Saturday, July 09, 2011

Catching the Adelaide bus

I recall saying quite smugly in a post not so long ago that I look at where I am going to holdiay and check out the public transport I will be using well in advance. While we might only use it for one day, I have looked at Adelaide's public transport website. It is not a bad site, but there are things I can't work out.

It was bit buried, but I did find that R can travel between 9 and 3 for free on weekdays and free at weekend. I can buy a day ticket on or off the system for all modes for $8ish.

Our digs will be on Military Road in West Beach. A bus appears to run along there, acccording to the map, route J1. It will take us to the city or Glenelg. And yet, if I enter the information into the travel planner, nothing makes sense. So far as the travel planner goes, there is no bus along Military Road, or if there is, it goes the wrong direction and takes us via a shopping centre. I may get time to take another look, or we may just depend on the kindness of strangers.

(just rereading this and about to publish. Military Road? Where did that name come from?)

Friday, July 08, 2011

Almost new computer

2gb of ram, one terrabyte of hard drive space and Windows 7, the machine is working is working like greased lightening. So why am I so stressed? I just don't like change.

I plugged the renovated machine in and the internet worked without me doing anything. Then I got a nag box re networking, I assumed the router connection. I followed what was on the screen. I should not have and left it until later. I lost the internet connection. I connected the modem directly to the computer, did the usual shut down, restart, and still no internet. I called Bigpond help. They sorted it. Gee their help service is good now compared to what it used to be.

Ok, internet works. Priority, emails. Where is Outlook Express? Not to be found. There is Outlook for email. Ok, I set that up. It is very alien and a bit posh for our purposes. After set up, it indicated the connection was ok, but it would not send or receive and kept asking for log in and password, I think I have exprienced many times over the years and it seems to be something only Bigpond can correct. Call help desk again. She took control of the computer, which was quite amusing to see it being operated by someone else, and fixed it.

I downloaded Firefox and imported my bookmarks. I imported R's favourites as he uses IE.

I tried importing emails that I had saved from Outlook Express. No. Ditto contacts. Search for info on the net. I conclude it is just too hard, but I did discover that Windows Mail can be downloaded which was a replacement for Outlook Express in Vista but not included in Windows 7. Gatesy wants you to use Windows Live, which I think is web based email related to Hotmail. I already have enough web based email to check, thank you very much. For our joint isp email, Outlook Express was fine.

I downloaded Windows Mail, and it imported all the old messages, and then the contacts. But the same problem occured. Send and receive, and it keeps asking for user name and password. Right, emails are at least working with Outlook. I will fix this later with another call to the help desk.

Downloaded AVG as virus checker. Fat lot of good it did last week when it allowed things to go wrong and ultimately the virus checker crashed and would not longer work. But it looks good on outgoing emails.

I then reinstalled the router and surpringly, that went ok. The lappy picks up the signal and this machine still works. Damn the networking suggestions earlier.

And then I had to go to work. It was a rough day really.

R had to feed and entertain ABI Brother last night while I was at work. I felt guilty about not being here. In spite of finishing work at 11pm, I was up at 6.30 to take ABI Brother to Masada to get a skin cancer removed. I came back home, and at 9.30 I set off to Cheltenham to pick up the computer, and then spent ages mucking around with it. I left for work at 2.30 and now it is 1am. I need a longer sleep tonight. I am going to force myself to not get up absurdly early because I have a lot to do to the computer. It can wait. I vaguely recall that there was life before computers.

I tell myself to be sensible. The computer is working. It is just not how I like it. It doesn't matter. I will fix it all in time. As I started with, I just don't like change, but I do know that in time, I will embrace the new.

PS, I should have been sorting out the pc instead of writing this, but I have de-stressed. Writing blog posts is very familiar to me.

PPS, ahhh, no spell checker. Another thing to do. No doubt there are spelling clangers.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Fish Sauce

I was in the supermarket with Mother. I did not treat her as a helpless old lady and run around at her beck and call, instead just let her do her shopping at her pace. I did pop in to see how she was going. She was comparing two similar products, both brand name labelled. Why not the cheaper one Mother? She handed me the two bottles and told me to have a look at the preservatives etc in each. Sure enough, the dearer one was much less chemically laden, salt laden, sugar laden, colour laden. Hmm, ok, Mother knows about these matters. Interesting. I wish I could recall what the product was, but I cannot.

