Saturday, March 16, 2024

Dog Breeding

Inspired by Jabblog. Step Mother and Father used to breed Samoyed dogs for show. My god, how focused were they. They bored us to tears as they constantly talked about dogs and the merits or the lack of them. They made friends with like minded dog people, who also could never stop talking about dogs. Pun intended, dog showing people are a breed apart. Samoyeds are nice enough, affectionate and good pets but I never fell in love with them. 

We went to a couple of dog shows where they were showing their dogs. What amused me was that for all the primping and pampering of the dogs to be shown for hours before the show, the owners as they paraded their dogs were, shall I say, modestly dressed. To use a good Aussie term, daggily dressed. They made no effort with their personal appearance at all. Yes, all about the dogs but still...

They got over Samoyeds and bred Shiba Inu dogs. They are small dogs and hail from Japan. They are the closest dog to the Australian dingo I've ever seen. They don't bark but can howl. Their heads are similar to dingoes. They aren't a lap dog in any sense. They know and respect their pack leader, the human owners but only them, and the owners know they won't receive affection from them. They are dogs to respect but will never get on your bed to soak in some warmth and the smell of humans. When visiting, I felt like I was just one sharp bite away from losing a finger. Nevertheless, I did find them so interesting to observe and I came to like them for their independent attitude. 

The photo I was going to use was good, but didn't indicate any scale, so I will use this one instead from Tokyo Cheapo. 

Friday, March 15, 2024

Tech, Family and Humour

I haven't finished with matters tech. The Wednesday morning when I connected up the remaining lights, we were waiting for Hippie Niece and her twin daughters to arrive. The twins had appointments at the dental hospital so she parked here and we caught a tram to town for a bite to eat with them before their appointment. The old uncles paid, and R was profusely thanked for his generosity, as is normal. Of course I pay R half later, but R gets the credit and I am happy in my role of the stingy and grumpy uncle. The cafe latte coloured twins turn 7 in April and have turned out to be quite lovely, unlike their earlier selves. They are quite full on and their speech isn't perfect yet, but not bad. Their dad, his wife and their younger half sisters are taking them to see family in New Zealand at Christmas. It was judged in the past that it would be a risk that he wouldn't return and keep the girls in NZ, but he now has too much to lose if he did that. It will be good for them to meet their extended family and find out a bit about their heritage.

While waiting I looked at my phone and noticed it was using 4G and not the home wifi system. R, look at your phone. Do you have working wifi? He didn't. I looked at the router and there wasn't one light on. I offed and onded it but it was dead. The stick blender is plugged in next to it and it was dead too. R checked the fuse panel and the residual current (earth leakage?) switch had tripped. We turned it back on, and then all was once well again. Who knows why it tripped!

ABI Brother moves home tomorrow. I called him mid afternoon to check if all was good, and it wasn't. He had booked the removalist for 7.30 but settlement between his sale and his purchase was at 3pm. He can't move in before then and has to be out of his place on the day. I called him an hour ago and fortunately the removalist was good about it and shuffled moves around. I didn't even think of that and tell him about settlement times. 

It's time for a laugh, but not really a deep belly laugh. Yes, predictive text and auto correct has caught me out a couple of times. I found these on FB.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Home routing

We have fibre internet to the building FTTB, and then from the basement uses the copper phone wires to the telephone plug where the router is plugged into. The router wirelessly distributes the signal to the apartment. TPG, the company we pay for the service doesn't use the National Broadband Network, NBN, fibre cable but has its own fibre cable in our street. 

Our download speed is supposed to be be 100 mb/s. It never has been but everything works fast and there never buffering. It normally sits between 75 mb/s and 90. 

Then it seemed a bit slow with occasional buffering. I checked the speed and it was down to about 50 mb/s. I checked a few times over the next days and it was much the same. I contacted TPG by lodging a complaint. A few days later I received a text asking what time would be convenient to take a telephone call and it was right then. I went over the situation with the person on the phone and he said he would raise the matter to a higher level, and when it would be a good time for an 'engineer' to call. I gave the times and he said it would be the afternoon, after 3pm. The call came at 5.45 and the higher qualified person said, I see your router is eight years old. I will send you a new one for free and that should help the speed.

