Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mega Cherry Picker


What's up here? I am guessing that today they were taking photos of views, views that will not be seen from a yet to built apartment buidling. Close enough for the brochure promoting the yet to built building. From where they were, there will be photos of the city and the Shrine, which won't be seen from the building. Someone known as Highriser lives in a building that ensures they cannot see the city. Bit scary up so high in one those things though.

Smoke haze hanging around again.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Eyes, Lies and Illusions

No, I am not talking about our Federal or State governments, although I could well do.

I am referring to the exibition at ACMI at Federation Square, Eyes, Lies and Illusions. (the site seems to be perpetually slow)

There was quite a collection of old magic lanterns, steroscopes and many similar devices that used to amaze and entertain along with static exhibits. It was about an hour and a little more of viewing and perhaps a little highly priced at $12.

The highlights for me were the spinning light animated dancers and the eyes. You will see the eyes easily, they are watching you. Sit back on the seat at the base of the up escalator and watch them watching. Very clever.

Like most government funded exhibitions, it is well currated. So if it is your thing, catch it but I cannot recommend it highly.

The Westgate

Quiet time of the year. Not many cars on the roads. Good time to do roadworks.

NO!

Yesterday we drove to Altona using the Westgate Freeway and Westgate Bridge. Some road lanes are being resurfaced on the bridge, so two lanes were closed. The traffic was banked back to the Kingsway on ramp and stop start until we cleared the bridge. The trip to Altona that normally takes us fifteen minutes took an hour.

We were not in a rush but I was getting quite annoyed. VicRoads could do the work at night time, but I expect they don't want to pay the extra cost. Instead the extra cost is shifted to the road users.

Trucks, cars, vans, caravans all sitting idling burning through their fuel.
Putting the air con on as there is no air flow at that speed uses extra fuel.
We saw two minor accidents, one requiring a tow truck.
We saw a bit of road rage against those trying to get ahead a bit and some deliberate blocking.
Missed appointments, missed delivery times, missed work starting times.
From the City, the Westgate is more or less the only way to get to Avalon Airport. How many people missed flights?

Checking this morning, by eight a.m. the VicRoads website was indicating 'heavy', which means it is already stop start and won't clear until the evening peak I would guess. This work is to continue until the eighth of January. How much extra fuel will be burnt over that period? How many extra accidents? How many missed flights? How many missed appointments?

Yes, the cost has well and truly been shifted from VicRoads budget to the user and society generally.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Queen

Great and entertaining movie. Mostly excellent casting, superb acting and well written. No-one could have played the Queen better than Helen Mirren. However, while I conceed the archival footage is accurate and some of the public scenes, I doubt very much else is.

Our Queen is a confident and decisive woman and quite surely ready to recognise if she has made an error of judgement and will readily correct such an error. She is not a doubtful woman who sits around and ponders in a melancholic manner.

A few things that distracted me during the movie:

Watch how many black hunting dogs bound into the Land Rover and how many leap out.

The royal she, did not need to remind a lackey on her Balmoral estate that she knew how motor cars work. He would have full well known that. We all know she knows how pre 1945 motors work and how to drive them.

Still dial phones at Balmoral when Princess Diana died? Maybe. Perhaps because she only ever picked up the receiver and never actually dialled out.

Tony Blair talking to Her Maj from his own home on a nineties cordless phone. Bit of a security risk I would have thought.

But don't let me spoil it. It was enjoyable and at times a moving movie.

Best role goes to the bolshie Cherie Blair character, but Prince Philip was good too.

Did I beat you to see it Jah Teh?

Pat on the back Sydney

Congrats to you Sydneysiders who have sent the Cross City Tunnel into receivership. Building a private toll road under the city may or may not have been a good idea. Even though the predicted traffic numbers were wildly overestimated, you have refused to use the road in significant numbers.

You did not put up with the road alterations designed to funnel traffic into the tunnel and forced the government to re-open streets and undo changes. You did not pay $3.50 for a journey of a couple of minutes. A couple of corporate heads have rolled, along with the head government department head and a government minister was 'moved on'. The owners of the company may lose between half and one billion dollars.

The banks who financed the project have taken it over and appointed receivers.

Well done Sydney.

There is plenty of reading in today's online edition of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

James Brown is dead

American soul rock singer James Brown has died. Great that he was out doing good works not long before he died.

Back in party days at Shed 14 or Shed 9 at where is now Docklands, I heard a track a liked. I went out and bought it (I cannot remember the name of the medium), a long playing single vinyl dance track called James Brown is Dead.

It was a good track and I recall dancing around our Glen Iris house to it in private moments, but it would seem the announcment of him being dead was premature. It is not now. Perhaps it was his style of music. The track I believe was by a group called L. A. Style.

The Gift
















I made five of these mini cmas cakes this year and handed them out to people as gifts. You can see them sitting near the cmas tree. They turned out well and some have layer of almond icing and then a layer of normal. The others just some almonds on top.

Those who did not receive one are jealous, so next year it is double the mixture.

The annual ritual of hating our tree is proceeding as expected. We vow to chuck it out and buy a new one every year and every year we don't. It must be nearly ten years old now.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The grump says...


Went to Boxing Day sales today. What madness. Bought next year cmas cards in Myer but nowt else to buy. Did ok at Big W with some heavily discounted cmas lighting for the balcony next year.

But it is public holiday. Shops should be shut and workers home relaxing or bored with their loved ones. In the city, it seemed only the jewellry shops were shut.

We had coffee at ACMI at Fed Square and listened to the cricket from the big screen for a while (there was no choice in listening to the cricket, it was loud) Might have been fun to be there when Warne bowled his seven hundreth person out. Fed Square felt drab, but it could be that I am unwell with a cold. I slept in bed for two hours this afternoon. R made a special drink that involves water, honey, lemon and whisky and I really felt a bit better after having it.

Highlights of the day were watching the Cock of the Bay yachts go past in the drizzle, on their way from Station Pier to Blairgowrie before heading off to Tasmania and seeing the handsome AFE on a tram in Swanston Street, but since he has not approved my last comment, I felt disinclined to say hello. I don't blame him for not approving my comment really.

Sydney to Hobart

I care not two hoots for yacht racing and I expect you don't either, but this grabbed my attention. A pretty little nine metre yacht called Maluka is competing. It was built in 1936 and has been fully restored. I will watch the progress of the race online. Obviously it is an underdog, but I hope it does well.

The Sydney to Hobart yacht race is the wimpy one though. The real men and diesel dykes go via the Tasmanian western and southern coasts in the Melbourne to Hobart.

But even the easier route is not so easy as this graphic account tells when six competitors died during the race in 1998.

