New Vangelis CD – see below.

Goodness gwacious, I think I’ve finished. Finished scanning CDs, that is. I can’t find any that I haven’t scanned. I feel withdrawal symptoms. I’ve become addicted.

It’s a great feeling of achievement. Silly, I know, but I’ve created a massive archive of around 900 high quality music files that I can take with me anywhere, unlike the discs themselves which, although portable in theory, really weren’t. Now I can take a couple of USB thumb drives and pick any CD at any time, anywhere, in the car, on a plane, in bed.

Have a look (Music CDs means non-classical):



and so on, another five pages of these. And then the classical ones:



Again, another five pages. This is fantastic, because for once I can see at a glance what I’ve got and select it instantly. The next step is to connect a USB drive to my TV (so I can see the folders and labels) and play it through my hi-fi system. I can have more than one copy, of course, so I can have one in the car, too. Good stuff.


I wish I could listen again to ABC radio from yesterday afternoon (Tues 29th) where a journalist, Brett Christian, mentioned a talk he’d heard from Dr Brendon Nelson about this post-Trump election period. (That’s a long, contorted sentence, sorry.)

Dr Nelson is a medical doctor, former MP and leader of the Liberal Party, former ambassador to the European Union and a few other high level posts. He was talking about what’s likely to happen under President Trump, and as Brett Christian put it, there was a gasp from his audience at the predictions he made. They were dark.

Dr Nelson says we should realise that, along with Brexit Britain, where the ultra right-wingers are gaining power, and the huge right wing anti-immigrant movement in Europe, the move by Hungary and Poland back to hard right politics, and many other bad signs (which I will list), we are in a new geo-political era of change such as we haven’t seen since the end of the 19th century. And it’s not a good era. He sees very dark times ahead, and so do I. If Marine Le Pen should become president of France, that would square the circle. Strangely, Germany seems to be the one remaining bastion of fair minded policies. How ironic.

The Guardian published a piece by Oxford academic George Monbiot called The 13 Impossible Crises That Mankind Now Faces. Yes, it’s an apocalyptic title, but I think it’s appropriate. Here’s his list:

  1. Donald Trump: The next occupant of the White House will be a man who appears to possess no capacity for restraint, balance or empathy, but a bottomless capacity for revenge and vindictiveness. He has been granted a clean sweep of power,
  2. His National Security Adviser: His national security adviser, Michael T Flynn, is a dangerous extremist.
  3. The Rest Of His Team: … partly composed of professional lobbyists hired by fossil fuel, tobacco, chemical and finance companies and assorted billionaires. Their primary political effort is to avoid regulation and taxation.
  4. The Transatlantic Backdrop: … Britain’s attempts to disentangle itself from the European Union are confronted with a level of complexity that may be insuperable.
  5. Eurozone Risks: The Italian banking crisis looks big.  [A report today says that the economist who predicted the 2008 crisis in 2005 now says that the risks for a new crisis are higher than they were then. One mistake and the world crashes again. Add in the Italian banking crisis and it’s midnight.]
  6. The Global Risks: … If such a thing were to occur, governments would not be able to mount a rescue plan of the kind they used in 2007-8. The coffers are empty.
  7. Job Eating Automation: Automation will destroy jobs on an unprecedented scale, and because the penetration of information technology into every part of the economy is not a passing phase but an escalating trend, it is hard to see how this employment will be replaced.
  8. If Marine Le Pen wins: [Coupled with several potential Eastern European crises] it could catalyse a chain reaction. I believe that when this begins, it will happen with a speed that will take almost everyone by surprise. From one month to the next, the EU could cease to exist.
  9. The UN Security Council Would Become: Trump [hard right]; Putin [Communist dictator]; Xi Jin Ping [Communist dictator]; Theresa May [hard right]; Marine Le Pen [hard right].  Are we scared yet?
  10. The Paris Climate Agreement Abrogated: Targets were set but even if these programmes are fully implemented (they won’t be), they set us on a climate-change trajectory way beyond that envisaged by the agreement.
  11. Migration: One of the many impacts of climate breakdown … will be the mass movement of people, to an extent that dwarfs current migration. The humanitarian, political and military implications are off the scale.
  12. We Have Just 60 Harvests Left: According to the UN food and agriculture organisation, at current rates of soil loss we have 60 years of harvests left.
  13. An Accelerating Extinction Crisis: Species are going extinct at a scale never before seen except at times of previous mass extinctions caused by asteroid impacts.

This is George Monbiot’s list, with my edits and one or two notations. A couple of the later ones seem Malthusian to me; we’ve heard these predictions before and they have not come true.

