Bunker bunkum day 114

Tini + me Oct96 008

Me in 1996 while I was living and working in Jakarta. That’s the housekeeper at my lodgings, Tini. She was so nice, couldn’t do enough for me, especially when I caught typhus. I mention this as I remember how fantastic Indonesians are (in Bali and Java anyway, all I know). If you get a chance to go, don’t hesitate. You’ll love Indonesia.

Another beeeyootiful day. Only 15C max, they tell us, but the sun is warm when you’re in it. I’ve been to the doctor this morning and one thing i showed him was two small lumps on the side of the right hand ring finger which get as itchy as hell if I scratch them. He told me they are chillblains! I haven’t had those since I was a boy. I  remember getting them on my ear lobes and pinnae in cold weather. They dried up and the top layer peeled off in those days.

This morning he showed me that it’s poor blood circulation, shown by whiteness under the skin on that side of the finger and other parts of my hands. Remedy – either massage your hands, or wear gloves, or buy warming pads, the type where you mix two chemicals together in plastic to get an exothermic reaction. It hardly seems necessary, it’s not that bad.


My visit was to see the results of my 3-monthly blood tests and the news is not good. My HbA1c is up to 10, whereas I’ve had it down as low as 7 (good control) a year ago. My cholesterol is also up from around 2 to 4. That’s still under the “bad” line, though. The answer is very obvious, eat less, lose weight, exercise more. I don’t understand the cholesterol change. I never normally have any trouble with that. I mentioned that in the past few months I’ve been following web advice to take a teaspoon of MCT Oil, Medium Chain Triglyceride. It’s supposed to boost your energy levels. I hardly noticed anything so I’ll pour that down the sink.

I feel my diet is OK. I never eat junk food, I usually only eat two meals a day (skipping lunch) and what I eat is healthy stuff. But, too many carbs, including beer, and too much sitting. Yeah, writing these posts. I may have to quiet down.  Ha.



Beijing 2014   © PJ Croft 2020


Taking her lunch home? Joking – anyone who loves dogs is OK with me.


Huh? Say again?  Beijing 2014  © PJ Croft 2020

China is a worry. I have nothing against the Chinese people, but their government is a Communist Party military dictatorship and they show repeatedly that they  are bare faced liars, hypocrites, oppressors and their word can not be trusted.

They said today that Australia must stop interfering in their affairs (i.e. Hong Kong) and breaching international law, yet they’ve shown no respect for the 1997 agreement with the UK government and the HK people. Anyone should have known this would happen. The Chinese government simply cannot be trusted or dealt with on a normal level. They breached international law by their annexation of the South China Sea islands, yet despite the ICJ ruling that it is totally illegal, they thumb their nose at us.

We’re in a difficult position. Australia, and Western Australia in particular, is hugely reliant on the Chinese buying our iron ore. Hugely! Any disruption to that would cause massive dislocation here.

That means we have to grit our teeth and be as polite as we can, while still standing up to them. It’s not easy, given the slanderous bile coming from the Chinese embassy in Canberra.

Surveillance of Chinese students here, industrial spying (and every other kind), insertion of Chinese agents in political organisations here (especially Liberal Party groups), one Chinese member of our federal parliament whose loyalties are questionable, political donations to MPs and party functionaries (in expectation of influence, of course). The list goes on.

The clear message is, China is an enemy of Australia and is not to be trusted in the slightest.

What gets me about the Chinese government in all these tactics is that they don’t have an ally in the world, except maybe North Korea. Every country in Asia would oppose them in any conflict. I shudder to think of a military clash, but even though China has 1.4bn people and massive nuclear armed forces, India has 1.3bn people and massive armed, nuclear forces too. Add in this country, Australia, which although small, has some pretty potent firepower and it’s well trained and led. Then add Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, then the US and Europe and you have a very powerful counterforce. China would be mad to start anything. The problem is, they are mad.

The other thing is that history shows that oppression and evil never wins in the long run. How long the long run is, who knows, but the two world wars showed the way. Throughout history every attempt by tyrants to rule the world loses in the end, usually with the tyrants’ death.

Not much point in thinking or talking about this, is there?


There’s a good article by Paul Keating (former Australian PM 1993-96 and the best PM Australia has ever had, in my strong opinion) in The Guardian today about the Superannuation Guarantee Levy. This is a scheme introduced by Mr Keating which started in 1993 with a small levy on employers of 1% of the employee’s salary to go into a superannuation fund for the employee’s retirement. The levy was to be slowly increased by 1% each year to a maximum of 12%. The whole idea was to take the load of age pensions off future governments and to give the employees a better income for their retirement.

It also had the effect of building a large fund to be invested on behalf of the employees in Australian businesses and enterprises. That fund stands now at around $3trn – that’s three trillion dollars.

Of course, in 1993 the employers objected mightily and predicted the sky would fall. In fact, nothing of the kind happened and the levy reached 9% while I was still working in 1999. But then it stalled when Liberal governments got in. Now it’s supposed to start moving up again, by 0.5%. Again, the right wingers are saying it’s the wrong time.

