Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 48

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Thursday October 16, 2008 (diary)

Tropical tree

It is overcast as I wake up, by midday the sun is out producing considerable humidity after all the rain yesterday. By 4 PM another brief shower to cool things down again.
I spent most of the day working on the Blog Index again. I have added a Food Index Page to it. I love food, as you undoubtedly have discovered by now. But I am not very keen on posh expensive restaurants. Having to spend an obscene amount of money for a single meal goes very much against my grain. I much prefer the small Restaurants , Cafes and Pubs where you get good meals and good value.

The Australian Labor Government appears to me totally out off their depth with this Financial crisis. They have listened to the rest of the world and decided to do something similar, a Rescue Package, but have it appears very little idea as to what the effects of it might be. The Australian public has to take the deal (worth 10.4 billion dollars) at face value and is exposed to potentially huge bank losses way beyond the extent of the proposed package.
The Opposition is being stonewalled by the Government when it tries to get some answers. As a result Parliament has become a total joke as Rudd, Swayne, etc. are only able or willing to speak in superficial platitudes.

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Friday October 17, 2008 (diary)

Kim and Andrew

I took a few recordings of It had to be You last night before going to bridge, and one take was good enough to put online this morning.
At about midday we have a wonderful good half hour downpour of rain at the farm, a full inch (26mm). In the colder climates rain is always a depressing experience but here in the Tropics it is just wonderful. Towards the end of it I hop in the car to go into town. Surprisingly 4 km away they have clearly had no rain at all.

Book cover At Bar Zushi one of the staff is sitting next to me while having her lunch break and tells me the latest news. Ayaa and her husband have safely arrived in Cairns, and George, the boss of Bar Zushi, is opening a take away sushi shop also in the Casuarina Shopping Centre to take a bit of pressure off their main venue. It is without a doubt one of the most popular eating places here in Darwin.

I check out the Dymocks bookshop. They did have the just published Aravind Adiga's Booker Prize winning novel The White Tiger in store, but it already sold out. New stock will arrive in two and a half weeks time, so I have to wait until I am at the Sunshine Coast before getting hold of a copy.

Back at the farm Kim invites me for dinner again tonight at their home as it is Andrew's birthday today. Rick has done all the cooking and preparation. Before coming to Australia he worked 2 years in Hotels in Switserland, where he specialised in pastries. The sausage rolls he made for tonight are absolutely deliscious and by far the best I have ever tasted.

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Saturday & Sunday October 18 & 19, 2008 (diary)

Evening clouds over the Mango farm Saturday goes by almost unnoticed. Andrew goes often fishing in his boat and early this morning five of them went out early. Came back midday without any fish, they did catch some, but not nice eatable ones. Unfortunately I am not into fishing, golf, sailing or any other of those outdoor sports. I prefer to sit and contemplate, but love to walk in the right environment (like the Black Forest for example).
I work a bit on upgrading a few of my web pages, in the afternoon make another recording, The Girl from Ipanema, and in the evening I watch The Bill and after that the tail end of Pretty Woman. I always cry my eyes out watching movies like that.

Today (Sunday) I wake up early to a magnificent morning. I go out and turn on the sprinkling system for the row of young trees and plants along the entry drive and in front of the farm. They will look magnificent in a few years time.
Today I will treat myself to lunch at Stokes Hill Wharf again. I try to keep my trips into town to 3 or 4 visits a week. It is a round trip of 60-70 km and therefore costing about $10 each time. But then, saving is good but one must not overdo it to one's total discomfort.

So I first watch as usual the ABC's Insiders program. Malcolm Turnbull, the Liberal Opposition leader, is the invited guest today and I am glad to see he has settled well into his new role, giving a very intelligent and excellent performance. As a former merchant banker he has in depth insight and understanding of the present financial crisis, while Rudd, Swayne & Co clearly have not got a clue.
The crisis itself looks more daunting by the day and I have to ask myself in a few months time whether it is wise to go to Europe next year. I have cash funds, but am not sure how long those need to last. I don't want to be forced into selling any of my investments at their current low value. We will see. I very much like to go.

Rick finishing the rear window repair At lunch time I climb into my car and back out, slab bang, into a mango tree, and a stump of one of its cut off branches goes right through my rear windscreen. So I am having, what Rick later calls, a "smashing afternoon". Rick is very helpful by lending me his vacuum cleaner to clean up all the glass.
I then drive down to Bunnings in Palmerston to buy some clear strong plastic and plumbing tape, come back and, again with Rick's kind help, tape a temporary window on my car's back door. We do a reasonably good job of it and if it holds OK I will not get a new window until back at the Sunshine Coast. It would cost a lot more to get it replaced here, that is for sure.
So no grilled seafood today. Well one can't have everything. Tomorrow will be another day. Hopefully not so "smashing" as this one.

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Monday October 20, 2008 (diary)

Me in Germany, July '08 Last night I watched the annual Andrew Olle Media Lecture, organised each year by the ABC in memory of this outstanding journalist. The retired well known TV presentator Ray Martin was the guest speaker this time. Like all previous speakers I watched over the years he had a crack at the quality of the media.
Ray this time lamented the dissapearance of quality news programs on the commercial channels. I agree with him of course, thanks goodness we have the ABC and SBS.
However the sad and dissapointing thing is that all this good advise (given at these lectures) over the years never has led to the slightest improvement in the situation. To the contrary the slide to total mediocrcy seems to be going on and on regardless. The bottom line is all what counts.

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