Jibber jabber

Beach and sky © PJ Croft 2021

Wow, I can sense the weather changing. Nice day, but windy and clouds coming over, with the forecast of rain on Tuesday – Thursday. Bye bye summer. Still warm, though, with highs in the 30s. I’m not complaining.

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Think you’re going to get vaccinated? I had not one, but two vaccinations yesterday. Not for COVID19, unfortunately, but one for pneumonia and the other for shingles or herpes zoster. I didn’t know you could be inoculated against that, but I’m happy with it. They told me I might feel a bit “off” after that one, but I didn’t notice any effects.

I asked about the COVID vaccination and they said they (the Brighton Beach Medical Centre) don’t know much so far, but they’ll let me know when they get any information. Being over 70, with diabetes and CLL I’m in the top risk category so I should be well up in the queue. Not that I want to be pushy. I’m not worried and I can happily wait my turn.

I saw the cardiologist on Thursday, too, and found that I should have been on aspirin since my stent operation on 25 January, but since it wasn’t explained, I haven’t been. He looked a bit shocked and told me he wants me on it today! Sounds important. OK, no problem.

Apart from that he measured my blood pressure – 130/54. No problems there. I asked what the low diastolic number means. Apparently it signifies very flexible blood vessels, that is, not stiff and calcified. That’s great. I mentioned that I’ve seen it drop below 50 many times when I’m in hospitals. Likewise my cholesterol is always low to normal. No problems there either. I’m lucky.

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I finished The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. It’s lucky it’s not a long book because I don’t rate it too highly. He time-zooms on to a trillion years into the future where the sun is turning into a red giant and almost all life on Earth is extinct, except for a slimy sea anemone creature. The problem with this is that the Sun is forecast to die down in the tens of billions of years in the future, nowhere near a trillion. However, given that these ideas hadn’t been properly formed in 1890, he was quite prescient.

He zooms back through time to his house and finds that little time has passed. His friends are there for a dinner party (all males, hey hey) and the book is his exposition of his travels through time to them. It’s written in the typical flowery prose of the period, but it’s quite pleasant reading and I added a couple of words to my vocabulary thereby.

But the conclusion is that a few days later, he sets off on another time journey and three years later, he’s still missing and is not heard from again. The end. I’m glad I read it, but I sorely wished for more science and a better story.

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There’s increasing chatter about international travel being opened up earlier than previously expected, perhaps in October this year. The problem is that the destinations I would like to visit are virus hotspots. I mean Bali and the UK. Even if I’m vaccinated, it’s not guaranteed immunity. We’ll be getting the Oxford-Astra Zeneca vaccine, I think, which is only 72-75% effective. I’ll be happy to have that, but I won’t take any risks. I don’t want to have to spend 14 days in hotel quarantine at my own expense, either.

So I can’t see myself travelling until 2022, at least.

Lies, lies, and more lies

Trigg Beach, WA

Beautiful day, 39deg and the same tomorrow. I can hardly believe this is the last week of summer. Noooooo!! I don’t want it to end. The sun is rising later, 6.00am, and setting earlier, 6.59pm. It’s noticeable. Still the temps this week are (Mon-Sun) 39, 39, 32, 36, 36, 36, 36. I shouldn’t complain.

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The headline is because I’ve been reading the news about the rape that happened in Parliament House in Canberra in 2019 and the lies being told now in trying to cover up who knew what, and when. Three more women have now come forward and told new stories about the guy, and how they felt pressured to keep quiet, and there seems to be a pattern of lies being told about who was told, who was not told and so on. Luckily journalists are right onto the story, digging, digging the facts and showing the prime minister to be a liar. We knew he was anyway.

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On top of that, there’s a new story today, that the Liberal government of Malcolm Turnbull lied about the cost saving of dumbing down our NBN, the National Broadband Network, by around $10 billion! It was always obvious to me anyway, but I’m glad to see it being exposed.

In case you didn’t know, the original Labor government plan in 2004 (I think) was for a fibre-optic network for high speed data connections (up to 1Gb/s) to almost every house and business premise in the country, within reason. (Satellite and fixed wireless for areas where it’s impractical to run cables.)

