Saturday, February 13, 2021

Catering for equines

Should you visit Melbourne by horse, you are catered for. We have hitching posts, like this one in Clarendon Street, South Melbourne. 

Unlike the empty horse trough outside the Alfred Hospital, this one near the very busy intersection in Punt Road near the corner of Toorak Road has plenty of water. We don't see many horses nowadays in the inner suburban areas, so it is mostly used by kangaroos and their smaller cousin, wallabies. Maybe an emu too, but I haven't witnessed that. 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Our bedsides

 R's bedside lamp was a touch lamp and it failed a week or so ago. While it is not used that often he does use it at times. He liked the look of one featured in the Aldi specials catalogue but in spite of us being there by 10am on the day the specials began, there was no sign of the lamp or any shelf marking indicating it had ever had one. This is very typical of Aldi. Later in the day we were passing another Aldi and we checked there and it was exactly the same. Bad Aldi.

We had nothing planned for today and didn't want to do too much on a hot day so we drove to St Kilda Beacon Lighting and it had a good range of bedside lamps. It was a toss up between a small but effective lamp that would also charge R's phone by him laying his phone on the base or the one we bought. Both had three lighting levels. We, well it was R's decision as in the mysterious world of The Highrise finances, your own bedside lamp will be judged as a personal item, so you pay for your own beside lamp.

My bedside digital clock radio looks old fashioned. I only use it now to look at the time at night if I wake. It is almost useless during the day light as I can't really see the time. Every so often I have to turn the digital radio on to correct the time. R's clock shows the time very brightly so I decided I would take possession.

My old rounded bedside clock radio with R's old but much more suitable clock. Sadly there isn't my preferred 12 hour clock option for either of them.   

The old one is white and R's old one is silver, much better with my silver bedside lamp. The flaps close over the the globe in my bedside lamp for a dimmed light if you don't want to read.

R's new  lamp shows from the top down, the temperature, the time and then the date, unfortunately (gnash of teeth) in the American format of MM/DD/DAY. 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The personal

The last couple of days have been busy as I have battled with tech matters.

Exciting news. I offered to buy R a new phone once Mother pays me back for my share of paying for her house rewiring and new fence. R asked me to just get him a new phone, so I did and it is coming from Kogan, a Samsung S21 to replace his Samsung S7. Lest you don't know about Samsung phone models, there was a jump from S10 to S20 and soon after S21. I am going to be jealous, even though my S10 is only two years old.

On our shelves we have an old photo frame thing with small photos of family members, mostly just head shots. R said we should put in new photos. Ok, easy. No problem.

Cumulatively about ten hours of time later I have printed out the photos ready to be cut up to fit the photo frame. The last time we cut up actual duplicate photos to fit the frame.

The really hard part was getting the photo size right to print to fit people into the portrait circle. 

"Yes, hon, we have photo printing paper". Well, it was one sheet so it was a walk in rather warm weather to the big blue office supply shed. I caught the tram home. Wow, this photo paper is like glossy cardboard and the printer thought so too and would not take the sheet in. I loaded some normal paper under the next sheet and it printed a centimetre of a photo and dragged in another sheet of paper. 

The thick photo paper is no good for us, $12 wasted. I went back to printing out the photos on draft setting to get the sizes right and it seemed trying to to use the thick paper has done something to the printer and there were streaks across the photos. Umpteen cleaning cycles and alignments for the printer did not fix the problem. I tried and tried and finally gave up after about five hours. But I did have the photos sorted for printing.

We went to a big blue office supply shed in Elizabeth Street and bought thinner photo paper, 180 gsm as against 250 gsm. I've no idea of what gsm means but the paper is thinner. The lad told us 120 gsm is ideal for photo printing, but none was to be had. 

Then today, Wednesday I tackled the printer again with lots of online research concluding with there was problem with the ink jet cartridge and I left out earlier that I had to replace the cartridge. I was outraged as we had recently replaced the cartridge . More head cleaning lead to no result.

The printer is about five years old, so maybe time for a new one but R wasn't keen to learn how to use a new printer. The XL colour ink cartridge cost around $60 and as a last resort to fix the problem we agreed to spend under $40 on a new small cartridge. It made no difference.

More head cleaning to the point of pulling the printer apart and cleaning the printer head with alcohol. Scotch may have done the job but there was none. Port and sherry, boxed wine and white or red wine to take out didn't seem appropriate. How about Shellite, aka white spirits. Didn't work. I probably printed out 20 test and fix sheets of paper.

I think the trying to print the thick sheet of paper damaged the print head. R, are you prepared to risk $20 each on a new cartridge that will be cheaper than the XL cartridge? Yes. On the tram to the big blue office supply shed again but it only had the XL cartridge. No, not paying $60 on the off chance.

So Thursday we will buy a new printer. But the new sheets of photo paper are thinner and so I checked if they would work in the printer. I printed a photo and lo and behold there weren't white stripes across the photo. The printer was fine. I've absolutely no idea why, but I never give up with technology, no matter how annoying or puzzling it can be. 

I answered a survey for one of our public transport operators and I was called on Tuesday and asked if I would participate with a one hour survey on Thursday and I would receive a $50 voucher for something or other. $50 an hour is not bad pay.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021


Are you reading Dora?

