Friday, June 17, 2005

Voice

I guess we have all heard our own voices as other hear them. Does anyone thing their voice sounds ok? I would guess not. We hear our own voices differently and it is at least a surprise to ourselves when we hear how differently we sound as to what we hear.

I don't think my voice is very gay. I don't hiss my sesses. To me it sounds drawly, although affected too. Why I do speak so differently to my youngest brother? His voice is so ocker. I suppose it needs to be, as he is a tradie. No matter how hard I try, I could never talk like him. I am better at doing an Irish or Indian accent that a broad Australian accent.

Right from when I was kid, I spoke a bit differently to the rest of my family. Even at the age of four when we kids used to rush to answer the telephone if it rang, people would comment, referring to me, oh, doesn't he speak so nicely. While I am somewhat of a pedant, not that you would think so from my writing abilities, I speak very unconsciously. But my voice sounds affected.

Thanks Headmaster Mr Windsor. You publicly embarrassed me in front of the class when doing a dictation test. Yes, I did say pitchers instead of pictures, but look at the long term effect it has had on me.

So, to the other night's self criticism, can be added, I don't like the sound of my own voice either. I should just shoot myself.

News priorities

New fire regulations in Thailand for high rise buildings. Hmm, better have a look at that. A quick browse of the online Bangkok Post gave me the information required.

Strange. No mention of yesterday's Cambodian school siege where a Canadian boy was killed. Wonder why. Check Singapore's Straits Times, no mention there. New York Post, no mention there. Who knows why. London Sun and News of the World, no obvious mention at either of those.

Actually, nor did I see anything about the rescue of Australian/American Donald Wood.

I did see a couple of 'silly' Australian stories that get published overseas and we never hear about.

I guess it was the eighties when a group of English journalists got together and started publishing the UK Independent . Ok world media, last chance. Sure enough. Both stories reported there.

I am unsurprised by no reporting of Donald Wood's rescue, but I am surprised that the school siege did not get international coverage, or at least Asian coverage.

EEC

I, like all of you, are subject to our media and we make our judgments. We are all sure, aren't we, that the Brussels based EEC bureaucracy is a almost immovable mammoth. This is a brief read and worth you while, I think.

EUROMYTH NO. 16: THE GREAT COMMISSION OCTOPUSThis time a Euromyth a little closer to home. The fallacy of the tentacle-like European bureaucracy as being oversized and unwieldy is one often trumpeted in the British media and therefore aped by some of the press down under. The most recent example comes from Janet Albrechtsen, columnist with The Australian. In an article (May 11) which labels the ‘grand utopian experiment' of the EU as a stealthy attempt to ‘dump the nation-state', Albrechtsen describes the EU's executive, the Brussels-based European Commission, as a ‘mammoth centralised bureaucracy'. In fact the Commission, with its 21,863 employees, is smaller than Australia's Centrelink, which has a total of 24,632 staff. What many tend to forget is that almost all EU regulations and legislation drafted by the Commission has to be voted on by both the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers which is made up of ministers from the EU Member States, and then often by the Heads of State and Government of EU countries via the European Council. The Commission has very little unchecked capacity to design and enforce rules from Brussels of its own volition. All up, the Commission is probably the same size as the combined policy divisions of the Australian federal government, yet it serves a truly ‘mammoth' 455 million people, as opposed to a mere 20 million.PS: Albrechtsen's article would surely win any award for Euro-drivel!Ah, right. “The fallacy of the tentacle-like European bureaucracy as being oversized and unwieldy is one often trumpeted in the British media and therefore aped by some of the press down under.” An Anglo-Saxon conspiracy, in other words? Good to see that the sprit of General de Gaulle has moved from the Quai d'Orsay to Brussels.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dirty housewife

You would think that when you live high off the ground, that you would not get much dirt onto your floors. We walk across mats on a granite floor, stand on carpet in a lift, walk across carpet on our landing, across marble at our front door and then onto the carpet in our apartment.

But still the carpet needs vacuuming once a week at least. Of course it is a big improvment on when we had pets and the informal living area had to be done daily, but still.

Mostly it is bits of lint or cotton, but not all. People just make a mess hey.

PS. I had a paper jam in the printer today and had to disconnect it to have a look. If you check yesterday's photo, you will see it sits on a filing cabinet. Where it has sat for about eighteen months was filthy. Must have a word to the cleaner............oh, that's me.

