Trying to decide

_IMG0147

Sanur 2010  © PJ Croft 2010, 2016

_IMG0147_1

Well, there you go. Notice the above two images – the top one lacks colour and looks dark. That’s not how I saw it in my browser.

The second one is brighter and has more colour, as intended. That’s because the top one is Abobe RGB colour gamut as shot in the camera, and the lower one is sRGB which is needed for web display. The web can’t display all the colours of Adobe RGB so it ‘crops’ the colours, resulting in the loss, as you see. But if I convert to sRGB before posting, I get the colour I want. But it means an extra step in the processing, which is already time consuming. Boogah.

_____________

I mentioned that I feel as if I want to go and live in Bali, and to do it by leasing. But I’ve been doing some thinking.

A lease of a two bed villa with pool starts at A$10,000 a year. A$12,000 – $15,000 is more realistic. Plus plus – housekeeper at $200 per month = $2,400 pa. Gardener pool man, the same, probably a security man similar. Maybe other fees? It all adds up to nearly $20,000 pa or $1,666 per month, $400 per week, $57 per night. Plus probably $1,000 for a lawyer to look over the contract.

You can have a hotel room for $25 a night upwards, and $50 a night is quite a good standard, three star, in Sanur.

That’s it. No more to pay. No contracts, no lease to worry over, no maintenance costs, no taxes, no housekeeper, no security man, that’s it. Pool included, no cleaning or pool man. Nice gardens, fully maintained. And right on the beach.

I’m sure that you could haggle over the price per night if you’re booking 30 nights at a time.

Drawbacks: living in one room for a month at a time could be like being in a prison after a while. Screaming kids around the pool? No escape. Bad aircon? Hard to get it fixed.

OK, don’t like it? Move to another hotel. Except if you’ve pre-paid for 30 nights. OK, negotiate to pay weekly. And for me, I like to collect ‘stuff’. It’s hard to keep ‘stuff’ in a hotel room. Bring it home? But I want it up there. So I’d need to find a way to store ‘stuff’ up there. Pretty easy, I’d say.

You need to leave the country every 30 days anyway, at least initially, so you come back here for a break, see the doctor, get your next lot of medications. Then head back up again for the next month.

I think the way to decide this is to book a $25 a night hotel for 4 weeks and see how it goes. I know from the Xmas trip that it can go wrong, that I found I didn’t like where I was a few times, but if I go with a different attitude, go with a take it easy, don’t expect luxury, and look at the reviews, it could be OK. The location is all important and I’ve found one that’s only 100m from Sanur Beach for A$22 a night, and that’s for one night. Being so close to the beach walk, there are plenty of restaurants around.

Hmmm.

________________

One thing I’ve noticed about all the hundreds of hotel entries on Booking.com and other web sites is (a) the poor quality of their photos, and (b) the stilted, poor quality English of their listings.

I wonder if there would be a small income to be made by offering a professional standard of photos and a re-writing of their body text? Some of the photos are dire. They certainly put me off. Gloomy, dark shots, small sections of the rooms, repeated shots of the pillows or the toilet. One hotel showed a room with red and orange curtains, so that the room looked like a scene from hell. Another seemed to have brightly coloured wall tiles, or else coloured glass in the windows, so that all the tiles were bright red and green and purple and blue. Sickening.

The best was a bathroom that was pure white tiles, gleaming and glistening, such that it just looked clean. So easy to do.

Many needed some gardening done, too. They looked like a bedraggled jungle. Why show this?

_______________

cd4663514863015166392

Jeez, I’ve got the hots to buy that Merc in Sydney. If I’m not going to lease in Bali, then I can go to Sydney if I want to.

_______________

And a new laptop.

Strewth cobber!

KR-WAP-2k

There’s a US blogger called Ken Rockwell (above). He’s well known as a man of rock solid opinions and strong recommendations. Yesterday he ran this headline:

28 January 2016, Austrailia Day

Yeah, like the 5 July 1774 is Independance Day in the Unoited States, eh Ken?

I emailed him quick smart and he’s fixed it.

I’ve actually spoken to him before, in 2012 I think. He used to work in TV engineering like me and worked for Tektronix at one stage, so I was keen to talk.

But what I got was how much his kids liked the Wiggles, and it became apparent that that’s all he knows about Australia, as evidenced by the headline above. Each time I tried to tell him that Australia produces top class TV equipment too, he just raised Paul Hogan or the Wiggles again. I got a bit angry after a while and sent him a list of the things Australia doesn’t do, which includes torturing people, bombing neutral countries, executing people including under-age and the mentally retarded, invading other countries, and so on and so on. There the conversation ended.