The problem is, for employers there’s never a right time. I was active in the union in the 1990s and I remember the National Wage Cases well. Every increase was vehemently opposed by the employers. Even when business conditions were the best in many decades, they predicted that any increase in employee wages, however small, would ruin them. It was so predictable.

Paul Keating points out all the fallacies in his article, including that one of the loudest opposing voices is David Murray, chairman of AMP. That company was shown to have committed serious breaches of ethical behaviour, amounting to some criminality in the 2000s and onwards. Their management, led by Mr Murray now, lost me almost all my $20,000 investment in AMP shares. Their management for the last 30 years has been abysmal. Time after time they were led into rotten investments by their top management until the shares fell from around $20 to their current level of about $2. What a fool I was to think they were blue chip. So Mr Murray can just shut up.


Edifier 1

I mentioned my Edifier computer speakers a few days ago as being marvellous for the money. I got an email from a local computer firm referencing these – these are the big brothers to my desktops. They’re still quite small, but big enough to consider using them for main hi-fi speakers, having an amplifier of 120W per channel built in. They are wireless too and remote controlled. The only problem is, $1039 per pair. I must admit I would like a pair!


I forgot to mention – War of the Worlds on SBS last night, first two one hour episodes. Phwoooaaar, I loved it. This is my kind of program. I was tense and uptight, it was that good. It’s a silly story, of course, an attack from space, but it still makes a great story.

And it was all the better for being a European TV production. No stupid Yanks. I’m hooked.

Bunker bunkum day 113

Bromo rim guide 73

Mt Bromo, Java 1989.  See below.   © PJ Croft 2020

Brrrrr, my fingers are cold enough to hurt. It’s only 15degC in the house, not very cold, but even so, I’m a bit chilled. It’s probably the music I’m listening to that’s chillin’ me.

It’s Rüfüs, a Sydney band that I quite like. It’s not music I’d normally listen to but one of their music videos was playing on a TV in a hotel room in Bali a few years ago (wow, time flies!) and it imprinted itself on my mind. I’ve bought a couple more of their CDs recently. I’m listening to Du Sol, Solace Remixed. It’s a bit doof doof but I can stand it. 🙂


In the photo above, the guy is standing on the rim of Mt Bromo, the volcanic crater (and so was I, taking the photo). The mountain in the background is another volcanic cone, Gunung Batok, I think. Anyway, I was prompted to post my photo because the Guardian did a photo essay yesterday on a ceremony by Indonesians on Bromo and I was shocked at how badly littered it is now. Indonesia’s Yadnya Kasada Festival in Pictures, The Guardian

Bromo steps 77 (2)

Yes, I climbed all those 200 nice clean steps. My photo 1989



This was recent.   © Juni Kriswanto/AFP/Getty Images

Unfortunately, hordes of people, no litter bins and how would you clear the bins anyway? It’s become a trash heap.


© Juni Kriswanto/AFP/Getty Images

I’m so glad I got there when I did, 1989.

Boy, that was a great trip. Perth to Bali for a few days to unwind, bus to Gilimanuk at the NW tip of Bali, bus ferry across the strait to Banyuwangi on Java, then continuing by bus and small van with drivers to the small village which was the access point to Mt Bromo.

Bromo 0027

The horseman and pony to take us the ~kilometre to the rim, just after dawn.  © PJ Croft 2020

We woke before dawn and walked down a long slope in the pre-dawn mist to the sand plain, where we took horses (ponies) to the crater rim in the background. I lost a good Swiss Army knife there somewhere.

Bromo horses 10

The horsemen and their ponies waiting for us for the ride back.  ©  PJ Croft 2020

Bromo crater + steps 55

You can see the steps up the crater. Quite a gloomy place, at times.  © PJ Croft 2020

Bromo rim Me 67

I’m there, the solo figure standing on the rim of an active volcano. No guard rail in those days. It was fine.  © PJ Croft 2020

This was such a great trip I could write a book about it, and I have, but it’s too expensive. Maybe I’ll do another one. I seem to have a lot of spare time these days. You too?

Bromo group 16

These were the staff at the guest house. Yes, I had a good time!  1989


Speaking of music:

Biblical title of honor, literally “father,” used as an invocation of God, from Latin abba, from Greek abba, from Aramaic (Semitic) abba “the father, my father,” emphatic state of abh “father.” Also a title in the Syriac and Coptic churches.

There you go. And you thought the group’s name came from their own initials. This definition came from the Etymological Dictionary http://www.etymonline.com. As its name says, it shows the etymology of words, how they are derived or came into use. I find it excellent whenever I’m not sure of a meaning or how to use a word. Recommended.


How did I get there? I found an article in The Guardian today on Johannes Brahms 1833 – 97. I’ve rediscovered his two piano concertos. Wonderful music, in particular the second (slow) movement from the piano concerto no. 1. It’s become an ear worm but one I don’t want to dislodge. I hear it in my head at any quiet time and wake up with it still there in the morning.

