New Blog website
I'm now posting my 'Ramblings' on my 'Blog Spot Website' here
Subjects: New Blog website, ANZ Bank userers fees, Keeping my brain active, Telstra Service, Userers, ASDN Service (rather lack of service). Tooth, Amazing Story, Mower break down, Broadband in Queensland the "Smart State" (being with a 26kb connection 5 km from the nearest phone exchange) - My 11 month old SHARP TV (under guarantee) now repaired, Tilley our dog which died, Cooking my meal - Moving house -My medic - l problem - HTML writer - The scare is over - The floating mouse - Service, lack thereof - Morals - Nappy change - Use 100% of your brain - God's waiting room - Wisdom? - My brain - Koala - Time expander - Koala Rescue - Margaret's surgery - Smoking teenagers at Southbank at New Years eve - One out growths people - Cane toad alert - Confidence - Computer Service Experience.ANZ Bank userers fees
I tried to bank a small dividend cheque of NZ$26.71 at a New Zealand ANZ branch into my bank account while over there but was told I would have to do so in Australia into my ANZ account there as the cheque was endorsed 'not transferable'. This proved a major exercise when I went to my local ANZ branch. Firstly I was told that there was a 4 week holding period before the funds were released, pointing out the small amount involved this was waived. Converting the amount into Australian dollars reduced the amount to A$24.07 but two charges were made a $2 service fee and a further $5 fee to process the (foreign) cheque reducing the amount deposited into my account to $17.07. I thought ANZ stood for Australian and New Zealand Bank. I suppose the $2 fee was needed to process the transaction, as it took 3 visits by the cashier to the supervisor and numerous forms to fill out but the money for jam fee of $5 was outragous. Where is common sense in dealing with such minor problems?
Keeping my brain active
Continued saga about ASDN service wanted
Even More Amazing
Mower breakdown - Feb/March
Queensland the Smart State?
Our SHARP TV under repair My wide screen analogue TV I bought 11 months ago ceased to respond to it's remote. I took the remote control in to the dealer who tested it and said it must be the TV. Advised him I would be back with the TV to be repaired under the guarantee but as I lived 50 km away it would be the next day. Their comment "don't bother to do that the SHARP service center will close down shortly for their annual holidays" (this was mid December) "and not re-open till mid January, more ever they always have a waiting list of repairs of several weeks, more delay if they have to call for parts from 'Sydney'". Ok I advised I would bring the set in feeling having no option. "Sorry we don't have room to store your TV waits until the New Year" (when the guarantee expires?). Nevertheless left it there. It was fixed 6 weeks later (minor replacement of a diode) If I knew what the problem was could have done it myself! This is the new face of service - wash your hands of whatever you sell. I had send an email to the SHARP people at their HO in Australia for help and got the public relations response that all SHARP equipment is tested after manufacture and is seldom found to have faults and if the remote was at fault it was not under guarantee. Thank you mar SHARP
RE-EVALUATING MY SANITY
Still missing Tilley, our dog which died
You can see our involvement with tilley.htmlTilley. We felt we did not want because of commitment, ties, practical and emotional involvement.
Cooking my meal
Margaret is in New Zealand at present with her grand children and I'm a grass widower for a few weeks. As I like cooking I eat well and normally go to a bit of bother to put a meal together. Yesterday I had retrieved some lamb cutlets from the freezer eating two leaving the other two for today. I had a build-up of used dishes thus put the dishwasher on to clean them all except the small frying pan I used to pan-fry the lamb cutlets. As I saw some dried fat (butter I thought) in the pan felt it was a waste of time cleaning it before re-using it. Cooked a nice selection of vegetables and pan-fried the cutlets and sat down to eat. One bite of the cutlets revealed all was not well. I had, as is my usual practice, put some concentrate dish wash in the pan to ease the cleaning subsequently thus I had cooked the cutlets in detergent, awful. Tilley can have them tomorrow.
We have sold our home and have moved to Tullamore Downs (Gleneagle) (near
We have taken the bull by the horns and put our house on the market. You may ask why? As usual there are a number of reasons. Having been in our new home for over 7 years we have itchy feet again. Having completed all we have set out to do within the house and the garden newer interests has taken over. Margaret's oil painting and my web developing activities is a couple of examples. We would like a rambling larger house and would not be adverse to live again in a smaller community. But who knows where we end up. Real Estate is doing well in our area, our friends having sold and probably moving away gave us the added momentum to act. We have set our price and time will tell what the outcome is of our latest venture.
Possessing a large prostate this played up in a major way developing urine retention about a week ago causing a rapid visit to the hospital. The relief of the insertion of a catheter was great. Not so was the follow-up medical attention. Being in a teaching hospital the Registrar, having in tow two trainee doctors commenced their investigation, which includes the finger in the backside technique (digital examination). However on this occasion after a good feel the Registrar turned around and, what I thought in an elegant manner, invited the young doctors to also have feel to see what it felt like, Oh, a large one each of them said. Anyway I'm up for an operation in several weeks time.
