On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Real Life Intrudes

For the third time in 13 years my host went down. Not only did they go down but their alert system failed due to some problems with their cellphone provider, meaning their automatic system did not alert them to a problem and they, therefore, couldn’t alert the affected accounts, including me.

Meantime, the server failure cause an error message to be sent to WordPress, who did contact me. Unfortunately the WordPress error led to my wasting time trying to track down a problem with the blog that didn’t exist.

To make things a bit more confusing my personal website, hosted by the same company, was still working. It was some time before my host updated their status page and everything finally made sense. My personal website is rather static and is on a different server that the dynamic blog site.

Throw in the standard process of patching all of the computers this week, and replacing a two-pole circuit breaker in one of the apartments, and my useful computer time has been severely limited.

And while I’ve been typing WordPress has issued another update to their software…


1 Kryten42 { 12.14.19 at 1:30 am }

Unfortunately, RL has a habit of getting in the way. Sometimes at the worst time. 🤷‍♂️🙄

I was checking in a few days or so ago & saw the site was down. I figured it was something like server failure or maybe a DDOS.

I mentioned some years ago the oven in this unit didn’t work? The plumber/gas fitter checked twice, once about 4 years ago and mid last year and declared it dead. According to the tenancy law’s here in Vic. it’s regarded as “essential” and to be replaced ASAP. Finally, a year after the 2nd assessment, I have a replacement sitting here! It’s not new, but only about 4 years old. Much better than what I have now! Just waiting for the plumber to organize a date next week to replace the old one. He’s been here several times, replaces the HW unit when it exploded, the toilet (it was bad and replaced the day I moved in), and assorted pipes, taps & faucets!

Now I have a broken window in my bedroom after the strong winds 2 weeks ago. Also regarded as “essential” maintenance! I am very surprised only one broke! These are the original old aluminum framed windows installed when these unit’s were built 60-70 yrs ago. The seals and grout had mostly rotted long ago & I warned the owner 3-4 years ago they had to be fixed or they’d be a problem. I know 3 others units here have had broken windows over the years. The owner came & looked & informed me they didn’t have insurance on the windows!! I was amazed! WTF??! Anyway, I was fed up & said I was sorry to hear that but it wasn’t my fault or problem. Anyway, good old strong plastic sheeting & duct tape I had has temporarily fixed it. Now I just have to wait a year or three for them to replace it!🙄🤷‍♂️

Renting SUX! I miss owning my own home(s). *sigh* Even though the local Councils were invariably moronic crooks with no clue! I even won a law suit against one back in the day! Even their own lawyer told them to settle out of court. 😆 Cost them a LOT more when I won! They tried appealing, but that went nowhere. They had to represent themselves on that. Morons.

Well, time to make dinner. I feel a little batter after my little rant! Thanks!👍😏

2 Kryten42 { 12.14.19 at 5:20 am }

*sigh* batter? better

My glasses are at the optometrist. New lenses. Been 2 weeks, another week maybe. December sucks for getting things done. 🤷‍♂️

3 Bryan { 12.14.19 at 10:51 pm }

I think that glasses are now made in sweatshops in Asia, not locally. The real delays will be the last half of January with the Lunar New Year. I ran into that when I was assembling PCs.

It takes me a couple of days to get a piece of glass cut for the windows in the apartments. Installation is quick after you get all of the old glass out of the frame, an hour max. Appliances take about a week, most of it spent shopping and waiting on delivery. These things are tax deductible in the US, so there’s no point in stalling. Tenants can withhold rent if you don’t fix things here.

It is always good to release the internal pressures – either emotional or physical 😈

4 Kryten42 { 12.17.19 at 8:44 pm }

Well, that didn’t take long to get worse. I just got a registered mail letter from the agent with a “breach of duty”notice for the broken window. They claim that I failed to ensure that care was taken to avoid the damage to the window.

I have no idea how I could have reasonably avoided the damage. Anyway, I’ll challenge it & take it to the authorities if necessary. It’s completely unreasonable, especially as the window was broken from outside (the glass splinters are on the inside window pane.) I knew as soon as the owner claimed that had no insurance on the windows something like this might happen. They are very stingy. Also, the agent has not come to investigate.

I guess we’ll see.🤷‍♂️

5 Bryan { 12.17.19 at 10:06 pm }

If they don’t provide shutters, I don’t know what care you could have taken to prevent the damage. If they had installed an anti-branch system with laser/radar target acquisition and ground to air weapons there wouldn’t have been a problem.

There are solicitors who are going to get new boats out of silliness like this. It’s a $20 fix that is a tax write-off as a business expense.

