Cardinal rules

08 09 10_Paris_0021

Paris. © PJ Croft 2016

Former NSW premier Kristina Keneally has written a piece in the Guardian and as usual, says it very eloquently. She’s speaking about the very critical song about Cardinal George Pell written by Tim Minchin.

“For starters, it provoked sorrow at my loss of faith in the church, an organisation that has done much good but nonetheless values its rules, assets, and male privilege above all else.

“I cried because there was little else I could do with my deep fury that neither Pell nor his mates at the Vatican appear to take seriously the need to respond fully and openly, and to reform the church, in the face of the child sexual abuse crisis.”

That first sentence is especially apt, in my opinion. The Catholic church is awash with wealth and puts it to use in gross displays of gold vestments and implements, enormous elaborate cathedrals, temples and marble statues. Jesus said we should not worship idols or build false gods. The Catholic church sets an ordinary human up as a supreme being, a saint, a false god with the power to forgive any sin, and he laps up the idolisation he receives while being kept in the lap of luxury. They have built enormous temples of gold, marble and silken tapestries, as if this is the answer to poor people’s suffering. They drive around in expensive cars. It is wrong!

Cardinal Pell is a coward. He revels in his exalted rank and all the privileges he has, but he won’t face his critics, who appear to have much to criticise. In view of how many victims of predatory priests have taken their own lives while he left the sicko priests in place, he has blood on his hands.


Labor MHR Gary Gray decides not to stand at the federal election later this year. He says he doesn’t think Labor can win, so he doesn’t want to go through another term in opposition.

What a rotten thing to say! He has undermined the party that once held him in high regard.

Mr Kennedy said for Labor to lose all three incumbents heading into the election was remarkable.

“It’s almost unprecedented that all a party’s sitting members in WA should all decide to bow out at the same time,” he said. [ABC News. Peter Kennedy, political academic and commentator.]

The losses of the best candidates from the ALP are most disappointing. So many able Labor politicians and candidates have pulled out in the past four years that you wonder whether we can recover in any reasonable time frame. Julia Gillard, Greg Combet, Melissa Parke, Nicola Roxon, Alannah MacTiernan, and many others.

I blame two people: Kevin Rudd for his utterly vile behaviour before the 2013 election, and Bill Shorten for being so lacking in leadership and charisma. If we lose the election this year, he will be to blame. I’m very disillusioned.

I will let Labor know that for the first time since I woke up to myself in my early 20s, I doubt I will be voting Labor this time. I will have to vote Greens. As long as Labor advocates the deliberate torture, child abuse and cruelty, in government sanctioned concentration camps on Christmas, Manus and Nauru Islands, they can’t have my vote. I walk away.



Shield bugs mating. © PJ Croft 2016

The Water Authority are airing a commercial called Just Take Two, urging us to take two minutes off our watering times, including showers. They’ve produced a cartoon commercial showing a guy entering his clear glass shower cubicle and proceeding to wash himself in hot water with clouds of steam.

Trouble is, he’s wearing shorts. Who has a shower wearing shorts? Crazy idea. Then the timer goes off after four minutes and he turns the water off, but he turns the tap anti-clockwise. I’ve never known a tap that closes off with an anti-clockwise action. All mine increase the flow of water in that direction. Crazy again.


Stop saying you know!!! It’s become a virus, a disease, a pandemic, a problem of the English speaking world.

People seem incapable of speaking without using ‘y’know’ several times in each sentence. These sentences can be very long, so we hear ‘y’know’ a dozen or more times. Sometimes it’s become so overused that it’s abbreviated even further to ‘y’now’ with all the letters run together. There’s no way to write the sound.

Just occasionally I hear someone who doesn’t speak this way and what a pleasure it is to listen to him or her. Listen to yourself. Do you say ‘y’know’ all the time? Work on stopping it, please.

Same for iconic. It’s got so bad that I’m not far off making an award to the first use of iconic for the day, but it won’t be a nice award. This word has become the most over-used cliche in history, I reckon. It’s laziness. There are many other words that could be used, but people, journalists mainly, are too lazy to think of another word. Stop iconic!


Let no-one accuse me of being vain. I’m going to publish a photo of myself that should never be seen in public.

My anti-virus software has an Anti Theft feature where if you enroll (no cost extra), it records the serial number of your PC, records a desktop snapshot and uses a laptop’s camera to take a photo. It stores all these remotely at the company’s headquarters. If your PC is stolen, you use another computer to press the “My Computer Has Been Stolen” button to start a trace. If it’s a thief using the computer, then his mug can be used for police action and so on.

I’ve done it for my new laptop and here’s the photo it took yesterday:

Camera screenshot

Camera screenshot

Aaaagh! Not my best side. I’m immodest to a fault, as they say. No-one could make a mistaken identification – they’d die of embarrassment to say that was them. 😉


You’ve probably noticed I’ve been using more images in my posts recently. It’s because I’ve realised that my browser, ACDSee Ultimate v9 has an Export menu item which allows me to batch process any image to make it suitable for the web in a one-click action.

AC racing Dec86 Pastels_1

Americas Cup 1986. © PJ Croft 2016

The automated steps available are:

  1. Where to place the resulting image (e.g. desktop);
  2. New file name (if desired) using a naming template;
  3. File format (jpg or 10 other choices);
  4. Pixel format (b/w or colour);
  5. Colour space conversion (sRGB or Adobe RGB or two others);
  6. Output resizing, down or up;
  7. Preserve metadata or not (the camera’s data about when the shot was made, etc.);
  8. Processing (running preset actions for colour correction etc.)

All these steps are set up once, then saved as a named set. You can have multiple named sets for different applications.

Then, each time I want to use a photo for this blog, now I just make basic adjustments of colour, exposure, cropping and rotation, then click on Export and click Go. The resulting image is instantly on my desktop, ready to be imported into WordPress for this blog. It’s so much faster than before, and the colour space conversion means the images look the same on the blog as I saw in the browser. At last. It’s taken me too long to wake up to this functionality.



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