Cmas day

Mother survived the announcement but it will take her time to think it all through. Sister is radiant, blooming and showing. Family cmas lunch, great, our oldest friends' cmas dinner, good too. Too much to eat, too little to drink, too much money to Citylink for the four times we used their motorway today. Bloody exhausted and too full of food. Something must give next year. We cannot do both anymore.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Dead Mother

I expect by about 2.30pm cmas day my mother will be dead of shock when my sister announces she is pregnant to the family cmas gathering.

I advised her to talk to her mother before hand, as she is a dyke and the chances of her becoming pregnant would normally be remote.

But she has been working at it for over a year now with a turkey baster and a mutual male hippie friend of hers and her bone surgeon girlfriend.

We know about it all, but tomorrow in front of mum, we will have to petend that we have 'no knowledge of this incident'. (Like that Andy and Rob?)

I did not say to her that it was unfair to put us in this position. In spite of her bravado, I think she is probably a bit fragile, as you would be.

All will be fine about it once family has time to digest it. But is cmas day really the day to digest such information? I advised her that it was unwise to announce it between pork and pudding, but no matter, I am sure it will be ok.......in the longer run.

It really will be an interesting cmas day. Off to load the car now with ham, a trestle table and folding chairs and then battle with other road users but with some cmas spirit tolerance.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Cmas Eve

Food left over from barbe last night, so we were summoned to Dame M's this cmas eve for more food and drinks. It was a nice low key couple of hours and a much more sober affair. I read the recipe for last night's punch. 60% spirits, 20% liqueur, 10% juice, 10% soda. No wonder R had to steer me in the direction of my bed last night.

For a change tonight R partook of a quantity of wine and is now on the phone to the UK rels.........bad phone bill on the horizon.

Nominated driver, moi, managed to have a good converstation with a sparkie (electrician), a drag queen, Dame M, a Fijian Indian friend, the ex pollie from NT, and a middle aged woman on holidays from NZ.

Home earlyish to watch last night's tv.

Christmas dinner at brother's tomorrow

Not being a believer, I am not sure why I get dragged into this christian celebration every year. Perhaps it is now an Australian tradition. And we do have our own slant on it. It is a nice time.

So happy christmas everyone.

Foreign computers

We don't want any of that foreign muck here. We want our own Aussie computers, built by Chinese in China for Australia. Keep your foreign computers out.

I laugh inwardly every time I think of this. Our friend in Japan is about to return to Oz for a break. I do admire how she adjusted to life in Japan. While there weren't lines to read between really, I am sure it has at times been difficult for her.

Ah yeah, the laugh. Her computer is on the fritz. (Where did the phrase on the fritz come from? Doesn't sound very Aussie). Take two. Her computer is pretty well buggered. She can't buy a new one in the smallish town where she lives. She can buy one in Tokyo though. Why? Well in her town they only sell Japanese computers. They don't sell 'English speaking' computers. This concept, well more than a concept, a reality, of English speaking computers has amused me no end.

I suppose I thought all computers were the same, just different keyboards and software, but thinking about it, I understand. Imagine typing your blog right to left? Well, that would be software too I guess, but there seems to more to it.

Is anyone reading my blog on a non 'English speaking' computer?

Cmas eve eve



I have been to some parties in the past and been bored stiff. If I don't know many people at the party already, I really can't get into it. I can make small talk with strangers but it is hard work.

I knew most of the people at last night's party and so it was great fun. Aside from that it was well organised. Drinks and nibbles first, then a barbecue, great music and a diverse mix of people. We also had a couple pass the parcel games and another game where three lines of people formed and you had to pass an orange from between your neck and chin to the next person's neck and chin and introduce yourself. Hi again Josh. Nice to meet you. Can I steal your hot boyfriend for half an hour?

And the absolutely lethal punch ensured the guests did not stay too late., or at least this one didn't. Pics are Jasmine and Dame M's head dress Now go away, I have a headache and heaps to do today.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Cmas boss

After twenty blah blah years of loyal service, what was my cmas bonus? A friend one year about ten years ago got $2000 but the following year he had a nervous breakdown. Our body corp this year gave our building manager a $100 voucher and the two under staff $50 vouchers each.

Well. don't expect me to care to the point of having a nervous breakdown boss. I have heard via the net that we were to receive a calendar for cmas. I saw a workmate the other day carrying a paper bag with handles on it. Perhaps it had the calendar in it. Perhaps he chased after his cmas bonus, the calendar. I am not really the type to do that. Asking for your Cmas present? I don't think so.

My loyal patronage to companies who appreciate me being a customer ensures I have plenty of calendars already anyway.

Well never mind boss. Maybe next year. But you will understand why I feel a little bitter. You will understand why I may not perform to your full expectations. I will perform my duties in a satisfactory manner, no less and certainly no more.

Highriser's inaugural pre cmas annual sports awards

I don't know much about surfing, but Layne Beachley has got to worth a gong. What a long term stayer and what an achiever. Me 'at off to you cobberess. May your waves come often.

I don't know much about footyball, the Aussie version. No stand outs really. Not even a bothering of a team mate's wife by a fellow player this year, that we have heard about. Just some bad behaviour after clubbing. I give the award to Akermanis, the master of bluff. Brisbane's loss is Footscray's gain.

I don't know much about cricket but who could not know about Warne'ee? A brilliant bowler, it would seem. I think we would still know about him without the scandals. He must be a big boy down there and good at 'the romp' as well as being very sexually driven. Naughty, naughty Shane. Drinking, smoking, texting, root rat. Text me mate.

I really don't know anything about golf, a birdie from a wedgie, but a black US soldier poking a Thai lass while on r&r from the Vietnam war in Pattaya seems to have produced a golfer that everyone will remember. Go Tiger Woods.

I don't know much about swimming. Someone retired, but shallow shallow me, I have forgotten who. The water treading award goes to me, who managed to spend many hours in the pool this year without actually swimming a stroke.

I don't really know much about tennis. But this very common tennis playing bloke from Adelaide married an even more common lass and they live just down the road, devaluing highrise property as I type. They live in Y E, which used to be known as YVE, until someone knocked orf the V.

Bored by all this sporting chit chat now. It has exceeded my attention span. Lifetime achievement award to retired Aussie Rules footballer and now horse fancier and cyclist Peter 'Crackers' Keenan. He is a very witty bloke. He makes me laugh when I hear him talk and says things no one else would dare to.

Me and Mrs Jones or 'who is to blame?'

I like Mrs Jones, wife of Barry O. Jones ex Labor Party apparatchik. Every working day I drive past her lovely garden, with beautiful roses over arches, falling creepers over walls and the most stunning bouganvillea (Rasberrry Ice?) spilling over her garden fence. She works hard at her garden and I ofter see her pottering about with a tool in her hand.

But what is to happen to her garden if we have stop watering gardens unless it is recycled water? Maybe she has a facility set up to do so already. I guess they can afford the cost.

I heard a tragic tale of a old woman with a large garden. The property had been in her family for three generations and over that time the garden had been established and improved on and it is now a stunning garden.

