Posted by: jkirkby8712 | December 9, 2011

Friday, 9th December 2011 – Friday notations!

Moderate start to a day which ‘promises’ to be rather warm – think the garden might be given a rest today, but, began the morning before it got too hot, with another 40 minute walk [which ended up lasting 60 minutes], a sensible time of day to do that I guess!  And with the weather hot outside, for me, a good excuse to watch a bit of cricket!!

It was Day 1 of the 2nd cricket test today between Australia and New Zealand, played at Bellerive Oval in Hobart [Tasmania].   The New Zealand team  –   Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor [captain] Kane Williamson, Dean Brownlie,  Reece Young, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee,  Chris Martin,  Trent Boult [Daniel Vettori withdrew due to injury].  The Australian team:  Phillip Hughes, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Ricky Ponting,   Michael Clarke (capt), Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin (wk),  Peter Siddle,  Mitchell Starc,  James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon.   A great pre-lunch session for the Aussies at least  – Michael Clarke won the toss, and decided to send the Kiwis in to have a bat. Good decision for the Aussies, which saw New Zealand having collapsed to 6 wickets for just 83 runs at lunchtime!!

It was around 2.45 pm, when the New Zealand team were eventually all out for just 150 runs [at which time the tea break was taken]. Australian’s young new bowler, in his second Test, again took five wickets in the innings, a great start to his test career.  A bit of a delay in the game recommencing due to a brief shower of rain, and then the Australians came into bat – briefly, as the rain came back, with the Aussies 1 for 12 runs. Phil Hughes, battling to keep his place in the team, failed again, and unless he can create a huge score in the second innings, I would suggest his days in the team are numbered. In the meantime, the rain in Hobart became heavier, and eventually, any further cricket was abandoned for the day.

A project that I will hopefully benefit from, has just finished a very busy construction year.  The ‘Sunbury Electrification Project’  is making good progress.  The aim is to extend the electrified Melbourne metropolitan rail network, about 15 kilometres from it’s current ending point, at Watergardens, to Sunbury. Thankfully, both Sunbury and Digger’s Rest stations [the town a few kilometres closer to the city from Sunbury] will have CCTV security surveillance installed  – an initial concern about government plans to extend the service to Sunbury, was that as the end point of the metropolitan network, Sunbury would be likely to fail increased criminal and vandalism activity, as troublemakers came out from the city. On completion of the project, rail users [such as myself now] will have full access to all metropolitan railway stations including direct access to the city look. Currently, we use the rural rail network, for which services are much more limited, particularly late at night, and of course, are not available to the underground network in the city area.  A big advantage for travellers in Sunbury will be the overcoming of the problem of weekday services finishing at 10.15pm, as they currently do, which makes attendances at city functions at night, a difficult proposition. I will face that problem next Tuesday when I attend another opera performance in the city  – that outing will mean driving across to Watergardens, parking the car [which one is not always confident about doing at a suburban station] and using the metropolitan service from that venue.

Incidentally, last Tuesday, for the second month in a row, the Reserve Bank of Australia [RBA],  lowered the official ‘interest rate’. In the couple of days since then, we have had much speculation as to whether the four big banks in Australia, will correspondingly lower their interest rates on home mortgages. Despite all reporting huge profits in recent [banks doing better than most enterprises], they were all ‘crying poor’ and giving consideration to what extent of the Reserve Bank increase, they would pass on to customers. While all of those four banks  –  Commonwealth, Westpac, ANZ, and the National –  were claiming to be facing rising funding costs, but were also considering the political implications of ‘not’ passing on the full benefit, by late yesterday, they had all done so. The Reserve Bank decision indicated that the RBA had downgraded its outlook for the global economy in the past four weeks, and in Chairman in announcing the rate decrease on Tuesday, said that trade in Asia was beginning to suffer from a significant slowdown in Europe [where questions of the economy have dominated much of the discussion in that part of the world over recent months], and that as a consequence, the likelihood of a further material slowing in global growth has increased. Despite all that, and the RBA’s caution, the Australian economy remains fairly robust, in comparison with other major economies around the world, and the RBA is apparently not seeing  any sign of the global slowdown  hitting the Australian economy, yet, although things may become more challenging next year.  The RBA meets on the first Tuesday of each month [except January] to consider such matters, and appears to maintain a fairly close watch on the world’s economy and it’s potential affect on us here.

Well for the first time this summer, I sitting here with a cooling fan in operation  – it’s a rather warm evening, and while perhaps not hot enough to switch on the air-conditioning unit, I’ve dragged out an old reliable fan to cool things down a bit, where I am working.

A pleasant surprise tonight to receive a couple of text messages  from an old school friend from Ballarat days – in fact, we really only knew each other at the Primary School level and were probably only ‘friends’ by association in those days [same school and church]. Australia Post is working pretty well  – I only posted late yesterday my Christmas greetings, etc to Heather, in Ballarat, and tonight, she was thanking me for them! During the course of those ‘text conversations’, I discovered she was a jazz fan, as I was – Heather wanted to know our radio station frequency, and I think she was disappointed when I told her that the signal disappears halfway to Ballarat!!

Meanwhile, I was listening to a ‘concert’ of my own tonight, without leaving the house  – direct broadcast  from the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra [from which orchestra, I received in the mail yesterday, a copy of their 2012 concert program – not that I was likely to get to any of them!!]. Anyway, some great classical music on tonight’s program – Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Boyevoda, Symphonic Ballad’; Prokofiev’s ‘Sinfonie Concentante’; and  Beethoven’s ‘Symphony No 3 [Eroica]  –  all of which, I have featured at different times in my own program!  Heather had asked me if I was listening to the ABC TV jazz program, which she was doing, but I had to admit that Beethoven was taking priority for a while tonight!

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