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Daily Life

Toilet Paper Crisis 2020

I know it’s weird but we are a two kinds of toilet paper house. I get mine from Who Gives a Crap, they are a great company who use 50% of their profits to build sanitation in communities around the world that need access to it. David doesn’t really like the toilet paper, so he buys more commercial product.

Last week we were at the shop and David was like “I need some toilet paper, I’m running low.” but we were already near the checkout and he was like, “I’ll get it next time”.

Then this week came… and there was no more toilet paper to be had anywhere.

Fears that COVID-19, as the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has come to be known, has come to Australia has started a rapid growth of mass hysteria.

Even Costco is completely out of stock and the Woolworths at Docklands seems to be hoarding some because we saw a guy walking through with a 4-pack and got a bit excited we might be able to score… but the shelf was completely empty!

While we were standing, staring at the massive empty shelf, the same guy we saw walking through the store came back with his bounty, and walked through the doors to go out the back of the store, clearly an employee. So I’m guessing they are keeping some stock back.

Thankfully, I still have about 12 rolls left. David is almost out, looks like he’s going to have to switch until the hysteria calms down.

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Daily Life

Røde PodMic

Rode PodMic

Beautiful feat of engineering, the Røde PodMic is just gorgeous sitting on my desk and Røde made the packaging out of all cardboard so it’s easy to recycle rather than the usual plastic-packed packaging most manufacturers use these days.

Looking forward to putting the two of these I got today into action. Watch this space.

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Daily Life

Hole in my Gut

Had an ultrasound this morning on what is likely a small hernia in my abdomen. While waiting for the ultrasound I checked out how they do laparoscopic hernia repair for this type of hernia on YouTube, it’s amazing:

  1. The things you can find on YouTube… think of a surgery and it is there if you’re ever interested. I remember when a friend called to say they were having their gallbladder removed I was watching a surgery on YouTube before we finished our call.
  2. They can fix a hernia now via a couple of (extra) holes in your gut, a bit of mesh and some titanium staples
Watch it, maybe not on your lunch break, though it is quite a clean surgery.

Sadly way back when I was 19 and had a inguinal hernia it was repaired through open surgery and I have a massive scar… I still remember going back to my surgeon for my six month check up and his happy quip… “should have held on, we’ve just started doing these laparoscopically”! 🥺

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Daily Life

It’s All the Greens’ fault… but really it’s not

Hmmm let’s see:

The Australian Greens started as a party in 1992, almost all bans to grazing in national parks happened before this time. 

Kosciuszko National Park grazing was ceased in 1958 in all areas above 4,500. In 1972 grazing ceased in all parts of the national park.

Brindabella National Park: was declared as a national park in 1996. Grazing was never permitted in the park.

Namadgi National Park: Grazing has been banned in the catchment area since 1917, banned throughout the park since 1990.

Baw Baw National Park: Grazing ceased in the early 80s after recommendations by the Land Council in 1977.

Mount Buffalo: Was first ceased in early 1980s, along with Baw Baw.   Was again banned in 2005 by the Labor Bracks government, and finally in 2015 by the Labor Andrews government.

Snowy River National Park: Ceased throughout the park following a recommendation by the Land Council in 1987

Avon Wilderness Park: Grazing ceased in 1991 following recommendations made my the Land Council in 1979

The greater Alpine National Park: Mt Bogong in 1955, Mt Feathertop in 1958, before the park was even declared. 1989 and 1991 Wonnangatta Station and many other areas in the park in 1988. And some other areas in the 1998 and 2003 to assist with recovery from fires in those years, years where grazing was permitted in the areas ravaged by fire.

Source: environment.gov.au “ATTACHMENT A STATEMENTS OF UNACCEPTABILITY OF GRAZING IN THE AUSTRALIAN ALPS“.

Further reading includes https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/aec.12104 which determines that grazing does little to nothing in the face of eucalypt fires.

With regard to the Alpine National Park, one of the last to see these changes, an attempt to ban grazing was thwarted by the Federal Government in 2012/13 when the feds overruled the state and allowed a “Scientific Study” to take place. This was overruled again by the Labor Andrews state government when they simply refused to reissue licenses in 2015; effectively banning the practice by agreeing to NEVER issue licenses to graze cattle in the park in the future.

Interestingly in contrast to the sentiment of the above post, grazing was permitted in the park for years prior to the massive fires that swept through the Alpine National Park in 2002/03 and 2006/07. So clearly the grazing of cattle did little to mitigate the threat of fire.

In short, the cows eat grasses. They don’t eat the fallen trees and branches that form most of the fuel for these fires. And once the eucalyptus canopy is alight there is little to stop the fire, what’s on the ground no longer matters once the fires are going at full force, trees have been seen to literally explode as the radiant heat approaches.

Why the Greens, who have never really held enough seats to be decision makers in both the House and Senate of the Federal or State governments can be held accountable is beyond me.

