Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, November 30, 2012

instructions are there for a reason (ranting)

Lady please, just follow the instructional diagram!

Here in Adelaide, South Australia, we have small, rectangular, paper, bus (tram, train) tickets.
Well, not quite paper, they're more a thin cardboardy thing.

Each single ticket is good for two hours after validation, each multi-trip ticket is good for ten two hour rides.
We've had them for years, so you'd think people would know how to use them by now.

But no! 
Time after time, people insert their tickets into the validating machine the wrong way.
Either upside down, back to front, or both.
These tickets have a directional arrow printed on one side and the magnetic validating strip on the other side.
(I have photos, but we all know I can't be uploading any)
AND there is a small cardboard instructional image cable-tied to the pole that holds the validating machine. 

It's a very clear instruction.
The ticket must be inserted this way!
Yet every day those of us on the bus hear the "boink" of a rejected ticket over and over as someone inserts the ticket the wrong way, spins it around and tries again, then flips it over and tries again, until they eventually get the green light. 

Some even have a fist full of tickets and try every single one until they find one that is still within the two hour time limit, or discover they are all out of time and have to buy a new one. 

Can’t they check before boarding? 
While they are waiting at the stop seems like a good time.

Let’s not mention those who board the bus and then start searching through pockets, purses, handbags looking for their ticket. 

Now, let's be clear, I'm not talking about those few people who have never caught a bus before, or catch one maybe once in a blue moon,so don't know the system. (Although they too could just glance at the instruction board, it's right there). Usually they have someone with them who knows how and shows or tells them.

I'm talking about people who ride the bus all the time, those who get on, do the spin around, flip over ticket manouvre again and again while cheerfully stating, "I always get this wrong".

On the other side of the coin are the many, many, many people who get it right.

These tickets are now being phased out with new plastic metro cards being issued. 

These are the size of a credit card, and there are machines popping up in various places, such as the train station, or the information centre, where you can insert the card and charge it up with however much cash you'd like by entering your bank information. 
The cost is debited from your bank account. 
You can also recharge online.

I'm not sure if there is a limit on the amount you can put on the card.

These would seem to be a much better idea, as instead of inserting a ticket on the bus, you only have to touch the card against the circular icon printed on the validating machine. 
You can’t get that wrong, surely.

The machine will then show a green light and tell you how many rides you have left.  
When your balance is getting too low, it will flash a green and yellow light, so that you know you need to recharge the card soon.

Each ride is still good for the two hours as before, with seniors still travelling free between 9am and 3pm Mondays to Fridays, and all day on weekends and public holidays. 

Those of us who hold Seniors cards were sent new Seniors cards in the mail with a little metro card icon in the bottom corner. 
When I received mine, I went into the bus information centre and handed in all my unused multitrip tickets and had the $$ balance transferred to my new metro card. 

It will solve the problem of people not knowing how to insert the paper ticket.
Really, it will!
How easy is it to just touch the card to the machine?

I think these new metro cards are a great idea, mine seems to work very well and validating on the bus (or tram or train) is much quicker for those of us that have them.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

well, this is disappointing

Since I stopped posting with photos, my commenter numbers have dropped quite a bit.

I never had a huge number of people commenting, but I did have a loyal few.
And I treasured all of you. 

Only two of you are still here.
Hello Delores, and Joanne.

I know some commenters are still scared off by thoughts of a malaware site infecting their computers, so I don't expect them back anytime soon.

Perhaps after they have run their own anti virus programs?
I've had an inkling that those who are getting warnings are working via Google Chrome.
If you are not with Google Chrome, please drop in and let me know if you are getting warnings or not.

But my regular crowd who haven't been having any trouble visiting here?

Where are you all?

It's getting kind of lonely over here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

in lieu of Whimsical Wednesday

I bring you WAHL (brand name) Wednesday.

Because I still haven't bought extra storage space at Picasa, so can't upload any whimsical pictures.

The WAHL is a hand held hair cutter/trimmer that I bought for my son when he was thirteen.
It also trims beards and moustaches. 
It comes neatly packaged in a box with a range of combs for different hair lengths and a spare blade, plus little cleaning tools and instructions on how to best clean the trimmer.

J has very curly hair which he didn't like much back then, so he started shaving his head with a regular shaver.
I went to The Shaver Shop here in our Adelaide Arcade and asked the assistant what he would recommend for a teenaged boy. He showed me a couple of trimmers, then said if I wanted a gift that would last much longer, I should buy the WAHL.

