Saturday, July 09, 2016

Help required

Little Jo is our niece, the daughter of my sister. Little M and Little Em are daughters of our niece. I am sure I worked it out it out in the past, but I have forgotten. I was thinking about it at work today and I could not work it out before I was distracted by work. R is normally smart about such things, but he too is nonplussed, maybe because it is Saturday night and the Scottish Doctor is visiting.

So what is the relationship between Little Jo, and Little M and Little Em? They will all get together tomorrow, but how do they connect in a formal sense? Cousins? Second cousins? Little Jo is their aunt?

Lack of Logic

I have showed you the light and wet little gel things we bought in Freemantle in Western Australia before. Here is a photo of the tiny remote control for the lighting. Press the red button to turn it on and the green button to turn it off. I had some trouble with this logic when setting it up before I eventually put my glasses on and could read the text on the buttons. Green is go, red is stop. The remote is simply wrong.

Never mind that, what about our Italian made hotplates? If I planned which dial lit which hot plate, I would do it left to right, as we read, or used to before we starting reading down from up on the computer screen. This arrangement is just so illogical and counter intuitive to me.

The layout of the burners is fine and conventional enough. Wok burner at the front left, small burner to the right, small burner to the rear left and large burner rear right. As you can see, it is vertical arrangement of the dials to light and adjust the burners.

Bottom dial is for the wok burner on the front left. Good. Not so good is the next one up, which I would have light the front right burner. I can live with it lighting the rear left burner though. It is almost logical that the two lower dials operate the left hand burners.

So following that logic, the two rear dials operate the right hand burners and that is quite true but..... The third dial operates the right hand back burner and the last dial operates the right hand front burner. You may not have an issue with this, but by golly, as an infrequent user of the hotplates, when I do, I spend a lot of time turning on the wrong burner.

After reading what I wrote, I am not sure it is clear. I have taken another photo. I must get on to household management about cleaning the stove top. Still, better to be used to cook food with love than remain pristine.........oh god, how sickly sweet.

Friday, July 08, 2016

How did that happen? Little Jo at 9

It was memorable moment in our lives when Sister as a Christmas present presented Mother with xray scans of the baby growing within Sister. Mother was confused and late Step Father looked like thunder. How could Sister and Bone Doctor produce a baby? Step Father eventually went on to say, I am not sure this is a good idea, yet before he died when Little Jo was about two and a half, he loved her dearly. Before he died, Sister wrote a letter to Step Father, thanking him for being her father and all he had done for her, which I can remember as getting her out of serious scrape once among many other things that a father would do. Mother said when Step Father read the letter, it was the only time she had ever seen him cry. Mother in her usual manner, was quite sanguine about the news of her dyke daughter having a baby. While Mother is a very difficult person and probably voted for Malcolm Turnedbull, she is very socially accepting of the different and if she has issues with two of her four children being gay, neither of us two gay children know about it.

Anyway, some of you who are reading my blog now would have read about the birth of Little Jo at time she was born back in 2007 and when she was a baby and as she grew up.

Little Jo turns 9 in the middle of this month, and after a surprise visit to see the musical Matilda in town, she will come here and we are hosting a family party for her. R asked me if he should make sausage rolls, or buy them. Then Sister hit. I will bring the food. No, you don't buy the birthday cake. I will make it. We planned to buy a really nice cake from Bread Top in the shape of a dog. R was furious and went on about Sister all that night. I should have thought ahead and told Sister that we are hosting the party and we will do all. R concluded with, next time, I will tell your sister I am just too old to do parties. Don't worry, he was just sounding off at the sound board, me.

Today, Tuesday, while trying to stay dry as it rained and rained, we caught the tram to Balaclava to visit the most amazing shop to buy party decorations. It is in a side street and is huge as well as being a bit of rabbit warren. We bought some birthday themed serviettes, some sturdy paper plates for finger food and a happy birthday banner. We also ordered some helium filled balloons which we will pick up on Sunday morning. Wow, that adds up at $2 a balloon and we ordered 18. There was no heating in the most amazing shop, so we did not hang around after making our choices, and headed to Balaclava Station to go to town.

