Bunker bunkum day 30

Moon1_1

We had a pink moon on Monday. Here’s the pink super-moon we had on 10 Dec 2017. This shot is over Lake Joondalup. Panasonic FZ300 at 1200mm.

Wow, thirty days gone, staying home just doing this and things on the computer. It’s enjoyable but not good for me.

It’s dawning on me that being in a long distance relationship, we are not going to be able to see each other ad corporeum (my version of Latin, actually in carne but I don’t like that – too meaty sounding) for at least the next year, and probably longer.

Even if we manage to control this virus within Australia to very low levels of infection, it’s highly likely that entry from another country without a good reason is going to be severely restricted for another year beyond that, unless an effective vaccine is found, of course.

That means a long distance relationship is truly going to be just that for the foreseeable future. Until a few days ago, I had been vaguely thinking that we might be together again later this year, or next year, or “soon” but being realistic, it probably won’t be possible. That’s quite depressing for me. At my age I’m more and more thinking I’m running out of time and travelling is becoming a more daunting prospect too. This is not good. I’m sad.

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With every day that passes, Trump is looking more and more like a deranged lunatic. As someone (who knows what he’s talking about) said yesterday, Trump’s move to stop the US funding of the World Health Organisation is a crime against humanity. That’s a pretty amazing accusation to make about the president of the USA, but I agree. The same can be said of him reneging on the US’s agreement to the Paris Climate Change Accords.

The USA has become a pariah country. It is the most militaristic country on Earth, it starts more wars and military adventures than any other country, it believes its citizens are not subject to the laws of any other country (witness the way the wife of a US diplomat who killed a British guy in a car accident was smuggled out of the UK to the US before she could be brought to justice in the UK!). US servicemen who killed Italians in an aircraft accident got the same, they were smuggled straight back to the US in a military operation before they could be made to face the Italian courts.

This same USA is one of the last “civilised” countries still retaining the death penalty along with those wonderful countries Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, North Korea, Yemen, Sudan and other bastions of freedom (and Japan, to their shame). What’s more, many people convicted of serious crimes are kept imprisoned for decades on Death Row before finally being executed 10, 20, 30 years later. This violates their own constitution which outlaws “cruel and unusual punishment”. This could hardly be more cruel. The US practices torture alongside those other civilised countries I mentioned before. Many, many innocent people in the US are convicted by corrupt and incompetent courts and judges.

Their health system is dysfunctional, their voting system is corrupt, their tax laws massively favour the rich, they have levels of poverty comparable with third world countries, their politicians are corrupt. Their obsession with guns makes them the mass murder capital of the world.

Yet this lunatic Trump says he’s making America great again? That means he acknowledges America was not great before, but although he repeatedly lies without shame, he has made America infinitely worse than it was under Obama.

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Speaking of that backward country, America, slowly trying to drag itself out of the dark ages, did you know that there are only three countries in the world that have not adopted the SI units of measurement?

I’m reading Simon Winchester’s book, Exactly, about the development of precision in measurement and manufacturing since around the turn of the 17th century. He points out that there are only three countries left which have not subscribed to the Systeme Internationale measurement system which defines the meter, kilogram, second and other fundamental units of measurement. Those three countries are Liberia, Myanmar and you guessed it, the USA.

You probably know that in America, a gallon is not a gallon, a ton is not a tonne, a pound is not a pound, an ounce is not an ounce and so on. Only America stands in the way of a worldwide universal system of measurement units. Even Great Britain, which started the whole business, has adopted the SI units.

America. What a stupid, backward country. The world’s most violent country.

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I find it hard to be optimistic. Due to the unusual “winter that wasn’t a winter” in the northern hemisphere just finished, the Greenland ice cover is melting at unprecedented levels. This will raise sea levels since the ice sits on land in Greenland. The same is happening in Antarctica, where glaciers are slipping into the sea at unprecedented rates. This pandemic has driven global heating from the headlines, but it’s not only still happening, it’s accelerating.

My mind boggles – after all the fires in NSW with the massive loss of koalas and their habitats, the eucalypt forests, the NSW Liberal government is allowing increased logging and land clearing in the remaining forests. Reducing the koala habitats even further!

Is this a Kafka mad house? How can anyone think this is OK? The answer, as always, is money, and money flows to people in power. I not only spit, I hurl ordure. It’s a lost cause.

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And in this state the Liberal and National parties have blocked the reappointment of the Commissioner of the Corruption and Crime Commission, John McKechnie, which expires on the 28th of this month. He is willing and wants to be reappointed. The leaders of these parties, both women, say because the premier, Mark McGowan, didn’t talk to them before making moves to reappoint the commissioner, they don’t like his attitude and will refuse.

Petty. Petulance. Foot stamping. Noses out of joint. Hissy fits. Hanky dropping.

OR, could it be that the CCC has investigations on foot into Liberal and National members of the WA parliament and they want him called off. I have emailed both leaders of these parties and put this to them in strong terms. I await answers.

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Continuing my phone conversation with Rosco on Tuesday: he has a van fitted out with equipment and benches, so he offers a slide scanning service “at your door”. He drives his van into the driveway of the customer, disinfects a plastic tray or bin and get s the customer to put their slides into the tray. In the van, he uses an Epson V850 flat bed scanner which can do eight slides at a time and does the job on the spot. He says it takes him about 3 mins per slide. When I was doing mine with my Nikon LS4000, it took me about 6 mins per slide, but that scanner was slower. I also have a 4990 flat bed which will also do eight at a time and that takes about 3-5 mins per slide. The thing is, to do a good job, each slide has to be brought up in a preview window and careful adjustments made, eight times over, before pressing the Go button to carry out the automated scan. That final scan takes 20-30 mins on my system, but mine’s an older scanner and PC.

However, he made a comment that astounded me. He’s had to get a Working With Children police clearance to do this work, because he may come into contact with children at these customers’ premises. This is crazy! What have we come to?

As well, he has to have insurance for all the activities he does and the costs of these insurance policies is more than $10,000 per year. And that’s just for liabilities, that’s not cover for his van or equipment, that’s extra. Criminy!

I used to think I could offer a scanning service myself, but I was always worried about customers blaming me for damaged materials, lost slides, missing results and so on, and non-payers and all the hassles of postage and deliveries and so on. Not to mention the difficulties of dealing with the tax office and Centrelink. Therefore I never did it.

Recently I’ve thought seriously about buying a new Epson high speed scanner that can scan paper photo prints and any documents up to A4 size at a rate of around 1 per second. I’ve read the reviews and they all praise it for quality and paper handling.

It costs $645 approx. and I thought I might offer a service, but after hearing Rosco’s warnings, I’ll push that to the back burner. Too risky, too many hassles. Pity.

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