Thursday 27 October 2022

Getting a new doorbell installed

When I scroll through WhatsApp to find conversations I can see that on 20 September I asked my neighbour the builder if the electrician would be coming to fix the doorbell. Dan got in touch with me after Joe nudged him and Dan said he’d come to fix the doorbell but I had a crew filming at my place so had to delay replacement until 24 October. I’d first contacted him on 5 March because the doorbell wasn’t working properly and in fact it entirely stopped working on 9 July.

I now have a box full of unneeded intercom panels and some sort of hidden power supply so if anyone wants these they can have them. For the moment I’ve put the box down in the garage on a bookshelf.

When you have no doorbell it’s difficult to enjoy a normal life. I know this sounds like a first-world problem where comparatively Ukrainians are being asked to go without heating in a European winter, or being killed in their homes by guided missiles. But I’ve had people visit, buzz me, and – not hearing any response – simply walking away. This happened with one person coming to my place for the art group as well as a man who’d been asked to travel from Ryde to help tidy up the place after the filming ended.

Dan had a whole day of fine weather yesterday. He’d had to change the day for his visit due to rain (of course) and then got to work installing the new equipment. Then something wouldn’t work and he couldn’t get onto the distributor by phone. He struggled with the device, tapping his foot and scratching his chin until he got onto the representative for the second time in the afternoon, and eventually worked out that because I’d opted NOT to have the gate strike operable via mobile phone the remote configuration had to be redone.


Technology is unbearable at the best of times because it’ll always break down. God knows how the Mars voyage will end up if travellers are unable to get a spare part en route to the red planet. Technology is more unbearable when it is involved with something as essential as being able to admit someone into your own home. Being unable to unlock the gate from June to October was bearable but I was forced to constantly tell people to “message me from the street when you arrive” in order to go about daily business.

I told Dan that I wasn’t interested in the doorbell communicating with me via the cloud and he seemed ok with that, but apparently if you’re an electrician and you want plug-and-play your customer has to want all the bells and whistles. Akuvox seemingly thinks that all customers will want internet connectivity and whatnot, everything in the world accessible from a mobile device, they’ll be landing rovers on the moon from the White House next it’s mad.

It's a mad mad mad mad world and we’re caught in the digital matrix. When I worked in Tokyo in the 1990s the buzzword that never seemed to get off the ground was “home automation” but now you get electricians struggling to install a freaking doorbell because you’re SUPPOSED to want it. I don’t care about home automation, I need my home to reliably do a few simple things that save me time and money, or that improve my quality of life like the pool chlorinator cell running on the pumps. I don’t care about seeing if a burglar is about to try to open my front gate. I trust my door to work to keep the bad guys out. I don’t trust the intercom to allow friends to come inside the house.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Search for flowering crocus continues in Earlwood

Last month I wrote about finding wild iris in Botany, but alas my quest in search of crocus continued. I had a tip-off that crocus could be found in Earlwood and even had an address, so in the afternoon one day at the beginning of this month I drove over there in the car and near Wyatt Avenue, on the corner of Bexley Road, I found a parking spot. At certain hours it’s a clearway but I was just inside the limit so I dashed across the road and snapped some photos of the pink flowers.

On arriving home I did a Google Lens search using the photos I’d taken but the name that came up was different from what I’d hoped, these are watsonia.

I think the season for crocus has ended this year so to make my paramontage using the poem written all those years ago will have to wait at least until next year.

The Japanese have a word I think for that sadness that is only inspired by temporary things, such as youth. And such as life. I don’t remember what it is, but the Japanese for sad is “sabishii” and I guess that’ll have to do for the purposes of this post. I feel a bit sad because I haven’t found something that only lasts a few weeks, a crocus flower.