The Time Has Come (the Walrus said) Archives

Some facts about me

Drat. Don’t like web-games much. But I’ve been tagged by the delightful Kath for ANOTHER of them damn me-me-me thingies.

What the hell.

What was I doing 10 years ago?

Hmm… 1998… not sure when that was, can’t remember.

Ah yes. The dark days. Working for a defence contracting company, designing really cool neat stuff for some ingrates who didn’t know, didn’t care, didn’t want what we made because it was not made in the USA. Mega stress, long hours, a budget too small, management by schedule and nowt else. Ah the joys of working in technology! Even more the joys of working for ignorant boof-heads.

Youngest wee gennelman would have been about 2, and the oldest about 5.

Five snacks I enjoy in a perfect, non weight-gaining world

In no particular order:

1. Lindt dark chocolate 70%

2. Lindt dark chocolate 85%

3. A wee glass of red

4. Chocolate chip biscuits but only with LOTS of chocolate chips

5. Ice cream, or maybe anzac biccies, or perhaps a lump of roast chook, or a wee slice off a freshly cooked roast leg of lamb, or oh hell almost anything really. So long as it’s not Brussel Sprouts.

Five snacks I enjoy in the real world:

Err. See above. Though the tum has begun to show it, AND I don’t have the appetite I used to, so these days they are all in much reduced amounts. Moderation begins at 40.

And besides now I have two teenage liddle gennemen who eat the way I used to. So they can have the snacks instead (except the red ned) and I’ll just make do with a glass of water.

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire:

1. Pay off the debts!

2. Go see a bit more of the world. Travel first class (I can’t stand long trips in cattle class) and staying one or two stars up from the flea-pit hotels. Not worry about the cost. Enjoy it, in the happy knowledge that my profligacy makes employment for others and is thus socially responsible and slightly lefty.

3. Go to work and have fun and not be afraid to tell jerks to f&^% off. And if it got too much, then f%#& off myself to somewhere and something that I like doing.

4. Smile more.

5. Find some really truly worthwhile causes, set up endowment funds for them so they can live off the earnings and make sure the buggers can never get their grubby mits on the capital. What cause? Hmmm… hard one… something very pragmatically pale green.

Five jobs that I have had:

1. Gardener, tree-water-er, weed puller-er and grass cutter-er.

2. Maker of the chook-machine and co-writer of the pig program. (ha ha bet that has you wondering what the heck that was all about).

3. Junior Boffin and writer of learned papers for technical journals and do-er of things so secret that if I told you I’d have to shoot you.

4. Boffin and techno-thingier for a big defence company and do-er of even more secret things that nobody much wanted :(

5. (And now) Boffin and techno-thingier and inventor and guy-who-writes patents for a company doing neat stuff that gives people cool things in their houses and, when used correctly, reduces electricity consumption.

Three of my habits:

1. Worrying too much

2. Trying to do too much (a 30 hour day would be about right) and always feeling tired

3. Getting cranky about untidiness but knowing I’m a terrible hypocrite. One look at my desk tells the story.

Five places I have lived:

1. Highbury. North East suburbs of Adelaide. Growing up territory. Roamed far and wide on foot or by bicycle. Came home when hungry. Got schooled. Went to uni for 5 years. Got a few degrees. Swot. Scraped in, scraped through.

2. St Peters, Adelaide. Moved out of home into a flat. Memories: COLD. NOISY. If not the religious nut downstairs, it was the dog on the tennis court of Mr and Mrs Nob next door, yapping at 2 am. Total zombie from lack of sleep. Saved from insanity by earplugs.

3. Klemzig. Moved to small unit, bought on two mortgages with SWMBO when we were both young and foolish. Before marriage. Gasp, horrors. Married young, by modern standards. Lived there for 5 or so years. Sold privately and saved a motza on agents fees. No debt for a massive 2 months! Until progress payments to the builder sorted that out.

4. Birdwood, Adelaide Hills. House sitting a small farm for 5 months. In theory while the House-Of-The-Walrus-Family was being built. Ha ha. Birdwood through a wet winter. Cold. Cold. Cold. Damn cold. Wet. Did I mention cold? Up every morning to feed hay to the cows, and smash the layer of ice that had formed over the water dish for the chooks. Walking dog in the rain at night. Ice on the fences by 10 pm. Vast amounts of driving… over the hills and far away. (And thence… back to Mum and Dads… for 2 weeks that turned into 6 months while the builders spent three lifetimes on constructing the Walrus Pen.)

