Chlorinated water bottles

It’s been a crazy few weeks. 2016 was a storm for the world, but 2017 is already shaping up be that for the family. The good news is we’re approaching a semblence of normalacy again.

All those hours of waiting, and trying hard to distract my mind lead to some surprisingly interesting places, some of which have been queued up for blog posts and/or podcast episodes.

Most of all, it’s added some clarity.

(As an aside, I’m not sure whether it’s semantically or physically possible to add clarity; the term sounds more like clearing away clutter. Maybe it’s akin to chlorine in pool water, or activated carbon filters in water jugs. Those would be preferable to adding chlorine to a water jug, or activated carbon filters to a swimming pool; the former sounds disgusting, the latter would be ineffective).

Let me rephrase; it’s clarified some things. I’ve said it a few times now, but I’ll be trying harder not to write about what angers, frustrates or annoys me. All those do is anger, frustrate and annoy me, when writing them, and when seeing them plastered on the site after. Life’s too short to dwell on nonsense like that.

I’m also considering re-activating blog comments. After going through family hell again, I can take the pedants and trolls. I’m not sure how I’d do this, but we’ll see.

Dad on the mend

Dad and me in 2008

Rubénerd hasn’t had many updates for a week, in part because I was scared about what I’d need to write about if something bad happened. Fortunately, I’m happy and relieved beyond words to report everything is fine, and my sister and I still have a dad.

Our smaller family had another scare two weeks ago, when my dad was admitted to hospital with chest pains. He was one episode away from a serious heart attack; the doctors said it was miraculous he caught it early. The next day, he was having a five-level heart bypass and followup surgery.

They say these are routine, but there’s nothing routine about seeing your dad unconscious in an ICU bed with breathing machines and morphine. For a family used to seeing hospitals, it was still confronting and terrifying.

There were complications, and he’s still in pain, but he’s recovering well. I’m so proud of him, and happy there’ll still be plenty of weekend chats over coffee or lunch in the future.

The nurses and doctors at the Sydney Adventist Hospital were stellar; when I have their names I’ll include them here. They treated my dad with great respect, professionalism and care.

It’s also been a wakeup call again about health. My dad was otherwise in good health; he didn’t have a beer gut, never ate junk food. Whether it was a combination of stress, built up cholesterol over a long period of time, or genetic factors, there all the more reason not to be complacent. Life may deal you a shitty hand, but it’s all the more reason to do as much as you can for yourself to help even the score.

Welcome back <3

Icehouse, Electric Blue (1987)

These last couple of weeks have been nothing short of shithouse, so I thought I’d assuage my melancholoy and fear with some classic Icehouse. Everything about this music video is perfect, right down to the mullets!

It’s also fascinating seeing the 1980s Sydney skyline. It looks so different now.

For another classic Icehose tune, check out what should really be our national anthem.

Rhipe Prime Portal

Stock photo of a man standing in front of a blackboard looking concerned.

Somehow, their stock-photo guy looks less than impressed.

Terry comments on New Jersey episodes

Speaking of my evil drafts folder, Frank Nora and I got this wonderful message from Terry late last year:

What a treat! (it’s Halloween season, get it?)

Just finished listening to the series of shows with Frank, Manny and Denise as they show off parts of the NYC/NJ area to Ruben and Clara.

Terry is referring to this Overnightscape episode. One of the most fun days of my life, am glad that came through in the audio.

It was great to listen and follow along on Google Earth all the places they visited. I particularly loved the stops in Frank’s childhood neighborhood, The Devil Tree, Chimney Rock/Buttermilk Falls and the visit to Mitsuwa for the clash of Eastern US meets Western Pacific culture. Following along on Google Earth and deciphering all the subtle clues from the audio descriptions provided by everyone really does add an additional dimension to the istening experience - lots of fun indeed!

I hadn’t thought of that, but the geographic journey does add a whole other level. Now I want to create a map of this myself!

Looking forward to some day hearing Frank and Denise’s visit to Singapore or Sydney as the favor is returned by Ruben and Clara showing them their part of the world. I just love these experiences albeit from a third party and distant perspective.

