Saturday, August 30, 2008


click to enlarge  —  imarge by jarcob

For some reason it’s been kept somewhat under wraps, but the area of Foster and Welshpool, South Gippsland, seems set to benefit economically from expansion of port facilities at Barry Beach. Some are even tipping boom times for the district.

There’s not much information available, but the following came across my desk today:

TEK-Ocean and Ancon Australia signed a two-year lease for a sector of Esso Australia and BHP Billiton’s Barry Beach Marine terminal in South Gippsland, Victoria, for the provision of logistics and subsea support services.

TEK-Ocean will offer full logistics services such as vessel berthing, fuel, water, storage and bulk handling. The services will be provided out of an interim wharf area that ... will eventually be replaced by a dedicated whart [sic] area ... which is being developed by TEK-Ocean and Ancon.

Gippsland Maritime Logistics, a division of TEK-Ocean, will manage port logistics operations at the leased area. TEK-Ocean said the location of Barry Beach will offer oil and gas operators in the Bass Strait fuel as well as time savings in comparison to using existing ports in Melbourne and Geelong.

It was also reported a couple of years ago that Southern Shipping was looking at moving its operations to Barry Beach, to expand its shipping business between South Gippsland, Flinders Island and Tasmania. I’ve been unable to find any further news on that.

We went for a drive down there last weekend to check things out, but couldn’t get near the site because the Esso/BHP-Billiton facility is subject to restricted access. Consequently we were only able to get a glimpse of the development from a scenic lookout above nearby Toora.

A farming couple with whom we stopped to have a yarn didn’t seem to know very much about it, either. As we were chatting, two sinister-looking black vehicles prowled past in convoy.

“There’s the mafia again,” the lady farmer observed.

The plot thickens.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Goat Friday

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vale Curt-Arse: Fish Thursday

He won't be there next April. Rear Admiral Curt-Arse, just 71, died last night. Too young no matter the faults and sins.

He won't be there next April. It will be the first in twenty-four years. The Drunks Over Eucumbene will not be the same.

He won't be there next April. Guess I'll drink in his name.

You don't mind if I cast some?

Rear Admiral Curt-Arse

Click on the photo and then select "slideshow".

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's Convention time in the US of A...

DON HENLEY "Workin' It" (live)

Ah, it's open season here my friend
It always is; it always has been
Welcome, welcome to the U.S.A.
We're partying fools in the autumn of our heyday
And though we're running out of everything
We can't afford to quit
Before this binge is over
We've got to squeeze off one more hit
We're workin' it
Workin' it

Soon you will be dancing face-to-face
With the limits of ambition and the scars of the marketplace
Welcome to the land of flame and fizz
Where you will learn that packaging is all that heaven is

We got the little black car, the little black dress
Got the guru, the trainer, the full court press
We got the software, hard drive, CD-ROM
We got the
We got the pager, cell phone, bootleg methaqualone
The media, the message: you are what you own
We got the agent, lawyer, lapdog, voyeur
Talk show, book deal, round mouth, square meal

We're so busy covering our asses, we just can't commit
“Oh, back off, don't bother me, baby
Can't you see I'm workin' it”
Workin' it

It's plain to see Miss Liberty has not yet come of age
But, she loves to feed the animals as long as they're locked up in the cage
And everybody knows the girl's got balls of brass
Aw, kiss my ass

We've got a whole new class of opiates
To blunt the stench of discontent
In these corporation nation-states
Where the loudest live to trample on the least
They say it's just the predatory nature of the beast

But, the barons in the balcony are laughing
And pointing to the pit
They say, “Aw look, they've grown accustomed to the smell
Now, people love that shit
And we're workin' it.”
Workin' it

We got the short-term gain, the long-term mess
We got the suffocating, quarterly consciousness
Yes man, run like a thief

New York to Hollywood, hype and glory
Special effects, no story
Yes man, run like a thief

Workin' it
Workin' it

Well, you don't know who the enemy is
You don't know
You don't know who the enemy is

Company man
“Eight for me, one for you”
(Workin' it)
“Very fair”
Business as usual, business as usual.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Boltbrechtsen ‘fisks’ the Cat

By Piers Boltbrechtsen

Applied Hermeneutics’ token right-wing commentator, Piers Boltbrechtsen, takes Cat Stevens to task on the seam of crypto-fascism underlying a hitherto much-loved song.

Cat Stevens: Well I think it’s fine, building jumbo planes.

Or so he says... But I detect a definite trace of irony in his tone, betraying an attitude to building jumbo planes which is ambivalent at best.

Stevens will undoubtedly seek cover behind the sanctity of artistic creativity or his flaky search for ‘deeper truth’, but I’ve become convinced his words are evidence of something darker, indeed uglier.

Yes, get what you want to if you want, ’cause you can get anything.

More irony, obviously. So, just exactly what is wrong with “getting what you want”, huh? The unprecedented abundance of affordable consumer goods is one of the triumphs of the world market economy.

It’s so typical of the nouveau-mega-riche such as Stevens to want to deny the rest of us those very basics he’s able to buy for himself with the loose change in his pockets. While pretending to champion the poor, it seems he couldn’t care less — if he doesn’t actually hate them.

Well you roll on roads over fresh green grass.

A hatred of development and economic progress also seems a recurring theme in much of Stevens’ work. This kind of thing is so typical of leftist romantic hankering for ‘nature’ in some kind of pristine, Arcadian state, which has never existed and will never exist.

And anyway, for heavens sake, development is not a zero sum game.

But they just go on and on, and it seems that you can’t get off.

Roads go on for precisely as long as they need to, no more, no less. If his chauffeur can’t read a map, then Stevens probably ought to review his HR training requirements. But all this empty carping against healthy progress is just beyond silly, moving into paranoid territory.

But will you keep on building higher ’til there’s no more room up there?

Of course, I knew it — another Club of Rome ‘Limits to Growth’ henny-penny doomsayer.

Stevens hates growth, hates development, and hates the poor plebs who enrich him and feather his nest buying his intellectually and morally bankrupt recordings. I’m willing to bet he also hates the very idea of the poorer people of emerging economies achieving the development and growth they need and deserve.

But tell me, where do the children play?

Helloooo — earth calling Stevens!

There are, and will continue to be, ample designated children’s play areas wherever and for as long as they are viable. These will be determined by the market, which is the best mechanism yet known for the guidance and management of human affairs. The market, indeed, is a far superior alternative to the fatally flawed, utterly discredited, dead hand of human moral agency, for which Stevens seems so nostalgic.

The typical modern designated children’s play area is better, safer, brighter and more cognitively stimulating than any children’s play area previously known in human history. These will improve continuously for the long-term foreseeable future, if not in perpetuity.

The better-balanced and better-informed children who’ll reap the benefit of all this progress and prosperity will not be gulled by whining haters such as Stevens, who’ll ultimately stand condemned for opposing the unerring march of the market towards prosperity for all.

I hope he’s ashamed of himself, but sadly I doubt it. Oh, and by the way, the tune stinks too.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

gabby road sign

click to enlarge
— (wonky) imarge by jarcob

This ‘intelligent’ road sign, on the South Gippsland Highway between Leongatha and Meeniyan, Victoria, has a repertoire of five messages:

  1. “Too slow”
  2. “Juuuust right”
  3. “Too fast”
  4. “The infringement notice is in the mail”
  5. “I’ll call the ambulance”

(By the way, officer, the missus was driving...)

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grand ridge road

click to enlarge
  —  imarge by jarcob

Looking north from Grand Ridge Road,
near Hallston, Victoria

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