5. Outer Bogansville. Side of a hill. Northern suburbs, just near the massive Golden Grove development (but not part of it thank heavens). Moved into a just-completed house. Concrete floors for 7 years. Sheets on the windows for 5 years. Cold in winter. Stinking hot in summer. Windy as all hell in November. Interest rates at 17.5%. Spent the next 8 years building and landscaping. Learned to lay bricks. Built 7 retaining walls. Laid thousands of pavers. Mixed about 100 tonnes of concrete. Planted hundreds of trees. Dug huge lotsa holes. Filled them in again. Had a coupla liddle chillens. Survived the neighbour from hell. Survived a number of The Evil Ones. Gonna leave in a pine box.

Grr B#$%&y introspective narrow minded F@#$ers

OK kiddies, settle yourselves down for a good old-fashioned rant.

Grab yourself a cuppa, this might take a while.

Greenhouse -> Climate Change + Drought = Proof !!

Have you noticied how we’ve all morphed from the geek-term “Greenhouse Effect” to slightly less geeky “Global Warming”, to the now politically correct, ungeeky “Climate Change”?

All this presupposes that the theories, and the data upon which they are based, are both accurate and correct.

STOP SCREAMING. Those who say “look at the current Australian drought” need to take a big dose of Mogodon and loosen up. The current Australian drought proves nothing, one way or the other. Australia has, according to the historical record, been through about a 50 year period of unusually HIGH rainfall, and now seems to be moving back to something more normal. Ask your parents or grandparents how much it used to rain in the 1930’s.

I’m pissed off that we have patronising people saying “look at what we are living through” as if this is proof. The proof will be found in another 50 to 100 years, not now. Get a grip. It’s a THEORY. According to the scientific method, you propose a theory, then you must find evidence both FOR and AGAINST. A Theory is rarely proved and easily disproved. Proof is not 1 or 2 years of lack rain. Proof is data over a long, long period. We have insufficient data to prove anything one way or the other.

Back in the 1950’s, every time there was a dry year, or a wet year, or the wind blew unusually strongly from the North-East, the blame was “the BOMB”. The A-bomb, that is. Young folks, go ask your parents. Say “The Bomb” and get them to tell you what it was all about.

We all love to blame something or someone for our ills. If a big nasty conspiracy is involved it’s even better. Time to take a reality check guys.

DON’T GET ME WRONG: This is not an excuse to buy V8 cars and leave all the lights on. Keep reading.

Local Government

We have the unedifying spectacle of various arms of government moving beyond hysterical hand-wringing about climate change, and now starting to impose charges and levies. Some local councils (not in Adelaide, yet, that I know of) are now imposing climate change charges.

Local government! These guys are supposed to collect your garbage!

What the heck are they doing imposing climate change charges? And what will they do with the money? Buy a bigger car for the Mayor?

These mad bastards should be taken out and shot. This is lunacy. The difference that local government can make is SOD ALL. See more below. The difference Australian can make is ZIP, and local government is ZIP SQUARED.

Again, get a bloody grip.


In Australia we have posturing and harping by our politicians, on the 2 major sides, and the usual bullshit from the minor parties and interest groups.

The Chinese are building 200 new airports. RIGHT NOW. That makes the airports, air traffic, and flights in Australia look like a minnow against a shark.

The Chinese bring on line new electricity generation equal to the ENTIRE Australian generation capacity, EVERY 9 months.

While we fiddle, Rome is burning, literally, but in China. The Chinese don’t give a flying F#$@ about any of our hand-wringing, they just get on with building stuff to make a better life for their people.

In the meantime, we argue, and waste hot-air on stupid things like whether the government car fleet should change from a Statesman to a Toyota Prius, or Hybrid Camry!

For crying out aloud, the change of government cars in the fleet won’t make a blind bit of difference in the long run to ANYTHING when there are other counties in the world adding emissions at the rate of THOUSANDS of Statesman cars per day!

Again, start looking past the end of your nose, Australia, what you do makes miniscule difference. It’s so small as to be insignificant. Making the guy in the street pay for a few rich people’s pious indulgence is patronising, rude, and totally worthless. We deserve better.

