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Wednesday, March 31st 2004

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Jam and Umbrella

Yuko ordered jam for breakfast...

Then she wrestled with an umbrella...

Later...

A person of unusualy appearance approached my car and tried to pursuade me to partake of his wares. He was obviously a dealer of questionable merchandise...

After a brief inspection, I decided it looked like good stuff, so I passed an unmarked envelope to the dealer while remaining in an inconspicuous posture inside my vehicle...

After making it known to me that I was henceforth forever committed to supply him with cash on demand, the dealer debarked into a nearby spiderhole.

And thus, the deal went down without a hitch.

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Tuesday, March 30th 2004

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Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Turn around,
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Touch the ground,
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Touch your head,
Teddy Bear, Teaddy Bear,
Stop instead!

Today I taught Yuko's class for two hours. First, a conventional lesson about spelling rules. I found the students very quiet and this made eliciting difficult, but nevertheless I think it was successful. Then I picked up my guitar and we sang songs for an hour. The song above is an example (and my favourite). In case the reader is not familiar with "Teddy Bear", one person (the Teddy Bear) is in the middle jumping rope, while two people swing the rope and sing the instructions to the Teddy Bear who has to do the actions while jumping the rope. After one verse, the next person becomes the Teddy Bear. A very exciting game indeed! It's unfortunate there are no children in the class.

Unfortunately, we didn't have a rope, so the jumping was omitted. I was exempt from being the Teddy Bear as I was occupied with the guitar.

We also did "The Hokey Pokey", "One, Two, Buckle my Shoe", "This Old Man" *, and the classic "Old MacDonald".

Origami

Not the ancient art of paper folding, but rather the restaurant of the same name. We decided to have dinner near Aspect as it would have been tiring to walk a long way carrying my instrument. Although Origami is a rather primitive looking place, the food is very nice.

* Try explaining the meaning of "Nick knack paddy wack, give a dog a bone".

From Message
The SongMeister
8/04/2004
5800 Days Ago
You should alter the songs to make it more easily accessable to your audience. In this case I presume you have a class of Japanese. Something like ... Tak a Ha Shi had a farm, EIEIO or Old Nosworthy had a farm, EIEIO

From Message
Webmaster
8/04/2004
5800 Days Ago
That might be a good idea. However, the main difficulty is that animals in Japan speak Japanese. So for example dogs don't say "bow wow", they say "wan wan". Thus the teachers have to learn "animal English" before they can teach that song.

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Monday, March 29th 2004

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Filthy Animal

I got a hit from some filthy animal who used a search engine (yahoo) and entered the words:

xxx nudity

This took the unfortunate user straight to BlogWonky. I guess this is because the site has a lot of Xs and the fact that I mentioned nudity on March 12th. Anyway, he (or she) soon found PornWonky.

House

Yuko had to go to the city for a dental appointment in the morning, so I dropped her at St. Leonards after breakfast. As I had the camer with me, I thought it was a good opportunity to take a picture of my childhood home.

This is where I live from the age of zero to the age of fifteen (that's me on the footpath in the left hand picture). I may now compare the two images in a nostalgic manner.

About 1970 Exactly 2004

I note with sadness that the kookaburras are gone...

Exercise

I did a significant amount of walking today. People have been telling me I'm a fat pig, so I thought I'd better take action to reverse this porcine trend. I took my iPod out walking and found that it still sounds great and didn't freeze up like it used to. Perhaps the heat treatment has been beneficial.

Teaching

I taught Yuko's class today for 1h15m. I originally thought it was going to be 45 minutes, so I thought the lesson was over and then Yuko said "there's another 30 minutes". Fortunately I had something else prepared.

There were only four students today because two were absent. It was mainly pronunciation and listening practice followed by elicitation of a spelling/pronunciation rule (which I just figured out myself yesterday).

For the particapatory (is that a word?) reader...
Try this quick quiz:

How many ways can "ed" be pronounced when it's at the end of a word, and what are they? What is the rule which determines the pronunciation in each case?

The students filled in a survey to rate my teaching, which is a new and unusual practice. It's a bit hard given that I'm new to this teaching stuff! Fortunately they rated me as slightly above adequate.

I have to teach three more days this week.

From Message
The Piker
29/03/2004
5809 Days Ago
Re: iPod. Does that mean you don't **NEED** a shiny new 20 GB one that Steve is personally delaying reaching your vendor ?

From Message
Laughing Mole
29/03/2004
5809 Days Ago
What happened to Sunday?

Have you played with your Starry, Starry Night program recently? This thought popped into my head as I pondered the circumstances that led to the five naked eye planets being once again all visible at once after sunset. I tried to see them all tonight but missed fleeting Mercury. I figure I'm owed another chance, so I will seek a darker, better spot on Wednesday.

As for your "ed" challenge, I worried about this for too long, but surely there's just one - "ed", pronounced "eh" "duh". If you valued your unworthy readers, you'd certainly give us a hint. Or two.

From Message
Webmaster
29/03/2004
5809 Days Ago
Mr Piker,
I *NEED* it. Tell Steve to go XXXX himself.

From Message
Webmaster
29/03/2004
5809 Days Ago
Mr Mole,

I was hoping noone would notice that Sunday was missing. Not much happened and I was too lazy (or drunk) to bother. However, I did mention something about Sunday in a reply to Saturday.

As for Starry, Starry Night... It was only a 15 day trial download and it has now expired. However, I can still play it on the guitar.

From Message
Anonymous
30/03/2004
5809 Days Ago
Hint: "walked" ends with a "t" sound.

From Message
Laughing Mole
30/03/2004
5809 Days Ago
Hmmmm... maybe I missed that one, but I reckon I say "walk" "duh", not "walk" "teh".

Webmaster, is this what you had in mind? About how many "ed" endings are you looking for? Perhaps you could give us an example.

From Message
Webmaster
30/03/2004
5809 Days Ago
I'd be surprided if you use any voiced sound after the "a" in "walked". Here are four pronunciations...

red - Like Mr. Ed.

waited, waded, shaded - The "e" is neutral like a grunt or like the "a" in "around".

tamed - Just the "d". The "e" is not pronounced.

taped, walked, laughed - Again the "e" is not pronounced and the "d" sounds like "t". "larft"

From Message
Laughing Mole
30/03/2004
5809 Days Ago
WebMaster, once again you have enlightened me.

