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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

TENACITY pays off


TENACITY has once again paid out all its anchor cable to sit snugly right across the river from "Riverbend". She comes up here at least twice a year, Christmas and Easter, but this year she's early. Maybe it has something to do with Woolies already selling Easter buns.

The skipper, Ross Britt, who used to own the Camera House in the Bay, had at one time also been interested in owning "Riverbend". He longer has to: he practically lives here now!

Time to draw the blinds and put a password on my WiFi.



BHP's sensitivities are my sensitivities

Click on image to enlarge


As a result of the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which reduced the US Federal corporate income tax rate from 35 per cent to 21 per cent as well as other measures, including changes to international tax provisions, BHP included in its half-yearly accounts an income tax expense of US$1.8 billion.

Its New York share price promptly dropped by between 4.4 to 5.22% and was followed this morning here in Australia by an immediate drop of 5%.

However, its half-yearly dividend went up to US$0.55 which, given an exchange rate around AUS$0.79, means a payout of AUS$0.70 per share. Add the largely refundable franking credit - thank you, Peter Costello! - and I can look forward to receiving a dollar a share come 27 March 2018.

I can eat again! ☺



My winter of discontent has come early


Suddenly, last Monday the weather changed and the temper-ature dropped and it has been cold and miserable ever since and, while Richard III's soliloquy suggests that his unhappi-ness is over now that wonderful summer is upon him, my own winter of discontent is about to start.

Although it's not all wine and roses for Dicky who declares, "Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time into this breathing world, scarce half made up, and that so lamely and unfashionable that dogs bark at me as I halt by them". He certainly got the short end of the stick, didn't he?

Maybe he should've got rid of those ridiculous dangling sleeves and not put on those voice-changing tights; after all, I managed to get rid of my ridiculous German accent (although I'm still battling with my dangling participles) and dropped my 'Lederhosen', but who am I to give advice.

Come to think of it, who am I?



P.S. Almost forgot how my mate Ian handles trying times like these - click here.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Lost City of Z


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Lost World" is believed to have been inspired by his good friend Percy Harrison Fawcett's expedition to Bolivia in search of the lost city of Z, said to be the remains of El Dorado.

Truth is stranger than fiction and this movie, based on David Grann's non-fiction bestseller, tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region.

Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as “savages,” the determined Fawcett — supported by his devoted wife, son and aide-de-camp — returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925.

This is the full-length movie, albeit with Indonesian sub-titles. Enjoy!



Monday, February 19, 2018

The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow


Now that reading has become my preferred form of travel, I was absolutely captivated by A. J. "Sandy" Mackinnon's book "The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow".

Equipped with little more than cheerful optimism and a pith helmet, Mackinnon sets out in an ancient Mirror dinghy in 1998, aged 35, to "see where I got to - Gloucester near the mouth of the Severn, I thought".

Instead, he travels from the borders of North Wales to the Black Sea - 4,900 kilometres under sail, at the oars, or at the end of a tow-rope.

I found "The Unlikely Voyage" in one of my favourite op-shops, book-plated by an ericdavies421@gmail.com whom I contacted. He replied, "I've been putting bookplates in books for the last six years and leave the books somewhere during my travels. So you may find some more."

I shall certainly look out for them as I will for Mackinnon's other book, "The Well at the World's End", but not today which turned out to be a gloomy and overcast morning after a wild and rainy night and gives me the perfect excuse not to go into town.

After all, I still have enough bread and milk and Swiss cheese and onions and lots of tinned stuff in the larder, not to mention the two portions of frozen lentil soup in the freezer, and enough tea to last me a lifetime. I even still have a whole unopened case of Coke. You're reading this, Des?

Peter the Skipper had anchored in the Bay for a few days before coming upriver, and had gone to see 'Swinging Safari' at the local cinema. He compared it to 'The Castle' and said I should see it. I checked the cine-ma's website which shows it runs until Wednesday, so Wednesday it is for my first trip into the Bay since Padma left for Melbourne on the 12th.