My feeling for Brahms before I read this article is that of a German composer who is good enough to be one of “the three Bs” (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms) but never quite makes it compared to the big two (not forgetting the big M, Mozart). My feeling about Brahms is “grandeur, majestic music, very serious, never lightweight”).

From the Guardian article: “Brahms’s works rarely feature among lists of the most well known classical tunes. But then his music never aims at instant effects; he never bothered with the distraction of opera, and he generally avoided religious music.”

That’s where I saw the word liturgical and looked it up, which led me to Abba, and the rest is history, as they say.

I’m listening to the Piano Concerto no. 2 at the moment. Phwooaaar.


I’m rather pleased at the moment because I’ve rediscovered something else. In the past eight years or so I’ve made quite a few Photobooks of various kinds, mostly of my pictures but especially, two books of the Croft family history.

_Front Cover

Late last year I was sending some old photos to my cousin Lisa in California and mentioned these books. She’s very enthusiastic to have copies, but when I went to the Photobook web site to order more copies I found my orders from a few years ago had not been saved, so I thought I’d have to redo them from scratch.

Voila, yesterday I discovered that the templates are stored on this computer, so I’ve been able to reopen them and bingo, ready to reorder. Of course, this gives me the chance to fix things.

One thing I’ve discovered while composing these books is that you’re never finished. There are always small typos, missing or extra punctuation marks, things which could have been said better and so on. It shouldn’t take me long to fix these and then I can place orders. The composition from this computer is sent over the web to the company in Melbourne, from where it gets sent to the printers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who do the job and send the packaged book to me in Perth. Turnaround time is pretty reliably 10 days. Or was before the corona-virus.

In this case, I hope I’ll be able to put the addresses of my cousins’ (two of them) in the US and have them sent directly there.

Which leads me to the next book project. It’s amazing what you find when you rummage (there’s a word I must look up in the Etymological Dictionary) around in your folders. I’ve found several chapters of something I started some years ago, my memoirs. I’d forgotten that I got a lot further than I thought, so this is my next book.

Except! Photobook are very sneaky. Once you’ve composed your book in their software, you can produce page proofs but they aren’t high enough resolution for you to print your own book on your own printer. They want your money, you see.

So for these memoirs, I really, really should continue in my word processor and then copy and paste the text and images into a Photobook project. That way I could produce a printed book But it would be far too expensive. Their prices are about $30 – 40 for only 20 pages. Extra pages are somewhere around $1 per page. I did a book about 10 years ago and kept adding pages to total about 110. I ordered two copies and each one cost about $230 I think. Lovely book, and I’ve still got it on my shelf, but what was I thinking?

No, compose in a word processor and publish to a PDF file. That costs nothing to produce and you can distribute it on USB sticks, or if you really want paper copies, you can take the PDF document to a printer and get a bulk deal.


Which leads on to “My Life and Times at TVW Channel 7”. I’ve virtually finished my contribution to Ron’s book project, but he only wants 2,000 – 3,000 words and four pictures. Ron, mate, no can do! Mine is 8,000 words and climbing, with dozens of pictures. I can’t dumb 33 years and hundreds of pictures down to your puny idea.

Ron is complaining (on Facebook) that no-one is sending in contributions, but maybe his conditions are too tight. I can’t do average – if I do something like that, it will be my best and that means I don’t fit his criteria. Sorry Ron, to do as you require, my contribution would be bland and generic. Nope.

Anyway, I might do mine as a Photobook, but expanded to be an Engineering History of TVW. After all, I was there from the days of valves (tubes or ‘toobs’), then the start of the first transistor equipment, then the first ICs, then the birth of the microprocessor, LSICs, full blown computers and PCs, analogue everything, then digital everything. I lived through it all. I’m busting to write about it.


I must thank the people who are starting to follow this blog from different parts of the world. I seem to be notified of a new follower every few days now, with occasional very nice comments. I thank you very much. I hope you find the blog of continued interest.

I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but I cannot find the widget that lets me show Followers on the blog title page. I suspect I have to upgrade to a higher cost plan to get it. I’ve thought about paying for the next level but haven’t seen the need yet. Maybe.


Aaaah, it’s warmer now that I’ve got the air con going on heat. It’s a bright sunny day so with solar power, the air con should be running off the panels at no cost. Similarly, dishwasher and clothes washer. Solar power, best thing since… solar power.

Bunker bunkum day 112

Yogya dancer 291

Jogjakarta 1989    © PJ Croft 2020

Brrrrr, bit nipply. My washing’s on the line. I think it might dry, if I keep my eyes open and bring it in before it rains again.


A few days ago I said I’d uninstalled the CovidSafe app from my phone because it has proven useless at what it was designed for. Not one person has been traced out of the six million downloads in three months.

