The Getting of Wisdom [no not the HH Richardson classic]

A friend asked in response to my email,

What wisdom is it that the kids are actually interested about?

Things important for each of us, are often of no importance to anybody.

So what, I wondered, am I writing about.

And who for?

Perhaps I wasn’t as clear as I might have been when writing to him, overreaching and simultaneously misspeaking.

Firstly there was wisdom.

Eschewing Wikipedia  I went straight to the Oxford English Dictionary, which defines wisdom as: “Capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgement in the choice of means and ends

My view is that parents have a duty to share/pass on the what they learnt in their lives.

Not having done much of this so far, my age tells me it’s time to get on with it!

So then there was “… that kids are actually interested about.”

Challenging question, requiring lots and lots of thought, or in fact no thought at all.

You know I don’t really know, nor care, what they are thinking about.

Or as Donald Rumsfeld so beautifully said 2002, 

Image result for unknown unknowns

Though mocked at the time “unknown unknowns” have found a place in common speech. It applies here.

I dunno what they’re interested in. For that matter do they? An Unknown Unknown.

But, I do know what I’m interested : To pass on whatever life wisdom I’ve gained.

Which leads to the final point

Things important for each of us, are often of no importance to anybody.

Too true.

I reflected on some earlier thought on crystallography, Fyrchek  and disputes with a flawed but venerated Dr Wilson shared in an email

I passed these on to my wife. 
These matters were of topical importance to us more than thirty years ago. My wife’s face told me she was perplexed, wondering if we’d left the gate open and let roos loose in the top paddock.*

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Roos loose in the top paddock

I assured her the gate was locked. As we discussed this further, the significance became apparent. Not so much the scientific niceties and complexities, but the context in which they were raised.

Anyhow, kids dunno what kids dunno.

Whether whatever I chose to pass on, is of any importance, matters not.

Somethings, I’ve reflected upon and shared with them, have already been appreciated by their feedback. 

About other things, I won’t know its effect.

I just wish my Dad had had more time to share with me.

Editor’s note : roo loose in the top paddock. Australian colloquialism; describing someone intellectually impaired or moronic


Reblog : Other Emergency Call Numbers

Did you ever wonder who came up with the 911 emergency call system and how some might consider it to be, well, somewhat inadequate? I mean, I will be the first one to agree that should a fire occur or someone fall and need medical assistance, the dispatchers on the other end of the telephone […]

Other Emergency Call Numbers
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A classic, blog. Motivates some other reflections:

A 786 number for Muslims. This number is sacred to those of the faith. It’s use could be for any manner of issues not catered for in the dominant western culture.

666 could be used for those seeking devilish interventions in crisis times. Obversely, what a handy referral service when it’s time to create mayhem in His name and you just need to chew the fat with someone.

In Australia 000 is the long suffering emergency number! It’s real famous with Star Trek as a protocol droid awoken by Dr Aphra .. (read it yourself in Wikipedia)

(Editor’s note : thehobartchinaman desperately seeks your assistance with comments, to find a way to block his access to Wikipedia )

I’ll get out of your hair now.

To Muse or Not to Muse?

To muse or not to muse?

Do many/any of your friends muse? Better still why do you?

Ain’t a word used much until recent popularity, though quite popular at start of 19th century, according to google ngrams.

There’s been a recent uptick, but are we yet at peak musings?

Is there some deep western desire to muse, to be seen to muse, to ponder alone?

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Blogs are full of musings, too many to list!

Introspective thoughts shared with a generalised nobody.

I  mused, while downing muesli.

I sat, daunted by a bowl of rolled oats mixed with randomised nuts, dried grapes, dehydrated fruits and yoghurt.

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Anyway, I’d be sustained till dinner. Luscious lamb loin chops .
Those chops with the delicious fatty hangy down part. Yum love it!

My heart skipped a beat when I realised the cute little yearling lamb, sacrificed for my dinner, had not been  muesled. A practise to reduce blow fly strike in sheep kept for wool.

Image result for mulesing sheep

I’m not a vegan.

 An omnivore, out and proud!


Image result for j'accuse zola

Emile Zola pushed the band wagon for Emile Dreyfus . His front pager on 13 Jan. 1898 was titled J’accuse.

Zola listed the reasons why Dreyfus, an officially disgraced French Army guy, should be reinstated fully.

Readers will note I am not Emile Zola, nor a descendant. For that matter not even French.

J’apprécie! lists a few reasons which have caused me to revise my view of the world.

Things making me appreciate the world in which my parents brought me up. To appreciate how they made me, me.

I’ll list three. Later, if I can be bothered later I’ll list more.

No biros : Writing was done with a fountain pen or pencil. This meant thinking before writing, so as not to have to scratch/rub out something which was incorrect, or worse, intemperate. If using a fountain pen, it was a valuable tool, to be cherished. You’d never think to nick a few from the stationary cabinet

No telex, fax, email, twitter, tick tok : Communication required thought, often careful. The delay twixt writing and getting a reply allowed anxiety, recriminations, hope, uncertainty to build. Y’all couldn’a assume receiver would somehow simply hash it out.

No plastic wrapped meat : Meat, was seen, cut from the beast. Hygenicity was freshness. As part of the deal you helped by eating fresh, on the same day it was cut. Not after covering it for a few days… weeks

And it was wrapped in butcher’s paper.

Butchers paper is not a brand, or the paper to draw venn diagrams on in sharpie.

From Bupa to St Luke – Story continues.


