‘Pretties!’

Do I really need to spell out what this last pic is about? Mwahahahaha!

I bought all of these pretties from the little Vietnamese bakery in the Research shops [right down the end near the roundabout]. I was really impressed by the plastic screen installed in front of the cash register and the restraint of the two guys behind me. One was just inside the door – well over 2 metres from me. The second was outside the door, a safe distance from customer no. 1. And we were ALL wearing masks.

“Today is turning into a very good day,” says Meeks as she licks her chops.


Retail therapy at last!

Yes! I went shopping today. For the first time in over eight months. And yes, it was exhilarating. 😀

My little shopping expedition was also hot and sweaty because I decided to be daring and go for a walk first. Bad move. I parked at Bunnings and walked to Autobarn, a short hop…by car. What I’d forgotten was that most of the way to Autobarn was uphill, and guess who’s a wee bit out of shape?

By the time I’d walked back to Bunnings [wearing my surgical mask and one glove], I was literally dripping with sweat, and the inside of the mask felt like a wet towel. That said, the outside of the mask was quite dry, proving that it really does catch all those potentially toxic exhalations.

Anyway…one of the first things I saw inside Bunnings was a customer with his mask down under his chin, mooching around with a takeaway cup of coffee in his hand. After all the fear and stress of the last eight months, I totally lost it and told him off. He came back with ‘oh but you’re allowed to not wear a mask if your eating or drinking’. I politely suggested that he ‘eat or drink’ outside.

I know the restrictions have been eased, but this prick was deliberately abusing the privileges we’ve been given. I am so sick of selfish morons trying to find loop holes in rules designed to protect everyone. We’re virus free for the moment, but as South Australia discovered, all it takes is ONE idiot. Ahem…

Smarmy piece of shit aside, the whole setup at Bunnings was brilliant. One door to go in, a different door to go out, physical distancing lines painted on the floor leading to the checkouts. Staff all wearing masks and directing ‘traffic’. I felt quite safe, which is saying something. And I loved being able to select things for myself again. Online shopping is okay, but unless and until they make online shopping a virtual experience, it’s just not the same as being there.

Oh, and in case you’re all wondering what I actually bought? Well…I bought a trickle charger for the batteries that drive my fire-fighting pumps, a new 30 metre garden hose, a timer-tap so I can’t forget to turn off the tap, and a small sprinkler head to water the new veggie box.

Nothing exciting, I know, but I feel great anyway, and in a day or two I’m going to go out again to buy…bread. A beautiful Vienna with a crisp crust and a fluffy white interior:

The vienna has to be unsliced, of course, so we can pop it into a hot oven for a minute [to decontaminate] before slicing and smothering with fresh, cold butter….

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make us happy. 🙂

cheers
Meeks


Vaccines – some real data on efficacy

This is an important video for everyone to watch as Dr John Campbell explains about the adverse reactions recorded for the Pfizer vaccine. He then goes through the first peer reviewed paper published for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

As Australia has aligned itself heavily with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, it’s very reassuring to know that it is both safe and efficacious! Just as a matter of interest, Australians won’t be getting any vaccines until some time in March, 2021. As we have the virus under control [knock on wood], we can afford to wait.

Feels great to get some good news on the virus front for a change. 🙂

cheers
Meeks


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Archives – #ShortStory – The Snow Globe by D. Wallace Peach

Poignant and beautiful, a short story by D.Wallace Peach on Sally’s Smorgasbord Blog Magazine.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Over the last seven years there have been some amazing guests in the run up to Christmas who have shared stories about their own memories of this time of year or their festive fiction. In the next four weeks I will be repeating some of those posts, updated with the authors recent books and reviews.

A fabulous story by D.Wallace Peach to bring some romance and mystical magic to Christmas. I know you will love it.

Pixabay image composition.

The Snow Globe by D. Wallace Peach

Delores perches at the scuffed counter of Dee’s Diner on Christmas Eve, keeping one bespectacled eye on Angie as the waitress mops the linoleum floor. The sign on the front door has already flipped from “Open” to “Closed,” and the crimson Panhandle sky fades to a duller shade of rose, a single bright star glimmering on the eastern horizon.

“Thanks for closing early, Dee,” the…

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Joscha Bach on mind, modelling and reality

Apologies. I’m doing this post simply so I can easily find this video again. It goes for about 3 hours and my brain can only handle it in ‘chunks’. So please ignore this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-2P3MSZrBM

Just as a note to myself : brain biology = electrical and chemical pathways for sensory input. Electrical = digital but chemical = analog.

Can a construct, an AI, ever be self aware ‘like us’ if it cannot synthesize sensory input as both digital and analog?