This article: CovidSafe The Flaws (The Saturday Paper) bears me out. A guy called Jim Mussared, an expert in web software, having worked at Google on their site reliability team, looked at the app when it was introduced and immediately saw flaws.

“The day COVIDSafe launched, it took just four hours for Mussared to confirm his suspicions, and worse. Not only could the app be made to recycle the identifier, but it also broadcast the phone’s model and name along with it, transforming it into a “beacon” for anyone looking.”

He tried to contact the government departments responsible but got nowhere:

“At 1.19am, he sent his first email to an address listed on the Department of Health website to handle privacy inquiries. There would be no reply.
“It took eight days before Mussared spoke to someone at the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), after he tried any department or organisation with a connection to the app, including the CSCRC. He describes the period as like “yelling into an empty room”.”

I’ll leave you to read the article, but the essence is that the Australian Government paid more than $1m for an app that not only doesn’t work, but was full of holes for hackers to exploit and broadcast your phone’s ID to others with the means to exploit it.

Yet when this guy tried to alert the government “experts”, he got nowhere. They don’t want to know. Depressingly familiar, yes? I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t pursued by ASIO or some other government cop force as a whistleblower or something.

If there’s any good news, it seems the app has been updated with proper security now, but it doesn’t automatically update on your phone. You have to download it again and reinstall it. Will I? Maybe. How pathetic. The bungling that goes on within government defies belief, and it costs us millions and billions of $$$. It doesn’t inspire confidence.


Ramayana dancer 344H

I know it’s not Bali, it’s Java.    © PJ Croft 2020

News today that Covid-19 is rising fast in Indonesia, and Bali is not immune to it. It’s going to be a long time before I will dare to venture there again.

I know someone who sold his villa in Sanur before all this corona virus started. Lucky man! I suspect the prices of villas for foreigners will be on a steep downward slope now.


More later. Nap time.

Bunker bunkum day 111

Bromo dawn3V

Mt Bromo, Java, 1989

Lovely blue sky out there, if a little rainy at times, and nippy. I suppose if I wore something over my T-shirt I might not feel the chill so much, but that would require me to get moving, something I try to avoid. 😉


The saga of the Lenovo laptop continued yesterday. I phoned Lenovo support and after a short wait I was answered by a very nice Philippino sounding female voice. It turned out that yes, she is Filippina but resident in Malaysia, don’t know where. Her name is Jhoesly, pronounced Joshly. Very nice.

After I told her the problem, she got me to download and install a program called LogMeIn which, with a code she gave me, allowed her to take control of the laptop and do things just as if she were me. It was uncanny, seeing the cursor/pointer moving around on the screen, all controlled from Malaysia.

Anyway, she could bring the camera up and see the fault for herself – the blob (she was searching for a word to describe it for her report and I said, just call it a blob. I don’t think she was familiar with that fine English word.)

Finally she invoked a complete restart from scratch, which took some time because you have to go through all the Windows 10 setup steps. That meant she lost control and so we ended the support call after she initiated a case number and got my order number and so on.

Needless to say, after the long Win10 setup process, the fault was exactly the same. So I sent a fairly long email to Lenovo Support in Sydney (I assume that’s where they are) with a screen grab of the camera blob and asked for a return authorisation for a full refund. Copy to Keith.

So far I’ve had a fairly prompt acknowledgement of my email, but nothing more, which is a bit annoying. It’s been 24 hrs now. I’ll send another email saying, “Please respond” and see what that produces.


Bromo dawn2

Back to the problem of the Honda not revving when I put my foot on the accelerator – what did we ever do in the days before Google? (Answer: took it to the service station, or the service station mechanic would come here in the case of an immobile vehicle, maybe… )

Anyway, a search on Google for Honda MDX no accelerator response brought up plenty of listings. Obviously this is a fairly common problem.

The answer is that Honda uses a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) and this often goes faulty. It seems to happen when the car has not been used for some time (my case) and produces symptoms just like mine, either no throttle response at all, or rough running, or poor idling. One listing said it has a battery in it which is not user replaceable and has a life of about 5 years, and that the TPS should be replaced every five years. A battery?  Seems a bit incredible.

There are plenty of YouTube clips showing how to replace it and warning of the high cost of getting a dealer to do it. It looks straightforward so I did a search and found the part is available from AliExpress in China for A$50 plus $10 freight plus GST, about $67 all up. So I ordered it at about 9pm last night and was surprised to get a reply email about 30 mins later to say that my order has been processed and the part is being dispatched. At 9.30pm!

I just have to wait now – maybe next week for delivery? Lucky I have another car … or two.


Meanwhile, I’ve finished making up the adapter wiring to match my Pioneer A/V radio to the Mitsubishi and it’s ready to go in. But first I have to stick the digital antenna to the windscreen and thread its cable down the left A pillar, behind the dash to the radio position. It seems difficult, so I’m hesitating, but these things often turn out to be easier than you think they’ll be. Just do it!