Australia cutting emissions in any form is roughly equivalent to zipping down to your local jetty and pissing off the end of it, then trying to measure the rise in sea level as a consequence. Australia cutting emissions by changing a few government cars to imported hybrids is equivalent to zipping down to that same jetty and tossing half a thimble-full of pee in the ocean, then measuring.

Petrol Prices

Oil prices rose. So petrol prices rose. Oil is a declining resource. Maybe we’ve hit “peak oil”, maybe not. Finding new oil is increasingly difficult and expensive, so the case for peak-oil is looking better with each passing day. In that case, it’s natural for the price to rise. This is basic, basic economics.

And rise the price damn well should. Oil has always been priced for the here-and-now, basically the cost of extraction + a profit margin.

Oil has never been priced as a one-off opportunity for the people of the planet, if it had, it would have been priced far higher from the very early days, on the grounds that it should last mankind forever. But that’s not how capitalism works. Dollars today and stuff the future!

Oil has so many benefits: in production of energy, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and fertiliser. It is completely undervalued and because of the low price we abuse it to create motor sport (!), and make stupid things like cheap kids toys (all crap, all break easily, all made in low cost countries) and plastic shopping bags! Madness!

In the face of rising oil prices, we have dickheads like Brendon Nelson, Leader of Her Majesties Opposition, finally finding a way of rattling the new government by promising to cut petrol taxes by $0.05 / litre. HE IS NOT EVEN IN GOVERNMENT. IT’S STUPID! When petrol prices are $1.60 / litre, that 5 cents means NOTHING. It’s maybe $1 in a $50 tankful, unless of course you are foolish enough to drive one of those 4WD monsters, in which case it might be $5. But tough – your lifestyle choice, don’t complain!

Brendon Nelson is twitching the hip-pocket nerve as hard as he can go, on something that is symbolic and meaningless, as well as foolish. Reducing petrol prices leads to increases in emissions and worsens climate change, something he now believes in after the demise of his former glorious leader! Mixed messages anybody?

Reducing taxes and thus prices encourages MORE consumption of a precious and declining resource. It also sends all the wrong signals about the level of control a government has about world prices for commodities. And it reduces government revenue, which just means that taxes elsewhere rise to compensate. Petrol tax is a GOOD TAX. It taxes consumption! Spend less, pay less tax! (Income taxes on the other hand, are EVIL TAXES).

Banning The Bulb

Next on the list for the feel-good wankers is the move to ban the incandescent light-bulb. We get non-technical conservationists say completely stupid things like “the technology is 100 years old, its time for it to go”.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiighhhhhht ?!

And replaced by what? The only currently viable replacement (barring going back to candles) is the Compact Fluorescent lamp.

We have a Federal Government department pushing down this road as hard as they can possibly go. There are no quality standards for CF lamps, so these guys have written one. It’s on path to becoming an international standard and might get there in about another 2 years. In the meantime, they will try and impose an interim standard which might get up about the time of ban-the-bulb if we get lucky. Can anybody else see cart before horse here?

And why the heck does the Australian Government have 4000 CF lamps on test IN BEIJING? Why can’t they test them in Australia? They were all bought in Australia. And why does the standard and test regime not take into account things like the switching cycles used in toilets, pantries, bathrooms and so on? One or two switching cycles per day is not the normal cycle for a dunny-lamp.

The CF lamp contains mercury. About 5 mg in each lamp. Mercury is a toxin. So we will have to put oodles of that in every household. Clever. The public servants claim that the mercury level is very low, and burning coal puts mercury into the atmosphere, using CF lamps results in a NET reduction. Maybe. But power stations are not in every home. The CF lamps will be. How many will get broken? And what about the concentration in the waste dumps?

CF lamps also screw up the mains supply, they have a couple of very undesirable properties: Bad Power Factor, and Harmonics. Only the folks in the power authorities understand the consequences, certainly not the simpletons in government or the conservation movement. Bad Power factor means the power utilities have the spend a pot of dough adding new equipment to the electricity systems to correct for it. Which WE pay for. And harmonics… well they just screw up the operation of other equipment and cause radiated electro-magnetic noise.

