Encouraging Bad Manners

The cricket World Cup is just beginning and after some debate about whether I could afford it or not I decided to subscribe to a sports streaming channel for a month or so in order to watch some of it as it is not on FTA TV.

A World Cup Trophy

I received an email from the streaming company which included this paragraph.

Out to dinner when a match starts? Just whip out your phone and start streaming LIVE at the table or watch the replay the next day on the bus or train. You can also Use Apple TV, Telstra TV, Android TV or Chromecast to watch it on the big screen.

It really annoyed me that they would suggest getting out your phone to watch live TV when you are out to dinner. How rude is that? We should not be encouraging that sort of behaviour but they speak about it as if it’s perfectly acceptable to ignore your family and friends. This is what replays and recording TV was invented for.

I know. It’s just advertising spiel but it really got my goat. I will be watching the cricket at home on TV. It will be at night so it’s unlikely I’ll miss any but if I had company or was out when it was on bad luck. I’ll watch the replay later.

RDP: Pink

Don’t Pinkize Me!

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the colour pink. I don’t dislike the colour.  I like it, especially in nature. A walk around my garden would easily show that.

pink rose in the back garden.

Ground cover rose grown from a small pot.

No, I dislike the way that pink is used to represent women and girls all the time. It’s as if we can’t be happy in any other colour.

When a woman takes part in a predominantly male sport like motor racing you will often find her team in pink overalls or the car is pink. That wouldn’t be annoying if it wasn’t nearly always the case.
Karolina i Silvette

Pink is used a lot to promote women’s issues. Breast cancer for example. In Australia, everyone knows The McGrath Foundation who raise money for breast care nurses, a very worthy cause let me say. The organisation was founded by Jane and Glenn McGrath in 2005 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Glenn was a well known and popular cricketer so the Sydney Test  Match is always their biggest fundraiser for the year. The players wear pink caps, the commentators were pink ties or even pink suits and the crowd is generally a sea of pink. Again I don’t think this is a bad thing.Jane McGrath Day - Day 3 at the SCG//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I just sometimes wish someone would come up with a different marketing idea that’s all. Apparently, it wasn’t always this way. I didn’t know this but up until the 1940s pink was generally associated with boys and blue with girls.

While these days pink is seen as a more feminine color, it wasn’t always that way! In an article from Smithsonian.com, it says that in 1908, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” It was around the 1940’s that these colors switched.

Nearly all girls toys incorporate pink. People go on about diversity but the recent 60th Anniversary Barbie was literally pink from head to toe. Pink hair, pink outfit right down to stocking and shoes. She looks like a lipstick! Does anyone remember when Barbie was not associated with pink? No? well, I’m older than she is so I do.

One of the 60th anniversary Barbie’s Photo from Mattel.

So as I said, I don’t dislike pink; I do dislike how commercialised the use of it has become. There is a whole psychology around colours in marketing. I don’t like it because I don’t like being manipulated.

Flowers in my kitchen

References:

Another WordPress Feature Goes Missing

This morning I discovered another WordPress feature had gone missing. I guess it’s not a very important one but I liked it.

On the Stats page there where you can see the list of posts that have been viewed there used to be a little link next to each post which would take you to it. I don’t know if other people do this but I often like to read my old posts to see if they are still relevant or sometimes with a  really old one to remind myself what I said. Sometimes I do it out of curiosity, trying to work out what attracted the reader to it or why an old post keeps bobbing up.

Where did the links go?

When I logged in this morning those little links were gone.  I imagine that as WordPress is so glitchy these days and as they consider something as important as spell check to be not worth fixing they are hardly going to worry about a feature that probably a lot of people don’t even notice.

Of course, there are other ways I can go back over old posts. I know that but it’s just another example of the glitches we seem to be seeing more and more often these days.

Lest We Forget

Today is ANZAC Day. I didn’t get up early to go to the dawn service or catch the bus to see the parade in Hobart but the above are some photos that I took of the 2015 march.

I don’t think of the march as a celebration of war so much as a day that we remember the fallen.

Years ago when I used to go Dawn Service and to see the march in Adelaide regularly I used to enjoy seeing the pleasure the veterans got out of seeing old friends that maybe they didn’t see very often and their determination to go the distance even though they were old and maybe disabled.

It was once felt that the ANZAC tradition would die once the men and women who served in the world wars were gone but instead it seems to have become bigger. Of course,  we’re never going to run out of conflicts to lose soldiers in.

I just hope that young people are commemorating the day for the right reasons. Many young Australians like to visit Turkey and spend ANZAC Day at Gallipoli but it was not meant to be about rock concerts and selfies. It’s a time to be solemn, reflect and do our best to make sure that no more young men have to die in a war.

Dark clouds looming over the Cenotaph in Hobart.

Don’t we have a lot of euphemisms for War?