Editor’s Note: For those who’ve followed the story the continuation is at the end. For those who haven’t please enjoy as a complete tale of why you should switch mutual health fund.

Today we track our journey to St Luke.

Claimed as the patron saint of artists, physicians, bachelors, surgeons, students and butchers.

I’m none of those.

However, it’s clear that I was always going to be called to his bosom.

The bosom of the mutual healthcare fund.

I guess this’ll be a health care blog. On the way we’ll be diverted down the brambly thickets of customer service.

A bit of history.

In 1943, the Hospital Benefits Association, a mutual fund, was formed a few years before I was born. I’d have been enrolled in the crib as part of the family subscription.

Over the years HBA was gobbled up by other “health providers” and somewhere along the way, one of those companies would have been a ‘for profit’.

The ultimate transformation was into a thing called Bupa.

What the heck does that mean, Bupa? I reckon its a collection of letters. Possibly started out meaning something like “British United Provident Association.” But who cares. It now styles itself as below, with the twee allusion to a cardio trace.

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However this’d be a boring blog if it just traced the health care industry history.

So here’s a more personal tale.

Trying to get a new pair of glasses at Bupa Optical, yes they’ve integrated vertically, my appointment had been bumped from the original date to a Saturday afternoon. An SMS alerted me to this. On the appointed Saturday I trudged  into town.

Though understaffed the manager’s computer was able to tell him that I’d been bumped yet again.

I was none too pleased, especially as the offered appointment was a month further on. Some story about there being not enough opticians on duty and the one I’d been booked to see was yet again sick.

“So what can you do about this?” I asked.

I explained I’d been waiting for quite some time. I explained I’d been with private insurance for a lifetime.

To cut a long story short, none of this mattered to the manager, the profit centre supervisor who said,

“There’s nothing I can do about it.”

I thought back to the targeted ads seen in my internet feed. Many encouraged dumping private health insurance. The loyalty factor had held me. A lifetime of premiums already paid. In my golden years I’d expected better. More fool me.

I turned on heel wishing the manager

“Hey have a good day, I’ll go elsewhere thanks.”

I phoned my wife’s glasses supplier and was given a prompt appointment. The service was excellent. The best advice I got though was not optical, though it made me see more clearly.

“Changing was a breeze, the fund lady came out, checked the best policy to suit my needs and did the whole transfer for me on the spot.”

They continued “It’s Tasmanian, not for profit, in fact their benefits are superior.”

I was sold! Shaken from my torpor!

I was glad I’d told the optical folk why I was using their services, and left with a spring in my step. I recalled the myth that the average unhappy customer will tell 10 people about the poor service he or she received.

Not being “the average unhappy customer.”

 I’ll do more.

This blog starts my journey to St Luke’s Health.

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See the source image


A few days later my St Lukes card arrives, Such a feeling of liberation. After making claims for spectacles for my wife and me the benefits were confirmed  on my account app as being SUPERIOR to myBupa!

I felt elated I read the coding and claims numbers for the specs and remedial massage claimsI’d made.

The terror of changing funds after 60 + years swept away. 

The terror I’d reckon was felt by captives of ISIS [ remember them?]  awaiting their fate.

Image result for isis captives waiting beheading

As I rummaged round the kitchen eventually I found them.

The kitchen scissors!

With scissors raised the kitchen took on a deathly silence. Was 65+ years of loyalty about to be snuffed out?

We waited. Partly cos I’m not so tech savvy as to be able to work out if a video would be better and trying to get the best camera angle then realising, damn my surname is visible so I had to stop production and scrap it off of the darned card.

Ok on with it. I grabbed the card by its corner and wrenched it round so that its face was exposed directly to the camera. [ Technical issue, had to turn the overhead light off to avoid flaring]

As I skewed the card round, the scissor blades penetrated the softish plastic. I could feel those years of doubt ebbing away! There was no pain!

Snipping away through the final centimetres, I sensed the satisfaction of a job well done!

And then it was over, last job to take in the blog reference to the Bupa Liverpool St manager and ask if they needed the card pieces back or should I recycle them myself.

Readers are invited to make their suggestions please.

Editors note: Thanks to the exceptional staff at St Lukes who made the start of my journey so very painless and especially thanks to Brandine, well done!!

Reblog : A female with questions – the president’s greatest fear — musingsofanoldfart

Ever since the presidential candidate Donald Trump refused to attend a debate because Fox’s Megyn Kelly asked him tough questions at a previous one, he has shown he is not comfortable with anyone who knows facts asking him questions, but especially females. He recently showed poorly with male reporters Fox’s Chris Wallace and Axios’ Jonathan […]

A female with questions – the president’s greatest fear — musingsofanoldfart

The Hobart Chinaman is pleased to reblog the Old Fart’s views, thanks Keith.
On a slight tangent, the Axios interview with Donald by Jonathon Swan, was a blast!
There’s a deeper Aussie connection than Jonathon’s accent and as Keith points out he “pushed back when he was not being truthful on a couple of points, but he did not vacate the premises.”

A good old Aussie trait ‘cutting down tall poppies’ and speaking truth to power.

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Jonathon’s intrepid style can be traced to his father Dr Norman Swan,
I commend the short wikipedia bio to y’all.
Dr Swan is an illustrious broadcaster and provides the Coronacast on our national radio station, ABC
He’s kinda like your Dr Fauci.
A key difference being that he is listened to by leaders.
In pre Wuhan Virus days in Thai markets I saw printed tee’-shirts.”Same, same, but different”
Gosh how I wish I’d bought one!


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