When the Libs took power and Malcolm Turnbull became PM, he had to have a different plan, and so he ordered that the whole network be redesigned to take the fibre-optic cables only to junction boxes in the streets, connecting from there to existing copper wires previously used for phones. He touted this as saving 10 to 20 $billion and taking five years less to do.

Well, the fact is that the savings were never there, costs blew out to at least the original estimate and the network is still not finished in 2021. It was obvious five years ago that Turnbull’s plan was bullshit and now, I hope, the figures are coming into view.

Unbelievable! The only reason Turnbull (Malcolm Turncoat, so named because he abandoned his climate change principles) ordered these changes and cost cuts was so that he had a point of difference to Labor. Therefore I have no hesitation in branding him, The Man Who Crippled Australia’s Broadband Network. I revile him.

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A bit of good news: a friend has sent me a link to an article that says Telstra is implementing a software solution to scam calls. It’s trained to recognise the characteristics of a scam call and block it. They say they blocked more than a million calls last year and are now blocking up to half a million calls per day! Hooray! I have noticed a lessening of the number of spurious calls these days but I put it down to phases of the moon. Telstra stands up automated platform to block scam calls – Telco/ISP – iTnews

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I’ve had a visit this morning from two ladies from Silver Chain. Two? It looks as if my request for “someone to have a chat” has finally paid off. One of them was the Claire that I mentioned last week, who organises this sort of thing, and the other was a lady called Kim who lives five minutes up the road and will be my “chat lady” or chatterer. We talked for about an hour today, with both of them, but Kim will come next week, just to visit and talk. We’ll probably go across to the Dome, not sure yet. She’s from the UK, Kent, and I’m sure we have plenty to talk about. I’ve been to Kent a couple of times.

The other side to this is that Claire wants to recruit me as a volunteer for social contact as well. In our talks last week we got onto the subject of older people and using technology. I said often think about older people who never had to use computers before and how difficult it must be for many people. It’s really an essential skill these days. Banking in particular is mostly on-line now, with bill paying in particular being part of that. If you don’t feel comfortable using a PC, how do you cope paying bills?

So it’s occurred to me to try to pass on my knowledge about this. I have, in the past, thought of going to the aged care home near here and asking if they would like me to run classes. I’m thinking I would want a bit of payment, maybe $10 per hour per participant? I’d have to tell Centrelink, of course.

One thing that’s often occurred to me, though, is that teaching someone to use internet banking would almost inevitably involve revealing passwords, or at least showing how to write them down or use a password manager. This is a bit dangerous. If the person somehow made mistakes and perhaps “misplaced” some money, it could get messy for me and could generate accusations and ill will. It might need a disclaimer to be signed before starting.

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Bali, 2017

I was browsing a map of the Sanur area of Bali where I’ve stayed many times and know quite well. It’s very noticeable how cheap the hotels have become. My favourite, the Taksu, used to cost $65 to $85 per night. It’s now down to $30. How I wish I could take advantage – but I can’t. First, we’re not allowed to travel there, and second, I could not go there due to the COVID pandemic. Even if the locals declared it safe, I could never relax and enjoy the stay, because Indonesia tends to be a bit too relaxed about these kinds of things. No, I think it will be another three, four, five years before we can think of going there. Only once the vaccines are in wide use and are proven to work.

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Speaking of vaccinations, I got a text this morning asking me to come in to the GP for an annual pneumonia vaccination. I was surprised, I didn’t know it was being done. OK, fine with me.

Busy week this week: the visitors this morning; podiatrist tomorrow; Wally Lunch Wednesday (Wally’s our school mate who has MS – I’ll be going to this lunch fully dressed up and made up, and I’m expecting many ribald comments from these sports-fan old high-school mates); cardiologist at 12.15pm Thursday in Mt Lawley, followed by another GP appt at 2pm; and finally the pneumonia shot at 1.45pm Friday. Crumbs! Appointments every day. I might have to retire.

At least they have some excuse

Isn’t that enticing? It’s Bremer Bay, WA, a bit too far to go I’m afraid. Photo: ABC

This is what I mean by the headline:

Sicks is right!

They do look pretty sick, don’t they? Fascutis? Busters? But after all, their native language is Chinese so they’re excused. Anyway, if I were a Gen Z or Millennial, being called sick is a compliment, isn’t it?

