Friends Of Australia Friday: 8 October 2021

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

The Tucker

Florida Friend was over tonight, so quantities were larger than usual.

I did the Lamb Loin Chops in the cast iron skillet. Oven at 375 F for about 30 minutes. (These cuts where thicker than usual). Red Potatoes cut into french fry like strips scattered about the pan, skin on. Salt, a bit of pepper.

I had made home made bread, so a nice slice of the “round” with butter was added to the plate.

A side salad of mixed Iceberg & Butter lettuces, a few olives, and a slice of Havarti Cheese kibbled. Then topped with ranch dressing.

Can you say Yum?!

The Wine

At the Bargain Market I got 2 bottles of Samuel Wynn Dice With Destiny red blend. Sadly, one is now gone and we’ve started on number 2…

At $5/bottle you just can’t beat it (why I shop at Bargain Market Grocery Outlet… the particular wine on offer is indeterminate, but the price is always good). Notes of Cabernet playing against a background of Shiraz, IF I’ve got my blend taster running right.

Down to only one row of bottles on the shelf. I suspect it will shortly be done there and I’ll need to go to the expensive place to get it. Mission Accomplished! ;-)

The News

Oh, Australia. Please take a look at Sweden or Florida. Both living free lives. Just cast off the daemon fear and march forward to freedom.

So, the Big News seems to be that Australia decided to scrap a failing submarine deal in favor of getting something that works, quicker.

France to send ambassador back to Australia amid Aukus row
Published 23 hours ago

France will send its ambassador back to Australia to “redefine” relations, after Canberra reneged on a deal to buy French submarines and sparked a row.

Last month, Australia formed the Aukus security pact with the US and the UK – aimed at maintaining Western influence in the Asia-Pacific.

That saw Australia end a $65bn (£48bn) deal with France to instead access US nuclear-powered submarine technology.

Paris called the deal a “stab in the back”.

Soon after the shock announcement, France recalled its ambassadors from Canberra and Washington DC in protest.

But while it has sought to mend the rift with the US, France has continued to freeze out Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said French President Emmanuel Macron has refused to take his calls. Australia’s trade minister has also been shunned by his French counterpart.

One wonders why “diplomats” behave like 13 year old girls. “Shunning” and “freezing out” and having a pout.

It’s business, mate. Deliver the goods or the job goes to someone who can.

Want to be emotional about it? Fine, mind if I take pictures?…

In Other News…

China has managed to shoot off their toes by banning Australian Coal, and now can’t make enough heat or electricity. Way to go, Xi! So now they are buying Australian Coal at excessive prices and via intermediaries. Shutting down sectors of their economy.

Karma is a bitch, with big teeth…

China hit by power cuts and factory closures as energy crisis bites
The world’s top coal consumer implements power rationing as supplies dwindle ahead of winter

China has told railway companies and local authorities to expedite vital coal supplies to utilities as the world’s second largest economy grapples with extensive power cuts that have crippled industrial output in key regions.

As many as 20 provinces are believed to be experiencing the crisis to some degree, with factories temporarily shuttered or working on short hours. Shopkeepers were left to light their stores by candles, and there were reports of mobile networks failing after a three-day outage hit three north-eastern provinces.
According to the South China Morning Post, quoting analysis by Sinolink Securities, stocks of coal used to generate electricity – held by the nation’s six biggest power-generation groups – stood at a record low of just 11.31m tonnes as of 21 September – enough to produce power for 15 days.

The energy crunch has been driven by a series of complex overlapping factors which have combined to create a perfect storm in an economy which relies on coal for 56% of its power.

Trying to reduce its emissions to become carbon neutral by 2060, the Chinese economy has lagged behind in improving energy efficiency even as coal production has slowed because of new regulations.

On top of that, the rebound in demand for goods from Chinese factories as the world reopens after the Covid-19 pandemic – a factor facing other economies – has left coal production unable to keep up with the demand for energy from factories.

With thermal coal futures in China hitting an all-time high of $212.92 per tonne earlier on Wednesday, the rising prices have put further pressure on power utilities unable to recoup added fuel costs.

