Computer Calamity 101, Melbourne

I haven’t posted for a while, have I? Did any of you wonder where I’ve been or what amazing adventures I’d been up to? Did anyone consider something radical may have happened? Like dropping dead? No, unfortunately for you, I’m still kicking.

Don’t worry, you’ll know if I suddenly cark it, as there’ll be a reading on the Richter scale if I hit the deck with a seized ticker. Lately I’ve been packing so much beef, I’ve decided to bin the bathroom scales and do some research into purchasing a weighbridge instead.

I was going to write a walking entry, but instead I’ve decided tackle some other stuff so I can get in the swing of things again. Regarding the past month, I’ll bring you up to date on the mundane, magnificent and malicious happenings.

Oh yeah, speaking of bins, have you examined the opening photo? It’s quite self-explanatory, as a few weeks back my computer flamed out. Literally.

There I was, wandering around home when I detected a smell. You know, a sort of smoke-type stench. Immediately I began cursing the neighbours, “Burning off is illegal you bastards!” I even walked outside to investigate, but this left me confused, as the air was clear. Well, as clear as it can be for the western suburbs.

Re-entering, I wandered into the lounge and noted the burning smell seemed to be rather intense. Especially around the computer. I lowered my head to the small, dust choked fan on the desktop and almost passed out from smoke inhalation. Mm… I’d found the cause. It appeared the computer was on fire. Turning it off, I let it sit for a while and wondered if this billowing smoke was a bad sign. I gave it 30 minutes before trying a radical method in computer repair. I made out the previous hour had never happened and just turned it back on as normal. Guess what? It didn’t work.

It was a sad day, as the old beast had served me well and although I back up every month or so, I’d been a bit slack since Christmas. This meant all the New Years Eve Aurora photos were still on it and I spent a nervous week of wondering if the hard drives were destroyed. I had no idea how to retrieve things, so I called in some heavy artillery.

Some computer bloke was plucked out of the phone book and I must admit, he did wonders. He recovered everything I needed, which is a bonus and in the end I only had a couple of computer-less weeks.

I do have an old laptop though and I considered writing a post on it, but something weird’s happened since I last used it a few years back. The keys seem to be insanely close together. I found I couldn’t tap out a sequence of words without a series of brutal typos. I’ve no idea what the story is, as I don’t believe my hands have changed recently. Then again, maybe they have? If I look at my fingers, this is what I see…


…but clearly the reality is a little different.


Edward Sausagehands

Due to unusually fat fingers that aren’t, I abandoned the laptop and set out to purchase a new desktop. Research was required and when finally ordered, it took longer than expected to build.

Oh, then when I started the shiny new machine, I had to work out how to use Windows 10 and install all the old programmes. It was quite laborious, as I have a problem with anything technical, mechanical and mathematical, but I found an age old technique to assist me. Wailing, gnashing of teeth and frequent, shouted profanities made the job easier.

Okay, the computer has been sorted. Are you still awake? I hate to say it, but that’s just one thing, which has happened in the past four weeks. If your aim is to remain concious for the rest of the post, then now would be the time to dig into the stash of amphetamines that you’ve put aside for a rainy day.

A lack of walking and writing hasn’t meant I’ve spent the past month pondering the universe by staring at the ceiling. Oh, that reminds me. The savvy reader will recall the worst looking chandelier in history, which just happened to be suspended in my lounge.

Obviously it’s job was to provide some light, but it never worked, so it’s main role became an object to stare at for the purposes of deep thinking. Such as, how could something so hideous be created? Guess what?


The King is Dead

Yep, I put it out in a hard rubbish collection and it was plucked from the kerb in about 10 seconds. Clearly by a masochist. Now it’s gone, I no longer have to duck when I walk across the lounge room.

What else? Remember how last December was pretty hot? I finally succumbed and at 51 years of age, I thought it was time to get my first air-conditioner. For years I’d just struggled through summer using any manner of cooling device to maintain survival. Some were logical, such as fans and others were completely bonkers. Let me tell you about an alternative way to ward off the heat .