The rebuilding of Balaclava Station is complete and is a rather good job, methinks. There are stairs for the fit and a gentle ramp for the not so fit and less abled. We had just missed a train, but the waiting room was lovely and warm, just like the old days when stations had waiting rooms with a fire burning in a fireplace. A rather dodging looking young family, think parents with badly bleached hair, bad and missing teeth and a shared packet of Winfield cigarettes,   and with them their two under 10 children with what seemed to be household possessions in a shopping trolley were generally ignored, especially by the grandparent couple with their lovely quiet and calm grandchildren. Such is the mix in Balaclava.

Then there the train problem at Richmond Station, the last station before the main station, Flinders Street. I will save that for another post. It made me very cross a few years ago when I experienced and made both of us very cross this time.

We had a bowl of deliciously hot soup at QV, mine Portuguese bacon and heaps of other stuff, nearly a casserole, after exiting from Melbourne Central Station, not as easy to exit as you might think. Had a half hearted look for a gift for Bone Doctor's fortieth later this month, made our way to to our favorite outdoor place for coffee, then tired of all this busyness, cold and rain, caught the tram home. Golly, while it was a late start because of the rain, it was nearly three o'clock. The heating up a degree and siesta was had  by R, while I had some quiet time lying on my bed with my tablet.

I had noted some mince beef thawing in the kitchen. Oh, so nice, roast meat loaf for dinner.

The innocuous sounding and looking Astoria Paper Products is a wealth of treasures with everything you might want of a party and more, at reasonable prices.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

The Contikiast

Fire Fighting Niece has almost finished her Contiki tour of Europe, whereby she visited London, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Austria and is now in wrapping it up in Amsterdam. Unfortunately a bug went through the tour group and while I don't know where, she had to have cortisone injection to enable her to properly breath. The photos I have seen don't indicate any illness. Here is what I said a few minutes ago on her Face Book page when she finally posted some of her own photos, rather than be tagged in others.

Terrific photos. I think you are now in Amsterdam. Do get clear about the difference between cafes and coffee shops and have fun, whichever you visit. Don't forget a canal boat tour, if only to see buildings at very odd angles and young men in party boats.

She has a friend in Amsterdam who she will stay with for a few days and then journey on to Britain and stay at least a couple of nights with R's oldest sister as she ricochets from there to London, Scotland and Ireland.

Moving your email from an ISP to the cloud

Victor asked the question, how did I do it. Although only a week or so ago, I forget, but I will play around and it will be easier the second time. Btw, I have a few email accounts and I set up Mother's email so she could have a Face Book page. They are all aggregated by my Yahoo email app on my phone and tablet. I don't have to sign in to each one individually, just click on the email name.

This post is probably only helpful to Bigpond users who access their mail using the old Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express or the newer version from Microsoft, Windows Live Mail. The last release was in 2012, so clearly people are not longer much using Windows Live Mail and Microsoft is not doing anything with it. Victor's main issue is accessing his email when travelling. While you can access your Telstra ISP delivered email using a browser and Telstra's Web Mail, Web Mail is extremely clunky, unreliable and difficult to use and not everything is accessible, such as your Contact List email addresses unless you add them to Web Mail site. I expect Telstra, like Microsoft is no longer prepared to spend money on such a dinosaur. Gmail, Yahoo Mail and many others are just so good now.

Ok, I set up a joint Gmail email account for R and myself. I am referring to what I have done on our desktop computer here. I am now using the Chrome browser, with its home page set to Google. I open Chrome and click on Gmail on the Google page. Firefox home page is our joint Gmail account and R accesses his personal Gmail using Internet Explorer or whatever it is now called, maybe Edge? Using the three different browsers saves us logging in and logging out to accounts.

