Posted by: jkirkby8712 | June 19, 2011

Monday 13 June to Friday 17th June, 2011 – a week rushes past, and almost escapes my notice!!!

Too many nights out in a row, all of last week, and another three in a row this week, two radio nights and a genealogy meeting – kept this writer away from the keyboard!! So just a quick wrap up of some local happenings to bring us up to date………………

Monday, 13 June   –   this day was a Public holiday in Victoria, ostensibly to celebrate the Queen’s birthday, back in April!! As I do at this time each year, I rather half-heartedly scan the columns of  the Honours listings in the newspaper, to see if my name has somehow appeared there, but once again, no sign of anything!!  [I’m not serious of course!].

On more serious matters,  a great win overnight by Casey Stoner in the British MotoGP, raced in atrocious weather conditions, I really wonder how those guys can possibly stay on their bikes at the speeds they travel – well, a number of them didn’t actually, including the championship leader, which meant that Stoner’s win [his 4th win in a row from 6 races] took him to the top of the overall leader’s board.  Our Aussie motor cyclists is really in top form at the present stage. Meanwhile, the Australian F1 driver is also having a pretty good season, though obviously not to the degree he would like it. In the Canadian F1 Grand Prix overnight [also completed in rain drenched conditions], or early this morning really, Mark Webber managed to finish in 3rd position, behind his Red Bull teammate, Sebastian Vettel [2nd] and the winner, Jenson Button [first win of the season after passing Vettel in the last lap].  Webber is currently 3rd in the F1 standings on 94 points behind Vettel [161] and Button [101] while Britain’s Lewis Hamilton is in 4th position on 85 points. For the rest of the season, it is going to take some drastic results for Mark Webber to overtake the leader!

Meanwhile, I began a new radio program tonight – wasn’t really planning on doing a late night show until closer to the end of the year, but when the vacant spot came up, thought the opportunity might not arise again for a while, so did a bit of a swap, left my Sunday afternoons free [relinguishing that time spot], and will finish up the Tuesday evening ‘Showtime’ spot as soon as there is someone else to go in there], but at the moment, I am creating for myself the commitment of four days in a row on air, in various capacities!  My choice of course, no complaints, but I will be glad to eventually finish up the Tuesday show. As for tonight’s new show ‘Bill’s Smorgasbord of Music and Entertainment’, well simply that, a broad mix of folk, jazz, soul, blues, country, world, maybe a bit of show music eventually, and a bit of comedy with some cultural audio at times. It’s a 3 hour shift from 9pm until midnight, so Tuesday mornings are going to be a little difficult for a while! Mind you, that three hours disappears very quickly, especially when you are enjoying what you are doing, as I always do, on air!!

Tuesday, 14 June –  back to the radio tonight for another Showtime segment, but admittedly, looking forward to finishing up been on air during this time slot [6-8pm] – I don’t think it’s a very good listening time of the day, and actually feel occasionally, that the effort and preparation put into those programs is not always worth it, for what I perceive to be a small audience. Hence my desire to move back to the late night time slot [on Monday nights]

I’m not sure if I have mentioned this before,  but this year, my town, Sunbury, is celebrating it’s 175th anniversary, since the first settlers arrived in this district from Melbourne, 40 kilometres to the southeast.  While there is some doubt in the minds of some, that the local municipal council [City of Hume] of which Sunbury is but a small part, is really putting a great deal of effort into organising events [in response to that, there are various local individuals and organisations ‘doing their own thing’], the Council is at least making some attempt to promote the occasions through it’s publications and publicity machines. Sunbury is home to many unique and historically significant places to visit and explore, such as the oldest homestead in Victoria, the Home of the Ashes [per test cricket between England band Australia], and award-winning wineries. In fact, it’s claimed we can boast being the closest wine region to Melbourne, while the town is one of the oldest ‘villages’ in Victoria. One aspect of the ‘celebrations’ this year is the ‘Faces of Sunbury’ awards.  From early times, communities have rewarded community leaders for excellence, achievement and outstanding service. In recognition of the 175 year anniversary of the founding of Sunbury, the Faces of Sunbury Awards have been established.  These awards will recognise the service of individuals in Sunbury [over that 175 years period] who have made a significant contribution to the community. The nominee may be anyone from a doctor who has spent time treating Sunbury children, a social worker supporting local families, a football star inspiring junior players, a business owner employing local staff, or a whole range of activities undertaking by a person volunteering within the community.  A recognition ceremony will be held in December in Sunbury to announce the 175 Faces of Sunbury and to formally congratulate and applaud the people who make Sunbury great.  It is the people of Sunbury, meanwhile who are invited to nominate those ‘Faces’. I have to admit that it was suggested to me recently that I should be nominated for one of those spots, however hopefully I think I made it clear that I could never consider myself anywhere near the category of some of the contributions that other people have made to this community over the years –  yes, I’ve being involved in a number of areas since coming to the town in 1983, including participation on school councils, church committees, junior sporting organisations, the family history society, and of course the radio station, amongst other things, but I have always adopted a low key approach to those things, preferring to work in the background as much as possible, and not really pushing myself to the forefront. And I would prefer it stayed that way.  Meanwhile, it is going to be interesting to see just which names come ‘out of the bag’ of eventual nominations – there are already many in the community who virtually ‘pick themselves’ on the basis of some enormous to the community and it’ s needs.