This would be wonderful! It does cost a lot though, and losing an entire day flying isn’t any fun. Singapore or Japan would be a fun half-way point though I’m sure we could have fun and explore in.

Hummmmm… after listening to these episodes, including the “Local Adventure” episode with Manny and Roel, I’m thinking about a new episode of Escapist Radio again. Time to reignite imaginations once again but I need to find just the riiiiiight topic.

Sounds good! Maybe a topic could be why Ruben always got The Dadaist Cabaret and The Escapist names confused, like elbows/shoulders, washing machines/dish washers, and some earlier New Time Radio programmes. I don’t know why, they’re completely different programmes, but I realise I even did it again when I replied to Terry.

And for “Rubenerd”… Vostro still sucks!

Cheers to all!

Terry L. May


Boris Kustodiev’s Shrovetide

This is one of my favourite paintings of all time, by one of my favourite painters of all time, and it was the English Wikipedia’s image of the day yesterday. спаси́бо, Wikipedia!

1916, oil on canvas.

Rubénerd Show 359: The C= episode

Rubénerd Show 359

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

39:22 – Family run businesses, an update on my old man, and convincing myself (poorly!) not to buy a second-hand Commodore 128. Recorded 07th February 2017.

Recorded in Sydney, Australia. Licence for this track: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0. Attribution: Ruben Schade.

Released February 2017 on The Overnightscape Underground, an Internet talk radio channel focusing on a freeform monologue style, with diverse and fascinating hosts.

Subscribe with iTunes, Pocket Casts, Overcast or add this feed to your podcast client.

Atlassian, I am disappoint

I tried to log into our Atlassian-hosted Confluence wiki this morning:

Something has gone wrong

Please make sure your browser has third-party cookies enabled and then try again using the button below. Don’t refresh the page.

If you’re still seeing this screen after ten minutes please raise a support request.

Third-party cookies, to log onto one site? Seems off.

Record answers for Apple secret questions

You know those “secret questions” sites often ask for? They’re designed as an extra level of verification when you lose access to your account, such as when you forget your password, or email, or password to your email.

The problem is, they’re terrible for security. Most secret questions can’t be tailor made for the person, so we’re stuck answering what our first primary school was, or our mum’s maiden name. In an age of social networks and search engines, these are trivial to get answers to.

So years ago, I started answering these with keysmashes. I’ve been using the same email (on a domain I control) for years, so I could always fall back to a password reset if I lose access to the account.

Unfortunately, that was before I had the misfortune of using an Apple ID. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my Macs and iTelephone, but their cloud services and iTunes Store posess the reverse-Midas touch.

Last week, I logged into the App Store on my iTelephone, and it asked for answers to my security questions to “verify my account”.

Isn’t that what a password is for?

Needless I say, I had no idea what the answers to these security questions were, so now I have to go through the Apple Support system to get this sorted out. Given its been four months and they still haven’t fixed my podcast listing, I doubt this will be dealt with quickly.

Hot enough for you 2017?

Australia continues to swelter under an unprecedented heat wave, which is a fancy way of saying its damned hot down here. And people used to tell me they couldn’t live in Singapore because it was too hot, hah!

Presumably every air conditioner in the country has since fired up, causing power supply issues. Adelaide has had black outs, and New South Wales is predicted to reach the limits of its supply.

Peter Hannam summarised the situation in the Sydney Morning Herald:

AEMO’s early warning to get additional supplies lined up contrasts with what South Australia’s Energy Minister Tim Koutsantonis called a “massive, catastrophic failure” by the agency to predict his state’s excess demand and take appropriate steps to avoid rolling blackouts on Wednesday evening.

“We’re at the mercy now of national operators in a privatised market that operate on price signals rather than a public good.”

We need renewables, capacity, and no more privatisation.

In a statement on Thursday, AEMO said it had issued “a number of market notices to all generators in the lead up to this instruction, requesting a market response to be provided due to increased demand as a result of the high temperatures in South Australia”.

“AEMO did not receive sufficient bids into the market to maintain the supply/demand balance in South Australia,” it said.

Can you imagine if we ran fire stations like this? “We didn’t get the market respose from those privatised stations, so we’ll just have to let that house burn.”