I surprised J at Christmas with  the WAHL. 
He was ecstatic! He loved it!
And has loved it ever since. 

Since that Christmas, he has trimmed, shaved and carved patterns into his hair to his heart's content.
And he has gotten really good at it.
He is more comfortable with his curls now though, and sometimes lets his hair grow almost to his shoulders.
In the intervening 18 years, J has replaced the blades twice, but the little machine itself is still going strong.

So I can highly recommend this brand if you're thinking of buying a home hair cut kit.

This is not at all a sponsored post, I simply saw an advertisement for  WAHL on TV a half hour ago and thought I'd let you all know what I think of this brand.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

just imagine for a moment.....

I was sort of watching TV the other night, (day?) but the program I'd planned on watching wasn't on, because the powers that be had decided to screw around with everyone's planned viewing. 


As I sat on the couch idly changing channels, searching for something worth looking at, I heard this>>>

" you are all aware, one of our deposits has been stolen.
A relatively small amount,
$68 million dollars."

I watched a little more of that movie, but couldn't really get into it, probably because I'd missed the beginning so had no idea of the story line.
Something about drug trafficking and money laundering maybe.
Big business.

Big illegal business.

I could have picked it up easily enough by watching more, but I couldn't stop thinking about
$68 million dollars being a "relatively small amount". 

Heck, if I've got $68 dollars to spare, I feel like I'm doing okay, but $68 million? 

What kind of fortunes were they talking about when $68 million is a small amount?
The mind boggles. 

Imagine for a moment a life where $68 million is pocket change.

Mmmm, dreams.....

Monday, November 26, 2012

this is how my Monday went....

6.30am: stagger out of bed after being awake half the night because it was too hot to sleep comfortably. I should have got up and turned the fan on.

am: sometime before 7, I smelled rain. Rain! I raced to the door and watched as about two dozen fat drops splatted onto the dusty driveway. And then it stopped. :(

9.30am: leave home and wander up to the bus stop. Up until now I'm feeling pretty good, but once at the bus stop I start yawning. This is something I only do on days that I'm working.
The yawning I mean. I think it's a subconscious/psychological thing, since I find the work boring.

11.30am: start my four hour shift, getting increasingly more headachy because of the heat. Yes, the store is airconditioned, but it's cooler in the main part of the store than it is at the checkouts (why? why?) and packing groceries is warm work.  (buy more panadol) I was well hydrated, drinking almost a litre of water during the four hours.
Because of the self-serve checkouts, there are less full service checkouts open, unless there is a rush of customers with too many lining up, then an extra checkout or two gets opened  until the pressure eases. This means that the full service checkouts are full-on work with barely a break between customers. (not happy Jan!)

3.30pm: end of shift.  Hooray! Hooray! :) I get out to the bus stop as quickly as I can to get the bus, if I dawdle I'll miss it by a minute and have to wait in the heat for the next one. Sometimes I'll wait in the doorway of the hardware store and take advantage of their airconditioning, but there is no place to sit and sometimes I really need to sit down after standing four hours straight.

4.45pm: I arrive home and crack open a can of pepsi.  Usually I'll have coffee, but I'm too hot and the quick sugar hit will help the headache.  I can't be bothered cooking so zap a weight watchers microwave dinner. I figure its okay, since I cooked yesterday, a little steak and a huge salad.
Mmm, steak.

5.45ish pm: I hear thunder and look outside to see the sunny sky is now clouded over. This is good, I'm hoping for a storm. I love storms. By 5.50 it was raining, lovely big fat drops, the kind you can smell, but 5 minutes later it had stopped again and the sky was again partly sunny.
There was (and is) lots of wind and more thunder, but no rain. Phooey! There was a double rainbow too, I didn't see it, I didn't even think to check for one, but K saw it when she went outside to feed the cat, Missy, and she took a photo with her phone and sent it to me. Two complete coloured arches! Lovely. :)

7.50pm: Raining again!! Yay! 
 It didn't last long and this pattern will probably continue all night.
At least it will be cooler for sleeping.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

quick update on the photo situation, no Sunday Selections tomorrow

I've been to my Picasa web albums site and there is one of those sliding arrow type things that reduces the size of the images. So I did that with all of them, but it hasn't helped at all with being able to upload from my files to the blog.

