Notes from the bunker

Some of the DVDs I’ve made, and top, some of the books I’ve done. Bored? Hah!

Being one of the ones who definitely should self-isolate, having three co-morbidities as they say, I thought I might try to do a daily diary of any little things. You never know, this might be my last writings for posterity to pore over. Samuel Pepys, move over.

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Crumbs! This from Schwartz Media, publishers of the Saturday Paper and The Monthly, this morning (I subscribe to the Saturday Paper):

At Schwartz Media, we are anticipating and preparing for a significant downturn in advertising. The arts sector, which our titles do so much to support, has a freeze on shows to promote. The travel industry is in lockdown. Others will follow. In the short term, a third of the revenue we use to make our titles will likely disappear.

It is a perverse outcome of this crisis that just as quality journalism becomes more necessary, its production becomes more precarious. What we need now is calm and trustworthy information.

This comes on top of the shutdown of Australian Associated Press AAP, which is being called a disaster for news and journalism, and the slow strangulation of the ABC by this nasty, hostile, anti-free speech government. Does anyone realise or remember that there used to be 10 minute news bulletins at many hourly points in the day, and now they are only 5 minutes? And that AM and PM used to be 1 hour programs, but are now only 30 minutes?

This is the result of this inexorable loss of government funding for the ABC, as prescribed by the IPA, that cabal of hard right wing destroyers. The parliamentary Liberal Party are doing their bidding. The aim is to cut the ABC so hard that they will be able to privatise them, sell them to a commercial company, and guess who that would be – News Corpse, and Rupert Murdoch. Shit!!!

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As the saying goes, it’s an ill wind that blows no-one any good. (I wrote that in full because it’s quite possible that younger readers, if I have any, will never have heard of that expression. Ask your grandparents.)

I’ve got quite a lot of camera equipment that I’ve been meaning to sell. One of the best and easiest ways is to sell to a company called KEH in the USA. They specialise in second hand equipment and constantly need new “old” stock to keep the dollars flowing. They have an on-line form for you to list your stuff and it gives an estimate of what they’ll pay. If you decide to go ahead, you package all your stuff and send it to them. The postage from here will cost quite a bit, unfortunately. Assuming your items pass their assessments, they pay into your nominated account. There’s no chance to haggle though. It’s take our price or leave it.

As the Aussie dollar falls against the US$, if I sell my stuff in the US, I get more for it. If the rate was US$1 = A$1 for example, I’d only get maybe A$50 for that old $50 camera. But if the US$1 = A$0.59, then I get A$84.74.

Therefore one of the things I’m going to do in my self-isolation will be to package all that surplus gear and make some money on it. It’s a crime, the low prices they pay, but I doubt I’d do any better on Facebook Marketplace. It means I’ll have to go to the post office a few times, but I’ll seal myself up somehow.

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Having said that, I keep a box of rubber gloves as a normal thing. I never usually use them but I tried a pair just now and there’s no chance I could get them on. My hands are too big and the glove just tears as I try to pull it on. I’ll have to use dishwashing gloves, the heavier ones. Which I’ll have to go out and buy!

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Come to think of it, I’ve been advised to use Nulon additive in the Verada’s power steering pump to stop the leak. I’ll have to go out to buy that, so right now is a good time.

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Up here in the wild north, I’m not having any trouble buying my groceries. I have the Coles just across the car park; a local IGA, which is often almost deserted; Aldi 1.5Km away; a big Woolies another 300m further; and big shops at Clarkson, 5Km away. I must admit I was a bit surprised at Aldi on Monday:

Aldi meat shelves.

I chatted to a shelf loader and he said there’s no shortage of deliveries, it’s just people coming in early and taking everything. They must be freezing it, I assume. Serve them right if it’s not properly frozen and they get food poisoning.

I saw one guy with a trolley of UHT milk; he had at least 24 2litre cartons.

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In the news yesterday, people are still flying to Bali, despite the warnings. The report said two full planes flew out on Monday alone with a total of nearly 500 passengers. Interviewed, one couple said they had booked their holiday months ago and they didn’t care, they were going.

This is all very well, but when they come back, they could be carriers. We know the virus is active in Bali, with one (reported) death so far. And the government are saying, come home while you still can, before the flights stop and before we close the borders. Typical bogans. Do they realise they will have to self-isolate, by law, for 14 days when they get back? That could well affect their income and so much for having a relaxing Bali holiday, they’ll be stressed out by their enforced isolation once they get back here. Duh!

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As for my self isolation, what’s different? I spend most of my time isolated anyway. For sure, I would miss my twice weekly lunches at the shopping centre, but I’ll probably find a way to go safely.

As for being bored, hah! I have a million things to do. So many unread books piled up. So many unwatched DVDs. So many Netflix programs to watch. So many images to upload to Picfair (allowed 20 per day). So many images to print and frame. So much writing to be done on my work history and memoirs. So much gardening to do. So much design and construction on my “one-of-these-days” model railway. And so on. I’m not bored!

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There was a door knock at about 10am and my amplifier has arrived. The guy had put it down on the doormat and as it’s a big, 17Kg box I asked him if he’d lift it and put it onto a small trolley that I had ready.

He was quite reluctant. He said they are not allowed to come into the house, fair enough, but I reassured him and he finally did it. No big deal, he didn’t have to cross the threshold, but he was ready to leave, pronto.

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Ouch, ouch, ouch, oooowww. I’ve just had my latest water bill – $565.08! As they say on the card, I must have a water leak.

I’ve had an email today about it, how to test, and it says there’s possibly a rebate if the leak is not my fault. But to get onto it, quick sticks. OK. It’s simple to check.

Yes, I was aware of a kitchen tap leak, but that was fixed about three weeks ago, and both my toilet cisterns have very slow hisses and drips, as they don’t quite shut off, and I’m careful to minimise it. But I didn’t think the damage would be that big.. There goes most of my $750 government pensioners’ gift.

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I keep thinking I’m finished, but then a new thought pops up. I’ve been using Phenergan, the anti-histamine, on my GP’s advice for my right ear problem and it works wonder for sleep. It makes me groggy in the morning for a while (until about 11am), but I sleep well.

I ran out last night so had to do without it. I was a bit worried, but I needn’t have been. I dropped off normally and had a good sleep, waking at 7.15am with no bleariness of the eyes. This is good!

And the ear problem? It seems to have cleared up, thanks for asking.

Now to open my big parcel!