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?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

One dead falcon chick

The two falcon chicks escaped their wooden box into the metal gutter where the box sits.  I took a screen grab on Tuesday and both chicks were far from the box. I later saw a video where someone had grabbed some footage and both chicks were being fed.

Wednesday morning when I checked, one seemed to be dead to me, but sometimes they just like sleeping. By Wednesday night I was convinced one chick had died and it has. It is odd that I haven't  seen any mention of this, especially on Twitter.

We had a couple of hot days, and in spite of me seeing a parent shading the chicks, perhaps one succumbed to the sudden heat. The other seems fine. I saw it gazing around skywards, looking for a parent returning with food and comfort.

The weather is cooler now, and the surviving chick is back in the wooden box.

Well, that is a bit sad. I doubt anyone will interfere and remove the dead chick. It is as nature happens. Falcons have been nesting in the same spot for many years, although I read somewhere that they didn't for a couple of years after a falcon fed illegally poisoned pigeon meat to the chicks. The surviving chick will get more food and probably thrive.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

R's volunteer dummy spit

As a paid employee, I have to put with quite a lot of nonsense at work. Management say and do some really stupid things but one thing management does not do is speak to staff badly. If they did so, there would quickly be union involvement if it was serious.

R was a volunteer at his workplace. He would have described his work as 'driving the oldies around'. Medical appointments, social events and meetings, occasionally a bit out of town for an oldie's lunch and a play on the pokies. The people who are driven are supposed to pay a few dollars to the organisation, but some don't. No one is denied. The vehicles are supplied to do the job with some generosity by local car dealers. There is the occasional big green hardware shed sausage sizzle fundraiser. Some funds come from out local council and some from the federal government. It is great service for older people in our local council area.

Did you note that I said R would have described? Someone spoke to him badly at work last week. R is a terribly sensitive soul but the person was out of line. It was one of the few paid staff at the service, a person who did not really want the paid job and perhaps was in a bad mood. R stewed over the matter over the weekend. Monday he lunched with a friend who he used to work with in his last job. She advised him to leave, and truth be told, perhaps R was over his volunteer job there. While he enjoyed the contact with the people who he transported around, there have been a few issues over the three years with management. R had not slept well since that Friday and after the Monday lunch with the friend, he came home and straight away sent off a perfectly pleasant resignation email.

Oddly there was not a reply. I kept suggesting that something had gone amiss with the email, although it had clearly been sent and the eddress was correct. He became very cross that his three years of volunteer work and resignation was not been acknowledged. You may think he should of made a phone call too, but he did not want to have to go through why was leaving and cause upset. I was kind of guessing what had happened and sure enough, Thursday afternoon the phone call came to give him his Friday first pick up. To that he has to add time to get to his workplace, sign on and get a car and drive to the first pickup.

The bloke who called was the same one who offended R and so R did say how hurt and offended he was and then pointed out that he had sent an email with an effective immediate resignation. I counted down with my fingers. Yep, there goes the phone again. It was the manager of the service. The person to whom the email was sent was very busy with Seniors Week and had not checked email. The manager apologised, praised and fawned to R. R said his resignation stood but was very pleased to have received the call. Thirty minutes later, an email arrived from the person who R sent the resignation email to, thanking him for his wonderful service and apologising for not seeing the email.

I can tell you, R knows his stuff when dealing with old people and they adore him. I don't where my knowledge came from, but I suggested to R that that paid staff at volunteer organisations often see themselves as being a bit above the volunteers. I don't know if I am correct about that, but R agrees with me and so does his friend who he lunched with earlier in the week, and she is a volunteer in a different organisation and does good works at her local church.

R is now without a volunteer job. He will live. Maybe in time he will find another volunteer job, but he is not in a hurry.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

My happy day

The Sunday began with the Melbourne Marathon, with me participating viewing in my dressing gown from on high. However, Fire Fighting Nephew ran the half marathon, a last minute decision and without training. Sadly we didn't hear him, but he yelled out at the top of his voice as he passed down below, happy birthday Uncle Andrew.

My cake was a flourless chocolate cake, chosen because Hippy Niece is gluten intolerant, and we had picked it up the day before. It was more like a desert. It weighed a ton and we should have probably taken the car rather than bring it home on the tram.  At about 35cm square, say 14 inches, it was big but there wasn't too much left over.

We celebrated my birthday at the Dick Whittington Hotel and just so I can refer back one day, there was Mother, ABI Brother, Tradie Brother, Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo, Fire Fighting Nephew and his Betrothed, Oldest Niece who became engaged to her partner the day before after being together for ten years,  their two girls, 3 1/2 and 18 months, Hippy Niece and her Islander partner, and their twin 6 month old girls. Our oldest friend was visiting Perth, our Dyke Friend has moved to Launceston, one of the Brother Friends is in Thailand and the other in hospital. But we still had our Oldest Friend's Fijian Indian partner, our Hairdresser Friend and the Brighton Antique Dealer.

I am not good at public speaking but I did write a speech and read it out. I did not read it word for word, and managed to insert a couple of quips, and it helped that was at the end of the occasion and I had drunk three g&ts and was on to my second but final glass of wine. R said I did ok, so that means I did ok. The bill for 17 people plus a few babies was $760. Mother just expects someone else to pay and was none the wiser that we paid for everyone. The kiddies get their inheritance earlier or later. Mother would have thought, they should all pay for themselves and the more deserving me should I have my son's $700.

My birthday gift from our Friend in Japan was a bottle of Samurai whisky from Japan (well duty free at Narita Airport),  and once I read the assembling directions, it all came together. Pretty cool, hey. I wasn't going to open it until my birthday, but alas we I gave into temptation. R is a corrupting influence on me and I did have the week off work. Let me tell you, the evaporation rate for Japanese whisky is extremely high.

R gave me a new Kindle. My old one was buggered, with it losing its wifi, battery going flat in a couple of hours, not restarting after a being shut down for a few minutes. My new one is great, with a touch screen and no buttons other than the on/off.