Bunker bulldust day 53

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What a shot! It’s the International Space Station transiting the Sun.  © Mack Murdoc + Petapixel.

Phew, I’ve just had the nearest to a close shave in the car in a long time. I drove slowly up to a T-intersection on my well known path to the supermarkets. I came to an almost-stop, looked right then looked left, and in the time I was looking left, a car came from my right at probably only 30-40Km/h in a 50Km/hr zone, but I didn’t see him, or her, or it. My car was still slowly rolling forward and I had to slam on the brakes. It left me shaken. I’ve never had an accident in 55 years of driving and I don’t want to blemish my record before I go.

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Don’t shop at Woolworths! If you do, check your receipt very carefully. There are so many pricing errors, and they are always in Woolworths favour. Overcharging, in other words.

For more than a decade I’ve been noticing this. It’s usually when items are reduced, on special. You’ll pick up the item, but after you go through the checkout you’ll find the reduction has not been applied. Or an item has a reduction sticker on it, but the barcode scanner scans the original barcode and doesn’t see the reduced price.

I will make the statement: you will not get through a Woolworths grocery shopping trip without there being a pricing error, and in Woolworths favour! I’m sick and tired of it. It’s mainly Woolworths, although my local IGA does it to a lesser extent (maybe because I don’t shop there often because they have this problem, alongside their higher prices).

The latest is that yesterday I bought a bottle of Wolf Blass Chardonnay Pinot Noir Sparkling from the cold cabinet at Butler for $7. Yeah, classy eh?

When I got home, I found I’d been charged $12 which was the price on the edge of the ordinary shelves.

Today I  went back there, armed with a photo of my bottle on my phone to compare, and found I was right, the price was $7. I called a guy over and pointed it out, with my receipt. He didn’t say anything but went back to the counter and talked with another guy there. Then he came back and had a closer look at the $7 yellow price tag, went back to his mate and had another talk, then beckoned me over and just said, “Got your card with you, mate?” No apology, no friendliness, just that.

After I got my refund of $5 (nearly the price of the bottle and possibly the cost of driving there!), the big guy said “Enjoy the rest of your day.” I replied, above the noise of someone being reprimanded for going the wrong way around the counters, “For a long time, I have found I cannot get through a Woolies shop without there being a pricing error. This is the latest one.” The guy still didn’t apologise, he just shrugged.

Dammit, I’m tired of this. I’ve been noticing this since my Trigg/Karrinyup days when Woolies was my only real choice.

In contrast, Coles are exemplary. The difference is really noticeable. I usually check my till receipt when I get home but very rarely do I find an error, so rarely that I don’t need to check until I get home. If I have to shop at Woolies, I always sit down outside and check the receipt before I leave. This is atrocious. Sometimes I wonder if it’s deliberate. It’s a good way to keep the profits up.

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No doubt some people will call me a fool for allowing it, but I have Google Maps Timeline turned on in my phone. It logs where you go each month, or where your phone goes anyway, and you get a monthly report. I assume Google wants this information so it can sell it to marketers. I don’t particularly care, but I don’t go anywhere that I’d be embarrassed about either. If I were visiting brothels I’d be sure to turn it off, or carry a “burn phone” as they call them, a simple cheap pre-paid that you could afford to ditch if you had to. But anyway, I have nothing to hide and I don’t care if Google knows. Besides, I find the reports interesting.

The one today shows where I went each month and I can compare them Here’s March, before COVID became a big thing, fairly wide ranging:

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But here’s April, when the COVID “lockdown” was in full swing:

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It shows I only went within 5Km of my house in that month.

Here’s something that interested me – all my Bali travels since I installed the app and turned it on, about July 2017 I think:

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There are stats on the left which tell me where I was on what dates too.

Here’s one small trip during my stay in Sanur in May last year. It was down to the Beach Shack restaurant at Semawang Beach (great place!) on Monday 27 May:

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And a local drive on Wednesday 22 May. I also had lunch at the 104 Bar & Grill, a great Club Sandwich:

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By the way, that Club Sandwich, with a lime juice, cost a bit over $12. That’s a Perth price. Bali is not cheap any more, not in Kuta/Sanur, anyway.

As I said, some people will say I’m foolish but I’m interested in this information about myself.

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I also went to Aldi this afternoon, to buy their coffee pods. I like their Expressi coffee enough to make the trip. Ten pods for $6, not too bad.

