Sunday, October 30, 2022


If somebody has a bad experience with a place, they tend not to go there again. It's normal and can be wise. Being a bit autistic, however, my feelings tend to be low key and that includes fear. I am not easily bothered. So yesterday I took Z to lunch at the small Spanish cafe at Stones Corner called "Buenismo"

Mr Stone's little shop is long gone from his corner but he has left his name to a rather humble strip of shops nearby that include a lot of places to eat, none of which are very fancy but some of which serve very good food.

And going to "Buenismo" is the point of this post. It is where I fell on my back last April and broke my sternum, which took 4 months to heal. But suddenly I was going back to that place. Z was actually with me when I fell so it was a return visit for both of us.

But neither of us were mindful of our past there. We went because they offered a most unusual dish that Z likes. She has very particular food preferences but that one passes muster. It is called a vegetable salad. And that is what it is: Vegetables served together with salad and nothing else, all on one plate. Mothers always seem to be messianic about getting their kids to eat their greens so they should perhaps take their kids there.

Anyway we both ordered it amid some hilarity. In her usual assertive way, Z kept cutting in with instructions when I was trying to order -- which was lot of fun. I am myself assertive so cope with Z's ways without difficulty or resentment. For instance, when asked what milk she wanted in her coffee, she said, "Skim, and for him too". She ordered skim milk in MY coffee too! Very assertive but I admire her spirit so I just laughed.

Anyway, we ate our salad and visited the nearby OpShops later, where I bought her a plate that she liked. She was a bit peeved that it cost only $1. I also played a little prank on her there but I had better not go into that. It was a bit evil of me. It cracked me up, though. She forgave me.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Serb girls

The picture above is one I uploaded around 20 years ago and tells me that it has been uploaded hundreds of times over the years. Nobody seems to know the origin of the picture but I am obviously not alone in finding it very attractive

So it is a pleasant coincidence that I now find myself with a Srb girl as my partner. She is in her 70s so calling her a girl might seem to be a big stretch but older ladies often refer to one-another as "girls" so I am not alone in that either.

Below is a picture that I like of my Srb girl. Her name is not really "Zoe". That is just a pseudonym for privacy purposes. Her real name is very Srbian and rather pretty

UPDATE: My own Serb girl sent me some more pictures of Serbian girls, this time in folk dress. See below.

Friday, October 21, 2022

A fall

A lot of the personal news I post here is positive. But, as the Inkspots once sang, Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall -- and some rains in my life recently have been rather pesky. My rains have been falls. No old people should fall over but sometimes I do.

Last March I had a fall which broke my ankle and last April I fell and cracked my sternum. That second one took 4 months to heal fully. Thanks to support from those close to me, neither break dislocated my life very much so I remained in reasonable cheer. But I was glad to get past it all.

There is a religious song that says "You will never walk alone". It is a great comfort in adversity to many people. But I am humbled to say that I have that support in real life. When it comes to religious songs, I cannot go past Regula Mühlemann singing "Exsultate Jubilate" by W. A. Mozart

Now just past midnight on Wednesday, I had another fall. I was coming out of the shower when I slipped over on the cork floor in my kitchen. Cork is very forgiving so I broke nothing this time but it left me feeling stiff and sore. It was painful for me to walk on Thursday but by the afternoon today, I can walk with only minor pain. So my good old immune system would again seem to have come up trumps.

Incidentally, did you get the reference to the Inkspots? They were a black American group of singers in the 1930s and 1940s. They did marvellous harmony. My father thought highly of them. They are on CD.

Sunday 23 update:

I am now fully recovered from the effects of my fall and in very good spirits. My usual breakfast with Joe went well, as did dinner with my Serb girl

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

I am now "with it" (but only in one way)

When digital music in the form of CDs first came out, many people complained that they didn't give quite the sound quality of the old black vinyl 12" LPs. I was inclined to agree. Analog sound was somehow more life-like. But LPs are a bit fiddly so CDs and later DVDs soon took over. Shops simply stopped selling LPs.

I went with the flow and duplicated my vinyl collection with a comprehensive collection of CDs and a few DVds.

But LPs never quite disappeared. Disk Jockeys continued to prefer them, as did a few audiophiles. And music publishers did eventually restart their LP presses in a small way.

And in recent years there has been a distinct revival of the old music formats: Open-reel tape recorders, audio cassettes and LPs. The opinion that analog formats give more lifelike sound now has quite a few devotees -- to the point where old analog recordings have become a collectors' item. So I am glad that I still have my collections of them. My old collections have made me "with it" today

As I mentioned recently I have decided to get my old music machines going again -- even including a VHS VCR! So my audio cassettes and my record player are up and running again. My CDs and audio cassettes are hooked up to quite good sound systems, ones including woofers.

My record player was however hooked up to a sound system that was pretty basic, with no woofer capability. I might seem a bit fanatical to be worried about woofers but I do have a special reason for that preoccupation: I like the music of Philip Glass and I like wind-organ music. Organ music is of course famous for good bass notes, particularly if the organ includes 16' pipes.

