Bunker bunkum day 113

Bromo rim guide 73

Mt Bromo, Java 1989.  See below.   © PJ Croft 2020

Brrrrr, my fingers are cold enough to hurt. It’s only 15degC in the house, not very cold, but even so, I’m a bit chilled. It’s probably the music I’m listening to that’s chillin’ me.

It’s Rüfüs, a Sydney band that I quite like. It’s not music I’d normally listen to but one of their music videos was playing on a TV in a hotel room in Bali a few years ago (wow, time flies!) and it imprinted itself on my mind. I’ve bought a couple more of their CDs recently. I’m listening to Du Sol, Solace Remixed. It’s a bit doof doof but I can stand it. 🙂


In the photo above, the guy is standing on the rim of Mt Bromo, the volcanic crater (and so was I, taking the photo). The mountain in the background is another volcanic cone, Gunung Batok, I think. Anyway, I was prompted to post my photo because the Guardian did a photo essay yesterday on a ceremony by Indonesians on Bromo and I was shocked at how badly littered it is now. Indonesia’s Yadnya Kasada Festival in Pictures, The Guardian

Bromo steps 77 (2)

Yes, I climbed all those 200 nice clean steps. My photo 1989



This was recent.   © Juni Kriswanto/AFP/Getty Images

Unfortunately, hordes of people, no litter bins and how would you clear the bins anyway? It’s become a trash heap.


© Juni Kriswanto/AFP/Getty Images

I’m so glad I got there when I did, 1989.

Boy, that was a great trip. Perth to Bali for a few days to unwind, bus to Gilimanuk at the NW tip of Bali, bus ferry across the strait to Banyuwangi on Java, then continuing by bus and small van with drivers to the small village which was the access point to Mt Bromo.

Bromo 0027

The horseman and pony to take us the ~kilometre to the rim, just after dawn.  © PJ Croft 2020

We woke before dawn and walked down a long slope in the pre-dawn mist to the sand plain, where we took horses (ponies) to the crater rim in the background. I lost a good Swiss Army knife there somewhere.

Bromo horses 10

The horsemen and their ponies waiting for us for the ride back.  ©  PJ Croft 2020

Bromo crater + steps 55

You can see the steps up the crater. Quite a gloomy place, at times.  © PJ Croft 2020

Bromo rim Me 67

I’m there, the solo figure standing on the rim of an active volcano. No guard rail in those days. It was fine.  © PJ Croft 2020

This was such a great trip I could write a book about it, and I have, but it’s too expensive. Maybe I’ll do another one. I seem to have a lot of spare time these days. You too?

Bromo group 16

These were the staff at the guest house. Yes, I had a good time!  1989


Speaking of music:

Biblical title of honor, literally “father,” used as an invocation of God, from Latin abba, from Greek abba, from Aramaic (Semitic) abba “the father, my father,” emphatic state of abh “father.” Also a title in the Syriac and Coptic churches.

There you go. And you thought the group’s name came from their own initials. This definition came from the Etymological Dictionary http://www.etymonline.com. As its name says, it shows the etymology of words, how they are derived or came into use. I find it excellent whenever I’m not sure of a meaning or how to use a word. Recommended.


How did I get there? I found an article in The Guardian today on Johannes Brahms 1833 – 97. I’ve rediscovered his two piano concertos. Wonderful music, in particular the second (slow) movement from the piano concerto no. 1. It’s become an ear worm but one I don’t want to dislodge. I hear it in my head at any quiet time and wake up with it still there in the morning.

My feeling for Brahms before I read this article is that of a German composer who is good enough to be one of “the three Bs” (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms) but never quite makes it compared to the big two (not forgetting the big M, Mozart). My feeling about Brahms is “grandeur, majestic music, very serious, never lightweight”).

From the Guardian article: “Brahms’s works rarely feature among lists of the most well known classical tunes. But then his music never aims at instant effects; he never bothered with the distraction of opera, and he generally avoided religious music.”