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However, I’m amazed and disgusted at the lazy, ignorant and incredibly low standard of written English in this country, right here. People don’t look at what they write, they don’t check it, they can’t write proper grammar, they can’t spell, they don’t understand syntax. They just don’t care!

I’m on this rampage after spending a few hours on Facebook and the Nextdoor website. I feel dirty when I’ve looked at the garbage people write; unclean, contaminated, stained by their sloppy, careless howlers. How can people care so little about how they’re seen?

I refuse to drop my standards. I learnt to read and write from good books and I’m proud of the way I write. I look down on misspellers, grammar fools, syntax idiots.

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Speaking of Chinese, would you like to try their latest tools?

Ingrown toenails? Time on your hands? High threshold of pain? Try these high tech solutions for your ingrown toenails. Just go to Wish.com. 🙂

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My last book finished is My Place, by the local writer Sally Morgan. I was a little disappointed because before I started it, I was under the impression that it was a biography of the woman who married Ernie Dingo. I’ve heard her talk on radio and it was a very, very interesting story.

But that’s not this book. Sally Morgan was born right here in Perth and lived in Manning (a suburb just south of Perth city) for most of her life as described in this story. She’s still with us, I don’t mean to imply that she’s died. But it’s the story of how she grew up not realising that she was Aboriginal, thinking that her slightly darker skin was Indian, from being from India. Only slowly did she learn of her heritage, despite denials and prevarications mainly from her grandmother but also her mother.

As she learnt more, and gained a degree in psychology from UWA along the way, she determined to find the complete story and write a book about it. It’s a story of how “natives” like her gran and mother were employed almost as slaves at the huge pastoral stations in the Pilbara and Kimberley. However, many of the relationships were close and kind, and many children were born of relationships between the white male station owners and the Aboriginal women.

It’s a thick book, 450 pages or more of small type and to be honest, I skipped ahead in a few places, but I’m glad I finished it. It’s a well regarded book and I can see why. It’s nothing to do with Ernie Dingo, though. I’ll have to dig a bit to find that one.

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My current book is The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, that classic of science fiction. It’s a slim book, less than 200 pages, I think. Despite knowing of it for most of my life, I’ve only now got around to reading it.

I’m only 2/3 of the way through and despite the flowery prose, it’s holding my attention, even if putting me to sleep as intended. It’s set in about 1890, I think, telling the tale of a London well-to-do gentleman (he must be, to be able to afford a big house, servants and a laboratory) who invents a machine that enables him to travel forward in time, to the future, the year 8021207 to be precise.

There he lands in a world of little people, small in stature that is, who live in a lush garden world and who seem to have no apparent work or means of production of their food or clothing. Except for the abundant fruits of the gardens.

But his time machine disappears and he is forced to search for it. In doing so he discovers an underground world inhabited by what seems to be a separate species, the Morlocks, dark adapted, with large eyes and who try to capture him. He escapes, but realises that these subterranean creatures do the work producing the clothing that the upper world people wear.

I’m at the point where he’s finding another group of people at the moment. It strongly reminds me of episodes of Dr Who. Stay tuned for the finale.

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Urrrgggh, I’m finding that sitting all day is producing pain in my left buttock, radiating down my left leg and into my foot. Luckily it’s not sharp pain, just an ache, but unless I take all the weight off that left side, it hurts. But try sitting with all your weight on the right side for a while. It’s too hard.

Therefore I’ve fallen for an ad of F/B for a kind of foam cushion:

Blue Cloud cushion.

It’s coming from the USA, home of big bums. It costs about US$50 so it better be good.

Aaarrrrrgh, done it again

My distress is because it looks as if I’ve killed a $200 car battery again. I only replaced it about six months ago.

I haven’t used the Honda MDX for a few months while it’s had the DVD player hanging from the roof lining. I was gunna get onto it, honest Danny. But time slipped by and I must assume it was powered up in some way, draining the battery. I’ve had the battery on charge for 24 hours so far but it’s not showing any signs of life (showing only 1.4V). Damn, it was new last year and cost more than $200. There’s nothing for it but to buy another one. Damn, damn, damn. I’m a fool. What am I? A fool!

