Friday, 7 March 2014
You may, dear reader, be coming to the conclusion that I have an obsession with videos captured by my trusty dash cam.
I am on the road a great deal, the camera is always on, and every now and again I capture videos that are worth sharing.
This is another one on the meme of Cowboy Truckies.
At about the twenty second mark, you will see double lines appear. A few seconds later, you'll notice a road train overtaking on these same double lines.
The road is straight, and visibility good, so why are there double lines on this stretch of road? It's because there is a property access road coming in from the right, and overtaking is a very bad idea across access roads.
This truckie obviously thought he was above the law, or knew better than the engineers who designed and built the road.
It's a not a great attitude when you're responsible for thirty tonnes of kit traveling at 100km/hr.
There's a great deal of kinetic energy in that combination.
I let him go - and made no attempt to overtake. The vehicle I did overtake was the road train following, which is the rig old mate crossed the double lines to pass.
I'd much rather have someone with that attitude ahead of me where I could see him.
The road was the Warrego Highway between Chinchilla and Dalby, and the vehicle was a Nissan Dualis.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Tailgating is not unusual, but this was so deadly dangerous that it's worth publishing.
This was on the Warrego yesterday afternoon.
The hero driving the multiwheeled rig was about one car length behind the small sedan at 100km/hr for about 1500 metres.
I've captured the first few seconds, but it continued well beyond the point when I overtook it and moved out of camera range. Watch from about the 55 sec mark until the end. Motion stops earlier in the sequence for some unknown reason, but it doesn't matter for the purpose of illustrating stupidity.
At least the rig was empty.
Connsider the consequences of the dark sedan making an emergency stop for some reason - and I am aware of the excuse that the truckie can see way down the road.
I wonder what length of road is required to stop this thing.
I've been driving since 1964, and have seen a major improvement in the standards of both rigs and drivers in that time.
The rig in this example looked to be brand new.
The driver was the weak link. He is a lunatic.
Like many Nashos who were in government employment when called up, for me there was a real cost in a financial sense.
Let me explain.
I was called up as a teacher. Back in 1969, my teacher's salary was $2848 per annum.
Once in the army, I earned $1248 per annum in Australia, and $1846 per annum on active service in Vietnam.
Had I not been called up, the total of my teacher's salary across those two years would have been $5696. That was what all my colleagues who didn't win the ballot earned.
In the army I earned $3094 during 1969/70.
The difference is $2602.
A pittance, you say.
Well, not really. The value of $2602 in 1970 money is, in 2014 money actually $2979290.
How did I work this out? There are any number of websites that will do the calculation. The example is a US site, but the figures hold on this side of the Pacific. It's inflation, stupid.
Some states apparently provided "make-up" pay, in that they paid the difference between army pay and public service pay to the diggers called up. This did not happen in Queensland in Bjelke-Petersen's day.
I wonder if this could be grounds for a class action. I've contacted a firm of plaintiff lawyers, and they're looking at it - out of curiosity, you understand. They haven't dismissed it out of hand and are asking for more information.
If any of this is relevant to you, dear reader, by all means get in touch, either on this blog, or by email.
Imagine Tim Nicholl's (Qld Treasurer's) reaction if he was presented with an invoice for $2979290.
I doubt he'd be smiling (as per pic above).
The figures were obtained from my Army paybook, and the archives of the QTU. They're accurate.
Sunday, 23 February 2014
Saturday, 22 February 2014
|Southbound near Wyandra|
I'm just back from west of Charleville, working out that way all last week.
During that time the first decent rain of the summer turned up in that part of the world. The locals were rapt.
I can understand why. Prior to the rain, the country was starting to succumb to dry weather for about eighteen months. When that happens you begin to notice that any grass turns a shade of grey indicating a complete lack of nutrient.
What stock are left look skinny, and the roos and wallabies come into the roadside looking for green pick and invariably get cleaned up by road trains at night, often five or six at a time.
The grey tinge was still evident on Monday outbound, but by the time we returned on Friday, green growth was already evident.
Bird life had also exploded, a sure sign that conditions were on the improve.
It will need more - good follow up rain - but it's a good start to the new season.
I usually bring rain - but never get any thanks.....
Sunday, 16 February 2014
|My daughter captured this image on a visit to Vietnam in 2007. It's on the Perfume River (Sông Hương)|
I remember an Ektachrome daylight
In the Binh Ba rubber.
She sat, ochred feet resting.
That old, old woman who showed me
How to wear a headband.
She was unafraid of our scout
And his outlandish burst of Armalite;
It was more important to be comfortable.
She ignored us, our useless armour
Mud-green high-tech camouflaged nonsense,
Smiled and smoked a grudged cigarette,
Turned away and thought on soldiers and children.
Her eyes were as wise as Lao Tzu
And she quietly waited for our departure.
I wrote this after an incident on a TAOR patrol when we came across a group of woodcutters in a free fire zone.
We had to round them up and take them across to Route 2 so they could be checked out by the local authorities.
One of them was a very old woman who obviously felt sorry for the hot and bothered digger who was standing over her with an SLR. I was that digger.
She reached up and mopped the sweat off my face with the cloth I was wearing around my neck.
Sunday, 9 February 2014
I spend a great deal of time driving up and down the Warrego highway.
There are always plenty of heavy vehicles, but now they're in the majority, and to a large extent are choking the road, which was never designed for the current volume of trucks or their size.
Generally, the drivers are courteous and skilful, but there are exceptions.
Watch this bloke wander across the double line at about the 20 second mark. I'm not sure whether it was inattention, or a dodgy rig, but I made sure I gave him plenty of space when I finally did overtake.
This was on a section of road with a 110kmh limit, so there was no room for error.
The camera is my trusty Uniden 800, which is always on.
I hope I never have to use any of the sequences as evidence, but it's reassuring to know that everything is recorded. It keeps me cautious as well.
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