Wednesday, 15 June –  another bitterly cold day in Melbourne, which no doubt a few people off travelling to our work organisation’s General Meeting today. Unfortunately, amongst those who did attend, were included the two normal troublemakers which I’m sure the majority of those present would have been quite happy not to have seen [we continue to have a couple of those types at the radio station, so these things are not unique to one or other organisation].  In today’s case, Bob and Janet might have been better off, for their own respect [of others towards them] staying at home!!  But then, that is not their agenda!

Went to another meeting tonight, which never has any of those kind of ‘problems’ –  a general meeting of the Sunbury Family History Society  –  and another interesting night, with a good attendance for a ‘freezing’ June night! I generally don’t enjoy sitting around listening to other people’s stories of their private genealogy research, tires me out very quickly. However tonight was an exception, with a couple of detailed descriptions from members as to how they go about the recording processes of their research – very similar to my own actually, but a few new little interesting insights which I found useful.

Wandering off into a completely different direction – the other day, in the monthly Accounting magazine ‘In The Black’, I noticed the heading ‘What’s a carbon credit?’, and while such an explanation has probably being spelt out on numerous occasions, I don’t think I have ever really got my head around it, generally not been technically or scientifically minded! So I read this explanation, to try and see if the whole subject was a bit clearer! Part of a larger article in the June edition titled ‘Africa shares the credit’ by Jocelyn Newmarch.

“A carbon credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide. Industrial processes which rely on fossil fuels emit large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The idea of the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism is that these emissions can be offset elsewhere in the world by sponsoring projects which remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere [carbon sinks] or by pioneering new technology which emits less greenhouse gas than the regular technology. The difference between the emissions from these two technologies is awarded to the cleaner project in the form of carbon credits. In the case of carbon sinks [e.g. tree planting projects for airline passengers – ?], the amount of carbon sequestered is used to calculate the number of carbon credits which are awarded to the project.

The carbon credits are awarded every year that the project is operational and they can be kept by the project developer or trader, or they can be traded. Because they have a monetary value, determined by the markets, they represent an additional revenue stream which creates the incentive to develop cleaner technology. It is a way of financing sustainable development. Credits are freely tradeable and will continue to be so after 2012, so new customers will still be able to buy them. What is being dismantled is the international treaty [Kyoto Protocol] which governs the registration of the credits, not the trade itself. While some companies only buy carbon credits to offset their own emissions, as a spot trade, other companies prefer to take some of the investment risk in developing a project in order to receive some of the carbon credits once the project is up and running.  Carbon credits reward clean design and use, and the credits awarded to a project ….can be sold without detracting from the project”.

So do I now understand all about carbon credits?  Perhaps it’s a bit like the infinity of space – one can understand the broad concepts, but the comprehension of such enormity [in this case, measuring the carbon credit] is not always that easy to achieve!!

Thursday, 16 June – I was glad of an evening when I didn’t have to go ‘anywhere’, didn’t even stop at a shop, just straight home, locked the doors, prepared myself a meal, and spent 4/5 hours working on a family history chart [at the expense of catching up on this week’s ‘blogs’!!].