Moments with Dogs

Most of our Op Shop volunteers make a big fuss when customers bring babies into the shop. I guess I am not very maternal. I prefer dogs.

A few customers bring dogs and tie them up outside the shop while they browse. Sometimes we’re asked for a bowl of water for them which we are happy to supply. If it is not too warm, other customers leave their dogs in their cars with the windows open. I don’t really like this but those people don’t usually stay long. Very occasionally a customer might bring their dog inside and carry it around with them.

This week I met two dogs at the shop. One was a twelve-year-old German Shepherd whose owner had come in to find a couple of old blankets for her. Twelve is a good age for a German Shepherd so when she commented on how much her dog loved soft toys I found one for her to give it. The lady let her dog out of the car to stretch her legs and say hello to me, it was near the end of the day and I was taking things back inside the shop. She seemed to love the toy and carried it around in her mouth. I don’t know if this dog understood that the toy came from me but she came up and gave me a lick. I know a lot of people are frightened of German Shepherds but the ones I have met have all been lovely dogs.

Owczarek cezar
An elderly German Shepherd similar to the one I saw. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Owczarek_cezar.jpg

My second dog moment left me feeling quite angry. Some people had come in and were browsing while their dog, which was tied up outside near the water container, was barking and crying. The people were in the shop for a long time and it sounded to me as if the dog was getting quite distressed. One of the owners went out to check on it once but when he came back inside the dog started crying again.

I guess I am sensitive to this because Cindy gets anxious when I am away from her. I went outside to have a look at the dog and discovered it was a puppy, not a tiny puppy but only a few months old. It was at that clumsy big-footed stage. I let it sniff my hand and talked to it for a bit before thinking I had better get back to work. The owners were still shopping, they did not seem to be in much of a hurry. I went out again, my feet were hurting and I needed a rest so I thought I’d sit on the bench outside and keep the pup company for a few minutes. He cried and tried to come to me but the leash was not long enough to allow that so I went and stood beside him and patted him and told him it would be OK.

I was still out there talking to the pup when the owners came back. I was really annoyed with them by now and I said that the pup was too young to understand them being gone for so long. They said “He’s got to learn.” and “It’s better to ignore him when he cries.” I thought “Yes, but not for that long.” they must have been gone at least half an hour. So I said “I bet you wouldn’t leave a baby crying for that long.” and the woman said that she probably would.

I went back inside because there was no point in saying anything else to them but I was angry about it for the rest of the day.

The Three AM Rant: Flour Sifters and Fitted Sheets

You know you are getting old when things that you took for granted as part of your daily life start being ignored or forgotten. It is a bit like going into a museum and seeing things you have and use at home being displayed as curiosities.

Flour Sifters

One of the Facebook sites that come up in my feed sometimes has photos of everyday items and asks readers to share if they know what it is? Often I wonder why they are even asking.

Take flour sifters. I use a flour sifter, my mum used one, my grandma used a sieve which is more or less the same thing but not as convenient.

At the Op Shop, I was told that “people don’t use them now.” Funny because whenever we have one for sale it goes pretty quickly. I’m puzzled though about why people don’t use them. Everyone is so into cooking these days. I mean people want to make elaborate and fancy looking meals like the ones they see on Master Chef but they don’t take the time to sift flour? That doesn’t make sense. If I bake, I sift.

My old flour sifter is still in use.

In fact, it seems that flour sifters are still being made and sold. I even found a comparison of the best ones on the market. So I don’t know who decided that they were old hat.

http://www.foodsharkmarfa.com/best-flour-sifters/

https://www.thekitchn.com/is-sifting-flour-for-baked-goods-really-necessary-213894

Fitted sheets

A lot of people who come to our Op Shop looking for bed linen tell me that they don’t want flat sheets, only the fitted ones. It seems that a lot of people don’t use a top sheet anymore just the doona. You can even buy sheet sets that are just a fitted sheet and doona cover.

Well personally I don’t care for the idea but even if I did, that’s no reason to consign flat sheets to the rubbish bin.

Fitted sheets are great, don’t get me wrong. I use them myself but with a flat sheet as a top cover. I like to be tucked in.

When you buy a fitted sheet you have to make sure you have the right wall size. If you have one of those pillow top mattresses a 30cm sidewall won’t stretch over it. I’ve had 40cm ones that I struggled to fit on our king-sized bed. There were a couple of pairs of sheets we had that I could stretch over the bed by being patient but David could never do it and would just throw them on the floor and use some mismatched sheet. I like things to match so that always irritated me. I used to put those sheets at the bottom of the stack of linen in the cupboard if I was going away so that he would not need to use them. Not only that, fitted sheets are a pain in the neck to fold up neatly. I’ve read numerous tips on how to do it and I can do it but spending ten minutes folding a sheet does not rate highly on my enjoyment of life scale.

It’s hard to fold fitted sheets neatly.

