Saturday, May 23, 2020

More electricical

Electricical, as pronounced by Eva Gabor in Greenacres.

The external isolating switch for our air con is eighteen years old and the assaults by weather extremes has taken its toll. The old unit was cracked and crumbling on the underside. I was worried about moisture penetration and if it shorted out, we would be without heating unless we stood under our new bathroom heat lamps.

The electricians who fitted the heat lamps did not have the appropriate unit on board and it had to be ordered at the wholesalers. I wouldn't have thought an external 35 amp switch would be a rare beast, but there you go.

The boss electrician who we didn't see when the heat lamps were installed called the next day and said the switch was in and he could come and install it, but being Thursday, it was Mother Day and we weren't home. We arranged for him to attend the next day. I had to be up early, showered and dressed by 8am. Ouch. R stayed in bed. I asked R if maybe the lovely sparky Damien could arrive and I would stay in bed and he could come and give me a cuddle. Witheringly honest, R said, what makes you think the hot straight sparky would interested in an old man like you? Quite true. I was looking forward to seeing him. He is a nice bloke.

Oh my Damien, your voice has risen an octave or two when he spoke on the intercom to come up. I could see on the camera it wasn't Damien. It was woman. I suppose she was about 30 years old. She was pleasant, chatty and professionally fitted the switch in a short time and departed.

That there are female electricians should not be worth remarking upon, but I have.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Highrise improvements

Yesterday was a stressful day. For me it was going through the process. For R, it was very stressful and it showed in his poor behaviour. We had our electrician coming on Wednesday to fit heat lamps that we had not yet bought on Tuesday morning. We had researched them a bit but it was all up in the air.

We went to the large hardware chain Bunnings but it did not seem to have what we wanted and staff were short on the ground to ask. We know we can get good service at Beacon Lighting, so we went to the South Melbourne store. We needed heat lamps for both bathrooms, with a light but without an exhaust fan. They are a bit hard to get.

One unit was showing on the computer at South Melbourne but when staff went to retrieve it from the stock room, it wasn't there.

She called the St Kilda branch and it had one unit and she made staff to physically check that there was one unit. She checked the Abbotsford branch and it had one and made that staff also check. It was a good bit of driving but we had both units needed. We had some food and coffee in Balacalva when we were near the St Kilda store.

Anyway, things were much better today. Our favourite electrician did not attend but sent one of his qualified staff with an apprentice. The staff was a such handsome blond and so nice and pleasant. The age of his apprentice R guessed at nine years old. They arrived a whole five minutes late. Their workmanship they should take with pride.

We are very happy with the result and it will be so nice to have warming lamps when we get out of our showers.

Previously two switches. One turned the small LED lamp on and the other the main light and exhaust fan.


Two heat lamps and a very bright light to help the aged whose eyesight is not the best to apply their mascara.


As an extra request the separate toilet single switch was changed from a single that turned on the light and exhaust fan to have them on separate switches. We should have done all this years ago.


I couldn't have done this better myself. For both bathrooms, the first, nearest switch turns on the lights, the second the exhaust fan and the third the heat lamps.


By double clicking the light switch, you can change the LED lights from normal to clinical to warm. I can't imagine we will use that often. 

Very satisfying but goodness knows the cost. Two tradies for two hours plus. But then we aren't spending any money on holidays.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The world's fastest train

I've travelled on Japan's Shinkansen at over 300 km/h and Eurostar at a little less and a little less again on Thalys trains in Europe. That is terribly fast for what is train with wheels sitting in train track. The potential for an horrific disaster at that kind of speed should just one thing go wrong is huge. Imagine two trains colliding at the that speed, or a train derailing. It doesn't bear thinking about. The trains in order as mentioned.




The second fastest train in the world travels between Beijing and Shanghai at a speed of up to 400 km/h. No, no faster with steel wheels on tracks, not matter how well engineered and what safety systems are in place.


The fastest is China's magnetic levitation trains, where there isn't contact between the train and tracks at high speed. It travels between Shanghai Airport and Shanghai. For just US$8 you can travel on the mag lev train at 430 km/h, 267 mp/h. I like the way it wraps around guidance track. It looks safer.


China and Japan are not great friends, so Japan not be outdone has a mag lev train that can travel at 603 km/h between Tokyo and Osaka, once the track is finished. In practice it will be something over 400 km/h.


Upmanship will see China have a mag lev train between Beijing and Shanghai travelling at 600 km/h, 372 mph. 

Pre COVID the Sydney to Melbourne flight route was one of the busiest in the world, taking something like just over an hour. You can catch a train though. Doesn't its name sound fast, the XPT? It plods along, taking 11 hours to travel between Melbourne and Sydney and I believe it is rarely on time. Competitive time wise? Not at all. Competitive cost wise? Not at all? Competitive comfort wise? No, not even that. It is an old train.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Angry Man

What I should say to R.