____________

Another sleepless night last night, the first for about a week. I dunno why it happens, I took valerian at about 9pm but I still felt alert when I went to bed at 1015pm. No sleep came. I got up about 1230am and had a cup of chamomile tea while browsing the news, and felt sleepy by 2am, but still no sleep at all, all night. I’m a bit sleepy now at 0845am and I’ll crash soon. Lucky I don’t have to go anywhere.

____________

This is so crazy and frustrating. Yesterday early, before 7am, ABC radio news ran an item about a drug that’s been found to fix Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia, CLL. That’s what I’ve got, so I was pretty interested.

When I got up, I looked on the ABC News web site for the item. Nothing. It was gone from the radio news as well. I searched the ABC site, including the health section. Nothing. Later, I posted a question on the ABC News Facebook page. It disappeared to be moderated, but it’s stayed disappeared. No answer was forthcoming. Frustration rising!

Then SBS ran their own item on their news last night. This time they named the drug, Veneto… something, and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute as the research facility that found it. Exciting stuff. I couldn’t catch all the details but I thought, no worries, I’ll find it on the web.

So just now, Friday morning, I’ve looked on the Walter and E… web site for their news item – nothing. I looked at SBS’s web site. Nothing. I did a search on leukaemia, but all it produced was a months old item about kids’ leukaemia.

What is going on?????!!!! It’s my poltergeist, I reckon. It’s tricking me, making me hallucinate about TV items. What on earth is going on?  All I can do is more Googling. I’ll let you know how it goes.

PS: FOUND IT! https://www.thermh.org.au/news/breakthrough-therapy-gives-hope-new-leukaemia-treatment

The drug is venetoclax. I remembered the first part because veneto = Venice. As usual, it’s only a trial and I’ll bet the treatment will be available “in about 5 – 10 years”, after I’m dead.

_______________

The first UltraHD BluRay player has been released (in the US, around May here) by Samsung. UltraHD? This is 4K resolution, meaning 3840 pixels wide by 2160 high, four times the resolution of Full HD. It means gloriously detailed pictures, with absolutely no pixels visible.

4K-Infographic

Everything you wanted to know about 4K (heh heh).

Of course you have to have a 4K TV to display them, and there are plenty of models on sale now. It’s the next step that the TV manufacturers needed to get people to upgrade and buy new TVs. But until now, there’s been no 4K UHD material to show on them, except stuff you shoot yourself if you have a 4K capable video camera. I have and I do. I can play my material here on the PC on my 4K computer monitor, but that’s it. My TV is only (only) Full HD.

One point is that because the pixels are so fine, you don’t have to sit so far away from the screen so as not to see them. This matters to me – I can’t sit more than about 2.5m from the screen.

I think it might be time to buy the LG OLED 4K TV receiver I’ve mentioned before. Soon.

Hah! Too good to be true

Pink Carousel

Damn. I’ve just enquired about that Astor cruise. The advertised price is ‘from $3459’. Price to me? – double that, $6,918. Price is twin share, ya see. Bloody deceptive advertising. Oh, and that’s for the absolute minimal cabin, an inner with no windows. The real price would be up around $10,000. So much for cruising. Never again.

So ends that dream. OK, I look at going back to Bali for an extended stay while I look at lease properties. Huh. For $6918 I could stay in six-star luxury for a month. No way. I’ve seen what looks like a very nice small hotel in Sanur for $26 a night.

__________________

There is a poltergeist in this house, I’m sure of it! Last night about 7.30pm I was watching TV when there was a crash from behind me, about where the table is, something loudly falling to the floor. Obviously I got up and went to investigate. Nothing. I could not find anything that had fallen on the floor (I have a hard tiled floor). I continued the search later, and again this morning, but I can find no reason for that sound.

This is in line with that almighty crash just outside my windows in the drying court last July or so. It was real – it brought my neighbour out to investigate as well. It sounded exactly as if someone had thrown a bag of rubbish over the wall, but there was nothing to be found. I’ve never found any explanation for it.

Then there are the knocks on the front door at midnight, 2am, 3am. I don’t get out of bed, figuring if it’s real, they’ll knock again, but they don’t. This has happened half a dozen times, at least. Poltergeist.

__________________

There was a ring on my doorbell on Monday afternoon. A guy was there with a clipboard, most concerned about my health, and whether I was feeling the heat, and what I was doing.