Camera pic


These digital cameras are very complicated. Mostly I just leave it on auto and hope for the best. But at times I have a play with it. Some time ago, I had a look at the delayed shutter facility. It seemed to be only for two seconds, not nearly enough to compose oneself for a nice pic of oneself to post on one's blog. Today I had another proper look at it and it has a ten second delay as well. Ten pictures later, I have concluded that I needed to be photographed through some thick muslin, so don't expect a face pic of me soon. Well just until I adjust my brain to how old and ugly I am.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The friend's pc

It is seldom that I will say that pcs and me get along well but tonight was an exception. If you are an avid reader of my blog and have a good memory as well, you will recall that we gave our old pc to our friends, M&R. I suggested that they take it to a local pc shop and get a win98 reload. 6gb HD was too small for XP. They did and unfortunately the pc shop added Norton virus checker and all that goes along with it. Bloatware. Hate it. Hate Bill's Word program too, far too clever. Keep it simple please, I only want to write a letter.

We gave them the pc one year ago. Once during a visit, I tried to defrag their pc, but the usual Win98 thing happened, that is activity in the background prevents defrag working. I think five minutes of hard drive activity after start up indicates something is not right.

Ok, screw their lousy iprimus internet, tonight I am focusing on the pc itself. First, uninstall Norton. Second, msconfig/startup and stop almost all these things happening in the background. Third, add/remove programs and get rid of what I did not know. Four, delete all temp files, internet history files, cookies etc. Empty recycle bin and restart. Next, scan disk. It is 373 days since you have scanned. Yes, I know. It took a good hour and half, but done. Defrag took just under an hour, but never stopped. Dom Perigcheap Brut, Noodle Box and cake swimming in custard later, Installed AVG from Grisoft and tweaked it's settings. Then installed www.adaware.com Both burnt onto a cd in advance. I scanned with both and they had 26 trojans (what was Norton doing?) and quite a few ad residents.

Both programs did their job well. Empty recycle bin again and restart. The more I did to the pc, the faster it worked.

Went online and updated virus checker and adaware.

Added to their favourites, http://gay.groupfinder.us/ so that they can satisfy their porn desires.

Deleted useless icons on their desktop.

Reinstalled acdsee classic. It is years old and recently I downloaded infranview or sumat. Would not do what I was familiar with, so I too am using a years old version of acdsee. I have to uninstall and reinstall once a month to get rid of the nag but that is no problem. Takes about a minute.

I can imagine the conversation in the computer shop one year ago. M asked for a win98 reload, and no doubt the guys asked him about his situation. They suggested putting on a virus checker and M would have said yes. Event their crap internet is a bit better now without Norton.

I think they are now out of contract with iprimus, so the next task is to find them a decent dial up connection. Unless they find heaps of stuff at gay.groupfinder.com and then I might have to find them a broadband connection.

Country coffee

I recently read a criticism of coffee served in country Victoria. It went along the lines of one cafe gets a machine, one staff person plays with it and maybe learns how it works, and then he or she is an expert and teaches everyone else in the town. Everyone is drinking crap coffee in this country town, but hey, it came from the machine, so it must be good.

But that is not my experience. I have had some quite good coffee in country towns.

Although their
sausage rolls were superb, their coffee was lousy. And this is the mecca that so many aspire to. That is downtown Acland Street, St Kilda. And it is a long wait for your coffee to be delivered as well.

Ummm, and I got it a bit wrong thinking that our Queen's birthday holiday (happy birthday Betty Battenburg) might be a bit quieter in St Kilda. It wasn't, and as usual, the five part new trams were running on the very quiet route 5 and not on the very busy 16 route. Mr Adelaide, go back to Elizabeth and Mr guitar/vocal person, you can't sing and you can't play either. Rule #? You will not play a musical intrument on a tram. Rule #? You will not solicit alms on a tram.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Media politeness and bloody tourists

Dear Mr/s state paper/tv/radio/net media organization. If you are Melbourne based and talking about our public transport system, you must say trains, trams and buses. Do not say something like 'If you caught the train or bus to work today.......' Given that most journalists and reporters would live in the inner latte/chardonay belt, it should come naturally to them. It offends my ears when I don't hear tram.

Mr/s national paper/tv/radio/net. When you are talking about public transport just mention train and leave buses out of it. If you say bus, then you better say tram and ferry as well at least and perhaps obahn?, light rail and horse carriage.

In addition, the next tourist I hear refer to a tram as a bus will get a smack in the mouth. Car, street car or trolley is acceptable. You will also quickly learn that a tram has stops, not stations and English tourists, take note, it is St Kilda Beach, not St Kilda's Beach (yes, I know why you say St Kildas).

So tourist, you will respect our culture and traditions. Media, you will remember who is your audience.

Crazy night

I don't like parties. I don't like going to a stranger's house and there are all these people who you don't know. You may know the host, but that is all. Get me out of here.