I would add some that Mr Monbiot hasn’t included:

  1. No less than David Attenborough is now warning that the world will be transformed in coming years if climate change is not just stopped but reversed. This is very, very unlikely, so strap yourself in.
  2. The Middle East is a gunpowder magazine waiting for a spark. The Economist today points out that although the Arab world contains only 5% of the world’s population, it accounts for 45% of the world’s terrorism, 68% of its battle related deaths, 47% of its internally displaced populations and 58% of the world’s refugees.
    I predict large scale war once Trump takes power. Putin will goad him and he will not be able to resist or outwit. He is a complete novice and a fool. There will be large scale conflict, leading to war.
  3. Climate related large scale events will get much worse. In this country, heat waves and bushfires will get much worse, with floods on the east coast and more intense cyclones on both sides.
    In other countries, especially around the Pacific Rim, earthquakes will increase in scale and frequency due to the reduced mass of polar ice causing the Earth’s crust to lift and change.
  4. Melting of ice caps, especially on the North Pole and Greenland, is happening much faster than even the worst case predictions. This means sea level rise that will make Elisabeth Quay into Perth’s Underwater World. The Perth Underground Railway will become a Sea World viewing tube. Recommendation: buy high ground.
  5. PS! I forgot to add: Antibiotic resistance and the danger of pandemics. The warnings are growing louder and more urgent. A new strain of bird flu (H5 virus) has been discovered in the north of China this week and mass poultry killings are underway to try to stop it.

That will do for now. I don’t want to alarm you, heh heh. I’ve become very pessimistic and I’m more frightened now than I was during the Cold War in the 1960s and 70s. I feel very sorry for young people. They’ve been handed a basket of burning coals.

One lesson for me is – don’t bother planning for the future.



Therefore I lashed out today – I bought a full priced CD, which was in fact $19.99. It’s a new Vangelis called Rosetta. I didn’t know he was still recording. It’s dated 2016 and refers to the European Rosetta mission to the comet. Haven’t listened to it yet. Too busy listening to the latest doom and gloom on the radio. 🙂



Home again


Home again, after two days and nights in the hospital. The accursed gastric band is gone. It was supposed to be a one night stay, but I developed a bit of a temperature and my blood sugar was dropping too low. I was happy to stay – the food was better than I get at home!

Considering they put me on a continuous I/V drip of dextrose and insulin, no wonder my b/s went low. One reading was 3.9 (normal range for a non-diabetic is 4-6). That’s the lowest reading I’ve ever had in 22 years. No hypo symptoms, though, strangely. Why they had to do that, rather than just letting me use my insulin pen is a mystery. One of the nurses commented that maybe they shouldn’t have done it. Yeah.

So the dreaded band is out. Seven years, $3,000 wasted. If I’d been more dedicated and learnt how to use it, I might have succeeded but 18 months of regurgitation and oesophageal reflux and burning was too much to take. It’s been loosened off for the past four years.

I asked for the band to be returned to me as I want to see it and show it around (people always ask questions about it) but they wouldn’t give it to me. “Against hospital policy. It’s not sterile.” But I own it. I paid $3,000 for it. No luck, they wouldn’t give it to me. Duh.

I wasn’t even conscious of it for the past few years, but the port in the centre of my stomach (like a big plastic button under the skin) was getting painful. It was right at table edge height, so I’m very glad that’s gone.

It was keyhole surgery, of course, so I’ve got four plastic sealing bandages over the cuts. These dissolve off in a few days.

This was preparatory to having the gastric sleeve operation, the Roux-en-Y procedure (viz. Wikipedia). To be honest, this terrifies me. But I can’t go on the way I am, morbidly obese, liable to die prematurely, diabetic, lacking energy and muscle strength, lacking testosterone, unable to wear nice clothes. I’m fed up with it.

It’s up to me to say the word for the next op, but I have to wait two months and I think I’ll wait until after my 70th birthday on 12 February. I’d like to give a small party and I’d like to eat and drink, however little, without worrying about an adverse event.


One thing I found very noticeable at the hospital – it was hard to find an Aussie voice. They all seemed to be foreign nurses and doctors. My surgeon has a Hungarian accent, I think. The anaesthetist was Indian, and most of the theatre staff seemed the same. There was one Irish nurse (mmm, lovely) but a lot of Africans and Indians.


The anaesthetic was awful. For a start, on the way to the theatre and in the ante room, I developed leg cramps in my left calf, mainly, but some in the right as well. I was sliding across onto the table but groaning and wailing with the pain at the same time. I asked the gas man if he had a muscle relaxant. He said yes, but that’s the last thing I remember.

But when I awoke back in the ward, I was scrunched up in the bed, legs pushed up against my stomach, head raised too high. I felt awful, sick, short of breath, imprisoned. I had to ask to sit on the edge of the bed and that helped, but it took half an hour, at least to feel normal again. Ugh. Not nice. I’ll have to question that for next time.


