Bunker bulldust day 21

Cairns 1987 © PJ Croft 2020

Gaaaahhhh! Another mains power failure last night! Off at 6.08pm, back on again at 8.18pm.

This was the third major failure in a week – 5.5hrs last Tuesday, 4hrs last Thursday, and now 2hrs last night. Western Power, what’s going on?!!

After last week I started thinking about some kind of battery backup system but today I thought nah, it was about four years ago since the last major failure. It probably won’t happen again. Bang! it happened again. Looks like I’d better start planning for more failures after all.

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At last, an answer to my thoughts:

“We understand the PM [Boris Jo.] is on a type of breathing support called Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which is commonly used in treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea. Experience in Italy and other European countries has shown that CPAP can be effective in Covid-19 patients, at least initially.”

That was my thought. You can set a high upper limit to the supplied pressure so if I were having trouble breathing at home, I could use my CPAP machine as an early form of self help. I wouldn’t rely on it, but it’s there, why not use it.

My other initial thought of a few weeks ago was, if you get the virus and recover, do you have immunity, like you do with measles or other diseases? The answer is, a qualified maybe. They don’t know yet, because this is a new (novel) virus that hasn’t been studied before.

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I just got around to submitting my claim to HBF for my new CPAP machine. I am impressed! This is the first time I’ve used their web site to submit a claim (I usually do it at a counter) and it took about three steps: upload the invoice in PDF form, tick a couple of boxes and press SUBMIT. Done.

Very happy with HBF. They’re a non-profit organisation so if they make “windfall gains” this year because people can’t do elective surgery or make other claims for services, I say good luck to them. I have confidence that they will use the savings to keep premiums down or extend benefits or whatever. I’m very loyal because I’ve always had great service with smiles. I have my house insurance with them and all three cars. Member since about 1967.

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I went to bed feeling bruised and upset last night. I’m a member of a F/B group called High End Audio for the Passionates. I posted the image above and told how pleased I am with them, and the prices etc.

Well! The criticisms! “This is a group for High End hi-fi. This is not high end. If you want to post pictures like this, go and do it in a Sony group or somewhere else.” I metaphorically reeled backwards. It was a guy named Mark Müller somewhere in the world who seemed to be in a bad mood. I reacted and got more abuse, calling me Grandad. How the hell does he know that? This went on for a bit.

Then another guy, “Eduardo Paiva: mini disc is not much useful on nowadays.
Would rather do get a DAC or a streamer so you can
listen files from your pc or network.”

Note the impeccable grammar. Anyway, useful to whom? I love Mini Disc and it is VERY useful to me. I was a bit more polite in my reply to that effect and he was a bit more respectful in response.

But the arrogance in this group! The minimal knowledge of electronics and audio. The weird “audio science” they spout. The strange theories. The snobbery! Nothing under US$1,000 per item is any good. The more something costs, the better it must be. The more crazy something looks, the better it must sound.

And it must be vinyl. Owning a massive turntable, owning and playing records (those 1960s technology black plastic discs with all the plops and crackles) is de rigeur. Yet they tell me I should use “streaming” as my music source for the highest fi. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that this is digital music, compressed to send over the internet. Why is that OK, but CDs are not OK? They’re crazy.

One guy told me the most important thing I must do is ensure I have “clean power” coming out of the wall to power my stuff. This is idiotic. Sure, we had a massive power conditioner at TVW7 but it was to smooth out mains bumps and dips, not to make our video and audio “hi-fi” quality. These guys seem to believe anything and have massive wallets open to anyone selling snake oil.

I eventually switched off and went to bed, but I had trouble sleeping because I was fuming.

I was going to delete the post and remove myself from the group this morning, but nicer comments kept coming in all morning and I feel better now. My post attracted 308 likes and 89 comments, so some people liked it. It’s one of the most active items I’ve seen on that group.

Later 10.30pm: Likes are now up to 355 and comments 106.

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Bunker bulldust day 20

Isle of Skye, October 2008 © PJ Croft 2020

Monday 6 April 2020 – seven years in this house to the day, although it was a Tuesday when I took possession in 2013. I remember it well, as I took delivery of a pile of boxes five square and five high, about 125 of them. I was just about exhausted after weeks of preparing to move, then doing the job. I never want to go through that again.

Seven year itch? No way Jose, no way would I move from this house. I can hardly believe how perfect it is for me, only 100m from the Cornerstone pub, a Dome restaurant, a small shopping street with a Coles supermarket and beautiful lakes and parks only 250m away. Only 1Km from Jindalee Beach, although I could wish for easier access to it. I could also wish the pub and cafe were open, but we’ll have to wait a while, eh?