But she is an old women. If she can't turn her watering sprinklers on, the garden will wither and die. Watering by buckets is beyond her. 150 years perhaps, dead history.

Our normally beautiful park lawns in the Botanic Gardens, Royal Domain, St Kilda Road median strips, City Square, Library lawns, in fact everywhere are dry. The water has been switched off and the grass is brown. They will come back when it rains, up to a point, but some will never really recover. Heavily trafficked places like the Library will have to replanted I think and what an expense.

It looks terrible for tourists who come to see our beautiful gardens. Along with brown and dying grass, not a fountain is working, not a building's water feature is operating.

It is a disgrace and blame must go majorly to the Victorian state government for nor ensuring our city has a adequate water supply. Yes, weather patterns are changing. We green loons have known that for a while. It is called the 'greenhouse effect'. Not a new phrase exactly and while I thought it might mean more humidity and rain for us, it hasn't. Now we are running out of water, all governments are starting to react. A little too late. Australia has always been a country of periodic droughts. Nothing new there. El Nino has been known about for a while too. So why hasn't our water supply been assured?

I remember helping my grandparents bucket water their garden in 1968 I think. Severe drought. Nearly forty years later we are almost in the same position. We just keep adding more and more people without the infrastructure.

I may as well go back to the farm where I grew up; to the two inches of muddy water in the bottom of the bath to bathe in and picking the mosquito lavae and bits of frogs out of the drinking water.

There are so many ways to manage our water better. Why wasn't a start made years ago?

Forty years on, I still have to worry about the lack of water and watch gardens and lawns die. To keep our show piece gardens and trees alive and well would not take much water. I just know it is alarmist propagander, being seen to be proactive. Not good enough Bolte/Hamer/Thompson/Cain/Kirner/Kennett/Bracks.

Music from me yoof #94

I have liked this song for a long time. It is the current ringtone on my mobile phone and since I rarely get a mobile call, I have been known to ring myself from the home phone just to hear it.

The sound is out of sync with the vid and I don't know anything about Martha and Muffins but I did just check and they have a website with a very logical address. Here is Echo Beach.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fire

We have had another two days of breathing smoke in our fair but brown city. Victoria continues to burn.

There is quite a lot on the net about the bushfires. And they are bushfires, not forrest fires. The ABC has a useful and very current site but also there is an ABC historical site about the 1939 fires. I can't exactly recall the contents as it is a long time since I read it.

There is no comparison between the way we deal fires now and back then when 71 people died. We have come a long way with our methods and approaches, some typically Australian and others imported from overseas.

Even to compare now to back in 1983 when 47 lives were lost, there is still a gulf between then and now.

It is hard to imagine so many lives being lost now but it still could happen. Everyone is prepared for the fires we know about. A lot of preventative preparation has been achieved. But like driving, it is not necessarily what you see and avoid that is the worry. It is the out of the blue event, like sitting innocently at a red light and having a truck with no brakes plough into the back of you.

Some rain is on the horizon but we really need a good drenching to put the fires totally out. Even if they are put out, it is early summer still, with a long, hot and dry summer forecast and without doubt there will be more.

The professional and volunteer fire fighters deserve a mention. It is hard yakka whether they are paid or not. I think we may be approaching the time when volunteers may participate less in fire fighting and the presumably better trained professionals take a greater role. But there will always be a place for volunteer fire fighters in country towns.

What we need to fear most is a conflagration and it will only take the right combination of wind and heat and there is little that can be done to stop such a monster.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Clobber

Although I used to make a big effort when I was younger, I am no longer a gay fashion plate. Apart from ultra low hanging jeans on guys that I think look silly and exposed stomachs on women who do not have a flat stomach, I am quite happy with what young people wear. I qualify that with some young guys can look almost ok with ultra low hanging jeans, but they are usually gay and/or it is a studied effort.

Apart from the occasional dribble/food stain on a top before her eye surgery, Dame M dresses well. She always covers up the nether regions with something loose. Given she is over eighty and I don't want to think about what an eighty year old body looks like let alone see the outlines of it, this is a good practice.

But I had a couple of bad visual experiences today from younger women who should know better. They were not unattactive nor overweight, but it was made worse by me walking behind them for some distance.

The first was nicely dressed but as she walked, her lower rear panty line under her slack met with a natural creases in her rear to make quite a difinitive line. This is obviously going to be a ass sag point for her in the future. Left right, left right the creases went as she walked. I have heard of an ad called 'no knickers'. Perhaps she should watch more tv.

The second was worse really. She had squared off underwear under her slack, but the underwear had ridden overhalf way up her rear, but clearly there was a middle bit to the underwear which was still in place but buried deeply. The bare flesh of her lower rear was clearly obvious.

Maybe these wardrobe accidents are stimulating to straight guys, but I think they just looked silly.

My advice is do not ask your boyfriend/husband/partner if your ass looks big in this. Ask him if there is anything wrong or something that may embarrass him?

Lest you think I am only having a go at women, gay men 40+ should only wear sleeveless tops if they are exceptionally well built, and even then they will still look 40+ and it better for older men to button their shirts up to the second last button. No one really want to see your grey chest hair and mottly sun damaged skin.

Evening Out, Priceless

Better than priceless, profitable.

Dinner for two at The Pub at the Crown Entertainment Centre, aka the Casino - $1.70 (A charging error in our favour)

My gambling investment $5. My losses $5

R's gambling investment $20. Winnings $74. His profit, $54.

Drinks
Me 3 at six dollars each equals eighteen dollars, less six dollars when I was given white wine instead of red but was allowed to drink the white too. Toal cost $12
R, one schooner of beer, cost $6 plus one free drink with his meal.

Transport - free

Walked to Casino
Received lift from a friend home.

$54
-$1.70
-$5
-$18
= $29.30 profit after a meal, drinks and a bit of entertainment. And we saw the animated cmas display.

We should go more often.

NB For those I have encouraged to gamble, R is well behind by tens of dollars in the ulitmate scheme of things. I am too but less as I only spend $5.

Trouble in the highrise #33 (Updated)

Hi D.
We seem to have a problem on our floor with apartment ***. I am unsure of the status of ownership, but tenants recently moved out and it is undergoing a renovation.
Last Thursday carpet layers worked until 8pm and left a mess of carpet bits in both lifts and on our landing. I spoke with one of the carpet layers and he said he would do his best to clean up, but did not. I asked H about it the next day and he did not know anything about it but obligingly cleaned up the mess. I think lift protection should be up when carpet is moved in and out. I suggested to H that he should report the matter to you.
Yesterday the apartment front door was given an undercoat and then today the front door and adjacent skirting has been painted with a white, oil based gloss. As every door throughout the building is a standard colour, it rather stands out.
Clearly the owners are unaware of body corporate rules, although I know H has given them a copy.
I feel this matter really needs your attention. The carpet business is now past, but I don't think we can live with the odd coloured door and skirting at ***.
Best seasonal wishes,
Andrew.