So here I am writing this at 3.30am! I slept well in the hospital – no insomnia problems. Apart from being woken every hour of two for blood pressure and blood sugar readings. But I always dropped off again very easily. This insomnia at home must be psychological, then? I dunno.

I was dog tired when I got home today and figured I’d sleep well. But again, it eludes me. I tried from 10pm to midnight, listened to the radio news, then tried from midnight to 2am with no luck. Although, I must have dropped off because I was driving a beaut Mercedes CLK or CL down a sloping dirt road and young girls were chasing after me. So I was dreaming, so I must have been asleep, but it didn’t feel like it. So up for a bit of CD ripping (I’m addicted!) and I think it’s time for another go. Nighty night.




That psychopath Peter Dutton, our dishonourable minister for immigration, has excelled himself.

Today he’s said that he thinks Malcolm Fraser made an error by allowing immigrants from Lebanon to come here in the 1980s, as there is a high prevalence of Lebanese Muslims figuring in terrorist incidents in Australia.

This is the very definition of racism: the automatic ascribing of racial characteristics to every member of a population based on a fixed view of a few examples.

He has automatically classed all Lebanese as either terrorist sympathisers or potential terrorists based on his ideas of some Lebanese immigrants. This is outrageous. Obviously, I don’t know the exact figures for terrorism suspects, but the web tells me that there were around 70,000 Lebanese-born people here in 1996 and the population now, including Australian-born descendants, is around 250,000.

But get this: 55% of them are Christians!

There’s no doubt that Lebanese men figure disproportionately in crime statistics, but to ascribe lawlessness and terrorism to all Lebanese Australians based on the actions of a minority is pure racism.

If you check Wikipedia, there’s a long list of distinguished Australians in all walks of Australian life, including one of our finest writers, David Malouf; the CEO of Australia Post; the Governor of New South Wales and many others.

How about this, Minister: many examples of organised crime executions, violent events, standover crimes, extortion, drug importation and manufacture, kidnappings, blackmail, Mafia cells and so on are carried out by Italians. You only have to look at the names. Are you going to brand the entire Italian community as deplorables, Minister? Why not?

This man Dutton is a deplorable example himself, of a racist, cruel, simple minded bastard who deserves to be in some internment camp himself. It would be interesting to dig into his background.


In a similar vein, the proprietor of Silicon Chip magazine, Australia’s only remaining electronics hobbyist magazine, writes an editorial every month. He’s well versed in electronics and electrical power, having been in the business since the 1960s.

But I emphasise business. He’s not actually qualified in electronics or electrical engineering. However, that doesn’t stop him from spouting forth, and he likes to point out all the flaws in renewable power technology, verging on outright climate change denial. He’s a supporter of Professor Ian Plimer of Adelaide University, who’s one of the very, very few scientists in Australia who argues against man made climate change.

In this month’s edition of Silicon Chip, the editor has let his prejudice run away with his pen. Editorialising on the storms in South Australia last month that caused a complete loss of power for some hours, he launches in a sneering sarcastic tone, saying it was caused by SA’s many wind power generators which, he says, on sensing strong, hurricane force winds, “feathered” their blades and shut themselves down, thus causing the loss of a large part of SA’s power supplies. In his view, the wind power generators were the cause of the power failures.

Unfortunately, the official report after the event quite categorically says that the wind generators shut down (disconnected themselves from the grid) as a result of a series of voltage and current surges caused mainly by the toppling of many of the high voltage line towers, as we all saw on the news. The wind farms didn’t cause the problems, the problems came from other causes. He was wrong, factually wrong.

If it wasn’t for the sneering tone of this guy’s editorial, I wouldn’t mention it, but he nailed his colours to the mast as a climate change sceptic extraordinaire.

I’ve emailed him calling his editorial a disgrace and saying I hold him in contempt. If he were just a man in the street, his views wouldn’t matter, but he’s in a position to influence uninformed minds. This can cause serious difficulties. It’s akin to the anti-vaccination movement: it doesn’t just affect the individual, it can affect an entire population, and the damage it causes is irreversible.

If my views on climate change prevail, it will cause the expenditure of large sums of money, but the effects, even if not fully successful, will have major benefits in cleaner air and new industries and employment opportunities. No harm will be done, indeed the results will be very beneficial.

But if the climate change denialists have their way and we don’t make the efforts, don’t spend the money, the damage will be catastrophic and irreversible. What will the denialists do? Apologise and try to fix it in 50 years’ time? Can’t be done.

The first cut is (not) the deepest


Aaaah, summer. Jindalee Beach.  © PJ Croft 2016

It won’t be the deepest, but I’m having the first cut on Tuesday. Yes, I’m finally, after years of procrastination, booked in on Tuesday to have my gastric band removed. This is preparatory to having the gastric sleeve operation done next year.

