Friday, July 30, 2010

The Disappearing Portable Phone

Hands up who has a portable telephone handsets and teenagers?

I can see about 50% of my readers with their hands in the air! (Good imagination here!)

Alright – in my house, the bloody handset is never in the cradle, never on bench, in fact I don’t recall the last time I actually used it. We have an ‘old’ handset – you know the one with the cord that keeps you tied to the same location with 1m to roam, and it seems that is the only phone I’m allowed to use.

The handset disappears into the depths of the teenagers bedroom and remains there. Never goes on charge, yet doesn’t need charging, yet they spend all day (and night) yapping on the bloody thing.

The last time I tried to use it when I found it – it was flat, I’m not just talking beeping flat, I am talking dead flat. The screen was dead.

We are lucky – we have two landlines into the house, left over from when dial-up was the only internet service we could get (only 2 years ago) and I’ve not bothered cancelling the second line. This means that we have multiple phone socket connections throughout the house (not in kids bedrooms though!) and so a phone is never far away.

I am sick of chasing the handset though, I feel as though I am entering the Amazon Jungle every time I have to go through the door of the teenagers bedroom, it’s a completely different world and climate to the rest of the house. It scares me.

How do you stop the phone migrating into the mess known as the ‘teenagers’ bedroom’ without disconnecting the handset?

Ideas please!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I drive a 4x4

I was listening to the radio the other day and the ugly topic of four wheel drives should be banned in inner city areas came up..

I’m all for making the roads safer, but the major argument seems to be the of hitting pedestrians and the damage it can and does cause, along with not being able to 'see' through the car in front to judge traffic.

Any car will damage a pedestrian - the degrees of damage vary. Any vehicle with a bullbar will cause the same damage. Older cars with the squarer fronts will also cause more damage than a slick little sedan. Unfortunately not everyone can afford to drive a slick little new car, nor can they afford to own 2 vehicles.

As for being able to 'see through' the vehicle in front, this is garbage. If you drive with the correct distance between you and the vehicle in front, this is not issue. The number of tradesman's vans, trucks and passenger vans on the road exclude this as being an issue. Also Dark tint is making it increasing difficult to 'see through' a vehicle. People movers because of their height also prove difficult to see through.

We live approx 40km from the CBD and on a rural property. We use the four wheel drive component of the vehicle on a weekly basis. We use our vehicle for the purpose it was intended as well as the family car.

We can not afford a second vehicle, as has been suggested by some. The costs JUST for insurance and registration exceed $1000.00 per year, add to that maintenance and the cost could well exceed $5000.00 per year.

Some people are saying that the users/owners of four wheel drives should pay a higher registration fee to enable us to use the roads. This is grossly unfair. Why should we be punished for living in a rural setting and not in the inner city/suburbs?

I understand that some people buy 4x4’s exclusively for transporting children to and from school, as the darling husband thinks they are safer. When you only have 1-2 children having such a large vehicle ONLY for that task, it is criminal. Perhaps driving lessons are required?

Another aspect of four wheel drive ownership that many people overlook is that a family of 6 (2 adults and 4 children) or a couple with a blended family, have only 2 choices when it comes to vehicle choice. These choices are:- a people mover OR a four wheel drive. I agree with the purchasers a four wheel drive in this instance IS safer. A people mover has inferior driver/front seat passenger leg protection and in my eyes a four wheel drive IS safer.

AND Just because you live in the suburbs or the inner city, doesn’t mean that you don’t use the full potential of the vehicle. You may own a caravan, you may own horses. The towing capacity of a four wheel drive is superior by far.

So just because I live in Balwyn or Gisborne I have equal right to the ownership of a four wheel drive, as long as it is used for the purpose it was intended which is:-
Rough terrain driving
Heavy towing
6 plus people transport

I don’t believe there is a way to monitor usage and therefore to randomly introduce penalties for ownership of such vehicles is not the Australia we all know.

Your input comment and thoughts appreciated!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Duplicated Files/Photos on your HD or storage devices

For years I’ve struggled with duplicated files across many storage devices and on my HD – the reason for this is that I am a compulsive ‘saver’. Every time I open a document I re-save it with the time and date attached so I know which is the most current file. If the document requires many adjustments/changes then I could have 20 different file names for the same documents – all with the same alpha, but different time and date stamp.

Then on top of that I also keep multiple copies of data on several media types and located in several places! <-- I know one sick puppy. Anyway – using Google (my best friend) he showed me a program called Anti-Twin

The program is very easy to use – will compare just one drive, or multiple drives – you choose what you want to compare.

The files are listed – so you can choose what you want to keep and what you want to delete.

You are shown the file paths and folder. Literally control is in your hands, and you can choose to delete or keep. When it comes to the deleting side of things – you even have the choice to delete immediately, delete to the recycle bin OR delete to a folder called anti-twined – which will store everything until such time as you are ready to delete.

