Good news, bad news

Phuket temple

Phuket, 1984  © PJ Croft 2019

I thought I’d had a stroke of luck yesterday. I found a backup of my D:\Images drive from 2009! By installing a 30 day evaluation copy of Acronis True Image, the software I owned and used back then, I was able to open and restore the backed up folder. Hallelujah. That was the good news.

The thing is, when I moved here in 2013 I had all my images on a striped pair of disks (RAID-0). It meant that the disks had to be kept together and run as a pair. But in all the confusion of reassembling my computer after the move, somehow I got them separated and mixed up, so it meant I lost everything. Baaaawww.

Luckily I had backed almost everything up to CD-ROMs, so I was able to laboriously restore things. Almost. I hadn’t kept everything up to date, but that’s what I had to go on with.

But here’s a second chance, I thought. Everything backed up in 2009. Wow! What nuggets of gold am I going to find?

Well, after many, many hours yesterday comparing folders, at least 120, more if you count sub-folders, I only found a few extra images and nothing startling. That was the bad news.

I actually have 52,229 images of various kinds, making up 600GB on my current images drive. Not all of them are my photos; I keep several folders of interesting images I find on the web and especially on photography web sites, but most of them are mine or Dad’s photos. I have a huge archive of Croft family photos. It’s a great pity no-one shows any interest in seeing them or keeping them safe. When I die….

Dad never threw letters away and at one stage, when I had access to them, I scanned more than 55 to digital form, and I still have them. But a family member took it on herself to donate the physical letters to the Battye Library before I could finish, so they are lost to us now. Didn’t ask my permission, didn’t tell me, just gave them away. Total arrogance! And then she forgot she’d given them away, and asked me to return them, but I didn’t have them and didn’t know they where they’d gone to! Craziness. It put me under huge stress at a very bad time. I bitterly, bitterly resent it.


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Bangkok 1988  © PJ Croft 2019. This is film, Kodachrome 64 I think, scanned at 4000dpi. It is sharp!

Thank goodness for the web! I’m finding that all my questions about my cars are answered either in forums or on YouTube.

I’m swapping radios between cars at the moment prior to selling the Magna, and there are demos on YouTube about how to remove and reinstall. Not that it’s all that hard, but the Honda looks a little tricky at first. It should be easy enough, according to the demos.

I want, actually, need a reversing camera for the MDX and was not sure how to install one. I don’t relish trying to thread a cable from the tailgate through the internal wiring channels of the car, but it looks as if a wi-fi wireless camera should do the trick. I bought a well priced Pioneer LCD head unit a couple of weeks ago, which has a camera input. Another job to do.

The cruise control has stopped working too, and that’s talked about quite a lot in the forums. It seems there is a fuse, but there’s also a cable which runs near the battery negative line. Apparently it gets dislodged. I was removing the negative cable a couple of weeks ago, so maybe that’s it. Another reason can be the brake light switch under the brake pedal, and I’ve got a new one on order. I hope it might explain the VSA light being on all the time too. It’ll be a bugger to fit, working in the footwell, but it has to be done.

I’ve also found a small classified ad for a brake repair place in Joondalup who will do new pads for front or back for $109. “Give the little guy a go”, they say. I think I will with the Verada. That’s the most urgent job, and once that’s done I’ll be able to drive it regularly. Maggie has to go, but I have the dilemma of the oil leaks and the cost of fixing them. Almost more than the car is worth. What to do? I would give the car away to someone who needs it.


7 former PMs

Seven living former PMs. Four of them are Labor, and they are the best ones, the ones who got things done. The three Liberals did nothing while in office except show their racism.

I was flamed on Facebook for my sour comments about the dirty cheating Liberal win on May 18. Some former work colleagues said they took offence at my comments about them not caring about so many things. I didn’t reply. A guy I worked with at TVW7 and used to respect has popped up now and suggested I’m a hypocrite (he didn’t use that word, I’m not sure he knows it) for driving and flying.

Well Jim, I do have solar power, and if I could sail to Bali I’d do it, but there is no choice. If I could walk or ride a pushbike everywhere, I would, but distances are too great in Perth and there is no alternative.

But at least I’m trying to do something, however little it is, not just sitting on the sidelines making snide comments and voting for a corrupt, incompetent government which embraces climate science deniers. If you voted for them, didn’t vote Labor, you’ve branded yourself as being in the Liberal image of incompetent, corrupt fools with little ability or knowledge. I thought better of you Jim. I was mistaken. And I’m embarrassed and ashamed that Australia, my country, is so far down the world table in action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In fact we’re not reducing them at all, we’re increasing emissions! Shameful. Do you care, Jim? It seems not.


I’m torn. I find the winter cold a bit hard to take these days. It’s not that bad, not by a long shot (I still wear my shorts and sandals), but my fingers are a bit stiffer and I find it hard to get moving and doing things.

I could be in Bali. I could be warm every day, swimming, walking to the beach.

But I have a daunting list of interesting, highly satisfying jobs to do here and when I’m in Bali, when I’m not in the pool I’m just reading, eating and drinking, doing Facebook and wishing I were back here. I’m torn. I don’t know what I want more.


