Posts Tagged ‘Opal’

A peculiar Country and the holy water.

January 15, 2019

Image result for holy water stoups with flaming hearts

The hope of getting some good news in the New Year is diminishing as the days roll by. Just now, a newsflash that the skyscraper in Sydney named ‘Opal Tower’ needs significant structural repairs done. One can’t imagine the trouble this causes to those people who are renting or bought an apartment affected by the ‘cracking’. The usual noises are made about how Australia has stringent building regulations with strict compliance to proven engineering methods at ever level of construction.  Yet those that give the compliance certificates are private contractors themselves working to maximise profits. Which construction company will seek compliance approvals from those that are strict and known for refusing to give those certificates to building works that don’t comply?

Next on the list is that children in detention were threatened by troops all dressed in combatant gear pointing assault weapons at unarmed children. Yet those that are charged with running this detention centre are fully supportive of this blatent abuse of force and totally behind it. What sort of behaviour is that? And we point the finger at North Korea or some crackpot regime in Africa.

Have a look at this video; https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-14/don-dale-youth-detention-cctv-police-weapons-detainees-nt/10712664

We are having a bad heatwave but the good news on TV this morning was that everyone should try, and look after those that are vulnerable to heat exhaustion, especially the elderly. Neighbours ought to inquire about each other on how they are feeling. Many escape to air-con shopping malls or at least stay indoors. I get the shivers when I see all those thousands on a scourging hot sun baked beach. And then they lie in the sun!

Image result for Heatwave beach conditions

The vacuuming was done this morning in our household. I wondered why it wasn’t working as it should. I decided to investigate and discovered the foot or the suction end of our lithium powered vacuum cleaner ( Hoover-Freedom) was blocked by bits of paper and cherry stalks.  I must say that the stone fruit this year has been excellent. Those white peaches…mmm! Yesterday my brother and I spent half a day assembling a new barbeque. The old one just did not give enough heat for fast grilling a nice piece of meat or chargrill a rib of pork.

We plan to carry the old one to the street as a freebee. It has a regulator and a lid and very clean. People often put usable items on the ‘nature strip’, and this gives new meaning to re-cycling. The charity shops are now complaining that too much is being donated, and it is claimed that donating to charity is often used as getting rid of total rubbish. I suppose, consuming too much is the real reason.

This reminds me of when we were young, and a still devoutly catholic family living in Holland. From my youngest memory we had at the entrance to our bedroom a holy water stoup decorated by a sacred flaming heart screwed to the door-frame. We were supposed to dip a finger in it, cross ourselves and then go to bed with a clear conscience. I remember being a bit suspicious of it, and whether some benign Beneficiary spirit would forever guide us for a good life, provided we would dip our fingers. My earliest memories of bombed out buildings and screaming hunger did not make for nurturing a strong belief in a good and just deity that would reward the ‘true’ believers.

It was after we moved from Rotterdam to The Hague that some deviousness crept stealthely but assuredly in my being. Again, dad screwed on the holy water stoups with the flaming sacred hearts. I was really starting to question that this water was somehow different from tap water, and decided to test it. I drained the holy water and filled it up with just tap water. I was awake all night fearing punishment but nothing happened. I knew my mother had a special container of holy water which she kept under the sink. This was specially blessed holy water sanctified by the priest of our local church. I think it was a yearly event when this blessing took place inside the church to which our parents took us. I still then tried to look a bit religious but from what I had done to the holy water recently, it might now well be seen as acting very sanctimoniously.

I had started to lose my belief in a deity that would reward the unquestioning pious. I think today the science might well be behind this.

In the meantime the heat is merciless as well.

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The torture of Dept. of Human Services

April 6, 2017

 

photoSalvia Nr 1

Salvia

Our day will involve getting our travel concession travels sorted out. I  felt so proud a few weeks ago. I finally managed to get our Opal travel cards. This is the card you need when catching trains, buses or even a ferry. You get to tap it on a metal pole at the beginning of the journey as well as at the end. The pole seems to recognize your unique profile and deducts the cost of your travel from this magic card. It seems rather lugubrious that we are now identifiable by plastic cards that we store in our wallets. What happens to my ‘profile’ after I am gone? Will I just be remembered by my Opal card?

It wasn’t an easy journey to finally get this card. A big problem with modernity is that no matter where one goes or what one intents to achieve, one needs to log on to something. The logging on is presented as a heaven on earth. ‘Just log on to some dot.com. and the world is your oyster.’ As if! What they don’t tell you is that as soon as one tries and ‘log on’ it asks for your profile. This is some kind of internet mug shot. To establish this profile one needs a password. This password needs to be well hidden and it is suggested to write it down. I had a booklet of those passwords but I have lost it. Almost all dotcoms tell you to never let anyone know your passwords.  As soon as I got yet another password I quickly used to write it down in my special red coloured password booklet. But this booklet was so well hidden, it is lost.

This in reference to a letter addressed to ‘Dear Gerard.’ from the Dept. of NSW transport. It seems  we are no longer eligible for the Gold Opal card. (because of a change in our circumstances.) We both need to act and cancel our Gold Opal card and change over to a different Opal card. If we don’t we will not only lose our Gold Opal card but also lose any credit that still exists on our present cards.

The sting is that to achieve the change you need to log on to opal.com.au. As my passwords are so well hidden they are lost I can’t log on. However we could also go to a real office and get it changed manually by a Government employee. In an effort to squeeze more money out of the taxpayer many departments are now bundled together into just one. It is called Department of Human Services. I have some experience with it. Human services my a*”se.

A while ago I was fined twice for illegal parking. I checked it out and both parking infringements posted out to me occurred on the same day and at the same time within the same second and minute. How could that be? However, in my gallant effort to get one of those fines cancelled, I just about lost the will to go on. I desperately tried to log on  to the Infringement department of the Motor Transport, even to the extend to request a new password. ( the old one was hidden, remember!)  It was hell, and I was reduced to just incoherently tapping over my computer. Milo looked up and knew something was terribly wrong too.  After recovering I ended up going to the Human Services and had the fine cancelled. The Human Services girls were dressed up in a cheery red uniform but were as difficult to contact as it was on the internet. One told me to stop shouting. I wasn’t shouting.

So, in about an hour or so and after a shower we will go to this Human Services office to try and sort out our Opal travel card. I will keep you informed. I do hope we won’t need our passwords.

 

Why is everything so much more complicated?