It’s tiring being retired


Another beautiful autumn day. Will we ever get any rain?

Busy day today – brekky with my photo-dog mates at North Beach Deli at 9.30am. Much bullshit exchanged; that’s why we call ’em BSBs, Bullshit Breakfasts.

As we were slowly leaving, a woman stopped near us and said she’d overheard us in the cafe talking about the lack of rain. We exchanged a few remarks about that, and then she said, “Are you interested in spiritual things?” We said no, not really.  Privately I thought, “Uh oh.” Sure enough she said, “Have you thought about the power of prayer?” I assume she meant to pray for rain. We started to move away but she kept on, telling us that God could help us, or similar. Hmm, hmm, hmm. Bye madam.

Then over to Osborne Park to collect a pair of computer speakers I’d ordered on-line. I’m looking forward to hearing them, they are solid wood cabinets, built-in 20W amps and decent speakers. I shall report.

Then to IKEA, where I bought two cheap inexpensive trolleys, one to carry a printer on top and all its paper supplies below, gloss white timber – nice – $75. The other a white steel frame with wire baskets below, probably to take a scanner – $49.  Damn, I try not to bring things into this house, to avoid clutter, but I fail.

The white timber one was in a long carton weighing 18kg. I found it pretty heavy and an IKEA guy put it on the trolley for me to take through the checkout.

Out on the forecourt when I was ready to load it into the car, I wasn’t looking forward to lifting it off the bottom of the trolley. Blow me down, a woman, probably in her 50s, greying hair, small to medium build, came up and said, “Would you like some help with that?” I was quite surprised and said, “Yes, but there must be an IKEA guy to do it.”
“No problem”, she said, and proceeded to lift it from low down, holding the short width and lifting it easily into my car. I thanked her profusely and said, “Gee, I’m embarrassed now”, but she just took my trolley and wheeled it away.

I was embarrassed. Do I look so helpless these days? I’m quite prepared to get help from a younger, fitter guy, but a greying little old lady? Lawdy lawdy.

Then lunch at the shops and home. Phew, I’m tired now.


While at the shops, I browsed JB HiFi and bought a two DVD set called The Back of Beyond. Why? This is the original movie from 1954 that I saw at the slide-ins at Cunderdin in 1955 when I was 8 years old, and it scared the shit out of me. I can still recall the feeling of awful desolation at seeing a few Aboriginal kids lost in the outback, trying to find their way, walking, to some town. It instilled a lifelong apprehension in me at wide open spaces, a fear of being lost. It’s not a serious fear, but the memory is still there.

The second DVD is Return to The Back of Beyond. I haven’t seen that one.

Another frightening movie I saw when I was very young was When Two Worlds Collide, around 1953 when I was six. Uncle Max took me to the slide-ins at Bruce Rock and then brought me home, back to the farm house. I had nightmares for some time after that. I’ve seen it since (I might have it on a hard disk, I think), and it’s pretty tame, but to a six year old it wasn’t.


Coincidence again?  This morning in the bathroom the name Thandie suddenly came into my mind. Odd, I thought, vaguely familiar?

While reading the paper at lunch, bingo: Thandie Newton is the star of some film. Precognition again.


I’ve taken notice of the time of sunset in the past few days, as winter slowly approaches, so the time was in my mind as I was driving the other day. Bingo again, right on 5.34pm, the time of sunset for that day, my GPS display switched from day to night colours. So how does it know? There must be some trigger in the satellite data stream, I guess.

Which reminds me, I’m pretty sure I heard a radio report that recently the accuracy of the GPS signal in Australia has been increased to +/-4cm.  !!!!  That would be the military accuracy, I assume. When we first got access about 20 years ago, we only got the “degraded” +/-10m accuracy, I seem to remember.  That was the US not wanting to give their enemies access to the same accuracy that their own armed services got.

But Europe and Russia both have their own GPS systems up now, so it hardly matters any more.


Holy Smoke


Driving home yesterday, I found the air full of smoke and beautifully pink and purple, so I headed straight for Jindalee beach where I got these shots.



They were taken with my phone camera (OnePlus 3T) and I confess the purple coloured ones were taken with my Polaroid sunglasses held over the lens. It’s approximately the way I saw it. It looks good, anyway.


This is the spot where the crow took off with our bocce marker ball, and there’s a sequel to that. We tried to find another wooden ball, 30mm in diameter without luck. But my friend found a package of four soap balls, all about 30mm in size. Aha. I haven’t tried them yet, but I think a crow might find the smell and taste unattractive.


Netflix – I’m a fan. I’ve discovered a new show on Netflix – Occupation. It’s made in Norway, is set in the near future and proposes that the USA is self sufficient in oil and gas, so doesn’t care about anyone else (yeah), the middle east has run dry, and Norway has developed a thorium reactor capable of supplying electricity to the whole of Europe as well as itself. Therefore it shuts down its North Sea oil rigs completely, unilaterally, in the interests of climate change.

Unfortunately, Russia in particular objects, and subtly invades Norway to force them to restart the oil rigs and supply Russia. The EU refuses to back Norway as they are nowhere near free of dependence on oil. Stay tuned for the next exciting episode.

The thing is, the Russian takeover is not a visible military invasion, it’s low key, with hardly a soldier to be seen. Except that Spetznaz troops are on the oil rigs, ready to force the restart. And so on.  It’s in Norwegian, with subtitles, but that’s fine.

And on SBS, a new series called Bad Banks, made in Germany with subtitles too but with many breaks into English. I’ve only seen the first episode but it looks great.


This is crazy. I have at least a thousand CDs; about 400 DVDs and BluRays with more being added almost weekly; probably 50 programs stored on my HD recorder, with more being added nightly; probably 250 books (?) with more always being added; about 50 magazines queued up to be read intensively, and good TV programs to watch nightly.

As well, I now have internet radio with literally hundreds, if not thousands, of radio feeds from all over the world.

Talk about information overload! I can’t read all my books in the 30 mins I allocate each night before lights out. I skim my magazines and put them aside to be studied later. I store TV programs and delete many of them if I haven’t watched them after a couple of weeks. An embarrassment of riches.  And I don’t use Facebook or Twitter!


I was listening to the US TV journalist Katy Tur being interviewed in Sydney on the radio today. She’s the female journo that Trump fixated on as the one to hate, and she’s written a book about it (which I’ve bought).

She was saying that at Trump’s large political meetings, the journos were barricaded behind bike racks, and she said, “I don’t know, do you have bike racks in this country?”

What an insufferable, condescending insult. Typical American, anywhere that’s not the USA is a foreign country and probably backward.  I would have been unable to stop myself sneering.