Posts Tagged ‘Coke’

It came to $41.20 without any sugar

April 3, 2017
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Grapes, strawberries and figs.

The $41.20 was the total of our shopping adventure this morning. The day started early. With the change in day-light saving we seem to get up earlier instead of sleeping longer. That sleeping-in, so desired when young, evades us now. I am always glad the night is over. Unless we have to get out shopping and walking, we generally muck about till midday in our pyjamas. Now that winter is knocking, we might consider not even moving out of them at all. We shall see!

We are still reeling somewhat from a range of TV programs whereby eating sugar has been taken under the loupe. I hope millions have watched those TV programs and the dire consequences resulting from eating sugar. It is not just obvious sugar, no it is the hidden sugar in our foods. Most breakfast cereals, sauces, micro-wave foods and almost all processed foods have  lots of sugar.  I thought that a fruit yoghurt was a fairly safe food to ingest. Wrong! That too has ladles of sugar. So have all fruit drinks. Of course, a Coke drink is pure poison. If cigarettes are addictive, the experts reckon so is sugar. The present world epidemic of obesity is all sugar related. Yet,  apart from some brave souls exposing the evils of sugar, our government is eerily quiet. “A personal choice,” they might sometimes whisper behind closed doors.

We have never been fond of sweets and apart from one spoon of sugar in coffee we never take the stuff in anything else. We cook without shop-bought sauces. I suppose those lovely Italian tinned tomatoes have some sugar, as has most bread and pasta. We never drink lemonade or soft drinks, and reckon water is as good a drink as any. But…what about wine? I thought that the sugars in grapes convert into alcohol. Is that so? I hope so. I would not like to give up my love of the afternoon ritual sitting in the garden talking with Helvi while sipping wine.

Milo knows the ritual and we bring his cushion out. A creature of habit. He sees me filling a glass with Shiraz and he bolts towards the back-yard sliding doors. He loves us doing that. So, I do hope that there isn’t too much sugar in wine, even if just for Milo’s sake.

It is amazing that most of our modern dietary habits have been installed by the large Multi Corporations. I remember the large Coca Cola truck rolling into our primary schools in Holland giving all children a free Coca Cola. This was during the mid nineteen- fifties. It was the beginning of the end. We seem powerless against the intrusion into our lives by those large businesses that profit from spreading premature deaths to millions all over the world. Deaths that can easily be avoided by not eating so much sugar.  The health costs eventually will force government to act and stand up to the likes of MacDonald, KFC, Cadbury and all those other perfidious multi nationals. I noticed that some school kids during sport wear caps with the McDonald logo on it. How is that possible?  Where are the protesting parents?

In those programs the large corporations were asked about their responsibility in all that obesity. They avoided it by denying the evils of sugar. The same tactics used by cigarette companies.

But getting back to our shopping bill. The $41.20 included;  a man’s flannel pyjamas (XL), a bottle of Precious Earth Shiraz,  a four pack of salmon cutlets, a bar of Dove soap, a bunch of broccolini, three avocadoes, Cherri tomatoes, a tin of Italian tomatoes and four bananas. There might have been another item but I threw away the receipt.

 

The rain, glorious rain

February 7, 2017

 

 

!cid_B39359ED-0A74-4D2D-B20B-21CE39AA684EWhat is it about rain that is so uplifting? Does it soothe the world or at least calms it? You know the patter on the metal roof or the drip drip echo in the down-pipes has a melody. Listen carefully and soon it begets a rhythm all by itself. It is music. With heat so relenting, who wants sunshine? Yet, this is what many desire away from sun and warmth. The millions dreaming of lying in the sun, baking away. So depressing. My dad hated beach and its abrasive sand and stark sun beating down, scorching bodies. I must have inherited the same gene. People living in the tropics always seek shade and so do I. Most fortunately, we both share this need to escape from sun’s glaring stare.