Some realities of the CF lamp:

  • To extract and recover the mercury safely you need a separate waste collection system. Putting dead CF lamps in general landfill waste is polluting. The cost of a separate waste collection system is huge. But it’s not part of the picture because A DIFFERENT GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT LOOKS AFTER THAT STUFF. And is a separate waste system was in place, how much would it be used? Don’t count the wealthy inner-city dwellers with a social conscience, include the single mums and deadbeats in the outer suburban fringes where the living is cheap. Where will the dead CF lamps go? Bleeding obvious, that one.
  • There are currently no standards for construction and performance of a CF lamp. These are supposed to be coming. But the standards don’t include catastrophic failure! Some fail in spectacular ways. I’ve had one explode with a huge flash, a loud bang and big puff of smoke. What’s in the smoke? Will it harm my health? NOBODY KNOWS. A colleague of mine has had one explode, where the explosion was severe enough to break the lamp, and the fitting, and leave a shower of broken glass all over the floor. AND THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD FOR US? A quick poll the other night at the presentation about this showed 6 other people have had them explode – in the last few months. Once upon a time this never happened. As the CF lamp has got cheaper, the explosions have become more frequent.
  • The touted lifetimes are generally bullshit. I’ve been using CF lamps for 15 years, and I write the installation date on the base each time I fit one. THEY STILL SAVE ME MONEY, but the 5000 to 8000 hour lifetime is optimistic at best and lies at worst. The standards MIGHT result in honesty of the claimed lifetimes. We’ll see.
  • CF lamps have a warm-up time, this is typically 1 to 5 minutes or thereabouts. When first turned on the light output is dramatically lower than a few minutes later.
  • CF lamp lifetime drops significantly with switching, so places where they are switched frequently like stairwells, bathrooms, toilets, pantries will see dramatically shorter life. That means the effective cost is higher. The damn lamps are already costing $7. In most houses about 1/3 of the places where lighting is used are switched frequently and are unsuitable for CF lamps.
  • You can’t use a CF lamp as the light in your fridge, oven or microwave.
  • Depending on who you talk to… when a total energy balance is done, including the energy and environmental costs used in manufacture, shipping, use, and disposal, the CF lamp actually comes in about equivalent to the supposedly evil and obsolete incandescent. The government people claim this is not that case. Who do we believe?

These people, from the Government, sent to help us, say that the early problems with CF lamps in particular the warm-up time and lifetime are solved problems – not an issue. I REALLY DO NOT LIKE BEING LIED TO. The CF lamps I bought 2 weeks ago still take 2 minutes to reach full light output.

These same folks from the government showed the components of domestic energy consumption. Lighting shows a growth of about 25% over about the 40 years beginning 1980. On the other hand, the REALLY BIG consumers are Televisions (growth of about 400%) and Swimming Pools (about 300%). Tackling the backyard pool and the plasma TV will deliver huge bang for buck. Instead, a vast effort is going into something with only a small impact.

Banning of the bulb will make a few pollies and greenies feel better but actually make little difference to anything. Any effect will be small, and the pollution of waste sites by mercury may actually cause serious long term problems that will only be found in the next one or two hundred years.

There is hope on the horizon: the white LED is currently frightfully expensive, but does promise higher efficiency of conversion of electricity to light, and a lifetime about 10x that of the CF lamp. This is a technology in its infancy, which still has many problems to solve. But in the long run, the CF lamp is a lame duck.

If our government was serious, it would not even try to ban the incandescent lamp. It would instead apply a tax to make incandescent lamps cost about $4 to $5 each, comparable to a CF. Then, you would use whatever was most suited to the application: incandescent for frequent switching and instant-on. CF’s for places that are turned on and left on. The market would sort it out.

BUT FOLKS IF YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT USE A CF IN SOME APPLICATIONS THEN GO BUY A STACK OF EVIL INCANDESCENT LAMPS NOW, cos soon you won’t be able to get them at all. I’ve got a cupboard full, and I’m buying more every chance I get.

Weaning Ourselves Off Oil and Changing The Character Of Our Cities

This one really gets on my nerves. It’s been brought about by the high price of oil, so more people are using public transport (fine, good thing).

We have pronouncements now from patronising twerps in the conservation movement saying stupid things like “we must wean ourselves off oil” (ok, fair enough, to a point. Kill the Hummers through high fuel prices and I’m won over), and “We must redesign our cities for public transport”.

Well…. On this point… How? And who pays?

This kind of pronouncement is stupid in the extreme. How are we to re-design the cities AND SUBURBS in which millions of people live? The houses are there, the roads are there, the services are buried under the ground. How are we to make these places more suited to walking, public transport, and less use of the car?

