Computers are great when they work. When they don’t, they’re boat anchors. Internet connection is kind of a useful feature if you want to send and receive emails. Even the dodgy thirteen year old laptop could connect up to the internet. But not Sandra’s computer. And of course, it was a work day.
The bare minimum of work got done that day. Phone calls were made, apologies given. Another phone call was made. Computer advice was sought. By late afternoon the Dirt Rat Suzuki and I were on our way north to the next big town of Bendigo. After an hour and ten minutes of driving, I was in the computer store doing my best to make the guy selling me the replacement parts laugh. Success!
Upon arriving home, the sun was setting. Boxes were opened. The naked computer guts sprawled over the desk. A glass of ginger wine assisted. Out with the old. In with the new. Like granddad’s axe, the computer was as good as gold. Switch it on. Funky coloured lights pulse. The noisy speakers are quiet. There’s no software. Nothing useful could be done. The late night finish meant bed was calling.
And that was how Wednesday rolled. All bit of a minor drama really. The question I pondered that afternoon was: Do I implement my plan B in order to keep on working that day, or do I resolve the immediate issue and keep the plan B in reserve for another day? I chose to keep the plan B in reserve, and instead fixed the suddenly useless computer.
The long drive to and from the computer shop gave me some time to get my thoughts in order. One of the jobs I had to do that day was probably going to take at least seven hours, and there were other jobs to do after that. The seven hour job folks were the ones I finished up with recently. And so the the decision was made to sort out my own interests ahead of theirs. After all, because of them I hadn’t had a week off work for a couple of years now.
In these enlightened times, it can be hard to find a restaurant open on a Sunday night. I heard an explanation from someone working in the food industry. Turns out that employees get paid penalty rates (higher hourly rates for employees) on Sunday’s, and despite there being ready customers, the businesses are struggling to make money those days. So they choose to not pay the penalty rates, and instead close their doors.
There are always choices, actions, and consequences. The employees of those businesses often rely upon the higher rates of pay on Sundays in order to increase their overall weekly take home pay. And don’t forget the ongoing requirements relating to the health subject which dare not be named. People are leaving that industry in droves. You don’t have to go far these days to see: ‘Help Wanted’, signs.
The Great Resignation sad to say, is happening. It’s often presumed that some group of people in society pull all the levers and everyone merrily just goes along with their evil plans. Such thinking brings to mind the image of James Bond villain’s and their Persian cats. However, that’s an error of thinking.
Everyone needs a long dead military genius to provide guidance when it comes to strategy. Years ago I read Sun Tzu’s treatise: The Art of War. It’s an excellent book. If you haven’t read the book yet, why not? Old Sun Tzu advised never to back an opponent into a corner otherwise they’ll fight like they’re possessed and act as if they have nothing to lose. Fortunately, that fight-like-the-devil outcome is not necessary in this case. With employment, you can simply walk away. And when work is easy to get, that’s what’s happening.
Sun Tzu also advised to not wear the troops out on stupid stuff. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of stupid stuff going on these days. And not having an uninterrupted week off work for a few years is stupid. But then I’m at fault here too and have to take a measure of the blame, for I allowed it to happen.
I’ve heard it said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
My first job was hit pretty hard by the recession of the early 1990’s. The ‘don’t come Monday’ letter was a serious blow, especially with 10% unemployment. But before that, the job was the most fun working environment ever. That of course, may have been part of the problem. And towards the end of that decade yet again fate had plans for me. In a job interview for my first senior role they asked if I was looking for a challenge. Goofily, I replied in the affirmative. That wasn’t a fun job or workplace, but it looked good on the resume.
Despite the odd hiccup, most of my working relationships have been pretty good, and I work pretty hard. But I’m a person and not a work unit. And I’m guessing plenty of other people feel much the same. The great risk with being viewed as a work unit, is that you may be treated as if you are easily replaceable.
This week, we’ve been catching up on lost sleep. It’s been really pleasant, and the nights have been cold and the days sunny and warm. A delightful time of year. With all of the paid work I’ve done recently, the orchards and gardens have been neglected, despite them all being regularly fed.
In order to remedy this, Sandra and I have been hacking and slashing at the jungle-like vegetation, whilst avoiding the occasional Triffid. The vegetation appears to enjoy encroaching upon the many paths and staircases which provide easy access. The cut vegetation is chucked back onto the garden beds.
A number of fruit trees were deemed large enough that they could be removed from their wallaby proof cages. The wallabies (a smaller lone forest dwelling kangaroo) are right vandals, and they’ll happily break off the lower branches of fruit trees. If a fruit tree is not large enough, the wallabies can break off the head of the tree, which is not much good for the tree. It’s a risk.
The final relocated steel rock gabion cage was filled with rocks and then sewn shut.
There is one further job to do in that area before we can get the digger machine in to do some serious soil moving.
The nights have been very cool to cold, and these temperatures are hampering the ripening process for this seasons tomatoes. On the other hand the cold nights are almost perfect to produce a sea of fog forming over the valley.
And Plum the Kelpie has finally earned her title. From here on she is to be known as Dame Plum, with the lesser mentioned sub-explanatory-title of ‘Rat and Rabbit bane’. Go Dame (blood) Plum! This week she nabbed both a large rat and a rabbit. Her efforts far exceed that of the other two dogs, who display few skills in this important area.
You can tell there is to be a state election later this year because the government is finally getting around to conducting some back burning. They have been extraordinarily lax on that front during the past two years, and that’s despite the awful Black Summer bushfires prior to this time.
Due to the fire risk, we keep a very neat and tidy farm. But even so, with the hugely tall trees in and around the farm, there is always forest material falling to the ground. That fallen stuff, combined with the low dry vegetation is what drives the really intense bushfires.
I’ll burn off all the small leaves and twigs, and everything else gets turned into firewood.
Onto the flowers:
The temperature outside now at about 10.00am is 20’C (68’F). So far this year there has been 213.8mm (8.4 inches) which is up from last weeks total of 209.0mm (8.2 inches)