Bunker bulldust day 85

26Aug16_R

Taken with a 400mm lens, Bali 2017  ©  PJ Croft 2020

We’re only 11 days away from midwinter, 21 June, and it’s still 24deg, a bit cloudy but plenty of blue sky and sun. Merveilleux. Big rain forecast for tomorrow and Friday, though.

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I used a French word there, not that I speak French, I don’t but I like to put on a faux act 🙂

I must comment on the ABC’s Sunday night program (I can’t even remember the name! Operation Buffalo, that’s it). It’s obviously big budget with big stars but it’s so ridiculous it’s almost parody to me. There’s a supposed British army general who is supervising the British atomic weapon tests at Maralinga in the early 1960s and when he is taken out into the desert (at night, in his scarlet dress uniform with medals!) to see Aborigines, he tries to speak to them in French! “Parlez vous Francaise?” His nick name is Cranky. I think Wanker would be more appropriate. The three Aborigines are sitting around a roaring, blazing camp fire, dressed in what seem to be clean clothes straight from Coles. It’s ludicrous. This program doesn’t seem to know whether it wants to be serious historical documentary or comedy. The acting is awful, the script is atrocious. I’ll watch the remaining episodes but….

It’s not a patch on the program in the weeks before, Mystery Road. That was absolutely superb. It’s set in Broome, which is fictionalised as Gideon, and stars Aaron Pederson. He is fantastic. He has almost no facial expressions but he doesn’t need to, he conveys menace and determination as a good cop tracking down drug dealers up there. Broome looks nice although you don’t see much of it. Lots of side stories which are hard to follow at times, but I would watch it again. Recommended.

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I wrote (ranted!) last week about the Robodebt scheme, where the Department of Human Services (aka Centrelink) levied unwarranted debts against the poorest, weakest members of society, and were found to have been acting illegally. They are having to refund hundreds of thousands of those illegal debts amounting to an estimated $710 million.

That was last week. Now the figure has been revised and guess what – it’s doubled to around $1.5 billion! That’s $1.5 billion that has been ripped off the weakest, poorest, disabled members of society, money that could have been spent on food, medicines, car repairs, household services and all the other things that keep society going.

Once again, the minister responsible, Stuart Robert, is making no comment and definitely no apology. It’s despicable!!

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Everyone who knows me thinks I buy cameras at the drop of a memory card, but the fact is that the last time I bought a camera was 2016. I admit I have a lot of cameras, in fact to jog my memory I’ve just started a database to list them with serial numbers, and I have nine digital cameras. Oh, ten if you count the very first one from 2004 which is in a box stored away. And one dates from 2008.

Anyway, all this is leading up to saying that I haven’t been very excited by photography for a while, and so I’ve made the jump to a new camera which I’ve been eyeing for a while and which I hope will get me going again.

P950a

P950b

Nikon P950

What’s exciting about it? The lens. It starts at 24mm at the wide end but it zooms to 2000mm! That’s like a telescope. Normally that would be mandatory tripod territory, but the image stabilisation is so effective that it’s fully usable hand held, they say. It’s tested here Nikon-Coolpix-P950-review with a big sample gallery, and the sharpness and quality from a fairly small sensor are just remarkable.

P950d

Fully zoomed. It’s a physically big camera but not too heavy.

P950c

The tests show incredibly good detail, even zoomed right in, although atmospheric pollution in the tester’s location (Seattle USA) reduces contrast. In our clear air it should be fine although heat haze will always be a problem here in our warm weather.

But that’s not all. It shoots RAW (i.e. digital “negatives”) and video at up to 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) at 30/25fps progressive (non-interlaced). That’s remarkable.

I haven’t got it yet. I bought from an eBay store which says their stock is in Sydney, but I got an order confirmation email which implied that it may have to come from Hong Kong. End of the month, anyway.

So, my first new camera in nearly five years. Yah!

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My West Indian lime tree is now producing limes much faster than I can use them. I’ve got a bag of halves in the freezer for drinks, but I have another dozen or more on the bench. I’ll have to juice them. Picking them is a dangerous job. The spines on the branches are deadly. I have to use a long-arm squeeze-handle picker-upper.

I read a few weeks ago that you shouldn’t wait for fruit to fall, you should pick it off the tree because by the time it falls, fruit fly can get to it. OK.

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I had a Facebook message today from my very nice Bali friend from last year, Kasih, asking when I’ll be coming back to Bali. I had to reply, sorry, no can do. First, we’re not allowed to travel outside Australia at the moment, but mainly because I can’t risk it. I’m in the highly vulnerable category for Covid-19 and I could never feel relaxed about being in Bali, even if I could go. I would be too nervous. Any cough or symptom would have me on edge. Sorry, I can’t see any way I would go until we can be sure that either we have an effective vaccine, or sure that the virus has been eliminated. Neither seems likely this year and probably not next year either.

My friend thinks she’ll go back there later this year. I think this is wishful thinking. Even assuming air travel is allowed then, it’s still too dangerous. Indonesia doesn’t test properly and under-reports its cases, making it appear safe when it’s not. An Aussie died of the virus there last week. He must have been a resident I’d say. That shows that it’s still a hotspot.

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Aaaah, beautiful sunshine. Time to get my washing off the line before tonight’s and tomorrow’s rain.