Saturday, June 04, 2005

Public transport

It is a motherhood statement I suppose. Really, I wish it was.

Melbourne needs better public transport. Check out
Hecho En Mexico for some debate on Melbourne's public transport. Visit the Public Transport Users Association too and support it and the people who give their time without payment and little thanks.

There are some new motorways under consideration in Melbourne and there is one that I agree with, that is the linking of the Eastern Freeway to the Tullamarine Freeway. But beside that, freeways are a bit useless mostly.

Here is my anecdote on freeways.

In the early eighties, we bought our first house in Waverley Rd, East Malvern. It was a busy enough road, but down the bottom of the road where it joined Lower Malvern Road, it was very busy. The freeway stopped at Warrigal Road and the traffic used to filter through the middle suburbs to get to the city. The freeway was then extended to, I think, Toronga Road.

Three days after it opened, I went to check out Waverley Road in the morning peak. I had our dog in tow for a walk and it was dead quiet. Not a car hardly.

Freeways are great, I concluded. The freeway has removed all this traffic.

Step forward roughly 13 years and we are living elsewhere and I suggested to R that a good way to work was Waverley Road. He said no. It is too busy.

Step forward a few months and I had an occasion to see Waverley Road in the morning peak and I was astonished that it was just a long line of stop and start cars.

What changed? The number of cars grew because the ease of travel grew. You can slag me about population growth etc, but it is a thin argument.

A government spokesperson was recently heard to say how we Melbournians need to get used to traffic jams and congestion.

It might be a lot better for the government to spend money on good, and not token, public transport rather than freeways.

Getting very localised here now, but doesn't Doncaster need a heavy rail route. How much I have heard and how little has ever been done. This whole wedge of Melbourne without a train line.

Newish Police Minister


Victoria's latest Police Minister. I wouldn't mind giving him a good snogging.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Not quite right

Dame M called last night to summon us to the Balaclava Hotel to celebrate one of the gang's birthday. Some of us were busy, but we went. It was a pleasant night, but Dame M has continuing problems after and eye operation.

So, she did not come and her boarder passed on her apologies. As said, it was a good night, but it did lack something. Dame M was not there and in a way she is a glue that sticks us all together.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The green bag


The funniest thing I have seen about these green reusable bags for your shopping, is watching a woman at a checkout loading her shopping into the bag. Not funny? It was, because her shopping was already packed in plastic bags.

I don't use them as yet. Why would I when I would then have to buy plastic bags to put into our rubbish bin? I expect there will come a time when I have to though.

Doctor doctor

My doctor is gay and he is also ethnically Asian. He is hot and not much younger than me. I have seen him out at venues and he is mostly in the company of Anglo Australians. He has marched in the Mardi Gras Parade and been on tv a few times. He also knew well someone who was a good friend to me and who was murdered.

But he spends so much time on gay.com and now it seems he has found another gay hook up site, worldskins.com


I hope he is using his full concentration when I visit his surgery and not thinking about his next bit of dick.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Racism

I am not aware of ever being a victim of racism and it is quite unlikely to happen to me in the country where I was born and reside. But I have seen it and I don't like it. I imagine it is something akin to homophobia. Sometimes it is overt, sometimes very subtle and sometimes totally unintentional. If we are honest with oursleves, we will admit that there is at least a little racism in all of us.

Here are some of my observations and experiences.

You have only to listen to talkback radio in the last few weeks to more than once heard a statement from a caller that 'and the judge doesn't even speak English'. The callers were referring to the judge in the Corby trial in Bali. Actually, he can speak English and did so in interviews. But that is beside the point. Why would he address the Indonesian court in English? It is an Indonesian court, so he speaks Indonesian, Basa, or something like that. Talk about cultural imperialism.

A few years ago, I met up at Chadstone shopping centre with a friend from Hong Kong, ethnic Chinese of course. Unlike me, he has rich parents. and lived in Kew. He needed a repair to his watch band or failing that, a new band. Not your plastic band but a nice espensive gold band. We went into the jeweller together and although he spoke to the jeweller, and I was only standing by, the jeweller kept addressing me. That is as he explained things, he talked to me and totally ignored my friend. I am sure he did not do it intentionally, but it surely is a classic example. Older Australian guy with a younger Asian guy. I am the one with the power and the money.

I won't bother telling you of the terribly racist joke I heard in a gay bar, apart from that I wrote to the gay press editors and was published and the drag queen who told it on stage was mortified.

There is an instance that really cuts me. When Pauline Hanson was in accendancy, my Cambodian born work mate cried. He cried as he told me about the attacks on his teenage daughter on her way home from school. He did not mean to cry, the tears just formed in his eyes and trickled down his cheeks. They were only verbal attacks, but they must have upset her a lot for her father to know about it. She is now a doctor and probably overcharging us, just as do fifth generation Anglo Aussie doctors.