But Saturday night I went to a party with what has become our gang. Let me run through our gang. Myself and R, a couple of long term close friends, Dame M was 'otherwise engaged', but her boarder and his faghag came, the Brighton antique dealer and her toyboy, who we learnt used to be bisexual and had also done drag. Straight as a dye now, almost. Our heart transplant dyke friend was the nominated driver, and she did very well.

Mix our gang with another friend, an older aussie guy who has a Fijian Indian boyfriend. They live in down town South Oakleigh in a large house that is ideal for entertaining, and entertain they did.

Unbeknownst to us in advance, it was also a meeting, well a get together of gay Indians in Melbourne as well. Speeches even.

So, it was Aussie salads and deserts and cakes, Indian curries etc, and a barbeque as well.

Surprisingly to me, some of the Indian guys had south east Asian boyfriends, so, it certainly was a big cultural mix as well as an age mix. Oldest person 78, youngest, 22.

R, normally the nominated driver, took full advantage of his freedom and embarrassed himself, or he thought he might have when we reviewed the evening this morning. He didn't. This was just before we felt ok enough to collect my car from Dame M's, where we had left it last night.

We also caught up on serious conversation. Our close friend's new work job, Dame M's tenant's fag hag's breast implants and the removal of them. As mentioned, the Brighton antique dealers toy boy's 'past'. Caught up with an ethnic Indian, who worked back of house in an Acland St restaurant, who I have come across in the past. The very hot S, Fijian Indian, so straight, plays soccer competitively and it would seem convener of the Melbourne gay Indian group.

What amused me most, was the discussion initiated by Dame M's boarder. That is, how long does a dropped crisp/nut/biscuit lie on the floor before you can no longer eat it. He suggested 10 seconds and then it will have gathered germs, but you can add some time to this if you wipe it on your shirt. If you blow on it, that adds a few more seconds. If there are pets in the house, halve the above times. You had to be there.

I took the camera and got some fantastic pics at what was a great party.

Splutter

I nearly choked on my French toast this morning while having a quick skim through online newspapers.

If you are a resident of Melbourne, you will not have been able to avoid some knowledge of the issue of cattle grazing in the high country of Victoria.

The select few who have licenses to graze their cattle on the high plains of Victoria in a national park, have run a masterful media campaign. Heritage is a word they have used so many times. Caring for the land is a phrase I have also heard often.

Now when our right wing thunderer newspaper published an editoral on the subject, I would have expected it to use those words, along with the 'politically correct Brack's government', possibly 'labour mates', slip 'unions' in there somewhere and perhaps 'hard working farmers'.

So what has gone wrong at the Herald Sun. Read the editorial on line at http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,15585954%255E24218,00.html

or here is the text below.



12jun05
THE Man from Snowy River has had a good run.Grazing his cattle in the high country since the 1830s, mostly without payment, in recent times for a token $5.50 per head for up to 20 weeks, he has enjoyed a privileged position among rural Victorians.
He has had subsidised access to public land under a licensing system that all but banned newcomers from muscling in on his territory.
While $35,000 a year came in to government coffers from licences, up to $500,000 a year went out for the scheme's administration.
But money is not the big issue in the row that brought 500 mountain cattlemen to Melbourne, where they were joined by a handful of possibly well-meaning but ill-informed celebrities.
The real issue is our wild environment.
The Alpine National Park, with its herb fields and flowers, its moss beds and native grasses, its streams and bogs, is no place for hard-hoofed animals if it is to be nominated for World Heritage listing.
Up to 40,000 sheep shared the summer grazing with the cows many years ago, but they were moved to more appropriate locations when it became apparent they were damaging the biology of the mountains.
The time has come for the cows to follow suit.
The 61 remaining licence-holders, who send about 8000 cattle to the park for the summer, are to be given $100 per beast to adjust their businesses. Their supporters, who argue a noble bush tradition is being killed off by city slickers, need only scan the facts to realise the error of their ways.
The cattlemen are not to be booted out of the mountains – the national park will be out of bounds but the adjoining state forests will remain open for grazing. Huts and landmarks of the grazing era will be retained and cattlemen will be an important part of the national park's history.
Victoria riding highThere is no doubt the cattlemen care about the high country.
But even the best management strategies have failed to prevent damage to the alpine environment, which is slow to recover from grazing and in which some species of plants are under threat.
The State Government is not killing the Man from Snowy River, as the more hysterical of the protesters have insisted. It is acting in the best interests of all Victorians, from both bush and town, in moving his cows to less fragile pastures.
The Federal Government's cynical threat to frustrate Victoria's grazing ban is a victory for emotions over substance.