Monday, September 16, 2013

'On a clear day,' I could actually use my solar oven---but this is Akcland in spring!

When I purchased my new solar oven it didn’t come with directions, probably because it is so simple, even someone with my lack of techno-ability should be able to manage it. As it turned out, that is what happened. I set it up and tested it, the only thing lacking being the damned sun!
I looked at a few online reports and chuckled quietly at the You-tube postings that had the odd snake or two shimmering along like some sort of serpent drag queen. Those shots were from the desert where temperatures climb to over 40C and the sun shines forever. Maybe that should have served as a warning!
Another clue came my way too. Some of the sites pushing the use of solar ovens were from ‘survivalists groups or ‘preppies.’ Alongside those ‘postings’ were other claiming that ‘in 5 years’ time, 95% of Americans will be dead.’ Jeeze, I thought. What the hell have I interfered into on this new journey with my little solar oven? Am I going to be joining some sort of fringe group that uses the word Armageddon as a focal word? I am unsure if I should laugh or head for the hills!
OK, I am still trying to make my oven work, but I am coming to the conclusion that springtime in Auckland is never going to deliver the consistent sun and temperatures needed to cook a meaty wholesome meal. Then, in the summer, maybe I won’t feel like a stew or roasted chicken. Of course I will! Watch this space. Too bad for the ‘preppies’ in the winter though. They will have to go chop down a tree and cook on an open fire.

Australia's future---why, back to the past of course! (This one really is for Aussies and Kiwis!) And to a male dominated Cabinet!

It comes as no surprise that The New PM of Australia, Dear Leader, Tony has appointed only one woman to his cabinet. Let it also not be a shock when he reverses the gains that Australian workers have fought so hard for over the years. It will not even take him another term in which to achieve his goals; that of a compliant lower wage pool of workers, available at the whim of unscrupulous employers who must be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of increased profits on the back of the changes.
Perhaps Tony has underestimated the ‘grit’ of Aussie workers. One only needs to glance back to the past to see that they will not submit to this new regime. The voters will of course rue the day where they either voted for the new leader or failed to vote at all. Maybe they gave their votes to that rather strange ‘new boy on the block, the one who did especially well in Queensland, who we will all quickly forget once he serves his single term, hence my purposeful un-naming of him.
The Greens may have to help Labor along, although they too took a king hit in the latest election. So it will be up to the Labor Party to win back support after their pathetic showing; one driven by their never-ending leadership wrangles and sector divisions. One ‘reaps what one sows’ and that pearl of wisdom will be apparent rather quickly in Australia over the next few years.
‘The Lucky Country’ is on for some torrid times as people start to drop off from the formerly strong labour market. As wages are either held or lowered, a sense of anger will grow. As school receive less funding (Except the private sector schools) and Aussie kids get a raw deal and the refugee problem does not suddenly disappear, Australians will wake up one day and wonder what the hell they have done!  Add the diminishing Federal and State funded health programs to the pot of discontent and people will start to look beyond Tony and his team for a solution, but will they see a reinvigorated Labor Party, ready to take office; one that is not torn by selfish personality issues and splits in ideology?
Who knows? Perhaps Australians are well used to such machinations in their political paradigm and can readily adapt to new challenges. They are after all, our cousins over the ‘ditch’ and together we have often faced external threats. It is the internal ones that wreak havoc and New Zealand should take heed of what happened in Australia. Our own Labour Party may have learnt from ‘observation’ and today in Parliament we shall see the battle to change our future begin. Learn well from our cousins, New Zealand!