Bunker bulldust day 172

KL railway station 1990. © PJ Croft 2020

Errrgh, it’s been all cloudy again, and cool. Not too bad now (3.15pm). Where’s our Spring gone? I saw a prediction for 27deg next Sunday, but this morning they’d dialled it back to 24deg. Even so, I gotta have that!

(I’ve just corrected the day number. It’s getting a bit confusing.)

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Hong Kong 27 Oct 2014. I’m glad I’ve been there because it’s not a tourism destination any longer.

I don’t know what’s happening but three of the photography blogs I read have closed recently. What a shame! The photography on one, in particular, Ming Thein, is really good, really different, inspiring for me. It shows the beauty and design in everyday scenes, objects, buildings that we miss. I often read this to train my eye, to absorb his style, even to copy at times, I must admit.

He’s a Malaysian Chinese guy working mostly in KL but travels a lot and holds field courses, a bit too expensive for me.

Another I read almost daily up to now is Visual Science Lab. Despite the name, it’s not science, it’s largely about a guy called Kirk Tuck in Austin, Texas and his work as a pro photographer. Much of his shooting is in a theatre and there are many fine portraits of actors and dancers. There’s a lot of gear talk as well, and a lot about what it’s like to live in Austin during these strange lockdown times.

He’s a prolific writer – almost too verbose some days, but I’ve been reading for many years. He stopped once before, but came back, but now he says he’s stopping for good. It’s a pity.

The other one is Imaging Resource https://www.imaging-resource.com/ They almost stopped a few months ago but seem to have been rescued, for how long I don’t know.

The main blog I read every day without fail is The Online Photographer written by Mike Johnson in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, USA. He’s a former magazine writer and editor who went through some very lean years after the magazine business became unprofitable but has found a niche in this blog. He writes in a very personal style and from the email exchanges we’ve had in the past decade, I almost feel I know him. He’s had some big battles in his life but seems to have turned a corner some years ago.

He wrote a piece earlier this year about plant based eating that inspires me. He’s lost a lot of weight, has much more energy and sleeps a lot better. I could do with some of that. I recommend reading: Diet Experiment Update I’m inspired to follow his advice, although, because he had a drinking problem, he doesn’t drink alcohol. That’s my downfall – the thought of giving up my modest intake of fine beer and wine is almost unthinkable.

The good news, however, is that Mike says he’s not going to join the blogging retirees, he’ll continue, which pleases me greatly. I feel grateful enough to be obligated so I make a monthly Patreon contribution to keep him going. If you use something, you should pay for it.

The main thrust of his recent article is that photography is almost dying. The damned camera phone has almost taken over – no-one wants to carry a serious camera any more and manufacturers are closing down. Only 25 years ago there were around 20 makers of serious equipment, but one by one they’ve given up so that Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Sony, Panasonic, Pentax and Leica are the only survivors. Olympus has recently announced they have sold their camera business to an outside company, with an uncertain future.

The cost of cameras has risen markedly too. Most new cameras from the big five are US$2,000 upwards and that’s just for the body. You’ll need to spend nearly another $1,000 for a lens. (Not all are this price, but the good ones are.) Point and shoots like this Canon are almost gone. It’s quite depressing.

On the other hand, I could be using one of my ten digital cameras!
Olympus OM-D E-M1
Olympus E-PL2
Olympus E-PL3
Pentax K-5
Sony RX-10
Nikon P950
Fuji S100fs
Sigma DP2
Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic FZ30
and maybe another one or two I’ve forgotten! Plus my phone and tablet cameras, which are not half bad.

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I used the word spud for potato yesterday and it set me wondering, where does that come from? The Etymology Dictionary says it’s –
Mid 15th century – small or poor knife, probably from Danish spyd, … and so on. Then it says – that of “potato” is first recorded 1845 in New Zealand English.

New Zealand English? How odd. I didn’t know there was such a thing. This Etymology Dictionary is very good for finding where words come from. I use it a lot.

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This is Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions from 2000 to 2018.

Note the almost unrelenting upward trend except for the period between 2012 – 14 when the Labor government had a tax on emissions. Surprise, surprise, industry didn’t want to pay, so they reduced their emissions.

Then Tony Abbott came along and campaigned on the word TAX. He didn’t care what it was for or what effect it was having, all he saw was the chance to win the electorate over with his campaign of lies, and when he won, he removed the tax. Look what happened – emissions went up again, sharply.

This is the guy who says “Climate change is crap.”

From The Guardian: “Abbott broke almost every election promise he made, except his promise to remove the carbon tax that was actually working to reduce Australia’s CO2 emissions.” See above.

He only lasted two years as PM before his own colleagues saw what an idiot he is and replaced him with “Turncoat” Turnbull.

Now the idiotic UK Conservative government under Boris Johnson has appointed him as their Special Trade Envoy. He wasn’t good enough in this country – he lost his seat in the last election – but he’s good enough for Boris.

It’s a good match: they are both blatant liars and fools. It means that Abbott will now be representing the British government in free trade talks with the Australian government. Where are his loyalties? We don’t know. In my view, his loyalties will flow to whoever scratches his back. He’s a traitor and a fool. Good luck Boris and you Poms.

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I’d better get back to writing about less contentious subjects – I feel my hackles have risen too much.

I was chatting with my lawnmower man this morning and it seems I may have a possible buyer for the Honda MDX. He sees it in the garage and trusts me to tell him its history and condition. I have a few things to fix on it first, mainly the throttle position sensor (maybe 1 hour’s work), the RH passenger door lock mechanism, the radio antenna bad connection and fitting a reversing camera that I bought for it, since the Pioneer AV radio can take a camera input.

I have all the parts. All these are relatively small jobs but fiddly, with lots of finger pains involved. Best in warmer weather.