And the reply

Thanks Andrew.
Definitely not correct procedure or protocol.
I will get right on to it,
Thanks for letting me know.
D

Update

Dear Andrew,
I have tracked it down to an owner occupier who has just moved in and re-carpetted and painted their front door. They have been told that they did NOT follow protocol in the processes and that they will have to repaint their door if the correct colour was not used. Still investigating.

Further Update

Yes *** has not started things on a very good foot at all. I arrived at the building yesterday after 4pm and there was stuff all around the lift. P and I spoke to the owner who indicated that he had finished moving at 4.20pm and that he only had small items to bring in by hand, so P removed the lift protector. At 5pm N buzzed me and I went down to the foyer to find stuff all around the lift and guys trollying in more items.
Anyway, following Andrew's email yesterday the colour used to paint the door is not the same as the others it has been painted white and the others are not white. I attach photo to assist you in this matter. We should not ask them to rectify but rather have our own painter come in to fix it at their cost. If the painter is unable to match due to aging etc. it may mean that we will need to paint the entire floor and bill it to the owner. Anyway we will leave it to you.


On another matter, *** is a new owner occupier and not starting out to a very good foot. First of all he claims he booked the lift for his carpet but H did not have it down on the book. He claims the door colour is exactly the same as the others - I haven't checked yet. He did book the lift this afternoon from 2-4 but his truck broke down and did not arrive until 10 minutes to 4! H rang me and I spoke to the owner who said he could not help it and that he only had a few large items and the rest he could carry by hand. We agreed that H would put up the pads and he could have 20 minutes for his large items, then not lock off the lift after that. I told H to have P monitor the situation over the next hour or so. It is very difficult with an owner occupier. We could send a tenant away but an owner is a bit different consideration as you really can't deny them access to the building - we have been around this one before. Anyway he did seem to want to cooperate and offered to pay the Caretaker's time as he was going over the 4 pm deadline.

Dear all,
It is too bad that an owner would not respect rules and protocols, but there is little we can do but charge him for his transgreesions.
We will attend to the paint/repaint of the door.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Clarifying the road laws

I think that when you face a Give Way sign, you must give way to all vehicles. Twice in the last week at the same location, vehicles tried to not give way to me when they were facing a Give Way sign and I was turning right into my car park access street.

Today it would have been easier to just let the car go in front of me, but my sense of self righteousness and many years of practice at bluffing made me force her to reverse out of my way.

I am usually a forgiving driver when I am in my car and I tend to let people push or zip in or reduce my braking distance. While it can be annoying, in the ultimate scheme of things, I don't loose sleep over it.

But in this case, SHE, the ASIAN girl, the P PLATER, in a dark VOLVO, just went too far. As did HE, the last time, the ASIAN guy, the P PLATER, in an black TOYOTA 4WD PRADO.

I may be old and white and drive an old car, but road rules are one of the last bastions of egalitarianism left in Australia. Young people in smart cars do not have road rights over me.

All in a name

How marvellously simple Sydney Buses is for name. No confusion, the name says it all. The same goes for the ferries, Sydney Ferries. Sadly it is a bit let down by CityRail.

In Melbourne we have a plethora of names to remember. Yarra Trams, Connex for trains, numurous city bus lines and inner suburban ones. Then there is Metlink and Onelink and Metcard. Soon we will use Myki.

Still at least we don't still have Bayside and Hillside trains, and Yarra and Swanston trams as we did in the past.

Who oversees all these companys? The fearsome DOI, Department of Infrastructure, the modern day equivalent of the also fearsome Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works. It's role is a bit different, but is an extremely powerful government department, and one which many people do not know about.

One thing for sure, I can bet you London to a brick that if the MMBW was still in existance, we would not have the severe water restrictions we now have. It would have made sure we had plenty of water. It would have dammed the Dandenongs if it thought it could get away with it. Much simpler times. We are reaping the rewards now.

Dilemma

Day off tomorrow and I have a dilemma. Do I go to great Aunt's funeral at 1o.30 or do I form part of a guard of honour for the new Green MPs at parliament house for their first parliamentary sitting, also at 10.30? There is a third option too.

Who knows me well and wants to have a guess what I will do or where I will be?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The weekend that was

Barbecue at a friend's place Saturday night, very pleasant with people known and new people met. Laughter is good. There was much of it. Admire cmas lighting on house. Hopefully photo to come. Home and watch The Bill on tape and knock off cmas cake brandy.

Sunday, phone call from mother to tell me my great aunt Lal (Charlotte) has died at 98 I think.

Tourist bus from Shrine to William Street in the city, interesting.

Fish and chips at New Quay, Docklands, yum.

Wave to ex building manager's wife on her balcony of a New Quay highrise, hope she doesn't think we are stalking her. We met her for coffee last Monday.

Water Taxi to Federation wharf, pleasant in the sun and the cool breeze.

Excellent coffee at Riverland Bar and Cafe on Federation Wharf on the banks of the Yarra. (The old Batman Avenue vaults)

Home in time for a nanna nap, a clean of exhaust vents on balcony and living room windows and watch taped Australia's most disliked songs, or something like that. Shud Uppa Ya Face was number one.

Satay chicken for dinner.

Watch funny Spicks and Specks cmas tv show. Fantasize about Adam Hills and wonder what he looks like below the ankle since he is missing a foot. Also wonder what he looks like between his stomach and upper thighs.

Watch very good show on commercial tv about Lizzie Battenberg.

Conclude the evening with the remains of ABC tv's Compass, an interview with our new federal opposition leader, Krudd.

And along the way there was a little computer use.

Bed time for young men now. I bid you adieu.

Youtube comments

It should not be a surprise, but I have now realised that I am among an elite. Bloggers write. Why? Because they like writing. I suspect they like words. They like sentence construction. Some even like punctuation and grammar. Whatever, your common garden variety blogger likes writing. Most blogs I have read are quality, albeit with varying styles.

But whoa, youtube commenters. I have some youtube clips available and while there may be an exception or two, what a lot of crap commenters say. Content and style. For one music clip I had to switch off the comments and delete the existing comments. Homophobic, sexist, defensive and ridiculous nonsense.

I have a Myspace account but I have never investigate Myspace much. I expect it is much the same.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The dumb and the cruel

This women has done nothing for the reputation of blondes or models. According to witnesses her phone rang while she is out walking the baby and the pusher rolls into the Adelaide's Torrens River and the baby drowns.

She was just stupid. Read about it at The Age.

Also from The Age, this bloke is very lucky I am not a magistrate. I would have sent him to jail for a long time for his hour spent shooting at and killing endangered fur seals. His life ruined indeed. Seems the ploy worked as he received a lenient sentence. I hope the prosecution appeals.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Who is this Coit

We were walking in Little Bourke Street in the city, Chinatwon actually, and there were a couple walking in front of us and the bloke said to the girl, 'Look, there's Rodney Coit eating in there'. He may have said Stephen Coit. I am not sure now as it was a few weeks ago.