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I had an interesting experience today. I had a visit from a Silver Chain lady, who I was told was “social support”. I thought she was here to “have a chat” as they offer. But not exactly, she was just gathering information about my needs – this is the third time this has happened in the past six months or so.

Anyway, she had a fairly strong Scottish accent and in the course of talking, her name turned out to be Lawrie. She was born in the Shetlands but grew up in Edinburgh and has emigrated out here.

The thing is, Mum’s mother, my grandmother, came from a Lawrie family from Scotland via South Australia in the early 20th century. I’ve only become more aware of this since I’ve been doing the MyHeritage family tree. I kinda knew it earlier in my life, but not well.

The other thing is, as I looked at this woman, it was almost as if I was looking at my own face. She looked familiar and we seemed to have an awful lot of things in common; likes, dislikes, interests, eating and drinking habits, health issues (she’d recently had a heart attack and a stent inserted) and so on.

We talked for quite a while, nearly two hours and at the end, she said, “Is there anything you want to ask?” I said, “Yes, will you go out with me, could we get together?” Bit bold! I was attracted. But she said she already has a partner, so no. Oh well. But that was quite unusual for me.

So, no result, and she said it will probably be a few months before I see any visit from a “chatterer”. Crumbs, since I saw the offer in a Silver Chain ad more than a year ago, I’ve asked three times if I can have a visit from someone to chat to, with no result. I’ve lost confidence that anything will happen. It does depend on volunteers, I suppose, so I can’t complain.

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Yes, folks, step right up for this year’s bargain – the NSHS 2020 Reunion thrown in absolutely FREE
with the 2021 NSHS Class of ’64 Reunion!

Virus permitting, it’s on again

Saturday 17 April 2021

This is what I’m doing at the moment – sending out around 200 emails and collecting the replies. We usually get about 45 including partners and spouses. It’s very popular.

Another milestone

A picture that got past Facebook’s censorship. Balinese schoolgirls in 1941. No wonder two of the three guys are smiling. What’s wrong with the guy on the left?

Why has the font changed? This WordPress is a heap of crap. So different from other word processor software. It’s not a word processor, of course, it’s blogging software, but word processing is a big part of it, the main part. Why can’t they follow the same conventions as real word processors?

OK, it seems to only be in compose mode that the font has changed. Weird.

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I turned 74 yesterday, another milestone, or should that be millstone? Mum died at 73 and Dad at 78. The 70s are ominous years, in other words. I feel the need to prepare for my death. I’ve remade my will recently, just to get it up to date. I contacted a funeral company a couple of months ago about buying a pre-paid funeral, but their price is too high and I haven’t tried any others yet. Must do so.

Also, the idea of an Advance Health Directive is in the news a few days ago. I was asked if I have one at the Mount Hospital recently, and although I have all the necessary paperwork (in the form of PDFs downloaded from the web), it’s so complex that I haven’t made a start. It will require answers to be supplied by my doctor and it would need a “long consultation” to do it, I think. I know, what about making a resolution to do it today! That would be revolutionary.

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That’s the thing: I’m suffering from a chronic, ongoing lack of get up and go. I had brekky with a couple of mates yesterday and they both agreed that they’re feeling the same, a loss of the energy to get things done that we used to have. Mind you, one is 83 and the other, although only 70, suffers from chronic pain and depression, so we’re not exactly set up to be bundles of energy.

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I saw him yesterday about the cyst on my right temple. The Aldara cream doesn’t seem to have done much good, as far as I can see, and he agreed. He’s referred me to a surgeon to cut it out, or he suggested that a laser might be used. It’s quite sore now.

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My endless search for the perfect car has me fixated on the Peugeot 407 coupe now. There’s a beautiful V6 twin-turbo diesel 2006 model in Ballarat, Victoria at the moment with distinctive maroon leather:

Boring silver paint. I don’t know why people choose such a dull colour when there are so many other excellent colours available.
But being in Victoria, with lockdowns and hard borders, it would be too difficult at the moment. I’m just daydreaming.
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I’ve just had an SMS from my neighbour. She’s a strong Liberal supporter and has a sign in her garden for the Liberal candidate for this location in the upcoming state election on 13 March. It’s a hopeless cause, of course. Labor are going to steamroll the Libs. But the local branch office phoned me a week ago asking if I’d hand out how-to-vote cards. I said I can’t, because I can’t stay standing for long periods, but when they asked me if I’ll have a sign in my garden for John Quigley, my ALP local member, I said yes, gladly.

