It’s baaack!

This brings joy to my heart.

Ugh, my bladder bug is back. I was feeling stinging during you-know-what so I asked for another urine test last week. Sure enough, the bug is present, so I’m back on the nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin) anti-biotic. This is the fourth course. I presume if there was a stronger antibiotic, they would prescribe it, so this is a bit worrying.

The effect of the bug is the aforementioned stinging, plus weakness and tiredness. Maybe a small fever with a bit of sweating, although that could just be the weather. Anyway, press on and get plenty of rest. Yes please.

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The bed rest is giving me time to read the book “Lost Bali” that I might have mentioned previously. Short version: an American/Aussie woman called Leslie Franklin, who lived in Bali for around 33 years, started a Facebook site called Lost Bali. She regards the years up to 1990 as Bali’s golden years, anything after that as “lost” to rampant development and destruction of the beauty of the island. I don’t disagree, although I would never try to dissuade anyone from experiencing the unique atmosphere and beauty of the island and its people, even now.

Anyway, Leslie decided to ask viewers of her Facebook page to write about our experiences prior to 1990, with a view to making them into a book. Well, a couple of years later, there are not one, but two books, volumes 1 and 2. I wrote a contribution and I’m in volume 1, pages 237 – 245. The books are available to be ordered on Amazon https://www.amazon.com.au/Lost-Bali-Stories-Leslie-Franklin/dp/057835781X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=AADD70KQAR00&keywords=lost+bali&qid=1647319698&s=books&sprefix=lost+bali%2Cstripbooks%2C546&sr=1-1 Volume 1 is A$30.40 and volume 2 is A$28.90.

I bought what I thought was one copy of volume 1, to see if it was OK before I ordered volume 2, but two copies of volume 1 turned up. I don’t know if I forgetfully ordered twice, or if Amazon mucked up, or what. That’s OK, I may gift the other copy, or something.

However, I have very mixed feelings about the book. The fact that I’m reading all of it shows that I like it, and I have to say that most of the writing is superb, much better than mine. There’s a lot of name-dropping, recalling famous people and “legends” going back to the 1930s, but so far it’s all entertaining and extremely evocative of the atmosphere of Bali. Many of the writers are women and they seem to absorb the culture much more than men, or at least this man, did.

But I’m upset. When Leslie called for contributions, I went to a lot of trouble to choose my images and lay them out on the pages with my text. I submitted it as a PDF document which can be imported into desktop publishing software.

The top image of Lake Batur has been printed as a vertical crop in grainy black and white in the book!

I was disturbed a few months later when she asked me to re-submit my article with the text only, and the images as separate files. Uh oh! I said to her at the time that I’ve had this experience before, where my contribution had been wrecked by someone who didn’t know how to use it. I hoped she wouldn’t change my article.

Well, she did!! Nothing remains of my layout. It’s just text, with no images! It took me a while to realise that all our images are relegated to pages 135 – 159, reduced to poor quality black and white, randomly cropped, mostly to square, on the same paper as the text, not the usual coated semi-gloss.

As well, my captions to my photos have been partly left in the text, without context, so that they seem meaningless and random. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

It would be churlish of me to damn the book because, despite my disappointment, I am reading it cover to cover. However, I sure wish it was better.

She also employed an editor to help with the work. I would be tempted to say she wasted her money (my money too – she did a GoFundMe campaign to help with costs and I gave US$40!). On almost every page so far I have found spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. Admittedly, I’m a pedant, but they bring me up short, having to re-read the paragraph or sentence to establish the meaning.

I think the only answer is to do my own book. I have done a picture book on Bali:

But there’s almost no text. I could add a lot to it. Which leads me to —–

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For the past couple of years I’ve been posting hundreds of my images on Facebook, including images of the covers of books I’ve done, and always saying my books and images are available for purchase. In all this time I’ve had not a single bite. Not one person has enquired about buying a book or DVD or image.

I despair. Everyone wants freebies. No-one wants to pay for anything! I’m sick of it. Everyone says nice things about my pictures, but no-one will open their wallet. It’s not as if I’m asking too much – like a fool, all I ask is what it costs me for the book printing, about $40 for the above book. I make no profit at all, and nothing at all for the hundreds of hours I put into producing the book, not counting all the hours scanning my slides and adjusting the images. FUCK IT!!!

