” I Regret…”

a. Meeting you. You have proved a disappointment. I laid it all out for you – the mask, the pistol, the map of the bank. Did you take advantage of this? You did not. Begone…

b. Not buying Nedlands land when it was £ 1.00 an acre. Of course this was before I was in the country or even born. But when I see the price that house lots sell for now…my organ of greed swells painfully.

c. Not following the teenage girl into the woods. Well, actually I did follow her into the woods, but I had no idea why she wanted me to go in there, being a stupid teenager at the time. The deserted log cabin she wanted to show me was just an old shack. I looked at it from the outside. I now appreciate her annoyance.

d. Selling the Renault 10. If I had put the damn car up on blocks in a barn with the tyres thrown away and 6 quarts of oil in the crankcase I could pass a cheerful retirement pottering with it. As it was, the 1972 buyer wrapped it around a light pole within six months of the purchase and I can’t bear the thought.

e. Not packing up my first profession and taking up my second one ten years earlier. I was on a hiding to nothing for a decade and it was only my pride that kept me at it. You can be too prissy for your own good.

f. Selling my Leica cameras. Even laid up in ordinary, they would have proved a far better investment than gold.

 

 

Is There A Ford In Your Future?

Possibly, but it won’t be made here. FMC Pty Ltd clapped the doors on their Broadmeadows plant many years ago and now settle for importing whatever they can or can’t sell. The Australian Falcon is no more.

It does no good to be sad about the loss of the jobs or the skills. About the siphoning away of money from the country. About the forced adherence to dependence on computer programs form elsewhere to allow us to drive around here. Sadness butters no turnips, or rice cakes, for that matter. We must be grateful for the good it does.

  1. Less local pollution. All the really appalling mess is elsewhere in the world where regulatory bodies can be silenced by the governments involved.
  2. Less opportunity for the local parts manufacturers to perpetrate fraud on the company, and thence on the public. Oh, there’ll be fraud, corruption, and overcharging, but the moral tone in Victoria will be better for it being done overseas.
  3. The appallingly crass local cars will not be seen any more and the buyers of the imported designs can be fashionable and stylish.

Wait a minute. I owned one of those crass local cars for 15 years and I wasn’t appalled. In fact it was a darned reliable and useful piece of goods. A Falcon ute, it hauled me across the country a half dozen times in safety with enormous loads in the tray. I slept in comfort under the canopy. It moved several families from one house to another. It was a faithful hardware, timber, and grocery hauler. Had it not started to wear out a second head, I would still have it.

We are not as well served by the global market as we might think.

” I Cant Believe It’s Not Butter…”

Be careful. Lack of faith in some cultures leads to being publicly stoned or burnt. If you can’t believe it’s not butter, you may be in danger from a posse of enraged dairy farmers.

Lack of faith in other matters is also serious. We are told constantly on the local old geezer’s radio station that certain advertisers are the most trusted people in their professions – in one case the trade is selling used motor cars and in the other boring holes in jaws and screwing in titanium implants. I note from the advertisements that the catchment area of faith is variable – one claims only Perth as their parish and the other expands the report of their pre-eminence to the whole of the country.

They may well be right, but I have no way of canvassing the entire population to find out if they do, indeed, trust the advertisers. I have to take it on trust…

Note: Didn’t the US government make a concerted effort to bust the trusts in the early part of the 20th century?

Daylight At The DOT

Or Licensing And Testing Centre or whatever it is called. The place where you go to renew your car licence or get a concession on the price.*

I think I have the answer to cutting down road crashes and road rage. All you need to do is set up a license and facial recognition camera pointing at the one-way lane in front of the centre. The one ringed with ” Do Not Enter”, ” One Way “, and ” Go Back ”  signs and arrows leading out of it.

Then clock the plates and faces of the drivers who ignore them and sail blithely up the wrong way to park astraddle two bays in front of the building. As they present themselves inside, match the faces and plates to whatever papers they are trying to shove over the counter. Then put those papers into a bin and set fire to them. Have the car outside towed away and dropped into a compactor. Direct the speechless applicant to the bus stop.

A win-win for us all…

  • I found out that I could get my driving licence free and 50% off the car rego. Triple win.

 

Watching The Slaves Crawl From The Mines

We have road rules here in Western Australia that compel us to slow down to 40 km per hour as we pass salt mines or sweat shops when the slaves are being lead into or released from their confinement. It is generally thought to be for safety purposes in case one of the desperate creatures throws themselves under the car wheels in a bid to end their misery. This would be a major economic loss for their owners, as well as a jolly nuisance for the car driver.

