Thank you Melanie

Journal: 066

I have lots of bloggers to thank for lots of things. Friendship and communication mostly, which I’ve always done better by writing than f2f. But I want to thank Melanie (Grab the Lapels) particularly for MAKING MY TRUCK RADIO WORK.

I’ve complained for years that I have had trouble playing audiobooks on my phone through the speakers of my truck radio. At least over Xmas I got off my bum and tried Bluetooth headphones – which worked but a) cancelled all the noise from the truck to which I listen, mostly unconsciously, to determine how I’m going; and b) captured incoming phone calls, nearly always straight after I’d taken the headphones off to do something else.

Recently, Melanie replied that she just hopped in her car, plugged an audio cable from phone to radio, and away she went. Ok. I’d been trying for the cable option for ever. My high end Oppo phone doesn’t have an audio out port. Did my previous Samsung? I don’t remember. My real problem was that I mostly deal with the local JB HiFi which is staffed by young sales people. A couple of weeks ago I tried Milly’s JB HiFi which I know is staffed by geeks, and hey presto – take this USB to audio converter, plug in this audio cable, give me twenty something bucks, and away you go. Doing a short country run yesterday to pick up some freight, I connected the cables, fired up another story from Chris Tsiolkas’ Merciless Gods, and away we were!

My next, short, step will be to borrow audiobooks from the library virtually. While he stayed with me these past couple of weeks, I tried out my brother’s BorrowBox account, and that worked fine too. No more whingeing!

So, you know I had to take the month off – two weeks iso and two weeks partying. The photo above is me and Psyche at my birthday. That’s my happy face, can you tell? I had a great time. And the photo below is Gee and Psyche and baby Dingo on Rottnest. Had a great time there too!

Rottnest is an island 20 kms off the coast of Perth. The upper classes, when they’re not down at their winery/weekenders in Margaret River, come across in their yachts to moor opposite the pub where they can be seen. But the rest of us take the ferries; stay in the 1950s cottages; walk and swim and ride our bikes and sit in the sun and drink and eat. Ok, this time Milly and I and our party had a couple of glam tents (no aircon but, they’ll be hot in summer). Gee and Oak and their six kids were about a kilometre away in a cottage, and every time you looked up, and well into the evening, one or more of the six would be whizzing by, dropping in. Bikes, a world to explore, endless days – that’s how childhood should be.

Of course, the other side of Rottnest – Wadjemup to the local Noongars – is that almost from the first days of white settlement, that is from the 1830s, it was used as a prison for Aboriginal men, not just for Noongars but for men from throughout Western Australia. The old Tentland, was on top of “the unmarked graves of at least 373 Aboriginal men – the largest deaths in custody site in Australia and the largest known burial ground of Aboriginal people” (ABC RN).

We fight constantly, mostly successfully, to prevent the wealthy from turning Rottnest into an exclusive resort, but the happy, sunny days mask a dark past, as is so often the case in Australia.

One day on. I was writing Wednesday, now it’s Thurs 1 April, my month of iso/holiday is over and I’d better put my head down, nose to the grindstone, pedal to the metal and all those other cliches for the 36 weeks or so till Christmas. The trailers are (lightly) loaded. I was hoping for a bit more but Homer in Melbourne’s been on the phone every day making sure I’ll be there to load back on Tuesday. Bloody public holidays, they always get in the way but a couple of easy-going farmers have agreed to accept deliveries Sunday, Monday so that’s ok.

And did I say? I got my first Covid vaccination last week.

Currently reading

Louisa Hall (F, USA), Speak
Susan Allott (F, Eng), The Silence
Ann Radcliffe (F, Eng), The Italian
Peter Corris (M, Aust/NSW), The January Zone
Joseph Furphy (M, Aust/Vic), Such is Life
ETA Hoffman (M, Ger), Mr Flea

54 thoughts on “Thank you Melanie

  1. Would love to visit Rottnest. And other places in WA. Tassie is very unorganised with vaccinations. You would think they could open up a big stadium and vaccinate but no, selected dr offices and if you aren’t an existing patient there is no room at the inn. Incompetent politicians continuing to run the show. Glad you sorted your radio. Such a pleasure to have working technology🐧🎶🌷


    • Scotty from Marketing ‘said’ there would be big Commonwealth clinics set up in every state. Phase 1B sounded like it would be through your GP but was actually through selected GP clinics who may or may not have received vaccine. I ended up trying ‘next available’ and got a clinic nearby the following day. One of the lucky ones I guess. I was told to come back in 12 weeks for shot #2.
      Re stadiums – i saw a photo today of the Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne, where I sat my uni exams AND my car and truck licences, set up for vaccinations. If they have any vaccine Scotty will be there for sure tomorrow for a photo op in a nurse’s uniform.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Not fair, not fair, not fair… I have a cable thingy, have had ever since the Mazda dealership set it up for me, and guess what, it’s never worked since. So I’m still playing CDs because I bought the last-ever Mazda model to have a CD player.
    And my word, don’t we need it. Day in, day out, the radio is all about Covid.
    I’m too young to be eligible for a vaccination!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rub it in! Anyway now I have my shot, I’m moving my birth year to 1959 so I can work 5 more years without people asking when am I going to retire.
      I appreciate my CD player, no worries, but I have more than a year’s worth of Audible books I have to play somehow.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I just took delivery of my new Mazda. The re-model has given it a beautiful streamlined appearance. The audio system sound quality is amazing. BUT, there’s no CD tray, Sob. Plus I just cannot figure out how to change radio channels safely – way too much fiddling about with buttons


      • I had a Mazda 3 a few years ago, it was a lovely car (and bright red!). Chasing radio stations is always hard work. I wonder if there are still portable CD players you could listen to through your audio plug.