Bromo dawn3Y

All the time I’m sitting at this PC and writing this, I’m listening to music on a pair of “computer speakers” I bought a couple of years ago when they were “on special” and which have turned out to be marvellous! I’m a hi-fi nut and I’ve been listening to good loudspeakers for many years – KEF, JBL, Tannoy, B+W, Wharfedale – so I reckon I know good sound when I hear it.

These computer speakers are bloody lovely! They’re a Chinese brand, Edifier, which is a bit embarrassing. Chinese speakers? Well, I’m happy with these.



They have a 20W per channel amplifier built in and you can stream audio to them using Bluetooth if you want to. I don’t.

Clean, uncoloured sound, a surprising amount of bass, all the volume you’ll ever need, for $149 the pair. Since that includes the amp, it’s a bargain. You can still buy them from Altronics but not at that bargain price I paid. Recommended.


Speaking of Altronics, I need to go there now to buy a cigarette lighter socket to add to the Verada while I’m installing the radio and all the guts are out. The socket in this car is in the arm rest cubby hole and that’s too far from the dash for me. I’m not lighting cigarettes but I’m feeding power to my GPS and it’s too far for the cord. I need a socket further forward. I’ll do it today.


Bunker bunkum day 109


This just happened. There was a full moon tonight, rising just after sunset. Unfortunately cloud covered the early part of the rise, but this was at 6.43pm when the clouds cleared. This was shot with my new Nikon at 2,000mm hand held, ISO 100 approx, f6.3 1/500s.


This was at 6.47pm, ISO 110, f6.5 1/500s. I’ve added some sharpening and level adjustments.

At the same time, a thunderstorm has started up – no rain yet but the lightning is flashing every few seconds and the thunder’s rumbling in the distance. Although that could be my stomach, since it’s dinner time. 🙂


Browsing Facebook Marketplace just now, I was amazed to see this offered for sale:



It’s the Holden Piazza, made by Isuzu in the 1980s (this is a 1986 model). It was always regarded as one of the prettiest cars on the road, but it seemed to be just a legend, sustained by the occasional photo in the car magazines but never seen for real. Here it is, in Perth, yours for about $9,000. I still think it’s lovely, 34 years on.


Yesterday I mentioned group photos I took in Japan. Here’s another favourite:


They love having their picture taken.  © PJ Croft 2020


This is my favourite. Kyoto station.   © PJ Croft 2020


Purple shoelaces!  ©  PJ Croft 2020


Bunker bunkum day 108


Gion district, Kyoto 1992.  © PJ Croft 2020

What a glorious day, warm sunshine, clear blue sky, about 23deg. Winter?

But did you notice – last month was our warmest June on record, at an average max. of 21.4degC. Global heating is real.


Aaaarrrrgh, this Lenovo laptop is getting annoying. After my friend’s wasted trip out here yesterday, this morning I’d nearly finished getting it set up with him as the user and installing several free programs when he phoned and said he’d come out here again (I was going to drive it in to his place, but he said no, he’d come out here).

I forgot to say on the phone that I’ve discovered that the camera set into the screen seems to be faulty.


The image from the Lenovo laptop camera. It varies a little when you wave your hand in front, but never gives any more than this.

That’s it. That’s all you get from this Lenovo laptop camera. My friend said, “I’m not going to accept that. Unless it works 100%, it’s faulty. Send it back and I want a refund.”

I tend to agree, but he was annoyed again, and I was embarrassed, and it was another wasted drive, and I’m the one who has to do the return and get a refund. I  tried going to on-line support, but their support section is down for the weekend for maintenance. Yes, THIS weekend.

I was tempted to say that this is what you get when you choose a low cost computer, but I was the one who recommended it, knowing his price range. On paper, it’s great – Core i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 15″ Full HD screen and a DVD drive built in for $742. Good specs.

But a faulty camera. So back it goes, with me having to do the repacking and sending. I won’t dare ask for reimbursement of the shipping cost. Bugger!!!!


There was pretty bad news for photography fans like myself this week – Olympus are folding their tent and giving up.

It’s not a complete abdication – they’ve sold their photo hardware manufacturing business to a company called Japan Industrial Partners. What this means, we don’t know yet. Will Olympus equipment continue to be manufactured? We don’t know. A press release or two suggested it will continue in some form, but we don’t know.

I first bought into Olympus in the early 1980s with the OM2-SP (Spot Program) and over the years I bought quite a bit of their gear, mainly second hand. At one stage I had the 18mm, 21mm, 28mm, 50mm, 135mm and a couple of Tamron zooms with the Adaptall mounts – the 28-50mm and the 70-150mm Tamrons. As a matter of fact, I replaced a dropped and damaged 70-150mm Tamron just recently for $50. It’s a very handy lens and sharp enough, though not up to modern standards. My OM2-SP is sitting up on my shelf now.

Mainly, I wanted Olympus for their macro and flash systems and I found almost all of these second hand: T28 flash, T32 flash, T-Power control 1, T8 Macro flash (one side of a pair), and the T10 Ring Flash. Plus several adapters, connectors, cords and a tilting flash handle that got hot and drained its batteries each time I tried to use it. It was stolen in my burglary in 1991.