I said, “Roller shutters, right?” He looked embarrassed and said yes. I said, “Sorry, not interested.” He said, “You’ve been asked before?” I said, “Over and over again, going back years. Not interested.” So off he went. Poor bastard.

_________________

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not the Astor. Sea of Japan, 2014 © PJ Croft 2016

I forgot to say, the very helpful lady at Cruise Planet said I should consider another cruise line that doesn’t charge double for singles. Oh yeah? Yeah, it’s Royal Caribbean, operations in the Caribbean. Big bloody help.

Should I, or not?

Astor cruise

Hmmm. Another opportunity has popped up. I said I’d never cruise again, but … this one is very tempting.

It’s on the Astor, a relatively small ship of 800 passengers, instead of the 2,500 passenger cattle ships I was on in 2014. Everyone I’ve spoken to who’s been on the Astor sings its praises.

As you can see, it’s a pretty extensive trip over 35 nights, five weeks. The Fremantle to Singapore leg alone (Singapore is the first stop) is five days, and Bali to Fremantle would be three days, so you wouldn’t get long in each port. (The stops are the yellow drawing pins on the map.)

Hong Kong would be a non-event for me. I have no desire to go ashore, it was just too strenuous last time. Entering and leaving the harbour was good, though. I’d enjoy that again.

Ha Long Bay would be an opportunity that I couldn’t take last trip. I probably wouldn’t go ashore, but at least I’d see it. Same for Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). I’ve lost a lot of weight since 2014, around 12Kg, and I feel I could cope now with buses and whatnot.

The final stop is Bali, and it has occurred to me, why not end my cruise there and stay on? Look at some leasehold villas. No set schedule – find somewhere cheap to stay and just come back later. Hmmm.

The thing is, the ship leaves NEXT WEEK, tomorrow week, Wednesday 3 February. Wow, I have to make a quick decision. I suppose it will depend on the price. “From $3,459” is the advertised price. I only saw this on the weekend; today’s a public holiday; looks like tomorrow’s going to be a busy day.

PS: I’ve just realised – two small problems. First, where’s my passport? I haven’t seen it since I’ve been home from Bali.

Second, visa for Vietnam. It takes a week to get one. There’s no time to do it. No, it’s OK, they have Visa on Arrival, I’m pretty sure. Should be OK.

Sunrise6

Sanur sunrise © PJ Croft 2016

_______________

I’ve blown my stack again at a ‘friend’. I put that in inverted commas because he’s a friend who’s a taker, not a giver.

What do I mean? He’s a guy I used to work with at Channel 7 when I first started there, a tech. He left about 1971 to go to the ABC and we lost contact for many years, reconnecting through photography in the 1990s. We’ve got a mutual photography mate who’s a real nice guy and we meet regularly for brekky at a Trigg cafe.

I say ‘regularly’, but the trouble is we always have to fit with his, the idiot’s, schedule. He can only meet on Tuesdays, except when he can’t. He’s constantly dangling the other mate and me on his string. We have to fit his schedule. We’re supposed to meet every second Tuesday (his day), but our last two brekkies were three months apart. (Admittedly I was away for a month in Bali, but so was he away at the same time.)

Every second Tuesday. That’s today, but no, he’s tied up. Tomorrow then? No, busy. “I can do next week mateys how’z that ?” Nothing specific.

When he tried to push me to see the latest Tarantino gore-fest US violence-porn movie, as he does, I lost my rag. You’re a dickhead, Kerry, a grade 1 dickhead. He assures me that he won’t read my blog, so I can say what I like about him.

I’ve got to escape these dickheads! And I’m the one who has a reputation as being hard to get along with. Yeah.

________________

I’ve had the movie Fifty Shades of Grey (supposedly, the saucy version) on my shelf for about six months and I finally got around to watching it last night.

It wasn’t boring. It was well made and watchable, but I can’t see what all the fuss was about. Sure, you see a bit of fucking and she gets naked, but you don’t see much. The whipping scenes are very short and not excessive (I nearly said restrained).

The main interest was seeing the lifestyle of a rich man in the US. Nice apartment! Nice cars! Audi must have won the bidding war.

I’d rate it 5/10.

Not so Steve Jobs, the movie. Bloody hell, if you want endless smart alec dialogue spouting forth at you until you feel like begging them to stop, be my guest. There’s just no let up in the back and forth spite and nastiness. There’s virtually no action. It all takes place in auditoriums. I got sick of it. I finished it, but I don’t know how. Rated 3/10. I’ll toss it into the bin.

