TonyfromOz – Ten Years Of Blogging

Posted on Fri 03/16/2018 by


By Anton Lang  (TonyfromOz) ~

It’s hard to believe it all started because of bat crap!

Ten years ago today, March 16th 2008, I started out as a blogger. I had no clue what I was doing, and I really expected it to finish within ten weeks, that’s if I even lasted that long. Now, here I am, ten years later, and with more than 1700 individual Posts under my own name.

Originally I had left a comment at a Post at this site (at this link, and scroll down to see the Comment) and overnight, the owner of the site sent me an email asking if he might use that comment as a Post of its own, with a secondary question asking if I would like to contribute more Posts at the site on a regular basis. I knew about ‘Blogging’, and the word ‘blog’ is just a shortening of the word weblog, in other words, a sort of diary (log) on the Internet, the World Wide Web, or Web for short, hence weblog, hence blog.

I really had no clue what I could write about, and I mentioned this to Ed, the sites owner, and he said not to mind about that, and just to write something I was comfortable with. I did have the inkling of an idea to perhaps link up Global Warming to the generation of electrical power, and in those days, this Global Warming thing was still just in its infancy. I was aware that this topic was linked to the emissions of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and the largest source of those emissions was from coal fired power generation, so I thought I could investigate that and the hoped for plan to get rid of those coal fired plants and replace them with power generation which did not emit that dreaded CO2.

The only reason I picked this as a topic was because I already had the electrical trade as my background, having served in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for 25 years as an aircraft electrical and electronic systems tradesman, having joined the RAAF in 1967 straight from High School. During those 25 years, I received my trade training, which was way more extensive than it is these days, and just one step short of an Electrical Engineering Degree. I then worked on a variety of combat aircraft, and rose through the ranks, moving more now into Trade Supervision and Man Management. The last 6 years of my Service were as a Technical Trades Instructor, teaching the electrical trade to new guys, and I also served as the Senior Trades examiner for the electrical trade for the last year and a half of my service.

So, I had the background in all matters of an electrical nature, so, using that knowledge, I could perhaps offer some insight in what was required. As all of this is of a highly technical engineering nature, that background I had made it a lot easier to understand all the principles involved, and I could then write about that. The problem I saw right at the start was that technical engineering aspect, and my task as I saw it was to explain it in manner that the ordinary person could understand. Even so, I still thought that the subject would be so dry as to be almost boring. On top of that, I actually thought the whole thing would ‘tap out’ in maybe ten separate Posts, if I could stretch it out that long. As it turned out that original series stretched to 53 separate Posts over many Months. For the first few Posts, I would write them here on my word processor, email that to Ed, and he would then post it. After perhaps five of them doing them like that, he gave me the capability to login and write them straight to the site. That again was a learning process of its own, and each day I learned something new. Adding images came next, and the learning processes continued.

What I did find was that it was not the actual blogging which was the difficult part. That difficulty was in fact my own trade knowledge, and that surprised me. Rather than look at opinion, I wanted actual information on what I was going to be writing about, so that of itself was a learning process. I had to find that information, and then to find further information on the same subject to verify if the information agreed. That led to a few occasions where I actually took my heart in my hands, and the biggest of those was in respect of Wind Power and Solar Power. Keep in mind here that this was in 2008, and everywhere I looked (at opinion, and usually from journalists, and some well intentioned opinion writers) I found that what they were saying was that the move from coal fired power to wind and solar was just a sideways move, as they could easily replace coal fired power. However, what I did find was that they just could not do it at all. The hard part then was to write that and then Post it, because, once posted, it was there forever. I even suspected that I was in fact wrong, because no one was writing about that at all, just naturally assuming it could be done. It took me a long while to believe that I was correct, because the more information I looked at, the more I found it just could not be done. I kept thinking that I would be found out and that would be the end of that, and the end of me as a serious writer on this subject. However, the more I looked and the longer it went, the more I understood that I was in fact correct all along.

Once that Series finished, I still thought that was it for me, and it took me a few weeks to realise that I could still keep writing about the subject, as so much kept turning up that I could write about, and now here I am after ten years, still writing about the same subject, and still finding out more, and in fact, still learning more. However, I am more confident now in what I say. I still thought it would be dry and boring, but what surprised me most of all was that people actually wanted to know about these things. Along the way, people have also told me that I have a knack to explain it so they can understand it, not just the basics, but those technical aspects of power generation.

