Saturday, August 31, 2019

Cam Play

My new camera was advertised at the place where I bought the last one for $488. It was available a few doors along for $449 but they had no stock. Another place a little further along was selling the same for $499 but would price match. However this sounded a little complicated.

I went to the original store and asked for the best price and I was told $460. I showed the salesman the one up the road on my phone for $449 and he agreed $445. I was happy. I did look at Dick Smith/Kogan online but by the time postage was added and the fact that it probably wouldn't come with an Australian warranty, it wasn't a good deal.

The camera I bought is Canon Powershot SX730 HS. I am happy with it, though it is rather heavy. My old camera was 165g and this one around 300g. It is 20 megapixel with 40X optical zoom. It has a fold up screen, great for selfies that I never take but could be helpful in seeing the screen in bright daylight. It also has a cute little pop up flash. The user is warned to pop the flash up if the unit thinks it is needed. I haven't played with the flash really but the couple of photos I did take seemed good.

It came with a seperate charger, which is a pain to lug around. I hope it takes USB charge ok.

While I haven't had an exhaustive play with the camera, I have spent a little time. Look Diane, you'll be pleased to know it has grid lines, something my last camera mysteriously lacked, and it showed. I haven't found the the setting for centre weighted focus yet and as you can see, the camera focused in on photo on a block of flats rather than the distant Dandenongs, but the Dandenongs are still better displayed than with the old camera.

Anyway, here are few shots I have taken.

She and the white building behind are coming down for.........yep, smart apartments, and very high end. The new building renders have it as lower and with less bulk. Two other apartment projects within a couple of minutes walking distance of here have been cancelled.

Err, before I could the setting to turn grid lines on.

Auto macro.

More auto macro.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Swaying politicians

Teaser. This was the largest petition ever presented to the state parliament of Western Australia at the time. The petition was not successful but in the fullness of time, there was a good outcome. So what was the petition about?

Help, just anybody

Yes, so we are in Liverpool, home to The Beatles but not before we stopped in Stratford upon Avon, the home of Shakespeare and what a lovely place it is.

I guess as we departed Wales. Wrap your tongue around that! One family group I forgot to mention earlier was comprised of a father who seemed to be main carer of the two teenage children. The mother preferred to be off on her having a glass of wine and cigarette. We think one of the children was a boy, but we were never sure. I suspect some autism and he pronounced the name of the Welsh railway station perfectly. I see the arrogant Swiss prick in the left of the photo.

Had we the time we would have loved to take a boat trip on the River Avon.

I think we lunched here. The weather was very pleasant, neither too hot or too cold.

It seemed like a long day and probably was, from Cardiff to Liverpool via Stratford Upon Avon. But I have no need of solace at the the Liverpool Cathedral. I think we had a break at Stoke on Trent.

An optional extra was to see The Beatles museum and we did. I am not a great Beatles fan and they were bit before my time, but it was interesting enough.

For some reason I really like this photo of mine.

We had the opportunity to go to the Cavern Club where the Beatles kicked off but we were ****ed tired and gave it a miss.

Hmm, our hotel room seems a little cramped.

There were things to see the next morning.

One Penny Lane sign not so smart but in my mind there is another.

The other rather nicer.

Lest you think Lennon was a poor working class boy, he wasn't.

No idea what this building is but a do like a nice cock clock.

Were we on the way to somewhere?

Thursday, August 29, 2019

My Wednesday

R was off doing volunteer work yesterday. I went into town to buy a new camera and I did. Very good service and price at digiDIRECT. Obviously more about the new camera later.

Mamasan at the Creperie in Centre Place almost kissed me, well held my hand as she asked where my friend was. I told her to make sure I don't depart without paying as R normally pays. Warm air was being blown from somewhere it was very pleasant sitting there and watching the passing parade.

I collected my suitcase from Strandbags, and aside from the already replaced wheel, the newly damaged one was replaced along with the two remaining wheels. It was repaired under warranty, but I am fairly sure the case the was out of warranty. Nevertheless, the wheels were clearly not fit for the purpose and should have been replaced. Good service by Strandbags.

I saw an incredibly handsome man in the street and I felt like asking him if the woman with him was his wife/girlfriend/partner and when he responded yes, I would say, lucky her and lick my lips.

A beggar asked me to buy him a cup of coffee. I had decided to engage with such people instead of just brushing them aside, but I forgot and told him no thank you. He disappeared and returned a short time later and asked for a dollar. I normally don't give money to beggars but I gave him $2. He said, sorry Sir. Drop the coin into may hand as my hands are very sweaty.  What his hands were like were absolutely filthy dirty. I asked, Why don't you wash your hands? Oh Sir, I am homeless and I have no bathroom, ignoring that around the city there are plenty of places to wash your hands with soap and water. Mentally unwell? Yes. Using dirty hands to engender sympathy or something like that, I reckon so.