I also had to return a “bottle bag”, a good idea but it didn’t work. It’s a soft-ish bottle sized bag with sides that freeze in your freezer to keep a wine bottle cold. But the first time I tried to use it, I found the bag was frozen so solid that I could hardly get the bottle in, and when I finally got it in as far as I could, the neck stood out so I couldn’t close the zipped top. Useless. There were no quibbles about the refund, $14.99.

But it’s fatal – I intended just this, and to buy some beer, but fell for a wet-&-dry vacuum powered by a 20V Li-ion battery for $39.99. It’s not a toy, it’s quite substantial enough to do a job, but small enough that I’ll pick it up to do a job, where I wouldn’t get my full sized Miele vacuum out with its cord.

You don’t get a battery with it, of course, but I have three batteries to fit now, having two other tools in that range. Very clever – when battery driven power tools became the thing, then when you choose a tool, you buy into that maker’s battery system and one maker’s battery does not fit another maker’s power tool. So you tend to get locked in. As I said, very clever. Same voltage, but physically different connections.

A guy should make a universal adapter so that any battery can be used with any tool, say Ozito battery on Makita tool, or Bosch battery on Milwaukee tool. No doubt the lawyers would be issuing threats very quickly.

Bunker bulldust day 51

TVW Xmas94 Me etc

Me in December 1994, at the Xmas lunch in Studio 2. When I had hair on top. Hmmm.

Wow, 51 days, but as I’ve said, this is nothing new for me. All it means is that I can’t (or shouldn’t) jump in the car and go somewhere, or have lunch at the shopping centre or have coffee/brekky with my photo mates. I miss that. But otherwise, I’m just spending more time at this PC – not wasting it but hacking (oops, wrong word) into stuff that I’ve been putting off for a long time.

One thing is that, as I own an ASUS laptop, they sent me an invitation to buy 1TB (yes, Terabyte) of space to back up my files for US$13.94 for one year. Obviously, once they’ve got me one time, then I’m probably going to repeat it next year but the price is low enough that I took the bait.

So for the past few nights I’ve been uploading files. It’s pretty slow as my upload speed is only 5Mb/s (only!). It seems very slow – I started a 58GB folder at around 10am this morning and it’s still uploading now at 5pm. It doesn’t matter, it’s a background process.

I’ve used about 62GB of my 1,024GB allowance. A Terabyte is a lot. I’ll see if this works and if it doesn’t, $21.78 is not a lot to consider wasted.

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I’ve been wasting an awful lot of time getting MusicBee into order and really enjoying it. I’ve found there’s another view that I didn’t show yesterday, Recently Added:

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Since this is the first time I’ve built my Library, they’re all recently added. Here’s another view of just one composer/performer:

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Yeah, 26 CDs of Mozart. It gives statistics too:Capture3

Hmm,  14,946 tracks. J.S. Bach 405 “tracks”; Most Played Quincy Jones; Most Played Genre, Classical; Most Played Album, The Best. The Best who? Maybe Quincy Jones but it could be Mozart The Best, I don’t know. I don’t really care.

This RIFFINFO is strange. It seems to be any track that it can’t find on the internet but I’m not sure. Time will tell. I’m enjoying this.

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I continue to be astounded at the stupidity of the USA. They are showing their absolute worst face to the world, especially personified by the Dump, the worst, most stupid president in the history of their country.

What’s set me off today is the reports of COVID Parties in Washington State. Young people, young but adults, are holding parties where people who have been tested as positive for the virus are encouraged to mix with uninfected people in the belief that these young people will catch the virus, but due to their age will be OK and recover and  become immune.

But what about the people they meet in the weeks after the parties? Can they be sure they won’t pass the virus on to strangers or their families?

It seems to me this may well be a test of natural selection in action. The smart people will survive and the dumb, stupid ones may die. Hooray. I approve. Unfortunately they will probably take the innocent elderly with them.

The US infection rate is essentially out of control and with over 73,000 deaths already and climbing at a rate of near 3,000 a day, they have no control. Yet Republican state governors (equivalent to our state premiers) are relaxing their stay-at-home orders and so people are out mixing, partying, going back to work. As I said, it’s an intelligence test. Let’s hope this sees a rise in the IQ of the country as the dumb ones die.