That is what has pleased me the most, not the fact that I lasted ten years, or even that I have more than 1700 Posts, but that I have reached such a wide audience, and that I can help them to understand something which is so highly technical. Not all those 1700 Posts have been on this subject, as I also write on other things as well, but probably 1000 or more of them are on that and related subjects.

My Screen Name TonyfromOz

(Here’s where the bat crap comes in)

Although I started out blogging at this site, I have used that screen name for longer than these ten years here at this site.

In 2005, we got hold of a new (second hand) car. Our old Camry was getting a bit long in the tooth, and little niggling problems kept happening. It was now 17 years old, and while still running reasonably well, it was getting old. Our Son actually found us our new car. The business he was in enabled him to be around a lot of people, and he heard of a car that was owned by the daughter of one of his clients. The father had got his daughter this car as a gift when she started University. Half way through, she dumped her university course and ran off with her boyfriend, and she wasn’t all that keen on the car in the first place, so she just left it her father’s home. So our Son’s client was looking to get rid of the car, and our Son got it cheap, and here I mean really cheap. The car was a late 2001 Holden Astra, not just the standard version but the top of the range model with everything. The same car in similar condition was retailing at Dealers for close on $18000 plus, and our Son’s client just wanted to get rid of it. Our Son got it for $12000, a huge saving. I was a little miffed I suppose, as all my life I had only driven Toyota cars, having four Corollas and the Camry spread across 20 years, and this was a Holden. That was totally unwarranted, as within 4 Months, I realised this was the nicest car I had ever owned. It was the Holden Astra, which is a Corolla sized small car. (the car shown in the image below right, and if you click on that image it will open in a new and larger window) It was also my first Automatic as well, so it was a new process getting used to not using the clutch and a ‘stick shift’. Although badged as  Holden, an Australian manufacturer, the car was manufactured by the Opel Company in Europe, and while left hand drive there in Europe, it was also sold in the UK as a Vauxhall Astra, so right hand drive, as it is in the UK. So it was just a case of rebadging the right hand drive Astra here in Australia as  Holden, and just as happened in the UK, the car became a pretty big seller here in Australia as well.

Our Holden Astra Hatch

Our new car was in perfect condition with barely 10000 Miles on the clock, so hardly even run in really. I wanted to keep it looking good, so I visited a local car care products dealer. It was the Manager in fact who helped me out and we looked over the car for half an hour. He recommended some products from the Mothers Company, but he suggested I visit their web site and look around there first. I pointed out three small spots on the roof around the size of a dollar coin. He told me it looked like damage from bat droppings, or bat crap as he called it. He said it was more acidic than bird droppings and it looked to him like it had etched the Clear Coat, the top layer of the paint work, a thicker and softer coat to protect the coloured paint below. He told me that the Mothers site had a Forum, where I could ask the question, and other specialists, some from the Company itself, could answer my questions. So I did just that. They helped me out, and along the way helped me decide on a range of products which would keep my car looking in showroom condition all the time. Their help did assist me with the bat crap problem, and it showed a marked improvement, but in the end I still got it repainted with that last top coat clear coat. I stayed at that Mothers Forum, and it helped me keep the car looking as good as it did on the showroom, and it still looks like that to this day, as these things need to be done on a regular basis.

However, when I started out at that Forum, I needed to register as a contributor, with my details and also to select a screen name, rather than use my full name, for security purposes. So, I called myself TonyfromOz. Now some would automatically think of that legendary land where the Wizard lives, but it’s less mystical than that. That Oz at the end of my screen name is a shortening of the three letter International Country Code designator for Australia, here using the first three letters, Aus, and that is pronounced as Oz. So, my name is Tony, the name I have had all my life, a shortening of my full Christian name Anton, and I am from Australia, so TonyfromOz.

I started out at the Mothers Forum in May of 2005. After a Month or so, and I had now become a regular contributor at that Forum, I was contacted via the PM facility at that site by one of the other regulars, and we exchanged email addresses, and started emailing each other on a regular basis, virtually on a daily basis, and on some days we exchanged a number of emails, and we still do that to this day, now 13 years on. His name was Bob, and we found out we were the same age, had similar interests, and similar views on life as well. He lived in Stockton in California. I would send him links from Australia, and he would send me links from America. It was always interesting, and sometimes I would actually leave a comment at one of the sites, and I just kept using that screen name for all of them. I would also comment occasionally at some Australian sites as well, always using that same screen name.

And that’s how I came across PA Pundits. Bob sent me the link to that original article where I left that comment, and the rest is, as they say, history.

