Friday, November 25, 2022

A great grate

Zoe has very strict food ideas, which we follow whenever we are at home together. She believes in eating only uncooked fruit and vegetables. There is some evidence that such a diet is good for you so I don't mind having that for a few of my meals

But Zoe does have her own food preparation ideas. She does not cook but likes to grate most of her food. That certainly helps a big lot of fruit and veg to go down. So she is a dab hand at rapidly grating lots of food. She is however getting a bit tired of all the grating so has just bought herself an electric grating machine. It's a bit like a juicer where you eat the pulp instead of throwing it away. Greenies would approve! (The National Socialist German Workers Party would too)

She brought the machine over to my place as she got it from the shop and proceeded to set it up for the first time. She recently did that with another machine she bought. She must feel that I can give her at least moral support if she has trouble putting a machine together. She does however have a degree in mechanical engineering from the university of Belgrade so does not seek my help initially. As it happens, the new machine was a bit of a puzzle to set up so I did make a suggestion that she found helpful.

Anyway, below is the recent dinner she put in front of me with output from her new machine. It features grated parsnip. grated beetroot, grated carrot, chopped onion, chopped spinach, and chopped avocado. She chopped the onion in her machine too. It has a variety of cutters

The machine

Thursday, November 24, 2022

A small trick to help absent-minded people

As we all now know, the Greenies somehow bullied governments into abolishing the disposable plastic carry bags that supermarkets used to give out free to help people to take their purchases home. Instead we are offered more robust carry bags for 15c which we are meant to keep handy and bring with us every time we shop. They are "reusable".

The new system is a lot more inconvenient. We often pop into a supermarket without having had the foresight to bring a "reusable" bag with us. So we have to buy another such bag for 15c. The cost is trivial but we soon end up having a large stash of such bags and nothing obvious to do with them.

I am one of the sufferers from that. Being chronically absent-minded, I often forget to bring a bag and so usually have to buy one -- meaning that I have a rather large number of 15c bags cluttering up the boot of my car.

But I have found a solution to that. Supermarkets DO still provide disposable bags -- ones used to gather together fruit and vegetable purchases. They look small at first but are actually surprisingly large when opened out. And there is no reason why you have to use them for fuit and veg only. If you are in the shop only to buy a few things, you can often fit ALL your purchases into them. So that is what I now do. I use the "fruit" bags for everything and get my purchases home quite well that way. See a pic of one of my recent purchase in such a bag below.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The authorities knew the vaccine risks all along

At the bottom of my comments below is a link to one of the many accounts about the bad effects of Covid vaccinations. My comments below were in response to it. I wrote them for one of my political blogs and also posted them on Facebook but the comments do contain a substantial personal element so I think they have a place here too.

I had two vaccinations with the British Astra-Zeneca vaccine. I had them under duress. I needed them to be permitted to go to certain places. On both occasions I had zero noticeable effects from the vaccination and I have also not apparently had Covid. So I would appear to be a "success" of the program

I personally don't think I am. I have a very good immune system and I think that was what defeated the harms from both the vaccine and the virus. Everybody I know who had the vaccine reported side effects from their shot: Side effects akin to the flu. And they got Covid anyway. I occasionally get flu symptoms but they vanish within 24 hours.

But in any case, I have no personal reason to be critical of the Covid vaccination programs. I look on with horror at what others have suffered but I have no personal beef

So the major point that I want to make is that the official response to vaccination side-effects was WILDLY out of keeping with the normal official response to medication side-effects. When a drug appears to have only a few reports of serious side effects, it usually gets banned in short order.

A case in point is Vioxx -- a very good nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that had been used by millions with no problems. There were however a handful of very serious cases attributed to the drug and publicity about that put the manufacturer under great pressure, causing them to "voluntarily" withdraw the drug from the market. By vuoluntarily withdrawing it, they left the way open to re-marketing it if vindication of the drug emerged.

I was at the time critical of the furore surrounding Vioxx. If millions have used the drug with no ill-effects and only a handful of adverse cases have surfaced, how do we know that the adverse effects were due to the drug? Which body of evidence is persuasive about what the drug does: the millions who have used the drug beneficially or the handful who SAY that their illness was caused by the drug? Is it not by far most likely that the adverse cases were mere coincidence? Yet the drug was effectively banned on the basis of those possibly coincidental cases.

