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Thursday, April 16, 2009

CARLTON: “I excel when fostered by elders, party liberally if allowed, encourage turning rice into saki, and listen to JO’K,” says Payton L. Inkletter

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:

In other news…

16th April 2009:

Thursday: Almost eleven hours sleep made little difference to how bad I was feeling. The scurrilous skink didn’t quite get to wake me, for I was rousing. A promising exchange degenerated to a domestic, but it was déjà vu for the millionth time, and while I’m far from perfect, I do know that conflict management ability is like most others: skill increases in direct proportion to practice. If practice is assiduously avoided for decades, then skill won’t tumble from the sky, score a direct hit, and be absorbed unconsciously, thus doing away with the need to devote time and effort to its acquirement. But having understanding of these things is for me worse than the loneliness of the long distance runner. And anyway, what would I know.

Missus Inklegivemethefairytale picked up Pa pree and visited the local Dewsons’, before returning for the planned din dins with The Babies, who arrived a bit after half seven. I had got a bit of watering done outside, for the little dash of rain the other day is fast fading into a forgotten dream. The local Mormon missionaries, Elders Tilden and Cooper, called in just before eight to pick up their own vittles that Missus InklesI’mabiggerlandmarkthantheperthtemple had cooked for them, as a thank you for cleaning and polishing the car today, at which time she also treated them to lunch. They did a magnificent job; I don’t remember the Swift ever being so clean and gleaming.

We had a very nice meal, but Baby Inkletter laid down the law that I had to eat a small main course so I would have room for her cheesecake dessert, which as it turned out was a wise limitation, as it was so beautiful to munch upon, if not cool to sip. We played some Absolute Balderdash, which Baby Inkletter won, but she was tired and a bit grumpy, so we didn’t play for as long as usual.

Baby Peggletter unveiled his third portrait of Baby Inkletter, which he worked on entirely on Good Friday, and we were blown away by its beauty and its accuracy. I reaffirmed to Janny that our daughter got her mother’s beauty and her father’s brains, and we can all thank God for that, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with her dad’s looks as well. When The Babies disappeared into the kitchen to make cups of tea and prepare said dessert I snuck the painting onto a hook on the wall, in an unsuccessful attempt to keep it here.

Everyone left by about ten, and I watched the latter half of Q&A on Aunty, and was struck by the pathos of John Elliott trying very hard to be a caricature of John Elliott. I was revived to see the lovely Leigh Sales front Lateline (why is it I seem to enjoy Lateline a little bit more from Wednesday night on?; no offense Tony, but you’re not very hot), and her interview with James Wolfensohn, Chairman of the newly forming Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute and former World Bank President was valuable to listen to. He made the very crucial point about the difference to the rich countries such as Australia of the economic downturn and to the poor countries, a difference of comfort reduction for us, and survival for many of their citizens.

Later I watched Letterman, and tonight was another of those occasions when I’m reminded how lucky I am not to be a woman. Drew Barrymore was bizarre to look at, simply because she tried to play the part her ostentatious garb convinced her it demanded. The way she held her right hand off her hip to copy Sophia Loren at the Academy Awards earlier this year looked so unnatural, and the only time the interview worked for me was the odd occasion when she put both her hands in her lap and held herself normally. Her hair was far too severe for her head and face, poor thing, the lipstick too stark. She would have been a delight in a track suit, or some simple frock. Sorry to all those who are convinced I’m sexist or whatever; thank God I’m a man! I wouldn’t be a woman in the world of all history to date if I could possibly avoid it, given the unrealistic expectations upon them to be visual objects they’re not.

Much later I went for a late walk, and returned to do stage one of a massive kitchen clean up. I attended to various bits and pieces on the computer, including spending ages trying to apply a headline ticker html script one kindly Avindra G. had told me about at userscripts.org, but I still don’t know what I’m doing, which is nothing new.

I had been rationing my internet connection for the last ten days since my new month began on the seventh, not giving any bandwidth to my Librivox book downloads, and thus I had high speed web page loading until… yes, my lousy 2 gig limit was reached after midnight, when I noticed pages taking forever to load, and yes, I had been throttled back to 64kbs until the seventh of next month. The m-----f-----s at Optus want another twenty bucks for an additional 13 gig monthly at broadband speed. I think comparable countries overseas get much better deals; this is copper ADSL I’m talking about too, remember. And if I’m reading the upgrade plans online correctly, another 15 gig on top of the next 13 gig would relieve me of an additional 40 bucks, could you believe! This does seem bizarre, to pay $20 for another 13 in total, but, wait for it, $60 for another 28 gig in total! No, I can’t believe it either! This is what the web page at Optus is offering me: ‘You are currently on the 'yes' My Home Classic $39.99 plan (that includes, my readers, 2 lousy GB monthly data allowance). Choose from one of our flexible pricing plans to ensure you get the most from the Internet:

'yes' My Home Professional $99.99 $99.99 for 30GB data allowance;

'yes' My Home Freedom $59.99 $59.99 for 15GB data allowance.’

All you Yanks and Poms must think we’re idiots down here for putting up with it. (I’m sure there are other perks in the upgrade plans such as a million email addresses and maybe a throttling back to 128 kbs instead of 64 kbs when the data allowance is reached, but if you’re only in need of the data allowance with speed, it’s an expensive way to get it.)

[Back from the future update: it’s just two days ahead of this entry, Saturday in fact, or as we compromised folk around this dwelling call it, Sarrerdi! I have just spoken to two people at Optus, one on the internet side of things, and then one on the phone side of things, having of course to give my DOB, vital statistics, fingerprints, weight, and all that (the name’s Dong, James Dong…), and while I couldn’t understand anything either of the English-is-my-second-language Asian women said, partly due to my bad hearing, I did glean that the next step up to the ‘Freedom’ plan has a throttle back to 128 kbs when the monthly allowance is reached, and that I can downgrade at anytime without penalty, or any effect on our existing two year contract with our phone+internet bundle. Now despite my tirade a few lines back, I’m interested! Coz, dear reader, even though I still believe it’s all a giant rip-off, everyone is doing roughly the same ripping off here in the Antipodes, so to whom can we go for a significantly better deal? And I’ve got to thinking that once I reach my 15 gig data limit (which I easily will with my Librivox audio books downloads and the million things Baby Inkletter keeps requesting) and get throttled back, simple mathematics suggests that web pages should load twice as fast as they do now when throttled. If it doesn’t work this way, then I risk at most twenty bucks, because I can downgrade the following month. So stay tuned to find out if I do upgrade. You doubtless will be on the edge of your seats, and probably have disturbed sleep until you learn what happens…]

It was a bit after six when I finally got to crawl in beside the irritable iguana.


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