Monday, January 31, 2022

Musical compatibility

I have always been a classical music devotee.  I get a lot out of it and greatly dislike most popular music.  And that creates problems for me in  relationships.  I need the lady in my life to be able at least to tolerate classical music.  And where both of us are aficionados, it is a tie that binds.

So when Anne downgraded our relationship in March 2020 I went on dating sites to find another lady  --with the stipulation that she should like classical music. That ruled out 99% of the available possibilities so it took me a long time to find another partner.

So when Zoe contacted me I was pleased that she liked Bach. Bach does things to me. And during our afternoon together yesterday, she asked me to put on some Schumann -- which I was delighted to do. I put on my favourite Schumann: Kinderszenen. You have to be a real classical devotee to have heard of Schumann so Zoe and I are very compatible musically. She makes me a happy man

She has a very trim figure  too, not bad for a lady in her 70s

Saturday, January 29, 2022

A virus attack

I had a slight cold a few days ago.  Sniffles and a slightly sore throat.  I had to take cold medicine  -- Codral -- for the sniffles but I did that for only two days.  I have been back to normal for a few days now.  The big easing of Covid-motivated  restrictions would appear to have allowed all the usual viruses to spread again.  My symptoms were nothing like Covid.  No headache, no high temperature etc.  And I don't think even a runny nose is a usual Covid symptom.

People respond to Covid in different ways, however.  Some are infected but show no symptoms at all.  So, to be on the safe side,  when Anne and I had our usual Saturday brekkie we did not kiss or hold hands and sat in a semi-outdoor place. We still fitted in our usual visit to Vinnies, however and Anne came away with a small trophy.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

A new friend

Since early 2020 I have been in two semi-relationships -- with my ex wife Jenny and my ex-girlfriend Anne.  Both are very congenial arrangements that I probably should be completely happy with but I would like a little more. And both ladies are happy about me seeking a little more.  So it is hopeful that I have recently had a few lunches with "Zoe".  She has declared feelings for me and later today there is a development that may be significant.  She has asked to see me more than once a week so we will now be lunching on Sunday as well as Wednesday

Zoe is from Southern Europe and is around my age but very fit. She does however speak English with an accent that does give me trouble understanding her at times. She is however clearly intelligent, is a very independent thinker, takes an interest in history and likes Bach.  Those are all big pluses from my viewpoint.

She also has strong food preferences.  She eats raw food only: uncooked fruit and veg.  I of course am a normal human omnivore.  I have however made some concessions to her wishes in regard to food.  I have so far provided all the lunches and have offered only uncooked fruit and vegetables for us both to eat. She wants me to convert to a total raw food diet but I have said No.  She says a raw food diet would make me young again. If only....

Anyway we do appear to be advancing towards a real relationship.  But only time will tell, of course

UPDATE of 29th

Zoe and I became lovers on our fourth meeting. Quite respectable, I think. She is a passsionate Serb however so storms soon ensued. I dealt with the storms with my usual Anglo-Saxon calm, however, so all is now serene. Even the dreaded M-word has been mentioned

Monday, January 10, 2022

A new computer

In June of 2020, I rejigged my living room.  I bought an old but large TV unit with lots of drawers to sit a TV on and and I bought a largeish new TV and and a very comfortable new sofa.  Sofa below.

I rarely watch TV so I wanted one primarily to play classical music videos on YouTube.  Watching a performance as well as hearing it does add something.  So I needed a computer to hook up to the TV.  I had an old office computer which slotted well into the TV unit so I decided to use that. Its output was VGA only and my new TV of course took HDMI only.  I circumvented that problem by buying a small converter from Jaycar.  It worked.

But recently it stopped working. When I turned the computer on one morning the TV reported no signal.   I thought at first that the old computer had finally died but then it occurred to me that the VGA to HDMI gadget might have died.  I have found that Jaycar sells a lot of Chinese rubbish these days.  And so it was.  I took the computer downstairs to the garage and hooked it up to an old VGA monitor I had there.  Everything worked perfectly! The computer was OK after all.

But since I no longer could use it to drive my TV, I had to get a new computer.  I chose one of the cheapest laptop computers Officeworks was selling - for $347.  As I just wanted it for one thing, that should have been fine.  It wasn't.  After I had gone through the enormously complicated process of getting it up and running, it ran for only one day.  Next day it would not recognize its own keyboard!  It was a Lenovo product which I had expected better of.  

So I took it back to Officeworks in a very disgruntled state and swapped it for a slightly dearer one -- another Lenovo. So I had to go through the agony of setting up another computer.   But I got it going and it has been fine since.  It's a pretty minimal computer with a small hard drive, only two USB ports and no cable connection for the router. I could have just relied on WiFi to get the internet from the router but I had a cable to USB converter so it is now something a bit unusual for a laptop: one connected directly to the router.  It should be a bit faster that way.

So I used the two  USB ports to connect the router and a mouse.  So I was up and running.  I wanted to connect a couple  of extra things, however:  A regular keyboard and a USB drive to facilitate file transfers.  I had a hub so I plugged the hub into the mouse port which made the El-cheapo computer more versatile. It now has 5 USB ports.

I was not in a great hurry to buy a new keyboard so I was a bit lucky to find a Lenovo keyboard for $5 in an OpShop. It is nice to use but is a bit non-standard in that it has some sort of proprietary keys on top of the F keys. But is does the letters and numbers as usual so that is all I want for watching videos. The laptop has similar keys on top of the F keys so I obviously have something to learn about that

The TV unit accomodates the laptop nicely -- and unobtrusively

UPDATE: Joe has explained the expanded F key identities to me as facilities for dealing with videos. Seeing that I want to use the computer to play videos, that might be useful. So my $5 keyboard is in fact completely up to date

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Unexpected tolerance

I wasn't obstructing anyone so maybe that helped

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Clarifying the meaning of "Right-wing"

It does not always imply racial hostility

My son and I recently had a discussion about being "Right-wing". We agreed that I am. But in what sense?