The way he said it, this person was famous and the name sort of rings a bell. Of course I am not sure of the spelling since I don't know who it is.

Assuming he is Australian, does anyone know of a famous Coit?

Damn blogger beta

Is anyone else having a problem making comments on a beta blogger blog ? Beta blogger is not happy to accept my blogger account to comment and wants me to used my google account.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Victoria Burns

I feel a bit distressed. I know these places. They are places of my childhood. From The Age newspaper.

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) said properties had been destroyed in the small communities of Toongabbie, Cowwarr and Seaton in the Heyfield area of Gippsland.

And what will I wake to tomorrow?

The authorities have been warned that the fire front could affect the Walhalla, Coopers Creek and Happy Go Lucky communities.

I have learned memories of when Walhalla was completely burnt out and many lives lost.

Stop laughing folks, this is serious. (old Australian cartoon for you o/s people)

I may write something sensible about the fires tomorrow if I am well enough. I have called into to work as unwell for tomorrow. I forecast a miraculous recovery from illness at about eight a.m. so I may then use the time to catch up with many undone tasks.

Music of my yoof #100

I never took much notice of our Kyles when she was on tv. I vaguely recall her singing Locmotion. Just flowed over me really. I know many people dislike her or don't like her music. I like some of her music but I think she is a fabulous celebrity and ever so sexy. When I saw this clip, I thought perhaps I should turn straight (the first person to snicker, go to the back of the room).

I downloaded the video clip from the net not long after the track was released and it is a gloriously crystal clear vid to watch.

You are only getting the little version of Kylie Minogue and Can't get you out of my Head.



Apology from The Sydney Morning Herald

The mind boggles as to what the content of this story may have been.

Apology to our readers

December 14, 2006 - 6:16PM

An error led to the publication for a brief period today of a fictitious story.

The story, published during a training exercise, has been removed.

The individual involved has been reprimanded.

The website will rectify its editorial procedures as needed.

Nature's fury


















In my absence from home yesterday, something I suspect that has white feathers and a yellow crest, decided to have some fun. The plant cost $1.99 and I nearly threw it out the other day after it had nearly finished flowering but then I noticed some new buds, so I kept it. It may recover I suppose. The victim and a representation of the culprits.

Sister is .......

Longer term readers with good memories may recall I wrote about sister and her girlfriend about this time last year or even earlier. I received some exciting news last night but I better keep it to myself until it is offically announced to the shocked family on cmas day.

I think I will remember this cmas better than some in the past.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Neighbourly Drinkies

R is our body corp committee representative at the moment. I am just the manipulative bitch behind the throne. He was invited for season's drinkies somewhere up the top of the building, along with other committee members, building staff and some building management. I was not.

I predicted what would happen pefectly, so I busied myself in the kitchen and I did not shower and change when arrived home. Drinks were at 7.30.

7.45 phone rings. R asks if I would like to come up for a drink. No, I am halfway through cooking.

8.15 phone rings. R asks if I can come up for a drink. Everyone is asking about me. No, I am halfway through eating, I haven't showered or changed.

10.00pm R arrives home. I knew he would say I was being precious by not going up for a drink. He said I was being precious by not going up for a drink. The organiser was very apologetic about not asking me directly. I had made my precious point. I am not an also ran.

Besides, I will see most of them at a neighbour's drinkies on Friday night. Once in a week is plenty.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mateship

I understand that now, if you want to become an Aussie citizen, you have to define mateship. Fortunately I think it is a multiple choice question and I hope the alternative answers are ridiculous.

The only person I have ever heard utter the word mateship is our Prime Minister. What an odd fellow he is, but clever mind you.

I could not put mateship into words and nor could I define Australian values, but I don't think that it or they are so different from what happens anywhere in the world.

While there are some very notable exceptions, generally, people around the world care and look after their neighbours and their friends and are charitable towards those who have less than themselves.

Somehow, our PM thinks this is perculiarly Australian. Isn't he a funny little fellow?

That time again, the stats

Seems a while since I have looked at the blog stats. What have people been steered to my blog about over this last period. This one is of concern, 'kiddie pedo fun'. No man, not here. You might have found the words but not the content.

Top of the list was 'is Hidetoshi Nakata gay?' I wish! Take a look for yourself here and see if you can work out. If he is please let me know and I will propose marriage.

The usual 'turn off Telstra 101'. I repeat, you switch it on with your phone, you switch if off by phoning Telstra.

Torn labia was there. Are you still getting hits for that Andy?

Most of them make sense to me, but Curlewis Street Jewish Murders? No idea.

Rent boys Mexico? Not really sure. Maybe a combo of Hecho en Mexico and rent boys.

Men's nipples sensitive? Only some mens are. The rest just need training.

Cristoli is yummy. Eat some today.

I will follow up this one into the detail though. 'Fines for misuse of communication cord.' I don't believe we have them anymore.

Safeway, Balaclava? Avoid it.

Stills from hot session with Simon Rex video? Ah yeah, the MTV host jerking off.

Cyclists bulges? Hmmmm

Adjectives for hate? You won't find those here, maybe some intolerance and grumpiness, but no hate.

Largest hung bitches? Go away please.

And I am unsure of the sexuality of Noah Hathaway and Scott Maslen too.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Moslem women

A little while ago among friends, we had a discussion about Moslem women and their clothing. We even had a gay Moslem man among us, but he did not offer an opinion.

It was a detailed discussion about the whole Moslem in Australia business and aside from the silent Moslem man, their was a Buddhist and a Hindu to offer their views, along with mostly WASPS and a catholic. No Jewish representation.

The general consensus was that if you come to a western country to live, then you adopt the country's ways, dress and language. By all means keep your traditional and religious clothing for your special days, but generally, you dress like as a westerner would, be it good or bad (don't let me start on the bad) (Ok, I will add this. If you are a moslem women and a anglo women says something to you about your head scarf, just say loudly, 'muffin')

But what really struck me was the real dislike of the Muslim letterbox women. That is the ones who cover up so that you can only see their eyes. Perhaps I suggested it, but all agreed, how can humans communicate with each other if they cannot see their face properly. We really depend on facial expression added to the words that we hear when talking to people. Even the lower form of our life, monkeys, chimps and apes depend on this. Just ain't natural.

Later edit: Just remembered that one of the Hindu bloke's boyfriend who was there too lives in Elsternwick. Add up two and two and I would guess he is Jewish.

Music Tief

What is the use of Kazaa and WinMx when I suddenly want to wallow in nostalgia and filch some Led Zeppelin music? Ok, I was inspired by watching the taped first half of Australia's Favourite Album.

