Sneaks up on ya, doesn’t it?

Hong Kong, October 2014, The Peak. I’ve seen it but we won’t be going there again. © PJ Croft 2014, 2020.

Only 12 days to Xmas. Crumbs, it was November only last month. There’s a bit of hot weather to remind us, 30s and I’ve had the aircon on all day. I’m sleeping on top of the sheets all night too, with the fan blowing on me.

Now that I’m sleeping properly, the dreams! Aye, to sleep, perchance to dream. For in this sleep of death, what dreams may come. I’m exaggerating, it’s obviously not death, but the amazing dreams I have. Nothing bad, no nightmares, just long sinuous adventures. I need to get up for a tinkle every 2 – 3 hours and each time, I’m conscious of a story but it slips away so quickly. I really wish I could remember them better.

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I’ve been having lots of heart flutters and palpitations for a long time and thought I’d better get it checked, so yesterday I had an echo-cardiogram and wore a Holter monitor for the day and night. No problem, I’ve done it before. But I wish the ECG pads weren’t so sticky and itchy.

My appointment was at 9.30am and thank goodness the parking at Joondalup was easy. I hate that parking area. And the long walk to the one and only pay-station. I have to drop the monitor off at 8.30am on Monday and the guy said no need to pay for parking, just drop by, in and out. Oh yeah? How do I do that? I guess I’ll find out.

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This is interesting – I’ve been a buyer of CDs for 40 years and I bought two yesterday at JB’s. I’ve ripped them to my hard drives and started to listen just now.

But I also pay the monthly fee for Amazon Prime (because it really does save its cost on postage and speeds deliveries), and that gives me access to Amazon Music. When I did a quick search, there was the CD I bought yesterday. I needn’t have bought it, in other words.

This is a moral dilemma – I want the performers to get their money from the physical purchase – they deserve recompense for their work. But I can listen, not free but very cheaply, on Amazon. I can’t download and record from Amazon, though. I don’t think so.

On the other hand, it’s broadening my listening no end. I’m a stick-in-the-mud. When I browse the CDs at JB’s, I can’t listen to see if I like it so I stick to the old favourites – from 20 – 30 years ago. Now I can sample all I like and sometimes, I do like. So maybe I pay the money for a CD after all.

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I’ve just read an article by a Guardian journalist bemoaning all the tabs she has open in her browser while writing and researching articles. She has 20 – 30 open at a time she says, all saved to her desktop in a huge clutter and feels relief when she can close them down.

I don’t understand the problem, if it is one. I’ve got six tabs open now and that’s pretty typical. Maybe eight or nine, but no more than that.

On the left, though, I’ve got my links (bookmarks) folders and I’ve got probably 100 or more folders, many with 20, 30, 50 links in each folder. For example, _Quicklinks, _MDX&Verada, _Travel (the underscore keeps it at the top), then Affinity, Age Calculators, Airlines ….. Broadcast, CAD, Cars and so on.

If I were a journalist, I would name a folder “Brexit”, for example, and collect all the tabs (bookmarks) into that folder. Then every time I wrote a new article on Brexit, there’s all my research tabs right there. And so on. No need to do the research again, you haven’t lost it from last time. Make sub folders within the main folder, and on down.

I knew someone whose desktop was completely covered like that so that she could never find what she was looking for. I tried gently to help her clear them into some order, but it was clear we weren’t understanding each other so I quickly backed away.

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Speaking of writing, my article for submission to the TVW Channel 7 History book, My Life and Times at Channel 7 1966-99 went down a treat. It was 26 pages long with quite a few photos, way more than the organiser wanted but I couldn’t squeeze down to his format and rules. I submitted it on 30 November, right on the death knock, but I don’t think this book is going to come to fruition – I get the feeling he’s had very few submissions. I’ve only seen two others so far.

I got many very nice compliments on Facebook (that’s where it’s being organised). One stood out, though. It was from Greg Milner, who you might remember was a journalist and on-camera reporter in the 80s and 90s. He said, “Crofty, you missed your calling.” That made me glow with pride, as I do take great care and pride in my writing.

That leads me to say that I’m going to do a second edition, because I barely grazed the surface. Although I mentioned many, many people I worked with, I left a lot out too, and many episodes and events. For example, being persuaded to vote Labor by Burkie, Brian Burke in the early ’70s before he left to get elected to parliament. And the famous pillow fight. And taking my dog to work! It seems crazy now but I was crazy about that dog (Boopsie, the Border Collie). Then a year later when I bought Minnie the Golden Labrador, I took her to work one day too. She looked just like the Lab on the toilet roll packages, 110% cute, and I took her around to all the offices where the girls went, “Ooooohhh”.

And so on. I have many more stories and I think a second edition would be welcomed, even if the book doesn’t happen.

That leads me on to the next writing task. Actually it has to come before the TVW one as she wants it by Xmas.

A woman who lives in California (where else?) runs the Lost Bali Facebook group and wants to publish a book on “Lost Bali”, the times in the years leading up to 1990 which she arbitrarily defines as when the rampant development overwhelmed the southern Balinese culture. I know what she means. She lived in Bali for a few years, as well as in Melbourne so she’s a bit Aussie oriented as well.

I wasn’t going to bother, but she’s asked me very nicely so I thought I’d have a crack at it. I first went in 1980 and again in 1983, 1986 and 1989, so I fit her period and I do have a helluva lot of good photos. I say “good” because the photos others are submitting are, um, not very good. In fact, atrocious. Most are just camera-phone shots of faded old 4R prints from the quickie shops. Crooked, faded, creased, poorly composed. C’mon people.

So I’m onto it. I’ve written five A4 pages so far and just got as far as the very early Sanur. I think I’ll finish by Xmas.

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I think about my cars a lot and it’s dawning on me that I enjoy driving the Honda MDX more than the Verada. I think of one has to go, it’ll be Vera. The leaking power steering pump is the big problem with it, too expensive to justify replacement (quote by the RAC for $800). I’ve replaced all the brakes, discs and pads, the exhaust, the roof lining, the rear right tail light assembly, the right driving light and had the left headlight polished. It looks good and drives beautifully. But the Honda feels so nice with its leather seats and roominess inside. We shall see.