In contrast, Philip Glass mostly produces electronic music, using symthesizers. And synthesizers are VERY good at producing the deepest of bass notes. So to enjoy such music to the full, you need good woofers in your sound system.

My record player is pretty good aside from the speakers. The turntable is a Sony and the amp is a high-quality Onkyo from Japan. So I looked around for a better set of speakers. And I acquired one -- a set of high quality Sony speakers, each of which contained TWO woofers. So, with Jenny's assistance, I got them hooked up to my record player and suddenly had a sound system that did full justice to synth music. It is a great leap forward. I have been playing my LP of "The Photographer" by Philip Glass, which has a lot of profound bass notes.

I am now on the lookout for an open reel tape recorder that still works. I have some good tapes for one

My new Sony setup

Closeup of speaker

Saturday, October 15, 2022

A VERY sociable day

My days are not usually very sociable. One social activity per day is my norm. But today was a distinct exception. I had my usual Saturday breakfast with my friend Anne plus a trip to the Annerley Vinnies afterward. The food was good (calamari for me; smoked salmon and big mushrooms for Anne) and Vinnies was even better. Anne had remarked to me quite recently that she rather regretted giving her Kenwood Chef mixer away so it was a pleasant surprise to discover a Junior Kenwood for sale at Vinnies for the very modest sum of $15. So we bought it. It looked new so that should work out well. Neither of us had been aware that there was such a thing as a Junior Kenwood.

When we got home we mainly listened to a recording of "The Photographer" by Philip Glass. The bass in that comes over well on my HiFi speakers. Anne was dressed in her favourite colours -- shades of brown. See below

My girlfriend Zoe in the same setting

Then I had another social occasion for lunch. Two old male friends from years back -- Henningham and Croucher -- joined me at the excellent "Sunny Doll" Japanese restaurant at Buranda. Croucher spent many years teaching in China and is going back soon to sell his properties there. He needs the money and they should reap a goodly sum. We mainly discussed the situation in China and citizenship issues there and in Hong Kong.

For our lunches, both my visitors ordered the traditional Japanese raw tuna. Both have visited Japan. I shouted. I ordered chicken Katsu, which is always good there

Croucher and Henningham opposite my stooped self at the "Sunny Doll"

Then that evening Jenny came over, as she often does. Like me, she had eaten well during the day so didn't feel like eating at dinner time. So I just had a mug of Sustagen for my dinner and we had a cup of tea afterward. Jenny is a very practical lady so we spent some time discussing new speakers for my recently revived record player

Sunday, October 2, 2022


This is just a call-out to Allsports Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine Clinic at Toowong. The shockwave therapy that they gave me worked a treat. A particular thank-you to Adrian. I am not quite a new man but definitely a renovated one. So my good news continues.

Another good thing is that I have regained a bit of my old energy from years back. I have been collecting recorded music for over 60 years. I started with 78 rpm records and a wind-up gramophone when I was about 13.

A fondly remembered 78

And it went on from there: LPs, Open-reel tape recorders, audio cassettes, CDs, DVDs and now I mostly watch YouTube. And in each era of recording I accumulated many recordings in the medium of the day.

Recently, however I decided to rehabilitate the old recordings. I got my record player, a cassette player and my CD player fully set up to play all my recordings in those media. Getting the old machines working took quite a bit of effort but I can now access music in obsolete formats. I have some audio rarites in the old formats so I am pleased I found the energy to revisit the old machines Some of the old machines were not working but there were enough that did

I even have one of my old VHS VCR players working. I have a lot of tapes for it. It is set up in my garage, together with setups of 3 old computers, an Amiga 500, an Atari ST and an IBM DOS machine

Saturday, October 1, 2022

A geriatric lunch

Last Tuesday I put on a simple lunch on my verandah for two old friends from my army days. Those days were back in the 60s, but friendships made in the army tend to endure. And because it is all so long ago, all three of us are pretty geriatric these days, I am on the brink of 80 and Rod H is too. Peter H is already over 80.

I gave the lunch to celebrate two happy recent events in my life: A PET scan and the surprising popularity of my academic writings these days. Papers I wrote way back in the '70s are still getting frequent attention -- which is pretty surprising. Of all academics worldwide I seem to be in the top 5% for citation frequency. I am very glad I lived to see that. My writings were not popular in the day but it seems that I did not labour in vain in researching and writing them.

And the PET scan revealed something else surprising: A total absence of cancer anywhere in my body -- including my prostate. Earlier scans showed me as having metastasized prostate cancer. Prostate cancer does not usually disappear so the recent news was most remarkable. The immunotherapy that eliminated my stomach cancer seems to have had unexpectedly wide reach. So most of the conversation at lunch revolved around prostates and other medical matters. Peter H in particular has had a lot of prostate problems

The meal was savoury mince with pasta and we finished with apple pie