Fist-U-La

Me with the lovely Sutri, Bali April 1983. © PJ Croft 2021

Wow, summer is hanging on. Halfway through March and it was still 37.6C today, with 38C forecast for tomorrow and a string of 30s after that. I’m not complaining, just saying. They said last night would be uncomfortably hot, 22C min, but I had no discomfort. It was a beautiful night.

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The headline refers to my GP getting the results from my CT scan last week and although I feel fine and am not having any trouble, the scan showed a possibility of a fistula, a bridge between the colon and the bladder. The worry is that this could cause leakage into the bladder and repeated bladder infections (I’ve had a few, not many).

So he wants me to have another CT scan with a barium drink this time. Apparently this is not a common request so the clinic are chewing their pencils and will get back to me. That’s OK, I’m not having any discomfort or any problems. I can wait.

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My PC crashed in a big way yesterday. All I did was re-start as requested by my antivirus program (Kaspersky) and clunk! It wouldn’t boot again, not even into the BIOS. I was slightly worried for a while.

But I got into the guts, removing the graphics card and the memory modules and tackling all the accumulated dust. There was a lot. It took me about an hour.

Then I put it all back together and heyo! Away she went. It booted up smoothly with no complaint. Just goes to show, it’s not hard. I’d suspect it was mainly the wiggling and jiggling of the motherboard that was the main way it was fixed. It’s always worth a try. So that was a relief.

I built this computer in 2013 with fairly high end components (Core i7 2.6GHz CPU, 2x 4GB memory modules, 500GB Solid State Drive) and it’s lasted me well. I don’t feel any need to upgrade it.

On the other hand, my laptop is an ASUS touch-screen tablet with a magnetically attached keyboard. It runs Windows 10 but that and being touch screen are about the only things to recommend it.

The main problem is that the battery only lasts about 2½ hours. It has two USB ports, a type A and a type C, but the type C is used for charging and it really needs to be on the charger all the time, so that port is not usable for anything else.

As a computer, it’s OK and runs fine. It’s just that, with that short battery life, I never feel confident about taking it out with me, especially when I’d like to attach a DVD drive and watch movies with it. It wouldn’t even last a plane ride to Bali (3.5hrs).

I’m tempted to replace it with something more modern with better battery life and a higher spec. What would I choose? Maybe this?

ASUS Zenbook 14.

Weight only 1.13Kg, with as much power as this desktop, and up to 16 hours battery life (so they advertise). Price? Basic, $1,152. I’m sure it goes up as you add extras. I’m not saying I’ll do it, just musing. There are some fantastic laptops out there, as powerful as desktops. With OLED screens, better than desktops.

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I’ve got the car hots again.

2006 Peugeot 407 Coupe. This one’s only done 82,000km and seems overpriced at $12,990 at a dealer in Melbourne.
Side view
This one’s done 131,000km and is $6,950. Private sale.
This one’s a 2006 and has done 155,000km, $7,850. Rear view. I like that!

They have either a 6cyl petrol or a twin-turbo 6 cyl diesel engine. I’ve never considered a diesel, but it’s supposed to be an exceptionally smooth and quiet engine. Twin turbo? Phwooaarr.

These cars are almost unobtainable in WA. There are only three on Carsales, Australia-wide. You find a few 407 sedans and wagons here in WA, but no coupes. These were $72,000 cars in 2007. All leather inside.

I always thought I needed a station wagon but these grab me. They go for an average of $8,000 now. But all in Victoria, NSW or Queensland, never WA. I can dream. Anyway, I need to get rid of at least one of my existing cars first.

One drawback is that the indicator stalk is on the left, as per a European car. Very annoying!

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Grrrr. I made a trip into the city by train last week and parked my car directly opposite the Butler train station in the shopping centre car park. I knew it was a bit risky but because my left foot hurts, I was leaning heavily on my stick and walking slowly and wanted to reduce the distance I had to walk. It saved me about 250m.

When I got back at about 2.55pm, there was a damned sticker on my windscreen telling me I’ve been fined $65 for overstaying, marked 2.52pm! Wilson Parking Enforcement Services.

This is a small area of the carpark, little used because it’s so out of the way, away from the entrances, so not many cars there. I’d noticed the car I parked next to when I arrived, because it looked so nice and I’m interested. It was an Audi A1 in a beautiful deep red. It was still next to me when I got back, but it didn’t have a fine sticker!

I can’t say exactly what time I arrived there but it was around 10.30am, maybe a bit later. They’d pinged me at 2.52pm, so that makes it 4 hours 22 mins maximum in a 4 hour area.

I’m going to dispute this fine! (a) I dispute the time – they must have marked my tyre right at the minute I arrived, very unlikely; (b) why was my car pinged and not the Audi?; (c) I’ll plead my disability, although I don’t have a disability pass; (d) I don’t think I was away for 4 hours; (e) if you prosecute me, it will probably cost you more than the fine in lawyers and court time; (f) if you do this, the shopping centre will lose my business – there are plenty of other places I can go. That will cost you hundreds of dollars a month.

They even threaten to tow my car away and impound it if I don’t pay. Bloody hell, what is this, East Germany?

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I’ve started watching a new show on Netflix, The One. It concerns a medical research firm that has found a way to use DNA to match people to their perfect partner, their unique love match, “The One” person in the world for them.

The problem is, married people, or people in committed relationships, take the test just as a joke, and find they are not with their perfect match, and in some cases The One is someone they know. This is causing marriage breakups, badly enough that laws are being considered in parliament (this is in Britain).

The problem is, there seem to be at least two side stories, one involving a murder, one involving another love story, constantly flipping back in time, and the main characters resemble each other in looks. All this means that after three episodes, I’m totally confused. Who are these characters? What does the murder have to do with the main story?

It’s an utter mess. Not recommended.

However, tragic that I am, I’ve started The Big Bang all over again. Yes, I’ve seen it all before on free-to-air in the past ten years, then watched it all again, all 250 odd episodes in the past four months, and now I’ve started it again. I never tire of it. Tragic.

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Back to cars – the Honda’s problem the other day was not the new battery, nothing to do with that. It was to do with the auto transmission, where it doesn’t realise it’s in Park. There’s a small rectangular slot next to the transmission shifter and you have to use a screwdriver to release the shifter. This is in a $75,000 car! (That was the new price in 2005 – I paid $3,000.)

So I don’t have to worry about the battery being flat, I just have to carry a screwdriver, or a key to put into the slot. Crazy.

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Huh! I just tried to phone the ABC Perth radio show with Geoff Hutchison to tell a story, but on both numbers, 0437 922 720 and 1 300 922 720, all I got was “This number has been disconnected” and “This number is not in use”. What?? They say a hundred times a day to call these numbers. This was the first time I’ve ever tried to call, and I got that! Huh?

Anyway, the discussion was about sleep apnea and getting along with your sleeping partner.

My funny story was that, ever since I’d had my CPAP machine, I’d wondered how I’d cope with the embarrassment when I slept with a woman. The funny bit was that it came about and as we were preparing for bed, I said, “Er, I need to tell you that I use this machine called a CPAP.” And she said, “Oh, that’s OK, so do I.” Hah ha ha ha ha. Problem solved.

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