15 Years For TonyfromOz At PA Pundits International

Posted on Thu 03/16/2023 by


By Anton Lang ~

Fifteen years ago on this very day, 16th March 2008, my first Post was posted here at this site. Here’s the link to that Post, but I’m going to re-post it below this introductory text anyway.

Huh! 15 years. I read recently that the average lifespan for a ‘Blog’ is just two years and seven Months, and that surprised me somewhat.

Now, while I used computers during my time in the Royal Australian Air Force, (the RAAF) they were very basic, and mostly equipment related, and some very early word processing. I did not get hold of my first personal computer until 1996, and while up to date at that time, that was such ancient technology by today’s standards, and I wonder how we ever got by with such basic technology. My first foray into using the Internet started in early 2003, and that was very basic dial up technology, so if you were on the Internet, you could not use your home phone, and it was slow, so slow. Early on, I was only using it for a couple of hours a day if that, and I just looked around, and mostly stayed with some Australian websites. One of those early ones here in Australia was the ABC, and that is the taxpayer funded Australian National Broadcaster. Back in 2003, their News site was very rudimentary, and they also had a Forum site, where anyone could contribute, and they had a range of subjects open to the public, and coming from a background in the Electrical Trade, I commented at that site on electrical power generation. One of the (pretty strict) conventions at that time was that the ABC, and virtually every other site that actually allowed commenting at their sites, were pretty insistent that you use a Screen Name, and not use your real name, and in fact, I saw very very few occasions where people did use their real name. In those early days, ALL comments went into Moderation, and more often than not, did not show up for hours, and the ABC here in Australia must have had a number of Moderators, because their site was usually the quickest to show your comments, and even then, the quickest was around an hour, and usually even longer than that.

Because of that, I wondered about what I would use for a screen name. It came to me when I left an early comment at one of the rare sites in the U.S. which did take comments, (and in 2003, there were not very many of them at all) and that was where I first used the screen name ….. TonyfromOz, and that was late in 2003. Oddly I had to explain that across the years, as most (non Australian) readers assumed that meant the land of Oz, as in The Wizard Of Oz. What I had to explain was that the word Oz was the shortening of the three letter International Designator Code for Australia, and that is AUS, and is pronounced as Oz. So in actuality, my screen name TonyfromOz means that my name is Tony, and I am from Australia.

In 2005, we needed a newer car to replace our 16 year old Toyota Camry. Luckily for us, our Son located a car for us from one of his clients. It was a car the client had purchased brand new for his daughter, who, now after three and a half years, didn’t really want it any more. (What?) Anyway, he was quite well off and just wanted to get rid of this car. When new in late 2001, it was a top of the range car in its class, and had every extra on it that could be on the car. In 2005, a similar car was retailing for $20,000, and our Son got hold of it for us for $12,500. It was in perfect condition, and had really low mileage on it, and was in fact exactly what I could have hoped for in my wildest dreams. I pinched myself that I could get so lucky in fact.

My good lady wife mentioned that now I had a new car, then I should look after it, so I went to an auto products retailer and asked some questions of the Manager, and he recommended some products, but also mentioned that I should visit the website of that car care product manufacturer, as they had a Forum where you could post any questions you might have about the product range. I did just that, and that website was for the auto care products Company ….. Mothers Car Care. Every site now where I left any comment at all, I was using that screen name TonyfromOz exclusively, and the Mothers Forum site was no different, as I used that screen name there as well.

So, I asked the questions, got the requisite responses, found the exact products I needed, and of more importance, how to best use those products, and from then on, our new car looked as pristine as the day we first got hold of it, and in fact, probably better. I became a regular at the site, based out of Huntington Beach in California, and became friends with a number of others who also frequented the site which allowed (as a forum might be expected to) open replies as you hit the comment button, with what you wrote appearing immediately. There was one fellow commenter who I became firm friends with, Bob, even though I never met him at all. He lived in Stockton, in California, and that’s around 50 miles South of Sacramento, the State Capital of California. We started corresponding via email in March of 2005. I very quickly learned the time difference between the both of us, seventeen hours during daylight savings time, and that was for eight Months of the year. He was as hungry for information about Australia as I was for information about the U.S. We would share as many as sometimes twenty emails a day, sometimes back and forth as the latest email arrived, and the most frequent times for those emails was during his mid to late afternoon, which was my early morning. That friendship became closer across the years, and sadly, Bob passed away only three years ago now, and I miss him.

He would send me so many links on a daily basis, and I would send him links as well, and tell him about the things he wanted to know about Australia. One of the links he sent me was in March of 2008, and it was to an article at this site, PA Pundits, as it was called then. That article was written by T. Lee Humphrey, a regular poster (at that time) here at this site and that article is at this link. I read the article and felt strongly enough about it to respond with a comment of my own. That comment went into Moderation, (as was standard procedure for nearly every site in those days) and I didn’t think much more about it. The following morning there was an email from Ed, the owner of this site, and he asked me if he could use my comment as a dedicated Post of its own at the site. I replied that it would be okay, and Ed posted that comment as a Post the following morning his time. There was a further follow up email from him the next morning telling me he had posted my comment as a dedicated Post of its own, and would I like to post articles at the site on a regular basis. I had never done anything like that before, and the only thing I had ever written was some articles in a local RAAF Base weekly newspaper giving descriptions and results of the weekly Base cricket competition. I replied to Ed that I would like to do that, but I had no idea what to write about. He told me anything at all, and I picked the only thing I knew about, and that was related to my work in the RAAF, in the electrical trade, and that was to write about electrical power generation. That I surmised was the singularly most boring thing there was, and on further thought, I had the idea that the Series I started would last perhaps eight separate Posts and that would be it for that subject, and then I would be tapped out with not much else to write about. As it was, that original Series, Kyoto – A Perspective lasted for more than 55 separate Posts, and after that, still with the idea I was ‘tapped out’ I just continued writing about it. At the start, I would write the text on my word Processor, and then email it as a document attached to the morning email every third day. After about six of these emails, Ed gave me a login and from that point on, I just logged into the site, and wrote each Post at the Edit Post section, and published when I was done. It was not an easy thing to learn how to do it all, but once I had it all in hand, it just got easier. I learned how to add images, and all the other things associated with Posting.