And the house itself, the first house I’ve ever owned where I feel proud to have visitors, where I don’t feel I have to apologise for the oddities. Where visitors say, “Oh, this is nice”, as soon as they enter. Where I have room to do most of the things I want to do. Where the garage is at the back of the house, not dominating the front view. Where I have a roller door at last.

Where I have ducted air conditioning, quiet and effective, switchable to zones so it isn’t wasted. And a professionally installed reticulation system to do the watering for me. Where I have a full sized laundry with a bench, even if it is cluttered with tools and junk.

And best of all, spare bedrooms and a second bathroom for a guest or two, something I’ve always wanted to offer.

It seemed a bit remote when I first moved here seven years ago, half an hour from anywhere, but I’ve got used to that and with the freeway being extended and the trains coming to a new Butler station since I got here, transport is a breeze.

Nope, at the end of my life, I’ve finally landed on my feet in a very pleasant place. I’ll never move from here except in a box.

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You think my hi-fi system is big? How about this? There would be more than $100,000 worth there, I would guess.

Compared with: Advertised on Facebook Marketplace last week, “High end Sony surround speakers.” High end? Yeah, compared to plastic computer speakers, I suppose.

In the photographic line:

A Pentax lens also advertised on F/B Marketplace in Perth, as Pentax Takumar 50mm lens, mint condition, $350. Whaaat?

This is a screw mount lens, which means it dates from the 1960s. You can see its condition – mint? And the price? He’s dreaming. It’s not worth even $50. Worth a try, I suppose.

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Just making a mussaman curry, from a kit including a star anise, a cinnamon stick, a large dried chilli and coconut sauce. I’ve added cubed steak, red onion, spring onion, brown mushrooms and sliced baby potatoes. It’s simmering away and I can smell it from here. Yum. See, I do cook, occasionally.

I’m also roasting a large aluminium container of cubed and sliced vegetables. It costs $5 and I get three serves from that. Cheap eats.

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Listening to the radio just now, I realised there won’t be an Anzac Day dawn service this time (on the 25th, for my overseas readers). Anzac Day is sacred in Australia and many people actually go to Turkey, to the cliffs at Gallipoli for the ceremony there. To cancel is unheard of. I’ve never known it happen in all my 73 years.

Instead, someone came up with the idea of getting anyone who can play any instrument to stand at the front of their house at 6am on the day and play the Last Post. Doesn’t matter that it’s not a bugle, anything will do, a kazoo if that’s all you’ve got. 6am.

The president of the RSL was interviewed and he said they did a search a couple of years ago to find 100 buglers in WA, and they not only found 100, they found more. I always wondered if the ability to play a bugle was dying out, but it seems not. Good stuff.

I’m not sure if I’ll wake up – yes I will, I’ll set the alarm – but it’s possible we may hear the sound anywhere in the city. Interesting.

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Donald Trump, President Trump, you have blood on your hands. The blood of thousands of Americans who have already died from the Covid-19 virus and the many thousands more who will die in the next weeks and months. Donald trump, you are a mass murderer.

It’s the same for all the Republican presidents in the USA. They all get things disastrously wrong. George Bush Jr sent America back into Iraq and Afghanistan at the cost of at least 5,000 US servicemen’s lives (and women) and at the incredible cost of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghani lives. This is mass murder!!! George Bush snr sent the US and the world into Iraq in 1993 to get Saddam Hussein, on the basis of faulty intelligence! Yes, Saddam invaded Kuwait, but it was proven he did not have weapons of mass destruction. It was wrong information. Hundreds of thousands of lives lost on both sides.

On top of this, something like eight, or is it eighty, US ex-servicemen commit suicide back in the US every day! These deaths are also on the hands of the Bushes. How can they sleep at night (well Bush Snr sleeps the sleep of the dead, obviously, but Jnr is still “Mister President” and lapping it up.

Democrat presidents are elected and have to clean up the mess. Bill Clinton got the budget back into balance. Barack Obama is widely regarded as one of the greatest US presidents of all time.

Now we have this pathetic excuse for a man-child in office, with a vocabulary of about 200 words, an inflated view of himself, who has utterly failed to lead in this crisis and actually stymies efforts by people who do know what they’re doing.

They’ve got to get him out. Got to get rid of him. He is incompetent and unfit for office. He is mentally ill. Surely the impeachment process allows for his removal?

