Yacht and Rottnest Island, 1983. © PJ Croft 2021.

We’ve skipped Spring this year and Summer’s arrived. It was 36deg on Saturday, hot enough to be very careful when you open the car to get in. Hot door handle, hot steering wheel. Car air-con on, but you find it’s ineffective.

However, it’s lovely. I like Summer. May there be more of it. With global heating, I think there will be.


Bullshit Department:

Laboratory peak 20000W? That’s 20 Kilo Watts! “China Power: 2000W”. That’s 2KW. This is the Chinese Wish website. They are outright liars. This is just one example. Many, many items are shown at a cheap price, but as soon as you click on it, the price jumps anywhere from 10% to 50% extra. Or the cheapest colour in a range happens to be “SOLD OUT”, but all the other colours are more expensive. Oh too bad, there are still good buys, and I just ignore the bullshit ones. You just have to accept that they exaggerate like hell.

Very Good Idea Department:

A Lithium Battery Bike Tyre Pump. I don’t ride a bike, but if I did, I would jump at this. Great idea. There’s a range of them, anywhere from $21 to $81. Those are Aussie dollars, GST included, postage extra. Despite the bulldust, there are some good products on


For example, they have a great range of pre-built electronic modules, such as this “radar body sensing” board.

arduino, humanbodyinduction, motion, Radar
You get the two for $2.45 plus p&p. Good value!

Don’t knock it, it means a device to detect when a human body is close, such as in a lift to make the doors close, or near anything that needs to operate when you come near. But, get the instructions:

Application Design Note:
1, the sensing fac
e in front of the gold without any shelter.

That’s Chinglish. Yeah, right. If I were to make a product to be sold in China 🙂 I would get a native Mandarin speaker to translate my instructions.

And look at this!

Mini, classd, Amplifier, Module

That’s a 2 channel, 15W per channel audio amplifier on that tiny board, priced at $2.97 +p&p. That’s a very useful device and terrific value. I’m sure the watts are Chinese watts, but watt the hell.


I’m not feeling too good these days. Weak, tired, and my lower back is killing me. I can’t get through a supermarket visit without needing to sit down, which is near impossible in the supermarket. I had to sit on a pile of cans in Woolies on Saturday. It seems to have coincided with a big change in medication a couple of months ago. Not just one but three meds were changed. It will be a tough one to work out if it is the cause because I need those meds. They’ve worked wonders for my blood sugars, almost halving the readings so I need them. The readings are still above the norms, but much safer than before.


I’ve just got home from a “Bullshit Brekky” with a couple of photo-dawg mates at North Beach. That was the first time in three months for various reasons and it was good. I need that, I need someone to talk to. I’d do it every week but I can’t persuade the other two. One is recovering from Ross River Virus, among other ailments and is quite frail. The other is 83 and seems to always be busy. Pffffftt.


I called in to Clarkson shops for lunch on the way home and while I was there, thought I’d have a haircut. It would be the first since January, my hair is down over my shoulders and quite frazzly.

The only men’s barber has closed up shop there (among many others which have closed lately!) so I went to a women’s salon where I’ve had a cut before, especially on “pensioner Tuesdays”. I sat down in the chair and told her I wanted a no. 3, quite short. Luckily for me, she said, “That will be $32.50 today.” before she started. I said “What? $32.50?! I’m used to paying $20-$22.” She said, “It’s a no. 3 cut and will involve styling.” What? How much styling can there be when I just want it cut short? It did me no good, she didn’t offer me any lower price, so I said, “No thanks, I’ll leave it” and left.

What a silly attitude. She could have made $22 for a simple short men’s cut, but she’d rather make nothing. There were no queues, no-one waiting in line.

So now that there are no men’s barbers there, the other salons think they can hike their prices like this?


Likewise, we’ve heard about price rises for groceries. Well, believe it, because the rises are not just 5% or 10%, they are 33% to 50%. Not everything, of course, and I don’t have to buy the more expensive items, but this is the return of inflation.


While I was there I tried to use the SafeWA check-in app on my phone and just got a grey screen. Huh? I tried rebooting my phone but no go. Now that I’m home, it seems there was a software failure on the government computer that runs it. Aha.


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