It’s time, again

Dieng hot springs 387B

Dieng hot springs. © PJ Croft 2016

Election, 2 July. Will I be here or in Bali? I think I’ll be here.

There’s an excellent article in The Guardian by that excellent American-Australian, (by marriage) Kristina Keneally. After coming to Australia only in 1994, she was, for a time, premier of NSW! She is outstanding.

Australian democracy truly is remarkable. Yes, we had a few far-from-perfect prime ministers in the past few years, but we survived. In fact, compared to the overwhelming majority of nations on earth, we thrived, even through the global financial crisis. The Australian political system – the Westminster system – ensured that survival. Surprise, surprise, I believe that when a group of MPs removes an unsuitable prime minister (or premier) it is not evidence that the system is broken but rather that it works as it should for the good of the nation.

And if you don’t agree with me, let’s chat next year when President Trump, an economic and foreign policy disaster elected by a fraction of the eligible voters in America, is unable to be removed from office by his disgruntled fellow Republicans in Congress.

Do you re-elect a government which is composed of climate change deniers, look after the rich taxers, harsh, cruel, torturing, child abusing, lying, war mongering, tax cheating liars, or do you vote for a party which, for all its flaws, has a long term vision to change society for the better.

Make no mistake, there is a solid faction in the Liberal Party which wants Tony Abbott, that mad monk, restored to the prime ministership. Which wants even further cuts to the ABC and SBS, despite the Lord Rabbott’s solemn promise that there would be no cuts last election. It was a lie! This is the Liberal Party way, both at Federal and state level – just make any promises the electorate wants, then forget the promises after the election. Abbott did it, Barnett did it. You cannot believe anything either of them says.

Ah, I’m wasting my breath. Vote Labor, or if you can’t, vote Greens.


I’m packing for Wednesday. I added another 10kg to my baggage allowance yesterday, making 40kg. It cost $46 for that extra 10kg. I’m taking two suitcases, one to leave at the villa in Pemaron, the other to travel back and forth with. It’s lucky, because I have a lot of stuff! It’s not clothes so much as medical stuff, two months worth of medications in their boxes, plus a load of bandages and waterproof dressings, plus moisturizing cream in its big container … plus, plus, plus. Not to mention all the electronic gear. Laptop, charger, tablet, charger, CPAP with its humidifier this time.

I usually leave the humidifier at home, but I was noticing a bit of nose pain from the dry hotel room air-con last time. In other words, I do need the humidifier, even in Bali. I have my old, fixed pressure machine here and I can use that when I return here. That will save a big amount of space and weight. About 5kg. My old machine has a humidifier too but it’s huge.


A friend came here last Wednesday and took me to lunch at the Dome. Very nice of him. He had an ulterior motive – he was dying to show me his drone. It’s DJI Phantom, I think, and wow, what a machine. At one stage he took it up to about 30m altitude and did a pan around the suburb. I could see my house, of course, and a whole lot more besides. Very impressive – you wouldn’t need to hire a helicopter for a production these days. But I wasn’t tempted. I can’t think why I would want one.

However, he also had a device which did tempt me. It’s a DJI OSMO


It’s a gimbal mounted hand held video camera, which shoots 4K (4096 x 2048) Ultra Hi-Def, completely image stabilised by virtue of the mechanical gimbal mounting, and further stabilised in the software, I think. The resulting video is rock solid stable and pin sharp. I wish I could show you, but I can’t upload 4K I’m afraid.

It also has a button to take stills, which are the output of the 12Mpixel sensor, so are pretty darn good too.

I had to buy it! Why do I want it? Shooting video from a vehicle, holding it outside rather than trying to shoot through the windscreen with all its reflections. Shooting video of ceremonies in Bali. And of gamelan orchestras. I have a Sony stereo microphone which plugs into the fro0nt of this device. I’ve had it for years and never actually used it, until now. Shooting hand-held while just walking around, through markets, on the streets, capturing the life. I think I’ll enjoy using it because although it’s very solidly made, it’s not that big and will fit in my camera bag. Therefore I’ll carry it with me, ready for use.

One drawback is that the battery only lasts for 20 mins, so you really need a spare battery. But it only takes 1 hr to charge. I don’t think I’ll buy a spare yet, I’ll see how I go on this trip first. I’ve just looked up the price – $55, not too expensive. Maybe I’d better buy one.

But it uses your yuppie phone as the viewfinder and controller, and I’m having trouble connecting to the app. Must try harder.