Saturday, September 24, 2005

St Martins Lane


As well as been a great place for young people to hang out my brother did some work on a house in this street over ten years ago. One of the tasks was to make a cat run and you can clearly see it on the upper story in the pic, but it seems to extend for three levels. Did I detect some pride recently when I suggested we find the place he worked on in South Yarra? Just a little perhaps. His wife and two of his three kiddies were in the car.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Child toy

What I and my siblings would not have given for air inflated plastic hammers to beat each other with.

Generation gap showing here. I noticed two dumped in a rubbish bin today, obviously discarded from a showbag or something obtained from the show.

We had to make do with pillows and not even feather filled ones. I suppose they were dacron. A harder hit perhaps, but less dramatic. No feathers flying through the air.

Paladino v Goodrem

I have seen Paladino live and only heard Goodrem via media. I know which I would like to hear sing our anthem at the footy final and she ain't blonde and has never suffered from cancer.

Btw, did you know you can sing our anthem to the tune of the Gilligan's Island theme music. Try it. Ah, you are doing it already.

People must be bored with tension of the build up to the final, hence we need a mini side drama.

Nice to see all the 'uglies' and their kiddies in town from their miserable states to support their sides. They, along with holidaying school kids makes the city an unpleasant place to be at the moment. I hope shops are extracting heaps of money from them.

'No, one two hour ticket bought at a newsagent does not last you five days on public transport'. 'Yeah, I am just an ignorant visting tourist who does not understand the sytem...............' Heard it all before.

I have from R's o/s rels who travelled on one daily ticket each for six weeks. Along with credits for an electric beach, they gave them to us, unvalidated, upon their departure.

I recall talking to a ticket checker once, and she said she hits tourists hard as they know and use dumb tourist line all the time.

A find at City Library

I came across a booklet in the City Library published by the PTUA in 1991. Greening Melbourne with Public Transport is the title. It is quite sad to read of so many proposals and so little achieved. OK, we have a tram from Mont Albert to Box Hill. But that would seem to be best achievement (make allowances for me not researching facts).

Someone had a dream of how public transport would function in Melbourne in 2005 and put their thoughts in the booklet. Very disappointing reading.

Even thought I am a committed communist, I would vote for Doyle if he came up with a wonderful vision for public transport. Extensions of lines, improvements to service frequencies, a simpler fare system, a serious attempt to alleviate congestion affecting trams and buses.

Why can't a politician have a vision of a big city well served by public transport. It will cost initially, but the rewards, financial and other will be reaped later.

On the way to the gardens


I like the streets of South Yarra for a quiet walk. Just a few metres away from St Kilda Road the big city feel vanishes. The buildings are nice. Sometimes you hear the kick of footy or whack of a cricket ball from Melbourne Grammar. Residents are friendly enough to say hello to on the street. There is a myraid of little lanes and alleyways. Sometimes a scene can be spoiled by some dreadfully large buildings in the background. They probably should not have been built, but I am pleased that they were.

Kiddie in a very nice park


Unbelievable almost, it has taken me the three years that we have lived here, to visit the Botanic Gardens. Today it took me less than two hours walk there, look at some of the garden, have a Devonshire tea at the lake ($9 splutter, splutter), take a few piccies and return home. I was impressed with a narrow walk way that I had not been along before and an open area with various eucalyptus trees. The pic could be a flame tree. I am not sure.

As I was returning home, in a large open grassed area surrounded by shrubbery a girl about the age of six or seven was wandering around. She did not look lost but who she was there with I don't know. Maybe her parents were on the other side of some shrubs, but they would have had to be a long way away. Instinct told me to ask her if she was lost and/or ok. I quickly thought through what the consequences might be. "Come on, we will find your folks". I hold her hand and go to where she thinks her parents might be or the kiosk area where there are staff.

Nah. It is an indictment of myself and society but a strange middle aged man holding the hand of a young girl in a quiet area of the park, and with a camera in his hand would be questionable. Even just speaking to her could be seen badly. Had I been a lesbian girl child molester, no one would have raised an eyebrow.