Unfortunately, if he goes, we get Pence, the religious nut case himself. And if he isn’t available, we get “Moscow Mitch” McDonnell, the president of the senate. He’s a nut case too.

I actually hope they all get the virus and die. It would save thousands of lives if that happened and someone competent replaced them.

Bunker bulldust day 19

Apa kabar? You bonged? I’ll be home for makan soon. (C) PJ Croft 2020

Boring day today. Nothing to report. I’m still fine. No virus here.

I have so many things to do! And new things seem to be adding themselves every day. I have far too much junk, things I want to get rid of, but the “shop” at the rubbish tip is closed. I think I’ll just start advertising on Neighbourhood and giving stuff away. I don’t want to get into haggling and such.

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I’m linked into two groups on Facebook, High End Audio for the Passionates and Loudspeakers. What I’m noticing, mostly in the first group, is how ridiculous is the “Passion”. They obsess over power cables and interconnecting cables, for example. How do they assess these? It’s well known that any comparisons have to be done under strict conditions with levels matched to 0,1db and no switch noises so that the test listeners can’t detect when the switching takes place. Everything must be controlled to eliminate any room differences, any listener biases and so on.

How can anyone properly assess the difference between power cords? How do you switch between one connecting cable (the RCA types that carry the low level signals between pre and power amps, for example) when you have to break the signal to switch cables?

Their simplistic ideas, their lack of knowledge, their wishful thinking make me laugh. Yet they are willing to spend hundreds, thousands of dollars or pounds just on cables! They even sing the praises of one type of RCA connector over another. Usually the shiniest one with the laser engraved logo wins, and the more expensive it is, the more chance it has of winning.

And the cost of hi-fi these days! You might think I’m spending a fair bit on my amps and CD and Mini Disc players, but this is loose change compared to new modern equipment prices. Almost every item costs $4,000 – $5,000 upwards. Most amps cost at least $10,000 – 100,000, most speakers cost $20,000 to $100,000 a pair. It’s madness but the makers must be laughing all the way to the bank. Funny how there are so many makers these days. Obviously this is gold mine territory. How do people afford it? Not me.

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https://bullsnapper.picfair.com I added another 20 images yesterday and another 20 today. Use Ctrl-+ and Ctrl-minus to change the number of thumbnails per page.

Bunker bulldust day 18

Sony MDS-JB940 Mini Disc recorder/player

Another weekend, another bargain. I’m rebuilding my hi-fi system, piece by piece, without really planning to, it’s just happening. I bought this today, a high end Sony Mini Disc recorder from around 2000.

I saw it advertised first on eBay at $843 and thought it was too expensive, but when I scoured the web for similar units I found the price was somewhat reasonable. And it was in Thornlie, Perth so that was good. I was tempted.

Then I noticed it was also advertised on Gumtree, the same item, same guy, at $655. Hmmm. So I phoned him and offered him $600. At first he balked, but then accepted, so I collected it this afternoon. Dog! that is a long drive to Thornlie. It was 52Km and took nearly an hour to get there but I used the MX-6 so it was quite enjoyable, apart from the arrogant right-lane sitting drivers. The freeway was as packed as ever, so much for staying at home.

So here’s my “stack” now:

Mini Disc deck on top, Denon SACD player in the middle and Sony DA3000ES at the bottom. Nice! The amp and SACD player are champagne gold colour and the Mini Disc deck looks as if it is too, but unfortunately it’s just the colour of the light – it’s actually “silver” as they call it. Can’t be helped, they only made silver or black.

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What’s Mini Disc? They are magneto-optical discs about 8cm in diameter enclosed in a thin plastic case about 3mm thick. Shirt pocket size. It takes the application of both heat from a laser and a magnetic field to write to the disc coating. That, and the enclosure, makes the discs virtually indestructible. They are not affected by magnetic fields alone, so can’t be accidentally erased, and they are never exposed to fingers or any outside muck so aren’t susceptible to scratches. I’ve got more than 100 discs from my other machines (since the early 1990s) and they’re as good as new. They’re still freely available on eBay for about $5-10 but I don’t see myself ever needing to buy any more. They just don’t wear out.