And that has long been typical: Only a few cases of adverse effects from a medication are usually sufficient to ban it. If aspirin had been subject to modern approval scrutiny, we would never have had it.

But with Covid vacines the pendulum swung WILDLY in the opposite direction. Far from bad side-effects getting maximum scrutiny, they were actually COVERED UP. Why?

I think it was the Chinese example that ruled the day. When stories emerged about the Chinese authorities actually welding people's doors shut to enforce quarantine, our Left-leaning elites salivated. They saw a golden opportunity to go Fascist. They saw a way of getting the sort of control over other people that they had previously only dreamed of. They NEEEDED the vaccines to be effective and problem-free in order to justify their dreamy descent into authoritarianism. In fact, as it is now clear, the vaccines were NEITHER effective nor safe. So they had to cover that up as long as they could.

As I said from the beginning, the only public health measures that might have been justified emerge from the fact that only a tiny number of deaths were among people aged under 65. So it would have been justifiable to give maximum support to the over 65s to enable them to isolate themselves voluntarily


Sunday, November 20, 2022

Student shenanigans

Some readers of this blog liked my story below about Rhodesia, a prank that I got up to in my student days in the famous '60s. In the cirumstances I thought I might redirect readers to something else I did of that kind at around the same time. I rather risked my safety in provoking Leftists this time, Story here

Monday, November 14, 2022


I do not appear so far to have put online one of the more amusing episodes from my student days in the '60s. So:

The former British colony of Rhodesia was at that time a well-managed self-governing entity democratically run by the white minority of its population. It was effectively a very prosperous independent country but Britain retained some sort of suzerainty over it.

Britain's Labour Party government had however become concerned that the black majority mostly did not have a vote in the running of the country so various moves were afoot to unseat the white minority government. That became a major international cause for a while.

I saw in the Leftist outrage about Rhodesia at the time an opportunity for some fun. I joined with some other conservative students to found "The Australia-Rhodesia Society".

The student Leftists rolled up in force to our inaugural meeting and tried to disrupt it with shouting and leaping about. They ensured that no meeting was possible. Later they also managed to get us banned from using any further university facilities (rooms etc) for any subsequent meetings

And they claim to believe in free speech! They don't. I know. "By their fruits shall ye know them". Anyway we had our fun with them. We knew them for what they were. Stalin's remark that there was complete freedom of speech in Russia for anyone who agreed with him just about sums up what all Leftists aspire to.

The "Australia-Rhodesia Society" was of course never meant seriously. It was just a bait that the Leftists swallowed hook, line and sinker. It is rather frightening how easily Stalinism emerges. The fascism of student "anti-Fascists" has to be seen to be believed.

White rule over Rhodesia was eventually overturned. It is now "Zimbabwe"

Gradual progression to majority rule in Rhodesia was already well underway before any outside intervention but that did not comport with the Leftist need for instant gratification

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

"Down the coast"

Going "down the coast" is a frequent activity among Brisbane people. It refers to the drive of over an hour to get to the surf beaches to the South of Brisbane -- Surfer's Paradise etc.

I used to make that trip in my early 20s with some frequency but it is now around 50 years since I visited Surfer's Paradise. I am not an outdoorsy type.

But today was Z's birthday and she wanted to go "down the coast" for it. So we went. She lived down there a few years ago so knows the area to some extent. She particularly wanted to go to the Q1 building, the tallest one there. She luckily got a parking spot just outside the building and I paid the $58 to get us to the observation deck on the 77th floor of it. Views don't come cheap.

But the views were indeed striking and the coffee and Tiramisu we had while we were there went down well.

The birthday girl on top of the world

Myself in a serious moment. I had just told her NOT to take a photo of me

Some scenery. Ignore the spotty guy in the corner

Some very good scenery

Z has very strict Vegan dietary views so the cake was a concession for her. Rather than doing any more dining at the restaurant she provided a picnic lunch for us, which we had in a shelter overlooking the water. It was very good and tasty, based on fruit and vegetables. She makes an exceptional apple crumble, which has long been a favourite dessert for me.

I paid over $100 to fill the petrol tank for the trip "down the coast" so that was rather striking to me too. It inspired the thought that people who go on motoring trips, particularly with mobile homes, have to have considerable funds for it. It is not a cheap holiday now.

