Perth from the North - January, 2009

This is a

I don't know about you, but I get annoyed with those "All Singing ... All Dancing ..." web pages that take forever to load.  I hate sitting at my machine waiting to get some information while my browser is telling me that there are still "128 images to load" or some such.

This page is a 'No Frills Zone'.  It is written in HTML 4.01 Strict and controlled by CSS 2.1.  Images used are mostly very small JPEGs.  There is no PHP and no MySQL.  It is intended to load fast, let you read or get the information available, and set you free to go your way in peace.  Ain't that quaint and old-fashioned?


"When you're told you can't do it you know you're on the right track."
Harry Warner (1881-1968)

Internet Explorer has problems with my code

If there is not a line of navigation tabs just under the Banner image change to Opera or Firefox. They are not so fussy!

While you are here ...

... come in and have a look around.  The whole site is still under construction and will be for a while.  At the moment it's just a list of my publications, some snaps of some people dear to me, and a few things I wrote in past years.  Oh, and a few notes on "what's bin did an' what's [not] bin hid ..." in my (all-too-numerous) years gone by.  Just click on a tab in the menu and you're on your way!  Some items of special interest are listed in the sidebar on the right.

About Rick

Here you'll find tall tales and true about my life and times.  It's not exactly a "Tell All" exposé, just enough to give you an insight.  I don't think you have enough time to read ALL, even if I could remember it to write it for you.

For those of academic bent, there is a list of my academic publications.  These things might not interest you, but a lot of people had trips around the world to present them at conferences.

Family Ties

I'm proud of my family.  Not only of my progeny, but also of the folk they have chosen to live with.  If you knew me well you would expect a bit of variation, and I think that this page will not disappoint you.  Two really big things are (1) that they are happy, and (2) after all this time, they still talk to me.


I've included some pages on things which interest me at the moment or have interested me in the past.  You might find some things interesting.

Occupational Safety and Health

I have collected a few documents of seminal interest to people working in this field.  Some of these don't usually see the light of day in Australia because they run contrary to 'conventional wisdom' (which normally refers to a search for someone other than the company to blame things on).  I guess it all depends on whether you are trying to avoid lawsuits and other nasty expenses or whether you want your staff to go home healthier that they were when they went to work.  It's an attitude problem!


During my time at university I wrote a lot of things that were never published.  Some of the ones here were never intended to be published.  This selection will appeal most to those interested in linguistics.

Don't go looking for literature reviews.  Educationalists thrive on papers which show that the author has read what other authors have written.  They don't set much stock on papers that contain anything new.   In contrast, these papers of mine present NEW empirical information.  Terrifying stuff for academics!


In all my years in university more than half my time was spent programming.  To me, programming remains and interest, a hobby and a pleasant pastime.  I depend a lot on other people for what I learn, and I try to return the favour by writing tutorials and articles for beginners.

Usually I get a lot of pain out of mastering some code form or other.  I like to think I can save others that pain by writing about what I have found out from the perspective of the beginner who knows nothing - a description which frequently fits me.  What you find here might be helpful.  There is material on Ada, GtkAda and web programming.

Kiwi Roadsign

Ask Any Aussie ...

And I mean ANY Aussie!

You'll soon be told that there are Kiwis all over the place.  Even if you get right out in the middle of the Great Australian Nowhere there's about one New Zealander for every three people you meet.  It seems that New Zealand's greatest export over the past several decades has been their skilled workforce.  I keep telling people that the Prime Minister's secret signal all the Kiwis are going home at the same time.  Three things will happen then:

  1. New Zealand will subside 200mm into the ocean under the weight;
  2. Australia's economy will collapse (there's already a shortage of skilled labour);
  3. New Zealand will use the money the Expats earned to buy Australia (they're going to call it 'West Island' ).

New Zealand has been after a flat, brown iron mine for quite a while and this appears to be the easiest way to get one.  Don't think I'm joking!  Kiwis already own most of the Aussie breweries!

Actually, the Tasman Sea is the border for one of the great national rivalries in the world.  It can get pretty hard and, to the uninitiated, it can seem pretty rough, but Aussies and Kiwis wouldn't have it any other way.  It's fight tooth and nail out on the stadium, smiling insults and uncouth jokes in the bar afterwards, and shoulder to shoulder in any war that happens to come along.

Nah!  Wouldn't have it any other way!