If it may have been your kid and she was lost, sorry, but I would never put myself in that position nowadays. While child molestation is a serious and horrible crime, how did we get to be like this?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Overwhelmed

Tax cheque arrived, sorted out all tax stuff in the filing cabinet. Pulled out two filing cabinet files and expanded them to four. Yes, filing cabinet is well organised. Boxes in wardrobe need a bit of sorting, but not hard. Won't take long.

But this bloody computer thing never gets properly sorted. I am always behind the eight ball with filing, backing up, sorting through files, cds, pictures, movie files. A folder that was around 500mb has grown suddenly to 900mb, too big to fit on one cd. I have to work out how to divide it. My music sorting stopped half way. I started setting up a flikr picture site but I did not sort that out properly.

Instead of writing this, you will suggest I should be doing what I really need to do. You are right. But I hate sitting at the pc for a long period.

Kewl creatures

Dolphins are pretty kewl. They have a happy expression on their faces all the time. They are curious about their environment. They seem to relate very well to humans. They are quite trusting animals.

So that sicko who stabbed one to death in Corio Bay should be lowered very very slowly into an acid bath. That is after he has been whipped and his testes crushed.

More problems at highriser's abode

Back in the early days of this building, maybe four years ago, a previous building manager expressed concern to the committee that in the case of power failure, all residents would be locked in the building as none of the doors would open.

The committee followed the matter up with the body corp managers and the fire safety maintenance company. The pressed the issue hard, kept notes and logs, but eventually gave up after being very assured by the fire safety company that all was well and the doors would unlock in the case of power failure.

Forward to the present and a maintenance person from the body corp maintenance company has discovered that the doors will not open. If there was a fire and a power failure, we would be locked in and could be toasted to a cinder.

The fire safety maintenance company has been paid many of thousands of dollars to make a weekly inspection and check of all safety systems, but it would seem they have not bothered to check this.

There is a lot happening behind the scenes and it would see the company is in a bit of trouble. Other buildings have been inspected since this discovery and the count is now up to eleven with a similar problem.

The way contractors continually cheat bodies corporate is a disgrace. Overcharging, not doing the work they are supposed to, near enough is good enough, doing work that is not required, the list is endless. At least I live in a building with a very active and committed body corporate committee. Not too many buildings have a committee like ours. The list of issues that the committee and the present building manager has discovered is long and scary and one day there will be a very big scandal broken in the media.

Holier than thou

So you think you have worked me out as a very strict law abiding person (apart from being gay when it was illegal)?

There are rules for society and society will fail if we don't follow the rules. The rules must be policed and enforced. You park in the wrong place, you drive too fast, you jaywalk, you don't buy a ticket on public transport, you deserve to get booked and those of you who breach these rules, I hope you get booked. If you are not prepared to give your real name and address to the authorities and try to escape, perhaps you will be held down until the constabulary arrives.

Having said that, you can break the rules. I do it all the time. But I don't do it in front of coppers. I don't make cars or trams make sudden stops. If I had to pay for a public transport fare, I would do it on a 'service provided' basis and when I knew I could get away with it.

If the red man is showing, then I won't walk if I may interupt a car's progress. But I will thump on the side of a car when they don't give way to me when they are turning into a street I am crossing.

I don't have much education and perhaps I am not very bright but there seems to be many people out there who are more stupid than I am.

Kaput

Daniel wrote an interesting post about the most cheerful subject of death and dying. I don't fear death at all. All I will be is some dead cells, water and chemicals. I certainly will not know I am dead as I will be................dead.

Dying could perhaps be feared. It could be a quick grasp to the chest and it is all over Rover, or it could be slow, long and painful death. The former would be such a shock to your loved ones, the latter, a very unpleasant experience to put them through. But both are very natural processes. Drugs are pretty good now, so no one should have to suffer too much pain and there is always the Neitzche? option. So, I perhaps fear a painful death, but not death itself.