I notice that one of the GETUP’s organisations latest projects relates to the question of same sex marriage and associated issues. I’m afraid they won’t really encourage me as an active campaigner in that area. While I have no concerns about same sex relationships,  I feel I must draw the line as such a partnership being called a marriage!  Conservative and perhaps pro-religious background influencing that view most likely, but I don’t step back from that idea. The following is the general gist of the GETUP message, from the viewpoint of one proponent of the cause, obviously with a vested interest in getting changes.  As this person suggests, the changes will come – I can see that, even if I don’t agree with the need in some circumstances – but the one phrase below, that really irritated me was ‘Mummies are you going to be engaged for ever?’  –  not mum and dad but ‘mummies’.  That is not the interpretation of marriage I’ve been brought up to believe in, and accept, with all it’s faults and bad examples. However, read on, for that half of this ‘mummy’ partnership’s views:-

“We know our politicians have been hearing from those who oppose equality, so it’s important we get in their ear and remind them that the majority of Australians do support removing discrimination from our laws. In fact, just last week I read a poll saying 75% of Australians believe marriage equality will happen. But it won’t happen by itself – we have to fight for it.  Whether it’s in my church community, at work or among friends, people often change their minds on this issue. And over time, the nation’s mind is changing, with the majority of Australians now supporting marriage equality.
I’m frequently asked why marriage is important to me. Here’s why: my youngest son Dylan often asks us “Mummies are you going to be engaged forever? Why don’t you get married?” It has been hard trying to explain that our government won’t let us get married; he doesn’t understand why everyone else can become a family legally and we can’t.  People will continue to say we are different, who we love and how we live is wrong and we are not a family. But I believe that until the government legally recognises that same-sex couples are no different to heterosexual couples and should have the same and equal rights in every area in life including marriage, this discrimination will never end.   Our son Matthew puts it best: “The government are like teachers, they need to set a good example for everyone else. If they don’t accept us as a family then other people won’t either.”   Please join me in contacting our local politicians and asking them to support marriage equality, using GetUp’s website” – yes, I’ll support some aspects of that call, the equal financial and social service provisions, but will oppose it been called a marriage!

Friday, 17 June this week’s online edition of the ‘National Seniors’’ magazine had an interesting poser of a question for readers. With the current high Australian dollar value, and the fact that consumers are becoming more dollar- savvy, we have seen online purchases soar over the past few years. Consumers report they can save hundreds of dollars per purchase by simply buying online at Australian or international companies’ websites, but businesses say they are reeling from lost income and may have to close their doors. Whilst some seniors are open to using the internet to buy online, others are cautious. The question asked was:- Do you support online shopping so that consumers get to keep more money in their pocket?  Or, do you think it’s destroying Australian businesses?

  My only real response to that was that there certainly appears to be savings through the online purchases, although my only experience has been in respect to books, and that is something my daughter does quite regularly, I’ve just followed suit on a couple of occasions, or at her behest. My reservations tend to be the security aspect of disclosing credit card details etc online, and on the odd occasions that I have thought of placing such an order, that concern has generally stopped me from doing so. As to the concept of  ‘destroying Australian business’, well I think that the answer to that question can only be determined over an extensive time period, and the general view of many respondees to the question, was that those businesses concerned about the issue should ‘go with the times’ and join in, expanding their operations to provide for that avenue of sales. I guess that’s not easy or even practical in some cases, but it is certainly one way in which retailers for eg, can respond.

Meanwhile, my football team, Carlton, comes up against the Sydney Swans again this Sunday afternoon, this time, at Edihad Stadium, here in Melbourne. Up until about today, it had been my intention to go, but in the absence of any similar suggestions by family members that they were going this week [apart from James, who seems to have found a new bunch of supporter friends to go with],  I will probably have changed my mind by the weekend, and with a TV coverage available this weekend, think I might vegetate at home on Sunday@!! I see we have three players added to the squad, including one of my long term favoured players, Ryan Houlahan whom I don’t think has been in the senior team since last year.  In this week’s online ‘Blues Report’, Carlton captain, Chris Judd had a few words of advice and inspiration to team and supporters.  He wrote:-
“Earning the right to play finals two years in a row provides a real platform for Carlton going forward. In 2010 we finished in a similar position to 2009, however we did it with a much younger team and I genuinely believe there are some exciting times ahead. The whole group is now getting a real hunger for achieving something together. We want to be the best possible players we can be so we’re the best possible team we can be. We want Carlton supporters to have a similar attitude, the desire to achieve to be the best possible supporters you can be. We want a huge membership team supporting the club as we strive to achieve something special together, 50,000 members and beyond.   For my career to be fulfilled I need a premiership at Carlton. That’s what we’re all working towards and we want you to be involved.   The Carlton Football Club is at a stage where we’re ready to achieve again and I know the players are really hungry for that. It will take a lot of hard work. [As Members]  together we can achieve, on and off the ground. However to succeed we must have no passengers.  Chris Judd, Captain  Member #1824383”.  I suppose, that after many years [almost thirty] as a Member, I am probably now in the category he calls a ‘passenger’ –  however, I won’t let that concern me. I’ve given five decades of support to the team since I came down to Melbourne – these days, I only get to a game a few times a year  due to time, other commitments,  travel and expense, after being a weekly member and attendee for 6 months a year, every year. I’m rather pleased, that eldest son James, has taken over with the kind of enthusiastic support I once displayed and still have in spirit, and even Jodie gets along to a game on those occasions that work and other social commitments allow her to do so! Anyway, looking forward to Sunday’s game, whether witnessed in person or via the TV!