So now we’re two neighbours with competing signs, cancelling each other out. 🙂 My neighbour says she realises they’re going to lose, but wants her candidate elected because she’s a woman. Sorry, that’s not a sufficient reason.

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I finished my second viewing of a program on Netflix the other night, The Bodyguard. WOW! What a great program. It’s a BBC drama production, six one hour episodes, about an ex-army, now London Metropolitan Police Protective Squad guy assigned to protect the Home Secretary. She’s a very attractive woman, of course, and after a couple of episodes, they fall in love. Strictly against the rules. But there are attempts on her life (ultimately successful) and it becomes clear there are sub-plots involving MI5 and other top politicians. It’s an absolutely excellent production, full of realism and tension as only the Poms know how to do. Highly recommended.

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4 January 2008

We had a meeting of our school reunion committee last week and I went fully dressed as a woman for the first time. No problems. I’d told them last year that I would do it, but then the virus hit and I never actually followed through. Now I have. The women loved it and the guys were completely accepting. What a change in societal attitudes there’s been in the last couple of decades. I used to be knotted up with anxiety when I went out, but now it’s no trouble at all. I’m totally relaxed about it.

I talked briefly about my transformations with one of the guys yesterday, and he said how good I look when I’m made up. He said his wife had also commented (to him) on how good I look as a woman. Wow, that’s music to my ears. I have to visit him to fix his desktop PC, so I’ll be sure to show my style again. Strut my stuff!

Aaaah, beautiful rain

Isn’t that beautiful? Esperance, WA.

Yipeeee! It’s raining and cool. It’s not heavy, just drizzle, but it started a couple of hours ago and should be enough to at least dampen the fires in the hills. The fireys will be relieved! The forecast is for much more rain tomorrow, “heavy” rain the bureau says, but strong winds, up to 80km/h. I think the rain will probably kill the fires today, though.

I was saying to my European friend, this is Australia: at the same time we have big, serious, out of control bushfires, big floods from the 36th parallel northwards, a cyclone and a pandemic, and there’s a huge mouse plague in NSW. What a country.

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Ooops. I think I got away with it, Horace. I had just pulled into the parking area at the Butler shopping centre, fully dressed in my girl-gear of course, and as usual I parked in a group of bays clearly marked for “Elderly” with markings showing a person bent over, pushing a trolley and with a walking stick.

As I was about to get out of my car, a young guy bounded past me and got into his car which was parked next to mine. This was no elderly person! This was a young, fit guy driving a 4WD tray back ute.

Without thinking about it, I got out and just stood next to his door and stared at him. He soon got the message and wound his window down and said, “What?” I said, “You don’t look elderly.” he said, “What?”

I said, “These bays are marked for the elderly.” He just muttered something which definitely included the f… word and drove off.

But what was I thinking? I was talking in my male voice while dressed as a woman, and because it was only a quick trip and I was wearing a mask, I hadn’t bothered to shave. Hah hah hah … I’m lucky he didn’t take it further. Must engage brain next time.

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When I came out, what should be parked next to me but one of these:

Image result for peugeot 407
Peugeot 407 Touring, same model and colour

I’d just been looking on Carsales an hour ago. I love the styling and almost everything about this car. The only problem is, most of them are four cylinder diesels and according to the reviews, are underpowered.

However, there are six cylinder petrol models, V6s with twin turbos! I want one!

I freely admit, styling and the look of a car mean everything to me. I have to love the looks to want to own a car. Here’s the same model in the sedan form:

Image result for peugeot 407
Peugeot 407 sedan, also a lovely looking car. (IMHO) This is the 4D sedan but below is the coupe, which is pretty rare here. I like it even more!
Image result for peugeot 407
Image result for peugeot 407

I love that too and I’d have one if I didn’t need the wagon.

On the other hand, I’m becoming more convinced that this is the car I should buy:

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2004-5 Lexus RX330

Why? Out of my two present cars, I like the Honda MDX the most. It really is true, the high driving position and the room inside make it preferable to the Verada wagon for me.

