Another glorious winter day, 23deg and yay! it’s the winter solstice and the days start getting longer again. Our winters are not hard to bear, but I do prefer the summers.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned my belief that the tendency to left wing progressive politics is directly related to intelligence. High intelligence = Labor, low intelligence = Liberal (actually they lie as usual, they are conservatives).
Here’s a quote from The Guardian today: “In western countries, people with high education levels have been moving steadily to the left, while people with less education have been moving to the right, as French economist Thomas Piketty’s latest research shows.”
So it’s not just me.
Yesterday I mentioned Crikey, a web site dedicated to a deeper analysis and with a bit more irreverent and iconoclastic viewpoint. It was started by Stephen Mayne, who’s best known as a shareholder activist. He buys shares in companies so he can attend annual shareholder meetings and ask hard questions of the CEOs, CFOs and board members who don’t like being put under pressure. I’ve known about it for several years but being a paywall site, I held off subscribing.
However, in this lockdown period, and saving money by not having to spend it on fuel for the cars (noticed that?), I decided to subscribe at last. I’ve taken out a three month subscription at the moment for $55, but I think I’ll continue, especially as they’re offering 12 months for $99.
When you do the sums, it’s a 5-day a week newspaper for 38c a day. Likewise, I subscribe to The Guardian for $120 a year. That’s a 7 days a week newspaper for 33c a day. That’s a lot cheaper than printed newspapers were. The only drawback is it’s harder to wrap the food-scraps up in. 🙂
I raise the article about how priests in the Catholic church are simultaneously employees and not employees according to whether the church is in court or whispering in the PM’s ear as an inspiring article. It revealed something that hasn’t been in the public’s knowledge and needs to be known.
I mentioned that I’ve received my new camera, shown above. Its claim to fame is that the lens goes from 24mm at the wide end to 2000mm at the long end. That’s longer than the longest telephoto available in the film days. That would be pretty useless without image stabilisation and/or a tripod, but stabilisation is supposed to allow hand holding in good light. I put it to the test yesterday. Here’s a scene at 50mm, normal eyesight view:
You can just see a yellow spike in the water just to the left of centre (right click and choose View Image to see it bigger). Now here’s 2000mm:
That’s sharp! Handheld and with no post-processing sharpening. Here’s another shot:
That’s the 50mm “normal” view. Here’s 1000mm:
And here’s 2000mm:
Here’s the reverse view at 135mm, medium telephoto:
See those rocks in the distance?
There’s a shag on the rocks. All handheld in a moderate breeze. I’m impressed. I shot a bit of 4K video too but I can’t show it here in its full quality due to this website’s limitations. I’ll just say it’s nice, although you do need a tripod at the long end when shooting video.
A few weeks ago I made a complaint on iiNet’s website about having to buy an extra data package due to exceeding the 250GB monthly limit. I said that most other ISPs have no limit, and Telstra in particular have been upgrading their 25Mb/s customers to 50Mb/s at no charge. It was boosted by an article I read recently that said “the vast majority” of Australian customers are on 50Mb/s. I felt, in view of my 7 year loyalty, that I should be better treated.
A couple of weeks later I got a call from iiNet, in a very hard to understand accent from their South African support centre, with a satellite delay to make it harder, to ask me about my complaint. I explained it all again and the guy said he’d pass me on to the next level.
I was put onto another lady who turned out to be in the Philippines. I explained it all again and she put me on hold while she talked to her manager. Eventually she came back and said someone would give me a call about it.
Needless to say, no-one has called. Meanwhile, I’ve noticed that TPG, iiNet’s parent company, are advertising Unlimited Data in their advertising.
I think that’s it for iiNet. I’m going to switch away. They used to be the best in the business when they were Perth owned and supported, but they’re crap now that they’ve sold out to TPG who have a reputation for being ruthless. I’ve been unhappy for some time and there are alternatives. Time to give them the big kick.
I happened to randomly stumble across your blog when I was looking at purchasing a Mazda MX-6 and saw that you had written about the exact same one I was looking at! I’m actually looking at purchasing a car very soon and I never expected that it would result in me finding your blog.
I never comment on blog posts, or even read blog posts, but yours is so real… It’s quite inspiring and I’d love to be able to build one like this I could look back on later on in my life.
Just wanted to let you know that your blog has been a bit of joy in my day.
All the best,
Hi Alex, well that’s fantastic and I very much appreciate your reply. As it happens, I want to sell this MX6. Can we meet and make a deal? There’s nothing wrong with it – it’s just that I’m too fat and getting in and out is proving too much for me. I’ve had my fun and I want to pass it on.
So where are you?
PS: re the blog, it started after I went on a 2 month trip to Paris and the UK in Sept/Oct 2008. I was sending long emails each day as a diary to a few friends and relatives. When I got home, one said that he’d really enjoyed the emails and was sorry they stopped. That gave me the idea to start the blog, and the first post was in mid 2009. It’s been going ever since, more than 1,000 posts so far.
I thought a diary of what my life is like in this Covid period would be useful one day (if we ever get out of it). I also wanted a medium to show my pictures, of which I have thousands built up over 50 years and more. See here: https://bullsnapper.picfair.com/ for a “fair” sample. I’ve also done 13 PhotoBooks – three with “Best Of” and more on other subjects, including family history.
The blog is also my way of telling my siblings that I’m fine, as we don’t talk very often.