Heading to a warm week.

Noticed trumpism appears to be ruining weather prediction, forcasting or foretelling by not knowing differences in geography in home country, what is that and oh oh he is ruining running the world as well don’t needle him about his new clothes, and bureaucrats there are leaving solid careers behind in the EPA too, so not to soil their CVs? [ I just wish It would go away].

Been warm other parts of Oz too, with the added factors of tinder dry country ready to worry residents and farmers everywhere from north to south and east to west. Which could be the worldwide state of the times as well. Dry thunderstorms are nice to take pictures of. Only.

Beware of hail storms, do not laze about in the pool when it gets darkly cloudy, or you will nurse a bruise from tennis ball size hailstones. And shrieks of laughter from the youtube audience. Only uplifting sentence here I suppose.

No need to keep your tinder dry anymore, the climate’s taken care of that!


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weather apr ’17 update IMBY

Draw your own conclusions.

The record of rainfall in my back yard seems to show an increase if using a linear regression or moving average plot on the numbers I have collected since Ken gave me a rainfall collector when we first moved in here back in 1998.

Well, that’s what I reckon anyway.

Even my automatic weather station, although not a thousand dollar outfit, appears to show a sort of increasing temperature trend when mashed up together as shown below! Allowing for breakdowns and resiting it that is.

The rainfall graphs of average versus median and the graph of the nearby airbase rainfall appear to agree nearly on patterns of seasonal rainfall- Most in November/November, and a peak in April/May.

above- Rainfall record from collector in the backyard, click on pic to enlarge

below- temperature record from the weather station




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Brown outs… or a little more tax

Brown outs in a rich country?

Well, the state I live in is probably considered energy rich as well as in gold and smart people.

Starting to think the smart people are being outsmarted by greedy people who are busy ensuring that their bottom line is not broken and endangering their retirement plans, bugger the smart people.

[And to rant on a little bit, I read that there are some people that have Faith in Political Parties- oops? Didn’t hear that  the Liberal National, Labor, the Republicans  or the Democrats are now also religious orders? Sorry, out of line, was that One Nation or the newer on- whatsitsname- oh yeah Australian Conservatives… Oops sorry again.]

Yes I am on a rant rampage again, stop me if you can from sitting on the so-comfortable white porcelain throne with cold plastic green seat or even from having a shower, and just thinking.

Governments are not helping, if I can read between media lines and all the ‘fake’ news brouhahahhahha ha  ha, sorry, it is all an irritation to me, as a once wise guy said.

What I mean, for one example anyway, is gas production and export to overseas markets are pretty important, but are some organisations are getting around the law and regulations in such a way to mimimise tax on that production and sales in that it seems the Australian people won’t be seeing a cent in royalties from the produced raw materials for a long time, so that construction of the plants are paid for first, such thatduke-energy-bass-strait-gas it almost appears conspiratorial. Are those organisations helping or actually controlling legislation? One would have to say no. Or can one? Think of Norway and its soverign fund- a strong socialistic government protecting an asset, a super super fund to use for the people, so once that resource runs out, at least the profit was kept.


All this comes to mind as the local domestic power, gas and other day to day things like health insurance, are costing much more than they normally should have with inflation.

Yes we are a minor world power, but really do we have to make life so hard?

qledtvMost people at the moment have a newish car and probably a smart TV and smart phone too. The internet data costs are slowly coming down too. Maybe even a smart refrigerator…


The eastlinkgovernments around the country, from Federal to State to Local Council are saying we/they have to cut costs because they say so. If most people keep upgrading possessions, then maybe they Build hospitalcould hold off on that and pay another few percent tax so the roads they want to use, the hospitals they want sitting around on standby, the parks and gardens they want to picnic mcg_stadiumin, or attend a rock concert at a public stadium… Not a communist by nature or a ranting frothing rightie either, but sure, let’s spread denturesthe wealth so we can be healthy at least, maybe even cut public dental wating listd fro months or uears to walk in to a dental clinic and get it fixed, not like teeth are like taxis or an MP, there to be called on when needed/wanted…

Obviously I could go on and on. I do. Doesn’t help that yours truly appears to be abandoned by the beloved oilfield at this time, and maybe having to depend on the taxman again to live… argh, vomit etc. Finding out that even grocery store stackers or delivery drivers are selected by computers- Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). argh again.


Anyway, the whole point of the blog was a little note to the relatives as follows: Coal in Victoriagas in Victoria

thought I would check out this for y’all
looks like we have used half the gas reserves (not resources- much more!) since 1970, so that is 50% in 47 years, but population 1970 3.5mil, now about 5.8mil, to me run out in 20 years
price increases- middle men/sales/ etc, as not replaced pipelines or platforms or gas plants, think they could have replaced turbines in hazelwood regularly

stupid idea to fill in a mine, “they” probably wouldn’t let it be used for drinking water or irrigation… 

should keep mining, put catalytic converters on chimneys like made them do with cars etc etc, but need power for air conditioners….
we are certainly not major manufactures- cars, roofing, socks n shirts n shoes,
so, you may as well supply your own power and hot water from solar/wind, and own cooking gas from your own kitchen/garden mulch and poo too.