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Another suggested theme for a novel:

  • In the panic of the pandemic, a vaccination success is announced. It’s made by a seemingly reputable lab and in the race to be first, is human tested but to minimum standards. It is widely distributed and injected and looks to be the answer.
    But a few months later, reports start up of side effects which were not found in the trials. In particular, personality changes. No, NOT ZOMBIES, I am not suggesting that, but changes like dementia and aggression. By this time millions of people worldwide have been vaccinated. Now read on …
  • While the USA are incapacitated by their mishandling of the virus, a large Asian power decides to take the chance and annex Taiwan by force. Taiwan fights back bravely but are being overwhelmed and call for their treaty partners to come to their aid. This includes the USA but also Australia. The US Navy has been decimated by virus infections on nearly all their ships in the Pacific fleet and struggles to respond. Australia’s navy is largely at full strength and is forced into action against this powerful foe. Now read on … Tom Clancy, are you reading this from your grave? John Birmingham, are you there?

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1979 MCR Tom C

This is where I used to work, the job I used to do in 1979 when I took this photo. That’s the lovable Scot, Tom Mitchell at the desk.

The main desk in the bottom centre was programmable (in the days before computers) with 12 events, where an event was an action such as rolling a film projector and switching it to the output 5 seconds later. Or playing a videotape and switching it to line 8 seconds later. Going into a program, that was all it had to do until the next break, be it a commercial or a slide and cassette or a change of machine or whatever

On the desk in front of Tom is the “log” a printed set of paper sheets telling us what to program into the desk, i.e. every film, videotape, commercial, promo, whatever, with their durations, key numbers etc. we marked this up with actual times switched to air (a legal requirement as well as for client billing). As the operator, we had to go through this when we started our shift and check everything, so that we knew where things were coming from and that they actually existed, and so on. This marked up log went back to the “Traffic” department for their records next day.

All this switching was supposed to be automatic, based on the times programmed in, but we found this wasn’t satisfactory so we had to do all the switching manually. That way we chose when to switch and I liked to keep things tight, not allowing much time before I hit the Take button for the next item. Otherwise we slipped time and it meant we had to drop something to get to the news on time at 6pm exactly. That was one of the hardest things, keeping to time and working out how late you were  and what you can cut to make up time.

Twelve events sounds a lot but in a busy period between programs it wasn’t enough and we had to program more events in while we were switching the short items. It took intense concentration!

The black monitor on the right showed what was coming out of the desk and being sent to the transmitters. It’s hard to see but there was a colour TV receiver in the gap to the right of it which showed the “off air” signal coming back from an antenna, i.e. just a normal TV receiver, so that we could be sure we were on air and things were OK.

Top left, lotsa buttons above and below the three meters which were the remote controls for the transmitters at Bickley, 13Km away. Microphones for talkback, i.e. talking to the machine operators in the adjacent area or the studio control rooms etc.

Beer o’clock. More another time.

Bunker bulldust day 50.

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Coffee & Music, charming.  Kyoto 1992.   © PJ Croft 2020

Aaaah, rain at last. I think April was our driest on record, or near to it, and it’s only three weeks ago that we were having a heat wave, day after day above 30deg. Suddenly it’s down to 17C max today, and I’m feeling it. I’m enjoying it, though.

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I can’t help thinking of the way this pandemic crisis is throwing up themes for a novellist.

* A country with evil intentions deliberately releases a virus in one of its international gateway cities with the intention that it will quickly spread through the world, but especially to its great power rival. It accepts that some of its own citizens will be infected but is prepared to sacrifice them. It quickly locks down the city and, with  a casualty list that would be appalling to any other country, manages to suppress the epidemic in its own population. But its plan to infect its rivals succeeds beyond its dreams, decimating their armed forces and crippling its navy. Now read on …

* A passenger on a cruise ship falls ill with a strange flu-like illness, but beyond the ability of the ship’s hospital to cope. Crucially, they do not take sufficient isolation procedures for fear of spreading panic among the other passengers. The disease spreads like the plague through the ship, in passengers and crew alike. Passengers are locked in their cabins but as the crew fall ill, food deliveries falter. Passengers are forced to break out to find food and fighting ensues. The ship desperately tries to enter a port, but news has travelled from passengers’ phones to shore. The ship is forced to move on to port after port, seeking help but without success. Now read on ….

* A pandemic virus infects the president of the USA, then his vice president and senior members of the congress and Washington elite. Many die but all are incapacitated. Soon confusion rules. Who is the head of government? Power struggles break out. The military feel obliged to step in and take charge. Meanwhile, right wing militias see their opportunity to arm themselves and seize power in various states. The military has to confront the heavily armed militias. Now read on ….

And so on. I can think of many more stories waiting to be told. I’m not a novellist, though.