So, you have set up your Gmail account. Go to your inbox, top right of the page is a cog wheel and click. Choose Settings and then select the tab at the top, Accounts and Imports, then Check mail from other accounts (using POP3): You will be taken to another page to add your ISP email address, in our and Victor's case, that is Telstra Big Pond. Because we are long time cable internet users our email address ends in the awkward Victor's probably ends in the simpler 

After you enter your email, you will be asked to enter some other detail and I can't go further now than just say what I remember. I think outgoing and incoming email need the address That was easy to find. Not so SMTP server and I had a devilish time finding out what should be entered there. I just could not find out. Eventually I tried the same, and it worked and lo and behold, any mail sent to our ISP account, started arriving in our Gmail and so far as I can see, it works flawlessly. Using Gmail takes some getting used to and is perhaps not quite as convenient as Windows Live Mail, but it is pretty good. 

If you plan to make a clean break from Windows Live Mail and your ISP and only use Gmail, do not click on the Send Mail As link. Things will get messy if you do.

Today in a moment of inspiration, I remember that before we bought the new computer, I backed up all our emails, dating back to about 1997 and saved them on our backup drive. I installed Windows Live Mail without actually connecting it to work, and then imported all our old emails and they are there. We are only missing January to June 2016. The emails from when we dealt with supplier of the failed new computer are there too. I don't know why we save them as we never look at them but I like that our email history is there. 

I suggest you keep your ISP email address going until you notify all of your change of email address.

That is about it. Now you have to get busy changing your email with various companies. I am about 2/3 of the way through doing that. It is not so hard. I only had to resort to the phone with one company and its auto process would probably have worked had I persisted. Sometimes the phone is the best way to do things.

Very last tech post for a good while. Thank you for your patience.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Jussy for our PM

Do we have a Prime Minister? I suppose Malcolm Turnedbull is caretaker Prime Minister. Why oh way can't we have a PM like Canada's Justin Trudeau? I never thought much of his father's looks, Pierre Trudeau. His looks must come from his 'interesting' mother Margaret, a frequent visitor to New York's Studio 54 with a celebrity or ten in tow.  At least our Malcolm did march in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras march/parade but not with quite the same flair as Jussy.

Here is the luscious Jussy at Toronto's Gay Pride March. Jackie and her husband, in Toronto, visited the march and Jackie took lots of photos, including her own of Jussy. Well actually, Jackie's cousin took the photo of Jussy and it is a great photo.

If only this photo was a bit closer, I am sure you would be able to see his snail trail where his shirt gapes. I reckon he sought advice from his ever so stylish mum Margaret about what to wear, and she chose well. Getty Images.

You Tube image

In other political news, our former Mayor of the City of Port Phillip Julian Hill ran as a Labor replacement for the sitting Labor member in the seat of Bruce, and won. I asked R if he remembered him, and he said of course. He was young, slim, blond and cute. He was 25 when he was elected as mayor. Looking in the mirror can be quite depressing at times. However, I see Julian is no longer young, slim, blond and cute.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

A friend in colour

There was something in the past I read that you should never hot link to a photo as it would cost the owner of the site a lot of money. Dinosaur stuff. I have no hesitation in directly linking to a photo of Marie, who was a most gracious person and London guide who we met when we were last in London.  Marie's blog is here and here is a photo of Marie at Wimbledon wearing a tee shirt given as gift from her granddaughter after Marie scored tickets for the tennis. Pretty cool photo, hey. The less said about Wimbledon for Australians, the better. Both of our nasty foul mouthed try hard brats are out. Good riddance to them, I say.

The Election

Mentions of buying a sausage from a charity fund raising barbeque at a polling booth was very amusing a few elections ago. I am well over the hashtag Democracy Sausage. I heard a query on the radio today, can you buy vegetarian sausages at the polling booth barbeque? More importantly to me as we dined at the Elsternwick Hotel with two friends on Saturday night, can a Hindu buy a beef free sausage at the polling booth barbeque. One of the friends is a former Country Party politician and now a Liberal Party member. He ignored my greeting, hello comrade. He later asked about getting election results on my phone. With some glee, I told him the Liberal seat of Mayo had fallen to Nick Exephon, however you spell his name.

