Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A new Prime Minister?

This Friday brother Graham and I fly off to Sydney town for three days before boarding the Pacific Pearl for an 8 day cruise to and around New Caledonia.  We have a deluxe suite with a large(ish) balcony, but the temperatures are probably not going to be great for sitting out drinking a beer.  Bro has packed a large case which may be over the QANTAS weight limit.   That can cost big.

Lots of news today.  Kevin Rudd our ex Prime Minister is having another shot at taking back the reins from Prime Minister Julia Gillard.  The ballot takes place in just 18 minutes.  Both contenders have vowed to leave politics if he/she loses.

Another surprising story emerged today about a couple who lost an expensive diamond studded bracelet. It was found by an Anglican priest who was previously a lawyer.  He turned it in to the police as lost property and after six weeks when it was not claimed he became the owner of it.   

He somehow traced the real owners and suggested that as it was insured for $6,000, they should claim the money from the insurance company and give him half to get the bracelet back and both parties would win.  He would get $3,000 and they would get back the bracelet and another $3,000.     The story hit the papers and he was quizzed on radio.  He claimed he had done nothing morally wrong and that it was a gift from God.   He is now in the Poo with the Archbishop of Perth who is very embarrassed by his mean, almost fraudulent act.

Just another 4 minutes before the labour parliamentarians gather to vote on a leader change.

Breaking News:

Kevin Rudd won....he is Australia's new Prime Minister and has made the predictable speech praising his adversary.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Palmer Politics

The Australian Federal Election is just around the corner and a new player in Australian politics, Clive Palmer, has been rounding up candidates for his Palmer United Party.  He recently endorsed two women to contest seats in Western Australia; one in the seat of Fremantle is Teresa Van Lieshout, who, like Mr Palmer has a few crazy ideas.  In yesterday’s West Australian newspaper it was reported that she claims that the GFC is an antiChrist strategy and hurricane Sandy was sent by God to warn against globalisation.  She also warns that an ‘AntiChrist man who will come out of the European Union, probably the Soviet Union (North of Israel).   Work that one out for me please.

Another of her claims is the the US Government used explosives to demolish the Twin Towers and it murdered 3,000 of its own citizens.

Clive Palmer is a multi billionaire who believes the the Greens in Australia are financed by the CIA to destroy Australia’s coal industry to advantage the U.S..  He is also going to built a replica Titanic. 

He makes both the Labor and Liberals look positively smart, nice, folk.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I get good working Macs and unserviceable Macs from a variety of sources.  Businesses often purchase new when a machine is out of warranty and sick or dead and I am mostly able to repair them and pass them on to needy people.  

Recently I received three iMacs from a newspaper.  None of them worked no matter what magic I tried on them, so I went to the iFixit web page and downloaded detailed illustrated instructions on how to get inside this model.  The instructions rated the fix as difficult, but I gave it a go and replaced the hard drive on the first one and it is up and running, fully loaded and ready to give away.    As with most fixes, once one has done it once, the second time is easy.

iFixit is quite a wonderful site where an attempt is being made to save electronics etc from going to landfill.  They have instructions on how to fix just about anything.    iFixit can be found here.  Just remember to disconnect power cables before getting inside something and know that capacitors can store high voltage electricity for some time after disconnecting from a power source. Zappo!

                                                One of my Tech assistants

Monday, June 17, 2013

To Test or Not Test

In this morning’s newspaper, The West Australian, there is an article about a retired TV weatherman who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.  The article goes on to say that he will be an inspiration to other men to have regular PSA tests to detect the cancer before it jumps out of the prostate and gets into other organs and or bones.

A prominent medical man who is regularly on radio and TV is Dr Norman Swan and he has suggested that it is not a good thing to have PSA tests.  A Federal Minister in the government is a strong advocate for testing, as I am.   In a routine PSA test some 14 years ago I had elevated PSA levels and the subsequent biopsy showed cancer.  I took the gold standard and had a radical prostatectomy.  Gone!  I have no doubt that if I had not done the PSA test I would not be here now.
Here is a link to YouTube which airs both sides of the argument.

There is the fact that many elderly men die with it, rather than of it.  At my age when I was diagnosed I didn’t think that watching and waiting was the direction I should have taken.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Yesterday we had a gathering of ‘the usual suspects’; friends who get together almost weekly for tea and conversation.   It was my turn to host it and the weather was warm enough to be seated outside until around 5pm when it started to get cold.  Good company and I guess we will continue these get-togethers for as long as possible or until we get bored with each other.  I don’t want to think about the other reason.

Over my back fence there is a creeper constructing a self-supporting triangulation in an effort to reach my rear wall and then further on under my roof tiles.  I trim it back regularly.  I am amazed at the engineering which takes place...very much like bridge construction.  What force enables a plant to modify its growth to suit certain circumstances?