Years ago I was at work and complaining to a bloke about trying to sleep on a baking hot night without cooling. He looked at me and said, “What you need is a Macedonian air-conditioner”. Mm… It sounded intriguing and I was aware it seemed derogatory, but I accepted it as he’s Greek and you just know how much Greeks love Macedonians.

Anyway, essentially he described laying a wet towel across the naked torso and then aiming a fan at it, whilst it’s turned onto the atomic setting. Do you think it would work? I did try it and the results were interesting. All I can say is if you’re looking to get close to God, then give it a go. After a few hours of ‘cooling’ I woke up feeling like I was close to death from hypothermia.

All I could see was a bright speck of light at the end of a tunnel and I assumed I was headed to heaven. Mind you, it was concerning as I was nude. Do you go to heaven in the outfit you died in? Would there be nudists walking around bumping into knights from the crusades? Are there babies just lying around? What’s the story? Can you let me know if you find out? Oh, after all this you might be wondering what Macedonians have got to do with it. All I can say is I’ve got no idea. Does that help?

It’s a bit of a long saga, but that’s all in the past, as a real air-conditioner is now attached to the wall. Look. There it is.


‘Who’s this kid with his mumbo-jumbo/living in air-conditioned limbo’

Since the installation, it’s a pity the weather has been quite mild, so I’ve barely turned it on. I’m in two minds as to whether it’s God or the Government taking the piss and have altered the weather just to annoy me.

What else? There are some more house shenanigans, but I’ll return to that later. Instead, I’ll break things up a little by including something vaguely outdoors related.

There have been a few storms the past month and I’ve done my best to capture them. Unfortunately, the results haven’t been stellar. The suburban skyline full of urban furniture doesn’t make things easy, so if I’m at home and something inclement is rolling in, I’ll jump in the car and head to my usual open skies haunt about ten minutes away.

Look, if you’re a movie director and want a location to show the end result of a zombie apocalypse (I mean fictional zombies, not right-wing voters), then this is the place to go. As you can see, it’s quite desolate out west.


Sure, it looks like the landscape after a nuclear test, but at least it gives me a clear view of the horizon.


The storm above was particularly gnarly. Dark clouds appeared to be only metres above the ground, as they silently passed over parched fields. So low, that if any went near me, I wondered if I’d have to duck.


I needn’t have worried, as the enormous black mass built up in front of me, so I abandoned the photography and hunkered in the car instead.


Heavy rain soon fell, which put an end to that session. Picture-wise, lightning is a bit of a nemesis, as I’ve rarely captured it. I think I need to be up north for a month or so to practice.

There was one night-time storm recently and I couldn’t be stuffed going out, so I went for the extreme lazy man approach. I set up the camera on the landing outside my front door. The sky was full of flashes of light, but rarely any visible bolts. In the end, I only captured one, but it looks a bit weird. The entire sky was frequently lit, so this photo just looks like an odd daytime shot, when it fact it was taken after midnight.


It was quite slim pickings, but something bizarre did occur. There I was, clicking the shutter, when a lightning bolt zapped down, leaving behind a patch of vivid, blue light. What’s even stranger is this unusual glow lingered for about 10 seconds. Huh?

I’ve absolutely no idea what it was. A electrical sub-station being hit? ET landing? I’ve never seen anything like it and although I managed to capture part of the glow, the photo doesn’t really do it justice. The blue light lit a lot more of the sky than shown below. Clearly this event should be filed in the supernatural category.


Mm… What’s next? I’ve just realised I’ve got plenty to go, so this post may never end. That’s always the problem when I write something over a few days, as there’s always something else that comes to mind.

Okay, how about this? My garage got burgled and not one, or two, but three bicycles were stolen. The bikes that normally live indoors, but have been banished to the garage, whilst the home renovations are going on. I won’t bang on about it too much, but keep your eyes out for this one.


