Friends Of Australia Friday Lamb Salisbury Steak & Little Penguin Shiraz Cab

It’s once again an Australia Time Friday! It’s FRIDAY!!!!

Due to a dental issue, the spouse is on soft foods “for a while”, meaning that for the next who knows how many weeks, the lamb dish will be minced lamb in some way or another. Today we’ll be doing a Salisbury Lamb Steak. Minced lamb, minced onions & garlic, all made into a 1/2 pound steak shape. Fried about 3 or 4 minutes a side (depending on how thick it ends up) on medium, then allowed to stand a couple of minutes to finish the middle properly.

Side salad and asparagus with butter most likely sides. Desert of canned freestone peaches.

The wine is a Little Penguin Shiraz / Cabernet Sauvignion blend, 2016. Near inky black in the wine glass (even looking at the daytime sky out the window doesn’t penetrate it fully). Hints of reds and purples on the cork and at the meniscus. Somehow both smooth and teasing a bit of aggressive on the tongue. Rich Shiraz flavors, Cabernet mellows. The nose is mildly fragrant. The flavor has clear Cabernet notes to it, but with that “something extra” of Shiraz.

I really like this wine. I think it was about $5 at my local Bargain Market Grocery Outlet. Last bottle on the shelf. They often have wines much cheaper than the same wine can be found elsewhere. They do “clearances” when a winery needs more warehouse space and “something has to go”. Some bottles are not the best, others are easily $20 wines for $5. I suspect this is the latter. The downside is you have offered “whatever is around”, so don’t expect to find anything in particular. OTOH, I get a LOT of good wine there quite cheap.

In Other News

China is likely to regret pissing off Australia. Looks like Australia funded an investigation into the security of a multi-million data center built for Papua New Guinea. They found a lot of security flaws (equipment installed 2 years after EOL on software upgrades, known exploits left open in software, etc.) and now PNG is refusing to make payments on their Debt Trap Loan that built the Chinese Spy Facility called a national data center.

Then, new storms are dumping yet more rain on central China ag areas. China has issued directions for the people to “save food” as pork prices have doubled. Bet that USA Pork and Australian Barley is looking better right about now…

Hey, China! This morning I had ham and eggs for breakfast. Bet you didn’t! Tonight I’m having Australian Lamb and wine for dinner. Bet you didn’t. Right now, I’m enjoying freedom of speech. Bet you don’t. Maybe you ought to try being more like the USA & Australia and less, oh, I don’t know, Communist Socialist Authoritarian? Just sayin’…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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49 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday Lamb Salisbury Steak & Little Penguin Shiraz Cab

  1. tom0mason says:

    Then, new storms are dumping yet more rain on central China ag areas. China has issued directions for the people to “save food” as pork prices have doubled.

    I remember a few years ago (round about the time when the Olympics was in China), some Chinese functionary appearing on news outlets bragging that China has tamed the weather. Not only could he assure people of fine weather for the games but that their ‘scientific’ methods just about guaranteed proper seasonal weather for their agriculture.

  2. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – For some reason, you’re getting lamb for $2 – $3 per pound less than it’s going for around here. I’m not sure what’s going on with that. Maybe it’s because the Left Coast is a port of entry for NZ and Aussie lamb; less transport cost?

    OTOH, I got a whole beef filet at $5.99/lb and a whole beef brisket for $2.99/lb. Regular price is $4.49 – $4.99/lb. I got a second brisket a couple of weeks ago again for $2.99. I think beef is running a bit less here than in your neck of the woods.

    About an 1/8th of a mile up the road from me, they raise sheep. Gail Combs once suggested to me that I go ask them if I can buy one of their Spring lambs at the end of the season; they graze it and raise it and then I buy it. She thought they probably would bite on that since they could sell one to me a fair bit higher than market, yet that would still be a deal for me. Win/Win. I’ve yet to do that, though.

    Raising sheep is against our HOA rules, although I could probably pass it off as a French Poodle if I could teach it to bark ;o) But anyhow, the coyotes would get it out of my back yard in a matter of days if I put a lamb out.

  3. E.M.Smith says:


    Transport costs are a big deal. We get it off the boat and local distributor. You get it after a 3000 mile added rail / truck refrigerated ride.