According to an analysis paper by S&P Global on Wednesday, the issues have been exacerbated by China’s own attempts to intervene in the crisis which it described as a “tinderbox of issues”.

“China’s latest measures to cap energy consumption have been widely blamed for causing the current power crisis, but the curbs more likely ignited a tinderbox of issues accumulating for months around soaring fuel prices and coal shortages, highlighting the difficulties in implementing energy policy in the context of a huge economy with numerous moving parts.”

The problems have been most acute in the three north-eastern provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang with local authorities in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province, warning of “the collapse of the entire grid” if power wasn’t rationed.

“If there’s a power cut in the winter then the heat stops too,” said Fang Xuedong, 32, a delivery driver in Shenyang, about a 90-minute flight north east of Beijing.

And yet not a mention of their sudden stoppage of purchases of Australian Coal…

The Stupid, it burns….

So take a Victory Lap Australia. China brought to her knees by Stupid Xi Tantrum. Australia happy to sell coal to other buyers…

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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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16 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday: 8 October 2021

  1. beththeserf says:

    The dinner -Yum. That collapse of coal supplies in China, let it sound a warning to the Socialists in the West that Ol’ King Coal IS indeed a merry old soul .

  2. H.R. says:

    Hello to E.M.’s Florida Friend!

    @E.M. – First you’ve mentioned that FF has come out your way. Of course, there was little need for FF to come out your way, since the contracts you were getting were in Florida. Hey! Easy to get in some visits while in Florida. Oh, and I forgot that FF put you up until you could find accommodations when you hit Florida for the contract work.

    Well, you have been planning your escape from The People’s Democratic Socialist Republic of California for a few years. I’d hazard a guess that FF is going to drive a loaded-to-the-gills car back to Florida for you, just for the heck of it and to help out. If so, that’s a real good friend, but we all knew your FF is a long-time bestie.

  3. H.R. says:

    Here’s a note to our Friends in Australia on the food, well… drink topic.

    I wrote about the shakedown cruise in our trailer in early August. We went to Geneva-On-The-Lake right on lake Erie. It’s wine country!

    Starting just East of Cleveland, Ohio along a couple of miles-wide band that goes over to New York State along the lake, is perfect wine growing soil left over from when the most recent glacier retreated from that area. Lake Erie. They can’t grow all wine grape varieties, but the more cold tolerant ones do just fine, and the region is great for making Ice Wine.

    What I want to bring up is not the wine, but the varietal grape juice. The kids went back to that area last week for the (mainly grape) Harvest Festival. One of the things available is fresh-pressed grape juice, and they brought some back for the Mrs. ‘n me.

    It is amazing! We had Pinot Grigio grape juice and – oh crap! – I’ve forgotten what the red varietal was.

    I’ve always liked the purple and white grape juices since I was a kid, but they’re made from concentrates and I assume the dribs and drabs of table grapes that weren’t going to make it to market. No way are those grape juices on the grocery shelf from wine grapes.

    Anyhow, if you’re not in wine country, where you’ve probably already had a bit of the fresh pressed varietal juice, see if you can do an outing to a wine region at harvest time. You can score some wine, of course, but be sure to try the fresh grape juice that is making those wines. You can taste the notes that make up the varietal wine, but it’s so different since all that sugar has yet to go to alcohol.

    Give it a try if you haven’t done so already.

  4. E.M.Smith says:


    Florida Friend lived and worked in California for many years before moving back to Florida about 20 years ago (yes, started there as a young child). We worked together for a couple of decades on both coasts. He’s doing a Nostalgia & Friends tour ;-) of old stomping grounds and old friends & family he’s not seen in a while.

    Yup, a “car load” is going with him. In exchange, he’s had a car here for touring this week, and gets to have a car for the drive back to visit other folks in other States. It’s a bit of a win-win. He avoids driving across the country twice and can just fly one way and drive back stopping as desired.

    FWIW, my plans ATM are to fly out to Florida in a couple of weeks and look for a landing pad for “stuff” then start shipping it, one way or another…

    Per Grapes:

    There are two broad categories of grapes (really a bit more than that, but the American Types are similar so can be lumped together). Vitus Vinifera is the one used in Europe to make wine for eons and in America for most of the varieties you know and love.
    It is the one you typically never get in a jug of juice unless you search out some specialty shops. Yes, the juice can be wonderfully better than “the usual” Welch’s.

