cyclone debbie: the aftermath
Following the floods, this is what survives of my stuff ( listed above – not everything in shot is mine ), plus the 1 suitcase of clothes I had on me, my 6 year old laptop ( having been repaired ), plus a 20 year old black and white printer, a 10+ year old flatbed scanner, and an a-frame fibreglass ladder … everything else is gone. So I’ll probably just sell any tools that are salvageable, and just bring an empty suitcase to grab what’s left after that, give stuff away, or throw it out.
You can read more about it on my previous update here: link
I’m really upset about the loss of my art, my writing, my study notes ( from 2 decades of formal and informal tertiary level study and research ), and some collectors item books and games that I had in boxes … all of it dead and gone.
I’m just glad my friend’s dogs were all ok, because I love those dogs more than anyone ( with a few exceptions ).
the caldera and flooding
For those of you not familiar with the region, the area around Wollumbin ( aka Mt. Warning ) NSW is the 45 km across caldera of an ancient super volcano ( about 20 million years since it was active ), and Mt Warning at the centre is the plug of that ancient volcano … so when an event like this occurs ( cyclone Debbie ), the caldera has mountains on all sides feeding rain down to the middle, with only 1 major exit to the ocean, which is the Tweed River passing through an eroded gap in the seaside mountain range … and sure it takes a lot of rain to do it, but eventually the river’s capacity to drain the caldera is overloaded, and even with the tide at the ocean going out, it continues to fill.
This house is directly alongside the river on Tweed Valley Way, so it was smack bang in the centre of the worst hit area, and they’re just lucky it didn’t keep raining, because had it done so, the upper house ( where everyone lives ) would have been underwater ( it stopped just below the decking ).
The “Queenslander” style of housing is built on stilts, but this is more so for ventilation and cooling than dealing with floods, although along this river it is certainly a consideration.
The previous record level floods were in 1954, and out the back of the mountain in the small town of Uki ( where I also lived at one stage ) the flood level beat the previous record by something like half a metre or more ( maybe as much as 75cm ).
what the future holds
So now I have to face a future with spinal damage, other musculoskeletal issues, no DSP ( Disability Support Pension ), no ( or very little and infrequent ) musculoskeletal rehab therapy, no significant resources, very little income, limited work prospects ( regarding safety to my spinal health, and avoidance of pain or the risk of further injury to myself or others – if I had a work accident resulting from the pain ) … and at 46 I have very little in superannuation, because much of the work I did in my life was either prior to the compulsory superannuation legislation, prior to its regulation ( when much of the money was stolen in unfair / unreasonable fees ), or just wasn’t very much money anyway because it was only a proportion of a very small income.
Meanwhile I’ve lost contact with many of the people I used to know, I spend most of my time alone, and the things I really care about in life are things I don’t have the funding to do, and which require special funding criteria to be viable – partly due to the nature of the projects, and partly due to the nature of my personal needs ( which as you can see are not easy ).
So now that I have nothing left in life, I’m wondering whether I’m going to continue to be disappointed by society’s apparent lack of concern … or whether I’m going to be surprised and I’ll actually wake up one day to find that my PayPal and Patreon links have been hit hard by people not only willing to donate and sponsor, but who tell their friends and family to do so also.
I don’t know what most people think of me, and I don’t particularly care to know given the lack of support I’ve had throughout my life … I know that a small number of people genuinely love me, know me, and respect me because they see and understand where I come from and why I’m so passionate about the things I do … but I also know that others despise me ( they’ve gone to the trouble of telling me so, or making it pretty fucking clear with their actions or lack thereof ), and whom basically believe that I’m some kind of crazy megalomaniac because I dare suggest the world is fucked up and could be done much better ( not that they’d necessarily admit such a thing ).
Whatever your thoughts and feelings about me the person ( assuming you have any ), I hope that some of you will follow the links to Patreon or PayPal and either become regular sponsors of make a once off donation, and ask others to do the same.
I can’t afford to keep going, I can’t do this without your help, but with your help I can build something amazing.
This work of mine is not idle speculation … this is not “just theoretical” … I can build this, I can make it happen, I can have a prototype running and tested within 2 – 3 years IF I have the support I need – and the only reason it hasn’t happened already, is because without that support, I spend most of my time just struggling to get really basic tasks done, which are 1000 times more difficult than they should be, simply as a consequence of resource constraints, and the subsequent pressures and problems caused by those constraints.
I have nearly nothing left in life, please help me.