    In Florida Publics stores, I noticed tropical fruit was much cheaper than in California, but stone fruit and apples / pears were very expensive. Same reason. Expensive refrigerated transport 3000 miles vs just off a boat or local.

    FWIW, Dad would put a beef steer in the freezer every so often. Local butcher came to the acerage. Hauled it up a truck rack, and did the kill and clean. Then cut and packaged it for us at his shop. Payment was the parts we didn’t use. Head, casings for sausage, liver, blood for blood sausage, hide, etc. A lamb is likely too small to pay for the whole deal with “odd bits”, but ought to be economical anyway.

  4. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    Grocery Outlet
    Our local one does not collapse and trash some of the cardboard wine cases. They usually have ~80 stacked against a wall. I’ve not seen another grocer do that. I often get ice cream there and the wine box minus the inserts is a good temporary cooler.
    And you are correct about Grocery Outlet “clearances”, and not just wines.

    Farming and food
    USA Corn Belt is about to have a banner year – – a good weather year and better tons per acre. The history of farming in America is fascinating. Great stories and photos on the web. Hands on experiences are available via “Old Iron Clubs.”

    We raised 2 young lambs through a summer, then butchered and froze most of the meat. I salted the hides and froze them, also. Later we gave those to a young lady that was going to clean them and process, then exactly what I don’t know.
    We have raised many animals, but never a beef cow. Too big and otherwise available as a ¼ mix of all the cuts. Some folks rent a space at a commercial freezer, if you can find one nearby, and if you want the extra expense, and the travel to and from.
    Local town allows chickens, and they are fairly easy to deal with. Likewise rabbits. Broad-breasted Bronze turkeys are a sight to behold at maturity, but once was enough.

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    I have raised everything from rabbits and chickens to cows and hogs, babies to butcher. Butchered, cured and wrapped. Anyone that talks to me about doing it for themselves I tell them “Go to the Store !” cheaper and a whole lot less work.
    If you really want to start out. Go to a wholesale/retail outlet, buy a whole untrimmed cut, cut and wrap it yourself. If you like that, talk to a farmer about a carcuse or a half side.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    My Dad made sure I knew how to do it from grass to freezer. Chickens, rabbits, cows, fish. I carved up a lifetime worth of meat in the restaurant. We’d buy whole chickens by the 50 case and I’d part them out. At least one a week.

    Learned a lot about anatomy that way. Also one chicken got away from me after separation from its head. Ran all over the back yard, neck flopping around, spraying blood. Both funny and horrible at the same time. Learned to use gloves with rabbits and inspect inside the hide for Rabbit Fever blisters. Know where sll the bones arecin several fish species. How to find and remove gall bladders from livers.

    Last non-fish I dressed out and carved up was a good 40 years ago. There’s a reason for that… Like PG. said.

    It is just a whole lot cheaper and massively easier to buy at COSTCO in big packs and freeze it. Not to mention the mess involved in slaughtering and dressing out.

    OTOH: If I lived in Farm Country still, I’d be very happy with buying “on the hoof” and using a contract butcher.

  7. Phil Jourdan says:

    “Then, new storms are dumping yet more rain on central China ag areas. “

    Since Isaias came through we have been getting swamped with rain! Through Aug 10, this was the 9th wettest August on record. Since Aug 10, we have had another 5 inches (yes, in just 4 days – actually 2). My yard is a swamp!

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Don’t know what dispute the State was trying to quash, but that “law” is just crazy No resort to rule of law?. No recourse? Wow.

  9. cdquarles says:

    Yeah, I agree about getting live meat for the table. Been there, done that; mostly fish. Grandpa did most of it. Wring a chicken to snap its neck, chop off the head, let it run around bleeding out. After that, he’d truss and dress it, with grandma plucking it. I won’t mention the smell. Like I have said, I’ve seen lots of death. Other family members did larger livestock, like hogs mostly. I’ve seen that, too. Mom milked cows when she was a girl. Yep, a store is *much* cleaner and faster. Knowing a good butcher is great.