I took time off to get quotes for air conditioning. There are many variants of cooling and heating houses. The mind boggles. Choices have to be made. One can have models that are bolted on the wall. They can blow hot air during winter and cold in summer. Other types do the same but done through ducts that are fixed above the ceilings. They are more efficient and can do the whole house instead of just one room. Another choice is to get the temperature regulated by using both gas and electricity. Then the latest, having all this done through ‘inverter’ technology.

An Inverter is used to control the speed of the compressor motor, so as to continuously regulate the temperature. The DC Inverter units have a variable-frequency drive that comprises an adjustable electrical inverter to control the speed of the electromotor, which means the compressor and the cooling / heating output.”

So, you can see where my thoughts have been lately. I try and get Helvi on site by giving her some literature given to me to study by the installers of air conditioners, but she declines to get involved or enthusiastic about technical stuff, especially the ‘variable- frequency driver..’  The proliferation of ‘choice’ is what seems to become more and more embedded in what we buy. A new oven now comes with so many buttons, so many options, people end up not using the ovens. Some are forced to go and eat out or take out meals. I see now so many running through the main street with pizza boxes or plastic bags with square boxes towering on top of each other. You can smell the Black-Bean beef, the Szechuan chicken and boiled rice, if not the foot-long bun with Frankfurter trying to escape lubricated by the tom-sauce.

Someone stole my ‘Apple’ account and even gave me a ‘Cloud’ address based in Moscow. I could not download e-mails. Not a disaster but I frightened they would steal money next. I went ‘on line’ and changed the Apple account. It was again forced in having to decide on so may options and choices. A nightmare. How do we cope?

You can now make transactions by tapping cards here and there. My brother’s car opens up by waving his hand near the door. I don’t really like those choices of tapping and waving. It feels idiotic.

My sister in law is a hard-core traditionalist and insists on always making her transactions in real person by first insisting on seeing the real person teller at the bank and making withdrawals and then go to the Post office to pay her bills to a real person. I too used to do this. I must confess of having failed the traditionalists and pay ‘on-line.’ I haven’t used the tapping card mechanism at Aldi. I always pay cash because it is quicker. I sometimes can’t contain myself and shuffle impatiently when a shopper seems to take forever tapping and putting in numbers over and over again. I yawn loudly or sigh loud. It is especially annoying when this card tapper is also guilty of buying rubbish pre-digested processed food or worse, lots of Coke or Corn-fruity loops.

Normally, I am easy-going.

 

Another week-end in the past.

October 24, 2016
During the late sixties.

During the late sixties.

Week-ends were always looked forward to. The main part was the sleeping in, especially on Saturday. How I loved it. The Sunday church used to be a problem. But growing up realizing that no water ever changed into wine, nor did water allow to be walked upon, I took charge of that issue around the year sixteen and stopped going. It also coincided by taking up smoking. Graven A, ten cigarettes to a packet, and eating potato scallops from the local Fish & Chips shop, wrapped in The Daily telegraph! Till this day, whenever I smell Rupert’s Telegraph I smell more fish than chips.

Of course, Saturday night was movie night. I am not sure if cinemas were actually open on Sundays in Australia during the fifties. I do know that Sundays were pretty dead. It used to be the major complaint by European migrants. The first movie that I can remember apart from a few Don Camillo movies watched when still in Holland, were the climbing of MT Everest and King Salomon’s Mines. In Holland my mother was forever urging us to see movies featuring the priest, Don Camillo. A character who was forever falling out with local communist mayors in Italian or French villages. She must have been hoping I could be saved from decadence and resulting hell-fire and brimstones. They were very funny movies and I remember them fondly. But alas, I was not to be saved.

The Drive-in also needs to be dug up. They were popular between the fifties  and seventies, well before KFC and MacDonald’s started to tentatively test the waters. The Drive-in had speaker boxes on posts which by a lead you attached inside the car. It wasn’t unusual to drive off after the movie with the speaker box still inside the car. Some Drive-ins had buttons on the post to order Mars bars, snacks or Cokes which would be delivered by furiously pedalling boys on bicycles. Whole families used to go in pyjamas and I remember seeing women with hair curlers queuing at the milk bar waiting for their malted milkshakes at the Drive- in during a break.