    The American varieties of grapes are the ones you know and love from Welch’s Grape Juice and Grape Jelly. It is described by the wine makers as having a “foxy” flavor to it (think Welch’s Grape Juice flavor minus the sugar…). It is hardy to extreme cold and grows where you can’t grow vitus vinifera, so you find it all over the eastern 1/2 of the country. It also provides root stocks for many vinifera plants as the American pest phylloxora ( ) kills the European grape by sucking it dry at the roots, while the American vines are resistant having co-evolved.

    FWIW, there was a great catastrophic die off of European vineyards when phylloxera made it back to Europe and the history of it is a good lesson in sudden disasters. A hybrid American-Vinifera root stock was developed and used for many vineyards, and was phylloxera resistant… for a while… but looks to have now provided an evolutionary stepping stone to select for phylloxera who are able to attack it now, too. So there is a current “bit of panic” over that and we may see a lot of vineyards replanting onto non-hybrid root stocks… “Watch this space”…

    They created the hybrid as some connoisseurs insisted the native American root stock introduced subtle flavor differences into the wine. Personally I could not tell. But they did it, and now “that’s a problem”…

    There’s a bunch of American grapes, and folks are busy making American / European hybrids in an effort to get European wine like flavors with American disease resistance and cold tolerance. We’ll see how that works out. It is complicating the prior simplicity of saying “American Grapes taste this way” and “Wine grapes taste that way”… Especially with wines from East of the Sierra Nevada mountains. (i.e. anywhere outside Washington, Oregon, California).

    The one you know from the typical “Grape Juice” and jelly:

    Fox grape (Vitis labrusca, V. labruscana)
    The most well-known American grape. The most famous cultivars from this species are ‘Concord,’ ‘Catawba,’ ‘Niagara,’ and ‘Isabella.’ It has:

    large berries
    small clusters
    fair pest resistance
    a distinctive and strong flavor

    The one used to make Muscadine wine, not to be confused with Muscat wine:

    Muscadine grape (Muscandinia rotundifolia, V. rotundifolia)
    A parent of the rootstock hybrid ‘VR O39-16’

    large berry size
    small clusters
    mild to strong flavor
    poor rooting
    cold tender

    excellent pest tolerance

    The one most folks don’t know about unless they talk rootstocks:

    Riverbank grape (V. riparia)
    Several cultivars have this species in their lineage, such as ‘Beta,’ ‘Clinton,’ ‘Baco Noir,’ ‘Frontenac’, ‘Marechal Foch,’ and rootstocks 3309C, 5BB and SO4. It has:

    small berries
    small clusters
    fair to good pest resistance
    good vigor
    easy rooting (which makes it attractive to use as a rootstock)

    wide variation in ripening time and cold hardiness levels

    The ones almost nobody knows about:

    Summer grape (V. aestivalis)
    Mainly known for the cultivar ‘Cynthiana,’ aka ‘Norton’. It has:

    small to medium berries
    medium to large open clusters
    fair pest resistance
    high sugar and high acid, so wine-making can be a challenge

    Sand grape (V. rupestris)
    Cultivars of this species are ‘St. George’ (aka ‘Rupestris du Lot’) and the rootstock hybrids 110R and 1103P. It has:

    small berries
    small to medium clusters
    good pest resistance
    good vigor
    easy rooting
    a very “wild” taste

    Post oak grape (V. lincecumii)
    This species is native to the southern plains. Many cultivars have this species in their background, including ‘Bailey,’ ‘Beacon,’ ‘Ellen Scott,’ ‘Marguerite,’ and ‘Rubaiyat.’ This species was hailed by T.V. Munson as being especially important for creating hybrid grape cultivars. It has:

    medium to large berries
    small to medium clusters
    fair pest resistance
    a distinctive “wild” taste, but different from V. labrusca

    V. champinii
    Cultivars: ‘Champanel,’ ‘Lomanto,’ and ‘Nitodal’. Rootstock cultivars: ‘Salt Creek’ (aka ‘Ramsey’) and ‘Dogridge,’ and rootstock hybrids with V. champinii as a parent: ‘Harmony’ and ‘Freedom.’ Native to Texas.

