Hip hop

The hip is much better today. Thanks for asking. 😦  I don’t know why it was bad yesterday but nearly OK today.

I’ve got a GP appointment this afternoon but I’ve had to book it a week ahead.  This is wrong.  I’m still having trouble with blood sugar control and a week is doing me damage.  I need an appointment next day if not sooner.

I had to switch to another GP at the Medical Centre nearly a year ago because I couldn’t get in to see him unless I booked about 7-10 days ahead. Now the same thing is happening with this GP.  I think they’ve taken on too many new patients, or have too few doctors.  I’d go elsewhere, but I doubt it would be any different in this area and I’ve established a relationship with my present GP.  I don’t want to break that.  Problem.


Hip, hip … boo!



© P J Croft 1989, 2014

If it’s not one thing, it’s the next. My right hip is on fire. I can get around the house with some difficulty but it’s a bit inhibiting. Of all the times to happen! I’m a bit booked up, surgically speaking, at the moment.

Speaking of bookings, I’ll be having an overnight stay in the Mount Hospital on Wed 28th, so I’ve booked into the hotel next door for the night before, and the Thursday night. That way I can catch bus and train in and out of the city.

That’s if this hip will let me.


The Booo! is for Western Power. The power was off for four hours last night. Four hours! From 6.45pm until 10.45pm, then on for about 15 mins, then off again for another 15 mins, then finally on again at about 11.15pm.

I have candles and I was able to use the laptop to watch about 70% of a DVD (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), but then the battery died. It’s too hard to read by candle light, so I listened to a CD on headphones for a while. I would have gone to bed, but I can’t because I need my CPAP to sleep. So I just sat in the dark with my thoughts for a long while until the power came back on. Grrrr.


I’m still setting up this new computer. Kerrumbs, it takes a long time. So many programs, so many web downloads, so many passwords, so many serial numbers. I’m only about 2/3 of the way.

No, I haven’t got my Video drives back yet. I have a feeling I’ve got the striped drives mixed up. If I can figure out which two drives go together, I might get them back. What’s that? They weren’t marked? Er, no. Nor backed up. I was too complacent. I’ll be extra careful from now on …


I’m typing this on the new PC with an ASUS 19″ LCD monitor I bought a few years ago for this very purpose, as a second monitor. But this is a LED backlit LCD monitor, and wow, it looks good. Better than my 10 year old 24″ Dell LCD with its old style fluorescent tube backlighting. That’s taking 10 minutes of warm up time these days.

Which is a long way of saying there’s a new Samsung 28″ 4K computer monitor out now – 4K means a resolution of 3880 x 2140 pixels, four times the HD spec. The pixels are so fine they are invisible. Price – $748. I think the Dell will have to retire (to a good home) soon.


Great rain! I was driving home along Marmion Avenue yesterday morning and the rain was so heavy for about 5 mins that I was considering pulling off the road as I could hardly see. I was down to 60Km/h in the 80Km/h zone.

But that didn’t stop the lunatics passing me at the full 80Km/h or more in this heavy rain, with no lights on. To me, this is criminal negligence.

Which reminds me of the ABC local radio announcer who was freely, laughingly, admitting a couple of years ago that she didn’t know what half the switches on her car dashboard do, including functions of the light switch.

Criminal negligence, lady. If you’re driving without knowing what you’re doing, you are negligent. Never overestimate the intelligence …

Oh sheet!

ImageHoly crap. I’m in a state of shock. Not for any health reasons – it’s these damned computers. I’ve not only lost my Images drive, I’ve lost my Video drive as well. This is gut twisting. I need some of the above.

I had a backup of the Images drive, so I haven’t lost everything, but the last backup was December last year, so I’ve lost any changes since then. I’ve paid $82 on-line for data recovery software and after more than 6 hours of crunching, it appeared to have recovered everything. I even get thumbnails of the images when I look in the folders it’s recovered, which made me think it had worked. But when I try to open the file, it’s corrupted. Damn, damn, damn.

But the Images drive is a different matter. This is (or was) a pair of striped drives, with data shared across them. You can’t have one without the other.

This one I don’t have backed up. It was always more than 1TB, which a couple of years ago was too big to back up. Now that we have 2TB drives, I could have backed up, but I hadn’t.

The amount of work I’ve lost is huge. I have most of the original video files on DVDs, but it’s the data files produced by my editing and slide show software that can’t be recreated.

I’ve got the new computer up and seemingly stable now (but only after it had a corrupted BIOS!) so that’s one consolation.

What a disaster this has been. It’s taken a week so far of failed Windows installations and damaged drives. I wish I’d never started this. I’ve still got days or weeks of work ahead to try to get back to where I was. At least I don’t get bored.

I must also say, I am sick of seeing the Windows circling “Please wait” symbol! So often, something I do seems to take minutes of waiting, if it works at all. I just tried to record a DVD on my old (stable) PC and nothing would proceed. I gave up after minutes of seeing that damned circle, got the stupid error messages, managed to get out of it, but now the DVD drive has gone missing from the list of drives and the tray won’t open! It’ll be OK after a reboot, but bloody hell …. !! Windows is so fragile. It’s almost enough to consider ditching the lot for a Mac. I am so sick of Windows!


If it’s not one thing, it’s the next. My right hip has been very slowly developing twinges for the past few years, but since last weekend, it’s suddenly got quite painful. I’m limping at times. I assume this is future hip-replacement territory. Ugh. Yet another reminder that age is creeping up.



The side as of yesterday when they left.


The side after all the quartz chips had been removed.

My landscapers seem to think they’ve finished my job. I’m not dissatisfied, but there’s still work to be done as far as I’m concerned. The RH image is as it was left yesterday.  Yet they’ve given me their final bill. I haven’t paid it, yet.  I wanted pavers laid, but I couldn’t get them to understand what type I wanted. In the end I said Stop – I’ll choose them myself.