So if I want a car to see me out, what better than the luxury and legendary reliability of a Lexus. I don’t need 4WD, but I do want a smooth, luxurious and above all 100% reliable, low maintenance vehicle. Which means Lexus (Toyota but built even better). A 2004-5 model is about $10,000 used in good condition with low kms.

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Oh, this stupid, stupid Word Press editor. It’s just lost two of the images I’d placed, saying “This block has encountered an error and cannot be previewed.” Grrrrrrrr! This WordPress is a load of garbage but what can I do? I have 12 years of posts – it’s a bit hard to change now, and where would I go?

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I have a cyst on my right temple and it’s been there for more than six months. It doesn’t hurt, much anyway, but it’s about 6mm in diameter and stings a little bit, as well as slightly oozing a foul smelling fluid.

The GP says it has to be either surgically cut out, or he’s prescribed a cream called Aldara which seems to be designed to burn it out. It destroys the flesh and leaves a wound which should heal over. You are supposed to apply it three times, but spaced two days apart, ie Mon-Wed-Fri. And it’s supposed to be done at night, and you have to sleep with the wound uppermost, ie no contact with the pillow. And definitely no contact with eyes or other skin as much as possible.

I applied the first lot last night and it didn’t hurt as I expected. I thought it would burn and sting, but mostly OK so far. Sleeping exclusively on my left side was difficult so I think I’ll apply it during the day tomorrow. I can’t see why not, unless it requires darkness.

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Yum – while in the supermarket, I noticed that McCains have added to their sourdough crust pizza range. Up to now it’s only been spinach and cheese, or Napolitana tomato and cheese. I add other toppings like prawns, anchovies, olives, smoked oysters and so on.

Now there are three new toppings – Italian meatball; salami; and another kind of cheese (can’t remember what). I really do find these pizzas the best I’ve had. At $8 each frozen, I get two meals out of each, so a $4 pizza dinner with wine is good value!

Nearly there

NYE 2020, after I got home.

It looks as if we’ve dodged a bullet once again. We (the south west part of Western Australia) have been in lockdown since 6pm last Sunday due to one case of COVID-19 infection of a quarantine hotel worker. He did the right thing and detailed all his movements and contacts, but despite it being the more infectious UK variant, not one new case of infection has been found in the last five days, from tens of thousands of tests. That’s remarkable. How lucky we are.

The result is that assuming nothing bad happens today, the lockdown will end at 6pm this evening. Unfortunately the government is going to mandate mask wearing in public until 14 Feb.

So, in theory, we have a reunion committee meeting at a cafe on Tuesday. I’ve made a booking but I haven’t had any confirmation from the cafe. If the 4 sq. m. rule is in force, they may not be able to accommodate our group of seven. I’ll have to phone them on Monday, I guess.

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Meanwhile, I’m waiting on a visit from a woman from Silver Chain. The appointment was for 10am, but that’s past and I’ve had no advice as to whether she’s still coming or not. They phoned me about it last Monday and said they or she would get back to me, but no-one has phoned since then.

Update: it’s past 11am and she hasn’t come, and no-one has phoned either. I’m a little annoyed. I can understand not wanting to come in this lockdown, but she might have phoned. I dressed up for nothing 🙂

They said it was to be about “social support”. I don’t know what that means but I was looking forward to talking to her. Silver Chain say that they can provide something like this, “even if you just want a chat”. Well, yes I do. Despite living alone all my life, I do like to talk sometimes. I can go a week without speaking a word except to checkout ladies. The internet has opened up email and that helps, but I would like a visitor.

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My love affair with Wish.com continues and I’ve ordered even more clothes. All these are coming.

I must admit, I’ve become quite addicted to this site. It’s not just clothes, it’s all kinds of gadgets, tools, electronic and electrical components and things I’d never even thought of, didn’t know existed. Being me, I’ve stored them all away in compartmented boxes awaiting the day I need them. But being addicted to this damned PC, I don’t actually get around to doing the finger work any more.

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Sink, sank, sunk,
Who woulda thunk,
That the ABC,
Would feed us such junk!

