Another glorious summer day, 30degC, cloudless blue sky, almost no wind. Lovely.


I had a physiotherapist around here this morning, since I’m not moving well these days. My legs are so weak (as a long term problem) that I’m unsteady, having trouble walking, having balance problems and generally feeling unsteady. The GP recommended a local guy, who seems to work from home about 2km from here. Neat. The GP was surprised when I said I’ve never seen or used a physio before. Huh? Never needed it.

He spent an hour with me and boy, I was tired by the time he left! He went through a long assessment list, like, how easily can I get up from a chair, how long can I stand unassisted (not touching anything, passed that one), how many times can I get up unaided from a standard chair, can I do six minutes of walking a 10m loop without resting, etc etc. Answer, had to stop twice, but he noted that I recovered quickly, within a minute or two.

And so on. He also assessed my new mattress and agrees that it’s no good. It’s too soft. I chose medium. Bloody hell, I was a fool to just shop on-line without testing in a shop.

Cost – $150 for the hour, and there will be weekly visits costing $130 each time. Ouch. But I think I can claim on HBF.

Nice guy, but I complained that I expected an athletic young female. 🙂

And wow, I was/am weary after that. I haven’t done anything like that for a while. But not out of breath. Heart’s OK. I’m expected to do a set of exercises twice a day (!) in this next week and I guess I’ll be assessed again next week. Although I phoned his office (?) to make a new appointment and the assistant seemed to have left early for the New Year’s long weekend. No answer.

I’m feeling quite good about this. I need someone to push me, someone to answer to, someone to encourage me. Dammit, I used to love walking. I used to be able to walk long distances (Stirling Station to Trigg, about 8km) just for the enjoyment. I used to walk for 3 – 4hrs in the city, just browsing the bookshops and so on. Haven’t done that for years. So here’s hoping.


Success at last! For the past six months, at least, I’ve had a message on the display of my Panasonic house phone saying “New Voicemail message. Press VM”. And the LED on the top flashing. Endlessly flashing. Even in the dark in my bedroom, flashing such that I can almost see it on the ceiling.

So I pressed VM and all I got was some female voice saying an error message. I could not get rid of it!

Today, I hoiked out the instruction book – I keep all the little stuff you get with products you buy these days, including receipts. You rarely need them, but occasionally you do, like now.

Trouble was, I discovered that the instruction booklet I have is not for my model of phone. How could that have happened?! I tried to follow the instructions to access voicemail anyway but got nowhere.

To cut a long story short, finally …………. without being on-line or in a call, just the phone handset in my hand, idle, I pressed the hash # key and bingo, the LED went away. So easy! Just like that. Crazy. Whaddya godda do.


I’m going to have to call an electrician next week, just to replace some light “globes”. They’re not light “globes” any more, they are LED downlights, but as several of them are in positions where I would have to lean sideways from a step ladder, I can’t risk doing it myself any more.

I’m pretty annoyed. Two years ago I got some electricians in (there were two guys) to do this same job. But (a) they didn’t have any lamps in their kit (dammit, why should I have to pay for their trip to Bunnings within the job time, and pay retail plus their margin?); and (b) out of five lights, one failed almost immediately, three failed a few weeks after and the other one is flickering and on the point of failing. Pretty annoyed about that job, $150 odd worth.

Anyway, the ones I want are MR16 bi-pin type, $16 for three. This time I will buy them and have them ready when they come.


Dog, I’m tempted. The Peugeot 407 car stereo sounds OK, but it’s pathetic really. Very hard to operate.

This is a Chinese made drop-in replacement for the Peugeot car stereo, including GPS (!) and several other functions. Such as displaying the car’s fuel economy readings, BlueTooth phone connectivity (ie making and receiving phone calls), SD card slot, USB socket and displaying a rear vision camera (included) and so on.

Price $423 + $45 postage. Very easy installation (YouTube video shows how).

The thing is, am I going to keep this car? I have it booked in to the RAC Joondalup in February for a service and advice on why the engine is so rattly. As I said to the guy, it drives beautifully, despite the noise. What’s the cause?

I guess that’s the answer – wait until after this service before making a decision on whether I’ll keep it.



This gladdens the heart of a technician – neatness! These are fibre-optic cables.

Wow, summer is here – 36deg today, and the first day I’m using the air-con on cooling this summer. And another hooray, Christmas Day is forecast to be mild, about 30-31degC. I found a good graph on the web yesterday:

Perth Xmas Day maximum temperatures 2000-2022

What happened in 2018?! From then on, the maxes skyrocketed. Weird.


