Bunker bulldust day 158

Bankok 1988 © PJ Croft 2020

Phwooaar, an 8Byoot day today, I reckon. Beautiful blue sky, a few wispy clouds, 21C, warm sun, almost no wind. Yum.

I’ve had brekkie with a couple of photo mates at North Beach, looking out over the ocean. The sea is almost calm and a sailing boat was slowly gliding across the view, about 1Km out. Lovely.

We noticed the chalkboard as we were leaving: “Limit 1 hour per table”. No lingering. It didn’t bother us as we rarely stay that long, but that’s how things have changed. The second entrance has been closed off so there’s only one way in or out. I’m not sure what that’s about. Otherwise, things are pretty normal.

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I had my first chance to use my new (second hand) car AV Stereo in the Verada today, having finally got around to fitting it yesterday. Ugh, they sure don’t make these things easy to fit. All the centre dash trim has to come off first of course, and all the plugs and sockets for the air-con and fans etc have to be disconnected.

It’s like seeing someone’s guts open on the operating table.

This model is my first with DAB+ digital radio. That means an antenna on a plastic backing has to be stuck to the inside of the windscreen on the passenger side. It has a thin coaxial cable which has to be fed under the A-pillar trim and was supposed to go down behind the dash to reach the radio. I’m damned if I could figure out how to do it. Somehow you’re supposed to reach behind the airbag and glove box, but I just couldn’t do it, so it’s draped across the top of the dash and enters through the centre trim. Can’t be helped.

Anyway, I wasn’t sure it would work well, digital radio being prone to fading and dropouts, but it works brilliantly. Only once did it drop out, but only for a few seconds.

I’ve spent at least an hour yesterday and today figuring out how to work the thing. These AV units are not like the old car radios with their knobs and push-buttons. All these have is a column of touch pads down the left side for volume down and up, a Mode button, a couple of other buttons and Seek Fwd/Back switches. Everything else is done by touching or tapping the screen.

The thing is, where once we could do things by touch and feel without needing to look, now it’s almost impossible to do anything while driving without taking your eyes off the road and looking at the display. This is just as dangerous as using your phone while driving and I’m surprised the police don’t treat these as they do phones. Especially as, if you’ve cheated with the wiring, you can play DVDs or mp4 video files while driving. I haven’t done that, but it’s possible.

The other point is that I’m fed up to the back teeth with radios that are designed for the US market where all the controls are on the left, the furthest from a right-hand side driver. In this case, the volume “buttons” are at the top left, requiring me to stretch across to operate them. I don’t like it!

This Mitsubishi Verada, made in Australia, is the only car I’ve ever had where the original equipment stereo unit, made in Australia too, had the volume control on the right, the driver’s side. Unfortunately, it’s been replaced by this “new, modern” unit.

I can’t believe they can’t make L-R swapped units for RH drive markets. This is an easy thing to do these days, especially considering all the touch display controls are done in software. Also, they’re made in Japan. Japan is a RH drive country, like us. Surely they want RH controls too? Apparently not.

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The War of the Worlds concluded on SBS last Thursday. I was an avid watcher – this is my kind of program, a tense sci-fi thriller about an invasion from space.

But what a disappointing ending. I almost threw the remote at the screen (no, not really, but I did emit a small exclamation of disgust). I should have known. Half the tension was because some force was attacking the goodies in the cities and forests, but with conventional guns and bullets. Huh? These are machine things with four legs, walking like animals. How did they hold and fire weapons?

One of the goodies is a young woman, early twenties maybe, who mysteriously regains her sight from being blind, and can sense when the baddies are coming while no-one else can. She also seems to be immune to their attacks, being ignored by the dog-like machines. Why? We’re never told.

The ending is that they discover a huge thing like a submarine in the Thames river in London. She jumps from a bridge to land on it and explores an opening. She goes down a long ramp into the interior, to discover — some man, hooked up to pipes like a life support system. He reaches out his hand to her … The End. What?? Who was he? What was it all about? What happened after that? We’ll never know.

I was very disappointed. I had high hopes, but in the end all it amounted to was goodies and baddies shooting at each other. There was hardly any science. Waste of time. I recorded all the five episodes but I’ve wiped them. I won’t bother watching it again.

On the other hand, The Salisbury Files (whatever?) looks good. It’s a semi-fictionalised account of the Novichok poisonings that happened in Salisbury, UK in 2018. I like.

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I’ve seen a small ad on Neighbourhood from the Save the Children Fund Op Shop in Clarkson appealing for donations of goods. Yippee! I’ve got so much clutter in this house that I’m desperate to be rid of stuff. I’ve got far too many clothes, clothes I never wear. Out, out! I gave the Vinnies shop a bag of four pairs of shoes last week, hardly worn. I’m like a magpie, buying all the nice shiny new things then never using them.

Two printers have to go before I can install my new Ecotank printer. In one case, the yellow channel is half blocked and can’t be cleared, and the replacement inks are just too expensive. In the other case, the paper feed has stopped working and it jams all the time. It only ever cost me $35 and I’ve had my money’s worth. Out, out!

I do wonder what’s going to happen after I die. Someone is going to have a big job clearing the house out ready for sale. I don’t envy him. I’ll hardly be in a position to care then but I feel the need to start getting rid of my things now. I tend to be thinking a lot about my passing these days. When will it happen? How? Will it be quick or will I lie here for days before anyone wonders why they can’t reach me?

I do plan to buy a pre-paid funeral asap. I don’t want anyone to have to worry about it after I’ve gone.

Nice thoughts, eh?

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I’m ploughing on with revamping my Croft History vol. 1 book with the new, enhanced and colourised photos. It is hard going! It’s because when I did the enhancements, they all end up with new file names, and the photo book software says, uh oh, these photos are missing so I’ll put a red warning triangle on them on the page. So I have to go through every image that has been enhanced and change its file name to match the original b/w images. That means the originals have to have a slightly different file name so they don’t clash.

This is taking many, many hours of work. I’m almost finished. But next time I compose a book, I will make folders on my hard disk labelled page 1+2, page 3+4 and so on, and put all the images for each page in these proper folders. That way I’ll be able to collect everything up for backup, and I’ll know where the images are. Next time …

More comparisons:

Cute, wasn’t I? All these are black and white originals.
All these were in Sydney, 1947-49.
My favourite picture. Grandpa and me, c1949.
I can still smell his pipe.
I was born in Feb 1947, so this would be early 1948 I’d guess.
Kangaroo or deer?

I’m so glad Dad and Uncle Darcey were such keen photographers. If there’s one thing I would say to people, TAKE PHOTOS OF YOUR KIDS NOW and store them away safely. Make sure they’re dated and captioned too, if you can.

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When I had the internet loss about a month ago, one of the effects was that I lost my “land-line” phone as well. When I got iiNet to restore the internet connection, I didn’t immediately realise the phone was dead as well.

I let it go for a while, and tried to restore it myself without success. I finally complained to iiNet last week and we don’t know what the problem was, but after applying a new password, it came good. Why?

However, now the scam callers are back with a vengeance. I’ve just had two, only 20 mins apart. It’s obvious when you answer, the foreign, mechanical pre-recorded voice telling me my internet is being disconnected unless I pay a bill or something. I don’t know what they want because I never let them get that far. It’s reached the stage now where these criminals, these low life scum, have virtually rendered our land line phone system useless because I never answer the phone any more. I figure if it’s a genuine caller, they’ll leave a message.

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