The thing I absolutely LOVE about this program is its ability to compare photos pixel by pixel and determine if 100% match or less – you even get to nominate the percentage of match before the program flags it.

Try anti-twin and if you like it – donate to maintain the program – even $1 helps

**I forgot to mention, the program not only uses english but many other languages as well. So if english is a second language - you can use your native language (if supported!)

Friday, July 23, 2010

I nearly hit a pedestrian today…….

It wasn’t my fault.

How could it be my fault, if
a) he was crossing an 8 lane highway,
b) climbing over a traffic barrier,
c) wearing ear phones for music
d) the pedestrian lights were 200m up the road

I am stunned at peoples stupidity, both in high speed traffic areas and also slow speed traffic areas.

Just yesterday on Hoddle Street, Melbourne, a pedestrian was killed by a truck, No - the truck didn’t climb the curb, nor did the driver run a red light. The truck was stopped in traffic and the pedestrian chose to climb OVER the hitching between the dog and trailer!

In car parks, they are the best, people step off the curb and onto the road, hold up their hand, just like a police officer and expect you to wait. Excuse me, the pedestrian crossing is 20m up the road.

Another thing that really gets up my nose, people with children in tow, instead of waiting for the ‘little green man’ when the button for the lights is pressed, the carers either cross against the lights OR cross 50m away from the lights, without the protection of a pedestrian crossing.

People wonder why children get killed when trying to the cross the road. It’s because the children have no idea of HOW to cross a road. They have never been taught.

Cars can be dangerous, but don’t blame the driver, when the pedestrian walks onto the road, at a spot NOT designed for pedestrians, or actively discouraged by pedestrian barriers.’

I am sure you can add to these examples.

Remember Look left, look right and look left again BEFORE crossing the road. Remember a car is bigger than you and if impact occurs you COULD get killed.

Stay Safe

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Things we Take for Granted - Our Backdoor Step

These are some photos that I took -the other day January 2010 near Whittlesea, looking towards Tullamarine Airport. Thought you might enjoy them. Notice the colour - the evening turned orange and made things surreal - no bushfires in the area - although the fires in Gippsland were still burning at the time

The following photos were taken 1 minute apart - all the same view - or very close to and the colour is magnificent!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How to pick Fraudulent Credit Card Transactions

Email #1

Good day I will kindly like to know if you carry ZYX if you do then I will be glad if you can get to me with the price per box so that we can proceed.Thanks

Response #1
Hi T , do you want the disposable latex type?

Email #2
Yes A how much do you sell a box and how many pieces are in them.Hope to hear from you soon.Thanks

Response #2
Hi T the XYZ are $0.00 + GST (100 in a box).

Email #3
Hi A,

Glad to hear from you and what I will be the total cost for 100 Boxes.Let me hear from you so that we can proceed on with this order.Thanks


Response #3
T there are 10 boxes of 100 in a carton do you want 10 cartons?

Email #4
Yes A

Response #4
T am I sending these to you or are you picking them up?

Email #5
A OK sending them to me will be OK. So when can send my credit card for the order.Thanks

Response #5
Well first of all I require your address so I can work out freight ( Australia only)

Email #6
Hello A,

Below is my payment details:

123 The Road, The Beach, A State, Australia


1234567890123456 EXPIRY:00/2000 CVV:000

1234567890126789 EXPIRY:00/2000 CVV:000

Run and split the charges on both cards and kindly let me hear back from you.Thanks

Response #6
Hi T unfortunately I am unable to process this order. Please contact out credit department for any queries.

Email #7
Hello A,

You mean my cards did not go through or if you did not process them I guess you can kindly forward it your credit card dept to process it for the order for me OK.Thanks

A formal response was sent from the credit department after this last email, no response has been received, regarding innocence or otherwise

The give-aways were:-
1. No Phone Number
2. Free email address
3. The address was a legitimate business, that did not know T
4. The cards were approx 3000 digits different in sequential order
5. No response has been received after the formal response
6. Both cards had the same expiry date
7. The clincher was the fact that cards are not from AU banks

Victoria Police were contacted - advised by phone to attend station, station was attended - once there advised that since no crime has been committed, unless you want to do the leg work, we aren't going to follow it up

It is believed (but NOT confirmed) that these 2 cards may be Citibank USA issued Mastercards, but this has NOT been proven at the time of posting.

Today being the day that the media are talking about EFT/Electronic fraud and ways to prevent it - I was gob-smacked at the response.

Take this as a warning - if you accept credit card payments over the phone or email in YOUR business

If you are USA based or are in Australia and want the full details, please leave a message via the comments section - it WILL NOT be published.
My email to Mastercard worldwide regarding THEIR cards and possible problems:-

I believe the following details are stolen information, these cards were attempted to be used for an internet sale of approx $ABC and the ‘owner’ was requesting the charge be split between 2 cards.

