Bunker bulldust day 173

COVID Confusion?

Aaah, lovely day with warm air outside, about 21deg. Rain is forecast for later, though, but my washing is done and dry so rain all you like, Mr Weatherman.

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I mentioned The Online Photographer, Mike Johnson’s web log yesterday, and how he writes a very personal story at times such that I feel I’ve got to know him, almost as a friend, even though we’ve never met and never will.

I did what I promised, increased my Patreon monthly donation (to US$8) and it seems many others did too as he’s written a very sincere thanks today. He admits to a bit of depression. That’s OK, I’d say most of us, me included, feel that way at times and especially now that we don’t meet face-to-face with friends so much.

Personally, I’ve lived alone for so long that this is nothing much different. I regularly go a week without speaking to anyone except the checkout lady at the supermarket. Visiting the doctor or the pharmacy is a social occasion for me. I can fully understand how it must be for a normally gregarious person, though.

Mike lives alone too, in a semi rural area, but he has two dogs which would help. I’ve thought a lot about getting another dog but as much as I remember the good times, I also remember the chewed furniture, the dog hair, the smell in the house, the dog poop on the lawn, the flies it brought, the vet costs, the barking, the hassles while walking and so on. I went through some rough times with my dogs. I miss ’em, but I don’t miss the hassles. If I had my partner here to share things with it would be different. Not much chance of that for a good while yet, if ever.

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I’m ploughing on with the photo enhancements. When you do them, a copy is stored on the MyHeritage website servers too, presumably so that photos of relatives can be added to your family tree. But I got a warning that I was running out of room so I deleted almost all of them. I have my copies here, I don’t need them stored for me.

Some recent work:

1962 Roy Reynolds, Jim Weston, Me at “the Hut”, Northam.
1969 Aunt Marion, Me, Grandma Croft, Dad, Mum, at Maxine’s wedding.
A Bali girl 1980. I shot this on film with a 135mm lens and it was always a bit too unsharp. Now it’s much better. Isn’t she beautiful!
Comparison. 1994.
1996 in Jakarta.
1992 in Japan.
1983 in Bali.
1960s Mum.
2001 in my second year of retirement. I gained 10Kg in the first year!
March 1996 Dad, Maxine, Mum 3 months before she died.

I’ve also realised that you can put the enhanced photo through again if the first level is not enough:

It can’t work miracles but my face is much better and that’s what counts 😉

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Hmmm, iiNet has sent me a new SIM card for my phone and is offering waiver of two months fees if I register and use it. WHY? There must be a catch somewhere in the terms and conditions. Trouble is, although I have a letter with the new T&Cs, I don’t have the old ones to compare with. I can’t see anything bad but… I’ll let the thing sit here for a few weeks while I make up my mind but I’ll give in sooner or later.

I hope registering this one doesn’t stop the old SIM card working because I do have two phones. The other one is a 2014 cheapie but I dropped my current phone, a OnePlus 3T a few nights ago onto my hard tiled floor and it was deaded for a while. I was starting to worry, but then I banged it on the table and it worked again. Phew! I’m happy with it and I don’t want to have to buy a new one.

Actually, I have household insurance. Dropping a phone might be covered. Must check it out.

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Slowly, slowly does it. I’ve lifted my two printers off the other desk and now I can clean it and move it a bit to the left, as I’ve wanted to for a while.

The old Canon goes to the tip (what a waste, working except for a partly blocked yellow nozzle, can’t give it away), and now I can get the big A3+ Epson R2880 out into the strong light so I can find why it won’t feed the paper properly. I’d really like to replace it as it’s more than 10 years old, but what do I do with it? To the tip, too? What a pity that would be. Electronics waste is a problem.

Likewise with all those cameras I mentioned yesterday. Many of them I never use, but they’re almost worthless. They still work and cost nothing to run, but… what do I do with them?

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I mentioned Hong Kong yesterday too, and how I’m glad I’ve been there (twice) but I’ll never go again. Likewise with the Chinese mainland.
I’ve seen Shanghai:

Shanghai 2014 © PJ Croft 2020
Shanghai 2014

And Beijing:

Beijing 2014 © PJ Croft 2020
The Wall – no, I didn’t go up – too cold and windy! © PJ Croft 2020

But I’ll never go back there, and neither will anyone else from the West if they have any sense, because Xi Jin Ping is showing the true colours of this Communist military dictatorship. The mask is off and the fangs are showing.

What’s the motivation of this guy? It seems to be simply the accumulation of power both to himself (making himself chairman for life?!) and for China. He wants China to be number 1 in the world.

But you can’t eat power. It’s not something you can wear to parties and show off. If you make deadly enemies of the rest of the world in the process, is that going to make you feel better? I suppose for him it will.

In the case of Hong Kong he’s killed its status as the financial powerhouse of Asia. Maybe not completely yet, but it would be a brave Western country which set up there now. I think Hong Kong is going to go into a quite fast decline as people who value their freedom leave. So how does that benefit mainland China?

Dictator Xi must realise that he hasn’t got a friend in the world, except perhaps for Russia, Vlad the Poisoner Putin, and a smattering of third rate eastern European dictatorships like Belarus and Kazakhstan. When China is the world’s biggest economy, so what? Without friends, what have you got?

China is showing itself to be a naked military/communist dictatorship, liars, thieves, criminals who steal the West’s ideas and intellectual property, bullies, oppressors, torturers, bad people to be avoided. A shameful pariah in the world. How would I feel if I were a Chinese citizen and knew that my country was reviled throughout the rest of the world?

I’ve been there, but I will never, ever go again.

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I’ve been watching “Further Back in Time for Dinner” on the ABC. It’s a show where each episode takes a modern family back to the way people lived in the past.

The first series covered the decades from 1950 to the present and I enjoyed it because it was all very familiar.

This new series covers the decades from 1900-1910 and last night, 1910-1920. There will be an episode for each decade up to 1950.

The main thing I’m getting is how familiar it is and how similar it is to the way we lived in the 1950s. They had an outside dunny – so did we. There was no such thing as toilet paper in rolls – you used torn sheets of newspaper – I remember that. There was no electricity in 1900-1910. We only had a 32V DC generator at the “brown house”, the Bruce Rock farm. If Dad didn’t start it for any reason, then there was no power. But we had almost no electrical appliances anyway so it didn’t matter. We had a radio and I think we might have had an early barrel vacuum cleaner, and a Mixmaster, but that was about it. The stoves burned wood and we toasted over the coals with a toasting fork. All cooking was done on the stove or in the oven. Hot water? I can’t remember exactly but I think we had either a kerosene water heater or a wood burning one.

And the food? It was almost always meat, sheep meat, chops, roast mutton, sometimes beef but being a wheat and sheep farm, the only beef cattle we had was a cow or two. As I said, chicken was a once a year delicacy at Xmas. A fridge? I think we had a kerosene burning one, but I well remember the ice box when we moved to Rockingham in 1959. There used to be an ice man who brought big 400x300x200mm blocks of dripping wet ice covered in a hessian bag from his truck using big tongs.

My point is, for the first couple of decades of my life, we lived much as they did in the early decades of last century. Progress was very slow. We had a car but to start it, you had to use a crank handle.

I’m enjoying this show.