Posts Tagged ‘WI FI’

Garlic Prawns, Grandsons, and a close encounter with the Prime Minister.

May 16, 2016
Australian PM. (second from left)

Australian PM. (second from left)

As foreshadowed in my previous post, the grandchildren were coming. They stayed with us last week-end. The weather promised was sunny and warm. It was going to be a good week-end. The eldest had broken his iPhone but the other one had just been granted a $30.- month pre-paid on his, compliments of grand-parents. The excuse was that it would allow him to be able to contact his parents. Always a blatant lie. According to a quick inspection to my access of the Wi-Fi download data on my own account, gigabits of games is what he really uses his iPhone for. He cunningly uses our Wi-Fi to connect his iPhone to.

A lot of successful week-ends depend on getting them away from the gadgets. Parents and grandparents are tested to the limits of their endurance faced with this modern phenomenon. Surely, it has to be possible to invent an electronic devise that would allow parents/ grandparents to stop and zap iPhones into the silent mode with the screen just showing rain pelting down gutters or perhaps long advertisements on the benefits of eating ‘easy oats.’

We try and lure them into bookshops. They can buy any book they like. Of course, the lure has to be sweetened with an afternoon movie. However, no books were chosen this time, but they still managed to see the movie. I forgot the name but is was a movie about a young person aspiring to greatness in sport and included Hugh Jackman. It might have been skiing. I will look it up and just put this one for a moment in ‘save draft’. Please, bear with me!

It was called ‘Eddie The Eagle.’ The boys thought it better than expected. At least no Bat Man or Shrek re-runs anymore. We do our best to try and instil a distaste for mashed potato Hollywood movies. After the danger of iPhones overload, the next problem to deal with is their enormous appetites. Despite movie watching and a general tendency to fiddle with devices ( when we are not nearby) it does not seem to lesson their need for food intake. However, both parents and us have been fortunate to have steered them into reasonable dietary habits.

Especially pleasing is that none seem to be particularly oriented towards sweets or sugar loads. They do drink those fruit sugar-loaded juices, but as for lollies, chocolate bars or sparkling soft drinks, they are not all that keen anymore. It might also be a result of the rather alarming media reports about sugar and salt and fat diets. Especially the eldest who seems to live of fruit and vegetables. However, they do make up for quantities. I know the score. Pancakes are now made to a height of about ten centimetres and are wobbling on the plate while I am cooking, threatening to collapse onto the kitchen floor. A compromise to some jam or golden syrup is made if they also allow a generous squeezing of lemon juice. Milo is looking upwards and in hope. He too knows the score.

The rack of lamb with totalling about 5 each (cutlets) and as for garlic prawns; half a kilo and that is just for garlic. I don’t know what the other cinema goers felt or smelt about that little delight? But, as always; all good things come to an end. Sunday afternoon was the time to drive them to the railway station where they would catch the train back to Sydney. After parking our car we took them to the ticket locket which was closed. You don’t get to buy train tickets anymore. That too has been gadgetized. You now swipe something in front of a pole and is called ‘Opal.’

The train station staff were everywhere but not selling tickets. I stood my ground and the locket was opened. There was a kind of nervousness about. A tingling expectation or a bomb alert. Terrorism crossed my mind. Was the dreaded Mars Bar man lurking somewhere? No, the Prime Minister is on his way, someone said. Oh, the horror. Out of nowhere, a couple of tall blue suited men rushed by talking into their sleeves. Indeed followed by our new Prime minister, Mr Turnbull looking all suave and powdered. I flashed my own iPhone and managed to get a picture while he was posing with rail staff, arms around each other. He is the second from the left.

We went down some stairs where the train to Sydney was waiting. The PM followed us and jumped in the train sitting almost opposite our grandsons. Something they will remember forever. I do hope he will lose the election on the second of July. He is cutting education, health funding and is just another Abbott. Just because he catches a train with our grandsons hasn’t made him a forward and progressive man to lead a country.

Giving up?

March 27, 2012

If there is one thing that could tip me over the edge, it would be that modern phenomenon; the mobile phone. I have always been a difficult customer, perhaps not meant for anything much more complicated than opening an umbrella or rinsing out the tomato- sauce bottle.

Perhaps my inherited frugal gene is to blame, forever ferreting to save and scrounge for the maximum that costs the minimum. My days of hanging around a phone waiting for calls from friends have long since gone with most calls now coming from unknown sources urging me into the world of a Black-Berry or some other mysterious device. Change your plan through us, they text. “You’ll save with us”, is the lure that got me last time and is now the cause for ‘over the edge tipping.’

I have become a victim of a device that connects five other devices. It does so wirelessly but not effortlessly. All you need do is insert a little card and you get connected to all those devices. That card is called Sim-card. Don’t be fooled by its short name. It’s holding the whole world to ransom. It’s a terrorist in disguise.

My own aim has always been to seek simplicity and certain disconnectedness. This aim is probably steeped in wanting as little responsibility as is humanly possible and… A kind of laziness not to get involved in anything distracting me from …whatever it is that fills my head at the time, most likely, nothing much really.

My dream still is to live in a square room made of straw bales. It would have a wooden floor and a cozy wood heater in the middle. I would live out of a suitcase and eat simple food, may be lentils or smoked pork spare ribs with apples cooked with rhubarb and crumble on top, a simple glass of red wine afterwards…Sleep on a kapok mattress and read Patrick White’s Voss under a kerosene light.

With the $30. – Pre-paid mobile connectivity, it kept me reasonably in touch with any emergency that might pop up. The emergency might be a call from the hearing-aid centre for an appointment or a cheerful reminder that 80% credit has been used up, nothing much more than the most mundane of calls.

I often wished I could get an insight why so many are glued to those devices. If not held to their ears they have them in their hands and they are so busy flicking up and down, even sideways. What am I missing out on? What sort of fascinating world is escaping me?

I believe that undertakers are flat tack with people having been run over by semi-trailers while crossing the road and stroking their IPods, IPad and multiple other connect devices with numerous Apps and Blackberries stand alone. What a riveting world it all has come to!

My latest sojourn into that, to me denied, world of devices was an invite on my $30.- pre-paid for a WeiWah wire free Wi Fi modem that would connect up to five devices. Can you imagine; five devices? It was guaranteed to open a world hitherto unknown to me. Not only that, for a mere $49.95 a month it was going to give me 10 gigabytes of this ‘open world’. It was just too tempting.

Of course my ignorance in those matters I keep close to my chest. Not wishing to show my ignorance and lack of confidence in general, I quickly nod in agreement when experts try and inform and instruct me on device connectivity. Any gadget that uses electricity, especially if it has a screen with options and menus instantly fills me with dread.” Open up tools, please”, they tell me. “What tools”, I ask. I then quickly resort to seemingly understanding it all.

I can’t tell you how close I came to tipping over the edge. Optus must now be having conference calls over it. I became the despair of the Philippines call centre. India gave up on me a long time ago. No matter how patient they all were, nothing connected, nothing worked. I removed the dreaded Sim-card, wiped it and even put it in reverse, all to no avail (as they say in romantic novels when the hero just can’t seem to be able to seduce a recalcitrant virgin).

I must have spent an entire year of $49.50 per month in trying to find this so much desired connectivity. It finally turned out the mini Wi Fi WeiWah wire free was faulty. So, there you go. All that modernity, all those wonderful opening up of a new world, once again denied through a mere faulty ‘device’.

Where are the straw bales?