I mentioned that Syngman Rhee was in his day notably called "so far Right he was almost out of sight". He was a South Korean politician who served as the first President of South Korea from 1948 to 1960. But there were no racial issues in his term in office so how was he Rightist?


Although they themselves -- from Karl Marx on -- are often antisemitic, Leftists today use the terms "Rightist", Right-wing", racist", white supremacist" for anyone they disagree with who has any group-denominated views. To the Left you can be a racist even if you express no views about any race. Opponents of vaccination mandates are, for instance, sometimes called racists even by mainstream voices of Leftism. See for instance here

So if Rightist implies racism, I am very clearly a Tory rather than a Rightist, as the term "Rightist" is commonly understood. By Tory I mean traditional conservatism as seen in the British Conservative party prior to WWII and as seen in the more traditional stream in the current U.S. Republican party. In line with that, I think the individual is much more important than any group that he/she belongs to. But, insofar as generalizations have some value, I think highly of both the Chinese and the Jews. And I have a very low opinion of Muslims and blacks.

That latter opinion will produce immediate howls of rage from Leftists, but, in their usual way, that is bereft of context. Am I a racist if I approve of some minorities and disapprove of other minorities? The Left in their simplistic way do not even consider that matter. To them it is just another opportunity for abuse and attack. They act as if all thoughts about race are fundamentally evil. Though if you speak well of one of their favoured minorities that is fine, of course

I would say that I am only a racist insofar as I think that group identity can sometimes make a difference.  I don't think that the astronomical rate of violent crime among blacks is coincidence, for instance. It does NOT mean that I approve of bad treatment of someone solely on the basis of their race. I actually agree with the statement in the United Nations charter that says each case should be judged on its individual merits.  The conservative whom I have quoted most in my writings is in fact a black man -- Thomas Sowell

And that non-hostile view is a Tory position, not a specifically Rightist one.  There are indeed Rightists who wish to persecute all members of some race, usually Jews, but I am not one of them.  

So let me allude to some famous Tories and their opinion of Jews.  In the 19th century, the British Conservative party (Tories) made a proud Jew their Prime minister -- Benjamin Disraeli.  

And the British Prime Minister  who declared war on Hitler -- Neville Chamberlain -- had some antisemitic views.  So conservatives can have some views about a particular group -- in this case Jews -- without wishing them ill.  You can even promote their cause -- as the Conservative Party did in the 19th century and as Neville Chamberlain did in the 20th.


And the greatest Tory of all, Winston Churchill, voiced some very negative views of Muslims but pitied them rather than being hostile to them. See here

So my position on racial questions is in fact a Tory or conservative one, not a Rightist one.  Leftists will of course be uninterested in that distinction.  It does not give them enough opportunity for abuse

The great irony of course is that the old Soviet view of Hitler as a Rightist  is now generally accepted.  He was indeed to the Right of the Soviets in that he allowed more individual liberty than they did but that is not saying much. The truth of the matter is that Hitler called himself a socialist and had a broad range of socialist policies -- including comprehensive  party  control of industry.  His deeds have lasting relevance but they are relevant to Leftism, not conservatism. He is another example of the generalization that hostile racial obsessions are mostly Leftist, not conservative. 

So the  grossly inaccurate view  of Hitler as "Rightist" has thoroughly muddied the waters.  People understand the meaning of the term "Rightist" to mean conservatism plus racial ideas.  But the  misattribution of Hitler causes people assume that all racial ideas must be hostile, including racial views  among conservatives.  

As we have seen, however, this is wrong.  People with conservative views may see racial differences as significant without being at all hostile to the races they take an interest in. They may even favour and think well of some races.

I see myself as wishing no-one ill on account of their race and as having many conservative views.  I in fact usually describe myself as a libertarian conservative.  

Another huge irony, however, is that  libertarian ideas are often described by the Left as "Right wing", when they are not.  They are thoroughly opposed to both traditional conservatism and racial awareness.  Conservatives who are sympathetic to libertarian ideas represent, in fact, a major stream in modern-day conservative thought. 

The most loved and most influential conservative leader of the 20th century knew what conservatism was about, of course.  He said: "If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism..... The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom"   And if Ronald Reagan did not know what  conservatism was  all about, who would?

Reagan also conveyed the patriotic, pro-Christian message that Trump later used to such strong effect. I align with both those orientations. I am pleased to be born a 5th generation Australian and even more pleased to be a product of the Anglosphere. And I was a strong Christian fundamentalist in my teens. Subsequent to that, however, I have been a thoughgoing atheist (in the Carnap manner) for the whole of my adult life. Nonetheless I still have the warmest memories of my Christian days and still try to live by Christian principles. And I find that whenever I do the Christian thing I get a reward, often very rapidly. And when I allow the Devil to dominate I stumble. And there is a Devil. Whether you conceive of him as a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, or as a fallen angel or the destructive side of human nature, there is clearly much evil in human life. Freud called it "Thanatos", the death instinct. And I still go to church on some (rare) occasions

So I do have many traditional conservative views -- also including the view that the justice system often goes too easy on criminals, that homosexual "marriage" is a travesty and that traditional sex roles are largely inborn. I even practice "ladies first" and open car doors for women. And such attitudes in combination with some libertarian views make me seen as extremely Right-wing. I readily accept that ascription as long as it is understood that my thinking about other races is of a conservative or Tory kind -- i.e. not hostile towards any individual solely on account of his/her race.

For a more detailed account of my views, see here