You can actually use flat sheets as bottom sheets. You just have to tuck them in. I had to remind a younger friend of this not long ago when she didn’t have spare fitted sheets. What do you suppose people did before fitted sheets were invented? By the way, they were invented in 1959 but I don’t recall seeing one before the 1970s.

If you buy a sheet set with a flat sheet included and you are one of those doonas only people you have actually bought two changes of bed linen. Had you thought of that?

Did people actually forget you can do that or doesn’t anyone know how to make a hospital corner?

Here are some comments about the debate.

https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/bedding-debate-top-sheet

https://www.inverse.com/article/42949-top-sheets-millennials-bedding-duvet-cover.

Time to wash the sheets.

I personally would rather wash a top sheet every week than struggle replacing a doona cover. I do wash that too of course but less often than the top sheet. The Millenial argument seems to be that washing top sheets makes extra work. They should have been around when grandma had to wash everything in the copper and have it hung on the line to dry before breakfast.

Have to go, it’s time to hang my sheets and doona cover on the line.

The doona cover on the line.

 

 

Dumbed Down

I would not say I was an exceptionally well-educated person. I left school voluntarily at age fifteen. I wasn’t happy at school and I wanted to go to work and earn money so that I could save up to travel.

However, I did leave school being able to read well, write a letter or story with good spelling and reasonably correct grammar, do maths problems and with some understanding of historical events and current affairs.

I know that even in back in the sixties and seventies when I was going to school there were kids who struggled to achieve that. Classes were bigger and teachers didn’t have the time to spend with every kid so the very bright and very slow to learn sometimes missed out. However, when  I look around these days it seems to me that many young people are still struggling with basic literacy and maths and I wonder why.

I am not sure if things that we were expected to learn when I was at school are still taught.  When I was in Primary School we learned the basics. Every day we spent a couple of hours on spelling, dictation, and arithmetic, this was in the days before “New Maths”.  We spent a lot of time on English learning grammar, Reading Comprehension and writing compositions. We also had class novels which we read either out loud or to ourselves and were expected to answer questions about. There was “Reading Laboratory” which was a big box full of cards with a story to read and a set of questions to answer. They were colour coded for difficulty and I was proud to get right to the top colour every year that I did them.

An Australian children’s classic.

In maths or arithmetic, as we still called it, we learned addition and subtraction, multiplication and long division. We had to master fractions decimals and learn about angles in geometry. We were supposed to “show the working out” on our page and we were not allowed to use calculators in tests. Actually, when I was in primary school there were no calculators. We did those sums where you calculated the cost of several items and even worked out the percentage of the total to subtract as a discount.  In Mental Arithmetic the teacher asked you a question and you had to quickly write the answer while doing the working out in your head.

My old primary school in the early 1960s http://www.elizgrps.sa.edu.au/about/
My old primary school in the early 1960s
http://www.elizgrps.sa.edu.au/about/

We had Social Studies which for Primary School students seemed to be a mixture of history, geography and current affairs. We learned a lot about things like stump jump ploughs, irrigation, gold mining, explorers, sheep and which states produced what products. Of course, we also learned a bit about Kings and Queens of England and even the Romans invading Britain. I am sure they don’t teach that to nine-year-olds any more.

In High School, we learned History and Geography, Algebra and how to use a slide rule. Don’t ask me, I’ve forgotten. We read novels and plays and our teachers were dismayed if any student did not know enough grammar to write properly.

As I never had children or grandchildren I really don’t know what they teach them now but I’m disturbed that young people in stores can’t make change without consulting the electronic cash register. When I was studying at TAFE a decade ago the younger people in the class had great difficulty in spelling and even more in writing a business letter. They just didn’t seem to have the vocabulary for it or know how to construct a sentence, possibly because they don’t write full words or full sentences in text messages. As for history, I’m sure that it is not taught which is a shame because I think you can learn a lot about the present from what happened in the past.

Another planter in the Geeveston Primary School Garden.

I’ll admit that I think that some things are better now. Classes are smaller, most of my classes right through school were 35 to 40 kids, sometimes more. Schools have better facilities, air conditioning and heating for instance and better equipment. Corporal punishment is a thing of the past. Honestly, I don’t think that hitting a child with a ruler will make them learn their tables faster. There were some really mean, sadistic teachers around in the sixties, I think for some Teacher’s College was where you went if you didn’t get into University. Some I met certainly did not like kids. On the other hand, I don’t think teachers get the respect that they once did from children or parents.

If so many young adults today can’t read, write, spell or do basic arithmetic how will the next generation cope? Although we have lots of technology we should not rely on that completely. If it all breaks down we need to be able to manage without it. I especially feel concerned that some young people are so unaware of historical events.  There is so much fantasy on social media that without knowledge of the facts there will be no way for them to know what is real and what isn’t anymore.