Saturday, July 26, 2014


Friday evening I was invited to dinner at Helen and James’ house to catch up with Linda who flew in from Qatar, en-route to Queensland.  Linda is a friend of our daughter Helen and husband James. She is a lawyer working for a foreign company operating in Qatar.  She intends living there for the full 3 year contract....very good money!
Her husband Pete and daughter have rented out their house here and moved back to Queensland to finish off the year before they too move to Doha the capital, to be with Linda.

Qatar, in the Persian Gulf, has a population of almost 2M people and 94% of the labour market is filled by expatriates of which a very small percentage are female.  This, as can be imagined, causes some social problems.  Linda told us that when at the supermarket, a stranger will present a slip of paper with his phone number on it to any female.  It seems the custom is either to  accept, or toss the paper amongst the carrots.

Linda is having a few days with family before heading back to work. Lovely lady.

                           Daughter Helen and Linda

PS.  Linda was late arriving at Perth airport because of torrential rain and slow traffic and missed her flight. She caught a later flight @ $700.00

Thursday, July 24, 2014

No real news about MK17

All sorts of unpleasant things are emerging about the crashed (downed) Malaysian jet. I suspect that the missile launcher and the operators are somewhere in Russia now.
The almost immediate cleanup suggests that they did not want any trace of the missile found.  Some bodies are missing and I cannot think why police tracker dogs were not used to find the bodies/parts.
I suspect that the perpetrators are long gone and nobody is going to admit it was just a horrible mistake.  The Russians and their rebels in Ukraine are feeding the chickens (leaking to the media)  all sorts of crazy conspiracy theories, none of which include Russia or the rebels.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


I have recently collected another six computers from David, who over the years has given my project dozens of Macs either from his home collection or from his workplace.  David’s house is like a Mac museum and he has collected an example of almost every Apple computer made.  One room has a wall of the early Macs and other rooms have nice examples of the brand.

When I arrived at his house to collect the latest lot he gave me a camera tripod.  I was most grateful as I have a poor model and this one is of professional standard.  When I arrived home I had a closer look at it, I decided I should give him $50. as it was as new and obviously worth far more than a fifty.  There, we are both happy.

Monday, July 14, 2014


Another coincidence.

Yesterday I mentioned a quote supposedly made by Samuel Johnson regarding his suggestion to overcome sea sickness.    Last night I watched Blackadder on TV and Baldrick, Blackadder’s manservant, fed a fire with Johnson’s dictionary....the only copy.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Boat People

Refugees arriving in Australia have slowed down considerably since the federal government put measures in place to stop boats actually reaching Australia and transferring the passengers to detainment camps on Nauru and Papua New Guinea.  
Most of the boats heading for Australia carrying refugees departing from Indonesia where their passengers have flown from various middle-east war-torn countries.   Most of these people are Muslims and that does stir up some resentment.  I, and people I know, would probably be happier with Asian immigration as most Asians do not practise a confronting religion.  That being said, there are many Australians who don’t want any refugees to come to Australia.  
Recent boats sailing direct from Sri Lanka carried people who are treated badly after the long drawn out insurgency of the Tamil Tigers.  The Sri Lankan government isn’t going to forget the Tamil Tigers and those who were with them any time soon.  Tamils who tried to escape persecution by boat have been jailed on their forced return to Sri Lanka

Australia’s refugee ‘flood’ is minuscule compared to Europe and the U.S..    For example, since last October some 52,000 unaccompanied children have crossed the southern border of the U.S. from places such as Ecuador hoping for a better life.  The U.S. government has had to house these children as it is deemed too dangerous to merely push them back over the border.  Major problem worldwide.

On a major road near my house is a ‘shrine’ to a road accident victim.  It looks very ugly, but I guess if the local government council took it down there would be an outcry from some members of the public.  It has been on the roadside for about three years now.

In the 18th century Samuel Johnson devised a cure for seasickness....hug an Oak tree. Check out Sam here.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ralph OBE

Yesterday, my long-time friend Dennis and I drove down to Mandurah to visit Ralph OBE (over bloody eighty).  Ralph is in respite care whilst his wife Wendy is in England preparing to cross the channel to Fromelles where her uncle who was killed in WW1 has been reburied in a military cemetery.  250 bodies of Australian and British servicemen were discovered in a mass grave and over some years DNA identified the remains of 20 Australian soldiers.   Wendy’s uncle Adolf Knable was one of them.   See the story here.

Dennis and I took Ralph for a drive around Mandurah and some of the canals.  Mandurah is a large retirement town; not much industry there, but the amount of building since I last visited, is amazing.       We had fish and chips for an early lunch and we headed back to Fremantle as I had to be home for a computer delivery.
Ralph is being well looked after and he seems to like it there. 

A few days ago I received a phone call from a fellow I had met at a recent gathering of Papua New Guinea expatriates from times before Independence.  He told me of a fellow teacher I had gone through college with, dying.  It seems that he didn’t talk much of his time in PNG and the eulogy at the funeral taking place today needed some link to his teaching years up there.  I knew Tom and caught up with him over a couple of visits to Queensland, but couldn’t recall significant details about his PNG service, so I emailed a good friend who was also at the college and fortunately Jim was able to supply some good stories about Tom which will slot nicely into his eulogy at the funeral.   Farewell Tom.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Kernel Panics

For a couple of years now I have had two Apple laptops which present with the dreaded Kernel Panic.    Kernel Panics show a black rectangle with instructions for restarting.

There are a few reasons for Kernel Panics and most of them would be a problem with the main board.  I have never replaced a main board but have tried all sorts of key stroke startups which have given temporary results.    One of the laptops is a MacBook Pro and I took a punt and bought a new hard drive and inserted it.   It worked well for a couple of hours but KP came  back again, so I pulled the new hard drive out and put the MB Pro in a spare parts cupboard.

The other laptop was telling me that only one RAM slot was working, so I removed the RAM (memory sticks) and tried one at a time in the good slot.  Voila; success.  That machine has been running well for a couple of weeks now so it is ready to go to a good home.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


I attended a dermatologist today for some answers about an annual problem I have with my skin.  I have been to him three times over the past 15 years apparently for the same problem.  He pointed out that each visit was in June/July and I was seeing him for a skin problem.   Psoriasis was his diagnosis and he put it down to lack of sun in the winter months which, with a genetic predisposition, I am to get annually until the game is over.

He also suggested that itching of my skin in general is because of the use of soap and hot water showers.  One minute showers recommended.  Nah...I’ll put up with the itches.

I was given two nice MacBook laptops for my project.  The couple who donated them, Mike and Lesley, run a business called ‘Time Trackers’ which is a genealogical research company.  Looks interesting.....details on their card.

I have had a DVD of a local film production for some time, but each time I start to watch it I have shut it down as it made me feel decidedly bad.   Last night I watched it through to the end and the surprise ending; I’m not going to spill the beans and spoil what was a satisfying end to what seemed like a very violent movie.

Last train to Freo is a movie about the last train from a suburb named Midland all the way to the end of the line at Fremantle (Western Australia).   Lots of harrowing abusive yelling and confrontation by two bad lads to three other passengers in the carriage.  I was most impressed especially by the ‘extras’ on the disk.    Well worth a look.