Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The PM after the next two elections

This is Malcolm Turnbull. He is our Prime Minister. As I correctly forecast, he overthrew the previous Prime Mininster, Tony Abbott, and will lead the Liberal Party to successfully win the next Federal Election. Note, the Liberal Party is not very liberal but quite conservative. However, it is quite a bit more liberal under Turnbull. Former Prime Minister Abbott has been travelling in the US and speaking at a meeting of folk who don't believe in gay marriage or abortion or any other progressive social policies.

This man is Bill Shorten and he is leader of Her Majesty's Opposition party and leader of the Labor(sic) Party. He is not electable at all but why waste a good potential Labor Prime Minister on an election the Labor Party cannot win? R dislikes him intensely and has done since the pie shop incident. Do Ann O'Dyne and Jah Teh remember seeing him when we lunched at Spencer Street Station and Ann said he looked like a bookie (horse racing taker of bets).

Who to lead the Labor Party to success after the next election or even the one after that when Turnbull falls out of favour? The male talent seems very thin on the ground. My money is on a woman. Tanya Plibersek presents very well, is clearly smart and a smooth operator and has not put a foot wrong. At the moment she is Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs. That is a good grounding for a future PM. Maybe she is not warm or cuddly enough though.

My money though is on Penny Wong. Although she is a Senator and would have to change to the House of Representatives, that would be no problem. She is smart. She is a good head kicker. She is very eloquent. After being Finance Minister in a former Labor government, she is now Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment. As a lesbian with a partner and child, she would obviously pick up the gay vote, the alternative family vote, all Labor votes and much of the Asian vote. She has a quite high public profile. I would be quite proud to call her Prime Minister Wong, until of course the political realities set in and she turned out to not be the Messiah.

Photo credits in order: Twitter, Wikipedia, News Limited, ALP.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Musical Monday

My occasional Musical Monday. River never fails. I am 75% through writing my will online. I have stalled as it had become difficult when deciding what to give to R's Sisters should he die before me........no, that is a given fact. But are his sister's children due anything? If so, how much?

I should be planning a big fat gay funeral with details in my will. I always thought the music as people who exited my funeral should be this. I want to make them cry as they remark, well given his indulgent lifestyle....

But wow, what a mood lifter it was when a friend's mother died and this was the exit music at her funeral as the coffin exited the building. We tossed between amusement and horror. In retrospect, it was good.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Oh, those Arabs

"Iran and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is the largest Sunni nation on the Arabian Peninsula, Iran the largest Shiite nation in the Middle East and both claim or aspire to leadership in the region. Iran is predominately Persian, while Saudi Arabia is Arab. They sit on different sides of the Sunni-Shia divide."
If this came from the BBC, I would not have bothered to download the podcast, but as it is from Rear Vision at our ABC Radio National I have and I will listen to what I expect from experience will be an interesting listen.  

The family grows

We are great uncles again, as Oldest Niece has given birth to Little Em, a sister to the nearly two year old Little M. We shopped in town this morning for a gift and a card and our whole Sunday revolved around seeing Little Em and Oldest Niece and eventually we did after they were discharged from a large outer south eastern hospital and we met at the hospital cafe. Mother, Little Em's great grandmother attended too with ABI Brother. Little Em just wanted to sleep and only once did she briefly open her eyes. Uncle R held her for most of the time. She looks so like Little M.

Saturday night dinner

It was only to be a meal at the Elsternwick Hotel for four of us, but Brighton Antique Dealer has just returned from a cruise, so our mutual friend invited her, and she brought a friend and our Fijian born Indian friend brought along his long term friend.

While BAD enjoyed her cruise to and around New Zealand with her daughter, she said it was very busy in the public areas and she would only ever do smaller cruises if she did another. It sounds like her fellow travellers were pretty rough around the edges. I hope that translates ok.

Now, her friend. She is fellow inmate in the expensive retirement building where BAD lives. I don't think I have ever dined with a woman who wore pearls to the table, but I did tonight. OK, BAD probably has, bit I didn't notice. She was very petite and dressed in black and while her voice/accent was very posh, she was just lovely. She did not mind a bit of smutty talk, had a little play on the pokie machines and drank beer. Oh, I left out the crucial part. She is 92. That means she was born in 1924 and while her hearing is a little dodgy, she behaves like she is many years younger. The late Dame M was born only one year later but died at 82. Maybe drinking and smoking excessively is bad for you health.

It only came out as an aside because we were talking about travel and most the 92 year old's children are in Adelaide. She used to drive to see them and then as she became older, she flew. Now she takes the train and she loves the train trip. Ah yes, her son is an Adelaide magistrate. Thinking aloud, he could well be approaching 70. She had us laughing about her children's dogs she used to look after when they travelled.

