Saturday, April 18, 2020

Fairy/cell/hand/mobile phone

While we call them mobile phones in Australia, mobile is generally being dropped and just phone is the word now. Landlines, which are nearly all broadband now have all but disappeared except if it is included in your phone bundle. The only reason we keep our landline is that it costs us nothing. We certainly wouldn't buy a new phone.

My phone is over two years old now, a Samsung Galaxy S8. There has been an S10, indicating I am two models behind but there has been a further odd jump to to S20.

R's phone is an S7 and my S8 is quite a bit better than R's. However, I can't see that an S20 is so much better than my S8.

I was as stupid dick. I had never dropped my present phone on the ground, yet just one night when meeting with friends at a local pub for dinner, I took the cover off, wanting the sensuous experience of feeling its cold steel back in my hands. I won't use the appropriate swear words and just say bother, that was the only time I dropped it, the one time when it was unprotected. No damage done. It still worked. What a relief.

Until a few days later when I tried to take a photo of something and it would not focus. Snapping away, changing settings and then back to standard seemed to work, but the opportunity to immediately take a snap was lost. Right, time to buy a new phone.

Then I discovered by tapping my phone on a solid object or even my hand would fix the focus problem immediately. Damn then, really no reason to buy a new phone. I always buy the model behind the newest anyway, in this case an S10. Something like $750 saved. Kiddies, your inheritances are looking good, especially without us being able to plan holidays.

R is hoping we can visit England next year in August to celebrate his sister's 70th birthday. It will be flying business class, so that will burn some money.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Were we coronavirus infected?

The symptoms match and we were terribly unwell for some of the time when visited the UK, flying via Dubai last year. What we suffered did not feel like a normal flu or anything else we had experienced, and I suspect it was an earlier Coronavirus which we could have picked up on our flight to the UK. R reminded me of my continual non productive coughing.

We had to visit Chemist Warehouse yesterday to have prescriptions filled. It is a hard place to keep your distance with narrow aisles. I have activated their app on my phone now so I don't have to spend time there in the future, just enter and collect and straight out. As well as having our hands sanitised, we also had our temperatures checked before we could enter.

What do you do when an unwelcome ship is in your harbour, in this case the Artania at the West Australian port of Fremantle? The West Australia State Premier told the ship to go away but how can it be forced to leave? You can't actually fire cannons at a cruise ship in these modern days. Australia's Border Force also told it to leave, but it didn't.

The ship is leaving on Sunday with its crew of 400 and many of them are infected with COVID-19. If any of the crew become very unwell, I would expect Australia, or Germany where the ship is based, to step up to the crease, rescue them and hospitalise them.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Transport Thursday

That post title doesn't work terribly well.

Here are a couple of photos of Sydney's Circular Quay perhaps about 1920 or a bit later. From The Quay you can catch ferries to many parts of Sydney and few tourists would have missed a trip on the ferry to Manly. The Quay was very well serviced by trams, but back then not trains. It now has a railway station and recently a new tram line, but otherwise buses prevail.

I am not sure what to make of this video, from a source unremembered. How the train stays on the track and how the outside passengers aren't ejected, I don't know. It's an interesting method to get around a stubborn mule and the tunnel sized to fit the train smokestack also allowed top hats to fit under.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020


Australia first of course. PM Morrison said he was going to the footyball, but then changed his mind. Chief Health Officer told us it was ok to shake hands. Fail

Australia  6,400 infected, 61 deaths..

England around 90,000 cases with over 11,000 deaths. PM Boris said it was just bit like the flu,  but a wake up call came to him when he nearly died.

The US has now exceeded any other country in the world, including Spain and Italy with 590,000 cases and over 11,300 deaths.

I may have said it before but Trump should be facing criminal charges for his lack of action.

San Francisco locked down a week before New York. New York's sanctimonious governor is a bit hard to take.

California 24,000 plus infections, 731 deaths.

New York State, just short of 200,000 infections and 10,000 deaths.

Of course minority groups are the most infected.

Isolation and rules should not have been left to states but should have come from Trump's Federal government. What an utter disgrace and the US people have suffered as a result.

Maybe there are some leaders in the world who locked their countries and citizens down early, but certainly not mine and not the US and UK. The WHO also called a pandemic too late. This could have been managed well, but it wasn't.

This graphic of Trump statements is telling.

Our premium newspaper The Age, has an area of happy stories.

On a personal note when I am out walking for exercise as I pass by other exercisers and while not so much women, so many men have said hello, a building neighbour to whom I have never spoken to whose dog was eating grass, an Indian work site guard, a bearded hipster on a skateboard and a guy with seriously fuzzy wuzzy hair with his girlfriend . Someone at the chemist today kicked off against staff. No need to do that, no matter his frustrations. He may get better service at an old style chemist and as a difficult person, that is what he should do. My medication was mucked up, but no big deal really and no reason to get stuck into the hard working staff.

Hippie Niece called yesterday morning. It was her twin daughters' third birthday. I will bring them up to see you Uncle R and Uncle Andrew. R spoke to her. Our meek day had already been worked out. I said to R, I am not really sure that is a good idea, but it was a done deal. He sat thinking for about 15 minutes and said, I think I need to call her back and tell her not to come. R, I think that is the right thing to do.

We were both worried that we were offending Hippie Niece, but it for her daughters good and ours and that of society. R rarely becomes emotional but he did crack when he told Hippie Niece to not come and not bring her daughters. We later had a video chat with them.

Two years ago our friend died after a sore on his leg became ulcerous and after a long stint in a private hospital, well yes he died. 