That was the first alarm bell, the second was no phone number, the third was a email address for Australia, the 4th was the delivery is a real address for a real business, but they had never heard of a XYZ.

No transactions have been processed by us and no transaction will be processed by us, but these cards/accounts need to be de-activated IMMEDIATELY

Payment details:

**insert card details, including CCV)

Run and split the charges on both cards and kindly let me hear back from you.Thanks

Should you require any further information, please feel free to contact me

Response from Mastercard Worldwide - Keeping in mind I DON'T and am unable to locate the bank concerned

You must contact the bank that issued your cards to alert them. MasterCard does not manage cardholder accounts or else we would. As such, we do not have access to these systems. There should be a telephone number on the back of your cards where you can call. If not, you can call the MasterCard Assistance Center at **Insert USA Number here** for assistance in getting this reported


A response WAS received overnight - perhaps my email responding to their inability to actually read emails sunk in?

Don't know, but here is the response

Thank you for contacting MasterCard. This information has been forwarded to our Fraud Team.

So I can lay straight in bed now - but if you need help for suspected fraud OR fraud, I'm not sure it's possible to get any help - noting that the above contact information was sent TO THE FRAUD DEPT of MASTERCARD WORLDWIDE!

The Plastic Fantastic I would suggest will go the way of the dodo, if the duty of care is not increased by the card issuer, the bank and the police.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Canberra - Map - Single Page

C1926-c1945 - A Google search reveals that the Telephone Number belonged to the Canberra Tourist Bureau from about 1926 to possibly as late as 1956 - very hard to determine.

Once again if you can shed any light on an exact period - your assistance would be appreciated!


This is the last of the vintage photos, please feel free to review the photos and postcards of an Aussie travelling the world just after WWI.

Make sure you check out the "100yr Old Photos" tag and check all 25 odd posts.

Back up those digital images, because one day this could be your photos being posted for people to see!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

100 Year Old Postcards & Album - Australia

Below is an old Potcard album - dating back to c1904, belonging to Ethel James The postcards remaining in the album are also below.
I would love to know what this postcard is of - it says 'Roseville' but no other location is provided. I'm assuming Australia

The below inscription was written on the back of the Manly Postcard, seems to indicate that the James family was involved in horse training, riding or owning and made some good money, if the round the world trip is any indication.


c1904, Melbourne

Friday, July 9, 2010

Roos, Koalas, Dolphins, "One week, One State, One Family"

The boys went fishing today. I expected to come home from work with fresh fillets sitting in the fridge, alas that was not the case - 8 hours later this is all I have to show for their efforts!

These photos were taken in Port Phillip Bay, Just off Paterson River. This pod of dolphins, played and froliced in the bow waves pretty much the entire day apparently!

I wish I was there.

The below photo was taken about 100m from my front door step, in the back paddock in the tree four down on the north side (as my neighbour described it over the phone)
These trees did not exist 14 years ago, we planted them. These are the benefits I am prepared to accept in the knowledge that these trees also provide fuel for a fire. But as I said, I am prepared to accept that risk.

All the above photos were taken with a point and shoot camera, nothing like the camera used in the shot below. But still a cheap camera can still provide stunning shots!

Caught this old man Kangaroo on the hop about 50m from my front door step. I know it's not brilliant - the camera is 2 weeks old the operator is about 40yo and hasn't the foggiest!

But not too bad I must say so for a 7am just after dawn photo op.

Specifications:- I hope all this makes sense!
Camera Model - Nikon D3000
F-Stop - f/4
Exposure - 1/30 sec
ISO - 800
Focal Length - 28mm

Please do NOT copy any of the photos on this blog - if you would like to use any photos, please leave a comment with contact details, Photos will be supplied without watermark and at full size. All comments are moderated and won't be shown to the public. Thank-you

Please note that no photo has been photoshopped on this blog, cropped yes, photoshopped NO!

Enjoy all of natures beauty!

Please visit Redbubble, perhaps there is something there you would like to purchase. Refer the photos below!
Buy my work

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

it's cold out there, but my hands are warm

A stainless steel handwarmer.

I have two of these - one for each pocket - or whatever other dirty ideas you can come up with <-- yes your mind is working overtime - I can see it! ;)

They run on liquid lighter fuel (conveniently bought) and heat for 24 hours. The less air they get, the longer they burn for.

They are not dangerous, there is no naked flame.

They have been around since the American Civil War, perhaps longer, I don't know. But I love my hand warmer.

There are numerous reputable brands around, one is Peacock the other is Zippo, I'm not sure about other brands available, but if you are going to buy one, make sure it's a good one, one without rubber fittings, (which burn during the lighting process)

A Victorian (Australia) seller is who appear to be sold out - but give them a call, perhaps there is other stock available.

For the small initial outlay - the benefits are wonderful (and warm)