After I reflected on your wisdom, I realised I'd inadvertently provided examples of the four pronunciations you gave in my first post:
led
naked [1]
played
missed

Freaky, huh?

[1] Oh, all right. This was all just an excuse to put "naked" in your blog again. Oops - I just repeated it. Now lets see how many more hits you get from filthy animals.

From Message

8/11/2006
4856 Days Ago

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From Message

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4848 Days Ago

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From Message

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From Message

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From Message

12/01/2007
4791 Days Ago

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From Message

3/02/2007
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From Message

5/02/2007
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From Message
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From Message
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16/08/2007
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From Message
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5/10/2007
4524 Days Ago

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Saturday, March 27th 2004

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Houses

After breakfast we looked at a couple of houses for sale in the area. This one in Riverview street which was expected to bring $850000...

And this one in Tambourine Bat Road which looked like the same vintage as Mother's house.

Election

Local Government Elections today. So I voted.

Beach

The last time I visited Bob, I did a bit of exploring afterwards and found a nice spot at Collaroy Beach where I had lunch. So today I suggested we go there, and we did. We bought fish and chips (without fish), and sat on a seat on the far right of this picture...

Then we walked around to the rocky end of the beach and Yuko discovered some seaweed...

Being Japanese, she had to investigate whether it was edible...

The we went out near the wavey part of the Earth and watched the rock fisherman catching tiny fish.

From Message
Anonymous
28/03/2004
5810 Days Ago
Was the weed consumed? Perhaps it should be smoked.

From Message
Webmaster
29/03/2004
5809 Days Ago
Well, we had sukiyaki on Sunday and it had some stuff in it that looked quite similar to the weed on the beach! But I think I prefer not to know.

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Friday, March 26th 2004

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Funeral

We went to Mother's house a bit early to help her with the catering. We were not expecting a huge crowd so it was just a couple of plates of crackers and dip, and a bun.

We were allowed to park right outside the chappel, which saved Mother from having to walk a great distance.

In typical Japanese style, Yuko took pictures...

A person's popularity in life is reflected in the number of people who turn up for their funeral. Bob attracted a crowd of seven, which is about right.

The guy who spoke was John Truman. He's the same guy who spoke at my father's funeral in 1996. This was just a coincidence as we didn't ask for him in particular.

He had visited Mother a couple of days ago to get some background about Bob's life. However, I felt that his speech was a bit rambling as if he didn't really have enough to work with. Later I suggested to Mother that she should have told John the story about the car accident. I thought this would have made for a more interesting speech. But she didn't, and so John didn't tell it. I suspect though that he might not have chosen to tell it anyway. I'll tell it here...

One day back in 1999, when Bob was still able to get around, he was crossing the road near his flat at Lane Cove, when a car came around the corner and ran him down! The driver was a Chinese woman about 35 years old. Bob was pretty badly injured. He had a few broken bones, cuts, bruises and some damaged internal organs. He was critical for several weeks and we didn't think he'd survive. However, he surprised everyone by making an almost complete recovery over the following months.

However, the worst thing for him was not the physical injury. The woman who had run him down was so sorry for what she had done that she wanted to become his friend. She would visit him in hospital and then when he finally went home, she kept visiting him there too. But Bob didn't like her. He just found her irritating and wanted her to leave him alone.

He also found it embarrassing that she would hold his hand when he was in hospital. He was worried what people would think seeing him with a much younger woman! Eventually she stopped pestering him although I don't know how the breakup occurred.

The crowds poured out of the chappel...

And we went back to Mother's place. Yuko had to prepare for work so she went home. That left just six of us: Betty and Bruce, Pat and Kevin (the neighbours) and Mother and me.

I made the tea and coffee and we sat around the table eating and chatting.

Eye

I had to drive Mother in to Macquarie Street at 3.30pm to get her eye checked. This time I dropped her there and she came back by ferry. I picked her up later at Woolwich. Her eye is still good.

XXXXXX

XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXXX XX XX XXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXX XX XXXXX XXXXX XXX X XXXXX XXXX XX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX

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Thursday, March 25th 2004

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XXXXXXX

XXX XXXXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXX X XXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXX XX XXXX XXXXXXXXXX X XXXX XX XXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXXXX XXX XXX X XXXXXX XXX XXXXXXX XXXX X XXXXXX XXXX XX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX X XXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XX XXXXX XX XX XX XXXX XXXXXXX X XXXXXXX XXX XX XXXXX XXX XXX XXXXXXX X XXXX XXXXXX

XXXXXX XXXXXXX

XXXX XXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XX XXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXX XXXXXX XX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXX X XXXXXXXXXX

XXX XXXXXXXX XXX XXX XXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XX X XXXXX XXXXX XXX XX XXXXXXX XX X XXXXX XXX XX XXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXXX XX XXXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX XXX XX XX XXXX XXXX XX XXXX

Piker

I'm hoping the deal with the Piker will go down tomorrow. However, there's no firm intelligence to act as the basis for firm plans. The only certainty is that the carrier pigeons can not be trusted and the drop will have to be done the old-fashioned way. We'll probably use a brown paper bag, a public phone and a password.

Epitome

We decided to go to Epitome for dinner because Yuko hasn't been there for a while. We sat out on the balcony as usual and got tipsy. The candles have improved since last time when we had some problems.

From Message
John Brown
26/03/2004
5813 Days Ago
Dont u think you should drink less?

From Message
Webmaster
26/03/2004
5813 Days Ago
I'm too drunk to know.

From Message
Dubious
27/03/2004
5812 Days Ago
How can you expect a deal with a shady character known as the Piker will even go through. What if he lives up to his name ?

From Message
GDB
27/03/2004
5812 Days Ago
Where is Friday? Are you drunk (again), or dead?

From Message
Webmaster
27/03/2004
5812 Days Ago
As a regular reader, you should know that the weekend postings are often delayed due to drunkenness, decadence, debauchery, apathy and laziness ...

From Message
Webmaster
27/03/2004
5812 Days Ago
Regarding the Piker... Yes, it appears he has lived up to his name. The deal has been "postponed". I might need outline my position to him. I usually use hired goons for such situations as they have a way of explaining things which seems to be very effective.

