Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bird of Paradise

Eeek!  Apple Computer shares took a tumble!  They are now worth only  $US458.30 each share.  Wish I had taken them up when Apple booted Steve Jobs out in 1985 when the shares were around $US 22.00 each.

The media seems to seize on anything that happens at Apple predicting doom.   On the ‘net’ one can find thousands of people showering invective on Apple and Apple users.  Nutters!

Although I taught in Papua New Guinea for around 10 years, I never saw a Bird of Paradise in the wild.  I have seen them in a bird park, but have never seen them do the various mating dances.  Here is a short  film courtesy of Cornell University showing the wonderful plumage and dances the males perform to attract mates.  

I have only crows, magpies and mudlarks in my backyard.   The magpies are unafraid and venture into the house if I leave a door ajar. Even though I feed ‘em they pay me back by crapping on the tiles.   The crows are very timid and seem to realise that they are not the world’s favourite bird.  Don’t think a crow will ever eat from my hand as the magpies do.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Jacob and Josef Kohn furniture

I have just done some repairs on an old bentwood chair.  The labels underneath the seat tells me it was made by J & J Kohn in Austria, probably about 100 years ago.  These chairs are not unique, thousands of them were made in four factories in Austria, Moravia (Google that one), Poland and Russia.  By 1900, J & J Kohn employed 6,300 workers in their factories producing 5,500 pieces of furniture per day.   When we returned from six years teaching in Papua New Guinea we had bought a colonial residence in the suburb of Bicton and a dining suite of Kohn chairs was in the house.  They are still in good condition.
                   I built the table to sort of match the chairs.

By the time Adolph came to power, J & J Kohn had long gone and their company had merged with a German furniture maker.  Wouldn't have been good to have a business name of Kohn then.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Good luck stories

Martin rode his bike over to a nearby suburb to get a script filled at the pharmacy.  Bit of a panic when he came home and realised that he had lost the house keys.  We jumped in the car and retraced his route home, but no luck.    The keys weren’t labelled with a name or address, so I had two new keys cut.  Later Martin went back to the small shopping centre and found that someone had handed them in to the pharmacy.  Amazing as there are lots of odd folk around there.  Thanks to whoever was the good Samaritan.

Yesterday I listened to a radio interview with a Australian Rules Football commentator.  This fellow is known Australia wide as probably the best commentator on the big game.  He mentioned that when he was still a footy star back in the 70s his name was pulled out of the barrel for the Vietnam draft.  When he fronted for the medical, both he and another star footy player were rejected because of a BS (read false) medical condition.   Both knew that they were given an out.  A couple of years ago a state cricketer drove drunk, ran into a couple of parked cars and ran from the scene.  In court he was about to lose his driver’s licence, but pleaded that he didn’t know how to read the bus timetables to get to cricket practice, so the beak let him keep his licence.   The magistrate was most probably a cricket tragic.
Lucky for some!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Old Geezer's walking Stick

I dropped in on Carole and Dennis this morning.  Den is pushing to buy an iPad and Carole has caved in and he is picking it up tomorrow.  I gave him a short intro on its use (I am also new to the iPad and am on a gentle learning curve).  I am a better two-finger typist on a regular keyboard than I am on the iPad keyboard.  I am also a slow texter (is that the correct term) on the phone.

I will take it with me to Bali.  

Dennis recently received a Xmas gift from his kids.  It is an old Geezer’s walking stick with a rear vision mirror, bicycle bell and foam rubber drink holder.  He reckons that if he had any real money he would disinherit his kids.

Yesterday I had a visit from an ex-student Mel and her mother.  Mel is over from Melbourne for her brother's engagement party.  She asked me to take the photos, but I begged off and loaned her my camera gear.  Too old for that stuff!

Mel and Mum in a photo pinched from Mel's Facebook page.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


This morning I bought a two-disk DVD set of an Australian comedy TV series, ‘Housos’.
Housos are people who live in State Housing accommodation.  The series is very vulgar, liberally peppered with expletives, sexual references and a huge put down of people who live in public housing.  That being said, it is very funny.  It was created by Paul Fenech of  FAT PIZZA and SWIFT and SHIFT COURIERS, two similar non-PC series.

I thought it was a bit over the top, but when later I visited a local Shopping centre I  saw some local housos screaming obscenities at each other inside the mall. Both factions were young women wheeling prams threatening to ‘F...... kill that F...... kid of yours and then you...slut!’   As the two groups separated the war continued by mobile phone.  People were a bit concerned and shocked....I almost laughed out loud

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Martin is home

Our son has returned from Melbourne and moved in with me.  I have appointed him my Tech Guru and he is converting LPs into Cds on a turntable I bought some months ago, but never got around to figuring the how part.   