I still have almost all this gear in a box in the garage. The OM2-SP sits on the shelf collecting dust, and it’s even still got a half finished Fuji slide film in it. I must finish it and get it processed, if I can find an E-6 processor in town. I think there’s one. I have no idea what’s on the first 20 or so frames. That’ll be interesting to find out. Even though the film has been sitting in the camera for 20 years or so, I’m sure it will still give me results. They may be not as good as when the film was new, but with scanning and digital processing, I’m sure I’ll be able to get good results from it.


By the way, on my Japan trip in 1992, this very same OM2-SP was one of the cameras that took all these shots I’m posting. I took the OM2, its 28mm Zuiko lens and the 50mm Zuiko, I think. And I took a Nikon FE2 with the 75-150 Nikon Series E lens.

PS: no, I forgot – the Nikon I took was the F601 and the main lens was a Tokina 20-35mm, with the 75-150 Series E. The 20-35mm was a great choice – it’s ideal for interiors and hand held shots in low light. Wonderful results.

Can’t remember what else – maybe a Nikon 35mm lens? And for the first time, I shot the entire three week trip on Fuji Reala colour negative (print) film, buying rolls of it as I went from shops in Japan. I shot about 36 rolls, mostly 36 exposure. Each roll of film cost about A$8-10 (?), so the cost of the film alone was substantial (36 x $8 = $288), but when I got back to Perth it all had to be processed and prints made. Each roll cost about the same – $8, so another $288. In 1992, that was big money.

The interesting thing is, at the time I liked the prints and put them all into those sticky-paged albums. I was pretty proud of the results.

But after I “retired” in 1999, I had the time to spare, and I bought a Nikon LS4000ED film scanner. I’ve still got it here. That 4000 means 4000dpi, meaning high resolution! The files are about 35MB for each image.

I spent about four months, maybe more, and I scanned every single one of those 36 rolls x 36 exposures, and the results were magnificent! If I thought the prints were good, the scanned images were a revelation. I can’t show a comparison because the prints are long gone, but this:

r14-007 print ver

was flat and dull in the store print, but it leaps out from the screen. Likewise:

r14-005 print ver

I still have all these Japan images stored on this PC and as you can tell, I like ’em.


Speaking of Japan, the gardening program on the ABC last night was on Japanese gardens and in particular, the Kenrokuen gardens in Kanazawa. (I’d almost forgotten those names.) We went there and I have these shots:


Kenrokuen Gardens.   ©  PJ Croft 2020


Kenrokuen Gardens, Kanazawa. With tongue firmly in cheek, this is the Japanese Olympics Garden Viewing Team on a training exercise.    © PJ Croft 2020


They were posing for some group photo, but I stole the shot. Lovely girls, but look at the top left girl’s expression.   © PJ Croft 2020


Likewise, I’ve had some old slides sitting in plastic slide pages (remember them?) for many years and I pulled some out a few days ago. Some have stuck to the plastic and deteriorated badly, but they look like abstract paintings now. I need to set the scanner up again to get them into the computer, but I’m quite excited about it. ASAP.

I’ve also got some shots of places that family will recognise from long ago, but shot on infra-red film. Interesting.


There’s a full moon tomorrow night, and it will have Jupiter and Mars aligned with it. Now that I have my Nikon P950 with its 2000mm lens, I would be able to get some good shots. However, the weather forecast is for cloud and rain, I think. Same for Monday when the alignment repeats, but again it’s 100% forecast for rain. Ho hum.

Bunker droppings day 107


Japan 1992   © PJ Croft 2020

What a glorious day. Sparkling clear blue sky, 21deg max. Nice.


I admit I am very sensitive. I was told some years ago that I could be called hypersensitive. I notice things people say and do and it makes me upset sometimes, like now.

I’ve been buying and setting up a new laptop for a friend of mine using my credit card because he doesn’t have one. It’s fine, he paid me today, that’s not the problem.

I was hoping to be able to pass it over and so I’ve been setting it up for him as he’s not very expert, to put it politely. He came here today so that I could give it to him. But first I had to add him as a user and delete myself, as my name got on there when it first arrived and I was setting up Windows 10 for the first time. I hadn’t been able to do it because I didn’t know his full details.

But to add a user, it involves setting up a Microsoft account. When you do that, you have to put the user’s email address in, but the next step is that MS sends an email to the user’s email account with a code. My friend’s email address is OK, we know that, but he didn’t know his password so we couldn’t access it and see the MS code. Therefore we were stuck.

That meant we couldn’t proceed. I could tell he was annoyed at making a wasted trip and he made a remark about how it would have been better if I’d set it all up at his place as he thinks he knows where his password is. Thinks. Then he made remarks about how this new laptop is no use to him and it may get sent back, or be dropped into the bin. And he got up and left quite suddenly.

