I submitted am application on-line for a passport renewal on the 2nd of this month. I received an email confirmation with a number.

Last Monday, the 14th, I received an email saying my passport was being finalised and to go to my nominated collection point in 2-3 days. So yesterday, 16th. I went to Quinns PO Agency as I remember talking to the woman at the post office at Clarkson about where I would like to collect it. That’s my nearest point. She said if I nominate to have it sent by registered post, if I’m not home at time of attempted delivery, I would have to go in to the city to collect it. Huh.

Quinns PO knew nothing about it and didn’t think it would come to them. So today I went back to Clarkson PO (a full service post office) where I ordered it to try there. Nope, nothing there. Did I have my receipt from when I applied? Uh, no, but I know it’s at home. Duh. Well, you can track it on-line.

OK, I’ve just tried that. Please enter PIN. I don’t have a PIN but I have the tracking number from the receipt. OK, enter all your details, full name; address; d.o.b,; old passport number; mother’s maiden name … OK so far. Then place of birth – Sydney NSW. Bong! Not acceptable.  Sydney? That’s OK.

Finally, the Next button worked. Date of interview?  I didn’t have an interview, I did the on-line application: 02/08/2017. Nope. Well what else do I say? I tried 01/08/2017 but it kicked me out, saying I’d made too many login attempts. Damn!

I guess I’ll have to phone their 1 300 number and try to work out what to do.


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A few weeks ago I posted this photo of little Putuh, daughter of the housekeeper lady in Lovina. She was playing and gave me this drawing she’d done:

Putuhs diagram

I kept the scrap of paper as a bookmark. Imagine my surprise when I found this figure in a book I bought last week:

Maths figure

Sure, it’s not that similar, but my mind immediately made the connection when I saw it.


Speaking of coincidences, Moana cropped up again today. Apparently there’s a footballer in one of the Melbourne teams called Moana somebody. That’s about the seventh time this year, when I’d never heard that name in all my born days before.


A few days ago I wrote about the TV program The Farthest, about the Voyager space probes heading from Earth out past the aligned planets and out of the Solar System. I thought that program was a single episode and wondered at the time why they mainly talked about Voyager 1, when Voyager 2 was following behind.

Well, there was episode 2 on Tuesday night, and that was the missing episode. I’ve got them both safely on my recorder and I’ll keep them now, on DVD.

It was just as good. Voyager 2 was re-routed to pass by Uranus and Neptune and produced stunning new pictures and science. Fabulous stuff.


I’ve had this beautiful graphic in my collection for a few years. It will be hard to see at this size, but the Voyager craft are the lines going past the two blue planets (Uranus and Neptune) at top right in 1986 and 1989 respectively. It has now passed out of the Solar System too.

The graphic, by the way, shows all the space probe missions to all the planets and moons since space travel began, up to 2015. What a great way to draw this! Just Google 50-years-of-exploration.jpg for a rich result.


Speaking of space, I’ve just finished reading a book called Titan, by Stephen Baxter. Actually, he’s Stephen Baxter, PhD. in astrophysics, so he knows his science. (I was told my book was “garbage” by someone who knows absolutely no science but can’t control her tongue.)

What a book! It was written in 1997 and is about a manned (actually three out of the five people were women) mission to land on Saturn’s moon Titan, to establish a small colony there. Far fetched, as Titan’s surface temperatures are about -150C, but anyway.

It takes 11 years to reach the moon, during which one of the women dies of radiation sickness and the main astronaut pilot goes blind and a bit insane (then tries to rape the remaining woman and has to be killed). Another woman dies in an attempted landing on the surface, That leaves just one man and one woman. They go through tremendous hardships but are doomed to fail after a couple of years on the surface, and die, being buried in the frozen “regolith” and the constant rain of frozen methane.

While they’re alive, all communications with Earth cease, because those naughty Chinese (they were still the bad guys then) diverted an asteroid to crash into the Atlantic, hoping to swamp the USA. It goes wrong, of course, and destroys the Earth.

Suspend disbelief, and the book reaches a bit too far, I feel, but about 10 billion years pass and our two heroes wake up again on the surface of Titan, way in the future. The Sun has become a red giant and Titan is now warmed up to near Earth temperature, with a breathable oxygen rich atmosphere. They’ve been brought out of deep freeze and back to life by a species of intelligent life. But although they can make some plans, they are still gunna die again, of old age. End of story.

Wow, what a breathtaking range. It’s nearly 600 pages and not for the faint hearted, or the anti-science person, but I’ll long remember it. I learnt a lot of science from reading it.



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