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Thursday, 14 February 2019 Dereel Images for 14 February 2019
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Protected bacon
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Yvonne brought home a new kind of bacon from Woolworths yesterday. It's called “Traditional Smoked British Style Back Bacon”, with the clarification “Australian Made The British Way”:

 
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That sounded good: “bacon” in Australia is very different from bacon in the UK, where they typically use pork belly (“streaky bacon”). But this was a different beast, much leaner, and very well protected. To get at it at all I needed scissors and a knife, and even then I had my difficulties:


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The result was a completely destroyed package, so I needed a new bag to put it in.

And the result? Boring. Given that this is in 200 g packages (normally we buy by the kilogram), I'd expect that it's also expensive. That's the last time.


More phone spam
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

It seems that some non-obvious configuration change that I did to my phone setup has resulted in me finally getting emails with voice mail from my main phone number, which is on permanent auto-answer to discourage spammers. In my mail today:

 112   + 13-02-2019 Voicemail  To Greg Lehey   (5403)   + Voicemail Message From "0414109081" <0414109081>
 115   + 13-02-2019 Voicemail  To Greg Lehey   (5468)   + Voicemail Message From "0371211942" <0371211942>
 116   + 13-02-2019 Voicemail  To Greg Lehey   (5468)   + Voicemail Message From "0405417099" <0405417099>
 118   + 13-02-2019 Voicemail  To Greg Lehey   (5462)   + Voicemail Message From "0217231932" <0217231932>
 122   + 14-02-2019 Voicemail  To Greg Lehey   (5439)   + Voicemail Message From "0351472123" <0351472123>
 125   + 14-02-2019 Voicemail  To Greg Lehey   (5427)   + Voicemail Message From "0438956588" <0438956588>
 131   + 14-02-2019 Voicemail  To Greg Lehey   (5427)   + Voicemail Message From "0438956588" <0438956588>

I don't recognize any of the numbers, but I still need to listen to them. They're all the same! An auto-spam caller which conveniently leaves out the identification of who they are. Clearly the faked phone numbers don't help.


Another bloody migraine!
Topic: health, opinion Link here

Another migraine today. Clearly something has changed, and I need to do something about it. It started after I stopped taking my daily low-dose aspirin, so an obvious solution is to start taking aspirin again. As they say, for any complicated problem there's a solution that's obvious, simple, elegant... and wrong.

Tried to get an appointment with Paul Smith, but he's booked out until this time next week, so I have an appointment with Dr. Geoff/Jeff tomorrow at noon.


Leonid's progress
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

Leonid still doesn't want to stay outside the house alone, but is happy enough when we're there with him. So is he afraid of kangaroos? Today we went walking to the „Große Linde“ (really a conifer) and saw a mob of kangaroos. No, Leo was all for chasing them. That's not the answer.

And then in the evening he had trouble eating. Yvonne tells me that he took a bite of chicken frame, then yelped and spat it out. Throat obstruction? Seems unlikely over such a period. We gave him some softer food, which he ate; potentially his throat is just still sore. More observation required.


Toll: we can't be bothered
Topic: general, opinion Link here

On the way back from walking the dogs, found a notification in the letter box:


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That must be my phone. Damn! Did we miss him while walking the dogs? No, the time was clear: 9:50, when I was either in the office or preparing breakfast. So why didn't he ring? Couldn't be bothered? Dammit, this is a priority package!

Called up the number on the card, 1300 865 547, and was asked “Please enter your Commnote number or press * if you don't have one”. What's a Commnote number? Why do they continually use terms that don't appear on any document?

Connected to Jamie, apologized for the non-delivery and told me that I had called the wrong number. But it's the number on the card! No, this is a Toll Priority delivery, different number (131 531). The driver must have left me the wrong card.

She connected me to wait music that was finally ended by a barely intelligible Steve, who wanted to know about a chnbdx, which proved to resolve to “check box”. OK, which check box? The one at top right. There's no box there. OK, is this a new item or one to be delivered? Sometimes I wonder what these people use for brains. In any case, he arranged to have it delivered tomorrow between 8:00 and 17:00 (I think; I really missed a lot of what he was saying), gave me the reference number 07446616 and the suggestion that I put a note on the front door to advise him that we're at home—about the only good thing he said. Of course, it went on the letter box:


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Hopefully that will get the desired results.

