Water shortages – here and there

When visiting friends in the water starved towns of Warwick and Stanthorpe, it does not take long for the local message to sink in – ‘If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down’. This is a water-saving tip for times of drought – seemingly a more or less a permanent state of affairs in south-east Queensland. Southern Downs residents are currently on a per capita water limit of 120 litres per…

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Outback stories from the archives

We are on an outback trip for 10 days so lacking WiFi and other mod cons. This week I’m choosing to share a travel post from 2014, when we joined the grey nomads for an extended period. This observation about US marine manoeuvres in the Northern Territory was written before the introduction of yet another national security law (75 and counting since September 11, 2001), about revealing supposedly secret things. There are strong possibilities you…

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Taking An Interest In Recessionary Economics

The end of financial year meeting of the Basil and Sybil Cheeseparer Superannuation Fund was going well until the Trustees (a) found that their investment strategy was out of sync with reality and (b) failed to find a fixed interest investment that would return more than 2.50% over five years. “We should stick it under the mattress,” said Sybil. “Your side or mine?” quipped Basil. As you should know, even if economics is not your…

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We’ll need a huge crowd to stop war against Iran

I’m not good with crowds – not since the early days of journalism in Toowoomba when I under-reported numbers at the annual Carnival of Flowers parade. “Next time check with the police,” I was told and mostly continued to do so, on occasions when crowds gathered for newsworthy events. It is not always a given that members of the constabulary will give you an accurate-enough figure of crowds. Police under-estimated by 50% or so the…

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