Bangkok 1988 © PJ Croft 2017
What word? Moana. What is going on? A few months ago I wrote of the strange coincidence of three very similar words appearing withing a couple of weeks: Moama, Moana and Momoa. The first is the name of the NSW town where a woman tragically drowned her son; the second is the surname of the Australian representative in this year’s Eurovision song contest; and the third is the title of a Disney movie. I might have them a bit mixed up, sorry.
Then last week, a guy’s name appeared in the West Australian newspaper, someone named Moana. Then in yesterday’s West, there’s a story about a building in Perth called Moana Chambers. It doesn’t seem to be related to the previous story.
Five times! Five times in five months. I’ve never heard this name in my 70 years of life before, but now it keeps appearing. Sure, it’s not exactly the same, but …. this is weird.
I’ve just had to top up my internet data quota again. I’ve used my whole 20GB monthly allowance in six days! That’s the six days since I got back on Sunday 2 July, to yesterday, the 8th. What is going on? Five years ago I didn’t even go close to using 20GB in a month.
It doesn’t matter much, since I should have the fibre connection and 250GB per month within a week or two. But I’m finding that data is downloading at night even when I’m not using my computers. Why? How?
I must admit – computers, plural. I have a desktop and two laptops which are always on, even though they’re “Asleep”. Clearly, they are not fully asleep. This is spooky.
Sony VAIO Blu-Ray laptop
Actually, now I have another (third) laptop. About a year ago I sold my Sony VAIO laptop, which I bought in 2010, to a friend. It was top-of-the-line then, carbon-fibre case, 8GB RAM, Centrino processor and most importantly to me, a Blu-Ray drive that not only plays, but records Blu-Ray discs. Did I ever use it to record? Well, er, not actually, but I might want to 😉
It’s beautifully small and light (1.5Kg, hmmm, feels less) and it means I can watch movies in my hotel rooms without carrying a separate DVD drive, and record backups to CDs and DVDs on the move.
Anyway, I knew my friend wasn’t using it much as he’s not a computer nut and has another larger laptop (he said, to be honest, he hadn’t even used the VAIO), so yesterday I bought it back from him for what he paid me for it ($400). I missed it, and it’s valuable to me.
So, now I have two desktop Core i7 PCs (I built one in 2009); plus a Dell XPS15 15″ Core i7 laptop with 4K display touch-screen; plus an ASUS tablet PC running Windows 10 with detachable keyboard and touch-screen with stylus; plus another Samsung tablet PC, also Win10 touch-screen that I’m selling; plus the Sony VAIO 11″; and a Samsung 10″ tablet running Android. That’s seven PCs. Am I a nut case? Or a computer case.
Actually, the Samsung tablet PC that I’m selling is a basket case at the moment. I was trying to remove myself as a User prior to passing it over to my other friend (I do have more than one … ) when the computer seemed to do a convulsion and hung, and now it won’t boot properly. It gets to the desktop, but with limited functions (no This PC shown, for example) and won’t do anything.
OK, go back to the emergency partition and reload the O/S. Nope, no way to get there. No reset button that I can find. No way to reach the BIOS. Samsung Help is no bloody help at all because it assumes you can reach the desktop with functionality. I’m going to have to put it back to Samsung and ask them to do it, which will cost me, because it’s just out of warranty. Not happy with Samsung.
Tower of London with Roman Wall © PJ Croft 2017
I’m wrestling with myself – do I do this last-gasp trip to England to see Croft Castle in September, or do I let it go another year in the hope that I’ll feel fitter and more energetic next year? Hah! I think the answer’s self evident.
But there’s something wrong with my left eye – it’s constantly smeary, as if my glasses are smeared, but they’re not. And my left leg is a mess with swelling due to the “veinous insufficiency” and intermittent ulceration. And my right hip is becoming sore, burning pain at times. We know what that means, don’t we?
I have a referral to the Lions Eye Institute where I’m hoping they will diagnose a cataract or two and fix it, but I know that will involve waiting weeks or months for an appointment, and I need to go on this trip in September. Why? Because it’ll get too cold later. September and October were absolutely ideal in ’08, with warm sun and long evenings. Shorts and T shirt weather.
I wasn’t injecting insulin or Byetta in 2008 either. It’s not a big deal, but I would have to buy more while I was away and it costs quite a bit without Medicare.
I think the answer is clear: do it! Do it now! Next year will be too late. I’m nervous about it, because I know it will be strenuous and I’m much less fit for it than I was in 2008, but that was such a great trip that I want to reproduce it. I guess if it proves too hard, I could turn around at some stage, but that’s being defeatist.
Time to start adding up costs. I still have my spreadsheet from 2008 where I logged every cent I spent, so I know what to expect. The total then was about $15,000, but I wouldn’t do as much this time so I’ll aim for much less.
By the way, I was in London, in the vicinity of The City, on the day when Lehmann Bros collapsed in September 2008 and the GFC began. I wonder what I could precipitate this time. With The Dump in power and Kimmy Boy playing with his nukes, anything could happen.