ABC announcers (Alan Kohler!) say, “The market sunk today.” Holy smoke, it’s not hard to get it right. This is elementary, primary school grammar. They also mix up:
Drink, drank, drunk: I will drink (future); I drank (past); I have drunk (past ?)
Also shrink, shrank, shrunk. (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Wrong!!)

I talk about the ABC but that’s because they are the ones I see most. All TV announcers and journalists worldwide, including on the BBC, seem to have lost the ability to use these words correctly.

And on this theme, can’t anyone write proper tenses any more? I learnt a simple ditty in my childhood:
Each, every, either, neither, nor.
Each of those is singular.
Every one of those is singular.
Either of the two is singular.
Neither of them is plural.
Nor is any one of them plural.

Last year I started collecting grammatical errors from the web, mainly from ABC News because I read that a lot but also from the Guardian (not so many because they are pretty good), and any other source I read. Wow, it’s been a rich mine of howlers and stupid errors. The list has grown to a couple of hundred now.

I’ve done it in Notepad, the simple text editor, and it’s grown a bit unwieldy. I’ve included a comma after each part of each entry, hoping to pour it into a spreadsheet as comma-delimited data, but my first attempt was a disaster so I’ll have to parse it and try again.

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Speaking of Windows Notepad, does anyone else get fed up with the bug that’s been in the program since about Windows 3 in 1990? The bug is that when you save, the cursor jumps up some random number of lines and you lose sight of it, meaning, it doesn’t show. You have to use the arrow keys to move it so as to find it (the cursor, I mean).

But worse, the Save can actually delete your new entry and part of your previous text as well. It’s unpredictable – you need to do a Ctrl-Z Undo, usually twice, to restore the deleted text, which brings back your new entry.

However, the one thing that is predictable is that this only applies to the first Save after entering new text. Once you’ve got things as you want them again, subsequent saves will be fine.

It amazes me that this bug has been in the program for so long – thirty years! – and hasn’t been fixed, but also that I’ve never seen it mentioned in any computer writings. Am I the only one who’s seeing it?

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My arm has been twisted

NYE 2019, with my good friend Isabella at the Court Hotel, Northbridge. This was under very red lights. I had two women tap me on the shoulder and say how much they liked my top. Guys don’t do that!

Oh, OK then. I’ve been asked for pictures, heh heh. I’ve shot my mouth off so I guess I can show myself now.
These were in 2007:

2007, the year after I started seriously going out.

God I was nervous. I used to sneak to the carport and check that next-door wouldn’t see me. I’ve got over that.
Unfortunately I don’t have those clothes any more. When you’re a cross dresser, you tend to have periodic dumps of shame, purges. But I’m over that now.

Even though it’s a bit blurred, this is one of my favourite shots. Taken by a friend. Look at that complexion! 2007.
Taken by another lady friend, a very good photographer. 2007 aged 60. I used to help her with her computer.
2012 Aged 65. Taken by another photographer friend at a cafe in Subiaco. I’ve lost those earrings and the necklace. Wish I hadn’t.

These are some of my favourites. I’m lucky I have friends who are pretty good photogs. More later.

Uh oh

Isn’t that glorious! Cottesloe Beach, Perth. This is a beautiful city.

Dang, we were going so well in Western Australia. No community transmission of the COVID 19 virus at all, no cases of infection except in incoming travellers, who immediately went into quarantine. No masks, no worries.

But then on Sunday a young guy who has been working casually as a hotel quarantine guard reported sick and was found to have the highly infectious UK variant. Clang! Down came the shutters and we went into a five day lockdown since 6pm last light. No leaving the house except for a limited range of reasons, compulsory wearing of masks. Back to the big quiet. Almost no vehicle sounds, no motorbikes (hooray!!) and no sirens. It’s peaceful.

The guy had been very conscientious and cooperative and had been using the phone app that tells your movements, so they were very quickly able to trace his movements in the previous week. Boy, he had been busy, but mainly in areas of Perth that I never go near, so I don’t feel any danger at all.

And the good news is that as of now, 3.30pm Monday, there have been no more cases of infection found. He shares a house with three others and they’ve been taken to a quarantine place, but so far there’s been no spread of the virus. If this keeps up, the lockdown will be lifted on Friday at 6pm.