The recordings are digital so are very high-fi, although to fit 74 mins (one CD worth of audio) on a disc that small, they use data compression called ATRAC. Unfortunately the golden ear brigade in the 1990s reckoned they could hear the compression and didn’t like the sound, so that killed the format. I don’t care, I can’t hear any problems so that’s why I want to continue using it. The ease of recording and the lightning fast random access to tracks makes it far better than cassettes ever were. No adjustments or alignment needed either. The sound doesn’t deteriorate. I’ve got three other decks so I’m committed. I love it.

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I had to go out today for legitimate reasons: to collect my April list of meds from the pharmacy and to have my flu vaccination. No, not that one, just the usual winter fluvax. Although I’d made an appointment at the pharmacy for 10.15am by phone yesterday, they didn’t know anything about it this morning. I had to wait until 11.30am, so I went to Jaycar at Clarkson to buy an optical cable. The shop was buzzing with customers and not one person, staff included, was wearing a mask or gloves like me. Grrrr. Same at the pharmacy – even the pharmacists weren’t wearing any protection. Not a single customer wore a mask or gloves!

They have Perspex screens up at the counters but the woman in front of me didn’t seem to like that and just moved to one side and talked around the screen! The assistant didn’t try to make her move back. Crazy.

When I phoned yesterday I asked if they have any masks. Yes, sure. Do you have N95s? Yes sir. OK, put some aside for me, will you?

But this morning, all I got was a packet of two masks and they weren’t N95s, they were P2s. “Oh, that’s OK, they’re the same thing.” No, they’re bloody not! I didn’t argue, even though the cost was $24.95 just for the two masks.

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What are we to believe? The US health authorities are telling all US citizens to wear masks now, but in this country they are telling us not to wear masks. This is very confusing. If I’ve got a mask I’m going to wear it, no matter what I’m told.

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Now that’s a loudspeaker!

These are advertised on F/B Marketplace at the moment, in Perth. They are 18 inch diameter! (That’s two, stacked.) The price is $275 for one, or $990 for four. Wow, that is the biggest speaker I’ve ever seen. I don’t know what they’re from, maybe cinema speakers? Giant public address? I plan to post these pics in a Facebook group I subscribe to, Loudspeakers, and see what the reaction is.

Maybe I’ll buy two and make myself a pair of headphones. 🙂 🙂

Bunker bulldust day 17

Wow. This is truly innovative photography. It warrants the description of unique.

I’ve had a folder of his images stored away for a while, intending to make a print of a few:

© Xavi Bou
© Xavi Bou
© Xavi Bou

Beautiful stuff.

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My sprinkler system has been playing up, watering on days when it shouldn’t. This afternoon I decided to take a look at it (beeeyootiful day, by the way). I knew that some wasps had built a nest inside the cover but last time I looked there were only a few and they weren’t bothered by me. Some even landed on my hand when I touched the knob.

But today, holy hovercrafts, Batman, the cover was full of wasps! All the babies must have hatched. I decided not to be brave and slowly backed away. I left the cover open, maybe they’ll leave. I’ll try again later.

Later 5.30pm: that did the trick. The door was still open and there’s a cold wind blowing. Most of the wasps were gone and the few remaining were very quiet. They ignored me. My watering days are Tuesday and Saturday but I found that Thursday and Sunday had added themselves. I didn’t do it. Damned electronics!

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They’re talking haircuts on the radio. My last haircut was mid May last year in Bali (and it was a fantastic cut, one of the best I’ve ever had). I have long curly steel grey locks down to my shoulders now and I think I’ll let it grow more, since we’re not supposed to go to a barber at the moment. I’ve let my beard and moustache grow again too, and although it’s nice to not have to shave every day, I’m rediscovering how itchy it is.

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I was talking to the S/C cleaner yesterday about hand sanitising and we were both discussing sources of alcohol. Well, methylated spirits! It’s mostly ethyl alcohol with methyl alcohol added but it’s 100% alcohol. Sure, it smells pretty strong but it evaporates quickly and do you care? The main thing is for it to be effective, and it would be.

I read yesterday that any hand cleaner needs to be at least 70% alcohol to be effective, preferably 90%. My suggestion to use Listerine or other mouth wash barely qualifies. Listerine says it’s 70% but Colgate Plax is 0%! Just coloured and flavoured water with antibacterial chemicals added.

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In case you hadn’t heard, Microsoft Flight Simulator is due for a major new release soon, after seeing no new releases since 2006. From what I read, this new version will be a blockbuster. It was always pretty good, looking fairly realistic, but the thing is, with this new one it’s been integrated with aerial images from all over the world, a la Google Earth, that make it just a beautiful experience, as if you were actually flying over the Earth and the actual airports. You don’t need to be a pilot or learn to fly it, just run the demos and enjoy.