You young people think you are so powerful. Well, you ain't. We baby boomers, even those on the low side cusp such as moi, can influence such polls. There was nothing in the tv show that I recall from 2000 on.

My vote, Skyhooks, Living in the 70s, did not get a mention. Must be Sydney bias.

Kiki, I do know about the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I vividly remember Kiedis running along the beach with his bouncing chest muscles and nipples in slow mo.

But you kiddies, get off Kazaa and WinMx when the odd occasion arises that I want steal some music. Aren't you supposed to be out clubbing and taking gbh? In my day we had to make do with dope, eckies and speed. You've got it made.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Fed Square


(Thanks for this one Jess) Melbourne's Federation Square is as loved as it is hated. I like it, without being overboard about it.

I like the earthy pink tones and the undulations of the paving. Very fine for people fleet of foot, but not great for oldies or disabled. The interior is excellent and the contents varied and interesting. I love sitting in or just out of the Transport Bar and watching the world go by. One view is people and the passing parade of trams, another is the river its riverside walkway and then there is another position where you can watch Fed Square itself and the tall city buildings in the background.

Even its critics conceed Fed Square works well for large gatherings of people, be it rallies, stage performances, buskers or looking at a sporting event or similar on the big screen.

Before Fed Square it was a railway station at the base, the hated Princes Bridge Station, with a bare rooftop where naughty teenagers would gather in large mobs. This was roughly where the lower part is along with the information booth area. The information booth is a 'shard' and there were supposed to be two, but one was knocked back through public pressure as it would have blocked the view of St Pauls from the south. The architects still complain that not building the second shard ruined the design. I reckon building the one shard spoilt it.

As Jah Teh said, to the east a bit were the glorious brown brick Gas and Fuel buildings. As you can see in the picture, they really added something to the city and blended in to their surrounds beautifully. Their demolition is one of the few things I feel I can thank previous Premier Jeff Kennett for.

Pic is from Walking Melbourne, but it's original source is not known to me.

Dame M where she belongs


A friend's brother is getting married today. Dame M told R it is to be at Werribee Park Mansion.

Dame M went on.

"You know Karl", her late hsuband, "put in a tender to buy the place in the seventies".

"I had visions of being Lady of the Manor but I am glad he did not succeed as I no doubt would have ended up sitting at the front door selling tickets. I think the Catholic Church bought it (snort)"

(Photo courtesy Tourism Victoria)

Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus

We attended last year and the year before.

This year our numbers were well down. Declinations and cancellations poured in, mainly due to it being a bluddy hot day. Dame M phoned three times during the day to encourage us to go, even though she was not going herself.

We thought we would just wander along for half an hour and come home after a couple of drinks.

Dame M's last call told us that C and K were there already there and had saved us a seat. Dame M calls them the 'mountain cattle women'. Ok, we will go. C & K are a couple of older lasses and somewhat stereotypical of their kind. They live on a large block at The Patch, they have two large dogs, they drive a station wagon and they have just spent six months camping all over the Northern Territory and South Australia. Oh yes, they both drink like fish and smoke like chimneys, rollies at that (make your own). We had a good time with them.

For one who is always whingeing about the heat, I did not find it too uncomfortable in the Prahran Market courtyard where once again we saw the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus and the Melbourne Rainbow Band perform 'Christmas Carols'. Maybe it was just because we stayed soberish and payed close attention this year that the performance seemed much improved on previous years. There was also a lot more audience participation. The day of people holding up their cigarette lighters has past, so we now make do with a mobile phone with the screen lit. It was a lot of fun.

Today was going to be a family catch up to celebrate my brother's birthday, a picnic or barbecue in a nice park perhaps. Alas no one wants to sit in thirty seven degree heat breathing in smoke from the bush fires, so I guess we will just be cooped up in my mother's small house with air con on.

(So that is the weekend that was Mirebella, well almost)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Phish

I have had a few bank phishing emails. For the purposes of this post, I was about to cut and paste some text from the last one, but then I realised it the whole thing was an active link, not just the url at the bottom of the email.

I went to the National Australia Bank email site and superficially, it looked convincing. I entered some fake detail of bank account and the next page I had to confirm my address and name etc. I put in more fake info. Then I clicked the 'finish' button and I was then taken to the real National Australia Bank home page. Very convincing.

I don't have much sympathy for people caught out by the so called 'Nigerian' type scams, and it would seem many are, but I do for some new to the net people caught out by bank phishing.

Fire to the coast

The media seems to have dropped the story of the bush fires burning to the Gippsland coast. Perhaps just as well. Unless there has been a huge reaforestation program since I was last in the area, admittedly quite a few years ago, there is not much to burn between the Princes Highway and the coast in that part of Gippsland.

In fact there is mostly cleared land on the northern side of the highway, so I doubt the fire will get anywhere near the Princes Highway.

Of course the fires are serious., very serious it would seem. While I will gleefully suck up all the details of any catastrophe, I really hope nothing much happens.

When I was a pre teen, fire approached our house in the foothills of Mount Baw Baw. My father told us that in a worse case scenario we would go to the dam and get in and cover ourselves with wet hessian sacks.

My father could occasionally be melodramatic. Given we were surrounded by acres of cleared land, we should have stayed busy putting out any spot fires from embers. Different times, different attitudes and knowledge. We saw the smoke a distance away, but it did not come to our place, although it did in 1939. Totally burnt out.

Speaking of 1939, I was pretty shocked about this Dame M tale.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Southern Cross Station


I have not seen it at night as yet but I like Southern Cross Sation well enough in the daylight. It is large and spacious, just like an important railway station should be. It seems to function pretty well too. Bugger the cost I say.

I do lament the loss of the name Spencer Street Station, but already there seems to be a generation already who have only known it as Southern Cross. I know it hasn't been open long, it just seems like people have adapted so quickly.


Even taken into account that this is a very skillfully taken photo, doesn't it just look stunning at night. Click the pic of course. It deserves it.

Picture is Copyright ©
Adam Dimech, 2006. This and other gorgeous photos can be found at adonline.id.au


Too many sms

I like this guy as a sort of friend. I have known him a long time. He used to often bother me with phone calls. If I mentioned something like actually meeting, like lunch near his workplace in the city, he seemed to run a mile. But still he would ring. Eventually in a state of exaperation, I sent him a very to the point email. I never heard from him only a couple of times for couple of years.

At a weak moment, under the influence of the wicked Scottish Doctor, I sent him a late night sms vaugely apologising for our lack of communication. It all started again, except this time it was sms, not phone calls. For a while it was a bit of fun, but the sms are now so relentless and demanding, I have started to not answer them. I answer the ones that are easy and the rest I ignore. He complains a little at times, but he must appreciate that I don't sit at a desk being bored all day. I have a limited amount of time to sms and I don't like having my nose in the phone when R is home. Nose in the pc is ok, of course. We take turns.