We were in the Asian owned green grocer and I was buying some fish sauce. There were two brands and I thought I should take a look at the ingredients. Mien gott, how much salt is there in fish sauce!!! But one did have quite a bit less than the other, so I bought that.

I understand that some government committee or whatever is looking at our labelling laws. How about the traffic light colours for a start, larger print of ingredients and fat, sugar and salt levels, whether it has a GM product in it and what the 'fats' are comprised of. We have a right to know what we are buying and consuming and we also have the right to know where the ingredients come from.

Melbourne Zoo has long being campaigning against the inclusion of palm oil in our food and the lack of labelling telling us so. Pretty worthy I think.

If you think using an ethanol mix for your car's fuel and you are helping the environment by doing so, think again. Google is your friend.

Now please don't tell me what makes up fish sauce. I like it in my stir fries.

Old buildings

I like old buildings and the history within their walls. Apparently so does one of my younger relatives, who might have entered an old six storey building that is undergoing renovation and climbed up into the tower that sits atop the building. The young man sat for sometime in the tower with a friend and gazed around at the city.

I don't want to spoil it for others who want to do the same, just exploring of course and not vandalising, so I won't name the building, but those within may well have produced a Melbourne daily newspaper until the paper closed in 1957.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Having an Asian friend

I have a couple. I have known them for a long time.

But an Australian friend who lives overseas has mentioned a friend of hers in several emails. The friend is American. We shan't hold that against her. Some of my best blog mates are American (that is irony for you Americans, who apparently don't get irony, or so we are told). Our friend recently sent us pictures of herself and her American friend when they were on a road trip. We were surprised to see that our friend's American friend was of 'Asian appearance', a term favoured by our local police force.

Our friend had never mentioned this, and why should she? Her friend is American. That is all we needed to know isn't it? We can label her and stick her in a metaphorical box with her just being American.

And yet???

Is it racist that I now think of our friend's American friend in a slightly different context? I don't think it is. It does tell me that she may well have a different background to the one I imagined. Should our friend have mentioned this? Not sure. Essentially it makes now difference. She is American, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Whadda ya reckon?

Later edit: How nice. A mention. What is it like to be a visibly non Anglo in an Anglo dominated country? AdRad gives you a couple of examples.

Earth Moving and the random

It certainly moved for me today. The pneumatic desk chair bounced me up and down as the mild earthquake struck. I think earth movement is amplified when you are near the top of a tall building. Maybe once every couple of months, I feel movement when sitting on the chair at the desk. I considered getting under the desk as the quake struck, but given it is made of glass, perhaps not such a good idea.

Methuselah is not matched to screen and the text, well everything is really weird. I am not hunting around to fix it for the sake of a couple of days, which might muck up the settings of the computer at the doctor's. But its setting may well be altered too. I have told the computer doctor to put in a one terrabyte hard drive, add an extra gig of ram and I am actually going to pay for Windows 7 and I get the disk. It puzzles me that computers don't come with an operating system and you have to pay extra to make the computer actually work. $300 all up, almost half of which is the operating system disk.

I forget exactly when, but we will be in Mount Gambier next week for a couple of nights. If you look at its history, its volcano is overdue to erupt by tens of thousands of years. It would be just our luck....... Ah well, I already feel like a fossil.

Something struck me today. The evil ex Liberal Party Premier of the State of Victoria sold off our electricity assets, mostly to overseas companies. Now, there is a suggestion that the owners of two of the dirtiest power stations may be compensated billions of dollars of taxpayers money to close down. That is, effectively, the government buys them and shuts them down. If the government owned them, they could just shut them down. I just do not get this privatisation of public assets business. The are privatised for supposedly reasons of competition. Maybe there are some areas where that works. Do point them out to me. Airports? Oh no, not there. Public transport? Oh no, not there. Telecommunications? Oh, in spite of my support for fibre optic, no, not there either. Private roads, that the owner's charge you to use? Oh no, not there. I am drumming my fingers waiting for a response.

Beware Perthites where your government wants to privatise your airport. Beware Greece where Euro community want you to privatise your public assets.

There is absolutely no reason why a government owned asset cannot perform as well as a private one. Given the government asset can borrow money more cheaply, double the reason.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Fibre Optic coming to you soon

Do I ever offer you advice? Do I tell you how to vote? Nah, I try to avoid anything like that. I am all care and no responsibility.