That’s where I saw the word liturgical and looked it up, which led me to Abba, and the rest is history, as they say.

I’m listening to the Piano Concerto no. 2 at the moment. Phwooaaar.


I’m rather pleased at the moment because I’ve rediscovered something else. In the past eight years or so I’ve made quite a few Photobooks of various kinds, mostly of my pictures but especially, two books of the Croft family history.

_Front Cover

Late last year I was sending some old photos to my cousin Lisa in California and mentioned these books. She’s very enthusiastic to have copies, but when I went to the Photobook web site to order more copies I found my orders from a few years ago had not been saved, so I thought I’d have to redo them from scratch.

Voila, yesterday I discovered that the templates are stored on this computer, so I’ve been able to reopen them and bingo, ready to reorder. Of course, this gives me the chance to fix things.

One thing I’ve discovered while composing these books is that you’re never finished. There are always small typos, missing or extra punctuation marks, things which could have been said better and so on. It shouldn’t take me long to fix these and then I can place orders. The composition from this computer is sent over the web to the company in Melbourne, from where it gets sent to the printers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who do the job and send the packaged book to me in Perth. Turnaround time is pretty reliably 10 days. Or was before the corona-virus.

In this case, I hope I’ll be able to put the addresses of my cousins’ (two of them) in the US and have them sent directly there.

Which leads me to the next book project. It’s amazing what you find when you rummage (there’s a word I must look up in the Etymological Dictionary) around in your folders. I’ve found several chapters of something I started some years ago, my memoirs. I’d forgotten that I got a lot further than I thought, so this is my next book.

Except! Photobook are very sneaky. Once you’ve composed your book in their software, you can produce page proofs but they aren’t high enough resolution for you to print your own book on your own printer. They want your money, you see.

So for these memoirs, I really, really should continue in my word processor and then copy and paste the text and images into a Photobook project. That way I could produce a printed book But it would be far too expensive. Their prices are about $30 – 40 for only 20 pages. Extra pages are somewhere around $1 per page. I did a book about 10 years ago and kept adding pages to total about 110. I ordered two copies and each one cost about $230 I think. Lovely book, and I’ve still got it on my shelf, but what was I thinking?

No, compose in a word processor and publish to a PDF file. That costs nothing to produce and you can distribute it on USB sticks, or if you really want paper copies, you can take the PDF document to a printer and get a bulk deal.


Which leads on to “My Life and Times at TVW Channel 7”. I’ve virtually finished my contribution to Ron’s book project, but he only wants 2,000 – 3,000 words and four pictures. Ron, mate, no can do! Mine is 8,000 words and climbing, with dozens of pictures. I can’t dumb 33 years and hundreds of pictures down to your puny idea.

Ron is complaining (on Facebook) that no-one is sending in contributions, but maybe his conditions are too tight. I can’t do average – if I do something like that, it will be my best and that means I don’t fit his criteria. Sorry Ron, to do as you require, my contribution would be bland and generic. Nope.

Anyway, I might do mine as a Photobook, but expanded to be an Engineering History of TVW. After all, I was there from the days of valves (tubes or ‘toobs’), then the start of the first transistor equipment, then the first ICs, then the birth of the microprocessor, LSICs, full blown computers and PCs, analogue everything, then digital everything. I lived through it all. I’m busting to write about it.


I must thank the people who are starting to follow this blog from different parts of the world. I seem to be notified of a new follower every few days now, with occasional very nice comments. I thank you very much. I hope you find the blog of continued interest.

I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but I cannot find the widget that lets me show Followers on the blog title page. I suspect I have to upgrade to a higher cost plan to get it. I’ve thought about paying for the next level but haven’t seen the need yet. Maybe.


Aaaah, it’s warmer now that I’ve got the air con going on heat. It’s a bright sunny day so with solar power, the air con should be running off the panels at no cost. Similarly, dishwasher and clothes washer. Solar power, best thing since… solar power.