Wednesday, June 29, 2016


For quite some time I have been a reader of Janine's blog. Local history, a bit of the personal,  travels to Africa and to India; all have been a fascinating read. Not so long ago she began a series of posts that come under the tag of This week in Port Phillip District, read Melbourne. The posts are both serious and amusing, and tell of some of the history of our city but not in a dry historical manner. We even get the weather details from back then.

I was wondering, should I email That's So Pants and suggest, nay, insist she write something about Brexit. No need, Pants came through. Here is her Brexit post, a great read.

Blimey Blighty, what have you gone and done?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Loving Technology

I received a call from the computer repair company today. This gets a bit techy but I will try to keep it simple. In a desk top computer and like in a lap top and note book computer there is a spinning disk, like a dvd. It is called the hard drive. That is where everything is stored and usually has your operating system. In your phone of tablet, it is a solid state or flash drive. No moving parts.

The failed desk top has two drives, a normal spinning disk hard drive, where everything is stored, and a solid state. Our operating system was stored on the solid state drive, which was good, Switch the computer on and it was up and running in ten seconds and ready to use.

It is supposed to be reputable known brand which I won't name until I have it confirmed by the computer shop. Nevertheless, it has failed after just a few months and that is why the computer would not start up.

I was given two options which came down to one. Pay $99 to just remove the solid state drive and then load Windows 10 onto your spinning hard drive. You will lose everything on your hard drive when Windows is reloaded. The other option, buy a new solid state drive to replace the old and Windows can be loaded on to that and you won't lose anything. Cost, $300. I went for that option.

We have another external hard drive, used as a back up. It is supposed to back up our computer, with everything to be able to retrieved. It was plugged in and the lights flash at times, but I have no idea how you would retrieve your files from and no faith that I could manage that.

There are lessons to be learnt. Don't buy a computer by mail order from another city, in our case Sydney. While the company will honour the warranty and cover the costs, how do you pack up a computer tower to post it? How long will you be without it?  In preparation for connecting to the NBN, we had decided to to change our general email ISP address to web based address, Gmail. I had set up our joint account just the day before the drive failed. We have lived and died with our ISP email, but here is a reason why the paperless office won't happen. While we can access our ISP email now over the net, there are a lot of emails stored there that I don't think we have access to, including all the emails between us and the company we bought the bought the computer from. I don't have a clue who it is. All our bills, banking stuff, so many things come into our ISP email, so it will take quite a bit of changing. While ISP email is great to use, it is caveman stuff.

I am just so depressed about the whole business. Buying a computer by mail order, admittedly with advice from a friend who had done the same and recommended the same to others who did and all was well. I am cross with myself that I have not recently manually backed up. I am cross with myself that I have not taken the time to understand how the automatic back up works. I am cross that I rely on ISP email and not changed to web email much earlier.

I am writing this on a not very old note book computer, maybe four years old and while it is lovely to type on once you fingers get used to the tighter spacing of the keys, this morning when I switched it on, it would not start. It kept trying and at times a message flashed up, 'attempting computer repair', Apparently is repaired itself as after 20 minutes it did come to life. Its battery is buggered and will only work when plugged in to power.

How come my phone and tablet solid state drives are so reliable, but not the one when it is within a proper computer?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Trades Hall

I forgot I had almost finished this post, so in spite of no desk top pc, here is a post with photos.

Trades Hall was recently featured on tv, inspiring me to visit for a look see. Externally it is fine building. Internally, it is both historic and a wreck. There was a recent fuss about the state Labor government granting money for some renovations. Gee, a Labor government is criticised for granting money to a trade union organisation, its support base.

Australia has a federal election coming soon, before the US presidential election but after the British Brexit vote.

The original Trades Hall was built in 1859, but was significantly upgraded by 1925.

The wind always blows the wrong way when trying to photograph flags. One of the flags is the Southern Cross.

Opposite Trades Hall is The Curtin, I think formerly The John Curtin Hotel, named after former Labor Prime Minister John Curtin.

This area was in ok nick. Out back through some doors was a modern building, I expect where all the real union action happens.

Twice Australia voted to not compulsorily send young men to war. Nevertheless, many went and were killed.