6 Kryten42 { 12.18.19 at 8:40 am }

Thanks Bryan. 🙂 My point as well. I submitted a request for advice to the “Tenants Union of Victoria” who also provide legal services for people on low income. They replied in a few hours earlier today. My statement:

“I received a Breach of Duty Notice yesterday via registered mail by the Agent for the Unit I am renting in Bendigo. It’s a bit of a long story, but to summarize:

Landlord came to see me mid last week about replacing my oven that hasn’t worked since I moved in over 4 years ago. Her plumber/gas fitter has tried twice to get it working and said it needed replacing. Anyway, she asked as she was leaving who broke a window. I said something like “what window?” as I had no idea any were broken. She showed me the lower window had a piece missing from the lower corner & cracks radiating across from the corner. I said it may have happened during the strong winds we’d had over the past few weeks & that I had told the agent several times the old unit windows needed some repair. These are old unit’s from around 60-70 years ago & the windows are aluminum framed & most have had the seals/grout fallen out or rotted & when you tap a window it rattles in the frame. I said I was surprised only one was broken. The broken glass is on the inside sill, I left it.

I am 62 on DES w/ NS payments only.”

Reply (which included contact details for other agencies & organizations that could help me & links to the relevant statutes etc.)

“In relation to your inquiry, we provide the following basic advice:

Firstly, let me just briefly deal with the repair issues you outlined in your email. Under the Act the landlord/real estate agent owe you certain duties. Under section 67 of the Act they have a duty to you to take reasonable steps to ensure your quiet enjoyment of the property. Under section 68 of the Act they have a duty to you to maintain the property in good repair.

Under section 3 of the Act an oven is considered an urgent repair. The landlord should fix this immediately. If they do not you can fix it yourself up to the cost of $1800 and seek reimbursement from them. Alternatively, you can make a VCAT general application under section 73 of the Act seeking urgent repair orders.

Please see the above links about repairs and your right to have repairs at the property done.

When the landlord/real estate agent breaches their duties (as has occurred here with their failure to carry out repairs) the right of compenaiton arises. A compensation claim is made under section 209 and 452 (if the tenancy is ongoing) or sections 210 and 472 (if the tenancy has ended). You are seeking compensation for breach of section 67 and 68. Compensation takes the form of a percentage of your daily rent whilst each issue was ongoing. You can also seek compensation for any losses you have suffered as a result of the breaches or for general inconvenience.

See the above links for more information around compensation.

If you dispute the basis of the breach of duty notice you have received (and it appears you should) the best way to deal with it would be to write an email to the landlord/real estate agent outlining the reasons why you disagree with the breach of duty notice. Under section 61 of the Act you have a duty to avoid damage to the property. But on the facts it does not appear as if you have breached that duty. Therefore, they should not have issued a breach of duty notice. Outline your concerns to them in an email.

If they try and act on the breach of duty notice at VCAT you can challenge the basis of the notice, ie you did not cause any damage.

But having a breach of duty notice issued against you will not effect your tenancy or any future tenancies.

You may wish to make a complaint to Consumer Affairs Victoria about the landlord or real estate agent. There number is 1300 558 181.

If you would like more specific advice feel free to call our advice line on 03 9416 2577 between the hours of 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday.

Kind Regards

Tenants Victoria Legal Services Team”

I plan to follow their advice. I will also lodge a formal complaint in regards to other outstanding repairs that have been promised or known about, and have been recorded by the Agent when he visited on bi-annual inspections over the past few years.

They decided I was a sucker who would take their crap indefinitely. But that wasn’t the case & they have misunderstood me. I will correct that misunderstanding, including for compensation.

I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙄🤷‍♂️

7 Bryan { 12.18.19 at 7:44 pm }

The land-based Centurion C-RAM system would protect the windows, but the 20mm rounds are $30US apiece and the purchase price is more than a new house, so it is not exactly cost effective. Now we have a 200mph building code for windows along the coast, they are definitely not inexpensive, so the $20 replace the glass is the most cost effective option.

Hey, they started it, so go for the throat. You have been too reasonable.

8 Kryten42 { 12.24.19 at 4:27 am }

Things got worse. Had an accident this morning. Broke my right upper arm in 2 places. Not clean breaks. No pain unless I move arm, but feels uncomfortable. Surgery Xmas day, tomorrow. No clue how long I’ll be here or how long to heal. I’m OK, just very annoyed. Never broken a bone like this before. I’ll update when I know something but I don’t have charger here.

9 Bryan { 12.24.19 at 9:43 am }

OUCH! I can only wish you a better Christmas. You would think that a hospital would have chargers and WiFi available by now. Given the cost, 7 inch tablets would be cheaper than the TV sets and landline phones they add to your bill in US hospitals.

That sounds like screws and plates for the repair. It’s the end of your Rugby/AFL chances. 😉

10 hipparchia { 12.24.19 at 8:42 pm }

Surgery Xmas day

well, getting some good drugs for Christmas can’t be all bad. I do know from past experience that once those good drugs wear off, though, OUCH! doesn’t begin to cover it.

the cats and I will be thinking of you, kryten!

