Ear, ear!

Kyoto 1992. © P J Croft 2020

Busy day today. First job was two new tyres for the Honda MDX. I had that blowout/tyre shredding incident on the left rear a couple of weeks ago and today I finally got my act together and had a mobile tyre guy come out and do the job for me.

You have to buy two tyres for him to come to your home, but I needed two so that was good. Both fronts are now new and the left rear is the best of the rest, with the least good as the spare. $127 each for 235/65 R17.

Crumbs, I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with that spare. It’s suspended underneath the back on a wire rope and you have to get down on the ground to deal with the centre boss. Too hard for me these days.

I’m glad that’s done as I can sell with a clear conscience now.

Ahem! My face is RED! I’ve been saying since June last year that the cruise control on this Honda isn’t working. It was, but it stopped working after I recharged a severely flat battery. The battery was disconnected for a while while I did it. There’s a fuse for the cruise control and I thought that might have been it, but it tested OK. I thought I might have the wrong fuse, but it was too hard and I put it aside.

Duh! Duh! On the MX-6, you have to push a switch on the dash to allow the cruise control to work on the steering wheel. Could it be…? Yes, there it is, a switch on the MDX dash, hidden from view by the steering wheel. Push it on and suddenly the cruise control works again. Bloody ‘ell, sometimes I feel very stupid.

I took the opportunity to wash the mag wheels and tyres and it looks very good now. Just three small jobs to get it ready for sale.

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Next was an appointment at an audiology clinic, owned and run by an old school friend and her son. I shouldn’t say “old” school friend, we’re the same age, after all. Friend from high school days.

I’ve been noticing marked loss of HF response in my right ear for a couple of years, and recently a “bone conduction” feeling and rattles when I change my head attitude. Something in the Eustachian tubes. Same as when you can’t clear your ear after a plane flight.

After a thorough test, yes, marked loss of high frequencies and lower sensitivity than the left, and redness of the ear drum. “You need to see an ENT specialist, mate.” OK, so that’s to come.

Then we had a coffee and a long chat in the coffee shop next door. We’ve known each other for 56 years now. Urk.

Funny, when I filled out the information form when I arrived, one of the questions was, “Do you now or have you ever smoked?” Yes/No.

How do you answer that? I had to circle both Yes and No. Yes, I used to smoke, No I don’t smoke now.

When I commented on it saying it was ambiguous, they said they’d never had anyone comment on it before. Huh?

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Holy smoke, I’ve just had a call on my landline from an 02 number, which I ignored because they are always scam callers.

Then my mobile rang, also with an 02 number. This time I thought I’d better answer and sure enough, it was a guy asking if it is me, with an Indian accent, and saying he wanted to talk to me about some computer scheme. I don’t mind admitting, I shouted at him, “FUCK OFF, YOU INDIAN CRIMINAL! GET LOST!” and hung up.

Damn if I didn’t get two more calls on the mobile soon afterwards with the same 02 number. I hung up on both without answering.

Postscript: I had another call on my mobile “handy” while I was in Coles on Wednesday, another 02 number. I thought I’d better answer it. Bugger me if it wasn’t an Indian accent again. I nearly got aggressive but being in Coles I couldn’t raise my voice. This time I managed to catch (with difficulty) who he said he was calling for, and as it wasn’t Microsoft or Telstra, I thought I’d better listen and be a bit more polite.

It turned out to be the radio survey company whose book I filled out last week. He was calling to confirm that it had been collected and he asked questions about the collector and whether he’d been OK. Yes, no problem.

But as I said, this guy had an Indian accent! Holy smoke, we get so many scam callers with Indian accents, how come this survey company chooses a guy with this accent to make their legitimate calls? Isn’t it asking for trouble?

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This is becoming a real problem. I heard a radio program in the early hours last week by a Canadian guy who has actually gone to India researching this and worked with the Indian police investigating these scam calls. It is a tens, hundreds of $millions problem now, all coming from India. The scammers make enough money from gullible people that they can afford to buy private jets now!

The interviewer asked if he could see any end in sight. The guy said, flat out, no. They cannot see any way to stop it, because the scammers change identities and locations too fast. Therefore we have effectively lost control of our land-line phone system in this country, and in USA, Canada, the UK and New Zealand, all the English speaking countries.

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