Later on, Ed, the site owner gave me the task of doing all the daily Posts from the sites we were allowed to take other Posts from, and I did all of that as well. The advantage of ALL of this was that I could do it all during my daylight hours here in Australia, and have all the Posts ready to go at our site by the time morning came around in the U.S.

Later on , I added my Sunday Music Posts and that lasted ten years with a new song every Sunday and some text about the song, and I still add the occasional Music Post.

In recent years I have added my Electrical Power Data Posts detailing Australian electrical power data on a daily basis. There have been four of those Series detailing the many aspects of electrical power generation here in Australia, and I have been doing that since July of 2017, so on that daily basis since that time, almost six years now.

In total, I have almost 3,300 Posts under my name over these ensuing fifteen years now. I’ll open up the site first thing in the morning at around 8.30, and the site stays open each day until I turn it all off at night just before going off to bed. The actual Posts for each day take me around two hours. Some of the electrical power data Posts took me four hours to compile all the data, do the images, and then the text. The latest series of electrical power data Posts only take me around half an hour a day to do, so that gives me more time. All the work I do at the site still takes me around an hour and a half a day as it is, and I spend anywhere between one and two hours a day at the other sites selecting the Posts from there that we put up at our site.

What I have found is that ‘blogging’ is something I do now that is almost second nature, and I cannot imagine a day when I would not be doing it. There have been a few times when I have not been at the site over these last 15 years but they are so rare.

Okay then, here’s the text of that original Post, with the introduction from Ed. Now, if you do read all of it, there’s one further point I would like to make about this very first Post of mine, and I’ll add that at the bottom.


This was posted on Sunday 16 March 2008

[Please welcome a Guest Blogger Tony. Encourage him by commenting on his post and maybe he’ll return. Thanks —ed]

By Tony

I’m from Australia, and I agree wholeheartedly that those who lean in the direction that terrorists are winning the marketing war only, but not the real war.

I would like you to take the perspective from the First World War.
The huge battle was fought on what is known as The Western Front, but this was centred around the length of the Somme River. Little known is that this area was occupied by the two huge fighting forces in 1914, and only resolved in 1918. Both sides hardly moved.
The losses were absolutely horrendous.

The perspective I want to put is this.
The news about each of the major battles took days and in the case of far off US, and even further off Australia, the news of the catastrophic numbers of men killed in the most recent ‘push’ took weeks to arrive.

Today, the dead are literally being beamed into households as they fall.

If in the Great War we had the same media coverage as anything here, sensibilities would have been so offended that troops would have been pulled out immediately, or more importantly, politicians would be crawling over themselves to cash in on pulling the troops out for the sake of winning a vote. They are using those soldiers for base political purposes because the average person sees the numbers of dead and is horrified, so the politician appeals to that by saying only I can bring those heroes home.

When, as expected, they win their vote, they have no thought for the consequences, and bring the troops home, have themselves seen with them for a photo opportunity, and as they march off, they are promptly forgotten.

However, the bad guys haven’t forgotten. Their part of the marketing war goes something like this.
“See how those cowards run off home as soon as we make it tough for them. They just surrender, and we have won a famous victory.”
It’s not the politician who has surrendered. It’s the Soldiers sailors and airmen. The armed forces of our country.

That is what goes into the history books. The Military of your country surrendered.

Hundreds of thousands died on the Somme before anyone had the slightest inkling of what was happening. Today, one soldier is killed fighting for his country, and a politician somewhere says we have to bring our heroes home, and then turn them into cowards.

You just cannot allow the terrorists to win, ON ANY LEVEL.

[Bold Emphasis mine. —ed]

See related article: Counter Attack and Retake the Message


Okay, now, you get the idea. It was all pretty much amateur stuff I wrote, but what prompted it was that this was about the War in Afghanistan, and the fact that American soldiers were dying was leading to calls in the U.S. to bring the soldiers home, thus stopping those deaths.

Now, here’s the point I wanted to make, and I mentioned it at the top of the Post and again at the bottom. I compared what was happening in Afghanistan with what actually happened in the First World War. Australia spent almost 20 years fighting in Afghanistan, and during that time, we lost 46 members of our Military forces. Each time a member of the military died, there were calls from the media, and also from politicians to bring our troops home.

The comparison I used was from World War One. Just one of the many of the fiercest battles along that front around the Somme River in Northern France, where neither side moved very much for three to four years, was during the battle of Passchendaele, one of the names indelibly burnt into Australian Military history. The worst single day of that Battle was on 4 October, 1917. The roll shows that 1,279 Australian troops died that day fighting for Broodseinde Ridge in Belgium. That’s 1,279 soldiers killed ….. in a SINGLE DAY, just from Australia. And now, just as it should have been then, one soldier dying is too many.

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.