    small clusters
    medium sized berries
    roots easily
    adapted to lime soils
    resistant to nematodes and other pests
    primarily for rootstock

    Spanish grape (V. berlandieri)
    small berries
    medium clusters
    adapted to lime soils
    moderate pest resistance
    poor rooting

    Frost grape (V. cordifolia)
    small berries
    medium sized and open clusters
    late ripening
    very vigorous
    poor to medium pest resistance
    bitingly pungent with a strong wild taste

    Mustang grape (V. mustangensis, V. candicans)
    small clusters
    medium to large berries
    tough skin
    biting pungency

    tolerant of Pierce’s disease and other pests

    Gray-bark grape (V. cinerea)
    small berries
    loose clusters
    tolerates lime soils
    often found in riparian habitats
    ripens late

    Bush grape (V. longii)
    medium berries
    small clusters
    early ripening
    roots easily
    adapted to lime soils
    resistant to nematodes and other pests
    used for rootstocks

    Sweet mountain grape (V. monticola)
    Native to Texas.

    small clusters
    medium sized berries
    moderate vigor
    poor rooting
    adapted to dry and lime soils

    Typically you will run into Labrusca type or Muscadine type wines. Folks play with the others and use them for root stocks or genetic blending efforts, but not much wine made unless you DIY and really like the odd flavors…

    So for all practical purposes, there’s European Vinifera, and “American” (that means Labrusca & Muscadine and blends of them) in the wine department.

    European wine drinkers and wine snobs everywhere will only drink a Vinifera wine, and consider the “Foxy” or “wild” flavor an unacceptable defect. Others don’t mind it at all. I find it “interesting and different and enjoyable in occasional use” but not a Daily Drinker…

    (And yes, I took Viticulture and Oenology at UCD)

  5. cdquarles says:

    Ah, muscadine vines. As a wee lad, I’d often swing on them before jumping into the creek for a dip. We’d eat the berries in August when they ripened. Watch where you put your hand, though, for the rattlesnakes liked them and the other prey they’d attract, such as squirrels. The same could be said for the June ripening blackberries.

  6. H.R. says:

    Well, I guess I’m a European grape wine snob, then. These Northeast wines are pretty much what’s on your list (note the ‘Niagara’ grape, which I believe was one of the early one’s from the Niagara, NY region of the Great Lakes).

    The Northeast wines are good but not among my all-time favorites. Very nice for a change of pace. One exception is the Rieslings they make. Most are excellent.

    I started out with imported German Rieslings when I lived in California. Then I ran across my all-time favorite from California or anywhere, Wente Bros. Grey Riesling. And there are good to excellent Rieslings made along the Great Lakes.

    Hmmmm…Rieslings are never dirt cheap and they are never super expensive. *Thinking Hat* It must be a sure bet wine if you are growing in iffy conditions and need at least something to come through if a disaster hits your other varieties. Just guessing.

  7. Chiefio

    “But while it has sought to mend the rift with the US, France has continued to freeze out Australia.”

    Don’t worry, they have been doing the same to the UK ever since we voted for Brexit.

    They are currently encouraging illegal immigrants coming by small boat to the UK, Last December they threatened to cut the energy interconnectors and freeze us into submission unless we allocated them more fish. Over the last week they have renewed that energy threat and in addition have threatened to block our ports and the channel tunnel so we can’t get any food or medicines whilst in turn our exports are blocked.

    It is difficult to put over to an American audience as to how furious the EU in general, and France in particular, are with the UK for wanting to regain our sovereignty and escape their nasty gang by voting for Brexit. They are determined to cause us maximum damage

  8. The True Nolan says:

    @climatereason: “It is difficult to put over to an American audience as to how furious the EU in general, and France in particular, are with the UK for wanting to regain our sovereignty and escape their nasty gang by voting for Brexit. They are determined to cause us maximum damage”

    Some here in the US understand. We went through the same thing (only worse!) 160 years ago.