The creeper and some man made examples.

We. here in Western Australia have our own radio Shock-Jock; Howard Sattler.  I don’t hear much about him as I don’t listen to commercial radio, but yesterday during an interview with Prime Minster Julia Gillard, Howard, in his desperate attempt to be outrageous, asked if her partner was gay.  She handled it quite well.  Today he has been ‘suspended’ and the station has apologised, but as in a court case where the jury has been instructed to ignore some piece of evidence or heresay, the seed has been planted.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Expensive rents in W.A.

Accommodation rentals are very expensive in Western Australia.  Our son Martin had decided to move out of my home and be by himself in a one bedroom unit.  There were two relatively inexpensive places near his place of work to look at.   The first one was a run-down second story unit at $285 per week with lots of  work to be done and not much chance that the owner was going to do any repairs.

The second one we looked at was a one-room ‘very Fremantle’ backyard bed sit which amazingly had a free standing outdoor shower and toilet.  No roof or walls around either the shower or toilet which would make for a very cold shower or toilet visit; not to mention the very public display of flesh in the backyard.   The owner called it ‘very Fremantle’ because Freo is a bit tree-huggy greenish.   That room was $230. per week plus another $30 per week for utilities.  It would be very difficult to use $30 worth of gas and power per week.  I am pretty sure that planning permission for an outdoor toilet and shower was not sought by the owner.    And so, Martin remains living with me.

Backyard accommodation is usually termed a Granny Flat and under most council by laws, can only be occupied by family of the owner.  The Fremantle City Council has just legislated to allow Granny Flats to be rented to non family people.   This is in response to lack of rental properties available in the Fremantle council area.

Friday, June 7, 2013

More reversing camera discoveries

More reversing camera findings.   

I figured that the TV images appearing on my reversing camera screen were from one particular house I drove past.  Probably with a satellite dish??   Another place I was driving past showed me a parked car which was ahead of me.  Son-in-law James pointed out a security camera on the garage door in front of the car which popped up on my screen. It is obviously a wireless connection from the camera to a monitor/recorder inside the house and my wireless reversing camera picked it up.

I  have still not heard from the local supplier with help solving the poor reception problem.

I own a unit in a block of units in a southern suburb named Orelia.  It is not the Dalkeith (rich folks suburb) of the south and the residents don’t worry too much about keeping things neat.  On rubbish collection days all manner of junk is tossed out the front next to the bins....mattresses etc.  The truck cannot collect stuff on the ground as it has one driver and a hydraulic fork pickup to lift the bins and tip the contents into the truck, so the rest of the junk is left on the roadside outside the units.  Another intelligence test is the placement of the bins.  Many of them are so close together that when attempting to pick up one bin the next one is knocked over.  The driver must get very frustrated at having to climb down, stand the bin up and collected the spilled smellies.  I believe he has stopped collecting those bins which are going to cause him trouble...I would.

                                                click photo to enlarge 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wireless car reversing camera

I have a rather frustrating few days installing and setting up a wireless reversing camera in my car.   I followed the instructions carefully and the screen lit up when I tested it in reverse gear.  As I started to reverse, the screen broke down with horizontal blocks obscuring the view.  Damn!    I had purchased the thing at an electronics store some distance from my home and drove to the store where the store manager observed the problem first hand.  He determined that the screen was faulty and I attached the new screen at the store....still no good.   Next he swapped the wireless sender...same story and lastly gave me a new camera which still didn’t fix the problem.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

I have contacted the local agent of the importer of the device asking for help.  I am unsure what can be done as the entire system has been exchanged and I have retested all the connections. 

This morning I drove to collect my son-in-law from a car service centre and told him about the problem and whilst we were driving home to his house the screen suddenly lit up showing a fuzzy, but recognisable, morning TV programme.   I know, it sounds like that 1950-60s story about a fellow who had radio reception through a new amalgam tooth filling.
                                                     Works for me!

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Our son Martin had a colonoscopy of Friday and the preceding two days were a bit tetchy with a very restricted diet and total abstinence from solids on the last day.  The 400 gallons of Pico-prep he had to drink to throughly clean out his bowel didn’t make him any happier.  At least it seemed like 400 gallons.
He came out of it very hungry and with a recommendation from the discharge nurse that he start a more fibre fuelled diet.  His GP will interpret the report when he sees him next week.
Apart from that, Martin has been pretty lucky over the last week.   He received a package from The Readers Digest with the good news that he was just a fly’s penis away from a $500.000 prize....or as I see it, or a Mercedes car, or $9,373, or $25,000, or $50,000 and travel to Sydney for the presentation ceremony.  Why wouldn’t he buy a subscription to The Readers Digest when he is so close to winning?    Click photos to enlarge.

I noticed that an antibiotic I am taking for a throat problem has Braille writing on the box.   Nice touch for the blind folk out there.