Boys and (hopefully) some girls would of course take the opportunity to slip a hand here and there and many a muffled shout or sharp slap used to do the rounds. I don’t know if the hair curlers would inspire any romance. But who knows? Cupid’s arrow has mysterious targets. There was an enormous uptick in pregnancies when John Travolta and Grease were released in the late seventies. It was also the beginning of the end of Drive-Ins. Helvi and I went just once and there were no slaps or muffled sounds. It was a boring movie. Helvi did not think that sitting in car watching a movie was a good night out at all.

Now, in my galloping years, the week-end has lost some of its lustre. In fact, all of its lustre. I am always happiest when the Monday gets around. There is still some of that earlier Sunday deadness about. Have you noticed that in the centre of towns or cities, the Sunday goes in rapid retreat or decline between 2.45- 3.15 pm. All of a sudden the streets empty themselves of people, dogs start scratching and shops looking so forlorn. A paleness is creeping in. Perhaps the towns and cities still lack people living in them. People live mainly around but not within cities. Sunday afternoons are probably used to top up the Opal Card or with summer knocking, a late afternoon lawn mower. I believe many now also go to Sunday Gym and do push-ups. I must say that men and women over sixty, and especially when pear-shaped, should resist wearing those black tights on their way to the gym. It is really an unsettling sight, even on a Sunday afternoon.

The 3d printer and boudoir items to sulk with.

February 16, 2016

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It had to come. Aldi is selling 3 Dimensional printers. Of all the quirky things that are selling in their middle isles! Last week it had self lifting toilet seats, foldable wheel chairs, a drone with spare blades, and boxes of Allen keys. The Allen keys are needed to assemble the toilet seat, the drone and wheel chair. I often notice the shopper picking up products of which their use remains totally baffling and mysterious. They proceed to look it up on the notice board to read what it actually is. Afterwards the gaze travels back to object and turn it around fondly, happy in the new-found knowledge of the totally useless product. Many then use the mobile phone to transmit the good news about this mysterious product back to a spouse or partner, possibly for approval.

Of course the real shopper buys it regardless.  They don’t care what it is.  That is the magic of clever commerce and mindless shopping. In any case, this week it is the special 3D printer. It comes with different coloured spools of what looks like very strong shark-fishing line.

I must admit that if the choice last week was between buying the self-lifting toilet seat or a drone, I would have gone for the drone. The idea of a need to be propelled upwards in an upright position after the use of the loo, fills me with dread. It seems like only yesterday I was soaking off postage stamps from my parents letters and neatly arranging them in my album. This was way back in the serenity of Holland, back in Rotterdam and the use of postal stamps. I still have the album in which I could add extra pages. The pages were held together by screws and nuts. Some of the stamps date back to the 1800’s.

In fact, I was fantasising about hovering the drone by remote control, while hiding well out of sight, menacingly over our Body Corporate ‘bad neighbour’s’ backyard, taking pictures of her while cutting down more of her garden, or worse, slashing other peoples’ gardens. I must desist.

Is the 3D printer the start of a new era as the computer or internet were experienced so many years ago? Jets are flying with components made by 3D printers and the printing of artificial limbs and body parts is becoming the norm. It is actually called ‘additive manufacturing.’ It makes replacing broken items now within the reach of everyone. I suppose I could use it to make soles for my shoes or a replacement for the broken battery holder for the remote control of the TV.

Soon our lounge room or office will store the 3D printer in addition to computer, normal printer, phone and files,  errant laptop, a cooling fan and column heater, chairs, books on computers and virus detection, boxes of discs and lonely chargers, and of course miles of cables and power extensions going in all directions. Some people have  3D printing another 3D printer as a replacement or spare.