________________

I see the Mazda MX-5 won Wheels’ Car of the Year. They sing its praises to the heavens.

Mazda-MX-5-2.0L_08

Price brand new: $34,550 to $41,500 depending on … ? Soft top only.

On the other hand,

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s a 2004 Mercedes CLK convertible. It’s very rare to see a white Merc and I like it, even though I don’t like soft tops. And it’s a 5.5L V8 AMG! Yow, I want. Price? About the same as the Mazda, $42,950 (asking price). I know which I’d rather have. If only it wasn’t for Mercedes’ fearsome reputation for breaking and costing.

______________

I found a photo of mine the other day of my Sony VAIO laptop, taken in July 2008. That means I’ve had it 7½ years. That’s pretty damn good going. For a computer to last that long and still be viable (vaioable?) it must be good. I take it on all my overseas trips. Can’t do without it.

It’s a dual core processor, but nothing like the multi-core ones of today. It has 6GB of on-board RAM and I swapped in a 128GB SSD in about 2012 which did wonders for its boot time. It’s running Windows 10 now and does it OK, but very annoyingly, the graphics resolution used to be 1920 x 1080 (it has a Full HD Blu Ray recorder/player drive built in), but with Win10, the native resolution has dropped to 1600 x 800 or similar and I can’t find any way to get it back up again. So the Blu Ray drive will play Full HD movies, but they can’t display at Full HD due to Win 10’s limitations.

Which is a long winded way of saying it may be time to buy a new laptop. This one is carbon fibre cased, but it’s been dropped heavily (I slipped in a mud puddle in Jalan Cemara in March 2010 and went down hard, me and the laptop. Ugh.)

I think it’ll be either a Dell Inspiron or an HP Desire, both ultra-thin, with extremely high res displays, Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM. My existing one cost $3,500 in 2008. These new ones cost about $2,500. Such is progress. Not yet, plenty of time.

Verdict on Win 10? It seems stable, although I had a case where I had to do a cold reboot once, i.e. press the reset button as it was locked solid. Sometimes it goes off to fairy land when it boots but comes good with another try. Advantages? I can’t see any. The graphics ‘flat’ look is terrible. I preferred Win 7. Oh well.

I still can’t get Win 10 to install on this desktop PC. It fails every time with an unspecified error. I’ve got onto the forums and a Microsoft guy has answered me with dumb questions that I thought I’d already answered in my posting. But when I follow his advice steps and try to reply, the server rejects my reply every time! And when I look at what I’m sending in the email, it’s full of Chinese characters! What? I’ve been working on this for a week so far and getting more and more frustrated. The problem is, each attempt to download and install the Win10 takes about four hours and uses 4GB of my download quota of 20GB a month. Then it fails. Grrrrr.

________________

STOP SAYING ICONIC!!!!! Lazy, lazy journalists and radio and TV announcers. This has to be the worst cliche word of all time. I’ve developed the habit of noting the first time each day when I hear someone say iconic, and it’s getting earlier and earlier, often 5.30am or earlier.

For Dog’s sake, STOP SAYING ICONIC! Y’know, like, stop it, y’know? Like, y’know, it’s like lazy, y’know.

Y’know is the second worst cliche. There are people every day on the radio who cannot go ten words without saying y’know. Many times it gets shortened even further to ‘no. Sports commentators are the worst. Sports people seemingly cannot form any sentence without saying y’know. I’m sick of it. Sometimes I have to switch away. It’s not just in Australia, even BBC and British broadcasters are saying it. It’s a pandemic, an epidemic, a pestilence, an infection. Ugh ugh ugh.

_______________

I comment a fair bit on The Guardian web site and today I racked up a new record, 104 ‘likes’ for one of my comments.

A guy had commented that you can’t be 99.9% sure of anything to do with climate change, despite it being a scientist’s article. I commented:

Denialists never give up. If you could spell, capitalise and punctuate I might take you more seriously. But, nah ….

That got 104 thumbs up. That was gratifying.

Exploring the coast

Duyfken

The Duyfken replica, Fremantle 23 January 2016, exactly 500 years on from Dirk Hartog’s visit. The building to the left is the Little Creatures brewery and restaurant. Beautiful beer, one of the world’s best in my opinion.

