with complex ideas. That will almost certainly make me overqualified for a job with you as you only deal in simplistic concepts However, I’ll try to reduce myself to your level. I’ll never get down there, but I’m a trier.

I’m willing to work for low pay since you believe everyone below your position should work for next to nothing. I’ll buy that. Actually, I won’t be able to afford to, but I’ll throw myself on your mercy. Heh heh.

I’ll await your immediate reply. After all, you do very little, so you will have plenty of time to treat my application very, very seriously.

Yours in eager anticipation,
Peter Croft
Butler, WA


When will it end?

As I was saying, uuurrrrggh. Not many posts lately. This is the third week of one of the most persistent colds I’ve ever had. It’s not flu, just chest gurgling congestion. It’s very slowly improving but I woke at 3am last night and didn’t sleep again, having a coughing fit every five minutes or so. Tired now.


I was forced to do a fast track book composition as I mentioned, and I sent it off for printing on Monday.


Title page © PJ Croft 2014


This is the format I used this time, due to the rush job. I think it’s quite effective. © PJ Croft 2014

But I’ve realised I forgot to put my name to it as the author. I’ll have to print my name on a separate sheet, cut it out and glue it onto the cover.


I’ve had my car in being serviced this morning. Since I only do it once a year and it uses absolutely no oil in between, at $350 I can’t complain.

But I’ve been noticing hints of misfiring for some time. Since it’s still on the original plugs, again I can’t complain, but you can’t just change the plugs like the old days. To do the front three is not a problem, but the rear three are underneath the exhaust (or inlet?) manifold, which has to be removed to get access. Big cost. And they tell me the rocker cover gaskets have to be replaced at the same time, and the plug leads replaced.

The spark plugs are $32 each x 6 = $186. The plug leads are $154. The gaskets are about $35 each, plus labour for all this, it will amount to near $800! Just to change the spark plugs!

I’ve said no, forget it for now. This is a 13yo car and I’ve been told it’s probably only worth $500 or so. It’s not worth doing. It’s running beautifully apart from little hesitations sometimes. It’ll have to wait until it really goes wrong.


What kind of fool would I be, then, to buy a 2003 Porsche Boxster? There was one advertised in Perth recently at a price just within my reach. But if I can’t afford the servicing on my Magna, I think I’d choke on Porsche service prices. Nice thought, but no.


I had breakfast in a cafe this morning while waiting for my car. The scrambled eggs were served on two small pieces of toast, but they weren’t buttered. This seems to be the norm these days, but I was annoyed. The coffee was insipid.

When I went to pay, I stood at the till with my wallet out and said, “Mine was the scrambled eggs and coffee.”  The guy looked blankly at me and mumbled something. I asked him to repeat. He said, “You want to pay?”

Er no mate, I always stand like this for no good reason. I said yes, and he said, “Where were you sitting?” Bloody hell, he’d been serving me! At 9.30am it wasn’t busy. It was only a couple of tables away. I showed him where and it seemed to get through this time. But all in all, I came away from there with a bad feeling and no desire to return.


I thought I’d found my next cruise, but I’ve just received the revised fare with single supplement. It bumps it from $3099 to $4999. It’s out of the question, I’m afraid, at that price. Pity, it’s a really fascinating Asian itinerary.


What on Earth is going on with this WordPress rubbish??? I compose a page as above, but I can’t find a way to post it. Or rather, if I don’t preview it, I can post it, but if I preview it, the option to post disappears! At this moment, I’ve tried everything including Publish Immediately, but nothing happens. I can’t even go to Dashboard to check its status. Beep beep POOP!

PS: well, something worked to get it on-line here, but I have no idea how I published.  I’d get onto them to point out these bugs, but I can’t see a way to do that either. Weird.

This is what the next book is about

Every time I look at my image browser program of my Japan trip, I’m bowled over. Like this:

Contact SheetContact Sheet2These are just random samples of the 350+ images from that Japan trip. That trip was remarkable and though it sounds boastful, I was hot! This is good travel photography. I want to show it because it gives me endless pleasure to look at it.

The dreaded lurgy …


Read the fine print! See item below. © PJ Croft 1992, 2014

Uuuurrrrrgh. A mild cold last week turned into a bad one this week. Not flu. No aches and pains, no bad fever, although a little feverish at times. Just coughs, congestion and confusion. And bed. Actually, the congestion was so bad last night that I had to sleep sitting up. It worked a treat. I awoke about 6am feeling clear enough to lie flat again for another couple of hours.

But today I feel so droopy, so lacking in energy … I deliberately went to Clarkson for lunch and supermarket but wow, it was hard to stay on my feet. Lucky they provide armchairs.