I think I recall a huge renovation of Trades Hall some years ago, but clearly it does need some work.

On the diagonally opposite corner is a memorial.

The triple eights, 8 hours work, 8 hours play and 8 hours rest.

Not in my time but I remember the slogan being; eight hours work, eight hours play, eight hours sleep and eight bob a day, bob being the slang namef a shilling. It is just as well that the last of eighty cents a day has been dropped. Big business would have us working for 80 cents a day if it had its way.

The earlier facade is in Lygon Street, Carlton. This southern side is in Victoria Street.

The radicals are in house on this side.

Just this week another person was killed in a workplace accident. You should be able to do your job and work in a safe environment.

I have been a proud member of a workers' union for 37 years. At 25 years of service I received a horrid silver platter from my work place that lives in a state of almost perpetual tarnish but I happily received my 30 year membership polished wooden plaque from my union. When I retire after 40 years as a member, I expect to receive honorary membership.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

I should have thought this Brexit thing through

My dream that I will never follow up is to live in England or Europe; maybe a Cornish village near the sea, maybe in Brighton, maybe in a Portuguese village or maybe in Vienna or Cologne or Budapest. I had the right before Brexit, even as a multi generation Australian. Let me explain.

R has always maintained his British passport. If he allowed it to expire, as an Australian citizen, he would have no right to live England. He has always kept his options open. I remember his British Passport. I was sturdy and strong cardboard, dark blue, with gold embossed writing. When he renewed the last time, it was much more difficult than conducting the process via the High Commission in Canberra as before. He had to send his old passport and his Australian passport to London, and received in return a Euro passport, a rather cheaper and nastier version of his British passport.

R's Euro passport gives him quick access without queuing in England and Europe but after he used it to travel from Newcastle to Amsterdam, he concluded there was no point, as once quickly through immigration, he had to wait for me with my Australian passport who was in the 'Others' queue. English Immigration has queried him why he does not use it when he last travelled on an Australian passport. He has to point to me and say he is travelling with an Australian friend, and then immigration becomes suspicious.

With me being his partner, we could have lived anywhere in England or an EU country. I don't know what will happen about Euro passports post Brexit, but Ireland remains in the EU and in the fine detail of Irish legislation, if you have an Irish parent of grandparent you can take up an Irish identity and have an EU passport and guess what!!!! One of R's grandmothers was Irish.

So I can dream on about us living in an old cottage in St Ives in Cornwall, or maybe a gorgeous old apartment in Vienna,

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Fritzed PC

As of last Wednesday the desktop pc is broken. Only a few months old, it is under warrSanty, but sending it to Sydney? Although our own computer man moved from Balaclava to St Kilda and then to Moorabbin and we followed him, he has now shut up shop.  He would have fixed the problem in a few minutes.  Instead it is at a professional repair place for a few days. The issue is that it would only boot to the bios screen. I could have fixed that with old Windows versions. Windows 10, I don't have a clue.
I don't have access to photos as recent photos are on the desk top so I will just rant a bit in the last post for a few days.

So much crap is happening with our friends.  You would think by the age of sixty plus, such rubbish would not happen.

It is rare that I finish late at work but on the very night we were going to see Sound of Music, I finished at work unavoidably late. The traffic home was hideous too and instead of being in a nice relaxed mood, I was mega stressed, as was R by me being late. 6:53, car swap, 6:54, inside. 6:57, changed clothes, 6:58 looked at not working computer bios screen 7:05 hop on tram to town, 7:17 meet theatre friends, 7:22 find a quiet corner to eat half the curried egg sandwich R had made for me as a substitute for dinner, 7:25 collect a glass of wine from R, hold it with two hands and my hands are going ninety to the dozen, 7:30 seated at the wonderful Regent Theatre for quite a good show. 

Cameron Daddo played Captain Von Trapp and I found him disappointing. The children were excellent. I've forgotten her title and I don't know her name, but the head of the abbey stole the show. She is a brilliant singer. The person who played Maria was ok. I must say, how many great songs were in Sound of Music, and a little brag that we visited Salzburg and received a commentary about the movie a few years ago.

I have been replying to comments using the note book, what has a battery so failed that it will not work without being plugged in, and swyping on tablet. So tedious, so see you in few days.