I’ve decided I have to do it. I’m suffering more from the effects of diabetes and I hate this feeling of being so overweight, so it has to be done. I’m not happy about it, but if I can just focus my mind on being able to wear normal clothes, feel better looking, get the tray table down on planes, walk easily and enjoy feeling light on my feet again (I do remember it), I calm down.

I only need to be at the hospital at 10.30am this time, instead of the 7.00am last time, so I won’t need to book at the hotel next door. That was a debacle last time in 2014. I was warned of possible complications by the anaesthetist, had a bad night worrying about the whole thing and next morning at 7.00am, fronted at the desk and said “No thanks, changed my mind.” There were lots of reasons, and I was on my own then, so it all made sense. (I wish I hadn’t cancelled, in hindsight. I’ve wasted over two years. Should’ve gone ahead then.)

But now I have a new life, so I need to be healthier. The sleeve operation fixes diabetes, that’s its main claim, and that’s super important to me. Strangely, I’m having good success at keeping my blood sugars under control at the moment, but it’s not always that way. To be able to dispense with the needles and tablets will be fantastic.

More news as it happens. I have to wait two months after the band’s removed, to let the stomach resume its normal shape, so that puts the big cut into February sometime.


Meanwhile, I head back to Bali in a few weeks’ time for Xmas and New Year. I’m being offered kangaroo in red wine for Xmas lunch in Bali, how about that? I didn’t know you could buy roo meat there. Please don’t ask me to bring some up, honey. 🙂

I’ll be on the north coast, in Lovina area. With a Great Dane for company, along with my Great Austrian.

There was an earthquake on the south coast of Bali last Thursday, she said, also felt in Lovina. I didn’t see any mention of it here.


Aaaah, a good night’s sleep last night. I’ve been having so much insomnia that I’m nervous about going to bed now. It’s very boring lying there for hours, with eyes closed, trying all the tricks to fall asleep without success. I feel OK until about 5 or 6am, then the weariness closes in and I feel awful until I can go back to the bed after some food. Strangely, then I can fall asleep. Maybe if I ate some carbohydrate type food an hour or so before bed?


Coincidence. A fellow sufferer.

On Friday I had to go to the Mount Medical Centre for my appointment at 11.30am. I’d slept badly and felt woozy and wobbly when I finally got up. My b/s was 4.9 – that’s low for me. After breakfast I felt better (carbs) but didn’t have any time to go back to bed. Train into the city, and I would normally have walked from Elizabeth Quay to the Mount, but had to bus it. Got there feeling OK, if a bit thick headed.

Then after the appointment, I decided to walk back to the station as I need the exercise. Boy, that was hard going. Low energy, right hip hurting. But I got there.

While at the specialist’s office, I had to fill out the admission forms for the hospital. Blurry hell, six pages of questions and things to be filled in. Complete medical history. It took me more than 20 minutes. At the end I commented and said, “I’ve been a patient there before, they should have all this in their files.” The receptionist said, no, it has to be done for every admission. She had a patient who needed to go in every week for about 6 weeks, and he had to fill out the forms anew every time. It’s enough to make you sick.


The ABC is running a repeat of The Politician’s Husband, a three episode political thriller they showed a few years ago. I’ve had a second chance to see the end credits.


See anything odd? I saw this first time around but didn’t grab it. Now I have. MMXXIII is not 2013, it’s 2023! Some script assistant at the production company has got this wrong. It’s on all three episodes and it was never corrected.

Maybe they should have called it The Time Traveller’s Wife. Oh, someone got there first, probably a time traveller.


I succumbed. I finished scanning (ripping) all my CDs a few days ago, and said I wouldn’t go back and redo the early ones where I wasn’t using the dBpoweramp software. Therefore I didn’t get all the track names and the image of the CD cover.

Well, I couldn’t resist. I’m addicted to this ripping, so I’ve re-scanned two boxes of the six early ones so far. It’s not hard and is just a background task while I do more important things, like writing this. 🙂

It hardly seems possible


© PJ Croft 2016

That f…’in’ idiot Lord Rabbott VD VHS UHF CD and 6 bars has said that “the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States was encouraging because the Republican – who has said that he believes global warming is a scam – would put climate change in better perspective.”

So the fact, repeat fact, that each year is hotter than the last and the Earth’s atmosphere has warmed by more than 1degC on its way to the catastrophic 2degC of the Paris Climate Change Accords is just “moral panic”, is nothing to worry about.

“He said Turnbull was finally growing into the role of prime minister, and Turnbull’s complaint about the “elite” media this week was a sign of that.”

““He appreciates that it’s one thing to appeal to a certain constituency when you are the would-be, but when you are the Man your constituency is first and foremost the party room, and secondly the people who are going to vote for the Coalition, or who you want to vote for the Coalition at the next election,” Abbott said.””

