Ho hum


Hummingbird. —- Wikipedia

For the past week or more I’ve been aware of a hum from what sounds like a piston (diesel) engine in the background running 24hrs a day, seven days a week. Strangely, it seemed to stop for a few hours yesterday (Sunday). I noticed the silence, that’s how obvious it’s been. But in the late afternoon it was back.

It seems to be a fair way off and I think I’m going to have to ring Wanneroo Council to complain. Even at 4am it’s there. It’s really bugging me.

This is different from the general hum that I’ve been hearing for many, many years. It’s not just me, I’ve even read about it somewhere, a science magazine I think, so it’s worldwide. There was no answer as to what it is.

My theory is this: we are absolutely bathed in a 50Hz magnetic field from all the power lines that surround us. There’s no evidence that it does us any harm, but it must affect magnetically susceptible materials, i.e. iron and steel in our environment. That includes steel power towers and phone towers, and any steel framing and roofing (e.g. my own roof).

However small the effect, it would make them vibrate a little, which is translated into sound waves at 50Hz. I’m guessing that’s what I’m hearing. It drives me nuts late at night when all else is quiet. I’ll just have to live with it, though.


From the Australian Financial Review, Saturday:

” The sole purpose of superannuation is to provide for your retirement. It is not to invest in property. ”

This is the Sole Purpose rule for SMSFs. It only needs one breach. There are others. The rules were not followed. There is no time limit for the ATO to investigate breaches. The penalties are severe.


Anyone for an ant-free omelette? I opened my plastic omelette maker yesterday and picked up my garlic flavoured olive oil spray and gave it a good spray. Funny, where’s that beautiful garlic smell I like so much?

Uh oh. I’d picked up the Baygon Surface Spray can instead. I gave the omelette maker a good rinse out but I wasn’t game to use it, so I had poached eggs instead. The omelette maker got a really hot wash in the dishwasher.

By the way, I think I’ve got the last mouse, number three. I put an opened packet of rat poison out and I think he had a nibble or two. I’ve had  trap out for a few days and it’s still set. I hate having to do this but if they didn’t poop all over the place …


I’ve got the landscapers revamping my side path and back area. They’ve used big manufactured limestone blocks to build a long garden bed along the fence, about 800mm wide. It’ll look good when it’s filled with soil and vegetation, but I wish I’d been able to have more control. We did talk about what I wanted, which was as shown in a photo in a Stratco catalogue. But what I’ve got is a single row of massive blocks which to me look too heavy. The problem is, by the time I got to see them, he’d already bought them and brought them in his trailer.

The same applied to the pavers. I told him I wanted the same as used in the footpath outside the pub, sand coloured with variegated stone chips embedded. Very common.

What he bought and brought with him are close but different. Very white, with quite a rough surface. Too late, he’s bought and paid for them. I’m not bold enough to say no, take ’em back. They’ll look quite good, but I’m worried about glare and the rough surface which will be hard on bare feet. Damn.

I should have had warning when even though I’d told him I want Buffalo Palmetto lawn, he specified a different type in his quote. Luckily I picked that up early and said, no, I want the Buffalo. It’s the old story – if you want something done, either do it yourself or watch like a hawk.


I’m doing an electronic version of our school magazine for our 50th reunion in October, and part of it is people’s stories about what’s happened to them since 1964. I’ve had eleven contributions so far, but all of them are about half an A4 page with one photo.

I’ve written 27 pages, with about 40 photos for mine! Once I started writing, I couldn’t stop the memories pouring out. So much has happened for me, including about 30 overseas trips at various times*. Not to mention the travelling I’ve done within Australia. I have thousands of photos including many from the 1960s and ’70s. I can’t leave it all out or sum it up in a few sentences.

I’m in a quandary. My contribution is so drastically different from the others. I’m telling everyone what I’ve done and asking them to try and do the same. I guess I’m just embarrassed about standing out front of the crowd. It’s not published yet, that won’t happen until October, plenty of time to think on it.

* I still have all my passports since the first o/s trip in 1974. I started to go through them a few years ago reconstructing the trips by memory and listing the date stamps. I must finish this.


I completed the assembly of my new computer and turned it on for the first time on Saturday. It’s always a nervous moment when you fire up a new motherboard and CPU for the first time – have I got the CPU seated correctly? Are all the plugs in the sockets? Have I forgotten anything?

I needn’t have worried. With the big, slow, quiet fans in the Fractal Design case and all the sound deadening material, it’s nearly silent. With a SSD, it’s also blindingly fast to boot. Silent and quick – ideal. Like a Mercedes. Right from the first few seconds, the BIOS screen appeared and we were away. No problems.

Then I put the Win7 Prof 64bit DVD in, followed the few prompts and about 30 mins later I had the desktop and it was done.

So easy, so quick, so simple compared with 15 or 20 years ago. What a pity it took Microsoft so long to get it right. All the trials and hair pulling we used to go through. What a waste of time it was.