What a company! As the Germans would say, ironically, „Toll!“


Friday, 15 February 2019 Dereel Images for 15 February 2019
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More strange voice mail
Topic: general, opinion Link here

After yesterday's phone spam attack, I received another voice mail message today:

 151 N + 14-02-2019 Voicemail            To Greg Lehey   (12656) N + Voicemail Message From "unavailable" <unavailable>

But this one was completely different. It was my sister Bev, calling (as I later discovered) from India to tell me that our mother had died at home in Bendigo on Tuesday.

Damn! I hadn't seen her for quite some time, and I had been paving the way to hell with good intentions. But like with my uncle Max last year, events overtook me. When I later got in contact with my cousin Brendan (Herbert), he told me that she had apparently died, unexpectedly, in her armchair and had been discovered by the chemist who had come by to deliver some medication. The good news is that she went peacefully, and at nearly 95 years old she had had a good life span and also the consolation of not having to go into a nursing home, which she had resisted strongly. She had been going downhill for the last six months. But somehow it's sad that she didn't quite make her 95th birthday (on 12 April).

The whole situation was unexpected enough that her body has been sent to the coroner in Melbourne for investigation, and we don't know when we will see her again.

Other details: she wanted to be buried in Bendigo, and Bev, who will be back home in the UK tomorrow, will try to be there too. There's also a house to clean out, and Bev suggested (thanks, Bev!) that she and I should clean it out together. I wonder what old, worthless treasures we'll find there; at least some of my early documents that she had held on to as souvenirs or something.


Garden work again
Topic: gardening Link here

Mick the gardener along today to do mainly mowing and weeding. He's still not his old self—he may never be—and gave up after four hours, having at least considerably tidied the place up.


Doctor again
Topic: health, opinion Link here

As a result of my migraines over the last 10 days, into town today to see Dr. Geoff, whose full name proves to be Geoffrey Chen. Is it migraine? Let him diagnose.

In the end he decided that I should start taking aspirin again and see how that works out.


New statues?
Topic: general Link here

While in town, dropped into the garden statue place in Wallis St, where indeed they had David statues on sale that made it uninteresting to repair the old one. These ones are twice the height, and have much more detailed features:


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The real question is, do we need one? We never really found a good place for the old one. But I'll have to discuss that with Yvonne.


Phone repaired
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

Back home, and finally my phone had come back, no thanks to Toll, who had caused no fewer than 5 phone calls and lots of frustration dealing with near-humans, with two attempts at each end. The phone was delivered by the same cynophobe who picked it up. Was he so afraid of our dogs that he didn't dare to go to the front door? Then he should look for a different job. And somehow the state of the package seemed to reflect their lack of care:


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Of course the first question was: what had been wrong with the phone? The slip stated:

Replaced lower pcba. Performed software upgrade and FQC functional test. Phone was finally QA tested to manufacturer specifications.

All that looks perfectly understandable. Hardware failure. But there's a fly in the ointment there: the phone was returned with Android 8.0, though the latest version (which I had installed on the old incarnation) is 8.1:


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On the positive side, the phone was still not locked to any network. Maybe this happens automatically if you have a repair, or maybe it is related to some part of the phone that wasn't replaced.

OK, install that, wondering in the process if Google doesn't offer a way of reinstalling the apps previously installed. This should be particularly important if you've paid money for them (something that I have so far resisted). Is the IMEI number the same? Later check: yes, it is. But as it was, after waiting the eternity for the OS upgrade to trickle in and to discover that no further updates were waiting, I just installed the ones I wanted again, giving me the advantage of getting rid of stupid, broken apps like VicEmergency's incident app. And then the phone told me ha ha, only joking, there is another update to load.

How I love Android! If there's one good thing about the iPhone 6, it was to show me the positive sides of Android. But “love” is most certainly not the most appropriate term.


More worries about Leonid
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

Leonid seems normal enough most of the time. But he still doesn't want to be outside by himself. He's fine when we're with him, but if we put him outside by himself, he tries to get back inside as quickly as possible.

We had wondered about this over the last couple of days. Fear of kangaroos? No, he disproved that hypothesis yesterday. But Petra Gietz was here today, and she suggested that it might be magpies. They're quite aggressive, and some have settled in the tree across the road from our house entrance. It seems quite possible that that's the cause.

But that's not the only problem. Feeding him this evening was a problem because it's normally outdoors. So I took him into the garage, where he took a 4 cm cube of beef, apparently swallowed it whole, howled and stopped eating. We couldn't even persuade him to eat soft dog food.

Clearly that's not normal, and it has nothing to do with the magpies. There must be some issue with his throat, but we couldn't see it. We need to get him to a vet tomorrow.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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