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Wednesday, March 24th 2004

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Epitome Delinquent

At Epitome, a small girl went around picking up all the table numbers and salt shakers and placing them all on one table. The girl's mother seemed totally engrossed in a conversation with her friend at the table next to mine and was either unaware of, or unconcerned about her daughter's behaviour.

When Patricia came out she was a bit confused to see all the numbers on one table! However, she said that it has happened a few times.

I took a picture of the delinquent's handiwork using the video camera. However, as I don't have the right card reader (MMC) I can't post it here.

Bob

I went to see our solicitor at 2.30pm regarding Bob's will. It was fairly simple, but he has to send some letters off, and I have to wait for some documentation before the finanaces can be finalised.

The notice appeared in today's SMH...

TT Debacle

XXXXX organised an evening of TT at NSLC with XXXX and XXXXXXX

However, when we got there, we discovered that the table was unavailable due to a competition. I also noticed that XXXXX is now carrying a brick with a built-in phone! I expressed disdain at this.

As we were leaving we ran into Kevin Harding who kissed one of us! (Fortunately not me). Kevin mentioned to me that my nemesis, the errant female I mentioned earlier, was once again in the building! I therefore decided to take exit ASAP.

XXXX

XXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXX XX XXXXX XXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XX XXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXX XX XXXXXXX XX XX XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XX XXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XX XXXXXX XX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX

It appears that my bachelor lifestyle of decadence and debauchery must soon come to an end...

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Tuesday, March 23rd 2004

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Epitome

The staff at Epitome were curious about Yuko's absence. I told them the reason. Patricia said it's nice to be alone sometimes. I agreed, but asked her not to tell Yuko!

XX XXXXXXXX

X XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXXX

Bob

Mother told me that Betty and Bruce are coming to the funeral and that she's going to have a gathering afterwards. So I said I'd go over on Thursday to help her prepare.



Nothing else happened.

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Monday, March 22nd 2004

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Bob

10.00am

At 8.40am Mother called me to say that Bob has passed away. The Nursing home called her last night.

Bob's life was effectively over anyway as he was confined to bed and on an oxygen machine 24x7. When I saw him last week he said he was very unhappy at the prospect of spending the rest of his life in those circumstances.

We are glad his suffering has ended.

1.00pm

After calling the nursing home and speaking to Mother, I arranged an appointment at a funeral home at 11am. I called one at Chatswood but was diverted to their branch at Warrawee because the Chatswood office is closed today.

I picked Mother up at 10.30am and we drove up to Warrawee. On the way there Mother told me some more details about what happened. Apparently Bob had an episode of breathlessness. He recovered from that and asked for a beer. The staff gave him something to drink and then he just slipped into a coma and died soon after.

It turns out that the building housing the funeral home (Simplicity Funerals) is the place that used to be the Sea Chef restaurant. I remember doing a gig there with my band in about 1985.

We made all the arrangements with Angela, the woman I had spoken to on the phone. The funeral will be on Friday at 10.15am and Northern Suburbs Crematorium. A notice will be in Wednesday's SMH.

After that we went to the Coonanbarra cafe at Waroonga and had lunch.

Now I have to inform the Department of Verterans' Affairs, the bank etc. And as I am the executor of his will, I'll have to see the solicitor at Lane Cove who has the original in his files.

6pm

I've made an appointment to see our solicitor on Wednesday.

In the afternoon I drove over to Collaroy. First I went to the chemist shop to pay Bob's pharmacy bill, and then to the nursing home to pick up Bob's belongings. It amounted to two large plastic bags of stuff. They also gave me a photo they had taken a few days ago...

And here is Bob and his young nephew (me) some time around 1964...

From Message
Mole
22/03/2004
5816 Days Ago
Sorry to read the news about Bob. Condolences to you and your family.

From Message
Webmaster
22/03/2004
5816 Days Ago
Thank you Mr Mole.

From Message
The Piker
22/03/2004
5816 Days Ago
Condolences on the passing of your Uncle.

From Message
Webmaster
22/03/2004
5816 Days Ago
Thank you Mr Piker.

From Message

8/11/2006
4856 Days Ago

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2/12/2006
4832 Days Ago

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5/10/2007
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From Message
chase freedom credit card
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From Message
A Poster
29/05/2008
4288 Days Ago
Due to excessive comment spam, messages must await approval by the Webslave (Noswonky) before being displayed.

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A Poster
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4248 Days Ago
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4168 Days Ago
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Sunday, March 21st 2004

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XXXX

XXXX XXXXXX XX XX XXXXX XXX XX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXX XX XXXX XX XXX XX X XXXX XX XXX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX XX XXXXX X XXX XX XXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX X XXXXXXXXX XXX XX X XXXXXX X XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXX X XXXXXXX XXXXX X XXXXX XXXXX XX XXXXXXXXX XX XXXX XX XXX XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX

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Saturday, March 20th 2004

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NSLC

I remembered that I hadn't paid my membership renewal for North Sydney Leagues Club, despite getting a reminder in the mail a few weeks ago. So I decided to go over there at about 12:30 to pay it.

After parking my car on the ground level, I noticed another car nearby which was familiar to me. It was the car of XX XXXXXXXXXXXXX X XXX XXX XXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXX XX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXXXXXXX XXX XXXX XX XXXX XXXXXXXXXX I felt quite apprehensive entering the building lest I should encounter the errant female.

Fortunately, I didn't see her today.

XXXX

XXXX XXXXXX XX XXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXX XXXXX XXXX X XX XXXXX XX X XXXXX XXXX XXX

Ed

In the evening I watched four episodes of The Ed Sullival Show on DVD. They are the four on which the Beatles appeared in 1964 and 1965. It was fascinating to see the complete shows as originally broadcast, even with the original commercials.

One of the commercials was for something I've never seen before - Instant Tea. I don't mean tea bags. This was a powder just like instant coffee that you disolve in hot water. I guess it didn't catch on.

It was also interesting to see how bad some of the other acts were and how bad Ed Sullivan was as a host. His command of the English language was only slightly better than Molly Meldrum.

Some of the other acts were interesting:

  • Frank Gorshin (The Riddler in Batman) did a great impressionist act. His Marlon Brando was superb.
  • Morecambe and Wise, did a fairly weak routine, well below their usual standard.
  • Mitzi Gaynor showed her arse and sang pretty well too!
  • Cab Calloway (aged 57 at the time) made the Beatles look like amateurs.