      • No, no CD players. And what’s more, there’s not enough room in the innards of the front dash to retrofit one. I really, really miss my 6CD stacker in the old Mazda, it was great because I could play audiobooks without ever needing to mess about with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am so glad to be rid of the car CD. It was one of the reasons we replced our 2004 Forester in 2019. I love to borrow audiobooks from the library via Borrowbox and play them through the car audio system. So easy and you don’t have to carry CDs, nor do you have to worry about leaving them in the car on hot days, and you can borrow up to 10 giving yourself a lot of choice about what you feel like hearing. We can listen to any radio station we like through the ABC Listen app onto the car audio system, so no losing of stations and having to find new ones.


      • Definitely easier on a long journey to listen via my iPod than to keep changing discs. But Apple have changed the way that users add books to the iPod whether from Borrowbox or Audible and it’s not intuitive so every time I want to do it I end up going around in circles


  3. Ah, I love Rottnest… been a few times now and always enjoy pottering around on the bikes. Last time we went on day trip it was July and only two shops were open so we were annoyed we couldn’t recover from our 30km cycle with a few beers in the pub because it was shut. We bought a 6-pack from the bottle shop only to find we weren’t allowed to drink in public and we were too wimpish to try to decant beer into our drink bottles. Lol.

    I have been asked to get my vaccine… in the UK. I keep getting text messages on my UK phone urging me to book my appointment. But here in Australia I have heard NOTHING. I’ve had invites to do bowel cancer screening and mammograms, but no word about a vaccine.


    • They won’t contact you, just announce Phase 2 has started and leave it to you to go on their annoying website.
      It’s unAustralian not be able to plonk down on a blanket and have a few quiet cold ones. My nephew and I were conducting an unofficial protest most of Saturday evening.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, in UK everyone over 50 has been offered vaccine. I’ve received an email and three text messages urging me to book my appointment in London. The NHS is brilliant at things like that.


      • UK is in a more dire situation than we are, but good on them for being organised. The USA had 65 for their first community cut off (ie after health workers, etc) but we are 70. So 1a is health workers, aged care; 1b is one 70 plus some other conditions. I’m 2a but I’m not sure what that group includes. You too probably?


      • Yes, but of course like the UK they were in a dire situation and needed to get going fast which Biden has done. I think that plan to get systematically onto the 40s and below this month? My Californian friend did tell me it was truly chaotic in January. She’s a teacher and is mid-60s, so was in a priority group but she struggled to get an appointment and said it was really random who got theirs where. It’s only in the last month, she says (we write weekly), that understandable systems are in place. But, of course, like here it’s a state responsilbity (once they have the vaccinations) to roll it out, so some were probably more efficient earlier than others. Here, it’s largely supply it seems. We have a dedicated clinic set up in Canberra (very near where I live, in fact) but they don’t have enough supply yet.

        I’m not really defending the delay here, but just saying that the imperative in those places was much greater. In the USA they hope to be back to living the life we are living now around 4 July! I rather accept that our government should send some of our supply to PNG. Their need is greater, as long as we maintain our borders and quarantine??

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad you got it to work! Nick and I did research on the type of phone you have to get you good instructions. As I mentioned, chances are good your library will have an app called Libby that lets you listen to audiobooks for free. Make sure you check that out. Libby is easy to use.

    I’m so glad you got your first vaccine. Does this mean you can show them a vaccine passport and they’ll stop rapier-ing your brain.


  5. What a wonderful photo! Glad you are sorting your listening device. Pleased you have had the vaccine. I have just returned to the UK and am in the process of getting an NHS number, then Auntie England will look after me (Go Commonwealth!) as one of her own.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Interested to see that you’re reading The Italian – I only know of it tangentially through the references in Northanger Abbey, so I will be interested to hear what you think of it!


    • I picked it up a while ago and thought I would have plenty of time to read it before I went back to work, but family holidays don’t work like that, so it’s going to take a while yet. But it seems to be worth the effort.


  7. Once again I missed this one. Took my eye off the ball, with Daughter Gums being here over Easter. loved hearing about your Rottnest time. I have been there, but in, oh, 1976 I think it was. I remember nothing, but quokkas of course. I certainly didn’t sail up in my yacht! Haha.


    • Is that why you were going through Comments. It’s constantly bemusing seeing which posts do or do not develop a comment stream. Hopefully Rotto hasn’t changed much since you were there last (for my first visit Milly organised a flight in a light aircraft. And I’ve been there by luxury yacht).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, since I didn’t read it until now, I thought I may as well check out the comments as they are usually interesting on your blog!

        Luxury yacht eh? Some hidden depths (or something) there, then!


  8. I’m not sure if I would have said happy face, but definitely contented face, if that could be a thing! 🙂

    What fun that you’ve been able to solve the listening problems; it’s so gratifying to feel like technology and you are getting along and finding a way to hang out,.

    We’ve got both Overdrive and Libby here, and each seems to have its slight conveniences/advantages, depending what you’re into. Spoiled for riches.


    • Well, it was too nice a day for grumpy face anyway.
      I like to get along with technology, I was a software developer for 10 years, but I’ve never liked hardware, and I’ve never taken to visual interfaces.
      So, not just grumpy, but an old fogey with it.


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