On the drive home Z gave me an extended lecture in moral philosophy. She likes Erich Fromm's rejection of relativism. I said nothing in response but I was familiar with her topic. I have had a few academic articles on the topic published. See here

Z adheres to the idea of moral absolutes, which is perhaps the most frequently held view of the matter. Analytical philosophers normally regard such views as naive and I once did too. I have had second thoughts on it in more recent years however and conclude that there is indeed an objective referent that people have in mind when they use such language. See here

While I am talking of going "down the coast", I thought I might take the liberty of recounting an episode from my youth (approx, 1975) when I made such a trip. I was driving my little sky-blue VW at the time. And a VW beetle at the time did not have a fuel gauge. It had a "spare tank". And to access that "tank" you bent down and moved a lever to a different position. So I was driving along with a friend beside me (Jimmy Johnson) when the motor began to splutter as it usually does when the fuel runs out. I therefore bent down to move the lever to reserve -- only to find that I had already done that. My lifelong absent-mindedness had betrayed me.

I was sailing along at a fair clip however and I saw a petrol station not far ahead of me. So I simply coasted into it and pulled up at a pump in the usual way. No inconvenience at all. "That was arsie" said Jimmy. "Arsie" in Australian slang refers to undeserved good luck. It tends to be admired.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Some good shopping

Nobody is as keen an OpShopper as Jenny but I do rather a lot of it too, often after breakfast with her. With her driving, we range far and wide around the Southside. And I usually take Anne Opshopping after my breakfasts with her.

Zoe is also a keen viewer of secondhand goods but she usually goes to markets and garage sales, though she and I did go OpShopping together on one occasion recently. Anyway, I thought I might put up some pics of our recent successes.

The first is a bracelet I bought for Zoe when she was not present with me. I have a fair idea of her taste and I had a hit with that one. She really likes it and does wear it

And below is one of her purchases, which she got from Ipswich market. It is a mini Aladdin's lamp. Very cute. It lacked its glass chimney when she bought it but I was able to give her one out of my collection. I also had lamp oil to put in it. So I got it fully operational for her.

And below is something I bought for myself. It is a lemon squeezer. Zoe puts lemon juice on some of the food she prepares for us so I had that in mind when I bought it. But I thought it was cute anyway. As you can see, it has even got a lid -- so you can use it as a storage container for the juice once you have extracted it. It is branded underneath as "Preparo", which is a word in Brazilian Portuguese. I have never seen such a thing in local shops so it probably comes all the way from Brazil. That makes it a good example of something I like about OpShops: You see stuff there that you never see anywhere alse

In the picture I put it beside my orange juicer for scale. Also one of the lemons we have been using. Lemons come in a range of sizes but small ones are common.

My favourite among the recent purchases I have bought for myself is a carved Chinese camphorwood chest, normally used to store woollen blankets. The camphor smell repels insects. Below is a picture of it at the foot of the bed in my guest room

I normally buy things for Jenny only when I am with her as I am not sure I understand her taste. I have known her for 40 years so that is a bit strange. She recently was looking for a necklace to go with something and showed several possibilities to me when we were down at an OpShop at Capalaba. I did not like the first two she showed me but we did finally agree on the third. She is wearing it below

I also recently bought Anne a mini HiFi, which, despite its size, puts out excellent sound. Anne uses it to play her CDs. See below.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

A Japanese lunch

Anne and I do not have a regular lunch date but when we do lunch together it is on a Thursday at Southgate Avenue in Cannon Hill, which has a really good strip of shops.

We normally eat there at their Coffee Club, which has excellent service -- unlike some other Coffee Clubs -- and I like the flat grills I get there.

But for a change we went today a few doors down the shopping strip to the Japanese restaurant.  Anne had the tempura prawns, which were very good.  Anne is very fond of tempura.  I had the Chicken Katsu Don but it was not a good version of that dish.  I also found the chairs uncomfortable so will be unlikely to go there again

For coffee we went a few doors further down the strip to an Italian place.  To my surprise, the place was furnished with Bentwood chairs. Ir's a long time since I have seen those.  They were in fashion about a century ago. So the art of wood bending must still be alive somewhere. See below