    We had one small tropical system come through in June. The year’s been wet, one of the wettest in recent history. We have 6 weeks or so to go in the water year and even if we get none, the year will still be one of the wettest. If just average amount is seen, we will get about 4 more inches. August through October are the driest months, barring a big hurricane.

  10. cdquarles says:

    I pulled up the National Weather Service precipitation estimate map for the USA Southeast. You’ll see that most of my state has seen an estimated 60 or more inches of precipitation. Some areas exceed 70 and maybe 80. It seems to me that parts of FL would be considered drought stricken, due to the relatively small amounts of rain estimated. Of course, one or two bigger tropical systems coming through will change that.

  11. Annie says:

    I’ve prepared fish, squid and chicken ‘from scratch’. I don’t much enjoy it but if one wishes to eat then one has to do it. I once offered to prepare any squid our son might catch while we were holidaying in Flinders in the Mornington Peninsular. Fool that I was! I had previously prepared small ones but he caught a huge one one evening and I had to keep my word. Well, after doing that we did enjoy eating the results. The next night he caught an even larger one! Those eyes!!!
    We have helped to package the beef and lamb after a farm butcher did the killing, etc. so had a minor input to the job.

  12. Another Ian says:

    “@Another Ian:

    Don’t know what dispute the State was trying to quash, but that “law” is just crazy No resort to rule of law?. No recourse? Wow.”

    High Court coming up without doubt

  13. H.R. says:

    @Annie – I’m the fishing nut here. Blew out my shoulder fishing w-a-a-a-y too much. It’s not good. Surgery on the 11th next month to repair all the damage.

    I’ve never caught a squid. I use them for bait, but I’ve never caught one.

    So… can you tell us how your son caught them? Is it a mystery to you as well?

    Do tell, do tell :o)

  14. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    Also one chicken got away from me after separation from its head.

    That seems to be a right-of-passage.
    We started using a 5-gallon bucket. As the head dropped in, the bird followed.

  15. H.R. says:

    Hey, I can do a web search, E.M.

    I was looking more for first hand accounts of herring do** derring do ;o)

    (Does explain my record of no squid, though. I’ve rarely done night saltwater fishing and then it’s with a 1 pound mullet on a 16/0 hook and piano wire leader, looking to tie into a shark. I’m not sure I’d want to hook into the squid that would hit that rig.)

    **That bit of word play was aimed at Rhoda Klapp. Word play, particularly Spoonerisms, goes over pretty big with Rhoda, according to Rhoda.

  16. billinoz says:

    Meanwhile in Oz this report about the state of plumbing in the USA is getting attention :
    “So, after four years of misery, my husband finally did it: he posted on Facebook about how the loos in the US are just terrible.

    If you’ve never been here, this is the lowdown – the bowls are super shallow, there is too much water in them, and the S-bends are ridiculously narrow.
    Result? Loo paper that trails in the water, constantly blocked S-bends and just general dissatisfaction with a process nobody likes to think about too much.

    For good measure, public toilet blocks are never unlocked, and don’t even try to sneak into Maccas to use the loo because you will get very short shrift.
    My husband ranted on a social media page for Aussies living in the US: “THE DUNNIES here suck. Too shallow and too much water. Wet bog rog. Can‘t believe they f****d up the dunnies. WTF??”

    If you’ve never been here, this is the lowdown – the bowls are super shallow, there is too much water in them, and the S-bends are ridiculously narrow.
    The response: 92 comments and 79 likes. So far.

    Let’s just say, he isn’t the first Australian to express a modicum of displeasure about the “wash room” facilities, which is just one of the euphemisms used here for the humble toilet, along with rest room and bathroom.

    In fact, many respondents said they had imported loos from Australia and switched out their lousy Yank toilets at their own expense.