I suppose he will get the message eventually that I like to hear from him, but not six times a day.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Open letter to Ms Fits

I don't believe Ms Fits reads my blog. I doubt she would have time to read anyone's blog. She is a busy person. She pops up in the paper, on the tv, the radio and of course is a respected blogger on the net.

Someone alerted me to your identity some time ago. I was impressed. Then I see you in print, on the wireless, on tv and I am subscribed to your blog.

Last night when looking for some info on something or t'other, I came across heaps more about you. Like the tv show Last Man Standing and a kiddies show and an award.

Not being a Herald Sun reader, I missed the attack and identity outing that the Bolt made on you. You gotta be doing something right if the Boer Bolter has a go at you.

Then something else came together, that women and her cop husband who rode motor bikes from England to Australia and updated us weekly on the radio.

I am half way through reading a book about your grand-daddy. What a fascinating character. The book for which he is best known still intrigues me. I met his sister before her tragic and untimely demise when she lived in a high rise in Beaconsfield Parade. We had a friend who lived in the same building. She was just as foul mouthed as you can be and she was always amusing. She had the cutting wit of a drag queen. And, I am old enough to have seen her on tv. My grandmother used to cover her mouth trying not to laugh in front of us kids when your great aunt came up with some double entendre. She was not the prettiest person on tv and always self deprecating about this, but she was not a person who you did not notice or could ignore. A much more niaeve Melbourne back then was very shocked when she died.

So Miss Fits, you have fine antecedents and I think some of your great aunt's talents must have rubbed off onto you. I expect we will hear a lot from you in the future.

The job

I have worked the same job for many years. It is a character fault of mine. But my superannuation has become very important. I cannot afford to leave and do something more to my taste.

As a senior time server person in my job, sometimes I am asked for advice. Mostly it is work related but sometimes a bit more personal. The first thing I think is why ask me for advice? Would I be doing this job if I was clever? What they say in the personal stuff really interests me but I am very cautious about offering advice on personal matters and a born and bred Aussie's advice on matters cultural is not usually appropriate.

I respond to them as best I can. I can't help them much with racism. Ok, I get called a pooftah, you get called a slope or black ****. Don't take it personally and learn to live with it. That you shouldn't have to is not the point.

But I must also be thought of as influential in some way. We have forthcoming local union elections. To me as a bit of a political person, it is a clear result already. The incumbent who has not really done anything wrong against a divided vote. Not a chance of the incumbent losing.

But the conspiritorial manner in which I have been approached by all parties and their supporters is most interesting. While it was not always the case, I keep my head pretty low at work now. I may well have some influence among certain ethnic groups, but I would never dare exercise it. Perhaps that is why I am a bit respected.

Hmmm, all very interesting. I feel like a factional leader, except I don't have a faction. Whoever wins, I will congratulate them and tell them how they deserve the victory.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bad Days

In spite of getting many things done today, I feel I had a bad day. I just went through the motions and made at least one bad call, but nothing serious. I rarely feel like this, but today was just one of those days when I felt on edge, slightly pissed orf at nothing and dissatisfied.

The good:
Got car washed and vacummed.
Cleaned car interior windows.
Cleaned balcony, an over one hour job.
Had coffee out.
Investigated putting cmas lights on the balcony. That is a visit to an electrical shop and a phone call to step father.
Went for a walk with R to a recently renovated hotel in South Melbourne, The Water Rat (previously known as Druids and a couple of more recent names) corner of Park and Moray Streets, and had a couple of Stellas. The pub is stunning!
Had a souvlaki on the way home.
Watched a most interesting tv tale about the Bullen family of Bullen Circus fame.

The bad:
Woke up feeling crabby, most likely because I stayed up too late last night.
Went to Vintage Cellars and paid a premium price for bottles of wine instead of making more of an effort and driving on to Dan Murphys.
Experienced stress when parking meter would not work, even though I was only in Vintage Cellars for two minutes.
After not suffering from hayfever for years, I suddenly had an attack and I now remember how miserable it can make you feel. Fortunately it passed quickly.
Wasted too much time on 'the net'.
Wondered what the point of all this blogging is and will I ever have anything ever again to blog about. Seems I found something to say.

But my day was not too bad compared to Kimmie's. He was dumped as leader of the Federal Labor Party. While I wasn't keen on his political 'angles', I do feel he is an honourable an decent man. Then to top his not so good day off, his younger brother died this morning from an out of the blue heart attack.

Puts my problems into perspective a bit.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Matters Political #101

When I was a young person, I was fashionably hop, ahhh, hip, and I declared, as my compatriots did, that politics is boring and I was not interested. But I was not too old before I became very interested in Australia's political system and sadly I remain so.

So this post will probably be too long and quite boring to many, however, I go on.

State of Victoria:

Bracks is back. Not a bad thing. Oh for a long term visionary person, and he is not. But he has not done too badly. Teddy of the Baillieu dysnasty did not do too badly as an opponent. I always feel that if you are to be governed by the rich, it is better to be governed by the old rich rather than the new rich, such as Kennett or Howard. I am a person from the land, and Howard's father was a service station owner. Eek, how has the world changed.

Greens: Very mixed results. They did extremely well where you would expect them to, that is the inner city latte belt and pretty well held their own elsewhere. If we can't get the enviroment vaguely right, what hope is for us is there?

My Local: Gay icon John Thwaites in my electorate increased his vote, but the Lib, Clive Smith seems like an ok guy too. Greens did well too.

All history now, although the results are not fully known.

What about the future in the Federal arena.

I confess to being a misogynist, but if I hear one more person or media commentator say that there are problems with Julia Gillard as a candidate for leader because she does not have children, I will biff them. Surely it is preferable to not have children and totally devote yourself to leadership. But even if she had children, so what, let her husband, or perhaps it is 'partner', look after them while she runs the country.

As it is, she is running mate to Kevin Rudd, and is not in with a chance until he loses the next election.

Beasley, well he has had a good chance and he is an awful right winger for a Labor person. As in our State, he does not give a long term vision. Yesterday's man I think.

Oh, left out an opinion on Rudd. Clever bloke, from humble background. As an ex diplomat, he is a very skillfull talker, and I think he could be a very good administrator of Australia. But whether is politically acceptable, it remains to be seen. Close thin lips, small mouth, dunno if I could trust him.

Person in Liberal waiting: Smarmy git and one of those extreme type religion people. My brother works for Dollar Sweets, the company that Costello defended/prosecuted in court when it did horrible things to it's workers.

Person in Liberal waiting when all others fall: Abbott. I don't like him, but I would like to look at his pc and the 'interesting' web sites he visits. A repressive guilt laden religious person. I haven't even looked at the Aussie chick and horse prosecution news story yet that is in the media, bet he has and unloaded over his ape like overly hairy chest.

Howard for another term of government? He is the best politician I have ever known. That is not a recomendation on how to vote.

