Gone Fishin' - Cover

Gone Fishin'

Copyright© 2010 by Pedant

Chapter 18

On Tuesday, Des and Shirl told me of their adventures in bureaucracy and then Shirl presented me with a rather thick envelope: the 2003 Annual Report of the CSIRO. A note from Janice revealed that the 2004 wouldn't be "out" for several more months.

I told the kids that I'd be devoting myself to this piece of world-class literature for the next few days, and that they might want to get started on class reading. They both laughed. "By the way," I asked, "Any word from our friend downstairs?"

"Nothing, nothing at all. Maybe he's forgotten us." They left.

I'd been working in my corner at Black Mountain for years. I'd visited Maggie's office and Chaz'. I had literally no notion of how big the CSIRO was, nor of all the different sorts of things it did. 16 divisions! I'd never heard of most of them.

Australia Telescope National Facility

Energy Technology


Exploration & Mining

ICT Centre

Industrial Physics

Land and Water

Livestock Industries

Manufacturing and Materials Technology

Marine and Atmospheric Research

Materials Science and Engineering

Mathematics and Information Sciences


Molecular and Health Technologies

Petroleum Resources

Plant Industry

Sustainable Ecosystems

Textiles and Fibre Technologies

I was in Entomology. Maggie was in Sustainable Ecosystems. I guessed that Chaz was in Land and Water ... or was he in Marine and Atmospheric Research? Mr. Scott could probably tell me about Exploration & Mining ... maybe about Minerals. How many of them had offices in Western Australia and in the Territory? I bet my dad knew about Livestock Industries. Was wine in Plant Industry? Maybe Dr. Owens knew about Mathematics and Information Sciences ... and about the ICT, which stood for Information and Computer Technology. Different from Information Sciences?

Well, I didn't need to know yet. I'd ask Maggie next month, when I was in the Alice. And I sure wouldn't worry about the telescopes – that was in Narrabri, in New South Wales. I was on page three. This would really take a lot of time. I'd rather be classifying parasitic wasps.

The next section listed CRCs – Cooperative Research Centres. There were dozens of them. I sighed.

But then I came to a map ... and there were only three locations marked: two in the NT and one in WA, though the legend listed four in Western Australia. There was Maggie's place in Alice Springs – Sustainable Ecosystems – and one in Darwin – Tropical Ecosystems. And here in Perth, there was Floreat – Environment and Life Sciences – and a mining research centre at Waterford, right near Curtin; a centre for Australian resources in Kensington; and a SciTech lab for science education. That made everything sound better. I could, when the time came, talk to those blokes. And it wouldn't even be totally alien – except, maybe, mining research. I wondered what Chaz had to say about leaching.

I mused for a while. Six locations might not be that bad. I probably ought to visit both Curtin and SciTech. But slowly. Probably running through the six annual reports would be more than enough. Maybe I should be working on that talk. Oh, well. The book on phylloxera was at home.

The phone buzzed. "Gordy, it's Chaz."

"Oh, fine ... Hey, Chaz ... You did? That's fast ... Retroactive? Well, Michiko will be able to get that gilded car seat, now. Sure, I can meet you for lunch. Really? Don't spend it all in one shot. No, make it about 20 minutes. I have to account for my activities to Shirl and Des. Right."

I got up, took the report, turned out the light, and went next door. "Chaz has been made director of Environment and Life Sciences in Floreat. He's taking me for fancy lunch to celebrate. Can you keep everything under control?"

"Sure. Yep."

Wednesday and Thursday went past quickly. Friday, the end Weena's week of teaching, I'd made reservations at Fraser's in West Perth. Pricey, but this was my night to celebrate her achievement. I got home early, showered, and got dressy clothes ready. Weena was home by four and raring to go when I told her what I'd planned. She was also irritated that she hadn't time "to get my hair done."

We got there at eight and ate and drank for two hours, as Weena told me about the class and her "girls."

It was well worth the expense.

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