In social situations, we will mingle around and after a couple of drinks, ask how the 3D printing is going. A brave man might well mention in a jocular fashion. ‘You are looking very nice today, Mavis.’ ‘Are you wearing your new 3D’s today?’ Mavis was known to have started a small business 3D printing lingerie with matching boudoir items to sulk with.

No doubt mobile 3D printers will come about and people will be seen crossing the street all terribly busy with the 3D printing of boxes of hot chips with 2l coke or a quick coffee. On line 3D dating will be eagerly exploited. Photos of blokes proudly showing 3D printed  additions. Girls will advertise showing 3D printed cleavages with proportionally alluring  3D printed hips.

It will come about.

 

Time at the Petrol Bowser

November 13, 2014

The humble Kalanchoe

The humble Kalanchoe

We all have to do this. Fill up the car’s fuel tank at the petrol station. With the price of oil dropping by about twenty percent we would expect a similar drop in petrol. Not so, it has dropped, but not by as much as the Brent Crude oil price. It figures. The companies have to make up for the lower price by holding onto the higher price paid at the bowser for their dear life or dear profit. ‘Our Dear Brent Crude give us our daily Bollinger Oh la la French Champers;

The oil devout execs must be praying, eyes slanted piously upwards.

I can’t think of anything less inspiring than poking the fuel hose through the inlet opening of the fuel tank. In my car it has a spring loaded cover under which is a black cap with below it a dire warning ‘Diesel.’ It is about as far as my reading goes. Just one word, ‘Diesel’. However on the bowser itself are several items that one can read. ‘Please pay before moving car’ is one sentence, but there is more. Several options and grades of fuels with their different prices to study, but,… there is more, much more still. ‘Spend another five dollars you get another 4c off’ it states frankly but insistently.

Those words include vivid images of an ice cream called ‘Gay-Time’ and a slanting open soft drink bottle. (usually a 600 ml Coke bottle). The slant and the gushing out of the brown liquid is to invoke a kind of latent or hidden thirst in the petrol purchaser, almost imagining the fluid going down the throat and giving the two second joy as a decoy for true happiness. That’s what those images promise, true satisfaction of fake thirst sated and a more happy, happy feeling.

The problem is that once the hose is in the aperture one just has to watch the bowser tick over. This is when an overwhelming ennui takes over. I am desperate for a diversion, any diversion away from the maddening ticking over of the bowser. But I get drawn in each time. It is an addiction. I don’t want to miss out on the exact Fifty dollar amount that I always use as a limit and aim by the cent to achieve this. Don’t ask where this originates from. Perhaps the bombing of Rotterdam or maybe the Kipfler potato.

It is a small ambition, I know, but heaven help me out of this dreadful concentration of such a stupefying event. As I get nearer the fifty dollar mark my concentration reaches fever pitch. I slowly, cent by cent increments crawl towards the forty nine dollars eighty eight cents and then take a breather, surveying the situation calmly, collect my thoughts and try not to look down the floral blouse of the lady next to me, also bending and busy with bowser. I ignore the distraction and bravely continue on till the Fifty dollar is reached, right on the dot. Such triumph!

I walk to the garage and hand over my previously extracted fifty dollar note that I have kept in my closed fist just for that purpose. ‘Receipt?’ ‘No thanks.’ I walk out, relieved it is over.

And that’s that. More me, me.

The sated body

June 24, 2013

untitledBack in the fifties people ate when hungry. Now we eat to pass the time and make our lives bearable… A terrible ennui has settled on our lives. Where does it come from?

Relentlessly our jaws move up and down mastication huge portions of salt/fat encrusted nuggets or swallowing sugary slurpies. When the backlog of this food overflows back up into our throats, only then we chuck it out but… before long we again start the process of queuing at the take-away, obediently assuaging the commercial captains of take-a-way empires… and so it goes on, day after day. Relentless endless chewing, it passes the time.