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There are some great pictures on PetaPixel today —  link: PetaPixel grounded jets

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© Andy Luten

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© Andy Luten

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© Andy Luten

These are all in the south west of the USA, Texas and Arizona. It’s a sight never before seen and we hope, never again. It’s the same in Australia. Terrible.

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I’ve said that I “ripped” all my CDs to hard disk a couple of years ago and now, every time I buy a new CD it goes straight to hard drive. As you can imagine, with well over 1,000 CDs, cataloguing them became necessary. Besides, it satisfies my obsession with collecting things and displaying them.

There are a few nice free programs to do this cataloguing. I’ve tried two and settled on one. The first I tried was called Helium https://www.imploded.com/  It’s nice, especially the full display of the front covers which it mostly goes to the web and finds automatically. I used it for over a year and even paid for the full version.

However, I was pretty annoyed when after less than a year’s use, a new version wiped out my full licence and reverted me to the restricted functionality free version. They wanted me to pay again for the new version. I didn’t, as I find a lot of frustrations, including the long time to load. It’s complex to use, too, being a front end for a database with all its complex language.

I’ve now gone for the other major contender, MusicBee — link: https://getmusicbee.com/  It seems to me to bee (~) easier to use and much faster too. It scans your hard drives, wherever you tell it to, and builds a list:

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You can see the list at left under Album Artist. This is the major sort heading, so all “albums” (that obsolete term from record days) are grouped under one name, in this case Wagner, Richard. It’s too hard to see but there are 16 albums under that one name. Likewise for the Beatles, 10 albums and so on.

Notice that the last one is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with 8 albums. However, there’s another folder just called Mozart already containing 20 albums, so I’ll edit this bottom folder to make each name just Mozart. That will put them all in the Mozart folder, making 28 albums, CDs, and delete this long name.

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And see how all the track names are shown. There’s no way I would have typed all those in – when you rip a CD in the CD Ripper I use, dBPowerAmp CD Ripper link: — https://www.dbpoweramp.com/cd-ripper.htm – as soon as you insert the CD and close the drive, it scans the disc, then goes to the web and finds the track names and a thumbnail of the cover. It’s brilliant. I paid for that one, too. It’s well worth the small price.

When the keyboardist of The Stranglers, the composer of Golden Brown, died a couple of days ago I thought, I wonder if I have that track. Within 5 seconds I’d done a search in MusicBee and there it was, I do have it.

The only drawback at the moment is:

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It’s found all my mp3 files and listed them as separate tracks as shown above, e.g. 17 Helen Shapiro. I have a folder for Helen Shapiro as I have a couple of her CDs, but it means I have to go through all these individual mp3 tracks, delete the number (e.g. 17) before the name and tell MusicBee to do a web search for a CD cover image, so that thes two tracks go into the correct name folder. There are hundreds of these individual tracks. I’m wondering if I shouldn’t just delete them all and make new mp3s as required. Probably.

Anyway, MusicBee, recommended, and it’s free! I would pay for this.

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I’ve nearly finished my Channel 7 story, about 10,000 words, and it’s got me inspired to do a really spiffy book layout using this and some of the hundreds of photos I’ve got. Boy, I have a story to tell. I started in April 1966, so it’s 54 years ago! Holy heatsinks, Batman.

Much more to come.

Bunker bulldust day 48

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Gunung Agung, Bali 2015. It’s OK, it’s not erupting.  © PJ Croft 2020

Ooops, missed a couple of days, but no problems. No virus here. I had a nice phone conversation with a friend this afternoon and she wants me to help her (well, we’re doing each other favours). It was nice to be able to say, “C’mon up, and Geoff too”, meaning the two of them should come. It’s allowed now. She’s also very vulnerable, having had serious heart trouble a year or two ago.

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Y’know, the more I read and see of New Zealand, the more impressed I am. They do everything so well. They’ve dealt with this corona-virus in exemplary fashion and are admired around the world for it. Jacinda Ardern is the tops.

I remember decades ago in the late 60s, I used to see shorts before the main movie, at the “flicks”, made by the New Zealand Film Unit and I was always so impressed even then. They were interesting and very well scripted and shot. Totally professional. Noticeably so.

Then there’s the Lord of the Ring series of movies made by Peter Jackson. They were not just good, they were, and still are, absolutely outstanding, setting new standards in special effects and computer graphics. There have been many times over the years when I’ve thought, “Yeah, this is good. I’m impressed.” It’s the Scots. NZ was always a destination for Scottish people, no doubt due to the similarity of the countryside and terrain. Scots are tops.