Good news! My abdominal pain has mostly gone away.

Last Saturday, although the pain patches were working extremely well, I was sick of the hand tremors and feeling woozy and unsteady. So I pulled the patch off and thought, “I’ll try putting up with the pain, and hope the side effects go away.”

OK, not much happened for 24hrs, then 36hrs, then 48hrs. No pain! The pain stayed away. I thought this might happen. I’d even talked to the GP about it last week. “The body often fixes itself.”

Well, at 72hrs later, so far so good. I’m still getting twinges and small sharp pains, but I can easily stand them.

So yesterday, Monday, I had to attend Joondalup Hospital to be assessed for anaesthesia for the scheduled nerve block operation on Thursday 5 January. I told the anaesthetist about the remission and she phoned the pain specialist. The judgement was that we’ll go through the rigorous assessment process anyway, and I’ll phone on Tuesday 3 Jan or Wed 4 Jan to decide whether to go ahead with the op. I’ve said the idea of the operation makes me nervous and I don’t want to have it if I don’t need it, so we’ll leave it at that. Fine with me.

What a thorough, rigorous, complex assessment this was. First, about an hour with on-line filling out the hospital’s form. Then when I got to the hospital, another hour with a nurse going through every detail of the on-line form, plus another three or four hospital forms, checking, double checking, asking questions. Then blood pressure (135/93, btw), an ecg, the usual pulse and oxygen saturation. Then finger prick and blood sugar level. This showed 4.1 mmol/ml. That’s low for me, nearing hypoglycemia level, although I felt OK. The nurse asked if I had my kit to deal with this. Luckily, I had a packet of jellybeans for this very situation, so she insisted that I start munching on them. That got me up to 4.8 about 20 mins later. She was very pleased with me for that. Top marks for carrying these beans. That’s nice.

The fact was that I felt so wobbly when I got up at about 9am, and after my shower, having to hurriedly fill out the on-line form, that I never got around to breakfast. My appointment was at 1pm so I drove there, skipping lunch too, and had to walk to the rooms feeling very weak and wobbly. No wonder my blood sugar was low. The nurse insisted on getting me a couple of biscuits to go after the jelly beans, so that was nice.

Then after another 30 min wait and a couple of very nice conversations with other patients, I got in to see the anaesthetist. Gee, I would never have guessed her position and status – she looked a bit dumpy (overweight) and spoke and moved slowly. Not what I thought an anaesthetist would be like. However, we got through the interview OK and then it was all over, around 3.30pm. Two and a half hours, wow.

She did tell me to absolutely stop taking one of my diabetes meds, Jardiamet. It is dangerous for anaesthesia, she said. OK, all good. So that was it.

I was still feeling weak and wobbly so it was a hard walk back to the carpark. My left leg seems to want to collapse under me. It doesn’t, but it’s not good. Also, when I weighed this morning, I lost 1kg yesterday. Not surprising.


Uh oh.

The caption to this web photo says “Graphene bolometer”. Whatever it is, it’s beautiful.

And the beautiful weather is back. It rained on Tuesday! How strange, only 12 days before Xmas and it was rainy, windy and cool. Today it’s clear blue sky and about 30degC. Lovely.


I saw the doctor last Friday week ago and he confirmed that what I’m feeling is due to the pain patches. I feel so weak and unsteady. My hands are experiencing tremors. At times I feel my legs can hardly hold me upright.

So what to do? The patches have stopped the nerve pain very effectively, but if these side effects are to continue, I can’t imagine how I’m going to cope. The doc has given me a prescription for 15ug/hr patches, instead of 20ug/hr. I haven’t tried them as yet – Friday is the weekly changeover day.

I’m due for a phone consult with the pain specialist tomorrow, Thursday, so I’ll ask his advice. I was going to leave things alone, just relying on the pain patches, but I don’t think I can do that. It looks like a nerve block operation will be needed. There’s no cutting required, it just involves needles and local anaesthetics. Scary, but …


Update Saturday 17th: I had a phone call from the pain specialist on Thursday and we have reduced the pain patch to 15ug/hr

But holy smoke, my legs are now so weak that I can hardly walk. My hands are shaking as I type (lucky I’m not having to hand write this).

The pain specialist said he’s not surprised by these side effects, and that they should wear off in a couple of weeks. But, a couple of weeks from when?