Bloody hell, I’m upset. I’ve spent quite a few hours already installing free software and an anti-virus program for him. But because he can’t remember his email password, we can’t proceed and so he’s upset with me, making snarky remarks.

Yes, I’m sensitive. I suppose someone else would have given him snarky remarks in return (“Why can’t you remember your passwords? Why can’t you keep a record?”) but I’m not like that. My pulse is racing and I’m having trouble getting my mind away from this.


I put the new battery into the Honda MDX a couple of days ago, cleaning the battery compartment before I dropped it in and ensuring the terminals are clean and tight.

The car hasn’t been started or driven for a couple of months, so I was a bit nervous, but it started first time and after a little lumpiness, the engine cleared its throat and idled smoothly. Great. So I let the foot brake off and put it in reverse with my foot on the accelerator. Nothing, except the creep you get at idle. I tried to increase the engine revs but nothing I did would make it go any faster. I hurriedly put it back into forward and let it creep back into the garage. Wouldn’t want to be stuck half in, half out.

It’s as if the accelerator is not controlling the engine. Strange. I haven’t done anything that would cause that. The clue is that there’s a Check Engine warning light on, but what does it mean? I do actually have an OBD (On Board Diagnostics) reader which would tell me, but you have to get under the dash to plug it in and I can’t contort my body enough to do it. I suppose it’s possible that the car has decided it wouldn’t be prudent to drive with this fault, whatever it is, so it’s stopping me.

I think I’ll phone the RAC to come and give me an idea what’s wrong. I would guess that there is no mechanical cable, that the accelerator controls a voltage to feed to the engine and its computer, but I don’t know. Could it be a faulty potentiometer?

If it needs mechanical work, so be it, but it’s probably something simple as the car hasn’t been driven recently. I did notice before I started it that the radiator was looking dry, so I filled it with distilled water, and the oil is near the lower mark, but it’s not dry – it’s still within the bottom and top marks. Odd.


I’ve been meaning to mention that Sunday evening ABC-TV program Operation Buffalo again. What a weird program. I’m still watching it after four episodes, but it’s losing me. It can’t seem to make up its mind whether it’s serious drama or a comedy. As I’ve said before, it’s like parody. Some of the acting is slapstick, yet last Sunday there was serious shooting (with guns) and a woman got shot right in the forehead. It’s not comedy. But the acting is so over the top that I’d be embarrassed if it was seen overseas. Oh well.


I’ve now got all my wi-fi devices connected to my iiNet modem again, after realising that the password has changed. But my land-line (VOIP) phone is still not working. I’ve been through all the phone settings and the iiNet modem settings and nothing looks wrong. I’ll go through the modem settings one more time but this is annoying! I’ll tell iiNet that I don’t want to pay for the past two weeks for this phone, because it hasn’t been working and it’s not my fault.


There was an ad in The West yesterday for a vegetable/vegetarian chain of shops in Perth, and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen truffles advertised for sale. The price? $2 per gram!  That’s $2,000 per kilogram. This is bullshit. There’s no way it can cost that much. They’re just exploiting us.

I’ve never even smelt truffles before, let alone seen them. I’m tempted to go and buy a couple of grams just for the experience.


Grrrr, I’ve finally managed to get the owner set up on this new laptop, once he gave me the password for his email account so that I could get the code that Microsoft sends when you set up a new account.

What a rigmarole! You can’t be a user on a PC with Windows without setting up a Microsoft account, whereby they try to get you to give them all your information and let them send you all their advertising and so on.

I’ve now got the new owner’s name showing as the main user and the person who signs in, but I want to remove myself now, and I can NOT find a way to remove myself. It says, To remove a user, click on your account and select Manage.

But which account? The new owner, or me? When I try to follow this instruction, i.e. clicking on Manage, it just starts up a web browser and gives a dog’s dinner of options, but I cannot find a “Remove User” button.

This whole process has made me realise just how difficult computers are for the average person. I’ve been using Windows for nearly 25 years, but I’m bamboozled by so much of this. I’m not stupid, but so often Microsoft says, “Do this”, but when I do it, if I can find it, I don’t see what I would expect to see. This is crap.

Oh well, chicken breasts with cheese, and roast vegetables, cooking now in my Breville Air Fryer oven (roasting, of course). One aluminium tray, no washing up.

Bunker bulldust day 106


Kyoto 1992.  © PJ Croft 2020

I’m beginning to think it’s time I dropped the Bunker bulldust title. I’m not really bunkering any more as we’re back to normal here in Perth, Western Australia. No virus here.

I had lunch with friends in the Dome restaurant across the road yesterday and I saw no sign of any restrictions on spacing. In fact we were quite crammed in the “Function Room”.

There were several large tables with five or six diners (we were six as well) all trying to talk and I found the noise level pretty difficult. I could only pick up about half what my opposite was saying. I don’t think my hearing is especially defective, it’s just the problem most people have of being able to follow a conversation in a noisy crowd. It’s lucky she just droned on, in long, boring stories such that all I have to do is nod as if I’ve heard her. Many times I had time to think to myself, “What is she talking about?” I lost the thread five minutes ago.