Actually, though, I think it is to allow the people who see them trudging in long, sad lines to enjoy themselves and their own relative freedom from the torture. Nothing makes the heart gladder than the miseries of others, kept at a convenient distance.

The inmates of the slave farms are identifiable by their uniform clothing. The hilarious part of it is that the unattractive garments they are compelled to wear are not provided by the slave owners – the parents of the unfortunates are paying stiff little prices for everything they wear. And the clothing is generally marked so that it cannot be used for other purposes.

Of course there are always some down sides to any cheerful story. In the case of the slaves, some are being taught useful traders so that they can be on-sold after their indentures are completed. When they do successfully learn their trade they become cocky and arrogant. That is when they set the dogs on them.

The part that puzzles me is the provision that is made for guards to keep them from escaping during the transition from the slave factories to their hovels. They do not seem to be armed, apart from a set of flags or a staff that looks like a lollypop. Perhaps they carry guns or tasers under their fluoro vests. I know I would, considering what some of the smaller slaves look like.

Do You Remember 1973?

Or to be more specific, do you remember 1973 in Albany Highway, Vic Park on a Saturday morning? And being stuck on one side of the street because the shopping traffic was too thick to let you cross? Like, for an hour…

Well, welcome to 2019 on Leach Highway every day. And Leach has 6 lanes and a centre island…upon which one presumes you will eventually find the bones of a castaway.

I have just returned from the hobby shop and noted two teenagers stranded on one side of the highway, trying to get across it to get to a bus stop. In all honesty, they would have been better served by catching one from their side of the street, going all the way to the terminal, and returning with the circling bus. It would have been safer and quicker.

There is an explanation about the increase in traffic and you can use your own bigotry to complain about it. Asians, old people, Donald Trump, the State Government, and your parents would be a good start. Then add infidels, The Royal Family, and South Africans if you need to fill up any unused space in the rant. I’ve always suspected aliens…ever since Roswell.

The Ten O’Clock Highway

I live a retired life, which means I push my nose into all sorts of places. This is fun if you time it right – and the chief requirement there is to coordinate your movements with the road traffic.

Or, to put it more accurately, without. You choose to venture when others do not – you go places they are not. The shining goal os a day is an unobstructed road ahead and no arrogant BMW driver or tradie in a tray-top pushing up behind you. In some cases it is worth seeking out a road that doesn’t even go where you want to go to so that you can enjoy the peace.

It gets harder, as our metropolitan area expands and the suburbs in-fill themselves with multiple dwellings on older blocks. Just more people on the roads. I try to use the bus and train system when I can – the attraction being free travel in air conditioning with time to rest rather than drive. However, there are places poorly-served by public transport so the car has to be wheeled out.

I’ve learned to only venture after 10:00 AM and to bring myself back home before 4:00 PM.  If the route is planned well you can get through the flak defences, accomplish your mission, and be back before they can catch you. Of course there are always road crews out playing Tetris with the traffic barriers as they lean on their shovels and you do well to learn about them from other road users on the net the night before. They really do affect where you travel for shopping – they steered me away from a certain sale at a shop last Saturday by the simple expedient of blocking the shop’s street from both ends. I hope the shopkeeper and his assistants do not stave and die behind the counter while the paviours play – it would make the shop premises stink awfully…

Shall I resort to the net and on-line shopping more? I hope not – I like the establishment of physical shops in our city as a way of giving employment and providing convenience for me  – after I have run the gauntlet of the roads. On-line doesn’t benefit our state or nation in the end.

 

 

 

Random Acts Of Mindless

Wa are often besieged by people who would have us be kind to everyone. They smile and simper and pretend that saintly behaviour will be rewarded with universal happiness.

Bosh.

Saints have never been happy and their acolytes were no better off. Martyrdom was the best that any of them could hope for and in a lot of cases they had to work pretty hard to achieve it. Missionaries and prophets and reformers generally had to spend a lot of time making nuisances of themselves before they could compel the authorities to burn or expel them. They were unpleasant people who decided to spread it about.

How much better, instead of spreading kindness, to lash about with mindless acts. Folly and questionable behaviour spread thinly. The theatre of random occurrence. Do things then run away.

To this end I have gone to Bunnings and purchased three cans of clear acrylic spray in a matte finish and a large screwdriver. I’m going to the place out in the industrial area where they stack the wrecked cars.

