Busy, busy

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Buddies or competitors? Busselton 2013  (C) PJ Croft 2016

Enjoyably busy. I’m having meet-ups with friends to tell them my big news and to show them my smiles. I guess I’ll calm down, but at the moment I’m buzzing.

I had coffee with my two regular friends yesterday, for our BSB, BullShit Breakfast, where we shoot the breeze about anything and everything. We’re all keen photographers and in theory we should be talking about that, but in fact we rarely do. We keep saying we should arrange a photo shoot day, but we’ve been saying it for years and never seem to do the next step. Oh well.

I’ve got to know one of the waitresses at the cafe very well and she was very happy for me when I told her of my new love. Thanks Denise. I hope to bring V along for you to meet.

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Bunker Bay?    (C) PJ croft 2016

I went to IKEA to look at a settee and found just what I wanted. I’m about to order it on-line for delivery, along with some more bookshelves and CD/DVD towers. It costs about $100 for a delivery, but the components of the settee weigh up to 40Kg and are 1.8m long, too much for me to handle. I hope I can get it before V arrives, but no matter.

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Once I reached IKEA, I reached for my walking stick, but it wasn’t there. Oh no, I’d left it in a trolley at Karrinyup shopping centre. I remembered where it was. These sticks have to be bought on-line and cost about $45, and I’ve lost two before, so … nothing for it but to go back and enquire.

Luckily it had been handed in and I got it back. Yay.  It’s crazy – I have to buy it by mail order (from a Perth company) because it has a U-shaped curved handle. For some reason, the chemist shops and hospital shops only stock T-shaped handles. When I’m shopping and reach for my wallet, I need two hands and need to put my stick away somewhere. With a U-shaped handle, I just hang it on my arm or on some other convenient object. But with a T-shaped handle, you can’t make it hang without sliding off.

I tried about six pharmacies and two hospital shops and none of them stocked U-shaped handles. It’s crazy. Why won’t they stock them? I made my views known, but had to order on-line in the end. I bought two, one for in the car and one for in the house.

This was a notable transaction for another reason: I paid for the sticks on-line when I ordered them. Deal done.

But a few weeks later I got a paper letter with an invoice from a firm that I didn’t recognise and a strange item code. At first I thought it was a pathology fee and nearly paid it. But eventually I realised it was an invoice for my two walking sticks. They’d tried to make me pay again! I phoned them and said I’d already paid. “Oh. I’ll pass this on to accounts and they’ll phone you back.” Did they? Pigs might fly they did. Nice try, people. Grrr.

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Reading about the terrible revelations of the tax evasion scandal with the Panamanian law firm, I found this in an editorial in today’s Guardian:

“The sense [is] that normal rules do not apply to the global elite. In a new gilded age, taxes would – once again – appear to be for the little people.

“That impression would be poisonous at any time, but it could be especially dangerous in the politics of this particular hour. The response to the financial crisis has been a constant: with a continual demand for regular citizens to make sacrifices in the name of austerity. But the understanding of what had gone wrong in the first place has steadily shifted. Initially, there was almost no understanding at all: baffling news reports about credit default swaps suggested only sorcery going wrong.

Slowly but surely, however, the world has learned that the banks that busted the global economy were also consumed with old-fashioned skulduggery: rigging rates, ripping off customers, and laundering Mexican drug money.”

Note that – banks engaging in old fashioned skullduggery. Banks have been at the centre of all these financial scandals. They are outright crooks, dishonest, law breakers. That includes Australian banks!!!!! Not all of them, but definitely the big four, led by the Commonwealth Bank, which used to be the peoples’ bank when it was government owned. But once it was privatised, the fraudulent behaviour charges just keep on coming.

Each of the other banks, ANZ, NAB and Westpac has been revealed as crooked at various times. This is atrocious!!!!

It’s very clear that dishonesty and fraudulent behaviour is rife throughout the upper levels of the financial world and among wealthy people. Paying tax is optional. Paying tax is for the little people, that is, you and me. In February 2011 I was told by someone who considers himself a finance whiz-kid, “I paid no tax last year. Everything went through the [family] trust.” This sickens me. I didn’t say anything but I am angry!

And “the little people”, you and me, are constantly being told we have to tighten our belts, accept more cost cutting, accept reduced services, pay more for electricity, water and gas and so on.

While all the time, the wealthy people and the big companies are paying little or no tax and increasing their wealth at incredible rates. So much, that the top 20 wealthiest people in the world have about half of the total world’s wealth. Just twenty people own half of the world’s total wealth!!!

This is an outrage and I think the time has come for action. I mean ACTION. I mean physical action. I mean action that will scare the shit out of these crooks. Read into my words what you will. I have a crow bar. I have a pick-axe handle… This is radical, but nothing else works.

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Bunker Bay  2013    (C) PJ Croft 2016

Heeeey, I cracked the 120Kg barrier this morning, 119.8Kg. All done by reduced food intake, and especially reduced alcohol consumption. Slow and steady weight loss, 10Kg in the past 12 months. In May 2012 I was 142Kg, so that’s a 22Kg loss in about three four years.

And another cold shower this morning. I started my cold water regimen on 1 November last year, and normally I’d go back to hot showers about now. But I can still take it cold, so I wonder if I can make it to 31 April, six months of the year? Sure I can!

Correction! Er, 31 April? I’ll never make that. How about 30 April. Duh.

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