Well, the good news is that it will be released this month: LATE APRIL/EARLY MAY – EPISODE 8 (IFR) will be released. (MS web site)

I suspect millions of pimply young men and even older men, being compulsorily cooped up at home, will develop vitamin D deficiency. I’ll definitely be buying it. I have the 2006 version but never learnt to fly it. I just like looking down from the air.

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I’ve just phoned the pharmacy and ordered my monthly refill to be picked up tomorrow. I’ll also have my fluvax while I’m there. I said I’ll be gloved and masked but asked if they have any of the good stuff 🙂 Yes, they have proper surgical masks and even N95 masks. Amazing. I asked them to put some aside for me and it’s no problem.

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Crumbs, I never seem to run out of things to write about. It’s great when you can talk and talk and there’s no-one to answer back. 🙂

Bunker bulldust day 16

Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, 1987 © P J Croft 2020

This virus pandemic has certainly taken hold, hasn’t it? I never thought it would be this bad, this anxiety producing, this transformative. I’m hardly affected, as I’ve said, so I’m not complaining. I’m still fine, no symptoms, no problems.

Except that my Silver Chain cleaning lady has just been and gone and I really enjoyed having her company, however brief it was (90 mins). She’s smart, intelligent, great to talk to, empathetic and has training as a counsellor. I’m not sure what counselling she does, but it doesn’t matter, she knows how to listen and let the client talk. In turn, I ask her about her family and how she’s getting on and let her talk. She has two kids, a girl and a boy, and the boy is autistic, but not enough to be a huge problem. He doesn’t like change, of course, and home schooling has thrown him a bit, but he seems to have understood now and has responded well. She said he’s interested in science and technology and, being obsessive, he’s grasped quite a lot for a 12 year old, so much that he challenges them with quizzes on science topics.

Her husband worked at the casino but now that’s closed he’s lost his job, so they depend on her income from the cleaning job. That would be a bit precarious.

My situation is an absolute breeze by comparison, so I am definitely not complaining.

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She told me a joke while she was here. It’s a visual joke but anyway: a seagull is sitting on a bench. There’s a roll of toilet paper there and a sign propped on it, “Will exchange for chips.”

My mate Mick also sent me a joke this morning: his cleaning lady has phoned to say that she’s forced to work from home, so she’ll email him a list of things each week for him to do.

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The Great Australian Bight, 1978 © P J Croft 2020
Makes you realise how flat Australia is, eh?
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I have a myriad of small jobs I should do around the house and on the Nextdoor website there’s this post:

“I am a kid looking to make some money. Does anyone have any jobs that I can do?”

I’m in two minds – I would like these small jobs done but I don’t want to pay a low rate to a kid when there’s an older guy who needs the money more. Anyway, what do I pay a “kid”? I do know that the older guy (he’s 73, same as me!) charges $25/hr. I guess I’ll just do what I usually do, sit and think about it and do nothing.

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Wow, I’m starting to think the word “draconian” regarding the measures put in place here. Sure, we’re told not to go out unless necessary but I didn’t think it was prohibited. Yet today the police said they are using number plate recognition software and cameras to detect cars that are out of their home areas. I assume this means a long way from home, but coupled with being asked to “show your papers” if stopped by the police and army at roadblocks, this reminds me of East Germany and spy movies. Papers? What papers? I don’t have anything to show.

Now, the WA borders have been closed, stopping anyone entering the state, even West Aussies if you’re out of the state on Sunday night. Unless you’ve got a compassionate reason, you can’t come back. Shit!

Our esteemed PM tells us this will go on for at least six months. I foresee unrest. I foresee that people will start to buck against some of this. I hope I’m wrong.

I also heard something I never thought I’d hear today. Christian Porter, the Minister for Industrial Relations and an avowed foe of unions, stood there and said he was very pleased with the cooperation he’d had from Sally McManus and Greg Combet on behalf of the unions, and the members of the Fair Work Commission, in making temporary changes to awards during this crisis. He said he found them reasonable and easy to deal with. Porter, you arsehole, don’t you understand, we have always been reasonable and easy to deal with!! All it takes is for you to be reasonable too.

Don’t forget that this is the guy who is trying to push through new laws that would make very simple errors by the unions, like not attending an appointment or meeting, punishable by deregistration of the union! This is what I mean by hard right wing! Hard!