But what does piss me orf, is that all of the knowledge, ok mostly useless perhaps, experiences and perhaps even a tiny bit of wisdom will be lost. This thirst for knowledge seems to be only important to we human animals. Your common garden variety dog does not see a leaf and look at the veins in it wonder, then rush home to type 'elm leaf' into google. Everything you and I know, will be lost. Perhaps you pass a bit of stuff on to others, perhaps your pc's hard drive will be archived. But what is in your head is lost upon death, if not beforehand as your brain declines.

I propose that every adult over 30 must sit an annual brain function test. At the first sign of decay, a USB2 port will be inserted into your head and all knowledge will be downloaded to a very large storage drive. It can be labelled with your name if you want to protect your copywrite. It would only be copied, not deleted from your brain.

I am not being as silly as you may think. A couple in Port Melbourne have studied the history of a small area, a few streets. They used cemetary records, births deaths and marriage records, council records etc etc. They have very good history of every house in the studied area. They know who lived in a certain house and when and a myriad of information about those people. It is all available on a cd rom for around $35. Who in 1900 would have imagined someone in 2005 might be reading all about their life on a cd in a pc?

Gee, we really do live in exciting times. Don't take it for granted folks.

Football

I don't take much interest in Aussie Rules, but if you read papers, watch tv and listen to the radio, you can't help being a bit caught up in it.

Some bloke called Ben (later edit, maybe his name is Barry) who is captain? of the Sydney team is now allowed to play in the grand final after being given a reduced penalty for his on field crime.

Media have been stroking themselves over this. Will he be allowed to play in the grand final or not? This would lead you to think that his particpation is fairly crucial.

But I recall seeing media a week or so ago giving him a hard time about his on field performance, to the point that he became quite naf with them. Media really is having a bob each way.

The politics of this footyball game is quite interesting and so are the particpants sometimes. I know a great Wayne Carey joke. This years CHARLES Brownlow medal winner has very nice teeth. Must have cost him a bomb.

PS I just had a quick look at gayfooty.com.au and someone called Scott Thompson won the Best Looking and Fairest Player award, Ben Cousins was second.

Note to self: Topical, so post without review.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tax

We have had many people do our tax over the years. One early one was in Mordialloc and that is all I can remember.

There was a Sri Lankan guy in Caulfield who was great, until he got prosecuted by the tax department. He restarted in a more legal abiding way, but his fee as against our return did not warrant a continuance.

So, I did it myself for a few years. But then it became too complicated. I asked a friend, kinda a business person, who he used. He told me who he used. He is gay and has a practice in the city. We made the appointment and he did an ok job, but the fee seemed quite high. We went back the next year and the fee was even more. Although I did not want to use him again, R insisted and our last tax preparation fee from him was over $200 each for fairly simple returns.

Another friend suggested we use his chap. He visits their house, does their tax and leaves. All we had to do was co-ordinate a time and we would be there too. So for the last three years, this is what we have done. The price goes up a couple of dollars each year, but even this year, it is less than $100 each. It is about an hours work onsite for this bloke so he earns around $400 from the four of us but then there is the follow up paper work.

Boy were we ripped off by that gay city accountant. Actually, I will name him. Terry Kennedy and Associates at 124 Exhibition Street. Yes, he has office expenses, but the difference is too great.

But I am happy. I have my tax cheque to pass on to Mr Visa who must be getting very worried about the much reduced income he receiving from me.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Telemarketers

We were at our friends house recently and the telephone rang. Friend answered the phone then hung it straight up without saying anything but hello.

While I would never say, 'Who was that?', I did say something like 'wrong number was it?'

It was a telemarketer calling and my friend just hung up on them without saying a thing. I normally just say, 'sorry, thanks but I don't have the time', and then hang up.

I like the idea of just hanging up without saying anything, but it seems so rude.

How do other people deal with telemarketers on the phone?

Trouble with friends


This is totally hypothetical of course, but I would be interested in some folks responses.

A 60 year old Aussie bloke has a 35 year old boyfriend who is from a Pacific island we will Fudgee. The b/f is hard work, moody but also hospitable. While their lives are very much intertwined, they also have outside relationships. The Fudgee guy even has another permanent 'friend'.