And of course, let’s not be bothered with the facts: If you read the policies of any of the State or Federal Green parties, you see they never call for the cessation of back-burning or clearing of land to prevent bushfires. All they have stated is that it should be done in a more coordinated way with proper oversight. One of the fires in NSW during this current rash of fires was the result of a back-burn that got away from those conducting it!

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Daily Life

Welcome to 2020

By Nathan Pyle

It’s another year… 2020 already. Another decade, another time.

On the global scale the past few years have been a bit of a mishmash of bad things. Bad governments, bad climate, bad local choices. Let’s hope that 2020 will be better all around.

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Daily Life Technology

Farewell Facebook

I have left Facebook once more. It’s funny how they make you jump through a few hoops just to get to the delete account button, but I guess they don’t want you to go.

The last time I deleted my account was in 2011, funnily the reason then was because I felt disconnected, even in the connected environment, yet I returned because of a sense of disconnection and I stayed strong on Facebook for a time.

This time I’m out because of the distractions it creates. Facebook is a time-suck. It presents BS that I can’t keep quiet on so I reply to posts, mostly by friends and family, that annoy me because of their inaccuracies. But often, in replying to these posts I spend a bunch of time researching the thing I’m replying about… something the original poster seems never to do, else they wouldn’t post the BS in the first place.

I have other things I need to do, like work, and I have things I want to do, my personal projects, and I find that with Facebook in my life I’m spending too much time dealing with things I don’t need to, things that ultimately have no impact on my life.

I ‘suspended’ my account about three years ago, it’s something Facebook encourages you to do when you hit the delete button. Unlike a delete, your account just stays in stasis. When you delete though, after the requisite 30 days they give you to change your mind, everything is removed. If you go back, you need to sign up again.

Of course I think most know that nothing is ever really deleted on Facebook… were I to go an signup again I am certain my personalisation of the site would be immediate as they’d link my new login to my old profile, even though they wouldn’t show me that old content. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So I’m out again. Painfully I have to maintain an account for the Camera Club work, but that is under a different login that has no friends and only links to the two camera club groups we maintain. If I get around to building the new camera club website the way I want to, my hope is that we won’t need Facebook for that anymore either.

My final post on Facebook, below, pretty much says what I said above I guess, but I post it here for posterity…

At a time when most people come together I will be pulling away… 

We have so much work on at the moment and much of it is using new concepts and tools I haven’t really used before so I need to remove distraction so I can concentrate on filling my brain with new things.

I know I’m too easily distracted and can have my time consumed researching and ruminating on things that, in the scheme of it all, have little impact in my life, yet they keep my mind churning. To that end I will be bidding Facebook farewell for a time. 

I currently have 6 tasks on, a couple with deadlines that have already sailed by. I also have my own projects that I want to work on, so I need to remove the impediments to doing these things, and the main one is (mostly) useless stimulus that enters my brain and just rattles around in there.

Should anyone need me during this time, you can get me via my email or message me on my phone number. Feel free to send message me your details too. Seems these days most of us only contact each other via Facebook, so when that goes away I won’t be able to find any of you. 🤭

Write it down if you think you’ll need it because once I disable my Facebook tomorrow night this will be no longer available.

For Camera Club folk, don’t worry, I have another account that is JUST for our Facebook group so I can still post updates there, though given our last meeting was last night they will be few until we start up again in the new year.

I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas and new year. I’ll catch you on the flip side, whenever that may be…

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Daily Life

Mac Pro or new House, you decide!

So who’s lining up to get a Mac Pro? The “cheese grater”, fully-speced including the screen and stand, will run you almost $100,000, so I’m sure you’re all asking Santa for one this year. 🤓

She is mighty pretty and if I had the cash I’d have been first in line. I can only imagine how awesomely Photoshop runs on this thing, not to mention video editing on it!

In fact, the demos, the specs, the everything about it screams that it has been build with the movie industry and video editing in mind, and well, I don’t do enough of that, nor am I paid highly enough for that kind of work to warrant the kind of spend it would take to get a set up like this on my desk.

You can of course get a much less specced out version for about $10,000 + $9,999 for the screen + $1,699 for the stand for the screen. So a minimum buy is a small car… the biggest is a chunk of a house (or a Tesla).

I think I’ll stick with my iMac Pro with two additional screens for now, which probably still ran us about $10,000.

An older photo of my desk, it’s a lot messier than this right now.

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Daily Life

Gratitude Journal

An Antidote to Dissatisfaction by Kurzgesagt

Watch the video above, it may be a great eye-opener into what ails you if you’re feeling melancholy.

But you can’t get their Gratitude Journal yet because it’s all sold out. You can join an email list to be advised when it come back in stock.

I bought one, probably the last available 🤭. Going to give it a go, could have done it with just plain paper but Kurzgesagt’s stuff is so darn pretty so I had to have one.

Kurzgesagt's Gratitude Journal
Kurzgesagt’s Gratitude Journal
Kurzgesagt's Gratitude Journal
Inside pages of the Kurzgesagt Gratitude Journal

I may actually still do it on plain paper… I have a couple of lovely notebooks around in which I haven’t dared to touch pen out of fear I’ll just ruin its beauty with my dodgy handwriting.