    “When I first landed here and had to go to the loo at the airport, I thought all the toilets were broken because the water was so high,” said Wendy.
    Melanie opined: “I gotta say, how is it that that this nation can get a man to the moon but can’t design a toilet that doesn’t block every second flush?”
    While Geoff boasted: “We bought an Aussie Caroma toilet in Toronto up here in Canada.”
    Deb decided to go with the Down Under dunny theme too, even though she had to dig deep for the privilege. But she hasn’t regretted it for a second.
    “I got an Aussie style installed! Cost me a freaking fortune but worth every penny!”
    Marilyn was one of a handful of people who also had a problem with the privacy of public loos in the US. “The water level doesn’t bother me, it’s seeing the people waiting through the two inch (5cm) cracks in the stalls that bothers me!”
    Liani commented on another special aspect of the Yank look – the way they just auto-flush mid-session.
    “How’s about the automatic ones that flush when you’re not even finished? It’s like, wait a second!”
    It’s a debate that’s not going away anytime soon. After all, even President Donald Trump regularly complains about the low water pressure in American bathrooms. This week he complained that it makes it hard for him in the shower to wash his hair and keep it “looking perfect”.

    Troubled times indeed.”

  17. rhoda klapp says:

    If we’re piling on about US plumbing, let’s not forget this related issue. A while back I stopped in Sulphur Springs TX. In need of the facilities, I found these mirrored cubicles in the square. Weirdest restroom experience ever..

  18. H.R. says:

    US toilets were regulated into their current sorry state by our Federal Government. It was to “save water” or something.

    The old US toilets were excellent. No one will argue against you that the current mandated toilet specifications are crap.

    Some people actually salvaged the old toilets from house teardowns or bathroom remodeling jobs. There’s not much opportunity now to get one of the old designs.

    Never, never let the gubmint get involved in plumbing.

  19. rhoda klapp says:

    You don’t save much water when you have to flush five times.

  20. H.R. says:

    Exactly, Rhoda. That was quickly realized by all Americans with an IQ above the 55mph speed limit of the time that was mandated to “save gas” in cars that were designed to operate most efficiently at 70 mph.

    To this day, our government bureaucrat hacks will not admit the Great Toilet Travesty was stupid and reverse the regulations. They still claim victory.

  21. H.R. says:

    Government mandates have made cars safer and more fuel efficient, but at a cost. There is that pesky thing called the Law of Diminishing Returns.

    Nowadays, a basic Honda Accord or Toyota Camry costs more than our first house and that’s beyond just inflation. The cost is pushed higher than inflation due to the cost of the mandates.

    Never, never, never let the government design cars.

    Wait up…. I’m beginning see a pattern emerging.
    Seriously, all those government mandates are decreed by people who don’t actually have to figure out a way to make the affected item or even if it is possible to make something that will meet the decree. And hang the cost that will come out of Joe and Jane Average’s pockets whether they can afford it or not.


  22. billinoz says:

    When I first read that News story I was puzzled as I lived in the USA in 1985 and then they were fine. But yep it seems that the USA governmnet water saver bureaucrats have been busy.

    Meanwhile as the Aussie lady says in that story she got an Australian designed seat made by Caroma, sent over from Oz. In case anyone is interested in upgrading their throne, here is the link to Caroma :

  23. H.R. says:

    @billinoz – I just did a quick search and 1985 was before the low flow toilets were mandated.

    I’ll not link, but here’s part of )a relevant paragraph with the dates.

    The U.S. President George H. W. Bush, in 1992, put his name on the Energy Policy Act, which ensured that 1.6 gallons of water per flush was the maximum limit for all new toilets. This water conservation law came into action properly in 1997.

    Our first house was built in 1977, so we had one of the old good toilets. You could flush a bowling ball down one of those toilets :o))

  24. H.R. says:

    Well, I don’t have an Aussie Friday food contribution, but I do have a Stateside Saturday one.

    Yesterday, while hitting up that gun shop out in the boonies, I also stopped at “Mom’s Country Sausage” and picked up some thick sliced (about 12 – 13mm) bologna to make fried bologna sandwiches. I also picked up some casing hot dogs; German and chili-cheese.

    A fried bologna sandwich with olive oil mayo, homemade pickles, sliced white onion, and habanero jack cheese went down mighty good for breakfast this morning. Deeeelicious!
    Mom’s is about a mile from that gun shop and on the way. I always stop.

    ‘Mom’ and hubby raised the feed and the hogs and processed the hogs on their farm. ‘Mom’ then made Summer sausage, sandwich bologna, trail bologna, salami, bratwurst, casing wieners, breakfast sausage, bacon, and other stuff like that to retail along side their meat case of fresh regular cuts of pork.