Coal- almost never ending supply if used / burnt properly until go with green/nuclear- remember the used stuff could be put back where it was mined from, hey?


Seaway tunnel and global warming


And another little rant, a shipping tunnel in Scandinavia to save some time. If sea level rises with changing weather patterns, then the tunnel roof is going to have to be
extended so much that the tunnel will become a canal…



Posted in Geology, Humour, Oilpatch, Rant, Scienctifical, Tone-in-oz, Just Doing It Anyway | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


How To Live (While Currently Trying Not To Dissolve From Self Pity).
The other day a science magazine writing position was advertised, for three thousand dollars a year. A year? Not my style or pay level even though I enjoy popularised science. We all should.
This made me think.
My first dollars made were mowing lawns with my dad in my mid teens, then he would drop me off around town nearly every other weekend for two years, pushing a large self propelling lawn mower around the streets of the posher parts of town for five or six dollars per house, and for as little as three bucks for little old ladies. At high school I liked a few subjects, one was art where I could paint deserted islands, desert cliffs and rock formations. My dad had a photography darkroom, so I was into that too. For some reason I also like the idea of panning for gold in the mountains with my dad. The idea of making dams and bridges appealed to me too.

tdawg-midge february 1978 start yr12 retreat

last year high school

Returning from the a long lakeside summer vacation sailing and water skiing after the end of high school, a letter was opened that caused my parents to nearly faint- I was accepted as a geology student at a rural tertiary education institution to do an Applied Geology degree. Out of the blue! Acceptance date was in three days. After a three hour road trip I was enrolled with my dad finding me a place to board in that faraway town, where I was ensconced for two years  for twenty five dollars a week! Until some friends, Marshall and Kent, got me to move out to a horrible cheap place of our own, closer to the college, which was two years of fun and hard work, a black and white portable television, with an out door toilet that was on a slant with long weeds growing out through the cracks and a low pressure shower that would not work unless you sat in the bath tub.

As a student, living involved receiving some monthly cash from the folks, a government handout of about twenty bucks a month, and vacation jobs. Rent was only ten buck each a week, food also ten bucks a week. those were the days with a government paid course too! Between first and second year I worked at my little brother’s restaurant for three bucks an hour. During second year there was plain old labouring at an arboretum for a geology lecturer for, again, three bucks an hour, mostly on weekends for the rest of the three years left to do. There was one summer of vacation work for a mate’s dad as a petrel station attendant and for a few months as a YHA weekend night admissions guy, that one was sad.

student Labourer

Another summer vacation job working for a better hourly rate was at a local country meatworks thirty minutes from my parents new country home, first skinning sheep kidneys and packing those into small plastic trays and then onto sheep brains and packing them, lasting but a week. Someone took pity on me and the following week they put me on the wrapping and then stacking of twenty kilogram boxes of meat onto large freezer tray pallets, the first week a tiring exercise. After six weeks before going back to just old geology lectures, I could throw those boxes quite a way across the factory floor to another packer- so much fun, not. And there was weekends loading sheep carcasses into the huge freezer trailers too.

I managed to get a two week vacation job with a minor size gold mining that was doing experimental work nearby in the countryside. As a geologist’s offside, it was collecting, bagging and labelling samples from a drill hole. The plan was to drill two holes into a mapped sinuous sandy river aquifer that had enough but hopefully more than enough alluvial gold dust in the sandy sediment. Next step was pumping a gold leaching solution into the upstream hole and trying to extract that solution from the downstream hole and processing the leachate to extract the dissolved gold. The project overall was not a spectacular success as far as I know.
During my last year of the Applied Geology degree, a large gold mining company was exploring in the district, doing deep continuous coring of the local deep gold leads. It was bloody grating to all us students that someone else from another old gold mining town tertiary institution, had managed to keep their position in a core examining role after the company had moved into our town. I said to her there was a spare room at my share house that she took up which my girl friend was okay with. I think.
Old gold mining town teaching institution degrees were apparently not quite good enough for the big companies, and I certainly was not dux. Trying to get work in geology upon graduating was excruciating as the degree was from a rural college, not a city one, some mean sort of discrimination I reckon. Applied geology was not an automatic entrance to just anything after all, surprise. So many knock backs. Once again my dad got me a job though, and made me buy a motorbike. The job was cleaning back at the previously mentioned meatworks. A full days pay at great rates for maybe four to five hours work. Steam hoses, scrubbers, buckets, brooms, not too bad. Meanwhile a search was kept up for a job in any geology position.
A break in another direction after a few months- left the meatworks to working as a laboratory technician at a local country high school. I was the manager; inventory, setting up chemistry and physics experiments, some tutoring including mathematics, equipment purchase and of course cleaning the labs after school. Winter travel in the highlands on a motorbike is an extreme sport dressing against the cold!
A very small advertisement in the weekend paper drew my attention- oilfield work? I scrounged some time off for an interview from the kind hearted principal- he knew I was a short term employee. The interview was in the state capital at a not shoddy but still cheap hotel, in the guy’s hotel room, not an office, as the company was based elsewhere. Howard was about ten years older than me with a slight lispy English accent, and a lazy eye. I had no idea what the job really entailed, all I wanted was a job! The salary was only as much as the lab tech one, so after the interview, which went well I thought, I went to see someone at the local branch of the AusIMM, the institute of mining and metallurgy, and the fellow said, “whatever the salary, there is not much around, so why don’t you take it?”. Hmm.

