And the faults just keep on coming …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYet another faulty product that’s going to cost me a packet to return it. See how there’s a gap between the lens flange and the camera body above? There shouldn’t be.

The gold coloured thing is an adapter to fit my Contax lenses onto an Olympus body. I bought two at about $200 each. They’re made in Hong Kong. They’ll fit on bodies without the overhanging “prism” housing, but they foul the prism housing on the E-M1.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I emailed them on Monday evening and to their credit a guy called Alex replied next morning saying they’d tested and modified them to fit the E-M1. He can’t understand why mine won’t fit. Can I please return mine to him in Hong Kong.

Yeah, OK, but this is going to cost me another $50 shipping fee, or more, because these are metal and quite heavy.

This is just the latest in my line of faulty products that I have to pay to return. Not to mention the three coffee capsule machines that have failed within a few months of use. Bloody hell!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo what do I think of the executions of the Bali pair?

First, they were going to bring heroin into Australia and they knew how risky it was, but they were greedy and didn’t care. Well, they got it badly wrong.

Second, Indonesia has the right to conduct its affairs as it wants to. If we don’t like it, don’t go there or protest from here if we wish.

Third, here’s where it gets grubby. The Australian Federal Police were told that the pair were going on this drug run by an Australian lawyer in Melbourne before they boarded the plane to go to Bali. But the AFP chose to let them go on the drug run. They also chose to let the Bali police arrest them instead of asking that they be allowed to board the plane back to Melbourne, knowing that they’d be subject to the death penalty in Indonesia. Pretty sick in my opinion. The AFP just says “no comment”.

Fourth, there are strong stories of corrupt judges in the trials process in the past 10 years they were in jail. What a surprise.

Fifth, what hypocrisy by Indonesia! They go to great lengths to protest and protect their own citizens when they are sentenced to death in places like Saudi Arabia, but resist calls for mercy in their own country. That’s impossible to understand.

So now, despite so many calls for mercy and despite knowing the damage it will cause to Indonesia, they’ve gone and killed these two guys. I’m very sorry for them and I think Indonesia looks very bad as a result. It’s been a messy, dirty business all round.


_IMG0453sDespite all that, I have a reason to go back to Bali near the end of May, so I’m planning a trip. It’s not the Balinese fault and punishing them by staying away would be utterly futile.

Hotel prices are a bargain compared to a few years ago – quite good hotels for $50 a night or less. I must have been crazy to stay at the Besakih Beach Resort last November at $110 a night. I didn’t do my research properly. I was suffering from a chest infection and the beginnings of a kidney stone at the time.

This time I’m going to fly Garuda. I’m tired of being cramped up in those tightly packed Air Asia seats. Garuda’s fare is $440 return for a full service flight on an A330 twin aisle with meal, movie and 30Kg of luggage in two checked bags included. No extra charges. When you consider Air Asia starts low but inevitably adds up to more than $200 one way, they’re no cheaper really.

I notice Air Asia have started an offer of 30% off from May to July. I wonder if they are anticipating fallout from the executions?

The one thing I regret is that I’ll be going in the dry season. I like the wet season! I love the thunderstorms and lightning and the cooler temps between November to March.


I feel a bit happier today. I think it’s because I’m free of the worry of a big problem in my left foot.

I see a podiatrist regularly and he’s been talking about the possibility of Charcot foot. Yeah, I’d never heard of it either. It’s where the arch collapses and a bone starts rubbing through leading to possible ulceration on the sole of your foot. Hard to fix, apparently.

So he sent me off for X-rays last Friday and I had a thorough check at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital yesterday. Result – no sign of any Charcot problem. No problems at all, really, apart from a very low arch and odoema. So that was a relief. Better to be safe than sorry, and I feel quite relieved about it.

I do have a small bone spur on my right heel, though, but it’s not causing me any great problem. No worries.


me train veranda

My first model train set. Me at Grandma’s house approx. 1952

Nearly finished volume 2 of the Croft history in WA. Has to be sent off by next Tuesday. But I’m having trouble getting back to it. I added material in the early pages after I’d filled about 30 pages, and the new material has thrown everything out of order. I’m having to rearrange all the photos, inserting temporary blank pages as place holders. I’m finding it hard to get motivated as a result. No worries, I’ll get there.


Back in 2009, I think, I wrote about Blue Gen, a ceramic fuel cell powered from natural (town) gas. It’s a power generator about the size of a washing machine, designed to be used in individual houses like solar power. Well, I was wondering what happened to it:

The technologies change, but the economic opportunities remain the same, and so does the narrative of yet another Australia technology export and the myopia of Australian governments and its energy industry. Ceramic Fuel Cells has all but abandoned hopes of a rapid deployment of its ground breaking technology in Australia, and has instead shaved down its workforce, ended local production, cut commercial ties and will focus all its efforts on Europe instead.

Yes folks, couldn’t get any interest in Australia, so they’ve moved to Germany where there is huge interest. That means jobs are lost here and the technology moves overseas. Where have we heard that before?


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