And The Beatles...
Their performances were sloppy and amateurish. John in particular kept forgetting the words in a couple of songs. But hey, they were The Beatles.

Guitar

After seeing the Beatles stuffing up, I was inspired to pick up my guitar and try to do better. However, it was 2am and I was under the influence of a moderate quantity of red wine... So I may not have quite reached the same standard... Fortunately there was no audience.

From Message
John Smith
22/03/2004
5817 Days Ago
Instant tea - pretty easy, $1.99 @ Woolies (10 bags).

From Message
Webmaster
22/03/2004
5817 Days Ago
Really! I'll check it out.

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Friday, March 19th 2004

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XXXXXXX

X XXXXX XXXX XX XXX XXXXXXX XX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XX XXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXXX X XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XX XXXX XXXXXX XX XXX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XX XXX XXXXXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXX

XX XXX X XXXXX XXXX XX XXX XXXX XX XXX XXX XX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX XX XXXX XX XXXX XXXXX X XXX XXXXXXXX XXX XXXX XX XXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXX XXXX XX XX XXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXX XXX XXXX XX XXXX XX XX XXXXX XXXXX XXX XXX XXXXX

Badminton

I then went to Badminton and played with XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX and XXXXXX Some good games were had, and someone said congratulations for "graduating".

Mother

After badminton I had to rush home, have a shower and then go and pick Mother up to drive her into the city to have her eye-patch taken off. I managed to park in the stree directly across the road from the doctor's rooms. Mother's appointment was for 3pm but the place I parked was due to become a clearway at 3.30pm. So It was a bit uncertain whether I would have to leave while Mother was with the doctor. Fortunately, she got out at 3.20pm and we were laughing.

Not only that....

Mother said she now has perfect sight in that eye. She demonstrated this by counting the legs on ants on the road as we drove home! It seems she now has better vision than I do. How humiliating!

XXXXX XXXXX

XXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXX XXXXX XXX XXX XXXXXX XX XX XXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXX XX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXX X XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX XX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX X XXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX X XXXX XXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX

From Message
Anonymous
24/03/2004
5815 Days Ago
Glad the operation went well for your mother

From Message
Webmaster
24/03/2004
5815 Days Ago
Thank you Mr Anonymous.

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Thursday, March 18th 2004

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Eye Operation

Mother's Cataract operation was today. My alarm woke me up at 5.30am. At 5.45am I called Mother to make sure she was awake, picked her up at 6.15am, and we got to the eye hospital at 6.40am.

She checked in and the nurse said she was first on the list and that the operation would only take about an hour. So I decided not to go home, but to stay in the city. I therefore went to a coffee shop near Martin Place and had breakfast.

At about 9am I returned to the hospital and pretty soon the nurse took me to see Mother in the recovery area.

As it was only a local anaesthetic, she was quite alert. She said she'd been talking to the surgeon during the operation and she could see through the eye while it was being operated on.

She got dressed and then we had to go to a waiting area to wait for them to prepare some medications for her to take home. However, this took lonker than the actual operation! I think we were there at least an hour!

Fortunately there was a box full of featureless teddy bears to play with...

There was an old Chinese woman there who had just had the same operation. Most of the nurses were also Chinese so the woman was hassling them in Mandarin. She told me (in English) that I was a good son, but I already knew that.

We got out at about 10.45am. The parking cost $48! That's the most I've ever paid for parking, but I don't know how we could have avoided it as Mother is unable to walk very far.

We went back to our place for a cup of coffee with Yuko and talked about the operation and related stuff.

I have to take Mother back tomorrow to have the patch removed. She should be able to see a whole new world that she didn't know existed!

Eye Glasses

Yuko got a new pair of glasses today. They are the nifty ones with a flexible frame and lenses that darken in the sun. I dropped her at Chatswood to pick them up and then we met up at St. Leonards for lunch.

Baby

We asked Vanessa (one of my CELTA colleagues) by email whether she would like to fill in as the teacher of Yuko's class next week. However, she replied that she's a bit too busy because she's got one of these...

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Wednesday, March 17th 2004

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Bob

The news I had for Bob was basically that the Department of Verterans' Affairs has no intention of helping him and, contrary to his belief, never did. So I was hoping it wasn't true. I therefore made another phone call to the DVA and asked the same questions to another person. But the answers were the same...

So I got my documents together, and with a sense of foreboding, jumped in the car and headed for Narrabeen.

When I arrived, Bob was just lying there motionless as usual. I had the camera with me and had intended to take a picture of him. But I just forgot to do it. On previous visits the other three beds in Bob's room have been empty. But today there were two other guys in the room. The one next to Bob said hello to me. Bob then asked me to draw the curtain between the beds to block the view of the other guy. The guy indicated in a friendly voice that it was not necessary to draw the curtain. Bob then began hurling verbal abuse at him in a surprising display of hostility. I got the impression they had had a prior dispute of some kind. So I drew the curtain.

I gave him the items Mother had sent, and then I told him the situation with the DVA. Basically he's been expecting the DVA to contact him and say that he can move into the RSL Nursing Home, which is supposed to be better than where he is. But it's just a complete fantasy! The DVA doesn't do that, and the RSL home is just like the one he's in. I didn't say it like that of course. But I told him that we'd been to the RSL home a few weeks ago and that it was really no better than this place.. and that there's no cost advantage either... I was surprised that he took it quite well.

Then he said some bad things about his sister (Mother), but I just listened and nodded without expressing much in the way of opinion. I just want to stay neutral. Mother didn't come with me today because she just doesn't like him much. She told me to tell him she wasn't feeling well enough, but he didn't ask why she wasn't there so I didn't have to say anything.

Then he dropped the bombshell, which I'll have to hide...

XX XXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXX X XXX XXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXX XX XXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXX XX XXXXX XXX XX X XXXX XXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXX XX XXXX XX XXXXXXXX XXX XX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX

XX XXXXX X XXXXXX XXXX XX X XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXX XX XXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XX XXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXX XX XXXXXXXX XXXX XX XX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXXXXX XX XX XXX XXXXXXXXX XXXX X XXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XX XXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXX XXXXX

X XXX X XXX XXXXXXX XX XXXXX XXX X XXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XX XXXXX XXXX X XXX XXX XX X XXXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXX XX XXXXXXXXXX XXX XXX XXXXX XX XXX XXXXXX XX XXXX X XXXXXXXXX X XXXXX X XXXXX XXX XX X XXX XX XXXXXXXX

X XXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXX XX XXX XX X XXXXX XXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXX XX XXXXX XXXX XX XX XXXX XX XXXX XXX XXX XXXXX XX XXXXX XX XX XXXXX XX XX XXXX XX X XXXXXX XX XX XXX

Then I got the hell out of there and went to Collaroy Beach to relax and have some lunch by the sea.