    It was a country butcher shop on a farm fronting a major State Route so business from locals and travelers has always been good. ‘Mom’s’ processed products were excellent, winning at the State Fair several times.

    ‘Mom’ has since passed on and the kids run the place using her recipes. They don’t raise the feed and the hogs any more. They lease the farmland and buy hog carcasses.

    But from there on up to the retail counter, they still do all the butchering and processing and make the sausage and bacon products. They still sell the fresh cuts of pork; ribs, chops, roasts, etc. and lots of sausages and whatnot.

    It’s all very fresh and first rate. Yum!

    Funny, but a few visits ago I talked to the oldest daughter. ‘Mom’ was never interested in going big, either regional or national. The daughter said she and her siblings were not interested either. They have a sweet little business going that provides very well for all of ‘Mom’s’ kids, and they own it all outright.

    The kids don’t want the headaches that going big would bring. They like it small and decided to keep it that way.

  25. E.M.Smith says:


    I posted the link just because I didn’t know how either and was surprised at the ease.

    OTOH, doing that in California, especially from a modest boat, could end badly.
    Note that mantle length omits the tentacles.

    The Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas), also known as jumbo squid, jumbo flying squid, pota, or diablo rojo (red devil), is a large, predatory squid living in the waters of the Humboldt Current in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is the only species of the genus Dosidicus of the subfamily Ommastrephinae, family Ommastrephidae.

    Humboldt squid typically reach a mantle length of 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in). They have a reputation for aggression towards humans, though this behavior may possibly only be manifested during feeding times. Like other members of the subfamily Ommastrephinae, they possess bioluminescent photophores and are capable of quickly changing body coloration (metachrosis). They notably rapidly flash red and white while hunting, earning them the name diablo rojo (Spanish for “red devil”) among fishermen. […]

    They are most commonly found at depths of 200 to 700 m (660 to 2,300 ft), from Tierra del Fuego to California. This species is spreading north into the waters of the Pacific Northwest, in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. They are fished commercially, predominantly in Mexico and Peru.

    Some squid may grow to 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) in mantle length and weigh up to 50 kg (100 lb).
    Generally, the mantle (or body) constitutes about 40% of the animal’s mass, the fins (or wings) about 12%, the arms and tentacles about 14%, the outer skin about 3%, the head (including eyes and beak) about 5%, with the balance (26%) made up of the inner organs


    Humboldt squid photographed at a depth of 250 m (820 ft) off California
    Humboldt squid are carnivorous marine invertebrates that move in shoals of up to 1,200 individuals. They swim at speeds up to 24 km/h (15 mph; 13 kn) propelled by water ejected through a hyponome (siphon) and by two triangular fins. Their tentacles bear 100–200 suckers, each lined with razor-sharp teeth, with which they grasp prey and drag it towards a large, sharp beak.

    Although Humboldt squid have a reputation of being aggressive towards humans, some disagreement exists on this subject. Research suggests these squid are only aggressive while feeding; at other times, they are quite passive.

    So isn’t that comforting? A swarm of a 1000 of these will only try to eat you when they are hungry! How special…

    Their behavior while feeding often extends to cannibalism and they have been seen to readily attack injured or vulnerable squid of their own shoal. A quarter of squid stomachs analyzed contained remains of other squid. This behavior may account for a large proportion of their rapid growth. Some scientists claim the only reports of aggression towards humans have occurred when reflective diving gear or flashing lights have been present as a provocation. Roger Uzun, a veteran scuba diver and amateur underwater videographer who swam with a swarm of the animals for about 20 minutes, said they seemed to be more curious than aggressive. In circumstances where these animals are not feeding or being hunted, they exhibit curious and intelligent behavior.

    Saw film of a small Mexican boat trying to land one of these. The squid are smart enough to know they don’t like it and want to attack something. A machete is your friend and chain mail gloves help along with leathers…

    I don’t swim in the Pacific at night….

  26. E.M.Smith says:

    Per toilets:

    I now use a half gallon to a gallon “booster jug” to help the flush. Fill at the faucet, pour when the flush is about 1/2 done to give it the boost.