11 Kryten42 { 12.25.19 at 12:05 am }

Thx. Surgery moved to Fri. want full staff in ICU/Recovery. Surgeon said would need 2 plates. Take a long time to heal. Worried about infection etc. We’ll see how it goes. In a private room. Has a 17″ W10 Tablet type unit w/ phone/comm’s. Think it’s W10 RT, very basic. IE11 browser. Good selection of music/movies, crappy interface! Room has a “smart” air bed. Thought it cool @ first. After 1 day/night, whoever designed should be shot! I’m good, really. Staff very good here. 🙂 I’ll update after surgery when I can.

12 Bryan { 12.25.19 at 9:00 pm }

It’s never good to start a mission without a full team and on Christmas the most experienced people would have scored the day off.

I have a friend who is a vet tech at a surgical veterinary practice and this is the type of operation they do all the time. They use cold lasers for soft tissue healing and hydrotherapy for physical therapy. People don’t have the self healing ability of dogs and other small mammals.

My Mother had one of those air beds and it just annoyed her with noise and the constant motion. It is supposed to prevent bed sores but a two-inch memory foam pad and a sheep skin seemed to be just as effective.

That tablet is probably a bit of psych to convince people to leave as soon as they can 😉

13 Kryten42 { 12.27.19 at 6:35 pm }

Op was successful I’m told. 1 day in ICU. Back in my room now. Seen by 6 specialists. 6 weeks recovery, 4+ weeks rehab. No gaming or mousing for weeks! I’ll die! 🙁 No idea how long I’ll be in here. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks Bryan and hipparchia. 😀

14 Kryten42 { 12.28.19 at 5:45 pm }

I thought I’d posted in update yesterday. Might not have sent it properly. Tricky on crappy tablet or phone. Surgery went well. Got 1 large plate. Not painful unless I try to move upper arm. Can move elbow somewhat, can use hand OK now. Fingers were numb & pins/needles for a day. OK now. Lower arm/hand is swelling though. Be in a sling for recovery for 6 weeks, 4+ weeks rehab. Not sure when they’ll send me home. Organising Home Care support & Social Services. No gaming for awhile! I’ll die of boredom! *sigh* Will take awhile to get strength, control & coordination back I guess. Thanks Bryan & Hipparchia for wishes & support. 😀

15 Bryan { 12.28.19 at 9:35 pm }

You have ten weeks to learn how to use your game controller with your feet and or left hand 😉

You may need a compression “glove” to deal with the swelling and your left hand will have to learn a lot of new tricks, but stuck staring at screen full of movies gets old quickly. At least it is only 6 weeks totally immobile and you are in line for some support services.

Learn how to slow down and take it easy.

16 hipparchia { 12.29.19 at 5:59 pm }

You have ten weeks to learn how to use your game controller with your feet and or left hand

I was thinking maybe voice-activated but yeah I can see how it might be fun to do grand theft auto with foot pedals 😉

hang in there, kryten!

17 Bryan { 12.29.19 at 9:41 pm }

I found the missing post in the recycle bin. You are the only one this happens to and I don’t have any idea why.

18 Kryten42 { 01.02.20 at 11:01 pm }

Hi guys. 😀

Very funny. 😛 Looks like I’ll be using my arm sooner than they estimated, as I thought. I was moved into the Rehabilitation Wing Wed. Saw a couple Physio’s & Therapists yesterday & today. Started light arm exercises & walking around. I’m on 4th floor & views are good, except for the smoke. 🙁

Should be home in 2 weeks. Light duty with my right arm only for 6 weeks. 120 day Medical Certificate to keep CL off my back! That’s the longest they can do. My GP can issue another after if there is a valid reason. I’m sure there will be!

I’ll be able to go to the cafe on the ground floor from Monday. Yayyyyy… Real coffee again! I miss it soooo much!

Shoulder is little sore, but I can use it a bit more every day. Progress is good. 🙂 They are concerned about a couple things, but bemused by others. That’s normal for me! I don’t fit into standard metrics or boxes, never have. 😆

You’ve probably heard news Aus. is burning whilst Scummo pretends all is well. He tried for his typical photo op in a Town destroyed & was told by all, including a Councillor & fire fighters to f*ck off! He still tried to shake their hands in desperation. Pathetic wanker!

summary of it all here:


19 Bryan { 01.03.20 at 5:07 pm }

That’s good news which is in short supply this year.

Your East Coast fires are 6 times worse than the disastrous 2018 California fire season and your Prime Minister and the NSW Emergency Services Minister thought it would be a good idea to have a foreign vacation during the middle of these fires. Of course those are balanced by Trump trying to draw Iran into a new war that we can’t win in the Middle East. Morrison and Trump are both anti-reality politicians because of the extraction industries and religious whackoes.