We voted on our way to Saturday shopping in Prahran. Most of the voters were walk ups as there was no problem parking the car. But the queue was very long. It is the first time I have experienced, and with subsequent knowledge perhaps the first time it has been done, but the booth was catering for two electorates, Melbourne Ports and Higgins.  There was a feeling of chaos about the whole thing. Maybe it would have better to employ the folk who were employed to organise the queue as people who were issuing ballot papers and marking names off the list. In spite of a very large number of voting before polling day, the Australian Electoral Commission seems to have failed badly at this election, with some booths running out of ballot papers, others for six minutes after opening issuing the wrong ballot papers and complaints about long queues like I have never heard before, with people via media and friends saying the went to the voting booths three times and then left because the queue was too long. From arriving at the booth to exiting, it took 25 minutes for us. Only one before have we spent longer at a voting booth. I wanted to pre poll, but R said no, we will do it on the day, and then regretted it. I was lucky. While the cardboard voting booths looked tiny to me, I dodged in front of an old and frail disabled person and got the wide and low booth with a seat, and filled the metre wide Senate ballot paper. It still went up the sides of the voting booth. What ever happened to those decently sized plywood voting booths? There were more complaints about the writing being too small and faint.

Sister sat behind a desk at a polling booth and Face Booked at about 3pm, it is dead quiet so come and vote now.

Never mind the democracy sausage, we could have nearly done our weekly shopping at the market stalls at the voting booth, there were so many stalls but we bought nothing as we were out to do our weekly shopping and have breakfast first in the Prahran Market courtyard.

Famous Bearded Media Person Neighbour has now become Famous Bearded Senator Neighbour. Whatever you may think of him, he is always so pleasant and charming and stops for a chat. A night or two before the election we saw him in the lift and he said that he really did not think initially he had a chance of being elected, among other things he said. He was with I expect his campaign manager, as I saw the same person in the background on tv, and again today when we saw him in the lift once more. We offered our hearty congratulations to him, and sincerely. We may or may not have voted for him, but on a personal level, we like him.

As for the election result, Malcolm promised things to the right wing of his party to become Prime Minister. These were things he did not believe in but was beholden to his party. Had Malcolm been allowed his head, he would have become Prime Minister with a resounding victory.

For me it kind of boiled down to tax cuts for big business, a slow privatisation of our not so bad medical system, nothing for the environment, a plebiscite on same sex marriage when it should just be legislation passed, a reduction in pay to the lowest paid, some union bashing and worker entitlement reductions and little to cope with a fast growing population.

Labor offered a crackdown on benefits to rich people's superannuation, a crackdown on negative gearing,  some very positive infrastructure spending, but best of all, fibre internet to the home rather than the node to the end of your street.

I did not believe former Prime Minister Gillard when she said she did not believe in same sex marriage and I was proved right. I did not believe Malcolm as Communication Minister in a former government and who made some of him millions from his internet provider company Ozemail, when he proposed fibre to the node rather than fibre to home. That was where he lost me.

While I used to not mind Turnbull he is now in my eyes, a very weak person for not standing up to his party and saying, we do it my way or not at all.

Brexit happened because lazy young people in Britain did not get off their phones and go out and vote, and now they complain about the result and how old people voted. A week or so later after the Brexit vote, the world has not collapsed and the English residents of the European Costa del Sol have not been put in quarantine camps.

There is serious issue here of young people not being enrolled to vote here in Australia. It is up to them to enroll but I think it is law that they must. It is not enforced and the government has all their records from birth to Social Security to Medicare. Why aren't they automatically enrolled?

To those who are troubled by Brexit, take note, almost one fifth of our state of Queensland voted first for Pauline Hanson and she is about is to become a Senator in the Australian parliament. While I dislike her in the extreme and much of what she says and I remember the awful impression of she gave of Australia in the past, do take note politicians. Australians accept immigration and a growing population, but not to the extreme and both need to be managed carefully and not upset the horses.

To wrap with something lighter, respected SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin yesterday tweeted, "I wish a 'hung parliament' was as sexy as it sounds".

This is an off the cuff post, without review and sorry for the graammer and spellling.

