Life is Short

Len Anthonisz Nov2009

Len Anthonisz in 2009. © P.J. Croft 2009, 2015

I just heard the news this morning: there’s a Death notice in yesterday’s West Australian for Len Anthonisz (above).

It’s a bit of a shock. Len worked at TVW7 for many years on a contract basis and we got to know each other well. He was a charming, gregarious bloke, full of interesting stories and was an encyclopaedia of TV engineering knowledge. We used to yarn for, ahem, far too long, out in the satellite earth station, often about the beginnings of digital video and digital editing. This was the 1990s, after all. The PC was only 10 years old at that stage. We thought paying $4,000 for a 486 was a good deal.

He was a do anything, go-getter, can-do sort of bloke. At one stage around the mid 1990s he negotiated a deal to buy three or four surplus Bosch BCN VTRs from TVW to on-sell to a TV station in Vladivostok, Russia! He arranged the shipment and went up there to install them. He got me to check them over and write a condition report on them before buying them. It wasn’t hard: I’d looked after them for many years and they were in pretty good reliable condition. He was talking of taking me up there with him to help at one stage, but that didn’t happen. I wasn’t sorry about that. Vladivostok didn’t sound like a holiday destination to me, but he went.

After the work at 7 dried up, he moved into mobile phone equipment installs, including a major country wide installation for Fiji, I think. He also worked in Jakarta for a few years, and lived in Bali for a couple of years, doing mobile phone work. This was major infrastructure, not just the small stuff. He had the ability to pick things up very quickly and was in managerial roles.

He also worked in Saudi Arabia and Dubai, same deal. Lately he’d been working for mining companies in the north west of WA (Karratha, Port Hedland) setting up their comms and data links. Big stuff.

He was a workaholic, I’m afraid, with not much time for play. I know he was diabetic but I don’t know what caused his death. He was a fair bit younger than me, perhaps 62 or 63. Unfortunately I hadn’t heard from him in the past four years or so. Very busy man. I’m sad about that.

RIP Len, you old bugger.

Giving up smoking

Agung pan L Or fix 203

© PJ Croft 1983, 2015

Hmmm. Will I be going to Bali or not? C’mon Mr Rinjani Volcano, settle down, at least when I fly.

I have to seriously consider that I might not be able to go, or if I get there, whether I’d be able to return on the date I’ve booked. My airfare is already paid and I haven’t bought my travel insurance yet. I’ll definitely be buying insurance (the bloody fire breathing dragon would crap all over me if I didn’t) but I’d assume Garuda would refund if they couldn’t transport me on or near the day. All my hotels are booked but only one, for four nights, has been charged to my account so far.

I wouldn’t actually be bothered if I had to stay up there, naturally, but my medications might be a problem. I’m going for 26 days and I could take five or six weeks’ worth of tablets, but Byetta (injectable diabetes drug) only lasts for 28 days. Cross fingers, I guess.

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I’ve already booked my hotels, but I’m spending a lot of enjoyable time using the maps and Google Earth to look around the neighbourhoods up there, looking closely at nearby hotels for some other time. I’m finding lots that look very attractive for not much money, simply because they’re a bit out of the way, off the tourist streets. There are four star hotels for $50 a night or less if you don’t mind being away from the beach. My requirement is that there be a big shopping centre nearby to cool off in, plus plenty of street shops, restorans and cafes. I’m storing up hotel names for another trip. One in particular looks good and gets good reviews for only $27 a night. Hmmm.

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Sunset paddy W193b

One of the good things about smoke from volcanoes or forest burning – nice scenes like this. This was 1983 and was due to forest burning in Borneo. This scene was just to the north east side of Kuta, about where Sunset Rd is now. All these paddies are gone, I’m afraid. © PJ Croft 1983, 2015

My doctor told me last week that there’s finally an antidote for Pradaxa. Pradaxa is an anticoagulant, to prevent clots forming in the heart when atrial fibrillation occurs. It’s the replacement for warfarin or rat poison.

Pradxa is easy to use, no testing required, unlike warfarin, but its drawback is that up to now, there’s been no way to reverse its effects if you had a major bleed. The hospital would have had to stem the bleeding and wait for it to wear off, maybe twelve hours or more.

A reversal agent has just been released, so that’s a relief, but I doubt I’d be able to take it with me to Bali. To be honest, I was considering not taking the Pradaxa while I was in Bali, but the doctor didn’t like that idea 🙂 Crumbs, I’m not very worried, but there’s a bit higher risk in Bali, of being hit by a motorbike, for example. She’ll be right.

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Bali smoke paddy sun 196

© PJ Croft 1983, 2015

Nearly finished my latest book. It’s a compilation, in chronological order, of all the photos I’ve got of me, from 1947 to now. There are more than 200, at a guess. I’m just trying to think of a title. I’ve overdone the Bull’s Roar thing, I think, so I need something else. “Me me me!”; “My Life as a Dog”?; “The Chronicles of Croft”?; “Mr Bitter and Twisted”? I don’t have a title yet.

It’s noticeable that there’s a big gap between my ages about 12 and 27 when I bought my own first serious camera. We didn’t have cameras when I was at high school and afterwards. Cameras were very expensive things and not easy to use. I really wish I had more pictures from Northam days. I’ve only got a few.

The other problem is that I was always behind the lens, much less commonly in front of it. I’ve got lots of photos of family and friends but not as many of me. I’ve got enough, though, to fill 40 pages, so I can’t complain.

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Today was supposed to be the second reunion day. After last year’s Northam High reunion, everyone said, “Ooooh, let’s do it again next year.” But trying to get people to respond to my suggested dates has been a waste of time. I can’t get an answer from the committee members, except for one honourable exception, a bloke, naturally. My emails go unanswered, even from a woman who complained a couple of months ago that we weren’t talking to her! Bloody stupid woman.

I think I might go to the Tradewinds this afternoon and take a photo of myself just to show that, Hey, I was there when I said I would be, where were you? Bit fed up.