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I admit, I’m not in a good mood. I’ve lost two long time friends in the past few weeks. I don’t mean they’ve died, just the friendship has died.

One is a guy I first met at Ch7 in 1966. Our birthdays are only a month apart and we became pretty firm friends from the start, lasting for more than 40 years. We shared a lot of interests, especially TV and electronics of course, but I’m afraid we didn’t share our politics. I admit I’ve grown more to the left as I’ve aged, but he went more to the right. I was repulsed by some of his views and we had some strong arguments in the early 2000s until one day he stormed out of my house and didn’t return for some years. I made it known that I bore no grudges and gradually he came back, until we have been meeting for coffee every couple of months.

But last week he’s decided he’s a hermit again and doesn’t want to venture out. He put it in fairly blunt terms and so I said “Goodbye!” It looks like that’s the end of that.

Then there’s the finale of my six year relationship with my Austrian lady friend. She is so prickly and she so easily takes offence that I had to be very careful what I said. Unfortunately I said something critical a few weeks ago and she’s told me she won’t talk to me again. As well, she’s grown more secretive in the past year or two and won’t tell me where she’s going or when. I’ve told her repeatedly, persistently, that I want her to visit me here, so that we can share some of the fun and good times we had last time she was here in 2019. But no, I’m lucky if I get more than two sentences out of her in reply to my full page, newsy emails. When I asked her recently when she was going to Bali, all I got was “Why is that important to you?”

She is the complete and utter hypocrite. She has a violent temper and constantly criticised me, hurling sarcasm and disparaging, hurtful comments at me. But when – if – I complained, she brushed it off as normal for the way she was brought up. But if I dared to criticise her, there was hell to pay!

As I say, for six years I put up with this because I understood her problems and I had/have genuine love for her, but I was wasting my time, it seems. She’s incapable of love. I was nothing more than a web penpal to her. She is constantly seeking advice from web “gurus” about love and emotions, yet she learns nothing. Even though I tell her that if I wasn’t genuine, I would have left our relationship years ago, yet I’m still here, despite all the troubles I’ve seen. I’m not giving up.

So with this bladderbug I’m not in a good frame of mind.

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Putin/Russia. I acknowledge, many Russians are protesting Putin’s war against Ukraine, but what a bastard of a country Russia is. Russians are complete and utter liars. Russians are cruel, callous killers. Russians are completely dishonest and never to be trusted. Russians are brutal mass murderers of women, children and civilians. They are attacking and destroying apartment blocks with children and mothers inside.

I remember years ago someone saying in Bali, “Don’t rent to Russians”, meaning don’t rent your villas or apartments in Bali to Russian tourists. They have a reputation of being hard to deal with, destructive and dishonest. Not to mention downright nasty.

What an interesting situation in Ukraine, opinion growing that in spite of Russia’s numerical superiority, their military is poorly led, poorly trained, ill motivated, incompetent and their equipment is poor quality. It’s perhaps inappropriate right now, but it gives me hope that if a real shooting war with Russia were to start, that NATO would fairly quickly overwhelm Russia’s forces. NATO’s equipment and training is so superior that it could be a walkover.

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My good friend Danny visited last week and being of a stick figure build 😉 , easily shimmied through the back seat of the Peugeot and managed to unlock the boot for me. And shimmy backwards to get out again.

However, I dare not press it closed and latched again until I determine whether there’s a real fault. I don’t want to close it and be back in the same situation.

It seems there could be three causes: (1) a fuse, because the boot switch operates a solenoid; (2) the boot switch itself; (3) a possible broken wire in the rubber encased loom that connects the boot with the body. I’ve listed these in order of ease of testing.

So at the moment, the boot is held mostly closed with two strips of gaffer tape, which coincidentally is silver, same colour as the body. I didn’t know until now that the central LCD display in the dash turns red instead of its usual orange colour if it displays “Boot unlocked”.

The other point is that there are dozens and dozens of Google and YouTube references to this fault, “Peugeot boot won’t open”. It seems to me that Peugeot should recognise this as a defect and issue a fix for it.

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Aaarrrgh, I’m being plagued by scam calls. I’ve had at least seven so far today. Sometimes if I don’t answer the land-line phone, my mobile rings shortly after. I’m sick of this!

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