Thursday, December 31, 2015

Rebecca Baumann..Artist

A few days ago I visited the Fremantle Arts Centre to view an installation by one of my fav ex-students, Rebecca Baumann.  I confess that I am not as familiar with art in its many forms as I am with the workings of an internal combustion engine, but I did enjoy Bec’s show.

You might like to know more about Bec here.   She is world-renowned and has exhibited in quite a few countries.

   Video of part of the installation

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Remembering Mike Treasure

Yesterday evening, family and friends of Michael Treasure gathered in the gardens of the University of Western Australia to dedicate a bench seat as a memorial for Mike.  His body was donated to the university medical faculty to serve the training of MDs and hopefully research into Parkinson’s disease.  Mike wanted it so.   

The bench is made from English Teak and the price included a perpetual maintenance contract.   After the dedication, the group of friends and family enjoyed some champagne, food and then a movie in the university outdoor theatre.

The University of Western Australia is this year, 100 years old.  The grounds are quite wonderful with huge trees and a variety of plants and ground cover.

Dorothy, Mike's wife; Brian and Lilli and on the right Katherine and Rick

Monday, December 28, 2015

Pliny the Elder

My niece’s husband Rick, gave me a nice Xmas present of two bottles of a California beer named Pliny the Elder. He brought it into Australia in his luggage. It is bottled in 510ml bottles and cannot be shipped outside of California; for what reason I know not.  Another difference with Pliny is that when you go to a store you can only purchase two bottles.     Pliny is 8% alcohol and maybe that is somehow restricting.    I enjoyed it.  Thanks Rick.

I will catch up with Rick tomorrow evening and find out the reasons for the two bottle only deal and why it cannot be shipped out of California.  Rick and Katherine are heading back to the U.S. on Wednesday.

If you are so inclined, you can read about this brew here.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Day

Daughter Helen and hubby James drove me ‘north of the river’ for Xmas Day at my sister-in-law Dorothy’s place for a major calorie upload.  Fab food, wine and conversation with niece Katherine and her husband Rick who are here in Western Australia visiting from San Francisco. My nephew Brian and his wife Lili rounded off a good day.

Helen was elected as Father Xmas to hand out the presents under the tree.  When I received a large package from Dorothy, I joked that I hoped it was one of her watercolours that I have always admired. Dorothy insisted I take it down off the wall and take it home. I was quite taken aback, thinking she must be a bit angry, but no, she knew I have liked it for years and now it is mine. Yeah!!

When I was dropped off home by James I was asked to come in to my neighbours’ house for a glass of French Champagne which turned into a lovely meal.  A good day!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The South of France

We spent a month in France in 2005 (?) mostly based in Agde on the med coast. Wonderful!
A couple of roadsigns on the outskirts of Beziers. Very effective.

Translation..On this road between Beziers Vias and 29 deaths since 5 years SLOW

Monday, December 21, 2015

The grandkids visit

Me with my grandkids Rosie and Ruby.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mahatma Ghandi

I have been reading some articles about Mahatma Ghandi.  No special reason.  The world probably needs more leaders like he was.

Mahatma Ghandi’s worldly possessions at the time of his death include a watch, eating bowl and sandals.   

The wooden sandals look as though the toe holds were cotton reels.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Mulveys visit

Had a visit from a friend, Brendan Mulvey.  We taught together at Willetton SHS. Brendan’s wife, Tracie is an exec with Chevron and based in Houston, Texas.  They are here in Western Australia for a short break over Christmas.

Brendon gets the occasional job with Chevron running Aussie classes for U.S. folk who are being transferred to work in Australia.  He tells me that there are vast differences between Oz and the U.S. and these need explaining in detail to people who are about to experience a similar, but often quite different place.

Tracie dropped Brendan off at my place and much talk over a few beers was had.  She collected him so no expensive cabs were used. He brought some expensive boutique beers, but I thought he might like a W.A. beer.    He didn’t mind it; at least that’s what he said.

Brendan and Tracie

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Catching up with Tracey

During this last week I visited an ex-student of mine in her business premises. Tracey told me that she didn’t enjoy school very much and as soon as she could, left and got on with life.  Now at the age 37, she has her own business as a finance company, financial planner and a small import agency importing Chinese products. 
She has talked to school leavers at a high school in a low socio- economic area showing them that they don’t have to have a degree to be successful.
Her businesses employ 21 people and are very successful.  I was most impressed with her management style and the obvious loyalty of her staff.

We had a couple of hours reminiscing about the past, our families and future plans.

 Tracey could talk under water. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Resurrecting a MacBook Pro

A couple of weeks ago I was offered a MacBook Pro for my giveaway project.  I gratefully accepted the gift even though the owner told me that a repair firm had deemed the Logic Board to be kaput.
When I did receive it, it was sans charger, so I charged the battery to see if  the MBP was devoid of life: pressed the startup button and it leapt into life.
I had a small moment of moral turpitude, thinking for a second, that I should not tell the donor that his machine is OK and keep it.  That thought rapidly disappeared and I emailed him suggesting that when I had done some maintenance on it that he should collect it.  He was surprised and grateful and if a few tests over this week prove that it is running well, he told me he would collect it and give me a slightly older MacBook for distribution.

PS: There is a problem with the donated laptop.  It will not always boot up and I suspect it is a problem with overheating.  I will download a piece of software to adjust the cooling fans and see what happens.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Joan's Rose

My dear Joan’s ashes enrich this rose.  I will also help when it is my time; but not just yet.  Daughter Helen is the custodian of Joan’s resting place.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Queensland Fruit Fly

I notice that my neighbour’s apricot tree has been attacked by the Queensland Fruit Fly. A newspaper article told how there have been outbreaks of QFF in suburbs near my house.  QFF had travelled to Western Australia most probably in fruit brought over by travellers.  I have fruit fly traps in my fig tree and I notice plenty of flies on my trap which look like the Queensland Fruit Fly I have seen in photographs.

Click to enlarge...

Do I approach my neighbours and ask that they remove and burn all the infected fruit?

When I was a young fella, the Department of Agriculture in this state demanded that every household bait for fruit fly and I guess it is not politic anymore for government to be so prescriptive.