Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 70

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Monday & Tuesday February 16 & 17, 2009 (diary)

Mooloolaba beach Another glorious day in Paradise. Outside the School holiday periods Monday is usually a quiet day on the beach. The waves are absolutely perfect today and I manage a large number of body surfs. The rest of the day follows the normal lazy life pattern I lead these days.
There is absolutely no other place in the world (at least that I know) where I would rather be than here right now. The beach, the climate, the environment are great, the Sunshine Coast is an ideal place to live or have a wonderful relaxing holiday.
In the evening Babette arrives. She will be home for just two nights, but on Wednesday its off again to Sydney, then on Friday on to Hong Kong for a week. Doug is in India by now, doing three weeks of marketing for Babette's two schools.

Tuesday it is back to overcast sky and showers. Bridge in the morning, swim in the afternoon as usual.
Apparently 25% of the 1,800 houses burnt in the Victorian bushfires are not insured, for many households it is simply too expensive. The Victorian State Government is putting 65% tax on home insurance premiums. In other words 40 cents out of every dollar of the insurance goes to the State Government, supposedly to pay for their Fire Brigades. A rather strange and counter productive approach I would think, seeing that in the end the Federal Governments assistance money will especially go to the uninsured families.

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Wedneday February 18, 2009 (diary)

Leo McKern as 'Rumpole of the Bailey' I have to get up early today, my car is being serviced. I arrive at the garage at 7.30 AM, but it takes 5 hours to get everything done on my Mercedes Vito. I had opted to wait for it, not realising the service would take that long, so I manage to read one book ("The Antisocial behaviour of Horace Rumpole") from cover to cover. I had not realised that John Mortimer was still writing books, this one was published only two years ago in 2007. (He died just recently this year.) I got it from the Library, but his Rumpole books are nowhere to be seen in Australian bookshops these days.

While waiting in the garage's customers room I also read some articles in one of the Truck magazines. I am shocked by what I learn. Every Australian State has different rules and regulations regarding truck sizes, loads, driver training etc.
In a quoted example for a truck traveling through different States : in one State an extra axle has to be fitted, which, when crossing the next State boundary has to be taken off again. The paperwork alone is a total nightmare for every trucking company in Australia.

Snow in the Black 

Forest In this regard we are way behind the EU (European Community) who cleared up this type of bureaucracy years ago. And that was across borders of different countries and cultures, not different States all belonging to one Nation.
The same parochial nonsense prevails for State regulations in many areas : different school curriculums, drivers licenses, road speed limits, railway gages, insurance regulations, river water management, the list goes on and on. Federal Governments for years have been trying to clean up this mess, but the States desperately keep hanging on to their self interests, which in most cases is counterproductive to the Nation as a whole.

At around 1 PM my car is finally ready. I decide to have lunch at Jimmy's Place, a small hole in the wall Chinese Restaurant in Ball Street, Maroochydore. As it happens the eatery just reopened today, as Jimmy and his wife Quin have only yesterday returned from a visit to their daughter and new grandchild in Darwin.
It is an overcast day, but the surf is great with just the right waves for some serious body surfing. Back home I receive some photos from my sister Wivica from the Black Forest in Germany. Lots of snow over there as you can see.

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Thursday & Friday February 19 & 20, 2009 (diary)

Mooloolaba beach Another two routine days, Thursday overcast but Friday sunny again with blue skys, but also quite humid due to the recent rainfalls.
I finally bought a street directory for the Sunshine Coast area this week. I lost my old one. Here a good map of Mooloolaba Beach where I spend most of my days at present. You can clearly see the fish hook shape of the (yellow) beach and (green) dune strip, surrounded by water, the Pacific Ocean to its north, the Mooloolah River to the south of it.

Friday morning after bridge I go once more to the Maroochydore Centrelink office to change my asset details used for the calculation of my Australian pension. It is another long wait, but after two hours waiting it is settled within just a few minutes. It is 4 PM by the time I arrive after my swim at the Surf Club for my usual bruschetta lunch, late enough to have a beer with it as well.
In the evening a thunderstorm with lots of rain cools everything down. I have a dozen bitterballen while watching TV, after which I am too full to eat anything else.

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