I’ve spoken before about my precognition, and yet another instance has shown itself.

For the past two days the name Litvinenko has been rolling around in my mind. I know who he is – it’s a familiar name, but why now? The name has been constantly in my head.

Bazinga! In the news today, Alexandr Litvinenko’s widow is to seek compensation for her husband’s death. He was a Russian in London targeted by the KGB and poisoned with Polonium, a radioactive substance. There was no cure. He died an agonising death. Nice KGB. Nice Russia.


I’m pretty upset with Photobook Australia. I’ve been using their software since 2009 to get printed books of my images, as you know. I’ve done six books so far, and I planned to do at least three more. To that end, I’ve bought pre-paid vouchers as the specials come up. I had two waiting for me to do my next book.

Yesterday I got an email from them saying my vouchers expire in 24 hours! These cost $45 each, $90.

I sent off an angry email because I thought they had a three year validity. It seems the rules had changed and I hadn’t read the fine print.

They’ve given me a three week extension, in view of the past business I’ve done with them. So now I’m embarked on a fast book composition project. All the previous books I’ve done have been three months, at least. Constant checking, constant refining, constant, improvements.

But I’m going to tell them, this will cost you my business. You can’t take my money, then confiscate it without providing a product or service! Your software is crude and clunky, it has bugs, there’s no page numbering … the only reason I’ve continued to use Photobook is because it does dropped shadows, which I really want.

But there are other book comp web sites, so I’ll use someone else next time.

At least my next three weeks is pretty well mapped out.


A few weeks ago I posted a couple of pics of Fremantle (Freo) which are a little bit historic:

Freo Streets Apr76-5This was April 1976.

Freo 6-89-10 EKT1000aThis was June 1989.

And I’ve just rediscovered this one:

Freo 1All © PJ Croft 2014

This was July 2012.  Yeah, I know, doesn’t change much does it? That’s the point, Fremantle is holding the line in not demolishing buildings just because they’re old.

I can remember what St George’s Terrace in Perth was like when it had all those magnificent old sandstone buildings. Now they’re mostly gone, replaced by glass/concrete/stainless steel boring boxes of no interest whatever.

It happened despite all thr warnings about creating a wind tunnel. What have we got? A wind tunnel. A major street in Perth which is hardly worth visiting. There’s nothing to see. The only good thing about modern architecture is that no-one will miss it or even notice that it’s gone when it comes time for demolition. It’s worthless.


I’ve often heard Muslim extremists say they are avenging the humiliation of Islam by the West.

Muslim extremists are endlessly firing rockets into Israel. Israel reacts by putting bombs into the rocket launching sites.

Could it be that if the extremists stopped firing their rockets, the Israeli bombing would stop?

Is that so hard to understand? Stop firing rockets and the bombs will stop. It seems simple enough to this Westerner. It seems to me that extremist Muslims deserve the title of World’s Most Stupid People. Humiliation? You said it.


Colin Barnett says we are getting upset, getting “grumpy” over trivial things like the loss of pensioner concessions on state charges. He doesn’t like us saying we’re grumpy.

Well, Col, I’m grumpy. Today you’ve announced the expenditure of a massive amount of public money on a new stadium which I will never use, not being a sporting person.

Yes, premier, I’m bloody grumpy.

Back from the dread

Barong dancer R59

Barong Dancer © PJ Croft 2014

I’m feeling considerably warmer and more relaxed at the moment. I’m home again after seeing a haematologist / oncologist at 1.30pm, and the news was yes, you have CLL, but low level, only one swollen lymph node, no need for any treatment, come back and see him in 6-12 months. Meanwhile, like the Alzheimers patient, just go home and fuggeddaboudit. Phew. Seven weeks I’ve been sweating a bit on that. Hey. he bulk bills! No cost to me, see you later Mr Croft. Nice. Same for the CAT scan – bulk billed, no cost. This is good.

Then off to the endocrinologist for diabetes assessment. Long, detailed chat, very nice bloke. He’s taking me off the fast acting Apidra and switching me to Byetta. This is a weight loser, thank goodness. Unfortunately, if you’re on Lantus, which is PBS, but you need Byetta as well, the Byetta is non-PBS, $140/month. If you were on Byetta without the Lantus, it would be PBS $0. Oh well.

Again, come back in three months, so no urgency. That’s good.

He measured my blood pressure – 160/45 ! That’s the lowest diastolic I’ve ever had. Strange. It went up again in the outer office – $330 for his consultation! No bulk billing here.


I was in the Joondalup parking area. What a schemozzle that place is! Overcrowded and only one pay station for the whole area. Hard to get a parking space for people who are not 100% fit and healthy – great.