  9. iggie says:

    France can’t trust Australia. Wow. Australia should have said that they can’t trust France after the cost blowouts and time delays with the submarine contract.
    And, the subs are diesel-electric – by the time these subs are delivered, fossil fuels will have be banned.

  10. Annie says:

    Johannes Leak is brilliant.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    Unfortunately for me, my SPAM & Ads barrier bars the link for me. The link tries to do a hand off and this happens:

    This site can’t be reached refused to connect.

    Checking the connection
    Checking the proxy and the firewall

    So I’ll have to see it elsewhere. With a device that I don’t mind being tagged…

  12. The True Nolan says:

    An off-the-beaten-path food update: I have for some years been making various fermented foods at home but recently has a new idea. Indian food ways are famous (infamous?) for having an unending variety of what they refer to as “pickles”. They are not like Western sour or sweet pickles, ie, not too many cucumbers involved, but are a thick mash of hot spices, high salt content, spices and what-ever vegetables. You serve a little glob with your nan, your rice, or with anything you want give some extra flavor or extra heat. They have garlic pickle (my favorite), coriander pickle, mango pickle, tamarind pickles, etc. Go to an Indian grocery and you will see a dozen or more flavors.

    Anyway, I was making Korean Kimchee and it dawned on me that the Indian pickles are very similar to the mixture used for kimchee. Different spices, different flavors, but extra salty, full of capsicum, and (best of all) already mixed up in a jar. Anyway, I chunked up some bell peppers, small green tomatoes, small luffa gourds — basically just what I had handy out of the garden. Mixed them with a some heaping tablespoons of garlic pickle adding more pickle until everything was well coated, then packed them tight into a jar. Added just enough water to cover everything (like making salt fermented pickles try to make sure none of the vegetables are exposed to air while they ferment) and put them in a dark cupboard to sit for a week or two.

    Result? Very tasty! Slow to ferment, so still a bit crunchy. Also, toned down the hotness of the garlic pickle to a more manageable level. Still has a nice Indian flavor. If you want to try an Indian version of kimchee it is quick, easy, and tasty. I did a second jar with hot peppers instead of mild ingredients but have not yet breached it. Honestly the mild vegetables plus the garlic pickle made a very nice flavor and that may well be my favorite. I will probably try some of the other Indian pickle flavors as a fermented vegetable precursor in the future. Conclusion? Nice! I think I will do more of this in the future.

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    Sounds tasty!

    Western Pickles come in a whole lot of varieties too, but most of them didn’t make it to the grocery store, so Cucumber Pickles have come to be “it”; and by far Dill to excess on the shelves. Sweet Pickles largely only surviving as relish. Bread & Butter Pickles slowly fading from the shelves. You can still find things like pickled onions, or cauliflower and such in mixtures in some higher end specialty places.

    When a kid, the County Fair had a competition in a giant sized Gym. Farmers Spouses from all over the county brought their pickles (and other foods & crafts) to compete for the ribbon. They still made a huge number of different pickles then, probably still do.

    Oh, and don’t forget pickled beets ;-)

    I remember trying pickled pearl onions… not a fan. I like them fried and salty ;-)

    Oh, and of course, famous from the rhyme: Pickled Peppers (in a peck…)

    Prior to freezers and refrigerators the garden produce had to be put up somehow. Salting, Drying, Smoking, and lots and lots of pickling…

    As for Hot Pickles: I find it curious that the process of dunking rusty iron into HydroChloric Acid and having the rust bubble off in a fuming fizz is called “Pickling”… Maybe someone with a few too many pickled peppers in his lunch named it? 8-0

    I have a couple of prepper books on food preservation. They list a LOT of different kinds of pickles. Though I do suspect the Indians have us beat on variety. There’s a fair number of chutneys that I’d say are a kind of mixed pickle too.

    But I never developed the desire for pain that causes Kimchee to be a goal… I did try it a couple of times at a local Korean BBQ place… maybe their house stuff was stronger than most. I don’t know as I never tried it again ;-)

  14. Terry Jackson says:

    Floods in China, 84 coal mines closed, power rationing.
    And I saw the other day that Australian coal was now being unloaded in China.

  15. philjourdan says:

    My boss send me a picture of grapes from Italy and said they were being called “baby wine”

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