Times have changed


Poor thing. Koala in SA floods. From ABC News web site.

Amazing. It’s 4.35pm on Saturday afternoon, and my mobile phone rings. It’s Spec Savers at Clarkson. My new glasses are ready for collection. Would I like to make an appointment to collect them. An appointment?

I say, are you open tomorrow, not really expecting them to be open on a Sunday. Yes they are, what time would I like? Oh, surprise me, I say. She sucks her pen for a long time and finally says “Ten to two pm, would that be OK?” Checking my diary, I say “Oh gee, I guess so.”

My point being, making an appointment to collect some goods I’ve ordered for a Sunday afternoon. Amazing. Perth used to just shut down at 12.30pm on Saturday, didn’t it? The street lights used to go off at 1.20am every morning. Banks used to close at 3pm every day. We had to drive to the airport if we ran low on fuel outside business hours. Amazing.

Not knockin’ it, mind.



Darling Harbour, 2000 Olympics. © PJ Croft 2016

It’s 4.45pm on Saturday afternoon, 1 October, second month of spring and it’s still blowing a gale, raining intermittently, and I’m cold. The forecast is for three more days of this, at least. This is very strange weather. I still say it’ll switch soon, quite suddenly, to warmer weather, I just wish it’d hurry up. I’m going to a 70th birthday party next Saturday and the dress code is “nautical flair”. I think I’ll be wearing my pea jacket and gloves.


Don’t buy a cheap Sony phone! Mine is an Experia M2, I think, (you won’t find the model name anywhere on the phone). It cost about $250 so it’s not exactly cheap. But it’s crap!

It’s as slow as a wet week, can’t keep up with what’s going on, locks up so hard that you can’t even turn it off, reboots itself and changes its setting by itself. Not happy, Clive.


Similarly, my Navman GPS has started locking up while I’m driving. The route display won’t update, although the voice instructions are happily talking to me and keeping up.

But I can’t even turn it off and on again. It’s locked so hard that the power button actually operates about 5 mins after I’ve pressed it. There’s a recessed reset button, but you need a paper clip to operate it! This is crap.

This only seems to have started after I did the latest system software update a few weeks ago. Grrrr.


Also, HP have started incorporating small ICs (chips, to you) in their printer ink cartridges. If you buy non-genuine ones, it refuses to work. Lesson? DON’T BUY AN HP PRINTER.

Which reminds me, about five years ago the HP B9180 printer was supposed to be the duck’s nuts for a photo printer. The reviews were glowing. Marvellous. I nearly bought one. I think Mike Johnston of The On-line Photographer http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/blog_index.html did buy one. I think he actually returned his for exchange, but the new one was just as bad.

Then the fault reports started popping up on the web forums. Mechanical faults, paper feed faults, ink cartridge faults. HP kept up with it for a couple of years, then dropped the printer from their range and effectively ceased support. Lucky I didn’t buy one!

Hewlett Packard used to be one of the best electronics companies in the world. They were revered for their test equipment in electronics engineering. Top shelf.

Then a woman was appointed CEO and decided to change them to being a computer company. The test equipment division was sold off and became Agilent, and now it’s changed its name again to be Keysight. Confusing. I don’t know what their quality id like any more, because they have little visibility.

Likewise, HP printers used to be top wozza. No more. Not even mid shelf. HP computers? Just another brand, nothing special. How tragic.



© PJ Croft 2016

Well, I’m complaining about the cold, wet weather, but this and South Australia’s storms and floods are just a consequence of the changing wind patterns around the world due to climate change. Make no mistake, this is global warming in action. It’s happening now, it’s not some airy danger in the future.

A report today says that after the Paris talks last year where governments agreed to take action to limit the global rise to 1.5C by 2030, almost nothing is being done. In fact, we are already on target to go above 1.5C by 2020, and the rise is now unstoppable.

Australia, of course, is doing almost nothing to mitigate atmospheric emissions of CO2. The Lord Rabbott and his ultra-conservative buddies in the Liberal Party have stymied all our efforts, little as they were, and Turnbull is caving in to them as well. Witness his attempts to shift blame for the SA power crisis (the bloody wind blew the pylons down!) to some kind of consequence of renewable energy.

Whaaat? This is just plain craziness. So much for Turnbull’s green credentials. He’s captive to the hard right and so he abandons his own principles.

It’s too late. This is how the world ends. Global warming is now unstoppable. Kiss your arse goodbye.

I used to be an optimist. I’m not any more.