I discovered that the "Paint" program on my computer also has an option for reducing my photos by pixel size, reducing a ---MB sized photo to a ---KB sized photo.

So I have spent a couple of hours working on reducing any photos I might want to use on the blog, but again, that isn't going to help with being able to upload, because Picasa is insisting my free 1GB allowance is 100% used and I need to buy more storage.

I downloaded a free photoshop program, but I may not use it much since discovering the "Paint" option. I only wanted it to resize photos anyway, I don't do any other fancy alterations.  I might learn how to make collages though, that could be interesting, and possibly calendars.

Enough rambling, let's get to the point. 

There will be no Sunday Selections tomorrow while I continue working on reducing all my stored photos, (thousands of them!), that's going to be an all day (week?) job.
I'll also be outside dead-heading the roses.

I'll spend the rest of the week deciding whether or not to buy extra storage space.
Without it, there can be no more photos on the blog.
Can I do posts that aren't photo based?
Probably not. I suck at writing.

Decisions, decisions, decisions....

warning! warning! aka public service announcement:

Christmas is fast approaching!

What?  You already knew that?
Well okay then.

Now for the rest of my announcement.
Bag snatchers, pickpockets, grab'n'run people.

They're out there.
Well, all year round, but they're much more prevalent at this time of year.

I may have touched on this topic before (last Christmas?), but I'm going into it again.
And again and again if necessary.

People, please beware of your surroundings!
Keep your bags, purses, small electronics etc secure.

I've just watched A Current Affair, with a young magician showing just how careless people are and how very, very easy it was to relieve people of their belongings.

This young magician sat next to an older man who was eating his lunch and taking absolutely no notice of the young man who sat down next to his open backpack.
And stole something from it. 
The magician then moved on to a woman whose handbag was hanging from her shoulder, but wide open.
No trouble at all for him to lift her purse out and walk away. 
(the "stolen" items were returned in each case with recommendations to be more aware)

The program also showed people in supermarkets moving away from trolleys where their handbags were in the baby seat, open and unattended. 
Just like *that* your purse/wallet/phone/camera, is gone.  
A young mother attending to her baby in the pram was completely unaware that someone walking very close to the pram had lifted her exposed phone.
A man had his camera taken from his pocket.
Mobile phones sticking out of back pockets were easy to lift out. 
(again, the "stolen" items were returned with explanations)

You may think I'm being alarmist, and that's your prerogative.

Now read this.....
Every day that I am at work, EVERY DAY, I see dozens of handbags open, (wide open with contents exposed for anyone at all to see and maybe help themselves) in trolleys, while the owner turns away to select fresh produce, or canned goods, even to step away completely and front up to the deli window to consider the relative merits of purchasing sliced chicken over sliced ham.
Think about how you will feel, arriving at the checkout to pay for your purchases, only to discover that your purse is gone. 

And now, there's a new problem. 
The self-serve checkout.

We all know that cash can be obtained from regular checkouts when paying for your items.
You ask for the required amount and the (smiling) assistant hands it to you. 
All good.
The self-serve checkouts also have a cash-out option, but because an assistant doesn't hand you the cash, some people, (more than a few) forget to take the money from the change slot when it pops out.

The next customer to walk up to that machine will see the cash and if he or she is honest, will hand in the cash to the service desk, where you can collect it, if you have your receipt that shows which machine you used and how much cash you requested.

If the next customer is NOT honest, he or she will pocket the money and there is nothing we can do about it. 
Your money is gone.
Just last week, I moved to a self-serve checkout with my own purchases and saw $70 in the change slot.
I took it to the desk.

I'm asking all of you to please take care. 
Be aware. 
Zip your bags. 
Secure your pockets. 
Lock your cars. 
Do NOT  leave small items clearly visible on car seats or anywhere else.  

Tell your friends.
Spread the word. 
Have a happier Christmas.

One more thing.
No matter how much your baby is whinging, crying, screaming, DO NOT give him or her your wallet to play with. 
Money and credit cards will be lost on the floor as you go around the aisles.
And the finder may not hand them in.......

Friday, November 23, 2012

this may mean the end of my Sunday Selections

I began working on my Sunday Selections post for this week and when it came time to upload a photo (or eight) I was informed that I had used 100% of my 1GB free photo storage space with Picasa and I would have to upgrade my storage, with a choice of 25GB or more at a monthly cost to be paid by credit card.
In the meantime, I cannot upload any more photos to my blog.  Phooey!!
I emailed my friend Kim, who is the originator of Sunday Selections, and she has suggested that I resize my photos. I have no idea how to do this of course.

