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Tuesday, 17 July 2018 Dereel → Geelong → Dereel Images for 17 July 2018
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Periodontics again
Topic: health, general Link here

Today was my 6-monthly periodontics checkup in Geelong, at 14:00. Early in the morning I heard that there was a bus strike there, from 9:00 to 13:00. Should be over by the time I got there? Yes, but what about the people who normally go to work by bus, but had taken their cars today? Car parking chaos?

Called up the surgery and tried to postpone my appointment, but the next one would have been in October. But they had a solution for me: they have a patient parking place behind the building, and I could use that. Accordingly off and found only a single parking place, conveniently blocked by a car which had parked fully 2 m from the end of its parking place:


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That's my car at the back of the first photo, so somehow I managed it, but I was proud enough of myself that I took these photos. In to ask the reception to find the owner of the Audi that had blocked my way. That was easy: that was the receptionist, and she would move it. A good thing that I didn't express my opinion of such parking more forcibly.

In the waiting room, received confirmation of my concerns about parking: another patient was complaining about the difficulty of finding a parking place.

Later I was called in for my examination, but it proved to be a different nurse, the owner of the white car in the middle. She suspected me of having scraped it and pointed to a small scrape on the bumper bar. Could I have been it? No, for a number of reasons. Firstly there was no mark on my car, secondly the scratch was at a height corresponding to an indentation in my car, and finally I could hardly have hit it the way the Audi was parked (by the time we examined it it had been moved forward).

The appointment itself was routine: teeth OK, come back in 6 months, $250 please.

After my appointment I spoke to the receptionist again, and she explained that where I had parked wasn't intended for parking. Why? Looks OK to me. But it seems that the trees on the left leave spots on the cars, which is why they park so far back, and I should have parked in front of the cars on the right of where I parked, since the owners weren't going anywhere. At least the nurse (with whom she checked) had accepted the fact that it probably wasn't my car that did the damage.


Trump's latest disasters
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Donald Trump has been in power for 18 months now, and he continues to go from one disaster to the next. His visit to NATO was bad enough, but then he continued in the United Kingdom, a country where he was so welcome that he did not appear in public at all, bad-mouthing Theresa May, then denying it the following day. All that we're left with is a collection of photos:

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But then he was off to Helsinki to meet with Vladimir Putin. Given his treatment of his friends, how would he treat his foes? Two hours behind closed doors, and the only thing worth mentioning was that Trump reported that Putin had reported that Russia had not meddled in the 2006 US Elections, and that he believed him! And this despite CIA intelligence that showed clear meddling, and after arrest warrants had been issued for 12 Russian spies, and just before another was issued. As The Shovel put it, Winner Of US Election Meets With Donald Trump In Helsinki. This spectacle has caused even his own party to label his behaviour “treasonous”.

In that connection, it's interesting to note this statistic from Statista, showing that most of the world distrusts both Trump and Putin, but Trump more than Putin. Only countries that have something to gain from Trump, here Israel and South Korea, find him more trustworthy than Putin.

Where do we go from here? Treason is a ground for impeachment. Will the opinion find a majority?


Reading old diaries
Topic: general, history Link here

Mail from Paul Robbins today, the bloke who sent me the information about 1066 And All Saxon. It seems that he's reading my entire diary of the 1960s! I had typed it in mainly for my own use, and, indeed, I use it frequently. But for other people? He even wrote

This would make a great television series, It would run for years.


More food adventures
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

While in Geelong, and arrived at the Indo-Asian Grocery Store in heavy rain—there must have been over 10 mm in 20 minutes—to find them mopping the floors. Finding Masa harina is becoming more difficult all the time. They had Minsa harina, but only blue, which I don't really like, and something called P.A.N. “Maíz precocida”.


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What's that? The owner assured me that it was just like the masa I knew, but that's “Harina de maíz nixtamalizada”, and there's no mention of making tortillas on the package. Still, there's small choice, and so I bought a package. If I had seen the price in advance, I may not have. The flour that Yvonne bought in Ballarat two weeks ago cost $3 for 1 kg. This cost $7. And to add to my annoyance, I discovered that it was “white maize”. That's my fault: they had both white and yellow maize, and I grabbed the wrong one. What do I do with lots of (potentially) useless maize flour?

Then on to the Gourmet Asian Grocery, where I bought my normal supplies and also a lot of Yum cha style dumplings. Back home and steamed some of them:


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They didn't taste bad, but there wasn't enough differentiation. I think we've been through this before: one or two each are OK, but more gets boring.


Wednesday, 18 July 2018 Dereel Images for 18 July 2018
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New leveling base
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

The Andoer DY-60A leveling base that I ordered the weekend before last arrived today from Guangdong (and not Singapore as claimed), but still before the ball head that I had ordered from Sydney last week, and which had been sent last Monday. Bloody Australia Post!

The head looks pretty much like what it promises to be. Here it is (on the right) compared with the Manfrotto 3416 that I have at the moment:


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What's the advantage? It's a lot easier to adjust than the Manfrotto, which has stiff screws oriented at 120° from each other. It also has a considerably larger range:


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I'll see on Saturday how well that handles the more extreme cases.


Historical exchange rates
Topic: history, general Link here

On 22 May 1967 I ate my first caviar, in Babolsar. Here with my parents:


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I noted that it cost 770 IRR, and that it was very expensive. When I typed in the diary entry in February 2011, I also noted that 770 Rials are now worth USD 0.40, which for three serves of caviar would really be the world's cheapest.

Today I heard from Paul Robbins, who has apparently fought his way through my diary to this point. There's a site fxtop.com that specializes in historical exchange rates. The interface is rather hard to use, but I was able to establish that 770 Rials were worth £3/6/0 on this date. I would convert that to $150 AUD nowadays, which does indeed sound very expensive.


Pam Hay to visit
Topic: general Link here

Pam Hay arrived to spend a couple of nights. I had thought that it had been some time since we last saw her, but in fact it was less than three years ago. I must be more careful in noting things in my diary.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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