Like the look of the new 2020 Subaru Outback

In the past I have not been that much of a fan of the Subaru Outback. It has (had) lower ground clearance than the Forester or XV, and I didn’t much like the look of it. But, having seen the promo pictures for the MY20 Outback, I reserve my right to change my mind.

I do like what I have seen so far about the MY20 Outback, plus it will come with a 2.4 petrol litre turbo that is putting out close to 200kw. That engine should give this new Outback a 0-100 kph time that is sub-seven seconds.

Additionally, at last, Subaru are giving the Outback the ‘standard’ ground clearance the same as the Forester and XV—being 220 mm, or 8.7 inches in the old money.

Even though it is referred to as the 2020 Outback, as is typical with Subaru, it is likely to arrive for sale in Australia before Xmas 2019.

Deadwood the Movie is Out: Rating 96 on Rotten Tomatoes

The long awaited Deadwood (the movie) began streaming on Foxtel today. I have not seen it but I have checked the ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and it has a rating of 96. That is just 4 off the perfect rating.

The reviewer comments are very encouraging.

DAVID BIANCULLI at NPR wrote: 13 Years Later, 'Deadwood' Goes Out Just As Brilliantly As It Came In.

Brian Lowry from CNN said: "Deadwood" was one of HBO's greatest dramas, before coming to an abrupt end in 2006 -- after just three seasons -- due to a dispute between the network and series creator David Milch. "Deadwood: The Movie" provides a welcome if bittersweet, characteristically foul-mouthed reunion, one that more than justifies saddling up the entire gang for one more ride.

WA Day 2019: Taking a break in Busselton

For WA Day 2019 I am still down at Bussleton. My niece, sister, and I were sitting out in the shaded sun on the north side of our unit. I was sipping on a very nice instant coffee. Then we had this butcherbird come and land on the little garden right next to us.

Click to see bigger

Now, I would suspect that there are not too many Perth city folk that have seen an actual butcherbird (which may, or may, be supposed to be written as two words: viz, butcher bird). For those not attuned to decoding between magpies, mudlarks, and butcherbirds it can be a little confusing. A butcherbird is somewhat the same size as a mudlark, but perhaps a little shorter and a little pudgier.

Unlike mudlarks and magpies—which will eat things other than meat if they need too—butcherbirds are pretty much pure carnivores. No veg or cereal for them.

Where I hail from, up on the edge of the wheat growing belt inland from Geraldton, we often saw butcherbirds having a meal tearing apart a small field mouse or a wee lizard in the fork of a tree. But I have rarely spotted a butcherbird in suburbia. Even when I was living in bushy and bird friendly Kalamunda.

Apparently the Australian housing market is ticking upwards

Anyone reading the financial news in Australia over the last week—since the Liberal coalition won the Fedral elections—could not have helped noticing all the various articles about how it has ‘saved’ the property market and prices are ticking back upwards. In the Weekend Australian Business section there are headlines like “The buyers are back” and “Election sparks ‘mini-boom’ as buyers return to housing market”.


Auction clearance rates have jumped up by 10 percent in the one week.

Now, I am trying to sell a house so I would love it if this was true. However, something tells me that the general decline in property prices is not over. I can see why the Liberal’s winning the election might help the property market. But I think it would only probably be enough to slow down the rate of falls. And maybe, at the very best, stop the general fall of the market. But I honestly do not think property prices will start to go back up again for at least two years.

Even if the Reserve Bank were to drop the cash rate to banks by 50 basis points (half of a percent), I still don’t think it would see the housing market start climbing back up. I think any reduction in housing payments that might flow through to borrowers from a drop in the cash rate would be put towards reducing other debt—especially credit card debt. Assuming that a drop in rates even freed up any funds for these borrowers.