Mother has an infected sore on her leg. She is now on high dose antibiotics and the wound is dressed by a nurse every second day. This is serious, but there are differences. Our friend was not frail but Mother is frail.  That doesn't sound positive, but the difference is in spite of Mother always whinging about her medical problems and she being much older, there is nothing wrong with her vital organs. Her heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and brain are all well. While we see parallels to our friend, it is quite different.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Monday Mural

A nice easy post for Monday morning with a photo of a mural in a lane in Queenstown, Tasmania. Seems I missed the artist's name but it is something Woods I think. I don't know what is about and don't feel compelled to comment. It is just, quite nice. Fingers crossed it will be actually Monday here. I keep losing track of days.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Viking Orion Update

Some of you seemed to enjoy the misreading the name of the ship as Viking Onion. Most amusing.

After weeks of sitting in the bay, The Onion again went in to our Station Pier, presumably for refuelling and restocking and then set sail and at 19.35 AEST 12th of April is in the Great Australian Bight to the south of Australia with the nearest town of significance being Esperance in West Australia, reading Destination TBC, To Be Confirmed I guess and ETA unknown. Interestingly it has been de-identified and I only know because I have been following its path.

As I think six cruise ships left Sydney for home ports a week or so ago, there was much swapping between ships of crew, I guess to get them all as close to the their own countries as possible. Not possible here unless there was some crew swap with the Golden Princess, moored here at its summer home port.

Ship crew are generally poorly paid and aren't treated well, so it is better that they go home asap and find new employment.

Carnival Cruises who owns the Princess cruise ships has a paid up capital in Australia of $1. Class action is underway by the virus infected people on the Diamond Princess. That is going to be hard work. The company has obscure obscure ownership, but it seems the tax haven Cayman Islands features. However it is listed on the stock exchanges in London and New York. It is also carrying a $10 billion debt, which is very hard to believe.

Later Edit: 16:00 13/04/20 The Golden Princess has left Melbourne too now and is bound for Singapore.

Sunday Selections

Joining in with EC and others for Sunday Selections.

Happier warm days at Federation Square.

A couple of photos for you straight male readers......I think I have a few.

Melbourne's Hosier Lane a couple of days after it was 'vandalised'. 'Art' was quickly painted and still the crowds came.

I expect Ice Bar would have closed by now regardless. I've never been. I must try it next summer.

Tradie Brother calls this plant the New Guinea Snake Bean. It is also known as Giant New Guinea Bean or Snake Gourd. His is well over three metres tall.

Of empty train seats, we have many, but not back when I took this photos. Our train stations are named on the fabric. For some reason Brunswick dominates.

We caught a train to the Glenferrie Festival and had a bite to eat and coffee. Like so many festivals of this nature, it was a lot of people walking up and down and not much else. People like the sense of getting together en mass I suppose. Its' a social thing. Very clearly before social separation and mass gatherings.

Without emotion, Mother said put it in the bin, her perhaps 80 year old gold monogrammed school satchel, Thelma Marjorie M, Telly to her friends.

I think this was my last visit to town. Rather iffy fashion but I like their daring. The dark haired bloke's jumper glittered so brightly, although it doesn't show in the photo. Just friends, I am sure. Yeah right.

And then it all went so terribly wrong.

Police were hunting people from the beach. Now beach goers  would probably be fined.

We stood watching the action as we drank our take away coffees.

A commercial building which I think is probably closed now.

It's all French to me.....well it is actually, at the French Consulate advising French nationals about visas and travel advice.

Many people who were passengers on the Ruby Princess ship who were allowed to unload in Sydney without restrictions were virus infected and given the age demographic of cruise ship passengers, quite a number died. While the police is investigating the actions of ship captain etc, it should also be investigating Border Force and NSW Health over a shockingly disgraceful business. Heads need to roll over this one. Here she passes by Waverley Cemetery in a rather poignant photo, found on net.

Life goes on for critters who are probably laughing at the human race. We had an invasion of corellas selectively stripping plane trees of their seed pods and making a terrible mess below the trees. Two landed on R's steep window sill and woke him up. This flock down below.

This flock outside the synagogue. After about a week they departed and cockatoos have arrived, but not in such numbers. 

I am trying to make R walk more. At times he will me join me and sometimes breaks off and returns home before I do. A newish building was knocked down to build this apartment building. As new apartment buildings go, it is not so bad. We have yet to look at the size of the apartments but we think they will be on the small size.

The replacement decking for the apartment opposite is made up of small squares. They have now been arranged length ways and with a first coat of whatever, look much better than in this photo.

I like this sculpture. Good Friday was one of our bad ISO days with both of us feeling very sad and R with very bad back pain. I wandered the streets on my own getting in my exercise, along with so many other lone people, couples walking, dogs being walked and small family groups. I encourage R to walk and he does at times but sometimes breaks off and returns home before I do.

When we had our kitchen renovated four years ago, we paid outrageous prices for the Smeg kettle and toaster. We argued to ourselves that we had spent a few thousand dollars on the kitchen, so what not a few hundred more for these high end decorative items. Well, the kettle was way too heavy and didn't boil water any better than a $10 kettle and the lid jammed up so we filled it via the spout. The toaster toasted bread satisfactorily, as it should do, until someone who I will refer to by his first initial to protect his identity, R, tried to toast hot cross buns, as he had before and my guess is the metal grid was forced so wide it touched the element and kaboom. It exploded with sparks and smoke and knocked out two power circuits.  They were right for the time but it was very hard to see the value in them.

For less the $100 today we bought Russell Hobbs' Paddington models. We are very happy with them.

Last night I couldn't squeeze any more heel balm from the tube. I tried very hard. By the weight of it I felt there was still some cream in the tube, and by golly there was after I cut the tube open. Very poor cheating design.

I thought it would dry out and become unusable, so I put it into this small take away food sauce container. It is enough to last more than a week. Mixing currencies, I am rather penny wise but perhaps not dollar wise.