    I also use loo paper to make a single layer “splash shield” laying it on the water. This stops the rude cold wet surprise after a big drop.

    Finally, on auto flush: I always droop some paper over the “eye” light detector to blind it. When done, remove the paper and drop it in to flush.

    Hey, it makes these crap toilets tolerable.

    All this conservationist greenwash law has done is to vastly increase my paper use and require a double flush / bucket pour to make things work.

    Politicians ought to be barred from attempting “engineering via mandate”. Leave engineering to the Engineers. They were better at it their Freshman Year than politicians with a JD or Public Admin Ph.D. can ever be.

  27. H.R. says:

    @E.M., yeah, the Humboldt squid came to mind but I’ve never fished waters where I’d encounter one.

    They get way larger than I thought! I was under the impression that they got to be about a meter in overall length, which is still quite a load.

    I also realized that when I’m in squid territory, they are gone because the water is a bit too cold. It’s not just that I don’t do much night saltwater fishing.

    Sure, the water in Florida or South Carolina seems warm to me since I’m escaping from the land of frozen lakes and rivers, But when I’m South, it’s too cold for the squid.

  28. Power Grab says:

    @ rhoda klapp:
    “You don’t save much water when you have to flush five times.”

    Right! At my church, the most-used ladies room has three low-flow toilets that were early enough that you have to stand over them and keep flushing to get the job done. On the other hand, the oldest ladies room (equipped with only one toilet), has one of the old-style toilets (from the mid-1950s or early-1960s, I’d say). One flush gets the job done.

    But at work, in the newest restrooms, they have chosen wisely. One flush works unless you sense the need to do what they call “courtesy flushes”.

  29. E.M.Smith says:


    The water off California is decending from Alaska. It is about 45 F.

    The Humbolt squid does not mind cold water.

  30. H.R. says:

    Hmm…. well, I have my Shark Tranquilizer (lead weighted oak Billy club) so I suppose I can at least take home some Squid Jello© should I ever land one of those big Humboldt squids.

  31. Another Ian says:


    Re government and the law of diminishing returns.

    A while back there was a posting over at Red Power on diesel emissions and costs.

    The step from Tier 0 to Tier 1 reduced emissions by 90%

    Tier 1 to Tier 2 by another 90 % (OF THE REMAINING 10 %)

    Etc, with costs rising astronomically by Tier 4.

    If you graphed it looks like best bang for buck was about Tier 2.5

  32. Another Ian says:

    To keep this to the theme of the thread there are some Australian whiskys

    From an email just in

    ” A new and easy test for the horror of Covid-19

    is doing the rounds and it’s simple, quick and positive (or negative if you see what I mean).

    Take a glass and pour a Shot of your favorite Whisky into it; then see if you can smell it. If you can, then you are halfway there.

    Then drink it. If you can taste it then it is reasonable to assume you are currently free of the virus because the loss of the sense of smell and taste is a common symptom.

    I tested myself 7 times last night and was virus free every time thank goodness.

    I will have to test myself again today because I have developed a throbbing headache which can also be one of the symptoms.

    I’ll report my results later.”

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    OMG! That’s just like the Kentucky Boubon Wuhan Virus test!

    I understand Silicon Valley is developing the Napa Test which uses 6 oz. glasses of Chardonnay… Not to be out done by those snobs, In Milwaukee, Pabst is creating the lowest cost test yet, complete with a blue ribbon. They are having trouble getting taste high enough as, at present, it yields many false positives.


  34. Another Ian says:


    “They are having trouble getting taste high enough as, at present, it yields many false positives.”

    Sounds a bit like the beer test joke that ends

    “Both your horses have yellow jaundice”

  35. billinoz says:

    Ummmm ? Re toilets in Oz, we do have the two button models which deliver different amounts of water depending on use. But here in Oz lots of the water used in our towns and cities is treated and then re-used for agriculture or parks etc. So there is no loss as such. And so I just flush away with the big button as always !

  36. Another Ian says:

    Not Australia but about eating

    “The single mans grocery store”

    We could change the beer brand and copy that

  37. cdquarles says:

    About “pollution controls”, I say we could roll most, if not all, of them back to mid ’90s levels and we wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. We are that far into the diminishing returns on them.