Racism is bad. Keep it for your own lounge room and don't talk in front of the kiddies.

The venerable British Museum


This story amused me no end. The pic is from The Age a couple of weeks ago. Someone popped this on display in the cave man art area of the British Museum. Accompanying it was a card to explain the art work's details. It sat there for several months and was only removed when the culprit confessed.

Public Art

I recken public art is great man. That cow up a tree at Docklands is great. That paper boy at Balaclava Junction is way kewl. The dog in the City Square is good. As for Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson stylised as business men at the corner of Swanston and Bourke streets, well, what can you say. They look extra good with a ciggie in their mouths. The tourists love them. At the corner of Latrobe and Swantson, the fragment of the library is great.

Perhaps the above is a bit nineties. City of Stonnington are a with it crowd. Check out their efforts in Glenferrie Rd, Malvern. Brushed aluminium, stlylised cut out pics of Malvern Town Hall that change colour!

Public art is good, there should me more of it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Cold

Our visit to Rosebud last weekend was great. We skillfully chose the worst weekend weather that we may have had since December last year. Point Nepean walk is great, I think. We did not do it. as it was rainy, squally and windy. We ended up in the Pig and Whistle in the middle of the Mornington Peninsular. Sitting outside on a warm summer day must be magical, but it was not the case.

We arrived at the house to stay, and it was so cold. Cold that I had forgotten. Cold like the when we lived in our house in Balaclava and had been away in winter for two weeks. Cold like you walk into the house and it colder that the outside air.

I am so spoilt now. The lowest temp I have seen on our clock/thermometer at home without heating is 17.9 and the highest when the sun is shining in directly, and no cooling is on, is 26. As soon as the sun goes off out apartment, the temp drops.

Fortunately, the house at Rosebud had a wall furnace and it heated the place well, even if it did send us to sleep.

If you are buying a house or apartment in the near future, factor in the cost of a reverse cyle air con unit and look for an installation position. You won't be sorry. Buy Daikan, they are good.

Monday, May 30, 2005

My opinion on the good doctor

Last year before a holiday, I quickly burned some music cds of stuff I had downloaded and had sat on my hardrive for some time. We were travelling by car and so needed some music. Without really sorting the music out, I just burned away. The result expressed my taste in music. Here is a example track listing.

Peggy Lee, Fever.
Murray Head, One Night in Bangkok.
T Rex, Get it On.
Gary Jules, It's a Mad World.
Kirri Te Kanawa, Madam Butterfly.
Irish Rovers, Lily the Pink.
Chemistry, Pieces of a Dream (Cantonese?).
Junior Jack, Esamba
Mundian to Bach Ke, Panjabi MC.
Love Shack, B52s

As you can see, a mix like this on one cd could possibly do your head in so I thought it was time to sort the messy business out. Easy I thought, drag the music files from the cds to my hard drive, sort them into some sort of grouping, then reburn them.

Nope, computer said no.

I started to do battle, and then realised it would be just as quick to download them again, and not bother with the ones I no longer wanted, such as Rolf Harris's Jake the Peg.

A must have for me is Soft Cell's Tainted Love. I needed their original plus a remix. That was easy. Music is now sorted and ready to burn.

Onto last Saturday's night tele and it was a magic moment in Dr Who when an ipod (juke box) appeared and immediately started playing Tainted Love. Very clever. I am not really into scifi and never watched Dr Who often, but I am enjoying this new series very much. It is clever, well written, loud and subtle with fantastic effects. I won't be missing any of this series.



Odd game

We were having pre dinner drinks in the public bar of the Rosebud Hotel and because of where we were sitting, were almost forced to watch what was on the monster large screen tv. It was rugby. I played it at school a few times but I really have no idea of what it is about apart from being a ball game and there are two types, union and league.

Oh yeah, you get quite close to your fellow players too. I expect I enjoyed that part along with the change room afterwards. I soon learned why Fats Aitken acquired his name and that the nerdiest guy in the school would probably become quite popular in his late teens. The growth hormones in the classmate we knew as 'proffessor' obviously went to his brain and not elsewhere but I was a bit puzzled about the Greek boy and what was hanging from the end of his d'ick.

I don't know which type of rugby we were watching but the team was St George. I worked this out from the knights with red motifs running around the ground from before it started.

The few people watching intently were quite passionate. I am not sure what they were being passionate about as nothing was happening apart from a game that looked like stacks on the mill. The camera focused on someone running across the field, without a ball, and the cheering became louder.

I guess we watched for ten minutes and afterwards, the only thing I could think was why?