Get that? When you are PM, the most important things are first and foremost your party room, then the people who voted for you, or who you want to vote for you.

What about the whole of the Australian people, mate? You bastard.


And it’s goodnight from us.  © PJ Croft 2016



Ha! I’m just ripping the final CDs in my collection, and the current one is Bach’s Cello Suites 1 – 3 performed by Lynn Harrell. For all of the last 30 years that I’ve owned this pair of discs, I’ve assumed, and had a mental image of, Lynn Harrell as a woman. Uh uh, it’s a bloke! Sorry Lynn. Mate.

Four discs to go to the end of this massive album, making 374 classical discs, and 426 non-classical (everything else, including comedy, of which there are 9 discs). Phew! Ph-eee-ew! Most of them have small images of the cover, so I’ve just got to find a program that will present me with a display of all the cover images so that I can browse and click. I have a few contenders suggested by a friend, but they’re not exactly what I had in mind so far.

This is a serious asset. A 2TB drive with about 850 CDs, instantly browseable, all at original CD quality. I’d better guard this.  Now, what do I do with all the physical discs?


I’ve been having terrible trouble sleeping recently, as I’ve said, and even though I slept during the day yesterday, it caught up with me last night. I felt my eyelids drooping about 8pm and thought, dammit, go to bed. So I did, and lay there on top of the covers until 3am or so, it was so warm. Up for a pee, back to bed, out again, up again maybe 5am, out again, awake at 6am, radio on, and out again until 9am. That’s 13 hours!

What woke me was what I thought was the hissing of the fan in the corner. No, it was rain on the roof, heavy, steady rain. Cold 21C today after 36.4C yesterday. Crazy. Good for the garden!

Super moon

I went down to the Dome Cafe and had dinner while sitting out on their verandah, overlooking the lakes. Here’s the “Super Moon”, the closest approach since 1948:









These were shot using the Panasonic FZ70 with its 20 – 1200mm lens. This is a small sensor camera to get such a huge zoom range and the quality is not up with larger sensors, but for this kind of thing, 1200mm is very useful. The 20mm ultra wide angle is also great for interiors. This range is why I bought it. In good light, the quality is very acceptable.

The next Super Moon to come this close to Earth will be in 2034. That would make me 88, roughly. Will I make it? Will I want to make it?

It was hot yesterday! And last night. I threw the doona off and ran the fan on me for the first time of the season. I hope to start my annual cold shower routine soon, maybe 1st December. Why? I love cold showers, that’s all, and it saves me hot water bills. Although, since my HWS is a gas storage, which is heating all the time whether I use the hot water or not, I wouldn’t be saving much. I wish I knew how to turn the heating off in the summer. I don’t need it.


Does the full moon affect crime rates? Most people think it does, including cops, “just because”. Everyone knows it, right?

Well, a retired Queensland detective went through 980,000 crime records recently (ABC Radio yesterday) and found NO correlation between the moon and crime rates. In fact, if you think about it, criminals would not want to commit crimes when the moon is full. They want darkness. So no, the moon does not make people commit crimes.


Great video clip from Q&A last night. Joe Siracusa, a US security expert, said Donald Trump is “an appalling human being”, and he’s “as dumb as Ronald Reagan and as mean as Richard Nixon.” He’s so dumb he wouldn’t get employment in K-Mart. He gives him a year before he’s either impeached, or forced to resign. Hear hear. Can’t come soon enough.

But that would mean the Vice President, Mike Pence would take over. He’s a hard line, ultra right, anti-abortion Fundamentalist Christian. He’s probably smarter than Trump (crumbs, anyone is), but would we want him? Ugh!

Odds and sods


Scotland, near the Isle of Skye   © PJ Croft 2016

I bought a couple of walking sticks last week. They came with instruction manuals. No kidding 🙂


This time I really must put my name and phone number on them. I lose them sometimes by leaving them in shopping trolleys, I think.

I bought an umbrella in San Fransisco in 1988, just a cheapie. I had it about 20 minutes, I think, before I left it in a store and lost it.


I bought a couple of packets of croutons a few weeks ago. I used the first one, then got the second packet out of the cupboard. The package felt a little odd, it’s metallised plastic and it felt a lot softer than the first packet.

After I used some croutons (in my soup), I looked for the Use By date. How about 17 01 13!

The croutons seem OK and it’s no use taking them back, I have no proof of purchase. How could they have been on the shelf so long like that? Unless … unless – it’s [20]17-01-13? Must be. They smell and taste fine.



Scotland a few hours later.   © PJ Croft 2016

What crazy weather. After a week of low 20s, today is suddenly shooting up to 37degC. But tomorrow is forecast to be 20degC, with showers on Wednesday. Crazy. Must be the Trump Effect.