In fact, I was pretty miffed yesterday. I had spoken on the phone the day before with the “Head Girl” about our meeting and since the restaurant is only 100m from my place, I said why don’t we adjourn to my house after the lunch and we can have coffee and talk some more. “No”, she said, “we can do all our talking in the restaurant.” I was pretty offended by that, refusing my invitation, speaking and making the decision for all the others without asking them. As it turned out, as I said the noise level prevented proper conversation and it would have been much easier in my house, but I was effectively prevented from inviting the others because the “Head Girl” had said no.

When it came time to wind up, we were all standing there continuing the conversations. I wanted to say, “Come on over to my place”, but I just gave up and quietly walked away. Fuming. Am I wrong? Am I upset over nothing?


High up in the North in the land called Svithjod, there stands a rock. It is a hundred miles high and a hundred miles wide. Once every thousand years a little bird comes to this rock to sharpen its beak. When the rock has thus been worn away, then a single day of eternity will have gone by.
Hendrik Willem Van Loon

This is from a web site called https://what-if.xkcd.com Highly recommended! It’s a very intelligent form of doggerel, answering strange What If questions. I love it.


Did I say? Broome tourist people are pleading with us to come up there as they need the winter visitors. So what’s to stop me doing the drive now?

I’ve only ever been as far as Exmouth and North West Cape before, in 1987 I think.

Windmill +roos87

North West Cape NP 1987  © PJ Croft 2020

Generated by Carsales Image Server on 01:20.17 10/07/2016

Honda MDX, same colour as mine. For some reason, car sites rubbish the styling. Why? I love it.

I’ve got the Honda MDX which would be quite a nice vehicle for a long drive like that. It’s got two brand new tyres on the front and a new battery. It’s easily configurable for sleeping in the back.

But two things are stopping me – CPAP and a means of powering it, and I don’t have any camping gear. Well, not much.

If I were in a powered camping/caravanning site, then power wouldn’t be a problem, but many of the best places to visit don’t have any power or even toilets. Therefore I might need an extra battery fitted to the Honda, and that would be costly – about $500 including the battery, I’d guess. And I’d have to buy a porta loo.

I guess I could just take one of my small folding tables, and I’ve got a nice folding chair (that will take my weight!). That’s really all I need.

Do I need to battery power my CPAP? Would I really want to rough it out in the unpowered wilds? Probably not. I don’t have the energy that I used to have in 1987. I’ll keep thinking it over………. and the time will slip away and I won’t get anywhere. Ho hum.


I’m getting a bit annoyed. I ordered a Lenovo laptop computer on behaf of a friend who doesn’t use credit cards, and it’s supposed to be delivered here. I got a confirmation email last week with a tracking number and a delivery date of 29 June, that was Monday.

Nothing came, of course, nor yesterday, and nothing has come today either. I have to sit around here waiting for the doorbell to ring. The web site still shows my delivery as scheduled for Monday two days ago. Grrrrr.

Post Script: stone the flamin’ crows, just ten minutes after I wrote this, there was a rap at the door and when I opened it, there was the delivery box. The guy didn’t wait for a signature, he was already in his van and moving off. OK, well, that’s fixed.


Speaking of loving car styling:


Screenshot_2020-07-01 2007 Peugeot 407 SV HDi Auto(1)It’s a Peugeot 407 Wagon, 2007 model. I love it. I want one. It’s only $7,888. But it’s in Sydney and we can’t cross borders. It’s also a diesel and I said I won’t buy a diesel car due to their particulate emissions which are cancerous. I still love that styling, though. They don’t make ’em like that any more.  The look of a car is all important to me. I want to own cars that I like the look of. Luckily they’re all more than 10 years old and affordable.


Did I mention? After my internet loss last week, and its mysterious return 24hrs later, I found all my wi-fi devices were no longer connected and I couldn’t connect in the normal process. I thought the wi-fi wasn’t working.

Late yesterday afternoon, I decided to tackle the problem and went into the modem Toolbox with all its settings and diagnostics.

To cut a long story short, after much fiddling I found that my wi-fi password had changed. It was previously an easy one for me to remember but it stopped working after the iiNet support guy got me to do a hard reset of the modem. But luckily the password that works now is one I had stored in my password program. It was just luck and guesswork that made me try it. Why did it change? Harrrrumph!


OK, next job – setting up the new laptop for Keith. He wants to use the dictation (voice recognition) feature for word processing, a feature of Windows 10. I know it works for MS Word, but he doesn’t want to have to pay for the whole suite when he only uses one part of it. OK, I’ve installed the free Libre Office, but at the moment it doesn’t want to cooperate. It doesn’t seem to accept voice dictation. Bugger. I don’t know what to do about that.

Then it’s back to installing the new AV/Radio into Vera, the Verada. Never bored.