I spent yesterday exploring the coast from Scarborough to Mandurah with cousin Tom. Being a Queenslander, he doesn’t know much about this foreign country of Western Australia, where he’s visiting on special passport-free dispensation, ‘cos he’s my cuz. 😉

The aim was to start by showing him Fremantle, where the above photo was taken. This is the replica, built in Fremantle, of the sailing ship Duyfken, which was a Dutch ship trying to find a passage to Jakarta in the Spice Islands (Indonesia). They got a little off course and landed on an island off the coast of WA, where Captain Dirk hopped off his ship, flattened out a pewter plate dated January 1616, nailed it to a wooden post and buggered off to parts north, thereby denying himself claiming the whole continent of Australia. Silly Dutchman. As they say, we might have all been speaking Dutch if he’d been a bit more persistent. As it is, we have a whole population of politicians, business and finance people speaking double-Dutch, so all was not lost.DirkHartog

Same for the Frenchies. They explored all along the south coast but didn’t bother going ashore to find a Macdonalds, so we’re left with Cape Freycinet and the Recherche Archipelago, but soggy croissants and no Foreign Legion to banish Liberal politicians and other bad boys to. But I digress.

Amazingly, my cuz didn’t know much about Fremantle at all, which was lucky because I was able to bullshit as much as I needed to. Luckily it’s hardly changed from when I was last there about 15 years ago. I don’t get out much any more.

From there we headed through the maze of development of units and apartments along the South Beach and Coogee coast. It is packed with small houses, not really in keeping with the local style, but … I got thoroughly lost at times, it’s such a labyrinth.

Then it was down through Kwinana to Rockingham where I attempted to show him where Dad bought his first house after the divorce. I couldn’t find it – I suspect it’s been bulldozed and rebuilt. So we went off along the beachfront, which does look very nice these days. Many, many boats are moored there, bobbing in the waves – it’s very colourful.

PPeron3

Point Peron: I used to swim here often, snorkelling and fishing, but I was scared of that rock shelf. It dropped away and I was convinced there were sea monsters there if I went over it. (Polarising filter used here to make the water transparent.)

Then I took him down to Point Peron where I spent many happy hours as a kid in 1959 – 61, riding my gold painted bike with the white mudguards. Boy I have some good memories. Sea cadets at Palm Beach. Great fun.

TomPeron

Tom, looking very like a less well groomed Ross

Tom1

PPeron1

I used to snorkel around here, too.

PPeron2

It was a beautiful day and Tom was quite impressed, especially with the clarity of the water. You can actually see schools of fish from the shore.

From there we followed the coast around thru Safety Bay, Shoalwater Bay to Penguin Island where the sand bar was clearly visible.

Then it was across to the Mandurah Road to Mandurah itslef where I wasted a bit of time finding Haruko’s beach townhouses. I got there eventually. A gate was open and a bloke walked through from the beach. Some maintenance seems to have been done. I wonder what the status is now. Does Yoshiko still own them? I wish I knew.

From there we drove along the Mandurah main street looking for some lunch and immediately got a parking space in front of a Malaysian-Chinese restaurant. We both felt like it, and when we sat down we both immediately wanted Fried Kway Teow. There you go, we are related and we like the same things. In fact, it was delicious!! Just the right amount of chili, just the right taste. We both wolfed it down, it was so good. $10.95 sitting at a table.

We had a coffee and cake too (at another place) and by that time both of us were too weary to do much more, so it was hit-the-road back to Scarborough, to Tom’s parked hire car.

______________

In fact I had had another very bad night on Friday/Saturday with only about three hours sleep, so I was tired. I had another night of uncontrollable shivering – fever, I assume, and didn’t get to sleep until about 3.30am. Yet I awoke at 6.45am feeling fine. I think I have a UTI, but it’s strange that it only shows this fever every few days. I have an antibiotic in the fridge. I think it might be time to start the course as this has been going on for a week.

______________

Tom made a good point – I’m too far out. I’m too isolated because it’s too far for friends to come. No-one visits me any more, almost no-one. I’ve actually come to love this house and I really like the area, but bloody hell, I’m lonely out here.

So the question is, move back closer to the city, or lease on a yearly basis in Bali? To move back closer to the city means a retirement village, because that’s all I could afford. That’s attractive, for the same reasons I thought I was going to go to St Ive’s Whitfords in 2012, but how to avoid the claws of these predatory companies, bent on extracting every last dollar they can from elderly, vulnerable people.

But living in Bali is very doable. I would not sell here, nor would I rent this house out. I would always want a place to come back to when I needed it, and I couldn’t bear the thought of some strangers being in the house. Nor would I want all the hassles of being a landlord, and the Centrelink implications.