I have been pre-occupied for many days this last month with writing html pages for the Bonzer-ezine magazine. This came about being approached agreeing to assist. As it turned out I landed the job as replacement developer of the site and instead of helping out undertaking the whole of the task of putting the monthly issue on the net. This was a fast learning curve of some dimensions. In the early stages wondered what on earth had I let myself in for but it gradually sorted itself out and I became quite scuffed having mastered all the various facets, certainly learned a lot in the process.
The scare is over
Detailed scans and x-rays proved that the so called moving lump proved to be no other than a milk duct, not a so called lump at all (benign or otherwise), great news for us both. It was a scary time and Margaret was living from day to day. Mind you to keep her fully occupied she undertook more than the usual tasks in the house and garden. Having signed up as a phone carer for breast cancer sufferers she will able to give valuable support after she has completed her training program.
Margaret went for her regular 3 monthly checks up at the breast clinic. On this occasion she was advised that she had a floating mouse in her breast. The other one was operated on a year ago to remove a mildly malignant lump. Apparently this small moving around lump should be benign; anyway tests will prove one way or other. Life is not meant to be easy and one does not know around the corner.
Service, lack thereof
Sometime last month (April 2001) I visited a Kodak franchise shop in the Logan Hyperdome to purchase a replacement Pentax camera battery, not being exactly sure of the model camera, or replacement battery model, asked the shop owner to assist. We jointly came to the conclusion that most likely it was K123LA but if it were the wrong one to return it, bringing in the camera or old battery and he would replace it. Bought the battery on that basis for $14.30Aus and placed it in the camera bag (for when I needed it next). Next was a month later, found it was the wrong battery, took it in with the old one, expected a replacement and hoped for refund of the difference in cost. I was rudely and flatly refused as the packet was opened, told they would not dream of replacing it. Had the feeling being almost ushered out of the door. This is one place to avoid, not only for the service or lack there off but finding that the purchase cost of their batteries is more than anyone else. Higher prices, lesser service?
Returning home one night from a meeting recently, it was dark by that stage, discovered a fire hydrant in place with fire hose leading into the yard of one of our neighbors. The initial reaction was that an emergency had taken place and what was it. Up rather early the following morning, fire hydrant and hose had disappeared. Questioning around revealed that this equipment was circulating amongst friends to fill their swimming pool in the wee hours of the night to avoid detection and avoid the usual fee of $100 to fill ones pool. We blame politicians for lack of morals but what standards are these?
During our weekly shopping at the hyper dome we took a rest and had something to eat at one of the many tables and chairs provided for that purpose. After a short while, to our astonishment, we observed a young mother accompanied by her mother (in law?) placing their newly born baby on their table removing the nappy and proceeding to clean the poo, this process taking a while playing with the baby at the same time. A security guard having been alerted advised the couple of the existence of the superb facilities available in the complex just designed for the purpose, the questions how could they, pity the person eating at that table after the where gone.
Use 100% of your Brain
1) Get used to your body in new ways. Switch your handedness and comb your
hair, brush your teeth, stir your coffee or do other simple tasks with your
non-dominant hand. Close your eyes and "sense" your way slowly
around a room. Get truly conscious of the sounds and smells in the space
around you. Also, use your feet to pick up things, flush the toilet or close
a door. Read a page in a book held vertically and then upside down!
God's waiting room
We live not that far from Surfers Paradise at the Gold Coast. This area has been referred to from time to time as "God's waiting room" because of the many retired couples settling there. More recently the area has been renames as "God's repair shop" for the same retired couples settling there.
As a teenager I was totally convinced that the world would be a better place if "common sense" was applied to all aspects of life, not only would life be simpler but every one a lot happier. Just image, as a teenager, how convinced I believed having found a universal truth. Issues and beliefs were clear (in black and white) - Now - with the age of maturity, after consideration, taking all factors into account, has I lost something there?
My brain is like a restless animal, seldom giving me peace. The trick is
to be aware of this when "feeling", I react then and usually
succeed in acting, selecting a task or activity, and it helps. I do drive
myself ruthlessly, but to what purpose and where?
Koala in trouble
When going for a walk on the path in the wild life corridor Park, adjoining the back of our property, I discovered a koala, only a short distance from the concrete path, curled up at the foot of a tree. This was most unusual, as koalas never leave their tree and if on the ground run like mad to get up another tree. I called the koala emergency center and less than 10 minutes later their koala ambulance arrived. They confirmed that there was something seriously wrong. Inspection revealed that it was a very old koala, on its last legs so to speak and they placed it carefully in their cage to take it to their center. I was told that if koalas get very old they wear down their teeth and are then unable to eat thus die of starvation in the wild. They promised to let me know the koala's fate but not having phoned me the koala probably died.