Have any of the people who say this crap looked around the outer suburbs? Have they ever been to Golden Grove (in Adelaide), or Melton or Thomastown (in Melbourne), or Seven Hills or the Western Suburbs of Sydney? These places are so far out in the sticks its not funny. And the masters of the universe who plan these places don’t believe in streets that make walking easy. Instead we have the maze of twisty passages. But it looks nice.

The only way to really REDESIGN our cities for public transport is to use an atomic bomb to wipe the slate clean and start again.

These conservationists must have come from the same primeval swamp as a well-known Adelaide property developer and home builder, who believes that all development and planning controls should be scrapped to allow unfettered house building where he and his cronies see fit. Except in the hills, where he lives. Cos that’s special.

Means testing the solar energy rebate

I’ve ranted about this before. Solar energy is expensive. Very expensive. If the government seriously wants to have renewable energy being used it has to be produced.

In the absence of simply making everybody pay more for power via a tax or a ban on the burning of coal, the only other way to influence a market economy is by subsidy or rebate. The solar cell rebate did not ever cover the total cost of installation, so the only people who were installing solar power were the rich people with a social conscience. Using the rich people, plus a government subsidy has the effect of transferring the wealth of the rich to everybody else!

So what does this dumb-arse government do? They slap a means test on the rebate so now the only people who will get help with installing solar power are those who cannot afford to do so. There is something bizarrely Pythonesque about this.

Strangely enough, the forward order books for solar power have dropped 90%!

And the idiots in this government argue that the means test will result in an INCREASE in the installations of solar power! I’m sure they will next argue that black is white! MORONS!

So what REALLY gets my goat then?

It should be obvious… Dumb crap from by people who don’t THINK.

For the benefit of future generations we should consume less. Less oil. Less food. Less electricity. Within reason. Whether or not this has an affect on the climate will be proven sometime in the next 50 to 100 years. In the meantime we don’t need to be greedy.

Prices for things like oil should rise to reflect their long-term worth. In the meantime is we want to use renewable energy we need to pay for it. Using the rich and the government is as good a way as any. Using the poor is implausible and foolish.

In the future, some of our cities will seriously suck, having been built around the car. Adding or improving public transport will be difficult or frightfully expensive. Idiots telling us to redesign our cities don’t help because they are not proposing a solution, just spouting ignorant motherhood.

Stupid moves to save by tokenism – like hybrid cars and banning the bulb – will have no effect at all on the planet or the climate. Serious saving, well-considered, for good, well-thought-out reasons is fine, but tokenistic dictates from some idiot in Canberra (previously a Merchant Wanker, and now a former rock singer) are paternalistic, demeaning, transparent political games which have great cost and no appreciable effect.


No, no, no, Mr Jones (warning: Spoilers)

Went with a small group from SWMBO’s work the other day to see the latest Indiana Jones movie.

Aside from the usual thrills, spills, and adventure, this one was silly.

Here’s a list of the really apparent sillinesses, in a very rough order of silliness, except when the orders not in order cos it gets in the way of a good rant:

  1. Mr Jones DID NOT need to meet ET. That was SILLY.
  2. And If Mr Jones DID meet ET, Mr ET DID NOT need to have a bloody great big flying SAUCER ! That was SILLY.
  3. Mr Jones was finding ET brains in a giant US military warehouse full of valuable stuff, in the desert, near where an atomic bomb is being let off. It’s so dangerous that the area is closed off (fair enough) BUT WHY HAVE A WAREHOUSE THERE FULL OF VALUABLE STUFF ?? A WAREHOUSE OF VALUABLE STUFF IN THE FALL-OUT ZONE OF AN A-BOMB IS SILLY.
  4. Mr Jones FALLs through a whole bunch of stuff and lands on a rocket motor sitting on a test track. When fired, the rocket test rig runs on rails out of the building and roars off outside. WHY would anybody do an indoor start and an outdoor finish for a rocket motor test? SILLY. Rocket motors are tested TETHERED to the group with huge great hooks.
  5. But equally, how could he fall from ground level, down, into stuff, and still end up at ground level? That was SILLY.
  6. Then the control panels for the rocket motor test had big countdown timers made from red LEDs. The film was set in 1957. The LED had not been invented. They should have used Nixie Tubes. Using LEDs was SILLY and OFFENSIVE because it was simply historically inaccurate.
  7. The lead lined refrigerator was SILLY.
  8. The flight in the lead line refrigerator was REALLY SILLY though we could all see that one coming.
  9. Falling down the waterfalls and surviving the fall… that was SILLY.
  10. The monster ants picking the evil dude up and carrying him away, that was so SILLY I was laughing out loud at it.

