A couple of decades ago some mates owned a rather amusingly titled video: The Decline of Western Civilization, Part II: The Metal Years. The film was apparently a documentary about heavy metal music. I never watched the film, or even discovered what Part I was all about. However, the amusing title, of an otherwise serious documentary video about heavy metal music caught my imagination.
Back in those days, there was no Internet. Therefore you couldn't just type a question into an internet search engine and get a reply from a database. Nope, before the internet, a person was left with mysteries such as: What was The Decline of Western Civilization, Part I; all about? It seems like a rather important question to be left hanging in the air all uncertain and stuff. Back then, people learned to live their lives carrying around these little mysteries.
Anyway, for all I know, Part I of the documentary series, may have been a serious documentary about the banking industry. The documentary may have explored the darker sides of Collateralized Debt Obligation's (financial instruments employed by the banking industry and which had such a large role to play in the 2008 Global Financial Crisis).
Given that Part II covered the topic of heavy metal music, then perhaps Part I of the series was most likely to have had a music theme. On a positive note for the film makers, they neatly avoided the complexities of thinking about CDO's and the darker sides of the banking industry.
Hmm. Music theme. Well if I had to vote for a particular style of music that may positively point towards the Decline of Western Civilization, then I feel compelled to vote for the genre of "Progressive Rock". It is not that I have any particular issue with that genre, it is just that the other day I was in the local supermarket. Over the audio system, someone had decided to play a recording from the progressive rock band The Alan Parson's Project. The band were singing their hit from the 1970's: "Eye in sky". I imagine that management felt that such songs were soothing? Anyway, I didn't feel particularly soothed. Frankly I was left wondering whether the song was a subtle reference to the many hidden cameras on the ceiling of the establishment? Who knows. I'd be much more comfortable if management decided to play, say, Sydney metal-core band: Polaris; with their song Dusk to Day, which is a lyrical account (heavy metal style of course) about one of the band members painful struggles with insomnia. Insomnia being a more relevant concern to a lot of people these days than eye's in the sky (although drones are becoming cheaper and more available).
From time to time, I amuse myself with attempts to imagine the most absurd title for the unknown Part I of the documentary series. It is a fun game and can keep me amused for hours. As an amusing offering, I nominate: dishwashers (the automatic machine type, not the grumpy human type).
A while back someone asked me why I don't have a dishwasher. Being a bit of a smarty pants, I replied, we do have a dishwasher - It is called Chris. That reply did not appear to satisfy the persons curiosity, so I pulled out "fluffy non-dishwasher-machine owning excuse, number six" and said: "Look mate. It's just the solar power system here can't run one. And it's a bit of hassle, but, you know, we live with that hassle". And that was that, excuse number six is a very big gun and it always brings positive results as the questions stop, and people sort of feel sorry for the editor and I.
Now, of course the solar power system can run a dishwasher. I just don't want to install and run a dishwasher. To me those machines appear to be an inordinately expensive and polluting way to do a really simple task. Plus you can't put crystal etc in the dishwasher. To quote the disaster film Sharknado: Nuff Said!
Here is a batch of dishes that I washed up by hand in the kitchen sink this morning:
|Washing up this lot by hand must have taken me at least two minutes|
I've heard stories about being too busy to wash up dishes by hand, but as you can see in the story of my younger self above, that simply doesn't match my own experience.
Back in those days, actual soap was used in the dish washing process. A normal bar of soap was placed in a wire cage with a steel handle. To create froth in the hot water, the cage was vigorously shaken for only a few moments. Alert readers will realise that this is a form of exercise! Anyway, in no time at all the water was full to bursting with bubbles and froth. With the hot soapy water available, I got to the task at hand of washing the evenings dishes and have never looked back.
In millennia to come, learned people may ponder the various reasons for the Decline of Western Civilisation and maybe one of those learned people may remark to their peers: "Here are the words of some gentleman, who writes that something called dishwashers were responsible". And if they're really smart then someone else may reply: "What is this dreaded dishwasher thing?"
|It has been a hot and humid week and on some mornings fog has completely filled the valley|
|The view of the house and the sunny orchard from the bottom of the paddock|
|The many rhododendrons surrounding the shady orchard are producing a beautiful mass display of flowers|
The first days excavations created another 4m (13.2ft) of terrace into the side of the hill.
|The first days excavations created another 4m (13.2ft) of terrace into the side of the hill|
|The second day of excavations completed that part of the job as we created a further 3m (9.9ft) of terrace|
Later that afternoon, we excavated soil for the path and stair form-work, and then poured the first concrete step.
|The existing path was widened and the first of two concrete steps was poured|
|The second concrete step was poured and the remaining seven posts for the strawberry enclosure were set in the ground|
In the photos above, it is hard to see how the excavated soil from the strawberry terrace was used to begin the process of constructing yet another future terrace for table grapes above the strawberry terrace. So the next photo gives a clear idea of just how much soil has been moved by hand and compacted by foot over this past week.
|Even Mr Poopy approves of the beginning stages of construction for the future table grape terrace|
The serious increase in heat this week has brought out the insects. During the day, the hum and buzz from the gardens and orchard is quite loud and I have for the moment deftly avoided being stung. At night the various insects sing their night time summer chorus. All that life is a very soothing sound.
The air about the farm is full of moths and butterflies during both the night and the day:
|The nighttime is ruled by the Bogong moths which are attracted to the house lights and gardens. They are one meaty moth (and edible too, although I have not tried this as apparently they taste like 'moth')!|
|During the day, moths and butterflies enjoy the many flowers|
|A dozen forgotten Japanese maple seedlings were discovered in a raised garden bed|
|Gazania's are really hardy and cheery!|
|A purple Granny's Bonnet is found deep in among a Southern Wormwood and Elderberry|
|This bush rose smells even more beautiful than it looks|
|Californian poppies with a background of Catmint|
|More Gazania's and Geraniums|
|Nasturtiums are very hardy to heat - and a toothy salad vegetable|
The temperature outside now at about 8.45pm is 19’C (66’F). So far this year there has been 761.2mm (30.0 inches) which is more than last week’s total of 755.2mm (29.7 inches).