Next he has the task of reading the 62 page instruction manual on a Sony digital Video camera and doing a few copying jobs converting Super 8 film to digital media.  He is pretty smart and probably won’t even read the manual.  Bad habit of mine too!        You remember Super 8 film, don’t you?

Friday, January 11, 2013

The way it was

I was considering trying to finish of a novel my Joan had outlined, but when I read a quote from Stephen Ambrose; a very successful author (Band of Brothers, DDay 6th of June, Eisenhower Biography et al)  I decided I didn’t have the necessary skills that Joan possessed.
Ambrose said..’The number one secret of being a successful writer is to marry an English major.

At 73 I have just about seen it all evolve.  Mobile phones, personal computers, the Internet, large flat screen TVs, microwave ovens etc etc.

This is how it was back in the 50s

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Animal cruelty

I am unsure how a people are determined to be civilised.  Is it through their system of government?  Is it because of their religion, arts and culture. Is it because of the way they treat each other and animals?
Australian exports of live sheep and cattle go to places which seem to care little about the treatment of animals. I surmise that those peoples assume that as the animal is to be slaughtered, it matters little how it is treated before being slaughtered.  More evidence of cruelty to Australian beef exports showed up in the local paper a couple of days ago. 

I wear sandals because of a problem I have with hot feet.   Every time I go out I manage to get at least one pebble in a sandal which requires a soft shoe dance or sandal removal to get rid of the pebble.  What did the Romans do whilst in the heat of battle, or road, viaduct or Colosseum construction when they got pebbles in their sandals?
                                    Roman sandal

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

47 years

Yesterday was the 47th anniversary of our wedding.  I had been transferred to a southern country town high school where I met my wife to be.  During that year we, or rather Joan, planned our wedding to take place on January 7th 1966.     Joan’s father wasn’t too well off so she sold her Fiat Bambino for the princely sum of £500 which paid for the entire wedding and reception for quite a large guest, entertainment and many drinks.  Try that now!

                                I miss my wife dearly.
Joan in our Jeep in PNG.  This Jeep was a leftover from WW2 fighting in this area.
The photo is a Polaroid instant which had a fixer pad which had to be wiped over the print after it emerged from the camera, thus the streaky appearance

Our son Martin is returning home to live, at least temporarily, with me. His year in Melbourne was a lost year and I am hoping we can get along together and he can secure either employment or start a home-based business such as Webpage design.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Kitchen renovation

My daughter and husband have just finished renovating and painting their kitchen and lounge area.  The painting was a major team effort.  Greg and Claire came up from Busselton down south and spent last weekend at Helen and James’ house. Greg is a professional painter and he directed the team over the two days filling, sanding and painting.  Nice job!
Yesterday the Bamboo floor was installed.  It is tough material and should withstand the hard times their two dogs will give it.  A tiler gave them a bit of pain when he finished the job and left several tiles cracked and chipped.   With a bit of gentle persuasion, he returned and removed the damaged tiles and laid new ones.   The final touch is a small job for the electrician to mount the wall outlets in the new tiling.

Took a while, but it is very nice.
                                  Click to enlarge

At 73 years of age, I am not really into Facebook, however I was talked into taking a look at it by a friend.   It wasn’t long before I had registered and friends and ex-students were sending those  ‘Jo Blogs wants to be your friend’ notices.  I agreed to most of them and I have around 60 ‘friends’.  I don’t actually talk much with any of them on Facebook, but they are still people I like.

I got a bit of a shock when I received notification of a comment about me on one of my ‘friend’s’ pages.    The comment said...’Kevin Lock, continuing predator’.     I don’t know this person although when I went to his Facebook page I see where he is living and that he was a student at the same school as most of my ex-student ‘friends’.

This fellow may have thought he was writing it to just that one person, but the comment appears on all the ‘friends’ of that person’s pages.  I immediately wrote a comment saying that I hope he wrote that in jest.  No reply for two days, so I again wrote suggesting that it was defamation.  After a couple of days he deleted the comment and I deleted my two comments.    I was shaken by this throwaway remark and it reinforced what I have read about young people being bullied online and committing suicide.

The worst part of this is that it may have sewn a seed of doubt in some readers minds about my character and my entire teaching career.