On to QV shopping centre for some wine as the reserve for me at home was alarmingly low. How useful is it having a suitcase in the city when shopping! I put the wine and the new camera inside the case to take home on the tram.

At the ungodly hour of 9am today I must see my superannuation company to arrange a retirement income. Staff have assured me in the past that I will have a sufficient income in my retirement but oh, I am not sure and it worries me greatly. While we live quite cheaply, where we live is not a cheap place to live. There are benefits though. We barely need a car and it is used once or twice a week, once for a very short journey. I suppose it is a First World Problem for a Fat Old Rich White Man.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Tram Strike. Everybody Out!

Everybody out, as the cry went out from the shop steward (union representative) in the classic 60s English comedy The Rag Trade.

This coming Friday there will be a strike by tram workers in Melbourne. Well, it is called a stop work meeting and will be from 10.00am to 2.00pm. There won't be any tram services for this period. It has been a long time since there has been a tram stop work meeting or a strike. Are we ready for it? Can we manage for four hours without our trams running?

It is not quite that simple and this will catch many people unawares with shorter memories than mine or no memory at all of a tram stop work meeting. They may well have heard of the tram stop work from 10 to 2, but the trams don't magically disappear from the tram tracks at 10 and reappear at 2 as if nothing has happened and suddenly everything is back to normal.

No, no, no. The tram drivers must back at their respective depots by 10 to stop working and ready to resume work at 2. This means the tram service will start winding down some time after 8 as trams head back to the depots from furthest points and full normal service is unlikely to resume until 4 at least.

Melburnians and visitors alike, you have been warned. Don't expect to hear ding ding for at least 6 hours. Rather a pity that Yarra Trams or PTV don't make mention of the wind down period.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Australia Post Fail

Australia and England are first world countries. Why has our respective countries postal services fallen apart? Perhaps fault is in Australia.

We posted a birthday card to Bone Doctor from England a couple of weeks before her birthday. It arrived in time. We posted a birthday card to Sister, also in a timely manner but the last time I spoke to her, it had not arrived some 4 to 5 weeks later. We sent a postcard to Mother from England. As of last Thursday, again about 4 weeks later, it had not arrived.

Mother posted Sister a birthday card and weeks later it had not arrived, a distance of less than 100 kilometres.

I sent an A4 sized hard cardboard envelope to R's 3 year old great nephew containing three sheets of stickers and the postage was $12. When will it arrive in the UK via Australia Post, if ever?

Today some photos arrived by post from one of R's English cousins. The date stamp on the envelope was 13/08 and the arrival date 27/08. That is fairly standard as we have been used to but still, it is two weeks. Surely two days for sorting in England, two days for air travel and two days sorting here, maximum six days.

Yet, last week I ordered a new remote control for R's digital tv recorder from Sydney. He wears out the the 30 second forward skip button going through tv ads. It was a parcel in the hands of Australia Post. I ordered it on Wednesday and it arrived Friday. Great service.

But what has happened to our normal postal service?

Stonehenge, Bath and Cardiff

Can you believe we did both in one day? We couldn't imagine how, let alone end up in a Cardiff hotel to stay overnight, but we did. The traffic on what I think was the M25 and then M3 was dreadful, but clearly the stop start traffic was in built into the tour schedule.

This was an extra tour, but I think the same price as the normal entry fee to see Stonehenge.

After a bit of a wait a courtesy bus took us for the decent distance walk to the rocks.

They were quite impressive.

Our tour guide had explained beforehand on the coach about the how, why and where the stones came from and how they were moved. We also read some of the displays at the visitor centre. I can remember how timber paths were constructed but little else.

I didn't feel any sense of mysticism or any other emotion. They are historically interesting.

Next stop Bath. We had not paid for the tour of the baths themselves. I have seen many photos and read much about them.

We had a nice lunch here. We found a Boots for more medication but after walking for quite some distance and not feeling well to a post office to post a birthday card, the post office had moved. Forget it. 

Kings-Mead Square was a nice little place to sit and rest. 

Bath Abbey.

We were back at the designated coach pick up spot well on time. This was quite interesting and what a stunning building is the University of Bath. Of course we learnt were told many interesting things about the building.

It was a long drive on to Cardiff where we stayed for the night. I guess this is our hotel. I am not sure why we went to Cardiff but maybe it will become clear when I post the next day when we travel on to Beatles territory, Liverpool via Stratford. Ferry, Cross the Mersey......sorry.

Dinner was included. The room was quite swanky but we were terribly weary and I have little memory of the hotel or much else.