Going insane

The capital of the Maldives. So many tall buildings, built on a sand island.

Aaah, 1 June, the first day of winter. Hooray! Only three weeks until the equinoxe, (Correction! solstice, not equinoxe) the shortest day of the year when the days start getting longer again. I don’t like this cold weather. Cold? It’s maximums of 19 or 20degC, balmy summer temps for you northern hemisphere denizens, but anything below 20C is too cold for me. There are several months to come, I’m afraid, before I’m perspiring again.

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Aaarrrgh! Lying in bed unable to sleep at 3.35am last Saturday morning, I heard a house alarm start up. I keep my bedroom door closed at night (to keep the boogymen out 🙂 ), and at first I thought it was next door’s alarm. But slowly I realised it was my alarm!

I got up and punched in the code and it stopped. Then it started again. Code in again, stopped. Started again. Over and over, random zones triggering it, display going crazy. Must have gone off more than a dozen times in 10 min period. What to do??!!

I got up on a stool to reach the controller box, which is in my walk-in wardrobe. Tried to pull the control box door open but it’s screwed shut – it has a tamper switch, of course, so the alarm was going off continuously. I’m up on the stool in the WIR, so can’t punch the code in on the keypad which is at the front door. I’m not too good at climbing up on a stool, either.

I was so desperate I pulled the box off the wall, screws and all. I still had to find a screwdriver to get it open. Turned the power off but it has battery backup. Had to find pliers to pull the battery terminal off. That finally killed it. Sorry, neighbours!

I was perspiring by the time all this was over. Not much chance of getting to sleep now. Chamomile tea time. I managed to get to sleep around 5am.

PS: I spoke to my next door neighbour over our common wall next day, apologising for the noise. “What noise?”, she said. She hadn’t heard it.

It just proves, once again, that these alarms are pretty useless. No-one takes any notice – I don’t rush out into the street when I hear one going off nearby. And the tea-leaves don’t care – they just ignore them as well. The only use is if it’s connected to a monitoring service if you’re away from the house a lot. It’s tedoius having to set it and disarm it every time I go out, but if I were burgled, the insurance company would kick up about, I assume.

Anyway, I strongly suspect it’ll be a dead backup battery. I replaced it about eight years ago, so it’s about time for a new one.

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Can you believe it? Boris Johnson will reportedly announce the return of imperial measurements to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee.

Britain currently uses a mix of imperial and metric measurements, with speed limits in miles per hour and milk and beer bought in pints. People are happy with this mix, as I read it. There’s no need to change, and I also read that the change is being treated with amusement and contempt. What a stupid government!

Only three other countries, the US, Myanmar and Liberia, use the imperial system on a daily basis. Yet another example of how the USA is a crazy, stupid country.

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From the Guardian: in Italy, the average cost of an espresso is €1, although more than 70% of bars increased prices earlier in the year due to supply chain issues and poor harvests. Consumer groups warned that the price of an espresso could rise to an average €1.50 this year.

Wow, €1.50, that’s A$2.27. That’s half the price of a flat white here. In fact there’s a new coffee place in the mall at Clarkson shops where their price for a coffee is $6.50! I saw that and I’ve walked past. That’s too much! Italy is a high wage country – why is their coffee so cheap while ours is so expensive?

This Clarkson cafe also sells food and every afternoon they set the unsold food out on top of the counter, trying to sell it off. But there are no prices on their items. I asked about it one day, and they said prices are around $8 for various rolls and salads. This is too much! If it’s $8 when it’s being flogged off, how much was it when it was full price? Sorry, I walk away.

I predict this place will not last long.

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Now that we have a Labor, progressive government, in a major historic first, Australia now has an Assistant Minister for the Republic. We congratulate the Government on making this important step towards the realisation of an Australian republic and look forward to working with them over the next parliamentary term.

The Queen is a lovely lady, but she’s not my queen! I want Australia to be a republic.

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