According to the statistics, about half of the world goes hungry and yet half of the world’s food production of 4 billion tonnes a year gets thrown out. It doesn’t make for cheerful reading and what makes it even less cheerful is that even though half the world goes hungry and is malnourished, the same goes for the other half. They are just bigger but also undernourished. Overfed but undernourished. It’s a neck on neck race between the underfed and overfed. One wishes that each party would meet half way and make for a better and healthier world for all.
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=38219&Cr=non-communicable&Cr1#.Uce3Wi1ApUE

The above article by Dr Margaret Chan, of WHO and Director General writes: “In many cases, highly processed foods are the cheapest and most convenient way to fill an empty stomach. The world certainly needs to feed its nearly 7 billion inhabitants. But we do not need to feed them junk food,” she said.
“In the absence of urgent action, the rising financial burden of these diseases will reach levels that are beyond the capacity of even the wealthiest countries in the world to cope.”

It makes for grim reading.

It seems that finally the issue of junk food might have to be tackled the same as smoking. Is it not really a furphy to say that our choice in eating and food ought to be left alone and that education on good dietary habits will sort it all out? It hasn’t worked so far and the problem is getting worse.

The might of the multi corporate are no match for the mums and dads flat out fighting the television advertisements urging kids to eat coco pops for breakfasts and Big Macs for the rest of the week gurgled down by 3 litres Coke bottles. They win out no matter what. I noticed the logos of Big Macs appearing on public school sport uniforms during school sport. Amazing! For the big boys the football fields are festooned by huge alcohol advertisements. Sport and alcohol together with Big Macs, surely they are an oxymoron?

In Australia cigarettes are now only legally sold behind closed cupboard doors and without their brands allowed to be recognizable by packaging. So all cigarette packaging look the same with warnings of dire consequences on the outside still very prominent. Laws are in place where smoking outside on cafe and restaurant terraces is permitted in special designated tables away from the general areas. Smokers are nervous and looking decidedly forlorn and lonely, some stifling sobs and moans. Many feel they are looked upon as the pariahs of society. Jails in the NT are stopping the sale of tobacco and cigarettes but prisoners are given patches for those that ask for them. It’s going to be a tense time with guards on the alert.

Experts reckon that obesity is a worse problem than smoking, so…does it not follow that similar actions to smoking will finally be taken against junk food? It stands to reason. Does it not?

When we were young and skinny, food was what one ate to relieve hunger. A piece of cake or cordial drink was for birthdays, special celebrations or Christmas. Now youngsters walk around with a Coke in one hand and an I/Pod in the other. If a whim takes them they cheerfully chuck half a full bottle of coke in the park and no one blinks. I don’t see hordes of thirsty people going for that bottle nestling itself between the gnarled roots of an old oak tree. What used to be a reward or something to really look forward to is accepted as being the norm and for every day. They yawn as the Big Mac quarter pounder is chomped down into an already sated body.

Will they ever find the errors of their choices? “If thou wilt needs damn thyself” of Othello springs to mind. It’s not love though that they seek; it’s just junk food and it is a killer.

With the heavy rain of late, our creek at the back of our town is flooding but it has flotsam of take away food containers forming a dam across the water together with polystyrene shopping bags. Sooner or later this dam will break and a stormwater will finally take it all to the big river and then into the ocean.
In the meantime half the world goes hungry.
It is unfair.

The sad Case of a drowned Mobile.

February 14, 2012

 

I don’t think that those mobile phones are always kept so close to the heart as we imagine. In my case, in my shirt pocket. I see most people on the street carrying them in their hands. It’s almost as if people are afraid of the device escaping. The mobile phone has almost become a bit of an extra body-part, like an artificial hip or implant. Some aficionados of the mobile have special ear-plugs and can receive orders or demands without actually holding the mobile to their ears. Most people like to hold and fondle them though.