A few months ago I bought this HP wireless flat keyboard, like a Mac one, and it comes with a tiny USB wi-fi ‘dongle’ to communicate. That sits in the row of five USB sockets at the top of my PC. For a long time it worked fine.

But last week I plugged a new 256GB thumb drive into a socket near the dongle and since then I’ve had all kinds of trouble with this keyboard. Slow operation, delays, extra characters added, lots of weirdness. It took me a while to realise it’s the thumb drive causing it. I have to remove it when I want to do serious typing, like now. I’ve also found just having a USB cable plugged in near the wi-fi dongle but just dangling with nothing connected also upsets the keyboard. Hmmm. I’ll try moving the dongle around to the rear of the PC.

I had more to write but my brain is a bit cold.



Back to “winter”

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I’m home since Sunday to glorious winter weather, warm sun and almost no wind for the past few days, but no rain either. Now, Thursday, it looks hopeful that we will get rain tonight. To my readers outside WA, it might seem strange to be wishing for rain, but May was the driest on record in SW WA since records began in 1900. We’re in drought, and the farmers are dry seeding in the hope of rain still to come. Highly variable climate these days.

Bali of course was beautiful weather for the whole month. Almost no rain, sunny 30deg days every day. Low humidity at this time of year. Boring. 🙂


Satay mass production, Sanur night market  © PJ Croft 2019


Semawang Beach  © PJ Croft 2019


In Chili’s, aka The Beach House  © PJ Croft 2019


The flight home was uneventful but I admit my body shape makes for an uncomfortable journey on these cattle class planes designed for small Asian frames. Three and a half hours is about all I can stand these days. I’d go Garuda if only they didn’t leave so early in the morning. I can’t ask my friends to pick me up here at 4.30am for a 7.30am departure. Luckily I have a great friend who drives me there and collects me, but I choose my flight times to suit him, after work or on the weekends.

The size of Aussies! Watching them file onto the plane you realise just how big and fat we’ve all become. It’s rare now to see someone normally shaped and of normal weight. Women especially.

I was highly embarrassed by two Aussie blokes in Ace Hardware in Galeria, Kuta. They were dressed like Hell’s Angels-meet-Beachcombers-meet-Dracula, torn, dirty, daggy shorts hanging down showing bum cracks, straggly beards and one guy was drinking a can of beer at the checkouts! This would be illegal here, and I’m sure it is in Bali too, as well as being offensive. I wish I could have said something but they looked mean and I’m a coward.


I’m also finding Bali has become expensive. It depends where you eat, of course, but it was my habit to have lunch of a club sandwich and lime juice at a bar a few doors away from our hotel.  The bill came to Rp100,000 or the equivalent of A$10. Add a coffee and it was nearly $15. This is nearly Perth price, and this was no fancy place, just a sports bar showing footy and playing loud music at night.

In the shopping centres it’s the same or more expensive, at the chain cafes. An average meal of one dish and a juice comes to around $9-10. An ice cream is $5-7. Coffee is $3.50 on average.

To eat out at our favourite beach restaurant, the one we call Chili’s, cost on average $100 for the two of us, admittedly for two courses and a shared dessert crepe, and including happy hour cocktails (3 for $15) and a bottle of wine. We choose to spend this, we could eat more cheaply, but not by much. If we did without the wine…

Anyway, expect prices up near Perth levels these days if you stay and eat in Sanur or any of the other “nice” areas. It’s getting to be a bit much for me.

Another example: I bought a floor standing fan, the cheapest type, that I’ve bought here for $12 at times, maybe $16 at most in BigW. In Ace Hardware Kuta, the lowest priced fan of this type was $31. They were at pains to test it for us first, and to explain the two year warranty.


Sanur  © PJ Croft 2019

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Feel like some triple sex? Order a margarita. And under Irish Cocktails (plural) just one, Irish Coffee. Oh, and a Deli Quiri anyone? I think they mean Daiquiri.


I’ve got a luvverly bunch o’ coconuts, all standing in a row.  Ten for $10 delivered.


Notice the escalator? It finishes about 1.2m above the ground floor. You go down a ramp from there. It looks like either someone stuffed up the order, or they got a used one. The up escalator is fine all the way from the ground floor to the upper floor. That’s Bali.


Unfortunately the Bali taxi drivers continue to bemoan the lack of business, not enough tourists they say. Maybe the prices have something to do with it, but I fear the rest of the world is tightening its belt. People are thinking the overseas holiday is no longer affordable, and it’s true. The boom is bust and Bali needs to realise it.

Actually taxis are about the one thing which is still cheap.  Flagfall is Rp7000 or about 70c and most trips come to $5-7. There’s a minimum charge of $3 in Sanur as most places are pretty close.


The volcano continues to rumble and smoke, and they say it erupts on average every 5.6 days. That’s  a good thing, I think, because it relieves the pressure. The airport closed briefly on one day, but it didn’t cause much trouble.



A beautiful full moon at the beginning of May.

It’s getting darker outside and a few drops of rain are falling, so let’s hope the heavens open soon. Time for my nap.

Update Friday: yes, it rained steadily from about 5pm yesterday, and it was heavy at times. There’s a lot more to come, we’re told. Yay.