Anyway, I was so preoccupied when I went out that I forgot to pay on my ticket. I drove straight to the exit, put my card in and saw a figure of $4 to pay, but there’s nowhere to pay at the exit! But the machine had my card! I couldn’t retrieve it, so I just had to back out — no-one behind me, luckily.

But what to do? I didn’t have a ticket to pay on at the machine. Dammit. I just had to drive to the exit and try to follow someone else under the boom. No luck, so I just drove forward, reached out and forced the boom up over my car and drove forward. Bang, clunk and I was through. Too bad.

I’ve complained to the hospital management in writing before about this parking, but I just got brushed off. OK, guys, I get angry.


I was napping this morning (recommend it!) and woke to a strong visual memory, which is still in my head at 6pm.

I was in a plane coming in to land at London City Airport, which is in the Docklands area, east of the city. I could see all the runways of the airport, but next to it through thin haze was a huge rail station track area with all its intricate tracks and switching between them, stretching off into the distance to the covered platforms.

Wow. It was a clear strong vision and I still have it. The airport is real, but the rail tracks are not. They’re off in other parts of London and you can’t see much because most of it is under cover. I have an urge to build a model railway like this, though.


This foul government

African SunsetAnd again: Richard Ackland in The Guardian –

“The Abbott government has taken us into a whole new territory as a result of disregarding Australian human rights obligations under international and domestic law.”

This cruel government is engaging in “refoulement”, the UN term for turning refugees back to a place where they face significant harm. It is illegal! There’s no other way to put it. It is breaking international law, and indirectly, Australian law.

From the comments –

“what can you say – apart from another despicable act from the worst government in australia’s history?”

“I can say that despicable is the nice way of putting it. Illegal, vicious, arrogant, and embarrassing are a few more adjectives.

But the fundamental problem is that when you stop regarding refugees as people and dehumanise them into statistics and when you abandon any empathy for people who have taken considerable risks to escape perceived or real dangers, you reduce yourself to a sub-human level – a level where morality is abandoned.

Richard Ackland is undoubtedly right that this refoulement is illegal but it is also completely immoral and a sign of degeneration into a barbaric state.”

What do you do when your own federal government engages in law breaking? You must get rid of this government, that’s what. By any means, fair or foul.


My new Casio watch arrived this morning (from the USA, via an Aussie web site).  What a contrast between my two current watches.

aq-190w-1avdfSkagen black watch











One, simplicity, the other complexity. I think I’ll have hours of fun trying to figure out what all the dials and buttons do on the Casio. It takes multi-mode to a new level. For $79!


I didn’t vote for this!


Michelle Grattan is one of Australia’s most respected senior journalists. She’s a long time political writer and is now a professorial fellow at the University of Canberra. Her reputation has always depended on being seen to be impartial and balanced in what she writes. I’ve been reading her and listening to her for more than 20 years.

But I’ve never heard or seen her as explicit as this:

“What is offensive about this government is not that it is pursuing tough policies, but that it is trashing accountability and is so lacking in empathy.

“The boats did need to be stopped. The budget does require fixing.

“But an empathetic government would bring some humanity to the first and greater sensitivity to the second, while a less arrogant administration would show more respect all around.”

This is an extract from her article in The Conversation This is direct, explicit criticism of this harsh, cruel government that is defying the High Court of Australia, and breaking international law. As well as defying our right to know what is going on.

I don’t think I’ve ever read such strong criticism from her. She is saying, this is a bad government. This government is defying all the laws and conventions, including our rights as citizens.

In 1975 the Malcolm Fraser led Liberal opposition thought the Whitlam Labor government was so bad that they blocked Supply and forced a new election long before it was due.

I think the same conditions apply now. This government is so bad, so harsh, so defiant of anyone else’s rights that I would strongly support the Senate blocking Supply and forcing a double dissolution and a new election.


Also in the weekend papers, this from the Australian Financial Review – that the power generation industry is laughing at PM The Rabbot BA (Boxing) Oxon. over his speech that this country needs to be long term planning to build more base load power stations, i.e. large coal or gas fired power generators.

They’re laughing at him because electricity demand is falling in this country, not rising. Large power stations are being closed down. Why? First, because of the marked increase in solar power use; second, because of the fall in manufacturing, large power hungry plants being closed; and third, because consumers are just plain using less power – energy saving CFL and LED light fittings, more efficient appliances and a general need to keep power bills down.

So much for that, Tones. Any more bright ideas?


What the hell has WordPress done to this blogging software? I was tipped into a new composition page and I hate it. I’ll have to figure out what’s going on.