Anyway, we have met many of BAD's friends and they are always very pleasant, but BAD seems to have a lot of friends who come and go and who we never see again.

Australia Day Part 2 or Sunday Selections

This will do for Sunday Selections. Quite a few of us participate and link back to River.

Just to add a little more distress to the Barking Owl and the dingoes seen in Part 1, the Australian Air Force flew The Roulettes overhead. They normally make one or two passes but today there were many and people stopped looking up after a while.

A Ford Fairlane.

Here they go again.

A Ford Customline, with a V8 engine. A straight eight is better than a V8 and I seem to recall Buick made a straight eight.

Starting to annoy, like mosquitoes.

Buick. You will perhaps not find a smoother and quieter ride than in this car. Now cars have tight suspension for good handling. No such nonsense back then when floating along as if on a cloud was the primary consideration, never mind how the cars wallowed around corners.

Funny looking thing. Ok, another Buick.

An old ambulance from the regional area of Gippsland in Victoria. I did not notice at the time, but I can tell by the dashboard it is a mid sixties Humber.

A Minervar. Is it a Mr or Mrs? Made in Belgium it seems, a forerunner of today's successful Belgian car manufacturers. (:-P Guess who that is for Gattina)

Bugger off.

Studebaker Lark, I believe.

Yet another Buick.

Which way was that cannon that fired the 21 gun salute left pointing? Could it take them out?

We just happened across this wonderful group of women, performing to music. Ever so graceful and the smallish group that had gathered gave them hearty applause. Joe has a a good photo here.

Enough. That is taxpayer dollars paying for your aviation gas.

Travelling at a rather more sedate pace than a jet is what I call a Punt Road bus.

The driver's cabin looks cosy.

Unbelievably, these ran until 1980. It is a 1952 AEC Regal Mark III and oddly it has been cropped, that is shortened. Was there a public demand for shorter buses?

Driver luxury lounge. Lots of lovely warmth in the winter next to the driver from the engine. Not so good in the summer. I remember being stuck behind them as they crawled up the Punt Road hill, belching out clouds of black smoke. Later I learnt that that there was always a conductor on board these buses. A recent comment by a mechanic who maintained them on an old post where I mentioned them was interesting.

A Three Ton Mechanical Horse by Scammel. It looks like what I imagine electric milk floats used to in England. Three tons and only three wheels too.

Army departing now to show those terrorists a thing or two.

We got guns.

Can anyone identify this European looking national dress?

Gotham City, House of Sin. Should I check? As I guessed, a brothel. What would be in the closed trailer? The mind boggles.

It was getting quite hot, so we headed for home.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Saturday Sidesplitters, not

There was a joke in late 70s or maybe early early 80s where a gay man stated that his mother made him a homesexual. The riposte was, if I give her the wool will she make me one too? Very droll.

I read something recently that amused me. I am not sure of the outcome but the plan was brilliant.

Sydney Water Board employees were digging up the road outside Sydney University. Some students rang the police and told them a group of students disguised at Water Board workers, were digging up the road and disrupting traffic.

The students then rang Sydney Water Board and told the company that a group of students disguised as police would soon arrive to disrupt their work.

I guess they then just sat back and watched the fun unfold. Sounds rather like an urban myth to me and of course it could have happened anywhere in the world.

I did once watch an Italian movie where people dressed as road workers dug a huge hole in the middle of a street, causing quite some disruption. They were not proper workers and I forget their motives, but the movie seemed to indicate that Italian bureaucracy was quite unable to deal with the matter, as responsibility was passed from one department to another.

Speaking of urban myths, Twitter was awash in Melbourne with a seagull story. A man was sitting on the Frankston Station train platform eating fish and chips. Just as a train's doors were closing, the man threw a handful of chips into the train carriage and of course the seagulls dived on them, the train doors closed and much to consternation of passengers in the train, seagulls flapped, crapped and generally panicked in the train carriage until the next station.

I do like a good urban myth. There are many of them.

Friday, February 05, 2016

I love the smell of diesel in the morning

Sometimes these videos are like watching paint dry and run for an excessive time and at times it is only because the engines just take forever to start. Speakers on for this brief yet tense clip. Will the engine catch? 1:05

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Vale Richard James

Back in the days when we went out at night, at The Greyhound (hotel) we would at times see the Baroness of Balaclava. He was an active person in the gay community and did many good works.

I chatted to him once at the Greyhound Hotel, another time at a restaurant and we also ran into him at the gay resort Turtle Cove, north of Cairns. Hmm, where's Carol btw? 

He was far from a young man when we kind of knew him and probably started drag a little be too late in life, nevertheless, he was always friendly and pleasant.