Maersk Valiant

First oil drilling rig, Maersk Valiant

A few weeks later I accepted the offer from the the oilfield service company Gearhart and went off to Adelaide on a motorbike road trip with my little brother, calling in on wineries along the way, one bottle I kept and opened twenty years later- it was crap. It was also the weekend that Australia II won the America’s Cup. A year later we were in Perth for about twelve months, working with the pommy mob, and then relocated back to Adelaide, where upon the fly in fly out of the desert worked well for me and my nearly wife, and having now bought a little hatchback, getting into windsurfing-  two weeks in the desert, two weeks on the beach.

me as the WSG 1987_resizescan0004
This oilfield or oilpatch career kicked on for nearly seventeen years, with my girlfriend along for the ride, she leaving a teaching course in the dust. There was lots of travelling and meeting all sorts of people, Australia wide, the North Sea, The Philippines, New Zealand, and offshore Hong Kong. Halfway through the service company career, I even met up again with the gold mining student in SE Queensland one trip- her hubby was the pusher, she was a campy, and their kids were not ready for kinder yet. Unusual meet up, my wife was surprised but delighted too. Tarnia and were engaged before going on the year long Scottish trip, and we managed a few touristy things while living in Aberdeen. In 1990, Italian touristy things are shut on Sundays to our dismay. Ireland is very like western Victoria! From geologist to technical engineer, to directional tool operator, training twice at Fort Worth USA.
Just after buying the love of my life a house two years previously, a forced break from the patch on a industry down turn for a year.


Tarnia’s house

Took some formal forklift driving lessons. Nil job outcome. Became Windsurfing Instructor for a few summer months, turning an outdoor water sports passion into a job, nearly went the whole hog to build a business- the insurances and governmental red tape turned me right off.. Then did a supermarket shelf stacking and vegetable and fruit stacking stint to try to cover between possible oil patch jobs which recovered soon enough.
Back to the oilpatch as an MWD engineer, and immediately lost my wife in a car accident, ended up doing two years in the field including a six week course in England with in-laws living in doing the child minding for me. After my mother-in-law passed on, I left the patch and minded the two boys, nine and six  and the two year old twin girls for the next ten years. I got some work as a vineyard labourer and winemaking assistant. Three years of delivery driving part time with a second hand Mercedes van.

new van1_resize
Out of the blue again, I was notified of a week long job up the Latrobe Valley as a wellsite geologist for a out of state firm, grabbed it with both hands, the no work in the field did not matter to John Watts- just get into it! Utilised the delivery van as a field office, getting a new smart phone and a laptop. Bench table as a desk and an office chair. Sweet

IMAG0104_resize  IMAG0107_resize
Following that some other local firm needed someone on a short term coring project, just up the valley, which in the end extended longer, and on a better day rate than the delivery service too!



my elderly offsider and sample catcher on the coring job working on a gas recording log chart machine which in itself is nearly as old as me

Things were looking up, another old contact said I could join him as the night wellsite geologist up in my the old stomping grounds of the Moomba gas and oil fields- learnt a harsh lesson on stratigraphy there.



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alien perspective_resize


South Australia


My wife’s sister said she would mind the girls for me, she is worth her weight in gold, both her sister and mother would be very proud of her. Another cold call shortly afterwards got me two more consulting jobs, at a better day rate. Karma. The two South Australia and Queensland outback jobs paid well.




Enter a caption


Then a four month campaign over winter took me to the Northern Territory which was good training too- caught up a lot after missing ten years in the field.
The last career move was to work for a large company out west, fly in fly out again for up to three weeks, taking me offshore Western Australia and a short stint offshore Myanmar (Burma). And again I met up and worked with the student gold  mining geologist- now Amanda was a wellsite geologist too, and a seven continent marathon runner. Life is weird.

The last five years were good, got on top of things, sorted the kids out, then another down turn in the patch. At the moment, looking for anything. For a year. Something has to give soon.

Lawn mowing
Arboretum labourer
Gas filler
YHA hostel night attendant
Sample bagger
Meatworks packer and cleaner
Laboratory technician
Sample catcher
Logging engineer
Pore pressure analyst
Wellsite geologist
LWD engineer
Directional drilling tools engineer
LWD engineer
Wine maker
Delivery driver
Wellsite geologist

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