While out for a walk today…

It’s another beautiful day, with sunny blue skies.  While out for a walk I spotted two men filling up big bags with sand from the beach at the George Town end of Gurney Drive.  I wondered why, so I asked them, and it was for a friend’s garden.   If it were a cupful I wouldn’t mind, but there is not that much nice sand on beaches here – but while I could understand them, they couldn’t understand what I was trying to tell them.  They didn’t sound Malay, so I don’t know where they were from.

A few minutes later I saw a car with a parking ticket.  I assumed that the driver had not put a voucher on the dashboard, but on checking there was one, with the correct time and date.  Curious I looked more closely.  The driver had scratched the starting time of the parking voucher as 12.15PM.  The parking ticket had a time stamp of 12.11PM!

Somehow my phone screen had lost all brightness and I couldn’t see it, even in the shade of trees while on my walk, so I couldn’t take any photos.  At home I saw that the phone had decided to set brightness close to zero.  Do  “smart” appliances now have AI which is directed to randomly annoy people?

Which reminds me of an old Woody Allen joke where the lift up to his apartment shook up the occupants and dumped them in the basement – because the lift had heard he had abused his electric kettle.   Is this the future with the IOT (Internet of Things) where everything communicates with everything else in machine language?

I still don’t know why my phone did this as I am very nice to all my appliances, and they generally live  long and useful lives.   Anyway…



  1. it looks like those guys are stealing sand. and plenty of it too. is there a telephone number to call for this kind of thing, so that the police can do a rapid response and catch them doing it,stealing public property? if not there should be. thefts like this impoverise the people who live there, because their rates will go up to replace such, not to mention makes the place ugly.

    1. I don’t know of any phone number. It’s also the first time I have seen people do that. They may not even know they shouldn’t do it – but they couldn’t really understand me telling them.

      1. penangnites may have to wake up that what they have always taken things for granted, like sand on the beach, will be worth something to others , new comers, who can see they represent money. imagine coming here and finding money like this lying around…
        here in london we learnt our lesson the hard way. all the metal lying around , like manhole covers, fences, lead roofs, metal gutters, were ripe for the stealing.by the time people realise, they have been ripped up and gone. its the same with recycled stuff. people just throw them away, but incomers realise that is money and they have been raiding the recycling bins, emptying them before the official truck comes to clear them.

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