This was just green weeds when I bought the house.

I’m not sure why I’m doing this! This is not an area I’ll use. It’s just for the appearance really, and resale value of course.


That’s better! The reticulation works too.

And it is alright


Rail Master control panel. $349

Phew! Had the colonoscopy this morning and “all OK”. Only one polyp, which was removed, otherwise no problems. I am very relieved. I lost 3.5Kg in the pre-op diet regime and I feel another 5Kg lighter with all the relief from tension. So what did I do when I got home? I walked over the road and had a Hungry Jack’s Whopper and chips for lunch. Yeah, I know, but this was a comfort reward, and I had Diet Coke with it. That makes it OK. Back to the high fibre foods from now on. They really are beneficial.

It’s weird. You have no warning at all – one second you’re looking at the wall in the operating theatre, the next you’re waking up in the ward. There is no sensation at all of going to sleep and no sensation of time passing. Thank goodness we have the ways to do this.


The photo above is a replica locomotive control panel, a physical embodiment of my train simulator control on the computer. I’m using software called Trainz which simulates, um, trains, on dozens of different routes in a score of countries, including Australia. You can either be in the driver’s seat looking forward, or outside the train watching it from some distance away. It has full sound effects and all the lineside scenery and stations and towns are as realistic as the computer allows.

With this new controller, arriving any day on my doorstep, I can actually push and pull the levers and push the buttons to make things happen. I don’t usually play games, but I do like this one.


One problem is that my “old” computer, this one dating from 2009, is a bit slow for this simulator game and the scenery is very jerky. I’ve built up my new machine with a much better graphics card, so I’m hoping for a better result.

BUT! I’ve been building and fixing computers since the late 1980s and I have never had as much trouble as this one. It seems to be corrupting hard drives. I seem to have irretrievably lost my Images drive, with over 30,000 images on it. I knew there were a few bad sectors, but the whole thing is gone now. Attempts to revive it have failed.

It’s also lost my striped pair of Video drives. It showed them working for a day or so, but they won’t show now. I’ve had to disconnect them because if I lost them, I don’t have a backup – they were too big to back up.

OK, so I decide to start again and reinstall Windows for the third time. But I can’t get past the Setup stage, either from the actual Windows 7 DVD or from a Win7 Boot and Repair disk I have. It just spins its wheels in the Setup phase, never going any further. What the hell is going on?

Neither will the motherboard retain its BIOS settings. I have to go into the BIOS setup each time to make it boot from the DVD drive.  This is crazy. I’m beginning to wonder about crying “Faulty” on the motherboard (Gigabyte). So I’ll just plug on and see.

It’ll Be Alright in the End


The wrecking crew, Channel 7 1994. We were dismantling our old friend, the Ampex ACR25 cart machine. We were sad about that, hence the black armbands (made from 2″ wide videotape).

Hmmm, colonoscopy on Monday. Bit apprehensive.


Schadenfreude. Taking pleasure in someone else’s discomfort. The NSW Liberal government sets up an inquiry hoping to dig dirt and nail Labor, and ends up having dirt smeared all over themselves. The hypocrisy!

The Rabbott and his henchmen bray and crow about Craig Thompson and union corruption, but are being shown to be just the same. Let’s not forget that Peter Slipper was a Liberal member of parliament.  Yet his Liberal cronies absolutely trashed him when he moved to the cross benches and supported Labor. Hypocrites.

And the Rabbott made a huge show last year about Labor’s “Big fat new tax” (the so-called carbon tax). But despite his solemn promises, what have we got? A big fat new tax. Hypocrites.


Habeas Corpus. “… requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court. The principle of habeas corpus ensures that a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention—that is, detention lacking sufficient cause or evidence.” (Wikipedia)

Asylum seekers have not committed any crime. It is NOT illegal to seek asylum in another country. Yet they are being unlawfully detained in Australian prison camps without evidence and without being brought before any judge. They are being kept in unlawful detention.

What does it take to get the Australian government, consisting largely of lawyers, to obey the law? They are in violation of the principle of habeas corpus.


The hum goes on. I mentioned it in the last post. It’s driving me nuts. I’m going to have to complain to the Council.


I was almost finished building up the new computer yesterday, and disconnected and removed two hard drives prior to installing different ones. I didn’t touch the C: boot drive.

But it would no longer boot up. I disconnected the new drives, removed and reconnected the cables for the C: drive, tried all the BIOS settings – no go. It seems the partition table had been lost or corrupted. I haven’t had this happen before.

There was nothing for it but to reinstall Windows. Easily done, but a waste of time. Luckily at this early stage there wasn’t anything much on the C: drive that was lost. I just have to reinstall a dozen programs. It’ll take a few more hours.


As part of this new computer, I bought two external USB3.0 dual hard drive docks. They were listed at Altronics as reduced from $59.95 to $49.95. Fair price, I thought. I took two, as I said.

Then I had a browse in the shop and took two long USB cables and a 1m network cable at an average of about $11 each. Total of about $133 I thought.

I had to wait a couple of minutes at the counter for the guy to come from the back office. He was hugely apologetic at keeping me waiting, then told me he’d give me a discount for the wait. I said, no, it’s OK, don’t worry about it.

But the final bill came to $99.50. In effect the cables were free. I was amazed. And he threw in a magnetic desk toy to play around with.

Altronics, Balcatta. I’m impressed.

I need the caddies because although my new computer case has room for ten drives (eight hard drives and two optical drives, all of which I want to use), there are only six SATA ports on the motherboard. I hadn’t thought of that when I chose the motherboard. The external USB 3.0 caddies solve the problem, though, by adding four more. Just external, that’s all.