NDIS is Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme. The name is somewhat of a misnomer as insurance usually means something you personally contribute to and this is not the case with the NDIS. It is government funded, by taxpayers of course. It works along side our Aged Care Package system.

I am not very knowledgeable but I do know a little. I understand mostly from Mother's Aged Care Package. Your needs are assessed by I think by an appropriately qualified  staff member of  a private care organisation with one or more interviews and assessments, 

Mother won't tell us how it really works for her and won't allow us to sit in on interviews. I understand her amount of dollar funding to spend on services for herself is decided by need, that is the level of home care she needs. It is federally funded, although before she was receiving the Aged Care Package, she had some care funded by the local council.

Local council or federally funded, her care is provided by a religious organisation with the acronym MECWA. Generally people don't think of it as religious but the M stands for Methodist. MECWA has built an aged and disability care empire.

MECWA fund someone to come to ABI Brother's house daily to supervise Mother showering. It also pays for the nurse daily to bandage her leg, but that is about to stop as her leg has healed. I think her daily meals come from the same source, and once a week a cleaner comes who cleans everything except for ABI Brother's bedroom and study.

If I had to I would find out how it all works for Mother, but she is quite competent art working it out herself.  

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Town Hall Tuesday

From The Highrise we can see three town hall clock towers and Malvern Town Hall is one of them. It is unusual for having a portico with with a balcony above and from my memory only Melbourne Town Hall has the same, where both The Beatles and Abba appeared on the balcony, along with Marie-Antoinette with her 'Let them eat cake' speech.

Malvern Town Hall opened in 1886. From what I can understand the clock tower was added a little later. City of Malvern was absorbed into the new City of Stonnington when the 1990s local council amalgamations were forced by the state government. The interior of the building is equally grand as the exterior and hosts weddings receptions and other events, including in the past computer swap meetings, which were about selling, not swapping. At the rear is a functional modern extension of no note.

The City of Stonnington is perhaps the local council area with wealthiest residents, and the town hall reflects the areas prosperity.

The view from High Street.

The view from Glenferrie Road. The tower is illuminated at night and for special occasions the lighting can be coloured.

Monday, February 08, 2021

Monday Mural

Joining with Sami and others for Monday Mural.

You can find precise locations for photos if you have your phone set up to do so. I have and I've just spent five minutes manually entering latitude and longitude to Google Maps and it won't work and that is enough time wasted. As a consequence, I am not sure where I took this photo and can't get a location now.

Sunday, February 07, 2021

What I want to say to Mother

 Mother, you are just on 87 years old. You have diseases and problems of old age. You are so self focused and inward looking you even forgot your great grand daughters birthday. You have always been so good with birthdays and I have that gene. 

Medical people including your own doctor do whatever they can for you, but you rebel against them as you do anyone who doesn't say what you want to hear. 

We heard this afternoon our neighbour Julie has died at the age of 77. She has travelled the world and has always been so independent. In 2019 she was travelling around Russia, eastern Russia no less and at times in a helicopter. Her plan for 2020 that did not happen because of COVID was to circumnavigate Australia on a freight ship that carries a few passengers. 

She made the best of 2020 and continued to occasionally drive her 20 year old and neat BMW. She preferred to walk, to cycle or catch public transport. She loved cycling.

Julie invited us up to her apartment one late afternoon for sandwiches, cake and coffee. We had a great time with her. I am self critical that we never reciprocated. We will really miss her and feel very sad she has gone.

Meanwhile Mother, can't you be a bit more outward looking. I don't expect you to travel eastern Russia but look at world around you and not just your own self and your own problems. I appreciate it is not easy being old, but you really have to make the best of it.

Sunday Selections

Joining in with Elephant's Child and perhaps River with my random Sunday Selections. 

Let's begin with a little art I've come across on the internet that I saved because I liked them.

This may be an original copy of Tin Tin and his dog Snowy. Is the hairy dude a goodie or badie? 

"You took your time to bring me my fish! At least you remembered the fish sauce to go with it." It's a cute painting.

We found this original oil at Mothers and it would have been her mother's. I think it is an ok painting.

The artist was not famous as he or she cannot be found by Google, however searching my own blog brings up this post about Ziebell Farmhouse where we visited in 2012. The day before Ex Sis in Law due to meet the Salvation Army at Mother's I called her to ask her to put the painting away for us to collect later in case my research brought up anything. That is, it wasn't for the Salvos to take. We looked for it when we were next at Mother's and it had gone. The Salvos did take the kitchen table the painting is sitting upon. 

Ho hum, a pink Hummer stretch limo. How very gauche and old fashioned. Hummer's have almost disappeared from our streets, thankfully.

While spelt Uoo Uoo this creature and his siblings have spread all over the inner and middle suburbs and their name is pronounced You You. You can do the research on what it is about.

These spoons were what some children did during our COVID lock down. I can't remember what it was about. 

Nice finger Andrew. Great to see kids still play hoppy or hopscotch. The name hopscotch comes from rewarding each child after successfully hop, hop, legs apart, hop with a glass of scotch whiskey.

Beautiful and indeed thank you, with the Marquis of Linlithgow overseeing. John Adrian Louis Hope Hopetoun, the Seventh Earl of Hopetoun was the first Governor of the Colony of Victoria and went on to become a Governor General of Australia.