Aaaah. At 7.30am I’ve just done 10 full minutes on the treadmill at 3.0km/h, on the flat, admittedly, but I’ve got to start carefully. I haven’t been exercising enough, and I can feel it. I hope (not ‘hopefully’) I’ll do much better now with this treadmill. I’ll try for at least 5 minutes every hour or so. The aim is to be able to do a full 30 mins at a good speed and a moderate slope, enough that I’m sweating. I was doing this in 2008.

Strangely, my pulse went up to 110bpm at the start, then fell back to 72-80bpm after a few minutes. I think that’s good, isn’t it?

I was watching SBS and wouldn’t you know it, after the Al Jazeera tail end, the Italian News hadn’t arrived, so I had to watch 7 minutes of weather patterns. Duh.


Speaking of the Trump Effect, a lot of Americans are thinking of migrating to New Zealand. So New Zealand has a major earthquake. Message? Don’t come?


Trump is changing his mind already about promises he made during the campaign. He’s not going to build a wall on the US-Mexican border, only a fence. He lied every time he opened his mouth. How could anyone believe him? Yet they did. Why? Wishful thinking? Deranged minds, more like it.


Interesting article yesterday in a webmag called Quartz (thanks my dear), about the South African experience. After Mandela stepped down as President, they elected Thabo Mbeki as his successor. He was well qualified and quite a good man, but dull and not well connected to the electorate.

So in 2008 they replaced him as President with a popular good time guy who appealed to the electorate, Jacob Zuma. They ignored his terrible past, and now it’s come back to bite them. Zuma is incompetent, corrupt as hell and is trashing the reputation of South African black rule. There’s a lesson there for the USA, you’d think. Unfortunately, the Chump is going to cause immense damage in the next four years. It’s damage that will not be limited to the USA alone. It will affect all of us. Dog help us.

The magazine calls him “bigoted, lying, self-contradicting, autocratic, anti-science, tantrum-throwing man-child”. How nice. He doesn’t read anything, relying on his staff to summarise documents and contracts for him. He doesn’t sleep. He usually acts on the advice of the last manager he talks to, so his managers compete to be the last in line to see him. He hates meetings and can’t stick to agendas. He has difficulty understanding big ideas and almost always acts on his gut instincts. How the hell is he going to cope with all the detail of the presidency?

The nightmare has begun


From The Guardian today: “The former MI6 chief Sir John Sawers struck a cautionary tone in an interview with the BBC’s World At One. “We’re getting back into a world which is quite dangerous,” he said, raising the prospect of the US going to war with Russia or China.”


There was a comment by a US woman who had voted for Trump. She said she hoped Trump would make the world more aware of America’s nuclear missiles, and that they are ready to use them, so that we’d show more respect.

Lady, wake up, if you use nuclear missiles, you lose. It doesn’t matter whether you’re right or wrong, in a nuclear war, no-one wins, everyone loses. If brains were dynamite …


I’m sorry to be going on about Trump so much at the moment. It’s been a shock, but I’ll quieten down soon and get back to more mundane things.


The Guardian: “Trump has consistently denied 40 years of climate science – and he claims that man-made global warming is a Chinese hoax. Ditching the Paris treaty, he has said, is his number one environmental priority.”

“Withdrawal from the treaty, which was crafted over years by US diplomats, often against developing countries’ wills, would take four years to complete and would outrage world opinion. Many delegates in Marrakech privately think it more likely that a new US administration would choose to ignore it. Because the Paris treaty is voluntary, the US would face global opprobrium, but no sanctions or fines.”

“Instead of reducing US emissions by a quarter to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025, as the US has pledged, Trump would support US coal, gas and fracking and halt payments aimed to help developing countries adapt to rising sea levels and temperatures. The result would be to increase US emissions, set back attempts to hold temperatures to a 2°C rise by years and, say businesses and activists, put a brake on the world’s renewable energy industries and consign poor countries to deeper poverty.”

“Should the US leave the treaty, Solheim says that some of the biggest losers would be America’s working people. “They would lose out on all the new green jobs. It would be a huge lost opportunity for the US people. The thinking that climate is a cost is wrong. It is a business opportunity,” he said.”


Ian MacEwan, The Guardian:  “… this unique tragedy of national self-harm whereby a suspected con-man (the Trump University case, one of many, comes to trial on 28 November), this narcissistic and cynical vulgarian of limited attention span becomes the most powerful man on earth, ready by his own account to begin his assault on liberal democracy, rational discourse, civil liberties, and all manner of civil decencies, which are known to him as political correctness.”

“Trump’s poetry was misogyny, race hatred, xenophobia, petty vengefulness and reckless ignorance. On the stump there was hardly a dark human impulse that he failed to display or exploit.”

