Gee it’s hot

australia-wa-coast-2012-04-04

Southern Western Australia, showing bushfires a couple of years ago.

Back home, after an easy flight on Wednesday. Straight out the exit at the airport, no searches these days, thank goodness. I must be an honest lookin’ guy, I s’pose.

The headline refers to the 37C temperature yesterday. I noticed the heat. I don’t worry too much about the temps in Perth. The house is well insulated, it has ducted air conditioning if needed, and being close to the ocean, we get sea breezes. So even though 37C is a lot higher than Bali at 30C, I find it much easier to tolerate here.

Not that Bali worries me much, though. A bit of sweat, but there’s nearly always a cool breeze.

I’m torn – I was thinking, I’m a bit tired of Bali when I was there, mainly the noise from the traffic, the motorbikes and constant horn beeps, and the strain of dealing with a foreign language, many times not being sure of understanding or making your wishes clear.

But now that I’m home, I’m torn. It’s good to be in my own home again, but hell, it’s so quiet and frankly, dull. And especially, being on my own is not so good. No matter how tricky it can be, it’s much better to be with someone. One thing I can say about the five trips I made last year (counting this last one straddling Xmas and New Year), there was hardly a dull moment. My new partner seems to live a busy life and knows a lot of people. And I won’t forget my drive from Singaraja to Legian on the Friday before New Year’s Eve in a hurry. That was a ripper. The traffic in Denpasar and Legian was bumper to bumper crawl, with Balinese drivers trying every trick to force their way in and through. It works, but it’s lucky it’s such low speed because we miss by centimetres. I was shaking when we finally parked.

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One thing I discovered on this trip is that my former favourite GPS device has been beaten into third place.

When I bought the Navman with the built in forward facing video recorder last year, I found its map display at least as good as the Tom Tom. Therefore it stayed in my car.

But the Tom Tom has Bali maps (SE Asia maps, a paid extra), so naturally I took it to Bali with me. But I found the maps are not up to date and lack a lot of detail. Sometimes they gave crazy directions.

My partner has an app called Wayze on her smart phone. I am impressed! I found it to be better than the Tom Tom and soon abandoned it in favour of her guidance. The voice directions seem more frequent and despite being in a strong American accent and making no attempt at doing correct pronunciation, are clear and precise.

In addition, I am sick to death with my cheap Sony phone. I bought it because I only wanted to make calls, I didn’t want “smartphone” Internet capability. But it’s too slow, it clearly lacks CPU power, and since a recent software update, it hangs and locks up. I’m sick of it.

So I think a new phone is in order, and this time I’ll choose a bigger, better one, capable of proper internet working, so that I can use apps like Wayze. I’m looking at reviews at the moment.

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Amazing coincidence number 127:  I’m reading a sci-fi novel at the moment (Light of Other Days, by Stephen Baxter and Arthur C. Clarke, published in 2000, before Clarke’s death). It’s about the Casimir effect, an attraction between sub-atomic particles.

Casimir Effect. Not a word you come across every day, yes?

Watching an ABC TV program the other night: in the credits, Head of Drama for ABC, Jon Casimir. You could have knocked me over with a neutrino.

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Speaking of Arthur C. Clarke, have you noticed how many authors are still writing and publishing books after their demise, their passing, their death?

Wilbur Smith, Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy to name a few. Quite a feat. Must have wi-fi in their coffins, I guess.

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I gained new neighbours before Christmas, and they own two dogs. These dogs bark! From dawn until dusk, there’s not a 20 second period when these dogs are not barking. As you know, I’m a dog person but this is driving me mad. The owners go out to work during the day so they don’t hear them. My neighbour on the other side, also a dog owner, is also upset, I believe.

I dread having to do it, but I’m going to have to complain, I think. There are ways to stop dogs barking, including a collar that emits an annoying high frequency tone that we can’t hear but the dog can. Or getting a dog trainer. But I’m getting upset.

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