Mother

Mother's eye operation is tomorrow. She called to say that the hospital wants her there at 6.45am tomorrow! I'll have to go to bed early.

XXXX

XXXX XX XXXXXXXX

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Tuesday, March 16th 2004

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Bob

I made a few phone calls and came to the conclusion that Mother has completely misunderstood the situation regarding Bob's nursing home. I went to see her and asked her a few questions about what happened before I got involved.

She believed that his current nursing home position was a temporary thing, while he's on the waiting list for a place in a Veterans' Affairs Nursing Home. However, it turns out there is no such thing as a Veterans' Affairs Nursing Home! There is and RSL Nursing Home, which might be what she was talking about, but when I called them they said that Bob is not on their waiting list.

It looks like the DVA has simply helped him to apply for a place in a nursing home and the result was that he got a bed in the place he's in now. It's a permanent place.

I also found out that there's no cost advantage in moving to the RSL home. So I guess he might as well stay where he is, which is good in the sense that it's easier. But he's probably going to freak out when I tell him.

I'd better go and see him tomorrow.

From Message
Lifebook Admirer
16/03/2004
5822 Days Ago
Can you give the hardware specs of Fujiko ? I'm dubious about PornWonky, is it suitable for a workplace with a strong code of internet usage ?

From Message
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Here is the label from the box...

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From Message
Lifebook Admirer
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Ah, the most excellent P-1030. If Steve Jobs didn't own my portable computer heart that is what I'd get. Supremely portable, though the spec is dating a little. Battery life is rumoured to be excellent.

From Message
Webmaster
17/03/2004
5821 Days Ago
It was second hand, but still in the box, more than a year ago.

From Message
Lifebook Admirer
18/03/2004
5820 Days Ago
Out of interest, can you quote approx dollar value ?

From Message
Webmaster
19/03/2004
5820 Days Ago
Yuko paid $1700 about 18 months ago in a second-hand shop.

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29/10/2007
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Monday, March 15th 2004

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Bob

I went to the bank to try to take control of Bob's account by using my Power of Attorney. But they said I need to get Bob's signature on a form! I thought the whole point of the POA was that I can sign for him. I'll have to drive over to Collaroy to get his signature again! So what is the point ot the POA???

I also did a lot of reading about aged care etc. It's a minefield of red tape.

...

Not much else happened.

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Sunday, March 14th 2004

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Odd Encounter

We were a bit late leaving to go to breakfast and Yuko was scheduled to have a lesson with Mother at 11.30. So when Yuko went to her lesson, I stayed at the cafe for a while. She took the car and I walked home later.

While I was walking home I had an encounter with an old man. He was probably about 80 and he was walking up Tambourine Bay Road as I was walking down. He stopped me and engaged me in coversation in a manner which suggested he knew me. He asked me if I'd been to the "Irish Day", and where I'd just been. I told him I didn't know about the Irish day and that I'd been shopping up at Lane Cove (which was almost true). He asked me whether the fish shop was open. He then launched into a long description of a concert he'd been to at the Leagues Club. He told me some very detailed info about the bus routes and schedule so that I'd know how to get there.

I think he was a bit loopy and thought he knew me.

Or maybe I actually do know him and I'm the one who's loopy!

Mother

Dinner at Mother's house. She made a nice curry and I learned a new word - "gyve" which is the last "g" word in the Concise Macquarie Dictionary.

She made coffee and put some of this flavouring in it.

After we'd finished the coffee I noticed that there were ants crawling all over the bottle. I washed them off, but then noticed some black specks inside the bottle. They are visible in the picture. Close examination revealed that they were drowned ants!

Have you seen...

This person?

This picture was on display in Mother's house!

Web

I finally installed the modified Noswonky Home Page. The main changes are...

  • A Different Look (But is it any better???)
  • HonWorthy - A new section for miscellaneous stuff in a blog-like format. Currently it just has the old stuff.
  • The Table Tennis page now has a slightly new look and a scroll of condolence.
  • PornWonky - A new page of explicit pornography.

From Message
Laughing Mole
15/03/2004
5823 Days Ago
I see you have added PornWonky to your page. That is an abomination. (Not that there's anythingwrongwith that.) I hope you have not included any disgusting images like this one, or you will surely burn in hell!

From Message
Webmaster
15/03/2004
5823 Days Ago
Mr Mole,

Thank you for pointing out the errors of my ways, but I assure you there are no images on PornWonky as disgusting as those for which you have provided links. However, I am quite sure that if hell exists I will burn there for eternity anyway. My only comfort is that I know the names of the others who will be there with me.

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Saturday, March 13th 2004

[ Link to this entry ]

TEJ

TEJ was originally supposed to start today. I probably hid the entry a while back where I recorded the fact that we had decided to quit TEJ. So I should mention that we decided to quit TEJ. Therefore, it didn't start today.

Jazz

A jazz trio (Bass, Guitar, Sax) was playing in the plaza while we had breakfast...

And Yuko played with Fujiko...

Houses

In the afternoon we looked through four houses which were for sale in our area. Two were in Mother's street, one in Flaumont and on in Kallaroo. The one in Flaumont (No. 26), which is only about 30 metres from the edge of our property, was advertised as having water views from the top level. But it was a sigle storey house! I looked at the pamphlet and it had a picture of the water view with the caption: "View from roof".

The two places in Mother's street were vastly different. One was a bit of a dump on a fairly small battleaxe block and they were asking $850,000. The other was a completely renovated mansion on a small battleaxe block. The ad said "as new" and in this case it was justified. They were asking $1.3Mil. As it was so close to Mother's house we parked in her driveway and invited her to come with us.

We decided not to buy it because the garage was detached from the house and we'd get wet when it rains!

Dinner

We invited Keiko and Edwin to dinner at Epitome. We had a table out on the balcony and it was an enjoyable evening. At least two lobsters died and Yuko spoke English almost exclusively, both of which are good things.