Oh, that woman whose hand Morrison grabbed for a photo should have him arrested for assault [under New York law I would push for sexual assault for ‘unwanted touching’].

Don’t push things as soft tissue can take longer than bones to heal. Yes to getting to a separate source of nourishment than the hospital kitchen. I don’t supposed there is a pub nearby?

Update: you used a different e-mail address and it went into moderation.

20 Kryten42 { 01.04.20 at 6:32 pm }

Oops! I blame the 14 pills (8 different med’s) with breakfast & 2 different injections 2-3 times a day for my eMail confusion!

Agree about Scummo should be charged with assault (against several people), but we know that’ll never happen. Hell, I think he & several other scumbags should be charged for impersonating a Human! 😒😈

There are a few quite decent pubs with Bistro’s nearby. But not allowed out of the Hospital. Cafe is part of Hospital. This Australia… Hard NOT to find a pub. 😏

Agree about the bones/ tissue healing. This was the worst timing for me. *sigh* Typical. 🙄😕

Getting more movement out of my arm daily. Can do most routine things myself, with slow caution. Can’t put sling on myself because it is cheap & designed by an idiot. Eating single handed is a PITA too! Can’t wait to get home!

I told a few friends to come here for updates. Typing left-handed is a PITA too!

Thanks Bryan. We’ve known each other over a Decade now. You are one of the sanest, honest, reliable people I’ve known. 👍🏽😊

21 Bryan { 01.04.20 at 11:03 pm }

While I appreciate your remarks about me, M8, I must observe that they may indicate the need to reduce some of your meds 😉

[Anybody dropping by who wants to leave a message should be aware that your first message will be held for approval, but not subsequent messages. I don’t sell anything or track anything, so use ad blockers and anti-trackers. The stuff on the left sidebar are software and sites I use and like.]

As close as I can come to what you’re going through was after we pranged an aircraft I used the emergency rope without gloves and left the skin on the palms of both hands on the rope. The way they bandaged my hands was like wearing mittens, so buttons and zippers dropped out of my skill set for a few weeks. I managed to bend some wire to form a tool that would deal with the mitten/zipper problem, but buttons defeated me until my hands healed.

To have the pubs so close and yet so far. I guess you have to make do with real coffee and pain meds.

I looked at the slings on offer at Amazon and they talk about easily adjustable, but there is no way in hell you can put them on with one hand unless you create a tool for assistance … like a robot 😈 Price is not an issue, none of them is as easy to put on as the old triangular piece of cloth that was in the standard med kit. As for eating, I assume you learned the European style of knife and fork use that involved both hands, rather than the silly American version that requires almost everything done with your dominant hand. It’s almost as annoying as writing dates month/day/year rather than the more logical day/month/year or even the best form of year/month/day.

Oh, well, stay safe and get well.

22 Kryten42 { 01.08.20 at 1:44 am }

Oops! I should also have added: “painfully modest”😏😽

l had my first physio/therapy session today. Went well. Next in 2 days. With luck, maybe home end of next week. Maybe.

I was moved from my cozy room into gen. pop. (small ward. with 3 other men, all older than me). One served in the 50’s in the Korean debacle. We’ve been swapping stories. One of his friend’s that visits him was an RSM. He quizzed me & seemed satisfied. 😎

I almost dropped dead from shock yesterday! Had a visit from the local CentreLink office! He stayed over an hour, I was suspicious at first, but he seemed genuine. He said he would get a 90 Medical Certificate from my Doctor & put in a 90 day exemption. Also said they could help with my Landlord & Agent (they sent me an SMS today that they wanted to inspect my unit. I referred them to my eMail I’d sent them Xmas day about the accident & my circumstances.) Morons.

Brings back memories of training accidents learning to rappel out of a chopper, over a cliff or a building. Lot of accidents, most minor luckily. 🙄

Thanks again Bryan. 👍🏽😊 I’m taking it a day at a time. Nothing else I can do. 🙄

23 Bryan { 01.08.20 at 8:16 pm }

I remember an amazing number of guys limping after the parachute landing training. It was a four-foot [1.3 meter] jump into a sand pit. I had been making higher jumps than that since elementary school, but some people just had a hell of a time landing. I OTOH learned the proper technique for activating a flare by screwing up and splashing the top of left thumb with phosphorus.

If you have to live with strangers, it is always good when you have common experiences. That’s something we lost when the draft [national service] was abolished. Men my age and older experienced living in close quarters with people from all over and from families of different economic status. We had the shared hell of basic training to bind us.

There are still public servants in the world who actually want to provide service. There may not be many, but they exist. You just have to be careful if they wear white short-sleeve dress shirts with a narrow dark necktie, they want to give you a copy of the Book of Mormon or life insurance. 😈 [They travel in pairs on bicycles with helmets and backpacks.]