Why are you so angry with the world? Why do you think everyone has it in for you? Why do you think people are targeting you? Why can't you understand the world is what it is, tech things are what they are and it pointless throwing you phone on the car floor in frustration.? That solves nothing.

Running away won't help. No one is targeting you. People don't hate you. If you have problems with people, it is not because a deliberate act by them. They are human and fallible.

Needling me doesn't help. So what if I forgot to serve myself broccoli tonight? Will I die? Will you die? I can't remember if I had broccoli. Does it matter? My thanks for a nice meal went ignored.

Maybe he will be cheered up by our visiting, lovely and handsome blond electrician tomorrow.

I try to remain myself and not let his behaviour get to me, but it is a struggle at times.

For lack of anything...

Not much to say, but really plenty to say. Here are a few photos.

A ladybird on the window glass.


I think PhaseII was an American mural painter.


Our 'Euro' laundry with the great bright LED lamp I put on the underside of the clothes dryer, but still the old LED over the trough. I put a new bright lamp over the trough, but it keeps falling off into the bucket.


R made a Christmas cake this year. I used to make them. I gave up, and now R has given up. Even in May there is a tiny piece of Christmas cake left. No one wants such a rich cake after plum pudding.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Monday Musings

Our renewed friend who we had no connection with for years, though he travelled with us in New Zealand in the mid 1980s and R worked with him, cancelled our catch up mid March, wisely and I expect at the behest of his daughter who has two young sons.

While he lives with his brother in a country town he also has a three bedroom flat in Glen Iris which he has renovated and is now up for sale.

Friday he invited us to visit him at his flat as he checked out the latest work and after our weekly shopping, we did. While it is on a direct tram route, we are still driving everywhere. The traffic was hideously normal. I hated the drive and R moaned on about the congestion. Much prefer to be on a tram.

He was certainly closer than 1.5 metres to us, as I tried to keep my distance. You know how some people invade your personal space? That is they just get too close to you when speaking to you. I hate it and move back but invariably they will move closer and then your back is against a wall with no escape. I wonder how those people are coping with keeping distance? Btw, our friend is not one of them.

After ohh and ahhing about his flat renovation we went for coffee to a what was a super trendy place called Mr (vermin species). I expect those who set it up have moved on and sold it to an Indian born man. I don't think it is really allowed but I asked him if we could sit at the outside tables. He said yes. My coffee was fine but R's and G's was cold. We sat for an hour or so chatting and then dropped him at Tooronga Station to catch the train to the city and then the country train home.

Saturday Bone Doctor and Jo called in and brought us pies for lunch. In spite of R saying I will tell that effing b***** what I think of her, he was perfectly polite to Bone Doctor. They were going on to Bone Doctor's parents' place in South Gippsland to see her mother for her birthday and a belated Mother's Day. Jo at twelve is so grown up. She speaks like a private school student, even though she has only been one for a couple of months. Neither of her mothers speak like she does and nor do any of her family. Curious but then I never spoke like my family do and I still don't.

After they left I went out for my walk. Coffee shops in Domain Road were so busy, with queues to order and people standing outside waiting for their coffee. People were sitting in small groups after freedom from lockdown. Families were picnicking. The weather was fine and it was all very nice to see. I am getting better at walking and I continued on to Fawkner Park where there were more groups gathered. and family picnics underway.

Sunday was such a beautiful day, shirt sleeves in the sun but cool in the shade with clear blue skies. We are sick of visiting the same places for food and coffee. We drove to Altona Village and it was very busy. We bought delicious egg and salad supermarket sandwiches about to reach use by dates for $2.50 each, then bought coffee at a popular cafe for $4 (it's the economy stupid) and took them to the beach to eat. It was warm enough for beach volleyball players to take their tops off but of course we barely took any notice. We walked out on the pier where people are now allowed to fish again. The water was crystal clear. I took a photo of the crystal clear water with the sand ridges as silver wiggly lines. Sadly the photo turned out to be far from crystal clear. When returning home we saw many boat trailers in a car park as boaties enjoyed their now allowed sailing, in groups of no more than ten.

Later I went out for a walk and discovered some really interesting pictures. Save that for another day.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sunday Selections

Mostly other people photos this week as I join with Elephant's Child for Sunday Selections. I am getting a bit light on for photos.

No doubt this minor bingle was a racist attack by white on black.


Cherry blossom or wisteria in bloom. Which is your favourite?


Rather stunning reflection photo.


Style? No style?


Maybe I have used this already. Regardless, it seems rather dated now.


What? You love wisteria in bloom? How good is this one!


Oh my, another great Shorpy photo. With those muscles I would be powerless and he could at will whisper sweet things into my ears about the finesses of baby cheese making.