Edwin told us a few stories about Keiko that we didn't know about before, but I'd better not repeat them here.

Edwin and Keiko Dorothy and Toto

Keiko gave me the payment for the translation work. I was only expecting enough to pay for a cup of coffee, but in fact I could get two large cappuccinos and still have some change! And there was chocolate too!

Keiko said she has a larger project for me next - fifteen pages.

Web Server

I've been getting close to my space limit on the Noswonky.com web server. So I was thinking I'd have to start deleting pictures from the older blog entries. However, when I checked I discovered that the web server company has doubled the space quota! So I can post pictures willy nilly for the forseeable future.

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Friday, March 12th 2004

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Slug

Look what I found on the carpet this morning...

I squashed it (not on the carpet). The silvery trail led back into Yuko's office so I didn't follow it to it's source.

IE

I was playing with a Microsoft product and discovered some settings relating to what IE can display were incorrect. So I updated them as follows...

Category Old Setting New Setting
Language Inoffensive slang; no profanity Extreme hate speech or crude language. Explicit sexual references
Nudity No nudity Provocative display of frontal nudity.
Sex No sexual activity portrayed. Romance. Explicit sexual activity.
Violence No aggressive violence; no natural or accidental violence. Wanton and gratuitous violence.

This change has opened up a whole new aspect of the world wide web that has previously been unavailable to me. I stongly recommend all IE users to update their settings.

Just follow these simple instructions:
Tools Menu ... Internet Options ... Content Tab ... Content Advisor Enable
Then select each category in turn and move the slider all the way to the right.
Then go to the General Tab and click "Users can see sites that have no rating".
Click OK.

Enjoy!

Fujiko

Fujiko went back to the original doctor today. The treatment was successful at last. I hope this is the end of the story!

Bokkemon

While Fujiko was receiving treatment we went to Bokkemon at Crows Nest. It's where the sushi chef from Ponto Cho is now working. However, although we had booked, we were 20 minutes late (because of Fujiko) and they had given our table to someone else! So we had to go to a Thai place a couple of doors down. It was called.... well I've forgotten what it was called but it had won an award for the fifth best Thai restaurant in Crows Nest... or maybe it was Australia... whatever. It was quite good.

Norm Stuffs Up

Norm's usual seven emails were a bit late this week. They just arrived (11pm). But he stuffed up again. Instead of seven different divisions, he sent me two copies of one division and five copies of another.

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Thursday, March 11th 2004

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A bastard of a day...

Fujiko

Our celebration of Fujiko's good health was premature. When Yuko tried installing Japanese Windows, she discovered that the CD drive didn't work. It seemed that the driver wasn't installed, and this led to a catch 22 situation. We needed to install the driver from CD or the internet. But we couldn't install from CD because the CD drive didn't work... and we couldn't connect to the internet without installing the wireless network driver from CD!

Err.....

So Yuko took Fujiko back to the doctor. Actually, that was yesterday. They installed the driver but confirmed that the CD drive didn't work. I suspected that it might be because we were using the wrong power adapter (The original adapter has been lost). We were using one that puts out 4.5V instead of the required 6V.

So... a trip to Dick Smith's after breakfast to buy a 6V adapter. Yuko then took it to Fujiko's doctor. It worked! Yuko was very happy and brought Fujiko home again.

But yet again our celebrations were premature...

While installing Japanese Windows, Fujiko stops recognising the drive. Is it because the driver was installed under English Windows (which is the OS being replaced)? I think this is the case because just when it gets to the point where it starts displaying all the prompts in Japanese, it starts looking for the CD on the USB port instead of the SCSI. Of course we don't have a USB drive!

I hate PCs.
I hate Microsoft

They bring nothing but pain, frustration, destruction of the soul, humiliation, confusion and ultimately, death. Mark my words grasshopper; the human race faces certain doom if we continue down this futile path!

The end is nigh!
The end is nigh!
The end is nigh!

Deal

A former colleague offered to liberate me of some cash by taking advantage of my weakness for shiny white gadgets. Of course I succummed. However, the deal is not yet confirmed.

Epitome

I prepared a map to help Keiko and Edwin find Epitome on Saturday (assuming the world does not end until at least Sunday)...

Well... I've got time! I emailed this map (a larger version) to Keiko today.

She also want's some advice about buying a digital camera. I told her that Nikon sucks and that Canon is good. (Note: This endorsement extends only to Canon cameras) She's considering an "IXY 30" which is a Japanese model number. Unfortunately I don't know the equvalent IXUS model number in Australia.

Prime Minister

Our translation of the Prime Minister's (not JohnH, the other guy) email magazine was almost complete and Yuko wanted to send it tonight.

But then at 11pm when it was almost ready to send, an English version appeared on the PM's web site! We felt like spewing.

Yes, it was indeed a bastard of a day!

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Wednesday, March 10th 2004

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XXXXXXXXXX

X XXXXXXX XXXX XX XXXXX XXX XXX XXXXXX XX XXXX XX XXX XXXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXX XXXXXX XX XXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXX

Starry Night

Because of what happened yesterday, I figured I should start getting astronomical again. So I downloaded a trial version of Starry Night. It's an impressive piece of software. It even models precession (which probably isn't that hard) and the propper motion of stars. I let it run at at high speed up to about the year 8000 and the motions of the nearer stars became quite obvious.

Example images...

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Tuesday, March 9th 2004

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XX

X XXXX XXX XXX XXXXXXXXX XX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXXX X XXXX XXXX X XXX XXXXX XXX XXX XXXXX XXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXX XX XXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXX XX XXX XXXX XX XXX XXXXXXX XX XXXXX XXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXXX XX XXX XXXXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXXXXX XXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XX XXXXX XXX XX XXXX XX XX XXXX XXXX X XXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXX XX XXXXXXXXX XXXXX XX XXXXX XXXX X XXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXX XX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX X XXXX XX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXX XX XX XXXX XXXXXX XX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXXX X XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXX XXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXX

XXXXX X XXX XX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX X XXXXXXXX X XXX XX XXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XX XXX XXXX XX XXXXX XXX XXXX X XXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXX XXX XX XXX XXXXX XX XXXXXX XX XXXX XXXXX XX XXXX XX XXX XXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XX XXXX XXXXXX XX XXX XXX XXXXXXX XX XXXX XX XXXXXXXXX XX X XXX XX XXX XXX

Fujiko

Fujiko is home after her long illness! Yuko picked her up at Chatswood today. Actually Yuko says that Fujiko was dead, so this is her resurection. We went out to celebrate at Colours of Thai at Mosman. We are now fat pigs!

