Tax Based Fact of the Day

A picture of the Australian Treasury building in Canberra sourced from the original article at the Monthly.

Here’s your fact for the day, courtesy of Richard Dennis – “The (Australian) Federal Government collects more from HECS-HELP repayments than it does from the petroleum resource rent tax”. Click on the picture above to read the whole article.

My 2023 Retrospective

It’s February, so I’m a little bit late to add to all of the reviews of last year posts, but when did timeliness ever matter here? I could go through what happened in the year but that would probably bore you dear reader, never mind me – and I lived through it.

Instead I’m going to concentrate on the best new (to me) music from 2023. I love listening to music, I can’t play for toffee but I can appreciate a good tune. When I’m working at home I have music playing (thanks Sonos!) and when I’m out and about I usually have my earbuds in and something playing on my phone.

I think it’s fair to say that I’m middle aged. Most people’s taste in music is set in their late teens and early twenties and I don’t think that I’m any different to anyone else. But what I’ve been trying to do in this age of streaming music services is to seek out new music, maybe by artists I already know and like but even better if it’s someone I’ve never really listened to before. To show how old I am I’m also going to list my favourite albums. These days the album is a strange concept but it is how I listen to music and I’m too old to change now.

Reviewing what I listened to and what I liked last year is a combination of music by new (to me) artists, new music by some of my favourites and the outlier is a record recorded in the early 90’s but not released until last year. Without further ado here are my top albums of 2023

  1. Gaz Coombes – Turn the Car Around – with a 5 star review in the Guardian no less
  2. Ben FoldsWhat Matters Most
  3. Pele – This Time Next Year
  4. JamesBe Opened By The Wonderful
  5. Dan SultanDan Sultan

The Perils of Elevation

Positive aspects of an office on the 52nd floor – the views across a lovely harbour and city and even out to sea on a clear day. The negative aspect can be summed up as “fire drill”. No need for leg day at the gym this week.

Two Birthday Boys

They may no longer be small, or boys for that matter. But here are the two offspring in a classic pose to celebrate their birthdays. One happened last week and the other is a couple of days away. Happy Birthday not so small offspring.

Sweet, Sweet Coffee

Having recently returned from the UK I was delighted to be re-acquainted with my coffee machine.

Lelit coffee machine sitting on a kitchen bench

The combination of decent beans, decent machine, and a half competent barista was music to my taste buds.

Stone Cold Sober

Del Amitri on stage at the Enmore Theatre

For only the second time I was lucky enough to see Del Amitri live last night. They were spectacular. Although at my current rate I will see them again in my 80s.

Looking at a Lake

Come and look at a lake they said. It’s blue they said. It’s a gentle 5km walk they said.

A lake in the Snowy Mountains

Except the lake wasn’t blue, it was 5km each way, and the flies were worse than yesterday. Although we did get to skip across a river crossing. Tomorrow I’m going to stay in and watch the tennis.

My companions crossing a stream