All in all, I spose it was OK, but this time, Mr Lucas and Mr Speilberg really have excelled themselves in silliness. All the other Indiana Jones films have been implausible, but this one takes the cake for totally reckless silly implausibility.


For SILLINESS: 9 / 10 (on a scale of higher = more silly)

For an Adventure Ripping Yarn: 7 / 10 (on a scale of higher = a better yarn)

Some other others were better.

Street Lights… not

We must be some kind of crap poor second cousins where I live.

Tonight when heading out for dinner with Mum & Dad we counted 7 street lights not working, all within 1km or less of our house.

Some of them have been busted for quite a long time.

So on the way home we armed ourselves with pencil and paper, and VERY SUSPICIOUSLY crawled down the roads, casing the joints, noting down all the locations.

I’ve just logged 7 reports of broken street lights on the ETSA Utilities web site.

I’ll either get a civic service medal, or reported to the police for being a public nuisance.

I wonder how long it will take for them to be repaired. AGES I HOPE. ETSA utilities claim they will pay $20 per day to the first person to report, if they don’t repair within 5 days. We’ll see :)

Walking at Waterfall Gully

Today we did something “different”. After an early start, leaping out of bed at 9:30am (hey, this is Sunday, the day made for sleeping in), we hoofed it to Waterfall Gully for a bit of a walk.

Oldest son was itching for walking: “c’mon, c’mon”. He was bitterly disappointed to find that the walk from the car part to the first falls was a mere 200 metres:

First Falls

After messing with his brain a bit, we took the path to the top of the first falls, and from there headed up. He was dead keen to do the 3.4 km walk to the top of Mount Lofty but we dissuaded him, and instead took the 1.5 km track to Eagle-On-The-Hill.

Along the way, I had to leap into the creek for some messing about with the new camera. I really like the effect you can get with running water and a SLOW shutter speed. In this case, about 1/10th second makes the water all swirly:

There IS water in the creek

A quick stop along the way at Second Falls:

Second Falls

Then, up, up and more up:

Onward and upward

As you climb, the view out over the city gets better and better. But I really liked the view over the valley to the far hillside with the white trunks of the trees visible:

White trunks

Finally, after about an hour, we made it to the top (with a very boring photo of the OLD main road at Eagle on the Hill, which is not worth putting here). At the top we were somewhat surprised to actually find the obligatory drop-bear:

Drop-bear at the top

From here, the same trip downhill all the way was a mere 25 minutes!

An hour’s sleep after getting home helps in recovering. The ability to walk should come back in 3-4 days…


Once upon a time, a long time ago, my father-in-law took me (back in the courting days), along with a few others, down one of the mine tunnels on his property in the Adelaide Hills.

Then came a long story: back in the 1970’s he’d been out one day and found this long-haired bushy bearded chap wandering around in one of his paddocks. After a bit of “what the heck are you doing”, this guy turned out to be from the SA Dept. of Mines. He was investigating the old mine workings in the area, and was particularly interested in the Scott’s Creek Silver Rush.

So the father-in-law brought him back to the house, fed him lunch, showed him around, gave the guy the OK to dig out some of the old mine entrances and investigate. Which he did.

Later, he wrote a huge report and out of gratitude he gave a copy to my father-in-law. This was over 30 years ago, and the copy of the report is still kept by the family.

It was made on one of those old 1970’s wet process photocopiers, the pages are now getting speckled and starting to fade.

No doubt there are other copies buried somewhere in the archives of some successor govt department.

But in the interests of local history, the Dump family have just finished scanning and digitising all 120-odd pages. It’s all been through an OCR process so that the text is completely recovered, minor typos have been corrected, but it is otherwise generally presented and formatted in all its original manual-typewriter glory – with one big difference. The original was line-and-a-half spaced, this time the text is single-spaced. (That’s why the page count is lower).

For the history buffs, its HERE. (Beware: about 10 MB).

It’s fascinating to see how much money was sunk (literally) into the development of these mines. In most cases, everything invested was lost. There was more money to be made in growing spuds.

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