Monday, October 23, 2017

Everyone does it

So far as I know, everyone does do it, that is apply for a seniors card when they turn 60 years old. There was a stipulation that you had to work less than 35 hours per week, but everyone I know told a fib. The authorities woke up to this and introduced a new Seniors Card, that gave all the same benefits except for the public transport concession.

That's a good idea, I think. But, while I officially work only just over 35 hours a week, I went for the original and told a fib on the form, that is I work less than 35 hours a week.  I don't need nor want the public transport concession in Victoria, but I really hate the usurious charge in Sydney to catch the airport train, something like $22 one way (I should check the price, but why spoil a rant with accuracy). I will get the concession price if my card comes through in time and I can work out how to change an Adult Opal Card to a Concession Opal card.

It's interesting that the airport is on an existing train line, a rather profitable one I think, yet there is this airport gate charge for arriving by train. Sydney is not the only big city that does this. Toronto's airport train has separate and higher pricing. My own city has a reasonably efficient airport bus service, which also has quite high pricing. It costs a bomb to get from Heathrow to London by train, unless you take the very slow Tube.

Why are airports so different as public transport destinations? Is it that if you are rich enough to fly, you can pay a lot more? In a world of very cheap airfares, I am not sure that is right.

We are going to the airport in a week or so to take off for a short holiday. Normally we would take the old car and leave it exposed to the elements in the long term carpark, but lugging suitcases on and off the bus from the car park........over it. And it all takes so much time.

I said we will get a cab, and R agreed. It is about $70 each way, $35 each. But for more than twelve months the Uber app has sat around on my phone, never touched by me. I filled in the details today and if we use Uber, it might cost us $55 to $60. I am prepared to give Uber a shot. 

A spoilt Saturday

Thanks Mother.

Some time ago she asked if R could pick her from hospital after a gastroscopy and colonoscopy on Saturday 21st of October. ABI Brother would take her in the day the afternoon before but he was cricket umpiring until 6pm on the Saturday and could not collect her. It was supposed to be at Berwick but then Mother said it couldn't be there and had to be in Dandenong. While it six of a dozen to us, she could have had the tests done on Monday morning. She had already pleaded her case successfully that she needed to be in hospital overnight while she drank the stuff that cleans you out. Perhaps it is just as well, as even after all the drinking of the liquid, she had to have two enemas. I only mention this because her system was slow to react, she was nearly last to have the tests for the day, which meant we had to go out very late to collect her from the hospital and stop off to collect takeaway food on the way home.

We don't have a Red Rooster outlet anywhere near us, but that is what I desired and there is one near Mother's place. I have fond memories of their Hawaiian Pack, with its chicken and chips and  deep fried pineapple and banana. It is now call the Tropicana Meal, with two slices of deep fried pineapple but no banana. We ate our take away at Mother's and I told her to stop talking about her bowel problems and how things had come on so suddenly, and she managed to soil the hospital bathroom and much of her bedwear, while we were eating. Then there was the nasty male night nurse tale to go through because she had sprinkled talcum powder everywhere, the diligence of the cleaners, the noise of the hospital at night when she tried to sleep and so many other stories to be told. Her overnight bag for her hospital stay was a bulging suitcase, plus a cosmetics bag, plus a medication bag, plus her handbag.

All the test results were clear. Her diverticulitis has gone, along with any problem with her thyroid. She has all tests over the last year or so. Kidneys, liver, lungs, ECG for heart, now bowel, stomach and oesophagus . The only negative was an inflamed stomach from gastritis. She is more hale and hearty than I am.

Her aunt died only a couple of years ago at the age of 96, suffering from arthritis, to which she like Mother to relieve the symptoms became addicted to codeine, and very late onset dementia. Bone Doctor said about Mother, codeine addiction at her age is not a problem. Better that she gives up smoking and puts on some weight to give her some resilience to what may happen in the future. We have gently encouraged Mother in both areas, especially putting on weight.

What a terrible day. My day off is meant to be a glass of wine at between 5 and 6pm, and then another and perhaps a third before eating a nice meal cooked by R. Instead at 6.00pm I was eating takeaway chicken and drinking a can of Coca Cola at Mother's.