To be honest, I have the itch to move there, but it’s cold. I have a Kiwi mate and he lives here because he can’t stand the NZ cold. Mind you, he came from Dunny, Dunedin right down past Christchurch on the south island. It’s bound to be cold down there. I think it’s a bit late for me.

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There’s not much new, except that I’m making good progress on my Channel 7 memoir for the TVW Book Project. It had been in abeyance for a few weeks due to the lockdown, although that didn’t really stop me, I was just preoccupied for a while, but I’m back into it and nearly finished it today. I’ve written about 18 A4 pages and around 10,000 words. It’s hardly a novel but it’s a lot more than the 2,000 words limit set by the organiser. Sorry Ron, but I’m not going to compress things down just for an arbitrary number to suit you.

I’m at the stage now where I’m going back over what I’ve written, editing, adding, shifting, correcting and especially, adding more names and my memories of the people. Luckily I have a complete listing of all the people who worked at TVW over the years, more than 800 names, so as long as I have one part I can find the other.

The next step will be to lay it out in a proper word processor, NOT Microsoft Word! Lotus Word Pro is my choice. But I’ll actually use a desktop publishing program which is specifically designed to flow text around pictures with added frames and any other graphic elements you want. Then it outputs it to a print-ready PDF file. That will be my final output. I’ll post some screen shots here soon.

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Exactly : How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World - Simon Winchester

I’m nearing the end of the book I mentioned last week, Exactly, by Simon Winchester. I was critical of it last week, calling it jingoistic and posh, but as it’s progressed it’s getting better. He’s covered the Hubble Space Telescope and how a tiny error in the making of the mirror led to blurry pictures and nearly meant disaster, and how it was fixed. There’s much more detail about it than I’ve read before.

Then it goes on to GPS navigation in detail and at the moment he’s detailing the LIGO interferometer for detecting and measuring gravitational waves.

But the thing that’s really got me going is his description of how transistors and semiconductors were developed, with their profound effect on the world. Mostly for good, I think.

The point is that the timeline of semiconductors and integrated circuits aligns with my life and work in the electronics field as well. The transistor was invented in 1947, the same year I was born. The first integrated circuits started in 1966, the year I started at Channel 7 (it was all valves when I first started there). The first microprocessor came along soon afterwards. I can clearly remember quite excited talk about the Zilog Z80 in about 1968 or ’69 when I was doing first year electronics at W.A.I.T. (the WA Institute of Technology at Bentley). It only cost $10! That was quite a bit more money then, but we thought it was cheap and accessible to experiment with.

The first IBM PC came out in 1983. I remember it well, although it was more than I could afford. I bought a second hand one a few years later – it had a 5¼” floppy drive, a 20MB hard drive and 1MB of RAM. Wow. (An 8GB USB thumb drive on your keyring  has 400 times the capacity and costs 1/10 the price). [And that was my downfall. I divide my life into BC and PC – Before Computer and Post Computer. Before, I used to do woodwork, cabinet making, photography…  After the PC came along, most of that fell away. I’ve become a total slave to this PC. It’s all useful stuff, but I’m so stuck to this chair!]

1994 VC1 b

Ampex ACR25. This is just the right hand cabinet, the left one was as big.

I think I mentioned the Ampex ACR25 video cart recorder/players I worked on for 20 years. They were designed in the early 1970s (we got our two in late 1974) and used quite early integrated circuits, primitive now and not very reliable. If microprocessors had been available then, they could probably have cut the control electronics (RH bay above, below the meter) down to one small board. (Ask any tech who worked on these machines what was the most troublesome board? B16 and B17. Hands down.)

Anyway, it’s inspired me to document this history here because I lived it all, and it’s still going on, ever smaller, ever more powerful, ever cheaper, ever more reliable. As the book documents, we’re reaching a limit, where the transistors are now only a few atoms thick and invisible to even the most powerful microscopes. They’re etched using extreme ultra-violet light and the connecting tracks are only a few wavelengths of light wide. It’s just astounding. And it ain’t gonna stop.

Haven’t got time to do it now.

Bunker bulldust day 45

Esperance

Esperance. Looks nice!   Photo: ABC website

Missed a day, but no worries. Beeeyoootiful day today. Sparkling autumn weather, 24C and a cloudless blue sky with no wind. World’s best climate.

1st of May, my first hot shower for the summer this morning.

Another power failure today, about 3.10pm. Only about 5secs but it lost me a small amount of work. What’s going on?