Things have changed along the way, and they are too much to go into here. Politics has changed, the Democrats and their equivalent here in Australia, the Labor Party have moved further to the left, and more into regulating everything about your personal lives, almost as if you have no real say in the decisions you make for yourself without them wanting to have a say in it. The Republicans have changed also, now with Donald Trump in charge, and not turning out to be the disaster which was predicted, especially by the mainstream media which has also changed as well, now becoming even more strident and also further to the left than they were. Similar has happened here in Australia, as our media also has shifted to the left as well, and our Liberal Party, the equivalent here of your Republicans , have moved closer to the Centre, in fact moving further away from the right, so, in effect, a move also to the left.

The Global Warming I started out with morphed into Climate Change, and now looks more like changing yet again to Climate Disruption. The media still pushes the meme for all its worth. Electrical power generation has also changed, but wind and solar have not taken over at all, and they can’t, as I go to great lengths to explain why in most of my Posts. Coal fired power has not closed down to the extent first called for. In fact in every major Country which is still developing, they are constructing more and more large scale coal fired power plants, especially in China.

Our site has also changed. Along the way, the Word ‘International’ was added to the title, and we are now PA Pundits International. You might think that a little pretentious, but nothing could be further from the truth. While we have visitors who come to our site every day in relatively large numbers, and more than half of those visitors are from Countries outside of America, so we are truly an International Blog Site.

I’m sometimes asked why I have never started my own blog considering I live here in Australia, and the blog’s home site is in Pennsylvania. My reply is that I have no need to do that as everything I have written is already at this site, so why should I start with a new site here, which would be small, and this site has a vastly greater readership. Another question I sometimes get is why I do it at all. My reply to that question is always the same as well. I do this because I want to do it, and I love what I do. With most of the Posts I make, even I occasionally learn something new as well. I’m always researching new information, and in much the same manner as the Climate Change Debate is ‘supposedly’ closed, which is patently false, it’s similar with Renewable power. That supposedly also closed debate changes as well, and I need to keep up to date with the latest things happening in that area, and nothing in these last ten years has caused me to change my opinion I had at the start, that the two favoured forms of renewable power generation, wind power and solar power cannot replace coal fired power on the scale required. I will keep doing what I am doing, getting the word out about the facts of the matter, and if even one person who reads what I write and learns something, then I have succeeded in doing what I do.

Along the way, at the end of that first year, 2008, I introduced a weekly music clip and some text to accompany it, and that came about as just a thought bubble originally. We were away on holidays visiting our daughter, and I was away from the computer. I thought it would be rude to spend hours a day at the computer while visiting our family, so I posted an occasional Post which I could do quickly and not take up too much time. I added a short music Post and it only took me half an hour to find the one I wanted and to do some short text. I did the same a week later, and when I was back at home, I thought I would make that a regular thing, so I introduced Sunday Music, and since that first germ of the idea in December of 2008, I have only missed the occasional week, so of all my Posts, almost 450 of them are those Sunday Music Posts. It’s well worth revisiting that very first Music Post which inspired the idea, because to this day, it is still one of my most favourite songs. It’s by two brothers, Santo and Johnny Farina and the song is an Instrumental called Sleepwalk. What makes it so beautiful is that it is played on the Steel Guitar, which has such a wonderful sound. I was only 8 years old when this song was a hit in 1959, but it was a favourite of my Father’s, so I heard it often, and I liked it as much as my father did.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by  NRRArchives

Some of you who see the large image above that I use as my profile image on the smaller scale, will probably wonder why I only have two Medals on my chest after 25 years of Military Service in the RAAF for my Country. Here in Australia, serving members are only allowed to wear medals that they have personally been awarded, and the fact that I only have two is similar to most other serving people at the same time I served. In America, serving military people wear their own personal medals, as well as any, and all medals that the Unit they are currently serving with has been awarded. Since that time when the image was taken, I have become eligible for a third medal. The image was taken by my brother and this was just before the March for ANZAC Day at Runaway bay on the Gold Coast, before I moved here to Rockhampton, the only time I got to march with my brother at an ANZAC Day commemoration, and my brother served in The Royal Australian Navy.

Anton Lang uses the screen name of TonyfromOz, and he writes at this site, PA Pundits International on topics related to electrical power generation, from all sources, concentrating mainly on Renewable Power, and how the two most favoured methods of renewable power generation, Wind Power and all versions of Solar Power, fail comprehensively to deliver levels of power required to replace traditional power generation. His Bio is at this link.

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