13.9.03

An Egyptian lawyer, Dean of Law at a university, is investigating whether the Jews can be sued for plundering the Egyptians of gold before the Exodus. Jews, for their part, see that this is a recognition by the Egyptians of the historical fact of the biblical account and say that they could sue for years of slavery without wages.

Another Egyptian lawyer queried whether the statute of limitations applied to the case and whether there were proper historical documents to back any claim. The value of the goods plundered was also not known.

Sounds to me as if the only people to make a profit from this might be the lawyers.

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I saw an amusing cartoon in yesterday's paper. A dog was being instructed to "Stay" by its master. It was sitting in front of a flower bed and had a hose with a nozzle attached to its collar. The owner was turning the hose on at the tap.

It looks like a long hot summer here again. Water restrictions have just been announced in Sydney as the city's dams are on average, 60% full. And summer is not here yet! Sprinklers and garden irrigation packages are completely banned. Drip irrigation can be usd, but washing cars with a hose is out, as is hosing paths or buildings. A garden can be watered with a handheld hose and nozzle. Hence the cartoon.

There has been some improvement in the drought situation here in the state, but not enough. Last month 88% of the state was drought declareed. That has decreased this month by 12%. Meteorologists are hopeful of good rain in the next few months.

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the great Australian dream
Home ownership has always been a strongly held ideal to most Australians. The idea of paying off someone else's mortgage through paying rent has never been favourably regarded. Many do rent, particularly when young, but home ownership is the ideal here. Interest rates here are currently low, but the market is overheated and prices are ridiculous in many areas.

I was returning this morning from a trip to Balmain Markets with a friend. Balmain is an inner city suburb, close to the CBD. It was once working class but is now very trendy. It's an old suburb with narrow streets and poor parking. The main street is now full of trendy cafés, expensive dress shops, wonderful book shops and kitchen shops with expensive gadgets.

We drove through some backstreets to avoid traffic and came across several places for sale. One was due to be auctioned in a few minutes and as we could park easily, we stopped. The house was pleasant, well planned and open. Although only a few years old, its design was sympathetic to the oplder cottages around it. It had off street parking, a real plus in that suburb, and a small courtyard garden.

Bidding opened at $900,000 and the house was passed in at $1,190,000. Just ridiculous.

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10.9.03

alert but not alarmed III
A laptop computer carrying details of Australia's maritime security has been stolen from the Canberra headquarters of the Department of Transport, according to a report.

The theft, which is being investigated by the Australian Federal Police, comes on top of Customs computers being stolen from Sydney airport last month.

Thieves used an electronic swipe card to enter the Transport Department headquarters on August 22 before forcing their way into the security section, the Herald Sun report said.

Cash, personal property and office equipment were stolen, along with the laptop, which contained a Powerpoint presentation on Australia's maritime security.
Link from ninemsn
More government security.


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7.9.03

alert but not alarmed II
This time it is the Federal Government which is alarmed because it wasn't alert. Two people fronted up to the Customs Offices at Sydney's main airport terminal to service two computers. With apparently satisfactory ID, they spent some time in the offices before wheeling out two servers on trolleys to be taken off-site.

Off-site is the word. They have been stolen and there seems to be a great deal of confusion as to just what was on those two servers. My guess is that there was probably a lot more than has been admitted. Police cautiously sugggest that the job bears marks of inside help.

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alert but not alarmed I
Be alert, but not alarmed. This was the Federal Government's advice to Australians. An anti-terrorism package included a fridge magnet with supposedly relevant phone numberes to report anything suspicious. I say "supposedly" because The magnet for this household never made it to the fridge, disappearing in the tonnes of junk mail received weekly. At least, I think that's what happened to it.

After some enquiries from some who had mislaid their flimsy cardboard list with its little magnet stuck on the back, it has been discovered that whoever arranged the listing of phone numbers, did not arrange a commonsense listing in the White Pages phone book. It is there but under some entry which probably no-one else would think of.

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Well, another few chaotic days, culminating in my cable connection being down and my being unable to get into blogger when the cable actually was working. To cap it off, I've had my grandaughter, just three, here for a cuple of dys and been fairly occupied with her.

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