I’ll have to get some advice on this.

________________

I’ve had an email this morning from the woman I met at the Kuta hotel just before Christmas. That’s very nice – I was just thinking of her a few days ago and didn’t really expect to hear. This is the woman with the heart problems and the ex-US Navy husband, and the daughter married to a Balinese chef.

They went to Lovina just after Xmas and she says they’ve come back to Oz (Melbourne) with pneumonia and bronchitis. I don’t think they can blame Lovina.

I mentioned a few days ago about being sensitive to my being bare chested (all my life). It reminds me that in the restaurant at the hotel in Kuta, my US Navy friend just suddenly whipped his T-shirt off at the table and went bare chested. That’s what I wish I could do. I think it’s time I was less self conscious.

It would help if I were less fat, of course, and although I’ve regained 1.5Kg out of the 3.9Kg I lost last weekend, I’m trending down again.

Bali explored

Bali bloke fishing 424a

Gunung Agung from Sanur Beach. That mountain is 47Km away! (It’s not Kintamani, btw). © PJ Croft 2016

I’ve been talking to someone recently who’s never been to Bali and doesn’t know much about it. He wants to go, but thinks it’ll be difficult to get away. It occurs to me to write a potted description of Bali, based in nearly 40 years and ten visits (I think). I wouldn’t call myself an expert, by any means, but I have done a bit of exploring and, as you know, I have many nice photos.

Bali is an island and is part of Indonesia. Many people don’t realise that. Well, don’t forget it: they are Balinese first but Indonesian through and through and proud of their nationality.

Indo map

There’s Bali just off the east coast of Java. The Indonesian Archipelago is huge. You can get a glimpse of Sumatra at the north west side, which stretches all the way up the west coast of Malaysia across the Straits of Malacca. The giant tsunami of 2004 occurred at its tip, affecting the province of Aceh along with Thailand, Burma and Sri Lanka.

Jakarta is at the western tip of Java, near the Sunda Strait between Sumatra and Java, where Krakatoa Island is, the island volcano that exploded in 1883 with such force that it blew the entire island apart and affected the world’s weather (global cooling) for the next five years. Cruise ships go through that passage and you can do a shore excursion.

Bali names

[Well, this is frustrating. I’ve added all those name captions to the map, but they come up too small to read unless you already know the names. You can’t click on these images to enlarge them any more since WordPress changed their software in December. How annoying. I assume this is to force us to pay for the full version.]

There’s really no point continuing with this. Not in this form.

___________________

 

Rectumfied

4096

Photo credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA,  The Guardian.

I’ve been asked by the guy in the picture above to post the original, uncropped image from the Guardian. Here it is, Equador (thanks for the link). Justice is done, I hope.

Apologies for cropping you out, butt we can’t see your butt. Nice pigtail, not much other tail. 🙂 It is a great photo, even so.

___________________

Interesting that the guy in the photo, Equador, saw my blog. Did he use the image search facility in Google? Looking for any use of the photo and came across my blog? Or do I have a secret blog admirer? Welcome, anyway, and I’ll be more diligent in crediting photos in future.

__________________

Oooooh, I’m exhausted. So weary from my unaccustomed exercise yesterday, then a big evening with beer followed by a shared bottle of red wine. I got to bed at midnight thinking I’d sleep well, and got about two hours, woke and never got to sleep again. This is crazy. Why can’t I fall asleep? I’m not stressed; there’s no race track of thoughts. I just can’t drop off that shelf of wakefulness. I’ll go back to bed soon and try again, but daytime sleeping makes it harder the next night. It’s lucky I don’t have to go to work.

__________________

The wine my cousin and I shared carried our shared surname: Crofters (Croft). Made by Houghtons in WA, it’s a beautiful full bodied shiraz. Well named, and good drinking.

Sitting outside to eat, overlooking the lakes with all the waterbirds settling for the night. Not too much wind. Very pleasant.

All that food and drink was much more than normal for me, and resulted in a 1.3Kg jump on the scales this morning. Back to starvation mode, I’m afraid.

__________________

Too tired to write more now. More later.

Ah!

_DSC0064

Achievement. I must be feeling better. After a good sleep, I thought I’d tackle the beach stairs for the first time in more than a year. Nearly two years, actually. I was going really well, descending, then climbing those stairs you see above (that’s a winter shot from April 14). There are 74 stairs, or there were then.  It’s been rebuilt at the bottom as in winter there was too big a drop from the bottom step to the sand. On one day, I did it four times. That was pretty good going for someone so overweight.