On a different aspect of personal passion, my regular monthly copy of ‘Limelight Magazine’ is promoting a super edition for July –  “No genuine opera buff should be without it!” says soprano Emma Matthews of Limelight‘s annual Opera Issue, now on newsstands. Limelight is proud to present 130 pages of unadulterated operatic bliss.   Inside, soprano Renee Fleming reveals her greatest role; conductor Simone Young pens a diary about her complete Ring Cycle in Hamburg; and director Bruce Beresford tells how Peter Grimes made him an opera nut. To celebrate this special bumper issue, Limelight has assembled an online-exclusive tour of the Great Opera Houses of the World: the history, the architecture, the music and the tickets we  all wish we had for upcoming productions. Other than The Big Four – Covent Garden, La Scala, The Met and Vienna Staatsoper – who else made the cut?  Opera critic Sarah Noble revisits her definitive list of Ten Great Operas (you probably haven’t heard) with some new insights. In the July magazine, Sarah selects the must-have new opera recordings.  Well after that promotion, and thinking this was a special edition, I actually a copy this evening, where I discovered that it was in fact the July edition, just put out a week or so earlier than usual! Hopefully, if I can make the time, some interesting reading ahead of yours truly this coming few weeks!

In the meantime, with all the political talk about climate change, attention to the environment, etc, I note that my professional body, CPA Australia [Certified Public Accountants] are ensuring their industry is not seen to be dragging their heels on that subject.  From CPA, we learn that   ‘The changes in sustainability and environmental accounting in 2011 mean accounting firms must develop knowledge of legislative changes to counsel clients about the potential business impact. There are two ways an accounting firm can improve its environmental services: by developing internal skills and by partnering with external suppliers.  Video interviews on the subject are available free to members, and for a small charge to non-members, on the CPA Australia website. A complimentary excerpt of the ‘Role of the accounting profession’ is available to everybody’.  .  In some ways, I’m a little glad that I’m getting out of the accounting profession – I guess one should be excited about new accounting procedures and the need to meet the challenges of things like environmental concerns, but I don’t really mind leaving those ‘challenges’ to the new generations of accountants coming through, in fact after this year, I don’t really want a great deal to do with the accounting profession!  However, that option may not be completely obliterated, time will tell.

As with last night, I spent the bulk of this evening at home, and working on the family history. While at present, the early years  consists of names only with very little other information and/or confirmation, we have managed to trace the family line back to 1475, or if you like, 19 generations! Unfortunately, that is beyond the normal limit of possibilities  – you need to be a direct descendant of royalty, etc, of a famous character in history in order to discover anything about one’s earlier ancestral history. Or have the privilege of your ‘research’ being funded through such TV programs as ‘Who Do You Think You Are’!!  Needless to say, I continue to find it a fascinating ‘spare time’ occupation!

You know, I expected Susan home tonight, although by the time it became quite dark and late, I was becoming a little concerned about her being out on the highway in the current poor weather.  However, my ‘innocent’ message to her eventually, as to whether I could expect her home tonight, was greeted with the reminder that she told me on this occasion she would not be back until next week!!!  Ohh well, I was sure she said Friday, but I was not going to argue the point, was mainly relieved she was not out on the roads!!!  Presumably, there is a bit of social life developing up in Bendigo to warrant a weekend stopover! That left your writer with the weekend to himself, although in reality, it’s not much different when Susie is in Sunbury, as I don’t see that much of her.  At least the accommodation up in Bendigo is getting some value out of the cost of rental.




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