About four days later the router arrived. We were hoping it would be white but it isn't. I can't complain, it being free. To say it was easy to set up would be a lie but eventually we got the desktop pc connected after many router restarts and a break in between for a bite to eat and coffee across the road. R asked if that was it? No dearest, the lounge room tv Fetch box needs to be connected, your bedroom Fetch box needs to be connected, our phones need to be connected, our tablets need to be connected and our 'fridge.

It was quite painless to connect everything else, except for R's bedroom Fetch box. The router would not show as being available. Fiddle fiddle, and we got it right. It took about two hours including the break to get everything connected, except we had forgotten something.

Come the evening R picked up his phone to turn the lounge and dining room lamps on, eight of them, with four phone buttons to use, and the lamps did not come on. Oh, I forgot, they are connected using wifi too. Another tech battle. You know, you set these things up years ago and you forget how it all works. With more arse than class, we got the power board to work and that gave us half of the lamps working. I am over this and it is time for a drink. Manana. I am teched out. 

While sitting on the balcony just before bed, clarity of thought hit my brain. Delete the other three connections, and start anew, but I was not doing it that night. Next morning, clear of head and fresh minded, I did exactly that and within a minute I had another lamp connected. I think the other two require moving furniture, so I'll wait for R to arise.

Once R rose about 9.30 and drank his coffee, he said he would help after showering. While he was showering, I realised only one piece of furniture needed moving and the other was getting into a strange position with some arm stretching. By the time he was out of the shower, the job was done. We had full lighting.

I never give up on making tech matters work. We were overthinking everything, and believe me there were so many obstacles that popped up but pretty well should have been ignored. I stepped back to get clarity of thought and things worked. This is the old router.    


And the new one. Exciting, hey.


Speed test using the new router? 98.6 mb/s. This really was first class service by TPG and it cost us nothing beyond some effort. When things aren't right, like not getting what you are paying for, you should complain and expect a satisfactory resolution. Complain I do, sometimes changing things, but not always. 

S'cuse I. Roasting pork is in the air fryer and I am so looking forward to it. I hear the electric carving knife in action. Time for dinner.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

YouTuber Award

This was written a number of days ago, well before our friend in London was visiting Oslo, where it is currently -1/30. 

I follow quite a number of YouTubers. I find YouTubers rather more interesting than tv. Perhaps it is the personal touch.

Weirdly I follow drain cleaning YouTubers. It is as much about their presentation and characters as it is about drain cleaning. 

I watched an interesting enough video a few days ago of a train trip from Aberdeen to Penzance, but the presenter didn't project his character very well, apart from moaning that it was 14 hour train trip. There was a lot of scenery and not much talking. 

Narrow boaters on English canals, even once they cease to be narrow boaters, as a couple have done, are very popular.

But the most I like are professional travellers, especially if they use trains. There are some seriously good class acts out there. I could make many recommendations and some wouldn't be to your taste. They make a living from being successful YouTubers. 

The most popular YouTuber I watch is https://www.youtube.com/@thepoolguyml with 2.62 million subscribers. That number of people plus, world wide want to watch him cleaning and renovating pools. I am sure it nothing to do with Miles looks and sexiness factor.

Ultimately, and it is a hard call really, my 2024 best YouTuber goes to the Scottish bloke, Steve Marsh. This is one of his latest clips. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeb2xU6Btk0  where he is visiting the Artic Circle in Sweden. I believe he is a case of what you see is what you get with Steve. Sometimes his clips include his partner, sometimes not. At times I use a bit of fast forward with YouTube clips, but never Steve's.

Oh wow, Steve's latest clip where he visited the Swedish Ice Hotel is so long but I sat mesmerised.  

After experiencing three days of 38/100 degrees, watching how to deal with extreme cold is very cooling. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Writing, because that is what I like to do

I thought I might place a list of what I have Googled today. It would be too long, even if censored, especially of my latest interest, @qtjodyy.

Cozzie Livs is so 2023. They are words to abbreviate cost of living rises. R was telling me he saw a woman being interviewed at a supermarket check out. I doubt River would have tolerated a queue delay at her check out caused by a media performance. Anyway, the woman being interviewed was droning on about the cost of her groceries. But as a camera panned over her shopping basket, she had two, dozen packs, plastic bottles of water. Melbourne has some of the best and softest water in the world and it just pours out of your taps. It just amazes me that people pay for bottled water, with a price higher than petrol per litre. That woman at the check out could certainly save some money there.