Anyway, I’ve now lost 3.8Kg in the past five days, bringing me down to my lowest weight in more than 10 years, I’d guess.

Weight 20Jan16

NB: the vertical scale is only 24Kg. That exaggerates the changes. The gap on the right is the Bali break.

Obviously that drop is anomalous, but I’ll try very hard to keep it off. Look at the trend line. That’s the important thing.

Anyway, I went down all the way to the sand and then stood with my ankles in the swirling water. Aaaaaah. That is the best feeling, and I haven’t been able to do it for a good while. I’m still not game to go into the surf. Not when I’m alone on the beach, that’s for sure. (By the way, ‘alone on the beach’. A fantastic 5Km long fine sandy beach with almost no-one there at 9.30am on a Wednesday. Take that, California. Perth does have some small city benefits.)

The next achievement was that I came back up the steps! Stopping frequently, OK, but it wasn’t too hard. It seemed easier than 2 years ago, as I suppose it should if I’m 10Kg lighter. This is the kind of exercise that makes you want to do it again.

Another achievement was that I did it all shirtless, just in my bathers. I’ve always been self conscious of my chest. Gynecomastia. I’ve developed breasts as I’ve got older. Quite large breasts. Droopy breasts. DD. It’s made it impossible to swim in public in recent years, but I’ve determined to overcome it, and I did in Bali. I had to. I’m going to continue it here, going bare chested (breasted) as often as I want to. So there.

Then I did the cliff top walk up to the highest point. My feet were dragging by now. I could only walk very slowly. But I got up and back, then had a cold shower at the public shower to wash the sand off, and back home. Nice.

So three achievements in one morning. Good going. Feel good. There’s only one drawback to going topless – no pockets. Keys tucked into bathers – ouch. Phone in one hand.

I forgot to mention: when I first arrived at the top of the steps, I saw a young guy far below coming up, carrying his mountain bike! Bloody hell, I have trouble just getting up landing by landing, but here he was, carrying that bike and stepping up as if it was nothing.

At the top, he stopped and spoke to me. I congratulated him on carrying the bike. Oh, it’s very light, he says. I said, have you been riding it on the sand? No, he says, he just took it down there for security, to keep it in his sight. Wha..? Why not use a bike chain?, I said. Nah, too easy to break, he says.  I think he’s buying the wrong cable lock.

_________________

Next thing has been cleaning up as my cuz Tom is coming tonight. He’s over here from QLD on a work trip. Wants to hear about Bali. I’m going to try to persuade him to come up there, but he’s constrained. I’ll work on him.

The cleanup has absolutely knackered me, so it’s nap time.

_________________

I took stills and video on my Sony phone this morning, but I cannot get them to transfer to the PC. I can’t even find them

Back on deck, I think

Lake Batur PJC

Lake Batur © PJ Croft 1983, 2016

I wish I could make these images clickable full size, but since Word Press changed their software before Xmas, they’re not clickable any more. I’ll have to get onto their forum to find out why.

_________________

I must be OK. I’ve been out to the shops from lunchtime until about 4pm. Still not much appetite, and feeling a bit queasy, but not too bad. The good thing is, weight loss is now 3.4Kg in four days. That’s not a sustainable rate of loss, but I hope I can avoid regaining it.

The thing is, I’m injecting Byetta, a diabetes drug, twice a day before food. Its effect is to prime the pancreas to produce insulin as soon as food is detected in the gut. That’s why it needs to be injected just before eating.

A side effect is appetite suppression. It’s a nauseated feeling, and food just don’t taste all that good. Beer in particular has become very bitter, and wonder of wonders, some nights I’m actually going without any alcohol at all. I just don’t want it. This is a very desirable state of affairs.

I’ve also switched to a new insulin type, Toujeo, which is a very slow release formula only needing one injection per day. Results are a bit hard to determine so far (after a week on it). Readings started out much the same as for Lantus, but the fevers and sickness of the past few days have bumped them up a bit, so I’ve temporarily increased the dose. I’ll go back to the recommended dose in a day or two.

I’m actually being provided with this drug (i.e. boxes of pens) by the GP rather than the chemist, as this is a trial by the makers, Sanofi, who are providing it free of charge. The trial runs for 6 months.