“If, by chance, Trump meant what he said (his supporters will be watching), it will be government by bonfire. He has said he will:

  • repudiate the Paris accords on climate change;
  • scrap the hard-won nuclear deal with Iran;
  • scrap various trade agreements, e.g. the Trans Pacific Partnership TPP;
  • pressure Saudi Arabia and Japan to acquire nuclear weapons;
  • undermine the mutual aid aspect of “obsolete” NATO, and so risk a Russian incursion into the Baltic states;
  • annihilate the families of terrorists;
  • begin a trade war with China by means of a discredited protectionism;
  • reinstate torture as an arm of foreign policy;
  • build a 2,000-mile wall along the Mexican border;
  • block Muslims from entering the US;
  • vastly increase military spending;
  • “lock up” his opponent, as promised at a thousand rallies;
  • go after hostile newspapers;
  • go after the women who claimed he sexually assaulted them;
  • slash taxes, especially for the super rich;
  • abolish Obama’s healthcare programme and leave 24 million people without medical cover;
  • slash government programmes for the poor and unemployed;
  • “create” 25m jobs in 10 years;
  • scrap environmental regulation;
  • re-ignite the coal industry;
  • deport illegal immigrants by the million;
  • borrow billions, and murmur about defaulting on US debt;
  • pack the supreme court with ideological conservatives as vacancies arise.

“The hope is that Trump was lying to supporters at his rallies, but if by wretched fortune he actually manages to govern as he campaigned, when he projected himself as an autocrat and misogynist, intolerant of dissent, dismissive of the limits on presidential power, keen to sanction torture, racially hostile, paranoid in his nationalism, bloated with simple answers to complex problems, then we would have to concede that the US has elevated to its highest office a fascist by any other name. At present it looks improbable. But it’s going to be terrifying.”


James Packer, billionaire Scientologist and gambling casino tycoon, was hooked up with Mariah Carey recently, until they had a big bust up (surprise, surprise).

It’s reported that she is allegedly demanding that Packer stump up $50m as an “inconvenience fee”. Hooray, I say. Good for her.

“As anyone in their life who has ever moved  knows, $50m is small potatoes for the inconvenience involved.”


I’ve nearly finished ripping all my CDs! There’s one more album to go. It’s a big one, classical CDs, 32 pages with 4 CDs per page equals 128 discs – there are a few empty slots, so, say 120.

There are 420 non-classical folders, and 257 classical so far. This last lot will bring the classicals up to 382. Total 677. That’s not as many as I thought I had – I thought 1,000, but even so …

The non-classicals use 231GB, and the classicals use 166GB. How do I know this? Tree Size Pro, a fantastically useful little program that I’ve been using for more than 20 years (I paid for it), which very quickly indexes a disc, counts all the files and folders and shows their sizes, and much more information besides.

Then there’s Print Folder Pro (also paid for), a similar program I’ve been using for many years, which formats the directory tree structure so that you can print it out. Windows has never allowed this.

These total sizes are for .wav files, by the way, uncompressed audio straight off the CDs, original quality. To play in the car, they have to be mp3s, which brings them down to about 10% of their size. That means I could fit my entire CD collection on two USB thumb drives!



Minnie  13 Sept 2007. I miss her so much.

Perth drivers continue to astound me. I was waiting at the lights to turn right near here yesterday. There were three cars in the right turn lane opposite, facing me, waiting to turn to their right. The traffic coming toward me cleared and I moved to make my right turn just as the lights turned amber.

But one of the right turners facing me changed his mind and pulled out of the queue to power his way through on the amber! I was caught half way through my turn with this lunatic speeding toward me. Stop or keep going? I elected to keep going, but it was a near miss. I was shocked.

I’ve been thinking – I reckon 10% of Perth drivers are determined to disobey the law, thinking it doesn’t apply to them, refusing to abide by the rules, doing whatever they like, too bad about anyone else. Deliberately driving through red lights. Knocking down speed signs with their 4WDs.

Another 25% are just ignorant and lazy, weaving across lanes, not using indicators, going through amber lights, driving 10-15km/h above the speed limits. With faulty headlights, tail lights and brake lights – they obviously never check them.

Another 25% don’t know the rules or how to drive. They use their phone while driving, don’t pay attention and often don’t wear seat belts. These are the ones who die in crashes on country roads. They’re also the ones who beckon me to break the law by “giving way” to me when I can’t legally take their offer. They just don’t know the rules.

That leaves only 40% of Perth drivers who try to do the right thing. My opinion, of course. I thank them, but it remains that Perth roads are more dangerous than Bali, because the speeds are so much higher that there’s little room for error and the consequences are so much worse. I’m astounded by the number of drivers who simply barge their way through, completely careless of anyone else. Scary.



Trigg Island, 10 October 2007. It’s that rocky bit to the right of the surf club building. Some island, eh?   © PJ Croft 2016



Be afraid. Be very afraid.