He’s scheduled me for a nerve block operation on Thursday 5 January. I’m wondering if I should remove the pain patch and put up with the pain until then. I’m in a bit of trouble here – I can hardly walk around the house, let alone any distance. I have to go to the hospital on Monday to see the anaesthetist for the nerve operation. I seriously doubt that I can walk the distance from the car park to the specialist’s offices. I might have to get a taxi and ask him to drop me right at the doors.

Crumbs, I hope the muscles come back. I could end up in a wheel chair at this rate.


Just to continue on the pessimistic theme. I was listening this morning to that excellent radio program Saturday Extra (on Radio National, 7.15-9am Saturdays) with Geraldine Doogue interviewing knowledgeable guests. They raised the latest information (like, the last few days) out of China.

The Chinese government have suddenly switched from a policy of total suppression of the COVID virus, meaning serious lockdowns, to a “throw up their hands and open the gates” policy. This is due to the resentment and rebellion of the populace in some major cities to being locked down.

The result is that there are enormous outbreaks of COVID in Beijing in particular. It’s “got away”.

The forecast therefore is that it’s very possible that there will be mass infections in China, infecting up to 800 million people! This will overwhelm their health facilities. The Chinese government have prevented the importation and use of the proven Western vaccines, i.e. the Moderna, Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca and Novavax in favour of their own home grown vaccine Sinovax. The problem is first, that it’s not as effective as the Western vaccines, and second, that the takeup among the population is much lower than in most other countries, Australia in particular.

That means that the virus could really take hold and spread. And if it does, much of China could shut down.

This would not be a problem for China alone, it would be a problem for the world, since we are so dependent on China now for all our manufactured goods. Just for one example, much of the plastic fittings used in hospital equipment is made in China. This is not hypothetical, it’s real.

For Western Australia in particular, our prosperity and living standards rely on the income we get from China buying our iron ore. If Chinese industry slows down and stops, they stop buying iron ore to make steel and we suffer the slowdown.

Then another interviewee raised the point that if the COVID virus spreads massively through the Chinese population, that opens the way for mutant strains to develop, for which we don’t have vaccines. And on top of this, it’s quite possible that the Chinese government would put a news ban on telling the world about these new virus strains. They’ve done it before, at the very start in late 2019 and early 2020. That would prevent the research needed to develop new vaccines.

This is scary stuff.

Tempus fugit

Fat. Cat. Alan Joyce, CEO of QANTAS. On a salary of around $2.5million, while doing his damndest to crush ordinary QANTAS wage earners. I loathe him.

Aaah, warming up at last. Beautiful weather, ain’t it? Temps in the mid twenties with excursions to the low thirties. Suits me. Only 15 days to Xmas and I’m looking for a long range forecast for the day. I haven’t seen one yet.


Tempus fugit – time passes, or time flies. Good expression and very useful. It was used in one of the recent episodes of The Crown.

I’ve just watched the first episode of Harry & Meghan, the Netflix doco. I’ll be straight up, I’m a Harry and Meghan fan. I think he’s an admirable guy with his army service in Afghanistan (two tours, I think). And Meghan? What the hell is the objection? It can only be racism, mainly in the royal family, which has been shown up in the disgraceful episode with the queen’s lady-in-waiting last week, browbeating the black but British-born woman who was only there representing her helper organisation. The royals may deny it, but I believe in Meghan, not the denials.

I wish them all the best, and all the luck in the world. But if it’s true they are being paid $100m for doing the doco, they hardly need luck!


Well, I’ll be danged! Eureka! The lost is found.

I was on a trip to Bali in May 2019 and I knew I had my white Samsung tablet on that trip. And I was certain I remembered using it on the plane on the way back.

But do you think I could find it after that? I’ve been searching ever since then, June 2019. I looked everywhere. I could only assume that I’d left it in a cafe or something. If I’d left it in the seat pocket on the plane, they would have contacted me, surely?

Well, I’ve just found it. It was standing on its edge in a row of books on a bookshelf in my bedroom. I thought it would be somewhere like that, but I missed looking at this particular row.

In around July 2019 I knew I really needed a tablet, so I bought a new one, about $700 worth. It’s got phone connectivity in it, whereas the old one didn’t. That lets me get internet anywhere, even sitting out on a park bench.

So now I’ve got two tablets. “Take two tablets and call me in the morning.” Maybe I’ll set one up as a semi permanent slide show display. At least I know I’m not crazy.


Isn’t this disgusting?

Afghanistan under the Taliban.

Schoolgirls forced to cover themselves. What kind of madmen are these Taliban idiots. So scared of females that they have to exert their total control.