  38. H.R. says:

    @cd – I misspent my youth out in Los Angeles.

    My oldest brother went to Pepperdine University out there and stayed after graduating. In 1973, I visited him for a few weeks over the Christmas holidays before I actually moved to LA.

    My brother and his wife were running errands and I was tagging along to sightsee. They both suddenly got really excited, half-shouting, “You can see the mountains! You can see the mountains!”

    I asked them what the big deal was since the LA basin is rimmed with mountains. They told me it was a rare event because of the smog and pollution.

    Anyhow, I guess California had instituted the earliest fixes to auto exhaust pollution only the year before and it was paying off already at that point. I moved out to LA a month or so after the visit and over the next couple of years, the LA basin really cleared up such that it was a rare event when you couldn’t see the mountains.

    So yeah, the mid-’90s would be a good place to roll back regulations. Air pollution was next to nothing by then.

    They should have just declared victory and disbanded the EPA, but then that’s not how government works, eh?

  39. cdquarles says:

    I last visited California in 1983. LA’s problem is not just the mountains around it. It has an ocean to its west (lots of volatile organic compounds from that and not just the seeps), they imported also Australian Eucalyptus trees (more volatile organic compounds are a fire hazard). You could see the mountains then. True enough, when I was there, the weather conditions were not favorable for a temperature inversion.

    Now, mind you, Birmingham AL has a similar problem, being in a valley. Birmingham has a lot more vegetation, the ridges not that much higher than the valley floor (about 500 ft), no ocean nearby and was much smaller. True smog was rare. Haze, though, was routine. What Birmingham had more of was iron dust in the air, until the oldest and dirtiest mills shut down and were replaced by cleaner ones.

  40. philjourdan says:

    @HR – I first saw LA in 66. Then in 58 we were travelling through it to SantaBarbara, in summer. But we had to keep the windows up going through LA because it stunk so bad! And that was before Car AC.

    The last time I saw LA was about 5 years ago. It was still a nightmare, but of a different kind. Took us 4 hours to drive from LAX to Ventura. Why have I not been back since? We fly into Santa Barbara now. A bit more pricey, but a lot more soothing on the nervers

    Back in 58 it was to see my Grandmother. Now it is to see my BIL.

  41. Another Ian says:

    Perhaps not what you expected on the Australian lamb thread

    “Bureaucrats want farmer to fly 40 sheep from Melbourne to Sydney to get to market”

  42. H.R. says:

    The only question I have about those sheep, Another Ian, is did the sheep fly Business Class or Coach?

    Wait… how did they fasten their seat belts? Okay, that’s two questions.

    Wait…. A third question… Was the airline so rude as to serve lamb for the in-flight meal? I’d file charges if I were one of those sheep.

    I’m just glad the pilot wasn’t allergic to sheep, else that plane was going down.

    Did the sheep get those little packages of peanuts?

    Oh. These sheep are all only a year or so old. Did they each get a minder since they were travelling as unaccompanied minors?

    And how many barf bags did the sheep use? I’m sure at least a few of them had sensitive tummies.

    Hmmm… that’s 6 questions. It seems this whole episode was questionable.

    Good thing it wasn’t cattle.

    Wait… aren’t airlines experienced in transporting cattle? At least that’s how they treat passengers in the US; like cattle.

  43. Another Ian says:


    I don’t know to your questions.

    But not so extreme for treatment of rural populations by government sources.

  44. philjourdan says:

    @HR – Your first question should have been – did they fly on Bo Peep Airlines?

  45. H.R. says:

    Who got the sheep’s airline miles?

    I’m smelling a major scandal here. I think it was the bureaucrat who insisted that the sheep fly. Then he planned on collecting their miles.

    The sheep were probably threatened, and you know none of them are going to talk.

    This is starting to look baaaaaaaad, very baaaaaad.

  46. Another Ian says:


    More on that West Australian action

    “Don’t invest in Australia”

  47. philjourdan says:


    Who got the sheep’s airline miles?

    Seriously? Sheep are miles! Just ask Bo Peep!

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