Bunker bulldust day 73

Aust IV Nov86B

Americas Cup 1986, Fremantle WA. Australia IV heads out for racing.  © PJ Croft  This was Alan Bond’s competitor, but they were beaten in the trials by Kookaburra, which went on to lose to Dennis Connor’s USA entry to take the cup back to NY.

Aaaah, a lovely wet day. If you’re from a rainy location (e.g. New Zealand, Oregon, Norway…) you probably won’t understand my obsession with rain, but it’s very dry here in Western Australia and we need all the rain we can get. All we usually get is showers rather than steady rain that fills dams.

I remember the winters from the 1950s through to 1977, when it all changed. We used to get days when it rained all day, enough to soak the soil in the hills enough for runoff to fill the big dams to overflowing their spillways. It usually rated a picture in the newspaper each year. But it all changed in 1977, the wind patterns shifted and we don’t get those very wet winters any more. It’s serious dryness, such that we’ve had to build two very expensive seawater desalinators. The dams only fill to about 30%.

So a really wet day like today brings back feelings and memories. Good memories.

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I don’t usually involve myself too much in Aboriginal matters. I’m not racist, it’s just not in my priorities, not of great interest.

But British mining company Rio Tinto’s actions have got me riled!

There’s a pair of caves in the Pilbara region of WA which are within one of Rio Tinto’s mining tenements. They were negotiating with the Aboriginal groups with ties to the area over which areas Rio Tinto could mine and any areas they couldn’t.

Apparently Rio Tinto got permission in 2013 to mine the area where these caves are. But after that date, significant new finds of artifacts were found in the caves dating them back 46,000 years, including cave paintings, bones and hair. The Aboriginal groups changed their minds about letting R/T mine the caves.

But last week or last month Rio Tinto just went ahead and dynamited these caves, destroying these 46,000 year old relics. Even though they knew of their significance, the law allowed them to mine the area, so they just went ahead and blew them up.

I find this incomprehensible. Surely someone doing the job must have said, “Hang on, this can’t be right.” Why didn’t someone in the company call a halt to the destruction? Was there some pressure from above to make the destruction happen?

Rio Tinto have been asked to comment on radio and TV programs but they won’t talk apart from offering an apology.

Bit late! Those 46,000 years of archeological history are gone forever now. It’s been compared with the Taliban’s deliberate destruction of the statues in Afghanistan and the ISIS destruction of ancient temples in Syria – wanton vandalism.

Rio Tinto is a British company. They stand condemned in my eyes. They should be resisted from now on.

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It”s hard to feel endangered in this virus pandemic now. I only go out once or twice a week and I wear rubber gloves and use sanitiser, but that’s all. I don’t feel nervous. We’re still getting cases of infection in WA but they’re all from known sources, either people returning from overseas (how do they get permission to enter the country?) or in the latest cases, seamen from a ship that was allowed to enter Fremantle port and tie up.

But it’s hard to feel endangered just walking in the shopping centres. We still can’t sit down in the food hall or cafes, but that’s OK. I do admit I’m missing the meets with friends I used to have. Chatting by email doesn’t feel the same.

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I have 1TB of “Cloud” data storage provided by ASUS, which I’ve been using a bit. Yesterday I got an email from them:

Capture Chink

All clear?

To be fair, I’ve had another email just now in English telling me to upgrade the software, so I assume it’s the same thing.  I was finding that although I’m copying a folder with many sub-folders, many of the sub-folders were empty when I checked on the cloud server. I’ve had to redo the copying several times, which seems to work, but it’s a slow process.

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I complained on-line to iiNet, my ISP, early this week about having a 250GB monthly limit and that Telstra seems to be upgrading their customers from 25Mb/s to 50Mb/s free of charge. Why can’t iiNet reward my >7 year loyalty and do that for me?

I’ve just had a phone call from them to talk about it, a very quiet line with a full 2 sec satellite delay so it made the call very difficult. First it was from a guy in South Africa who hummed and hahed and didn’t seem to have any authority. He passed me over to a woman in Manila who apologised for the sound of the rain, which made me think she was in Perth at first, as it was raining here too. Same low volume, though.

Anyway, same thing – she’s passing on my details to a manager who will assess me, and apparently there’s a Seniors Plan but it depends on your address. Huh? Why? No answer to that. Please wait 24-48 hours and we’ll get back to you. They sent me an email asking me to do a survey so I marked them down 6/10 saying I don’t feel I got any great result, so far anyway.

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Ah, blue sky, I need to go to the shops. Maybe I’ll be able to sit down for a coffee? I do miss that.

 

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