An amazing dust storm over Sydney this morning, the result of a number of remarkable climatic events. A big cold front, the result of unseasonably warm September weather, whipping up huge amounts of dust from the central Australian drought, bringing strong winds to the eastern seaboard of New South Wales and dumping its load all over Sydney and Newcastle.
Here's my Flickr slideshow of pics that I took this morning, and the ABC's extensive reportage.
The New South Wales government is a walking, talking, collective schemozzle. A government that refuses to listen to, or at times even acknowledge, the voters who put them there. A government that is happy to coast incompetently knowing they they have the security blanket of a fixed four-year term of office that it is nigh on impossible to cut short. And the brashness of mind to think they they can be re-elected in 2011 because the Libs would be even worse.
Australia Day on Monday: the 221st anniversary of the arrival of a British naval fleet to dump its nation's surplus prisoners in a distant misunderstood continent. There's way too much going on in Sydney on any given January 26 to take in within the scope of one day, but I make a point of spending at least some time each year joining the indigenous community's Survival Day carnival.
Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year 2009!
And to get the year rolling, the first and probably worst Youtube video that I will present in 2009, mainly because it was shot by me with a small digital camera profoundly unsuited to the task at hand.
Yep, it's the view from my window several kilometres away of Sydney's great annual ostentatious emission of lots of carbon. It does get better towards the end, and yes, it did look better from the naked eye.
...the team bus sideswipes a parked car as it was leaving the hotel. It happened to the Indian team as they left Sydney for Canberra, 48 hours behind schedule, this morning.
Macquarie National News has video. You don't actually see the prang, just the sound of a bang and the crowd going "ooh" as the bus pulled out of the kerb outside the Radisson Hotel, Sydney.
A bit of preamble before I write my thoughts about the off-field events of the past 24 hours.
I have seen very little of the Sydney Test, won by Australia late yesterday afternoon. I was on holidays with my daughter for most of the week and listened to the second half of Sunday's play on the radio at home. (If I really wanted to, I could probably have made the dash across to the ground when they threw the gates open for free at 4.30pm.)
Barely two months after Sydney was turned into Fortress APEC, comes the revelation in today's Sun-Herald that thieves scaled a two-metre security fence last Sunday and roamed unchecked through State Parliament before making off with six security guard shirts.
The Sun Herald continues the story.
1. Mike Atherton's closure of England's innings at the SCG when Graeme Hick was 98 not out.
2. An aspirational emission of greenhouse gases not worth the paper it is written on.
It's over. Martial law is gradually winding down and Mister Iemma is Tearing Down That Wall. GW Bush has found the right exit and left Austria following the conclusion of OPEC.