As R said on the long drive home, and R is quite good at old English sayings, such as it's like nailing jelly to the wall, his quote for the day was, Your mother will be putting flowers on my grave. R may well be correct.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Selections

Joining in with River and others with some random photos for Sunday Selections. The first three photos are not mine, but from FB.

Some ugly stuff happens when children and teens play games. Just last week locally there was an assault on a teenage umpire, presumably because a parent did not like a decision he made. There should be no tolerance for this kind of bad behaviour whatsoever.

Even worse now that route 8 has joined with route 55 to become route 58. It's a can of sardines, if you aren't sure.

A little innocent humour, well innocent on the writer's part.

Ideally yes, but it is not always practical or safe to do.

Our pond with its gentle rippling fountain was turned off about 2004 because of water restrictions and it was leaking badly. It was filled with soil and turned into a garden bed full of, as R would describe them, strappy things. Many years later a promise that it would revert to being a pond once the drought was over has come true. The plants and soil have been cleared. It is actually completed now but I keep forgetting to take photos. It is much more modern than this older and dated pond.

Remember the milk jug we bough that would not fit in the fridge? It was fair enough that they would not take it back for what we paid, so I chose the three bowls on the left as a replacement for the jug. I took this photo to check with R as to whether he liked them.

I am sure there is some meaning to these colours inserted into the grill of a BMW, but I don't know what.

I would have loved to have seen this event. It must have been such a laugh, but alas I was at work.

While we dined inside a restaurant (yes, the same one Pants, except downstairs) a couple of weeks ago, lads outside waited for a tram. Lads doing what lads do.

Not a clue what this plant is. Answer please in a comment if you know.

We had the car serviced a month ago. I really like annual fixed price servicing. The company left a complimentary bottle of water and a packet of mints in the car. Someone in The Highrise ate the mints before I could take a photo. The car received a tiny car park dent just a week after we took delivery, recently another car park scrape as someone has pulled in or out too wide from the car park and the bumper bar scraped very low on the rear panel. The last straw was some vandalism, directed at us, or just general nastiness, where someone has rubbed the bonnet with something abrasive. All are so minor, but they sour the taste when you think of the car, so to the panel shop she goes this week for repair. Insurance will pay some, but we will be between $600 and $1200 out of pocket.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Non NBN Connection

While I don't think I would have taken any notice of disconnection advice, why wasn't I told? I assumed we had connected to the NBN, but it seems not. I am very happy with our non NBN service.

While at times things go weird when you least expect it, such as going down to 30mbs download at 6.30 am, it normally sits at around 70 mbs. I use three different test sites when I test. I don't expect anyone will really want to look at these, so trust me. So scroll down to the bottom and you will discover, as I did when I read the email, that we are not connected to the NBN.

We're aware that NBN Co are sending letters warning about disconnection of phone and internet services. It's important to be aware that this disconnection advice does not apply to you.
The NBN is not replacing alternative high speed products such as TPG Fibre To The Building (FTTB), to which you currently subscribe. TPG FTTB is delivered using our own world class fibre optic network, bypassing the NBN completely.

You are not required to move to an NBN service and you will not face disconnection. The only thing you need to do is continue enjoying the speed, reliability and value of your awesome TPG FTTB phone and internet bundle. Click here for a refresher on the benefits of your TPG FTTB service.

Friday, October 20, 2017

GM Holden or Ford Falcon Pt 2

Much happened between our family owning the HR Holden and the next car. My parents officially separated and it was not a good time for the young Andrew. Less so for my younger siblings. Mother refused to clean the HR Holden, 'for that slut to ride around in'. Father was a friend and drinking mate of the owner of the local town tv and radio service and sales place. He at times would visit his mate in his shop. These visits became increasingly frequent as Father became interested in his mate's secretary. She was a couple of years younger than him, and god forbid, had the same name as Mother.