Have you found that there are not enough hours in the day? I manage to just scrape by, missing is the odd nap, casual reading, up to an hour a day would do. How do we go about creating an improvement? Cutting down time on the computer? no way!, less time spend on gardening?, haven't mown the lawns for weeks! Less sleeping time? there is an idea, afteral you are not awake then are you. Perhaps there is somewhere on the Internet a time expander. What a great idea, must look out for one
This is about a rescue that was not. We went for our usual walk along the path in the Bush Reserve behind our house when we came across a Koala, in distress we thought, it sat only 7ft up a slender tree, had an infected eye and its fur on the shoulders looked ruffled, we had visions of it being attacked by a dog. We contacted the Koala rescue (ambulance) center and an officer arrived not soon after with all the rescue gear. In the meantime the Koala had removed itself to a larger tree. Little did we know how the wild Life Officers go about their job. The officer agreed the animal should be checked over and if ok released in due course in the same spot. A very long telescopic pole was assembled, this thing had a bundle of plastic scraps on its top and this was used to provoke the Koala to go down the tree and ultimately (hopefully) into the catching tool. Being a very stroppy animal this took a great deal of time with many false starts. The Koala reversed its steps many a time, bit the offending plastic scraps, took time of to eat some leaves but at last he was near the ground when he shot up to the top of tree unwilling to budge. By then it was clear that he did not want to be rescued and we left him to it, and we all left with the tail between our legs.
Margaret and surgery
We had planned to travel to New Zealand for Christmas to be there with our families, particularly to see Margaret's daughter's twin girls, when a routine breast scan revealed a lump, which was removed promptly, as well as some of the armpit lymph nodes. She has recovered well and is now finished her radium treatment as a preventative follow up treatment. We were lucky to have discovered the cancer so early from one of her regular mammograms and would urge all women to have this regularly done.
New Year's eve Margaret and I, with friends, spend New Year's evening at Southbank (Brisbane City) with over 500 000 others in Brisbane to while away the evening and watch the fireworks. It was a balmy evening and pleasant time, as you would expect, there was a preponderance of teenagers and young people, but what struck us all how many (nearly all of the female youngsters) smoking, not occasionally, but chain smoking at that. (So says an experienced heavy smoker from 40 years back), surprisingly few of the young males indulged that way. What a sad image, what a pity.
This time of the year one reflects and not the least on people you have known for a long time, some a lifetime, (particularly going over the list of Christmas and New Year cards to send). Even more revealing are the messages on the cards received. One ponders do they still live there? Is their horizon that small? I have changed, grown, but have they? Life goes on of course and people do change at different rates (or not at all) and a brief view into the past can be revealing of oneself.
Cane toad alert
Here in Queensland we have a Cane toad problem. These blighters where imported years ago from overseas to help the sugar cane growers control beetles who were decimating their cane crops. As it transpired the cane toads were not interested in the beetles but liked life so much in Queensland that they multiplied in great numbers immigrating down from the top on the continent down to lower Queensland and down South into New South Wales. Predators don't like them as they have large poison glands, thus if eaten, wild life die from the poison and that applies to larger animals, like a dog, unless urgent action is taken. RSPCA recommends the eradication of this pest to save our wild life. They also urge not to follow the Queensland methods of either attacking them with a no 7 golf iron nor spreading them out on the road and driving the car over them but catching them and putting them in the freezer for a humane death. This we have been doing for some time now and we have developed our own routine, which goes like this. Margaret yelling, "Hennie Cane toad near the pond!” I grab a plastic bag while Margaret keeps the toad under observation. Rush outside and carefully approach the toad, a grab, into the plastic bag and into the freezer. The toads are so confident not having any predator (other than man) that they just sit there glaring at you. Some of them are big, the largest we have caught are two hands full, and up North they fill a dinner plate.
Do you feel sometimes frustrated? The feeling that you are getting nowhere or even despondent. My attitude over the years has been to analyze and be clear what is bugging me and than make up my mind what (if any) I want to do about it. It has given me great comfort over the years to be able to decide, yes I want to change myself (or not), that sometimes may take a long time, but more importantly, no I don't want to change (or I cannot change) but I will change my environment to suit me. This tends to take time and effort but in the main has worked with little and big things and at my age looking back can see the benefit of this approach as over the years it all has become automatic and given a lot of peace of mind. I know every one is different but give it a bit of thought.
Computer Service Experience
Having decided to replace my elderly black and white Panasonic printer
with a color one (middle of the range) with option to print photos as well,
purchased one, and installed it without a blush. Test pages to prove that I
had done it ok.
If you have landed on this page and have any comments please do so, I look forward hearing from you. This page will be updated from time to time so look it up occasionally
Hennie van Dyk