The latest phones have become much less a phone and more of an extension of doing the living for the person. Many, many, especially the young, now allow living to be done by this mobile gadget. By the way, why do we still call it a ‘mobile’? Mobile seems to indicate something large or cumbersome, indicating it can be carried, but only just. The more articulate in Europe call them ‘cell-phones’ which is indicative of something more macro-biotic or at least ‘small’.

The ‘living’ done by cell phone is not about having an artificial heart or even a bypass but more like enjoying two hearts or three legs. If the battery runs out or one takes a long bath, life still manages to go on, a bit precariously may be, hovering on the edge of a fatal abyss, but it still survives. At the moment it is a neck on neck race by young people holding on to their Coke bottle and the Iphone. Notice the change from ‘mobile’ to ‘cell-phone’ and now to ‘Iphone’.

Iphone means ‘I am the phone,’ the phone and I are inseparable and are now one. To see those Iphone and Coke holders crossing the road with kids in tow is awesome. I saw one mum crossing a busy intersection while, amazingly, texting on her phone with the hand that held the Coke bottle AND acrobatically sipping the Coke in between texting words while her kids were holding on for dear life lashed onto her threadbare and torn jeans. What I would not give for a peek at her text message. What was so burningly urgent it all had to be done while crossing the road and what level of unimaginable dehydration she suffered that she could not cross without sipping the Coke?

Perhaps the next generation of those bodily addendums will be the Uphone. A phone for U (you). It’ll be a gift phone that you sprinkle around the Christmas tree. The grandchildren will love you. They can twitter and tweet, twixt the tree and the kitchen tap, an insurmountable distance to overcome without a quick tweet first. A bit like the Volvo car ad where the kids on the back seat secretly phone the driving dad at the front, dad picks up the phone through the Blue Tooth ‘special’ Volvo capability. The whole family breaks out in unrestrained happy mirth all meticulously filmed, as always, on a peaceful deserted Swedish road. The week after the advertisements many couples in their new Volvo are all sour faced now, dead- locked in a traffic snarl with little relief from the Blue Tooth…No one films that oracle.

My own fourteen year old Nokia had an amazing escape from death by drowning. As is my want, I am an early riser and scan the laptop for any dire news. The break-out of war perhaps, or another Arab Spring country uprising /rioting, all reported on Iphone. Journalists are not allowed in, so all that footage can’t be verified, the newsreader solemnly declares. As if Mr. Murdoch’s journalists are any more trustworthy of news than the rioting Arab holders of Iphone. It seems strange that when the news is told by the people who make the news, somehow, it can’t be verified.

When I have finished verifying all the misery on the lap-top, coffee has generally percolated and the day starts in earnest. I quickly scan my old Nokia for any missed calls and then generally waste an hour or so just pacing between the bedroom and kitchen, moving a fork here or teaspoon there, rinse a plate and try and work up enough courage and chutzpah to finally get going.

The day of the near drowning of the Nokia was the same as any other day. Nothing was there to indicate anything abnormal or different from thousands of other mornings. The ABC news ‘Just In’ had yet again given the usual diet of hundreds dying of war and riot, the weather forecast was for more rain and a Liberal Party minister had visited  another factory in Queensland somewhere and  was shown wearing a miner’s helmet with the usual awkward confidence of a cow before the stun gun.

My morning coat that had survived so much bad news now needed a good solid wash with both water and temperature on the washing machines set at ‘high’. I nonchalantly chucked in the garment together with other light coloured items. I had totally forgotten that my faithful old Nokia was in its top pocket. The poor old sod went through the complete program including a ferocious mad spinning cycle.  And this, dear readers is how my mobile came (almost) to such a sad end.

I now have an Iphone. Soon I too will be crossing a road and will text like mad, even tweet.

Why do those things happen?

Ps. The old Nokia did a complete Lazarus and after drying it on a warm electric blanket for a few days, somersaulted back into life, even its memory of old phone numbers.