I’ve got three appointments this week – the first is my regular Silver Chain cleaner on Thursdays so I’ve phoned them and cancelled that one. I think I can miss a week of cleaning. I have an appointment at the medical centre on Wednesday and I’ll phone tomorrow to see if it’s going to be open. Then on Friday I have a Silver Chain lady coming to talk to me a bout something (I don’t know what), so I’ve said let’s just play it cool. If she still wants to come, good, but otherwise we can postpone. They agreed, saying it’s really her choice. Fair enough.

So after 10 months of virus free life in this state, our record has been busted. Oh well, we’re still streets ahead of the rest of Australia and probably the world. Beautiful climate (38C today), blue skies, warm ocean (23C), it’s paradise.

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I’m still watching the Big Bang Theory TV series. I haven’t exhausted it yet. And I’ve realised that I never saw series 11 and 12, each consisting of 24 episodes, so that’s 48 episodes that I’m seeing for the first time. Bonus.

It’s funny, when it was first aired on free-to-air TV it was on Channel 9. Then while it was still being shown, Channel7 picked it up too and was running it in parallel. That ended a couple of years ago and now Channel 10 are running it again, from the beginning. Wow, this is a popular show. Considering I watched it faithfully on 9 for ten years or so, not caring if I’d seen the episodes before, and now I’m watching it in its entirety all over again, that seems to indicate that it has a certain appeal.

I must admit Sheldon grates a bit. He dominates the show and I wonder sometimes if they could have done without his character. I think they could, but he does serve a purpose.

It’s very moralistic, written to illustrate human behaviour with a huge dollop of lessons in ethics and human failings, but the humour is genuinely good so I can put up with it.

By the way, I’ve long noticed that when I watch TV humour on my own, I laugh inside my head, in my mind, but not out loud unless it’s really good. Only if I’m watching with someone else do I tend to laugh out loud.

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Speaking of watching with someone else, my European friend is in lockdown in a city over there (where it’s winter!) and she said it’s very gloomy. Almost everything’s closed, all the theatres and restaurants and cafes, all the benches have been removed from the parks to prevent people congregating too close together, and it was 10degC and raining during the day, getting down to -1degC and snowing overnight. Boy, I’d find that hard to bear, but they have no choice. “I can’t go on. I will go on.” Just grit your teeth and go on.

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I’ve got to get on with making my Advanced Health Directive, which is the “living will” document to tell people what you want done if you become seriously, mortally ill. As a single person no next of kin (well, not so you’d notice, they don’t seem to want anything to do with me these days), I want it to be clear who does what. When I was in the Mount Hospital last week, they did ask if I had an AHD at one stage, but I had to say no.

As I say, my siblings are not to be relied on and I’d rather my two best mates look after my affairs if I can’t.

But the forms are so complex! One of my best mates is like me, on his own and being a smoker who’s already had a heart event, highly likely to drop dead at any time. Both of us must get these forms done and countersigned. But he’s daunted, as I am. I guess it’s just a matter of buckling down. Wish me luck.

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Speaking of dressing female, as I am, I’m buying a lot of clothes from the Chinese web site Wish.com. I love the clothes they’re offering:

The thing is, they’re all offered as 5XL to 8XL and they fit me! I know it sounds weird, but for the first time in my life, I can dress the way I’ve always wanted to. I have good taste in clothes and I’m proud to be seen in these. I look good, believe it or not.

And they’re so cheap – $8 to $16 – that if something doesn’t fit when it arrives, I just put it into the charity shop bag.

It might be cheap Chinese stuff, but it’s good quality and it suits me better than anything I can find here. Yeah!

I’m getting serious about this, telling friends and almost always dressing female now. In fact I’m going to a brekky with a group of high school friends next week (lockdown permitting) and I’ll definitely be going as a girl. They know in advance and are fine with it. In addition, we have our annual high school reunion scheduled for 17 April and for the first time, I intend to show myself there, to the whole crowd of 30 – 40 that we get. Some know already but there will be a lot of gasps, I reckon. Too bad, this is me. Not too many years left and I’m determined to live them as I want.

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Uh oh, again. There’s a bushfire somewhere near and the sky is totally grey with smoke. I have to put the bins out now so I’ll have a look.