The grain in Ukraine

Lightning in the clouds of Jupiter. Webb Space Telescope image.

Aaaah, nice day today and my washing was dry. I hung it out last Thursday and as usual, couldn’t be bothered bringing it in too soon. Well, rain! It rained on Friday, then Saturday and Sunday it bucketed down, didn’t it? My washing got a beautiful extra rainwater rinse. That’s great, by my reckoning. Saves me ironing. As if I would, he he. I haven’t ironed anything in five years. 🙂


Phew! PHEW!! Good news. I had a C/T scan last Friday for the pain in my side, and as you can imagine I’ve been shitting bricks ever since. I’ve been pretty worried, that’s for sure.

But the doctor phoned a little while ago and said it’s all clear, nothing to worry about. Liver’s a bit enlarged, but I knew that. Mainly, he said I’m too constipated and I need to use a laxative. OK, that’s easy. The trouble is, the opioid pain relief tablets I’ve been taking cause constipation. Damn, I can’t seem to find anything in the analgesic department that (a) works; (b) doesn’t cause me insomnia; and (c) doesn’t have side effects like that.

So what’s causing this pain? It’s like a reverse pin cushion with a bunch of needles and it’s being pushed into my left abdomen, just below the rib cage. It varies, bad at times, hardly anything at others. Still as long as it’s nothing ominous, that’s OK.


The doctor I saw who ordered the C/T scan is the haematologist, for my CLL. More good news: the blood results from last Tuesday show an improvement. Another “Phew!”


Re the Peugeot, we’re now into the sixth week that it’s been at the RAC workshops and still no news. They usually phone me each week to give progress reports and ask permission to proceed, but they didn’t call at all last week and they haven’t today so far.

The last time they called, the bill was around $2,400 plus another amount for labour. Ouch!! Frankly, I’m glad they’re not calling. I’m happy to delay paying that bill, especially as this is council rates (~$1,200) time of year and I had to pay the licence fee for the Honda ($950) last week. Life is expensive!


I saw some vision of the new Hyundai and KIA electric cars last week. Holy smoke! These are so advanced, so technologically and stylistically superior that I’m left thinking how far behind we have fallen in that area, automotive design and manufacturing.

Hyundai IONIQ 6
Hyundai IONIQ 6

Damn, we once had a strong Australian car industry! Not that long ago, less than 20 years, GM Holden, Ford and Mitsubishi made great cars, designed and manufactured in this country, as good as anything from overseas. Toyota and Nissan assembled imported parts and customised the cars to our conditions.

But it’s all gone! All thrown on the scrap heap, wasted due to government rulings. I know it’s not as simple as that, but South Korea has leapt ahead of us. Light years ahead. Their electronics industry is far superior and forging ahead. We not only can’t compete, we don’t even try.


I’m old enough to remember when Australia not only designed and made electronic goods (radios, TVs, stereos, car radios etc), we also made ALL the parts needed to build them. We made valves (vacuum tubes), CRTs, transistors, integrated circuits (ICs, “chips”), resistors, capacitors and every other part needed to design and build electronic items. Now? There’s a small scale integrated circuit manufacturing capacity left, but just about everything else has been abandoned to imported components. Made in China!

That means we have almost no electronics manufacturing capacity in this country any more. That has huge implications for defence. Modern military equipment is packed to the rafters with the highest tech electronics you can imagine, and a helluva lot you can’t imagine. If military conflict breaks out, which is looking more and more likely, we will need overseas suppliers and supply lines, and that’s not guaranteed. Not by a long shot.

We do make military equipment in Australia (Bushmaster APCs for example), but how much reserve capacity is there. Maybe we don’t hear about it. I hope so, but I doubt it.


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