Bunker bulldust day 161

The wake of a cruise ship at sunset, 1984. © PJ Croft 2020

Aaaah, there’s a sense of Spring around. The forecast is for 25C today and I can see the angle of the light and the earlier sunrise and later sunset. Yeah, bring it on.


I don’t usually write a post after dinner, but I’m so upset at what I’m hearing on TV and reading.

The rules being enforced by the bureaucracy in this virus crisis are worse than bizarre, they are just cruel. There’s a closed border between NSW and Queensland. Fair enough. We need to be very careful with this damned virus.

But a woman and her partner live in northern NSW just south of the Qld border. Her elderly father was taken to a Brisbane hospital and died. She was informed by phone, but was denied permission to visit the hospital.

Then the funeral was arranged, and although she was permitted to attend her father’s funeral (i.e. cross the border), she was allowed to be at his funeral for no more than 30 minutes and was prohibited from approaching any of the mourners – her family and relatives, in other words. Thirty minutes! She has a disability and relies on her partner to function in life, but he was denied permission to cross the border to be with her.

This crosses a line, I think, the line between laudable caution and blind unreason. The woman and her partner could have been provided with full PPE suits for the funeral, surely?

Then today I read: “The heart-rending story of a Ballina [a northern NSW town near the Qld border] woman who lost one of her unborn twins last week after waiting 16 hours to fly to Sydney for urgent surgery (rather than attempt to cross from NSW into Queensland), highlights the mounting unintended consequences of border closures across Australia.”

There are many other stories similar to this. There’s a level of incompetence, stupidity, unreasonableness, and cold, callous, unfeeling obstinacy in government departments at the moment.


I can’t help noticing, also, in all the many cases of people ignoring or defying the rules about quarantine and deciding to escape or go to parties or shouting defiance at police and authorities, the high proportion of women offenders.

There seems to be an attitude in some females, especially, that they ain’t going to play by the rules. You might think it may be just that they are noticed more by reporters, but I don’t think so. There are too many examples. Females are breaking the rules and the law, way out of proportion to males and endangering us all. They lie, cheat, rage at cops, escape confinement and disregard the law and safety. Let’s not forget the woman or women who had sex with the hotel security guards in Melbourne back in May/June. It wasn’t rape, it was consensual. That led to the enormous loss of life, the huge lockdown and economic disaster in Victoria, still ongoing.

No doubt I will be criticised for this, but these are facts.


The other point is the enormous imbalance in deaths in aged care homes between state owned and run and privately owned and run homes. The federal government is responsible for aged care in Australia, and aged care homes are split between government owned and privately owned. Nearly all the deaths, more than 90%, and we’re talking around 450 deaths so far in Victoria, have occurred in the privately run homes.

The thing is, privately run aged care is almost a licence to print money. The profits are enormous. The owners become hugely wealthy. I’ve seen an article about multi-million dollar mansions, yachts, helicopters, private aircraft, all the trappings of wealth. All the profits go to shareholders, of course, and there’s enormous pressure to cut costs in the homes by skimping on costs, be it staff wages, meals, cleaning and so on. Almost all the staff are casuals with very minimal training because there is no federal regulation about nurse to patient ratios.

By contrast, state homes are regulated and most of the staff in state government run homes are trained nurses, and it’s shown by the very low death and infection rate.

Yet in all the horror stories coming out, the federal Liberal government, and the prime minister (Scott Morrison) are trying to shift the blame onto the Victorian Labor government of Daniel Andrews. The PM says, Oh yes, we regulate aged care, but it’s not us who are responsible for all these deaths. It’s sickening! The Minister for Aged Care, Richard Colbeck (Liberal) couldn’t even answer the question of how many deaths there had been when questioned earlier this week. Incompetent. When he was questioned in the parliament, he got up and walked out of the chamber! The PM has cut his responsibilities back, but left him in place. It’s almost impossible for any federal Liberal minister to lose his job in this Liberal-National Party government, no matter how incompetent or corrupt they are.


I’ve just read this article today: https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/alchemy-of-energy-breakthrough-offers-mass-hydrogen-storage-options-20200702-p558dj.html

It’s a method of storing hydrogen (the gas) in a metal alloy, i.e. within the metal crystals, that’s cheap, efficient and simple (relatively), and it’s been developed here in Oz. It’s more efficient than Li-Ion batteries, lighter, cheaper, smaller. And it can all be manufactured here and could be in use by next year.

Couple that with another item I read today – the generation of hydrogen gas by electrolysis of sea water can now be done economically by solar and wind generated electricity (it’s always been possible, and easy, but the cost of the electricity was prohibitive). There is a serious proposal to set up an enormous (500GW) generation plant at Kalbarri, just up the road, so to speak. Well, 574Km up the road anyway. Kalbarri has all the sun and wind they need (as we found out in January 2019 – the wind almost blew us away) and the proposal is to send the hydrogen gas down the same pipeline as the Dampier to Bunbury natural gas pipeline.

Unfortunately, if I had a dollar for every time one of these hopeful stories runs, only to never be heard of again I’d be rich. Even so, we can hope.


Grandpa Ernest, Dad’s father, around 1932 (?)

Nearly finished the revised edition of the Croft History Vol. 1 book with all the enhanced and colourised photos. Crikey! it is so boring doing the enhancements. One at a time, waiting, waiting. I can see an end in sight so I’m sure one year’s subscription will be enough to get it all done. No doubt there will be pressure and nagging to renew the subscription but I’ll resist.

Grandma Doris, Dad’s mum, late 1920s?

But it’s pretty weird, having an Israeli company sending me emails almost daily saying they’ve found links for my family tree. I think it must be because in a weak moment, I added a little bit of detail to my name and my father and mother’s names. Wham, that was enough for their computers to find links to almost the entire Bruce Rock family tree. It’s almost impossible to resist adding a few more details and links, and before you know it, you’re sucked in. Oh well, I’ve paid for my 12 months so I may as well use it.


Holy smoke, how does it happen? I bought a few items from Amazon Prime an hour ago, and just now I’ve had a robot call (scam call) from a mechanical woman talking about my Amazon purchases and asking me to confirm details (or something) by pressing 1! How can this happen? Do these scammers have access to my Amazon connection? This is a bit scary.

I just hung up on the call, of course.


PS: I’ve discovered this just now:

NY photo map. Each dot is a photo taken at that spot in the 1940s.

Some guy in New York has put a black marker dot on a map of New York City representing a photo taken at that spot in the 1940s. That’s one of them above. Each dot you click on brings up a b/w photo taken at the time.

This is amazing. The amount of work that he must have put in, and he’s made it available free on the web: https://1940s.nyc/map/photo/