___________________

What is it with Perth divers? I rounded the Hester Avenue roundabout today, going south. There’s a merging lane on the left and I wasn’t aware of any car there. Next thing I get a blast of a horn from my left rear quarter, i.e. my left rear tail lights, by a white car. What??!! This car was merging, I was in front, why do I get a horn blast?

Contrast this with Bali where everyone bips their horn just to say, “I’m here”, but meaning nothing more. They don’t blast horns!

I’m sick of this.

_________________

Someone’s made a terrorism threat against Bali. A letter was posted in Buleleng making threats of bombs in Denpasar or Singaraja. Damn, this is going to make Bali tourism even worse.

Why Buleleng? That’s on the north coast. I’ve actually been there, although there was nothing much to see. The reason I went was to go to a nude resort, the only one in Bali. Unfortunately, there were only three of us there and the other two were a couple of gay guys. Oh well, we had some good talks. I spent three days there and apart from swimming, there’s nothing to do except be nude. ALL the time.

Included in the booking was that they send a minibus and driver over the mountain range to pick you up in Sanur or wherever and drive you up and over, via Kintamani, down the spectacular twisty road to the resort. Then when your booking is up, they drive you back again, via Kintamani. It’s worth it for this alone.

_IMG0502

_IMG0503

Nothing to see here, folks, except this glorious colour. This is the Pentax K-5, a beautiful 16Mp SLR camera which I’ve still got. Both shots © PJ Croft 2011,2016

I wish I could tell you of a very funny incident that took place while I was there, but it’s a bit personal and too much for this blog. Nothing to do with the gay guys.

Damn, I’ve got a head full of funny stories that I can’t tell.

__________________

Masters is going out of business: bugger. There’s a store about 1Km north of me, and I virtually always go there if I need something, from tools to electrical to casual furniture to fertilisers to garden plants to … They’ve got some really good tools.

According to the professor interviewed on the radio today, Woolworths called the project, when they started it, Project Oxygen. Why? Because their prime motivation was to “suck the oxygen” out of Wesfarmers/Bunnings revenue. Not to build a good hardware chain that was sustainable, just to do damage to Wesfarmers and Bunnings.

Result: failure. Gigantic, humiliating failure. Australian big business gets it wrong again. Pathetic incompetent management, and it’s the employees who suffer. These managers should lose their jobs too. Why should they get away with this?

Strange days

_1010311

Uuuurrrrgh. I’ve just come through two days of sickness unlike anything I’ve had before.

The weirdest day was Friday. I’d been to the shops feeling OK and got home feeling tired, as I often do. Being the 38C day, I turned the aircon on and, unusually, included the bedroom in its cooling. I lay down with the fan on as well to cool down.

I awoke about 3.30pm, I think, although my memory is very hazy from here on. I got up but I couldn’t stop shivering, strong, violent shaking.

The last thing I remember from that day is waking about 11pm on the bed, feeling very weak and desperate for a pee. I staggered to the loo, seriously in danger of falling. This went on about every 90 mins or so, I think.

How did I get on the bed without remembering it? I hadn’t eaten, I hadn’t watched TV, I hadn’t taken my pills, I hadn’t used my insulin pens. Total memory loss.

Saturday, I slept intermittently until about 9am, got up and showered feeling reasonably OK, although very wobbly. I was able to go out to the chemist and buy some lunch, but I mostly couldn’t eat it. No appetite and it tasted bad.

I was so weak that I went back to bed with the fan on, but no aircon. I awoke again feeling shivery, though not as bad, but nauseated! Dry retching. Luckily I had some anti-nausea pills so I took one. It took an hour but it helped.

Today, Sunday: again, no dinner, no appetite, too much nausea. I slept from about 9pm, I think, until I awoke suddenly at 4.24am feeling good. I had my energy again, and I wasn’t unsteady. Went back to sleep intermittently, got up at 9am, but not feeling great. I feel feverish and I’m trembling a bit.

So what’s happening? Intermittent fever, shakes, extreme fatigue. Malaria? There were mozzies in the rooms in Bali. They tell me there’s no malaria there, but … we’ll see what happens today.

The good news is that I’ve lost 2.9Kg in these two days.

_____________________

I was at the doctor’s on Friday to look at the ulcers and the good news is that they’ve completely healed. “Oh, Peter, you heal so quickly!” she said. I’ve always felt that despite all my complaints, I do seem to have a robust constitution. I never get the ‘flu and I almost never get a cold. Let’s hope this complaint fixes itself quickly.

____________________

So not much to write about in the past few days, sorry.