This tribute was in our local council newsletter.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Australia Day Pt 1

If you don't like photos of cars, then be elsewhere. It was quite warm, so I put upon my head my Surfers Paradise bought straw hat in a way too late attempt to protect my scalp from the sun. It was only a three stops on the tram, but we were conserving our energy to visit the annual Australia Day Royal Automobile Club of Victoria car display. It has grown heaps since the last time we visited, about ten years ago.

A nice looking EJ or EH Holden made by General Motors Holden, GMH. Pity it is spoilt by silly wheels.

An MG.

Not sure but clearly an American car and very flashy. The number on the side says 442, which I assume is the cubic inch capacity of the engine. That's a pretty big motor. Later, I have checked and I believe it is an Oldsmobile and the 442 means four barrel carburettor, four speed manual gear box and 2 exhaust pipes. Its engine capacity was 330 cubic inches.

Japan Inc was not as sophisticated as it now is when several decades ago it launched the Nissan Cedric in Australia. It was quite a refined car compared to our models back then but Nissan missed the nuances of the name Cedric, which is perhaps the easiest name in the world to say with a lisp. That it is a classic collectible is no surprise to me.

While my heart was hopeful of seeing this sort of car everywhere on the streets of New York last year, my head was not and my head was right.

This Anglia has very nice lines.

Want to see under the bonnet? The engine is tiny. In contrast to the American car above at 330 cubic inches, this might be about 50.

Did they really paint Ford Roadsters in this colour?

I think once before we had a conversation about a name for this seat. I'll take the name Mother uses for it, a dickie seat but rumble seat is also familiar to me.

What is the fine upright beast?

A Talbot Doctor's Coupe! Does that mean only a doctor could own it? Was a medical kit built into somewhere? A hook on which to hang as stethoscope?

The slightly chunky daddy seems very interested in the stilt walkers.

I am not sure who the band is, but they were playing very loud Australian themed rock music. A Cold Chisel song and an ACDC song were to be heard, at least.

This one I don't have to google. Along with Rover and Wolesley, Humbers are one of my favourite cars. This one is a Series 2 Super Snipe and she is in fine condition.

A two tone Vanguard. Even looking at the original photo, I can't work out the model.

Just as we arrived at a small critter display, including snakes in aquarium tanks, a 21 gun salute began at Government House and the formerly sleepy Barking Owl was wide awake and I think a little alarmed. There were some dingoes in a cage nearby and they too suddenly came to life.

A DeSoto (sic) Suburban. The parents of a childhood friend owned a slightly older one and I remember it had an electric heating element mounted with suction cups at the bottom of the windscreen for demisting and to turn the tail lights on, you had to operated a push pull switch at the back on the outside of the car. This one is a bit of a don't mess with me look about it.

A Studebaker. Odd name for a car really. I remember the Lark model. This may well be the Hawk.

Pity this is out of focus. It is a brave two tone colour combination but I think it works. Oh yes, I think it is a Nash.

The steering wheel centre says Nash, anyway. It is a nice dash, but whose idea was the ugly tachometer? You don't need to know how many revolutions the engine is making and the cigarette lighter is clearly not original. Maybe the original was victim to a Monsieur Hulot act, where after unsuccessfully trying to light his pipe with matches, he used the car lighter and just like he had with the dead matches, threw it out the window.

The first car we owned that I can remember as a child, an FJ Holden Special. Special meant that it had carpet, heating of sorts, and strap handles. It also had vacuum operated windscreen wipers which were quite perverse because the faster you went, the slower the wipers went. The would wipe very fast at idling.

It did not come with indicators and only one centrally mounted tail/stop light. Note the sun visor, the venetian shades and the rubber stone protector on the rear mudguard.


I wasn't watching but R said a man was in the car and from that centrally mounted box, he removed a 45 speed record from what must be a record player. If my memory of record players is correct, it must be difficult for the stylus to stay on the record when the car is in motion.

Another FJ Holden, this one in the colours of our family car. I was about to take a photo of the front when I realised  I would be capturing an old lady in the passenger seat munching on sandwiches.

We took a break from cars for a cold drink as those leading the Australia Day Parade returned to wherever.

Almost at the end of the parade now. Have I ever mentioned I find Sikh men intriguing and mysterious.

This was the second group of bagpipe players, heard long before they arrived.

A Dodge with a huge engine bay but probably doesn't go any faster than a current VW Golf, but maybe it has the same fuel consumption as a VW Golf. We'll never know.

The name Cadillac speaks luxury to me.

A Ford Mercury. I  know because I took a close up photo below.

Interesting supplementary lights.

Another Cadillac, black and menacing.

A Rambler Classic. I can remember these being on the street.

A gorgeous Austin 7 with the ever so suitable name, Clementine.

I remember this model too, a Chrysler Royal.

Part 2 will be a bit more varied with fewer cars.