So I shan't this time either and just tell you how I see it.

Our children and grandchildren won't thank us for what we have done to our environment but maybe they will thank us for our fibre optic broadband that our government is intent on installing.

It is costing big buckeroos. Is it worth it? What about wireless over the air? Well, silly as you may think I am, I maintain that you can only fit so many radio waves in the air before the air becomes saturated with radio waves and they all crash together and fall to the ground, or some variation on that.

I thought that perhaps fibre optic would future proof us, not a bad thing. But I did have some doubts.

That is until I heard fibre optic signals travel at the speed of light. Can you get any faster than the speed of light? Yep, fibre optic will set us up for the rest of this century. Your great grand children will be using what we are now paying for now, a small compensation for where we have buggered things up big time.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Pc Update

We have decided to have a Windows reload for our present computer. Two and half years old is not enough to send it out to pasture. I have spent a good few hours saving what is on it and then dragging Methuselah out from the wardrobe and plugging it it. Now I remember why we bought the new one. Still, Methuselah is more stable than the newer one in its present ailing condition.

I am wondering whether to get a new and bigger hard drive though. 250gb is not very big today, when a single 'movie' can be over 1gb. I am also hoping we can move up from XP to Windows 7. It will be one or two days before I can pick it up. I won't have much time before we set off on holidays to make the new system how I like it. Doesn't matter really, since we won't be here to use it.

Now, if you have invented a computer that will last for say six years, without any attention or problems, please let me know. I would like one that just works, and keeps working.

Happy 4th

I don't stand on my feet all day. I don't work in retail. I respect people who do. My feet are sore. I have been on them all day. I stood for a bit on the cold balcony tiles and my feet feel a bit better.

Little Jo's party went well. We are just so exhausted though. The Highrise in night light looks ok, but tomorrow I will have to remove ground in chocolate cake from the carpet. Hands and knees with a bucket of soapy water.

There is an American word which I can't quite recall. Something like honery.The whole day was planned to suit Mother, but she was honery. Little Jo was blamed for the dumping of some chicken bones on the carpet, but Mother's grand children observed Mother spilling her chicken bones on to the carpet and called her to account.

When Mother visits the Highrise, she usually lingers and we press her to leave, but today she wanted to leave early. C'mon Nanna. We are going down to play tennis. She took one step out onto the podium where the facilities are and it was too windy for her.

Much fun was had on the tennis court, and then ABI Brother who was taking Mother home reappeared.

Mother is terrified of lifts. What did ABI brother do. Stepped out of the lift and left Mother in the lift. ABI Brother has to focus tightly on what he is doing. I don't blame him too much for leaving Mother in the lift. None the less, Mother was in her worst nightmare, supposedly trapped in a lift. The lift did not move until someone on another floor called for the lift. It was a posh woman who lives here apparently. She had flowers in her hand. She was concerned about this stupid old woman who could not press G to go to ground and helped Mother to push the G button.

Mother now has a great story to tell how bestie about how she was trapped in the Highriser lift.

They arrived very late, but what sweet lasses are Sis in Laws new beau's daughters are.

Oldest Niece quietly tied a helium balloon to Dreaded Nephew's hair.

While I just pick up the pieces, you would not believe how hard R worked today. The food was was so plentiful and ok, Sister did her bit too.

Little Jo is almost four. Where did those four years go?

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Get read to duck

What has been happening in Melbourne's northern suburbs is disturbing. You can read the full story at The Age here.

Here are a couple of snips.

For the past five years police in the northern and western suburbs have been battling several distinct family criminal cells. The families are all of Lebanese origin, but police say their ethnicity is not the issue.


One of the cells, controlled by the Mokbel fan and his three sons, has been linked to drug trafficking, abductions, shootings, intimidating witnesses, bribery and attempted murder.


They have also been linked to stolen cars, passport offences, drugs, protection rackets, social security frauds, gun running and migration offences. One cell member currently under investigation has been connected to 26 Melbourne armed robberies.

So why are these good citizens not in gaol?

Crime families. Not nice. Sadly Melbourne's crime families are of a quite plain appearance.

But wow, if we head north to Sydney, not intimating at all that they are a crime family, but just colourful identities, we have the Ibrahims.

There is John.

His brother Fadi

And John's son Daniel.

Personally I don't know what people see in them. Better dash, I seem to have saliva on my chin and I need a tissue.