Mangroves, Qld. © PJ Croft 2016
I’m heading back to Bali in early August and I’m realising I have quite a few preparations to make. Suddenly, things are seeming urgent.
I’ve decided it’s time I bought a new CPAP machine after eight years with my S6 (Series 6) Autoset. It failed in a big way in 2013, needing a new motor after water from the humidifier got into it. The new motor and fitting cost $300! Resmed charge what they feel they can get away with, not the real cost. Example: the elastic head strap with four plastic clips – $65! It’s just cloth covered neoprene rubber, the same material used in thousands of cheap products, nothing special. $65.
The mask: moulded plastic, no different to kitchen implements or any other toys or small appliances – $250! It’s legal robbery, from elderly retired people, usually (that’s when sleep apnea becomes a problem) who can least afford it. Just because it has a medical application, they charge hospital prices. Robbers!
As well, I’ve said this before: the cost of machines in the USA is half what we have to pay! Why? Because the competition is stronger in the US, I assume, whereas Resmed can charge what they like here. The US price for an S10 machine is A$978.51. Price here? A$2,090.
Postscript: I’ve had a closer look at the supplier’s web site, and the rebate on a $2,000 machine is only $720. OUCH!
The Transcend tiny portable machine is available for $899, but it’s fixed pressure. You also have to add the price of the humidifier $300, and a $50 base station, taking the cost to way over $1,000. That might be an option. It can run on a battery or car 12V adapter (substantial extra cost, of course), so for travel in the car it would allow overnight stops on the Nullarbor.
They offer trial periods. Try a machine before you buy. Good idea, yes? The cost – $350!! Incredible.
I also have to look for “candle bags” and party supplies. Big party being planned in Bali. Yum. I’d never heard of candle bags before. Now I know. It seems to me that, given the free time, I could make my own for almost no cost. 🙂
IKEA. I added reinforcement and wheels at the bottom so I can move it around.
Nearly finished a long desired project, assembling a chest of drawers in my bedroom. My walk-in robe is a mess of piled up clothes on small shelving, such that I really don’t know what I’ve got. The clothes on the bottom of the stacks never get used. It’s crazy. I tend to buy new clothes (small stuff! Underwear and cheap T-shirts) without knowing what I’ve got already.
Another urgent task – I’ve volunteered to take about 225 images of a funeral ceremony at Besakih in Bali in March and turn them into a DVD slide show, and the same images as a printed book using Photobook software. The slide show DVD can be done anywhere, but the book needs to be completed in the next week if it’s to be delivered before I go. Hurry, hurry. I could just pour the images onto the pages in a quickie job, but I need to do a good job. That takes time and meticulous work.
What a boon Photobooks are for me. All my life I had no way to show my pictures except in old type slide shows that no-one liked, with their horrible eye jerking blackouts between slides and focus problems.
But people will look at books, and they can be made quite attractive. It takes me at least a month to make a book, usually longer, as I add text and captions. But wow! The results are worth it. The printing and binding is excellent. No complaints. It’s done in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and posted back to me. All done, from sending the files over the ‘net to delivery, in about six days.
I’ve been criticised for wearing shorts to restaurants.
I think this guy didn’t like the food at this restaurant 😉
This is Fukushima. See, even in Japan they wear shorts. 🙂
I’ve been sort of dragged into using Facebook. Oh, what a time waster! It’s amazingly addictive, but I find I’m spending an hour or more at a time, and having to make a conscious decision to stop. But later I have to check back. It’s compulsive.
I’m going to have to draw a line and stop using it. It serves no purpose for me and I have much better things to do on the computer.
One good thing: for some years I’ve been a reader of the Economist magazine. But it’s a weekly and at $11, it’s quite an expense. Coles supermarkets used to sell it, but they seem to have dropped it. Strangely, my local newsagent doesn’t sell it, but they do sell New Philosopher. I’ve never read that, and I’m sure I’d like it, but there’s a limit.
Anyway, I’ve finally taken out a digital subscription. I’ve always felt that paper magazines are the past and a waste of trees, but I’m finding there are other advantages.
I now read the Economist on my Samsung 11″ tablet and I’m very, very pleased, surprisingly so. It’s better than reading the paper magazine. The text is bigger and I can make it bigger still. The resolution of this screen, at about 250dpi, is so fine that you cannot see the pixels, and photos look magnificent, better than on the printed page. I’m finding the readability is better than the paper version. I can turn the brightness up if I need to, and enlarge the text a little or a lot as needed with a touch of two fingers.
As well, the cost is much lower. It averages $6.77 per issue, versus $11, and it’s available as soon as it’s published. I get it immediately, without having to go to the shops. Also, all the previous issues are right there, so I can go back to things I missed. I’m a fan!
I think I might subscribe to a couple more magazines. I tend to end up with piles of magazines that seem too good to throw into the bin. I try to donate them to my medical centre and anywhere else I can such as the barber’s, but it’s a lot of trouble.
A new self pic, taken on 6 June in Bali. I like it very much. I’ll have to remove that iced coffee, though. That’s the Samsung tablet on the table. Notice my halo?