It’s a Pinarello Angliru (in a massive frame size of 60 cm), which has long been superseded. Sure, it ended up as a workhorse, but it’s a bit sentimental as I’d ridden thousands of kilometres on it, including my first Around the Bay in a Day. An aluminium frame might not be the material of choice, as more or less everything is carbon-fibre these days. Ah, but this bike was a little different.

It has an enormous down-tube, so it’s tight as a drum if I stomped on the pedals. Nothing I’ve ridden since applies the power like this bike and even more so, as I got a rear wheel, complete with welded spokes, built by Phil Gallagher from Warragul. There wasn’t an ounce of flex and it felt like nothing was wasted when riding hard. Not to mention the most comfortable seat I’ve ever had was attached to it. A Selle Italia Gel number, which was perfect. Grrr…

There you go. I’ve included this, as there wouldn’t be another Pinarello in existence that looks like it. So, if you happen to see it riding by, then may I suggest you approach the new owner and say hello by placing both hands on the side of his head and then pop out his eyeballs with your thumbs. Naturally you’d follow this up by pouring nail polish remover into the empty sockets. Oh, that’s the greeting. Feel free to do something nasty after this.

I did refer to the thief as ‘he’ and really, it’s definitely a bloke, isn’t it? I stand by my theory that the world would be a better place if men were thrashed more often. By women, of course.

Is there anything else to this mind numbing post? Sure, one more thing. I had a big chunk of the house painted. Is that an exciting revelation? Do you think I’m going to talk about watching paint dry? No, I’ve got something marginally better.

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned how I seem to conclude that anyone with an accent is Scottish. There are some exceptions though, especially when they’ve got a Vietnamese sounding name. Even I’m not that dumb to confuse those two voices. The trouble is, I had the name of a painter with a vaguely Asian name and he sounded marginally like someone from downtown Hanoi.

Can you imagine my surprise then when a white bread Caucasian bloke turned up, not to mention he was packing quite a wide girth. I’m not saying he’s averagely beefy, but more like, ‘his car’s a forklift’ type of bloke. His size wasn’t a problem though, as he used his dimensions quite dexterously. I’ve never seen someone hold a paint roller in either hand and use both on the walls at once. How did he do this? I’ve no idea, but it was quite impressive until after a few hours working he suddenly stopped and shouted out, “Oh my god, I’ve got an enormous pain down the side of my left arm!”

As he stood there grimacing, all I could do was offer a conciliatory, “You sure you’re not having a heart attack?” He didn’t think so, but he had to stop for a while, which was a worry, as he still had a fair bit of painting to do.

In the end, he had a bit of a rest before getting back into it. A few hours later, he suddenly proclaimed, “My feet are killing me!” Mm… I pondered for a moment and then asked him whether he uses orthotics in his shoes. He didn’t, so I ended up showing him mine and we had quite a discussion over footwear, complete with another break so his legs could recover.

The pause was handy as I also got to peruse my first aid book, so if he did hit the floor whilst clutching his chest, at least I’d be up to speed on reviving him. I used to always get the amount of chest compressions and breaths mixed up. Even worse is that my one attempt at CPR years ago was a bit of a failure. I decided to open the account with one mighty chest compression, which resulted in a sternum essentially being embedded in the ground beneath. It was a good lesson in not going too hard, too early.

In the end, the non-Vietnamese bloke managed to stay alive and finished his work over a few days. I even put together a special ‘painters survival pack’ for him to use.


Essential tools for any painter. Especially oversized ones.

Anyway, I think I’m done for a relatively long post about… well… nothing really. What’s coming up? I’ve no idea, but it might be walk related. Then again, I’ve got a whole new blog template coming soon, so that’ll probably create some downtime. Can anyone remind me what’s so good about WordPress again? Blogger was a cinch compared to this joint. Until next time…


‘I’ve got dem computer keys too close blues’

Footnote: Thanks to Tea Time and Triple-A for bringing the sausage finger dream to reality. Another life milestone completed.