A relationship, nay love, happened. Love like I had never seen between Father and Mother. She went on to become our Step Mother. She was sharp of tongue at times but her bark was much worse than her bite. She was kind and cared for us all at different times when we visited Father. I lived with them for about three years, with her own children of an age similar to myself. I have a special connection with her. Tradie Brother sees her and her new partner often. Even Oldest Niece spent two nights with her in the north of Victoria, with her two younguns, while her husband to be went on to the Bathurst car race. Her daughter is a Face Book friend to me, although we don't interact. Her very smart son died at about the age of 50 from a brain hemorrhage.

Though Father and Step Mother used to squabble constantly, it was good natured and by what I heard at night, their love making was very successful. They were a great couple.

But I did not like my young teenage years disrupted by insecurity. Father used attend to the farm during the day at home, and then go in to his fancy woman at night and sleep with her. We had a lovely Guy Fawkes night at a neighbours and Father at least attended that. Once we were home, I quickly sabotaged both the HR Holden and the EJ Holden to stop him leaving home to spend the night with his woman. It was a token effort, just pulling off the distributor caps. I heard Father try to start one car, then the other. He was no fool and worked it out. Obviously I wasn't too serious about preventing him leaving, or I would have just mass cut wires. A cry for help? A cry for something? I don't know. I don't think I was smart enough to make it an illustration of what I found distressing, but perhaps that is what I did.

Mother and Step Mother will both attend Fire Fighting Nephew's wedding. They speak together now as old acquaintances. I had forgotten this, but Mother was reminding me she was a bit of a firebrand when she was younger. She got stuck into her father in law and his partner because they weren't married but lived together. She said it was one of the few times Father spoke up to her and made her apologise. Mother hadn't finished with them. There were often areas of friction, often because Father's two brothers lived with us. Those with a long memory will remember what went on between Mother and one of the brothers. One morning on the farm, Mother rose to find Nanna Tess passed out on our kitchen floor in an alcoholic stupor. I heard it with my own ears, get the drunken slut out of our home and tell her to take her two useless step sons with her and she can look after them for a change. Mother, had three adults, one a little brain damaged from a work place accident, and four children to cook, wash and clean for, and if that is not a full time job, I don't know what is.

It is funny that Grandpop Charlie, a house builder,  married above his station to a classical musical teacher, who bolted to Sydney with one of her music students,  leaving her four sons with their father. Nanna Dorothy was an artistic person. While my mother's family weren't artistic, they were a church going family with very high moral standards. Mother's parents paid for their daughters wedding, but quelle horreur, there was no alcohol. I doubt any of my father's family hung around for long after the wedding. Actually, as was done back then, they probably went out to the carpark to drink from their own supplies. History inappropriately repeats itself.

When Father met Step Mother, she used to drive a Morris Minor. I loved driving it, although I was underage and I can't remember the circumstances. It was such a fun car. Father had the HR Holden. Step Mother was by then working behind the bar of a hotel for better money than she used to earn as a secretary. My step brother got the old Morry and the HR was traded in on this! It's a Valiant VT Charger, made by Chrysler Australia. It was a three speed on the floor manual with a very heavy clutch. The huge doors were so heavy that they had to be often adjusted every so often to shut properly. Its rear was very light and had a tendency to spin out, but wow, it was much nicer than anything we had previously owned.

Remember the advertising? Hey Charger, with the victory/peace sign made with the fingers.

After the family farm was sold post divorce, Father went back to the building trade that he knew well and built speculation houses, that is built new houses and then sold them. It was profitable. The first car with an automatic gearbox was bought, a CL Chrysler Valiant. I drove the car often and it was very nice. When fishing once, Step Mother bogged the car in sand and the tide came in. It was rescued but had been flooded with seawater. Its interior was taken apart and sprayed with fish oil to prevent rust, but they never felt the same about the car after it was flooded.

The last car Father owned was a second hand VB? Statesman Caprice, going back to General Motors Holden. I drove it a couple of times and it was a lovely and luxurious car. After Father died, Step Mother bought a very basic Ford Falcon station wagon. She has changed her cars a couple of times since.

Maybe I should go to to tell you of my life in cars, and there haven't been many. Who said, oh no?