Yuko is now rummaging around trying to locate the Japanese Windows installation CDs.

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Monday, March 8th 2004

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XX XXXXXXXX

XX XXX XXXXXXX X XXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXX X XXXXXX XX XXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XX XXXXX XX XXX XXXX XXXX XX XXXXXXXXX XXXX X XXXXX XX XXXXXXX XX X XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXXX XX XXXXX XXX XXX XX XXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXXX

CELTA

My CELTA Certificate arrived today by registered post...

Dog

While I was sitting out on the back patio writing this blog, a golden labrador appeared in the garden. I tried to get a picture, but the animal left before I could get the camera.

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Sunday, March 7th 2004

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Movie

We went with Mother to see "Passion of the Christ".

It's the story of a guy who runs a small business manufacturing cutting edge furniture for rich clients. However, his mother thinks he should get a real job, so he goes into politics. Although he has a knack for public speaking, his political career runs into problems and he discovers too late that he probably should have stuck to carpentry as there is a lucrative market for big wooden crosses.

There was one scene where there was some serious physical abuse happening and one guy said something that seemed more in the "Life of Brian" genre. At this point Mother laughed out loud making a spectacle of herself!

Web

In the evening I spent some time revamping the Noswonky home page. It's been pretty much unchanged for a long time and I'm getting bored with it. There will be some reformatting and a couple of new links.

Feel free to quiver with anticipation.

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Saturday, March 6th 2004

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Fujiko

Before lunch we went to Chatswood to take Fujiko to the specialist doctor...

Fujiko will be there for a few days before we'll know if the surgery will be successful.

Epitome

We decided to have lunch instead of breakfast at Epitome. It was raining and we sat outside under the shelter. Yuko had intended to have the Risotto special, but it's only available Monday to Thursday. So she had something disgusting instead...

Watch Studio

As Yuko is going to Japan later this month, it's time to prepare some watches for listing at Anti-Watch Man. So, as it was cloudy which gives good natural lighting, we decided to do some watch photography.

After some unsuccessful experiments using a tripod, I discovered that I could get much better results by hand-holding the camera. I also made a reflector to even out the lighting. Thus, the "studio" looked like this...

The goal is to get six pictures of each watch showing it from various angles. Any critical markings such as logos on the watch or the band should be shown. Like this...

Here's a reject image...

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Friday, March 5th 2004

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Mother

After breakfast I drove Mother to the city for a doctor's appointment in Macquarie Street. The plan was that I would drop her there and then go and play badminton. She would catch the ferry back to Woolwich and I'd pick her up there after badminton.

The plan worked pretty well, but Mother is still not very skilled at using the mobile phone. She called me at home at about 1.50pm and left a message on the machine, but she forgot to hang up. This resulted in a very long message being recorded consisting mainly of background noises.

Badminton

I arrived at Mac Uni quite early, so I did a bit of exercise while waiting by walking around the grounds. I found an emu and a kangaroo in a fenced area not far from the road.

Attendance has improved. We had 5 players today. They were: XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX and XXXXX It's been a few months since I've seen XXXXX and she looked a bit different (thinner). Of course I'm not saying that she was fat before!

Capitanos

Yuko wanted to go to Capitanos at North Sydney, so I met her there at 6.45pm. Amazingly, I got the third best parking space in North Sydney.

Fujiko

Fujiko is home! We picked her up after Capitanos. Unfortunately, her medical treatment was not successful. We will try another doctor. It that doesn't work, Fujiko is for the scrap heap!

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Thursday, March 4th 2004

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Birthday

Happy birthday Russell!

Trendwest

The Trendwest woman called back this morning to try to arrange another time for us to attend the seminar. I said that I had researched their company and found that they had been involved in deceptive sales practices in the past. Surprisingly, she didn't push very hard after that. She just said that it's a genuine sales promotion and then she repeated the list of free stuff they're offering. But when I said I wasn't interested she let it go.

Epitome

Yuko asked Patricia about her injury. Patricia gave two alternative explanations.

1. Burned by the coffee machine
2. Kinky sex

I guess both are plausible.

Bob

I went to the nursing home and met Mandy (the solicitor) there at 12.00. She explained the Power of Attorney to Bob in some detail and made sure he was of sound mind. He managed to convince her! Then the document was completed and we made a photocopy which Mandy certified. She was very helpful indeed.

Thanks to Marie for arranging this.

With regard to the nursing home bill, I spoke to one of the staff about it. It turns out that the fee which we thought was the only fee is only one of the fees. It has something to do with various government departments subsidising various parts of the cost. Therefore they break it up into bits. I didn't really understand this when it was explained to me verbally so I later searched the web and after some false leads, found the web site which is the font of knowledge for aged care . I'll have to become familiar with the 67 page booklet which explains everything.

Anyway, the outcome is that the total cost is significantly higher than we were led to believe!

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Wednesday, March 3rd 2004

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I.T.

The Public Face of
The I.T. Industry

And there's a web site too!

Note: I actually took this picture a few days ago but didn't get around to posting it then.

Epitome

Patricia has an injury on her belly. Yesterday it was covered by a bandage, but today it was exposed! I have not got a picture of it yet.

Translation

Keiko was very happy with my corrections to the translated document. I look forward to many extra cups of coffee.

Bob

I spoke to the solicitor (Mandy) today and we arranged to meet at the nursing home at noon tomorrow. I will fill in the forms as much as possible in advance. I also purchased the items Bob requested.

Meanwhile, Mother received the second bill from the Nursing Home. She said the price has gone up! I will have to speak to them forcefully and with gusto in my new capacity as P.A.

XX

X XXXX XXXX XXX XX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXX

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Tuesday, March 2nd 2004

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Bob

The solicitor who is Marie's friend called me this morning. She is available to come and witness Bob's signature for the "Enduring Power of Attorney" on Thursday.