Monday, July 04, 2016

The politics in brief

I did not trust former Prime Minister Julia Gillard after she  curiously said she did not believe in gay marriage.

I did not trust Malcolm Turnbull once he as Communication Minister when he opted for fibre to the node and not firbre to the home. Further confirmed by he continuing with the gay marriage plebiscite rather than just enacting legislation.

R really dislikes Bill Shorten because of the take away pie incident but Shorten has not done so badly as Prime Ministerial material.

Tech to do your head in

The repaired computer is working well, although it will take some time to get things back to normal and to be able to have time and the set up to compose blog posts normally. But it is quite easy to just bang away at the keyboard, so I can write. Absolutely everything was lost between buying the new computer and when it failed not so long after. I back up photos to the cloud, Dropbox, once I have no further use for them for my blog, so not too many photos were lost. I will have to rewalk days 2 and 3 of the Yarra and take photos again. I attend to our finances once a fortnight  using a kind of ledger that R made up, initially with Microsoft Publisher, later converted to Open Office. When I use it once a fortnight, I back it up to a memory stick, so that is not lost. It really could have been so much worse. Two lessons learnt really. Buy locally so you have somewhere to take your failed computer (a small computer shop is not so easy to find nowadays). The big stores will have your computer away for weeks if it goes wrong. Funnily I can't badmouth the company who we bought the computer from as all documentation was in emails. I don't even remember its name, but I can easily find out and will contact them and see what sort of response I get and perhaps lambaste them, depending on the company's response.

We are planning to switch to the NBN when our contract with Telstra runs out in three months. TPG has put NBN facilities into our building and I spent some time looking at what it offers and what Telstra offers. It doesn't matter who puts in the NBN facilities, other companies can use the equipment, as far as I know. While initially the prices seemed comparable, and both offered free land line phone calls, TPG offers around 100 mega bytes per second download speed. A friend in Beacon Cove who has joined is getting almost the 100 mbps. I queried Telstra and the reply was, you can pay more for a high download speed, but at the moment you can expect between 25 and 50 mbps. Well, given our current cable internet gives us between 30 and 40 mbps, why would we make the change? I reckon if I got up at 2.30 in the morning and used the existing internet, I might get 50 mbps. Really, our current internet seems quite fast enough, but like Toad of Toad Hall, speed is everything. Our internet/land line phone bill will drop from $120 per month to under $100, with a faster speed.

We have decided to go with TPG. However, we will lose our Big Pond ISP email, which for ease of use, is very good. Well, it was until the computer failure and much was lost. Just before our computer crash, I had set up a joint Gmail account for R and myself. We each already have a personal Gmail account and I have a number of Yahoo email accounts, which can be all aggregated by an app on phone and tablet. I set up Mother's Face Book account and a Gmail address. I occasionally check her FB but not her Gmail. There were around three thousand FB notifications in Gmail. I think I have killed them all now and turned off notifications for her FB.

Victor in Sydney, as we are, is an internet supply customer of our formerly government owned telecommunication company, Telstra. When Victor is travelling, I expect he like I do, finds looking at your emails on you ISP email web email rather clunky, to say the least. If you do use Telstra ISP email, that is your have an address like ***** or *****, I have found the best browser to use to read your email is Chrome, but it is still tiresomely slow and clunky.

Now, our Telstra Big Pond email comes into the joint Gmail I set up. It works fine. While I did it two days ago, I can't remember how I did it but I just went through part through the process again and I remembered it was somewhat tricky. This post was supposed to be how to do it, helpful to Victor and perhaps to others, but I will save that for a more precise post soon.

Ah yes, Mother has connected up to the NBN, but that is a whole 'nother story.

Sunday, July 03, 2016


I am an Australian republican and see no reason why Australia should have any formal ruling ties to Britain and the Queen.

R said tonight, nothing on tv tonight, meaning there was not much of interest on our ABC. I reply, yes, there is The Queen at 90. It is not a case of  'know thy enemy'. I'll wait until she is dead before I become a formal republican activist and campaign to rid us of those foreign born to rule types. But by the way she is going, she might outlast me. Old queens have their place in our lives.