I went to the Picasa site and deleted a few of the photos they have there, because there were multiple copies of the same photo.
I thought of deleting some of the others, but got a message saying they would also disappear from the blog and I don't want that happening. 
I think I discovered there an option to resize them too, so I'll spend some time there tomorrow and resize as much as I can before my bum goes to sleep from sitting so long and perhaps that will free up some space.

The thing is, the only photos there are ones I have already used in previous posts.
What I need to know is how to resize the photos I have stored on my computer in the pictures section of the documents page. This is where I select my photos for my posts.

Can I upload unused photos to Picasa and resize them? Then select from there for my posts?
That seems like a lot of extra work, I have so many photos. So Many Photos. 

So one option is to upgrade the storage space and pay for it.
Another option is learn how to resize photos I have stored in my files.

The third option is to discontinue posting photos altogether, which would mean the end of Sunday Selections and probably the end of the blog, since most of my posts are photo based.

Any suggestions?  Help? Please?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Whimsical Wednesday #50

Welcome back to Whimsical Wednesday!

The weekly googled giggle that gets you over the hump that is Wednesday and sliding down into the weekend.

I like this one!
Light Beer.

it tasted a little...funny

Last night's dinner was crab quiche that I had made on Sunday,  and salad.

I'd bought the lettuce and tomatoes and other stuff on the way home from work, so I knew they were all fresh.

Well as fresh as they could be after sitting in a supermarket for who-knows-how-long.

The crab quiche was yummy, but the salad,  seemed a little.......not quite off......but funny tasting.

So I checked the expiry date on my bottle of salad dressing.

Time to buy a new bottle.

Now, I've been using this same bottle of dressing for as long as it's been in my fridge.
I've not been ill from it and the food has been alright.
Until yesterday. 
Just another example of how foods do not necessarily have to be tossed the minute they "expire".
Although I did keep this a little too long.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Righty-Ho then

I've done everything I can think of - deleted all comments in my spam folder, deleted tracking cookies and temporary files, deleted several newish blogs that I'd been meaning to follow but didn't get around to, I've defragmented my hard drive, and had my antivirus program run a full system scan at the end of which I was informed that my system is secure.

Should I split that up into several separate sentences?
Nah, leave it as is.

Anyway...according to Norton, I have no problems, no viruses, no tracking cookies etc.

I can't think what else I could be doing, it would seem the "malaware" notice preventing some people from reading or commenting here is not coming from my system.

The message said my blog contains content from which is known to distribute malaware.
As far as I know, this is untrue.
The only redsultana I know of is a blog I used to read by a woman in Perth. Commenting on her site became extremely difficult and I gave up on it a couple of years ago.
I have no advertising on my blog.
None of my regular readers and commenters would introduce a malaware program.

Hopefully, this will fix itself and those who can't visit will once again be able to do so.
Hopefully they'll keep trying and not just stay away forever.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Selections #96

Welcome back to Sunday Selections!

This once-a- week-meme was originally begun by Kim of Frog Ponds Rock, as a way to showcase some of the many photos we all take, but don't get around to showing on our blogs.

The rules are very simple:-
1. post photos of your choice, old or new, under the Sunday Selections title
2. link back to me, River, somewhere in your post
3. leave me a comment so that I know you've joined in and can come over and see what you've posted.

I usually go with a theme for my Sunday Selections and this week I'm featuring Patterns.
These photos are of things I saw while walking around my neighbourhood soon after moving here. 

The recurring triangles, diamonds and hexagons on this climbing frame are very pleasing to my eyes.

The patterns in the "Iron Lace" on this grand old home are equally pleasing to me.

A long line of identical spear heads and curlicues make a great fence.

Another long repeating pattern line of metallic art, this one fences a verandah edge.

Here's a closer look, isn't it lovely?

Symmetrical modules of a rainwater tank. 
I do love symmetry.
And I love rainwater tanks. In the early days almost every Australian house had a large rainwater tank in the yard. As more people were connected to town water supplies these were often disconnected and newer homes were built without them. Now, those who have room and can afford them, are once again installing rainwater tanks to ease the burden on our drying and dying rivers.

Lastly, some roofing tiles.
Layer upon layer upon layer, (just like a Sara Lee pastry)