I was in the supermarket yesterday and in the meat section, they are selling Gerello.

What the hell is Gerello? It looks like veal slices, but Wikipedia doesn’t have any entry for it.

Then in the soaps section, I found a handwash that said “Bar-pen free”. Oh goody. I don’t want any Bar-pen on my hands. What the hell is Bar-pen? Or was it Pen-bar? Or Ban-per? Again, Wikipedia doesn’t know.


Thank goodness I can use my local shopping centre now, North Beach Plaza. Farmer Jack’s has replaced the IGA which was dying a slow death for about 5 years or more. I don’t know what went wrong, but there was a fire in about 2007 which closed it for over four months while they did repairs. This drove customers to go to other suburbs, as you can imagine. We couldn’t understand why it took so long – the damage was confined to one end only.

When it eventually reopened, it was improved with all new shelving and things seemed fine for a while. But in the past two years stock levels had been dropping, with sold out items not being replaced.

It reached the stage where I couldn’t even buy dog scraps. There were vast sections of low or no stock. They attempted to make it look better stocked by removing a large part of the shelving! Less to stock. Makes sense?

But the empty shelves got worse and worse this year and we had to go elsewhere. This cut the trade of the other shops in the centre too, and they were pretty annoyed about it, but shops are at the mercy of the centre owners and they dare not make too much fuss for fear of upsetting the management.

Finally, a few weeks ago, the supermarket changed hands and Farmer Jack’s took over. Within a week, stocks were back to normal and we started to see new items. In particular, fish. Fresh (vacuum packed) salmon for $19.95 a kilo. This is half price. Fresh Coffin Bay (Tassie?) oysters in shell at $10.99 a dozen. I haven’t actually bought any of these yet – I’m not an oyster swallower and would have to cook them and I’ve never done that before.

But there’s one problem – they have a huge fresh fruit and vege section and I fear this is going to drive the existing greengrocer out of business. I deliberately still buy my fruit and veges at the Chinese shop, but I doubt others do. The FJ’s are too attractive.


We had two good prospects come through the house on Saturday. Strong interest, making appointments for a second look, bringing Dad along next time. This is good because it means I won’t have to drop the price – we can say, “Well, the other people ….”

It’s very early days. A long way to go yet.


I needed a lawn mow last week, ready for Saturday. I called a young guy who has taken over the previous round from a guy who’s retired. This was my second attempt to get him (the young guy) to come. The first time I called at 1030am – he promised to phone me back in half an hour on a Friday and didn’t until 4.30pm and I missed it, so that one failed.

This time we (Barry) made an appointment for Saturday morning 9.30am. Didn’t turn up. So no mow.

That’s it. No third chance. I’ll use someone else – preferably an older guy who understands keeping appointments.


I finally got a reply to my letter to Senator Conroy from 4 months ago! Yes, it took two letters from me, one in August and another last month to get a reply. I was complaining that after 12 years of trying, I still, in this internet age when we depend on the internet to do our living, I still cannot get a reliable connection. I had said I felt I am owed a subsidised connection in view of my long wait and pensioner status.

What I got was three and a bit pages saying nothing I didn’t already know – that the NBN is on the way, that a satellite service is available, that the govt can’t tell Telstra what to do etc. In other words, one day you’ll have 100Mb/s fibre, but we can’t do anything for you.

I’m going to write back and say if this is all you can do after four months of consideration, you’re useless and I’m going to publicise this in the newspapers.

I’m also going to point out that after registering myself in August for the Digital Switchover Scheme (pensioners get a free set top box), I’ve heard nothing more. As a pensioner, I am supposed to be contacted by an antenna installer to fix my antenna at government expense. I had to give a password for security checking when he knocks on my door.

After four months of waiting, nothing. No call, no antenna man. Did I expect anything else? Naaahhh.