Cash is King! It is for some businesses who want stick some of their profits in their pockets and not declare income to the tax department. I like to carry cash but I use it so infrequently, notes shape themselves to shape of my wallet. I linked my phone to my cards and I now just pay with my phone. It is strange that I see some people have to click various things on their phones to pay. I just have to make sure my phone is 'awake' before coming in range with the business pay device. That there is a surcharge for using a card is outrageous, especially for businesses who don't accept cash. The bank charge to the business for a debit card transaction is around .3% and a credit card, about .5%. I'm losing my arithmetic skills, but is that 3 cents in $10?  .3 cents in $1? In Covid times I went to pay by card for a bread roll at a bakery. The woman complained. My 90c bread roll became $1.24. I refused to pay cash and so paid $1.24, grabbed the roll in a paper bag from her hand and stormed out. I barely see anyone use ATMs to withdraw cash now, but if your go to areas where there are lots of immigrants, they like cash and at St Albans I actually saw a queue at an ATM. 

Oldest Niece asked if she could stay here one night while we are away later this month. Little M turns 10 this year and did not want a party. Oldest Niece thought she could take them to city places, swim in our pool etc etc. With some trepidation I mentioned this to R. He was ok about it but wanted more detail. I eventually called Oldest Niece to ask her and Little M had decided a birthday sleep over party with friends would be better. How is it possible that Little M will be 10 years old!  R doubted the accuracy of my birthday list (be quiet Wombat) until Ex Sis in Law confirmed she would be 10. It's a bit funny having Jo, a 16 year old niece and a Little M as a 10 years old great niece.

This week ABI Brother moves from his home of about 30 years, where Mother lived for the last three years of her life, to a retirement village. In spite of his brain injury, he is very good at being focused, and that is what he done with his life changing move. None of Mother's other three children could have tolerated Mother living with them but ABI Brother is so chilled about everything. He looked after her so well in her final couple of years, yet with all of her nonsense and demands, he just let it all float over him. He took her to appointments, made sure she had the meals she wanted, made her cups of tea on demand, looked after her medication...and he drank a lot of beer.  

That's enough, hey.  

Monday, March 11, 2024

Monday Mural

I'm joining with Sami and others for Monday Murals. What is in the coffers to show you this week? They can't all be brilliant.

A box appeared in Prahran Square and as we ate our salad rolls and drank our coffee the artist worked away on mural painting. I didn't take a photo of what was being painted because it was so boring. But these two of a sulphur crested cockatoo and a wedge tailed eagle aren't so bad.




Sunday, March 10, 2024

Sunday Selections

River joins me for Sunday Selections, along with others.

I found seriously good Portuguese tarts and excellent coffee here. I must take R there.


I remember this curved apartment building. It was replaced by the commercial building BP House, which was then converted to apartments for rich people, such as politicians and chief executives, The Domain. 


I took this from the Punt Road bus. I must return to have a proper look at what I think is a church of some kind associated with the school Wesley College.


The Rob Roy Hotel in Fitzroy was a rough hotel in the 70s, 80s into the 90s. I don't know about now. It had many Aboriginal patrons, local to the area, but there were plenty of rough white people too. 


This doesn't look like it is my photo. I was there a few months ago and warned off by a guard for trespassing when a ship was in port at Station Pier, our cruise ship terminal. There wasn't a barrier or any indication where I should stop. I clearly have problem with my terrorist like appearance. 


Queens Bridge, built in 1889. It carried cable trams to Port Melbourne, and now carries modern electric trams, buses, motor cars and pedestrians. The 135 year old bridge is doing well.


Along the Yarra river bank.


The river was wide at this point, giving sail powered ships in the 1800s space to turn around. 


I'm under the newer railway viaduct looking towards the older railway viaduct.


A somewhat phallic scene.


I expect this is a seldom used public barbeque. Travel a couple of  kilometres or so upriver, there are more barbeques and they are so busy. 


I am not sure if City of Melbourne is responsible but along the north bank of the river at the western edge of the city, a rather nice space has been created. Give 'em some grass and trees (and public seating with back rests), and they will be happy.

Bumping another car

I once had a bit of an inappropriate laugh when I read in the online Fiji Live electric newspaper that someone in Fiji was killed after two ...