But today, Mother and I went to see Bob in the nursing home at Collaroy. I have agreed to become his P.A. I decided I have to do it because it's too physically and mentally draining for Mother to continue. She also wanted me to accept the money from him. So today he wrote me a cheque. Well, actually I had to write it because he's so physically frail that even writing a cheque would be a big effort for him. He was able to sign it but his signature is looking pretty dodgey.

Mother and Bob bickered most of the time we were there. I just sat there and tried to ignore it or change the subject where possible.

Origami

I went into the city to meet Yuko for dinner at Origami. It's a very small place, but I liked it. It's quite cheap too. We sat outside drinking beer and eating the nice food. It was served in an unusual manner...

Neither I nor Yuko has ever seen Japanese food served like this.

Translation

Keiko sent me the translated document to correct (a day earlier than expected). It's only two pages, but it's not as easy as you might think. It's one thing to turn it into good English, but the tricky thing is to turn it into something that has the meaning that was originally intended. Often it's not clear what the writer intended and then you have to make intelligent guesses and do the markup accordingly. Ie: "this part is not clear but I assume it means this..."

Keiko thinks I can earn enough money from this job to buy an extra cup of coffee. Maybe even a mug size!

DVD Debacle

Yesterday I bought a DVD. Actually it's the first DVD I've ever bought because I don't have a player. I've been postponing buying a player until DVD recorders become affordable. A player alone is no replacement for a VCR because I hardly ever buy or rent videos anyway. However, I as Fifi has a DVD burner, I am now able to play DVDs.

Unfortunately, I failed to notice when I made the purchase that the security tag thingy had not been removed. So when I got home and tried to open it, there was a bit of a problem. First I couldn't open the case, and even when I got it open, that damn red security thingy stopped me from extracting the disc! I got it out eventually, but the case did not survive...

Fortunately, the disc was not damaged and I watched it late in the evening with external speakers and red wine...

He's an ugly bastard isn't he! (The one on the screen)

Scam

we were supposed to attend the Trendwest seminar tonight, but we didn't. I expect to get a call from them asking why we didn't turn up.

From Message
Anonymous
13/09/2006
4912 Days Ago
My name was giving to TrendWest by a friend that actually signed up with them. The hounding phone calls should have been my first red flag. Eventually I was enticed in with "free" gifts: $60 gas card, a weekend getaway, and a $100 on-line shopping certificate (this by itself is a scam too- they send you to their website where all you have to choose from is a list of their stuff. It's all JUNK!! And they make YOU pay for the "shipping and handling", which is actually what you might pay for this junk in any discount store. I am in sales myself, I went in with an attitude of "I'm not going to buy ANYTHING, I'm just here for the "free" stuff and information". The whole process was unlike anything I've ever experienced. They were GOOD!!!! It didn't seem like I was being sold anything. These were all my friends that wanted to help me "enlighten" my life through travel. I even told the people several times that I was just here for information. Cut to me 30 minutes later signing a $12,000 contract for something that I don't need, and was never in the market for in the first place. It turns out that the finance charge alone is actually more than the purchase price, which in their right state of mind would ever buy something for $20,000 when it's only worth $10,000 (if that). They were all coming around high-fiving me and congratulated me, yes, congratulations on me giving you my $1,000 down payment. Can we say MANIPULATION!!!!!!! That evening I went home, still in the natural "high" feeling that I got from all my "friends" at Trendwest. Cut to me later in the evening after a few glasses of Pinot Grigio. "Did I just incur a $10,000 debt, oh I'm sorry, I mean a $20,000 debt?" Reality was setting in. I did the calculations; this is actually costing me more than what I would ever spend on vacations in a year. I felt bamboozled. I woke up on Sunday, thinking it was all a dream, nope! On Monday I was quick to the fax machine after filling out the recission form. It's a good thing that the State of California has required them to attach this precious form to the front of the mounds of paperwork. My recommendation is to stay away from these "Timeshare Money pits". They even stated several times, plan early, and be very flexible where and when you want to go. Yes, that sounds like a relaxing time trying to plan a vacation. PEOPLE: Go on your vacation on your own terms, go where YOU want to go WHEN you want to go, in the long run it is less money and less hassle.

From Message
Webslave
13/09/2006
4911 Days Ago
I think I know who you are. M?

From Message
Matthew Wadwell
18/09/2006
4907 Days Ago
G'Day Peter,

Who is "M"?
Apart from a fellow worker to James Bond?

From Message
Webslave
19/09/2006
4905 Days Ago
A player on ChesSOS.

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Monday, March 1st 2004

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Trendwest

We have beet targeted by a scam... or perhaps it's just a scheme...

A few days ago I got a call from one of those annoying tele-marketers. She wanted to give us a free holiday, so I listened to the blurb. Basically we have to attend a 90 minute seminar and then they will give us the free holiday. Obviously they're going to try to sell us something, but the woman was adamant that we would get the holiday as long as we attended the seminar.

So, being a bit curious I agreed to go to the seminar, while still thinking it must be a scam. Maybe they just want to know that we're out of the house so they can rob us. Their office is at Lane Cove...

Anyway, today they called back to confirm our attendance at the seminar. I also got a letter from them. Here it is...

So I decided to do some googling...

It turns out to be a TimeShare scheme. I found several pages on the

web with descriptions of people's experiences at their seminars:

I found some bad reports of Trendwest's run-ins with the law in the US including, from California:

Trendwest to settle deceptive practices case .

And then in Australia, including a media release on the ASIC website entitled:

Timeshare seller provides undertakings to the Federal Court

I quote...

ASIC began proceedings in the Federal Court, alleging that Trendwest was engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, and unconscionable conduct in relation to its sales practices.

To be fair, this was November 2002 and, as the article says, Trendwest made undertakings to reform their practices at that time. However, it's pretty clear that if we go to the seminar tomorrow night we will be bombarded with a high pressure sales pitch for 90 minutes!

Do we really want that?

Bob

Mother called to say that Max (Marie's husband) is a J.P. and is willing to go with us to see Bob and to act as a witness for Bob to grant me Power of Attorney. However, I then read the blurb in the info pack and it turns out that it has to be witnessed by a solicitor. Marie then volunteered the services of a soclicitor friend of hers.

Anyway, we're going to see Bob tomorrow so we can't organised it for this visit. We'll just tell him about it and arrange it for another day.

Found Some Translation

Keiko called to say she has a small translation job for me. She will email it on Wednesday and I have to send it back by the evening.

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