This article by Bob Carr in The Guardian is very good:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/12/australia-china-and-the-lunacy-of-trumps-talk-of-a-trade-war

Please think about subscribing to this on-line newspaper by looking here:


It’s only $10 per month or $100 per year for high quality journalism, great special interest stories, terrific picture collections of the best of each day’s news, reviews of books, restaurants and movies, cooking and so on. It also has Australian, UK, USA and International editions that you have full access to. Want to know what America thinks about their new village idiot president? Just click on the menu.

Think about it: $10 per month for 30 issues (it comes out fresh every day) is only 33c per issue. That’s 1/5 of the cost of the West or 11% of the cost of the Australian. If you buy the annual subscription for $100, that’s 365 issues for 27 cents a day. Cheap! And no newsprint to send to landfill.

As you can tell I highly recommend The Guardian. Quality news journalism. One of the very best. Please support them.


I bought a treadmill this morning. I can’t make myself go outside walking. It’s either too cold, or too hot, too windy, too wet, or there’s no time, or I don’t have the right footwear on, or it’s just too hard.

I’ve had a treadmill before and I know I can use it. It’s set up in the lounge area, against the windows, facing the TV, with a pedestal fan ready. I turn the TV on, tuned to SBS foreign news with the subtitles, but foreign language  sound turned down, and ABC local radio on, and I’m in the zone, absorbed listening to the radio but distracted by the foreign news pictures. Therefore I don’t tend to notice the effort of the treadmill.

If I can do 5 minutes, or 10 minutes every hour or so, it will make a big difference. I’m likely to use this, much, much more than actually going out the door and walking.

My good mate Keith came and helped me set it up and bring it inside into the lounge. I thought I could do it myself, but I never could have. It’s an Orbit SS248, 1.5HP with motorised incline and all the other fruit like multi-programs, pulse rate measurements and so on. I used to have a very similar one at the Trigg house but sold it for $250 when I moved. Bad move.

The Barbarians


The Barbarians are not just at the gate, they’ve broken through it.

Even though Hillary Clinton, by far the best qualified to be president, gained more than 50% of the vote, the village idiot Trump, one of the least qualified in history, was elected.

The US election system, already one of the world’s democracies’ most corrupt, is utterly broken. Corrupt? In some states, it is legal for political party workers to use intimidation to prevent “undesirable” people from voting. In some states, if you vote early, you can change your mind and go back and change your vote. The Republicans were deploying muscle gangs to intimidate voters in lines at polling places.

I don’t think people realise just how scary this result is yet.

  • Both Trump and the vice president Pence are anti-abortion. Pence is a fundamentalist Christian who is virulently anti-abortion. It is very likely that abortion will soon be made illegal in the USA. This must horrify many women. Abortion will be illegal even in the case of rape. We’ve hardly heard about this.
  • Republican policy, and Trump’s, is to abolish Obama Care, properly known as the Affordable Care Act. This will take health care away from mostly poor people. Can you imagine that? The world’s richest country, yet they will deny health care to the poor.
  • Trump is going to reduce taxes, mainly benefitting the richest, yet plans to massively increase spending on the military and infrastructure. It’s economically impossible without printing money. It is going to produce financial and economic chaos.
  • Trump’s fan base is white, gun totin’ lower educated males. The kind who carry gun racks in their pickups and wear guns on their hips in states that allow it such as Texas. These guys are not exactly tolerant and open minded. They will now feel licensed to be bigoted.
  • Trump and his inner coterie believe global warming and climate change is a “Chinese hoax”. They are committed to pulling out of the Paris climate accords painfully negotiated last year. This will give other countries an open ticket to ignore the agreement too. As a climate change expert said on the BBC Business Report this morning, this is disaster. This point took years to reach, and the USA is now walking away. There will be nothing to stop the horrendous effects of global warming. We will feel the effects even more than we are already.

And so on – I could go on and on. And despite Trump’s syrupy words about bringing the country together, protests and divisions have arisen already where there were none visible before. America is now an even more divided country: between the very wealthy and the rest; between the comfortably off and the huge poor population of the world’s richest country; between white poorly educated gun lovers and university educated technocrats who voted for Hillary; between the religious Right and all other religions in the USA, especially Muslims, much more of a factor than in this country; between white Americans and Latino Americans … and so on and so on. It’s started already – protests have broken out on the west and east coasts.

As one of my friends says, it is even conceivable that there could be a new American civil war. It would be between the heavily armed, bigoted, racist, anti-government militias (of which there are many) and perhaps the real military, deployed to protect the neutral population. Between the coastal technocrats and the poorly educated but heavily armed centre of the country.  This is pretty far fetched, of course, but we thought Trump being elected was far fetched too.

In summary, America is now a severely divided country and the poor and the sick and the lower skilled are going to suffer even more than they do now. Sheee-it!