When I was a union delegate in 1995/96 and trying to negotiate a change to the TV Award classification system, all we got across the negotiating table was negativity and hard line stonewalling from the employers. This is the very thing employers accuse unions of, obstruction and dirty dealing. Yet when we attempted to be reasonable and easy to get along with, and put up a solid, well thought out and worked out proposal, all we got from the employers was hard line obstruction. It turned me into a hard line unionist, I can tell you. I wasn’t before. I learnt that the only thing employers understand is muscle, strike action. I coined the phrase “Meekness is seen as weakness.” Luckily I never had to do anything.

What a bloody change. Yet I know for sure that Porter won’t change. As soon as this is over, he’ll go back to being the bastard hard line right wing prick that he is. I spit on him.

Bunker bulldust day 15

It would have been Mum’s 97th birthday today.

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Grrrrr. Grrrrrrr! I am irritated!

I went out today (to buy the April Silicon Chip magazine, the last I buy from a newsagent before my subscription starts), and to do my grocery shopping, the first in a week.

I wore a face mask and dishwashing gloves and used my alcohol spray as sanitiser before touching a trolley. But I only saw one other person, out of maybe 50 people or more, wearing a mask. Only three other people wore gloves! What is this? Don’t these people know what’s going on? Don’t they care? I think this is the case – it’s all too much trouble for them. It’s the great Aussie attitude – “She’ll be right mate. What are ya worried about?”

I’m worried because I am at high risk. I don’t care how much trouble it is to you, don’t put me at risk with your lackadaisical attitude.

There was a disinfectant spray bottle at the entrance to Woolies but it sure wasn’t easily seen. I used it but I only saw one other person use it. Grrrrr.

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I filled my trolley and then got stuck behind a blue line waiting for a guy and his wife to clear the aisle. There seemed to be a price problem. That took several minutes. Then the Woolies price assistant and the wife moved away and the guy just stood there chatting to the checkout lady. I was leaning on my trolley getting fed up for a full five minutes or more. Eventually I said, “What’s the problem?” The guy said “Huh?” I said, “How long are you going to be?” He just said, “I don’t know” and continued chatting to the lady.

I was so fed up by now that even though the aisle was empty apart from him, I had to move to another one and wait for two other people to go through. Small loads, luckily.

Finally I was motioned forward and put my shopping bags at the start of my goods, to find that they won’t put your goods in your bags now. What??!! They touch all your goods to scan them, but they won’t put them in your shopping bag. Why?

This is like Aldi. You put all your goods through the checkout but put them back into your trolley, then pack your own bags on a counter outside the checkouts. But at least there is a counter. There’s nothing at Woolies. All your goods are just piled onto their rotating bag holder.

OK, if I’m not going to get service at Woolies, I’ll do my shopping at Aldi. After all, they are definitely cheaper. Why should I pay more at Woolies if I’m not going to get a better level of service?

There was another stupid thing: I had picked up three small tins of chick peas in various savoury dressings, small 70g cans like tuna or salmon or shredded chicken. But when she put my three little 70g cans through the checkout, I was told I’d exceeded the limit of two cans per customer. Whaaat?? Lucky I had a mask on because I was fuming by now.

I’ve calmed down now but that was not a pleasant experience. As I said, I’ll go back to Aldi next time.

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I’ve just heard on the ABC News: gun shops in the USA were closed, but they’ve been told they can reopen as the Supreme Court has rulled that gun shops are an essential service.

Only in America! World’s most stupid country.

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The supermarkets are asking for penalty rates to be removed for staff working night shifts while this pandemic is on.

The problem is, once we (the unions and labour movement) give in and allow this, it’s London to a brick that the companies won’t want to give them back again. This is them sticking their screwdriver into the crack and testing the strength of the edifice. No! Stay firm. These rates have been hard won over many decades and we shouldn’t give way.

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I’m disturbed at the premier’s insistence that the German cruise ship the Artania must leave Fremantle port now, even though they have sick people (crew) on board. He’s even threatening to use the Navy to force the ship to leave! How would they do that, put a shot across their bows?

I can see one side of his logic, which is that he doesn’t want to set a precedent such that other cruise ships see WA as a safe haven where they can enter and berth. But how many other cruise ships are lining up to enter Fremantle? There were three last week, but two are gone now without having to use strong arm tactics. I don’t see any more cruise ships lining up or lurking just over the horizon.

This is a humanitarian issue, surely. If they have sick people, even if they’re crew members, surely we should help them. I want the ship to be allowed to stay until they say they are clean and don’t need any hospitalisation.