We caught up with the Aussie guy last night in a social setting and he had a friend with him who also comes from Fudgee. He was very nice looking, pleasant to talk to, socialable with everyone and has a proffesional position in his own country.

But the internet must be a small thing in this country of Fudgee. Aussie's b/f had lined up to meet the visitor on his last visit to Fudgee but the guy rejected him. Oh well, that happens. You take it on the chin.

But then this Fudgee visitor turned up as a house guest of Aussie guy. Total co-incidence, but as I said, internet must be small in Fudgee.

Aussie's b/f is annoyed and orders the visitor to leave the house. Aussie guy brought the friend along to our social gathering, but was on the way to the airport to send the visitor home early. Aussies's b/f did not turn up, although invited.

Messy hey. Aussie had been very good to his b/f from Fudgee.

Although I was absent because of work, R hosted a meal tonight for some friends and Aussie guy and the b/f turned up and the b/f was somewhat apprehensive. Was public opinion, ours, going to be against him for ordering the vistor out? The bringing of arums and leaves must have been a guilt thing as he knew we would have known about it.

He really is a prick though. What do you think from the messy tale above?

I feel I ought not talk about friends in this way publicly, but then no personal friend I know reads my blog, so it does not matter I suppose.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Old TV

There are some very positive aspects to being older. I saw the first run of Gilligan's Island (I thought Gilliagan was cute, but then his fellow castaways weren't much competition), Lost in Space (moody Don was hot and I desperately wanted my own robot), The Jetsons (the future did not quite turn out like this) , Bonaza (big fat Hoss? was so nice, but Michael Landon was sexy as), Daniel Boone (my brother's fave, I did not like it much. Pieface Boone I used to call him).

I was mesmerised by Number 96 (Go to bed. I just want a glass of water) and The Box. Homicide, Division 4 and Matlock Police were great cop shows. What happened to Grigor Taylor? Paul Cronin dabbled in Tory politics I think. Except for Terry Donovan, I think all of the Homicide team are dead. Gerrad Kennedy from Div 4 is still around and acting.

Then there was the Magic Circle Club even earlier than these and Adventure Island (I can't separate the two in my head). Nancy Cato, the host, has recently been a victim of a council coup at Chapel off Chapel, but Chapel off Chapel would not be what it is today without her work.

Felix the Cat gave me the creeps and I wished I had a fly swat when Astro Boy was darting around everywhere.

If you are under a certain age, you may have only heard of Countdown and think it must have been fabulous. It wasn't. For every great five minutes, there were another fifty of pure boredom. Crap music, bad performers and a sometimes comatose host. Sorry Moll. There were various other music shows and I doubt they would stand the test of time. One was called GTK.

Just thought of something. A growing gay boy in the country watching Number 96. The hot looking main character is gay. No, he is not effem, he is a successful professional, he is a nice guy, not a murderer. Who said kids don't need positive role models? Thanks Joe Hasham.

What else? Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and that constant bleeping noise. We were never allowed to watch, but parents used to watch Peyton Place. The fugitive wasn't bad, nor The Invisible Man. I used to wonder if he wore clothes. The Littlelest Hobo, a take off of Rin Tin Tin I suppose.

Every house should have a Thing, as the helping hand was called in the Addams Family.

Lucille Ball was great in whatever she did. We recently had a souvlaki at Lambs in Malvern Road and she was on the tv there in a movie, maybe called The Long Long Trailer. It was just as funny as it ever was.

Mary Hardy in The Penthouse Club. My grandparents used to watch it and were constantly shocked at her foul mouth and vulgarity, but they came back every week to watch her. She was no oil painting and made fun of herself at her own expense. Years later, a friend living in the same apartment block on Beaconsfield Parade as Mary did, was there the night she shot herself. Her brother Frank wrote Power Without Glory, which had a profound impact on me when I read it.

On the Buses, Steptoe and Son, Dad's Army and The Rag Trade were all funny.

This is probably a post that should be saved and polished and added to, but I shan't.

Happy Coolgardie Day



Happy Coolgardie Day everyone. This internet thingy is truly marvellous.











http://www.west-oz.com/Regions/Goldfields/Coolgardie/coolgardie.asp