With you in a Giffy


I’m on my hobbyhorse about tilted horizons again. Above is one of the worst I’ve come across recently. The yellow line is the horizon. It’s 6.3deg. off. The alternate picture shows the corrected version. Sure, the beach looks sloping once the horizon is levelled, but that’s how it was. How could the photographer have let this out in public uncorrected?


Here’s another one, not so gross but it offends my eye. Water is level. Repeat, water is level, horizontal.

These are animated gif files, by the way. I’ve known this can be done but I hadn’t tried it up to now. It turns out there’s a free web site to do the job for you, http://gifmaker.me/ so I might do it more often from now on.


Yesterday I went to the Joondalup Medicare office to make some claims. I came away empty handed, after nearly an hour,  shaking my head in frustration.

First, I had to stand in a queue of a dozen or so people while a woman with a tablet checks you in. That’s not new, but I find any standing quite painful (back muscles) and tiring. There’s absolutely nothing to lean on. It took between 5-10 mins just to reach Tablet Lady.

I showed my Medicare card and she directed me to take a seat and wait. Ten minutes later, a woman came and asked me to move closer to a small booth, seated, luckily.

Then she called another lady over to ask me about whether I had an iPhone or an Android phone. Huh? Well, it turns out that we’re expected to make claims on our phone these days. Or on our home PC, of course.

But to do this, I have to set up a myGov account and a phone “app”. I don’t want to bloody do this, but it seems we have no choice. There was only one woman actually behind the claims counter. (This is after I discovered a few weeks ago that the Whitfords City Medicare office has been closed down. Grrr. This is obviously a part of the never-ending strategy to cut staff and get rid of people.)

So we moved to another desk with a giant vertically mounted LCD screen and the young woman proceeded to show me how to set up this myGov account. This involved an ID authentication (driver’s licence, Centrelink card, Medicare card), then some form filling on screen, then the issuance of my User Number, and having to enter another eight digit authentication number sent to my phone, and choosing yet another new password. (I use a password management program and I’d estimate I have well over 50 user names and passwords, which I back up assiduously, I assure you. Plus another 80 or so software and website key numbers, licence codes, user names and passwords. Holy cow!).

Then the woman attempted to download the “app” to my phone. No go. I have data and wi-fi turned off, of course, because I don’t want anything more than phone functions on my phone. I don’t want to do anything more than make and receive calls. I don’t want all my emails appearing and loudly beeping at me on my phone!

So I turned wi-fi and data on in the Medicare office, but still no go. She couldn’t get this app to download. I said in frustration, “Just leave it, I’ll do it at home later.” So I ended up empty handed, unable to make my claims. I said, “Can’t I just go to the counter?” OK, so she showed me over.

I haven’t made a claim in about a year so I had a small bunch of invoices and receipts. But the woman went through them and said they are not filled out correctly, missing an item number and so on. Grrr. They’re all for the same specialist and we’ve had this problem before, and I thought we’d sorted it out more than a year ago, but it seems not.

So after all this faffing around, I walked away empty handed. This is a series of claims for many hundreds of dollars, so it’s not trivial. What a debacle. Bit fed up with this.

I have logged on to my new myGov account at home, but I can’t see any “app” to download. In any case, to make any claim on line, I have to either scan my invoices and send .jpg files, or take a photo of them on the phone and send those pictures. All this adds time and complexity that I don’t want. I suppose it saves me having to drive to a Medicare office, but Whitfords was on my way to Trigg, so that’s why I was OK doing that.


I paid for the travel insurance this morning. I went through the existing medical conditions checks again and it worked out OK. I’m not having any current problems and I haven’t had any hospital treatments for more than a year, so they weren’t worried about me. Now I’m covered if Garuda goes bust or my luggage catches fire.

When I notified my bank on-line that I’m going to be away, they invited me to activate free travel insurance on my Visa card. OK, I’ll be in that.

This company declined medical cover, which is fair enough, but they cover me, at a basic level, for the other routine events. Of course, you generally can’t claim on two travel policies, but since I didn’t have to pay for this one, well, why not do it?


It’s pretty amazing to read that Jetstar has been severely criticised for two incidents which had huge potential to cause major incidents recently.

In one case, a plane was in the air between Brisbane and Sydney when they discovered they had 16 more passengers on board than they had allowed for in their manifest. What?! This totalled 1,300Kg extra weight. That’s pretty significant.

In the other case, a plane taking off from Melbourne was found to be way out of balance, such that they struggled to get off the ground. Once in the air, they had to get passengers to move seats to re-balance the aircraft.

For goodness sake, this is Jetstar, the subsidiary of Qantas, not some cheap overseas cut price carrier. As the aviation writers say, it defies belief that any pilots could allow this to happen, let alone on a major Australian carrier flying within Australia.

I don’t know for sure, but I’ll bet my boots this is due to Jetstar’s employment of cut price, low wage overseas trained pilots. Or due to working their pilots on too long shifts, so that they are too fatigued. Even so, any pilot should be able to recognise if he’s too tired to fly. Anyway, there are always two pilots in the cockpit. How come the second pilot didn’t catch this? It’s a worry.

I’m always amazed at airlines constantly trying to use cut price pilots, or to cut wages to the bone and get rid of people any way they can. This kind of thing is the result. People are going to die while the high wage big boss managements in their plush offices count their bonuses accrued for cutting costs.

Let’s hear it for the unions. Meanwhile, stop trying to get the absolute cheapest airfares! I’m paying full fare this trip. It’s not much more expensive (about $60?) and I get 30Kg luggage allowance with two checked bags, a meal and free drinks. I’m not going to put up with being packed into flying cigar tubes, even Jetstar or Virgin. It’s a pity my money will be going overseas, but …


I’ve reprogrammed my reticulation to reduce the watering times. The retic guy set it to 15 mins for both stations, but with the increased pressure and the fixed sprinklers, I don’t think I need anywhere near that much. I’ve reduced the front verge to 5 mins, and the backlawn and garden beds to 10 mins. This is twice a week. That makes me feel better.


2 comments on “With you in a Giffy

  1. Pete says:

    Thanks Marty.

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