Meeks


The inevitable decline of Facebook

I came in to take a break from mowing [the grass] and stumbled across a Medium article about why Facebook is dead ‘but doesn’t know it’. As I loathe Facebook with a passion, I was instantly intrigued.

The gist of the article is that generational change is killing Facebook. The youngest users don’t want to share a platform with the older members of their family – ewwww – while the politically inclined will head off to new apps that won’t fact check them, or try to make them feel bad about themselves.

As for the rest of us, we’ll be demanding things from social media that Facebook can’t or won’t offer, such as:

For social media users, expect (or demand) to see the introduction of a User’s Bill of Rights, including beefed-up privacy standards, far-less addictive algorithms, innovative protection from foreign trolling, and perhaps even ad revenue sharing… go Medium! It’s our presence and content creation that gives these platforms all their power and profit, and it’s time they start treating us more like customers and contributors and less like the product being sold.’

https://medium.com/better-marketing/facebook-is-dead-it-just-doesnt-know-it-yet-614e723e9f72

The nett effect of all this change will be that Facebook will become the domain of seniors. And I can’t wait! Having seen the demise of Geo Cities, and then Myspace, I knew the same would happen to Facebook, but I didn’t think it would take so very long, or that the platform would do so much damage along the way.

The one thing that bothers me is that I know something else will come along in time. I can only hope that by then, we will have learned to protect ourselves from the rapacious clutches of developers who see us as ‘the product’.

Facebook is dead, long live Facebook?

Meeks

p.s. you don’t have to sign in to Medium to read the article.


Making tech work in the 3rd World

This is an interview between Dr John Campbell and David Davies of AgUnity. The first few minutes are about Covid but the rest of this incredible interview is about how AgUnity makes it possible for poor farmers in developing nations to work co-operatively with their villages and, for example, the Fair Trade organisation, to better their lives.

How? By providing the farmers with a very cheap, specially tailored smart phone.

This is smart tech. And yes, the bloke with the tan is an Aussie. 😀 To find out more about AgUnity, visit their website http://www.agunity.com or contact them via hello@agunity.com.

cheers
Meeks


More love for The Egg!

Today is going to be a very good day because The Vintage Egg has received a fabulous review from Robbie Cheadle. Robbie also reviewed an intriguing little book about low cost, crafty and very imaginative ways to create Christmas:

https://robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com/2020/11/25/bookreviews-short-books-by-a-c-flory-and-charlie-lee-austin/comment-page-1/#comment-18839

Click the link below the picture to go to Robbie’s reviews or click here. You can also find Robbie’s books on Amazon. They include the absolutely delightful Sir Chocolate books for children which she co-produced with her son Michael.

The Sir Chocolate books are illustrated with characters made of fondant [icing?], and the artistry is a joy:

Have a wonderful day!

cheers
Meeks


Masterpiece, from Master Piece, Objet de Maîtrise,

Beautiful art, stitch by careful stitch. I am in awe.

And because WordPress didn’t include any of the beautiful pictures in the reblog – grrr – here’s the first one that made my jaw drop:

My Mazamet

Excerpt from Walter Cahn, Masterpieces: Chapters on the History of an Idea, Princeton, 1979

“The exercise of a profession during the Middle Ages necessitated admission to a guild or corporation, made manifest by the candidate’s recognition as a master. This step marked the end of a period of apprenticeship, often followed by a further stage of training as a journeyman. The ultimate moment in this process of qualification was obviously of the greatest importance to the young artisan and to the corporation alike. The former depended on its successful outcome for the possibility of earning his livelihood. For the latter, a number of contradictory pressures were involved. It was desirable for the collective prosperity and welfare that a sufficient number of new master be admitted. The new arrivals assured the continuity of an enterprise and the material security of the household following the death of the former head. In good…

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Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos

I’m so excited! I saw about five of these amazing birds…in my garden this morning!

The one that caught my attention was making a loud, insistent, hoarse sound, similar to the noise made by magpie fledglings as they wait for their parent to place food in their beak.

The young? cockatoo allowed me to get quite close – maybe just a couple of metres – so I could see the distinctive yellow patch on its cheek quite clearly. The colour of its feathers, and those of the four adults, was a much deep black though. The bird in the image above looks almost brown whereas my birds were definitely black-black. Maybe their feathers change colour with the seasons or something.

I’ve never been wild about the avian species and know very little about them, but since moving to Warrandyte I’ve grown to appreciate at least some of our local birds, including the resident magpies and kookaburras. I’ll now add black cockatoos to my welcome list. I just hope I manage to save some of the fruit on the trees from their all-you-can-eat smorgasbord. lol

cheers
Meeks


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