The screwdriver is so I can scratch the paint and the cans are so that I can paint stealth graffiti. I’ll show ’em…

The Care And Feeding Of Road Rage

People have told me that there is no need to feed road rage – it has its own sources of nourishment. I am astounded by this – when I take my Toyota Crown 2000 along the Old Coast Road at Easter time towing the Blockmore caravan at 35 Km per hour I never see any rage. I’ve taken off the towing mirrors and I never look back.

Recently a person who was a great deal more Asian than I am was behind my little green Suzuki in a grey Subaru – a big one. I suspect I was not going fast enough to satisfy him – though it would have satisfied a magistrate, as it was the legal limit. In the brief glances I took into the rear-view mirror I could see lights flashing and violent gesticulations on his part. This may have been a folk dance, but if it was, the folk were unhappy.

I made sure I kept strictly to the road speed limits and drove safely – using my turn indicators  at the proper distance as required in the Act. My stern companion may not have read the Act, nor approved of it, as he kept repeating his light show. Perhaps there are different rules in the Dutch East Indies or French Indo-China regarding road use, and he has not had time to learn ours. In any case, when he peeled off to do important things elsewhere and I continued on to do trivial things in my part of the world, I reflected upon the lessons:

  1. Road rage sits beneath the surface of many psyches wearing many suits of clothing. You cannot assign it to any one group.
  2. It manifests itself when the practitioner is under stress – they are late – they have had a bad day at work – they are under financial pressure. Stress = rage potential.
  3. The trigger for the rage can be anything that frustrates them. If you drive at the legal speed in a lane within which they wish to break the law, you are target for that rage. They want to gamble with the laws and the Multinova fines. If you prevent this, you are culpable.
  4. The road-rager is better than you. Richer, stronger, handsomer, more powerful, etc. Some of this is in their mind and some of it may, indeed, be true – but if you do not allow them to show it, they are ANGRY. Arrogance only works if it is shared.
  5. You cannot satisfy the road-rager. Not by any means, whether that be defiance, or ignorance, or grovelling apology. The road rage is not directed at you – it is an inward attack that continues until the person has exhausted their fear and sorrow. You cannot make it better.
  6. You can, however, make it worse. If your behaviour has provoked the rage, the best and most sensible thing to do is to intensify it until the emotion rises to the point of psychotic and murderous mania. Until it is fury beyond boundary and stress beyond bearing. Get the road-rager to this stage, judge it accurately, and then slowly motor away. If you can pull into the forecourt of a hospital or police station – both well-provided with security cameras -and quickly go inside, you may be rewarded by the sight of the culprit exploding in the arms of authority. Be kind. Tell them to hold their temper…

Of course it goes without saying that you should make careful note of the licence plates of any offenders – these can be reported to the police or to people who will extract a suitable revenge for a small payment.

 

Letting The Hooks Do Their Work

We often read about how complex things should be to work well. The endless choice of fashion and fad –  together with tech and toy – will have us doing 5 procedures to maximise our pleasure, safety, or monetary return…and in many cases we will have wasted all the effort. A simpler solution was there on the counter, or in the drawer all the time.

No sphere of activity sees this more than the photographic world – except the self-publishing weblog one. We are continually being bombarded with must-do extra steps. We are looked upon as fools and dinosaurs if we do not do them. I saw one instance yesterday of this sort of built-in confusion but I saw that it has been disabled – and by the people who set it up in the first place. This gives me hope that there may be light at the end of the tunnel and that it is not an oil fire…

The car parks of Perth that are run by Wilson Parking have had a variety of operational systems over the years – from grumpy old men in little hutches beside the gate to massive ticket machines in the multi-storey parks. These machines started out simple, got complex, then more complex…then I stopped going to the multi-storeys because I feared for my sanity. The outside parks got a new wrinkle a few years back – a machine that demanded your license plate registration before it would accept your cash or credit card entry for parking.

I was always having to restart the procedure to key it in as I either forgot a number or hit the wrong key. You could see lines of people doing the same thing and getting frustrated and angry. Added to this the practice of wheel clamping to extort money and the whole idea of going into entertainment or city areas became untenable. I stayed out and so did others.

Yesterday the Wilson outside machine was one of those license plate jobs but they had disabled the function and turned on one that just issued you a ticket based on the time you paid for. The charges weren’t excessive and as it was a pay-wave job your card stayed in your hand. Finally the automatic features were allowed to run unhindered and the experience was good.

Either someone came to their senses or the machine was broken…