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The new cleaner came yesterday but at 11.30am despite telling me 10am. Oh well, close. No explanation. She’s Vietnamese, about early thirties, husband and two kids, passable English but not fluent.

Her work was just OK. She works too fast, leaving water and wipe marks behind, missing things, but she got through a fair bit and I’m glad it’s done. I’ve had to go back over some of her work, but it’s easier now. I’ll probably get her to come again but not regularly.

However, when she finished I asked her to confirm her rate – on her note she wrote $20 for 2hrs. She confirmed it. I said, no, that’s too low and tried to give her $40. She refused it! I tried to give it to her but she pushed it away. I tried to give her a $5 note as a tip but she refused that too. Remarkable and it makes it more likely that I’ll get her back again.

That contrasts with an ad I answered about six years ago: two ladies, $30 per hour, min two hours. OK I said. So they came and did two hours. When I went to pay $60, “Oh no, it’s $30 each, $120.” Crikey! They could see I was shocked and tried to make excuses, but I had to pay the full amount. Needless to say, I didn’t get them here again.

Likewise, about 2015 I got a guy to come and quote me for a yard cleanup. He came and looked, then said $300. I said “That’s for 3 hours?” I thought he agreed so I expected three hours work from him. Even that would have been $100 an hour, way above the going rate!

But when he came and did the job, he did it all in less than 90 mins. He did what I expected, but he said “$300”. I said, “But I thought you would be here for 3 hours!” “Nah, mate, I quoted you for the job, $300.”  Bloody hell, that made his rate $150/hour. I just had to pay it. I included a note with my payment, “Never again!”  He didn’t like that and wanted to argue about it, but I just cut it off. And I have never again used him.

Again, in about 2015 I got a reticulation company come to get my retic going. It had low pressure and wasn’t spraying properly in many outlets.

A guy came and spent about 2.5 hours. He found a leak and fixed it, replaced all the  sprinkler heads in the garden beds and a couple in the lawn and reprogrammed the controller. It hadn’t been possible to get a quote beforehand because we didn’t know what needed doing. The bill? A bit over $500! I nearly fell over, but the work was done, it was successful, I couldn’t object. So when the Water Corp wants me to get a retic installer to fix the leak in the joint near my meter, I’m very wary. I think I’ll let the lawnmower man do it at $60 an hour.

Likewise again, I got a plumber to come and fit my new kitchen sinkmixer tap a few months ago. Stupidly, I forgot to ask for his price beforehand. He was here no more than 30 mins and when it came time to pay, it was $150! He hadn’t used any materials – I had the new tap already here – he just got under the sink, not even needing any special tool, which I thought it would need. In fact he really needed some small rubber O-rings but he didn’t have any! He had to use thread sealing tape and we hope it holds. There was nothing I could do but pay. And plumbers wonder why they are regarded as so expensive. Grrr.

I also think I was right royally ripped off when I had my rear garden and lawn rearranged a few years ago. Despite telling him what I wanted in things like limestone blocks and paving slabs and the type of lawn, what I got was what he wanted me to have, because that’s what he was used to supplying and had in stock. It’s OK, but it’s not what I wanted. But once it’s in, it’s hard to ask him to rip it out and do it again.

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking I’m being ripped off over and over again.

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Speaking of which, I’ve just been out and bought 2x 10m lengths of speaker cable. It’s reasonably heavy stuff but nothing special. $4.95 a metre! $90 for the 20m. Holy smoke. It’s only thick figure 8. Even coax is not that expensive. And the plugs that go on the ends are $4.95 each. I need eight = $39.60. Ouch.

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I’ve also bought a two bay SATA hard disk enclosure at Jaycar:

XC4688-2-bay-usb-3-0-sata-hdd-raid-enclosureImageMain-515

It’s not a NAS (Network Attached Storage) as it’s only USB3 and doesn’t connect to a network, but it does RAID 0 and 1 and JBOD and will allow me to back up to some of the spare SATA discs I have on the shelves. $99. I’m still looking at NAS boxes but they are very expensive.

In fact, ASUS, the motherboard, laptop and monitor maker has tempted me into buying their offer of 1TB of web-based (cloud) storage for US$13.49 for 1 year. It looks like a reasonable deal to me so I paid up and within 10 mins I was uploading my D:/Data folder, which came to 703MB. It only took about an hour (5Mb/s connection), so that’s a good thing. There’s an Android app for the phone, so I can access any file wherever I am on my phone. Bloody amazing.