Biggest disappointment: Gotta be Garrett. Oh, the Oils. Where does he represent? Is that the oh so ugly Port Botany in Sydney? About what he deserves for his traitor like allegience.

Gillard for PM is my hope. But of course, she will disappoint at some stage.

Other states/territories. WA bloke is doing ok. Great things for public transport. SA bloke, not too bad. Beaty in QLD knows his electors well. Our Clare in NT, ohh, hard job, she is not too bad either. Iemma in NSW will be defeated by a donkey vote. NSW politicians are scum. How this state continues to function is something I don't understand. Dinasour Lennon in Tassie with his homosexual 70's moustach is scary. Ditch him quickly and get back to the millenium reinvention of Tasmania. Gays are welcome, our climate is deliciously cool with lots of fresh air. Nice cheese and our wine grapes are slow to ripen, but ever so delicious.

(All my opinions are the result of personal interest, reading a lot of newspapers, listening to a lot of wireless and tv current affairs and talking to people and listening............but I expect my IQ quotient is quite low)

(Save later for edit lest one makes a fool of oneself)

Music of me Yoof #91

For a young gay boy, Dead or Alive seemed terribly exotic and very camp. I was at a party, maybe my sister's twenty first, and the music from a dj had been pretty boring. Then this came on and I looked across the room to my sister and we both hit the dance floor like whirling dervishes.

Pete Burns is very well known now, especially in the UK where he was in a Big Brother or one of those such shows. He also has no issues about exposing himself for effect.

I have heard some ok recent remixes of the track, but I still like the original best.

Dead or Alive, You Spin Me 'Round.

Mobiles in Elsternwick

Saturday, shopping day. Sick of Prahran and all the poofs. Sick of the city and all the foreign students. Let's mix it with the Jews in Elsternwick. The tram ride was a mix of passengers, old, young, bohemian and down and out.

The first shop to grab us was a gift shop and we quickly spotted a cmas gift for my sister's girlfriend. Done, ticked off the list.

I find it hard to avoid mobile phone shops to check out what is new but R almost pushed me out of the way to get into the shop. Oh, yes, we are out of contracts. I have yet to see a phone that does more useful stuff than my present one, or one that looks much better.

But within ten minutes, R was seated and signing up for a new phone. He is on a twenty dollar monthly plan, ten dollars free calls/sms and a nominated person (me) who he can call anytime for three minutes for free. As it is a relatively cheap plan, there wasn't a lot of choice but a Telstra branded flip phone, I think made by Samsung, was not bad to look at and the freatures seemed ok. He really hated his old phone, mainly because their was no repeating sms nag facility. The salesman assured us this new one did, but we have yet to find it in the phone.

So, this afternoon, the housework did not get done and we et takeaway. Always allow plenty of time for playing with a new phone.

We then went on and had a bite to eat at Illy cafe. Very good food, lousy coffee. The food shopping was done at Coles, Elsternwick. What an abortion of a place, well overdue for a refit.

There were some nice memories from the past as we walked along the street. I remembered where the last Coles Variety store that I ever went to was located, for those in the know the 39 steps and the very old Hattams. Wonder if the Oakleigh Hattams store is still there? It really is a nice shopping centre, but a bit too far away to become a regular haunt.

I did note U turns are banned for the length of the street. Wish they would ban U turns in more shoppping areas.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dim Sim

Those of you who don't live in Melbourne may not know of our slightly famous place to buy a dimmie (dim sim) and those of you who don't live in Australia may not know what it is. If this is so, look it up as they are hard to describe.

Our slightly famous place to buy dim sims is the stall at South Melbourne Market. It is a family business that has been there for years.

The first crack came when I spotted 'famous South Melbourne Market dim sims' in a shop in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. My image of the family sitting around the kitchen table making dim sims dimmed.

Then their premises were done over by whoever checks cleanliness of premises these day and they were convicted and fined. But the queues did not diminish.

Now their factory has been been done over by the health authorities and they are convicted and fined again.

Well, I guess 'home made' is a freeish type term.

At the moment the stall is closed due to renovations of the market, due to re-open soon. I doubt it will have any impact on their trade at all.

The family who owns the business is of Asian extraction and all of the youngers speak perfect Australian. I was served by the older mother the last time I was there, she too speaks in perfect Australian. I am not sure about the stall founding father who recently died.

4WD Bullbar

I am sure regular readers can guess how I feel about 4WD vehicles in the city. There was one nearby our place the other day in front of the police station and a cop was taking photos of the monstrous wrap around bull bar with a nasty protrusion at the front, perhaps for being winched.

The car was big and and the bull bar threatening, but to be fair, it did look like the vehicle had seen some serious off road work. I was hoping that the owner was being prosecuted.

It occured to me later that perhaps he was seeking appoval for his surround defence protection.

I wonder if the Toorak blonde bimbos know what people think of them when they alight from the large shiny black monster? They represent so much I dislike about our fair city and country and it fascinates me as to how the stereotype so often fits.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Hunk from the past


He is wasted on his wife, with whom he cannot perform. But put him with a guy and he is an animal.

To me, it is the perfect male body, even if his six pack is no longer as obvious as it once was.

La Sag Ne

Niece: R (that's my partner) cooks the best lasagne in the world.

Niece's father: That's good. What about your Mum's? It's pretty good. Isn't her's better?

Niece: No, R's is much, much better. I could not stop eating it.

Father: Best not tell your mother.


In his sober moments my brother can be very wise.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Building Newsletter



It took a long time to do this. We are only amateurs and I guess we are a bit proud of it. We hand delivered it to under peoples doors this evening, in between putting up the cmas tree in the foyer. I wrote most of the text, R did the layout and any artistic merit it may have is his responsibility. Subject matter was many peoples calls. We wanted to reinforce some rules but not make it too heavy. Things like this make our building stand out from the normal highrise apartment block.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sea Shepherd


Cheap and mean as I am, I felt this was a very worthy cause to slip a large note to, so I did so. The ship is the Farley Mowat, owned by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Among other projects, they attempt to spoil illegal whale hunting by Japan.

It is moored at Melbourne’s Docklands for some fund raising and preparation before sailing south again for another tussle with the Japanese.

They have plenty of other projects too, as you will see by their website. One that comes to mind that is less controversial perhaps, is helping the authorities guard Galapogos Islands' enviroment.

I was shocked to learn that although Canada does not club baby seals to death anymore, they do club and shoot seals. The interesting bit is that a seal is classified as an adult at a couple of weeks old, a nice sleight of hand. (I heard this but I cannot confirm it)

PS It is hard taking a picture of a black ship in bright sunlight.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Vanuatu

Vanuatu is some poxy island in the South Pacific full of French speaking people who like to overcharge Aussies who visit there. Although it was equally governed in it's earlier days by Britain and France, it has decided it is French. So let the bloody French look after it!

We are expending huge dollars trying to look after all these troublesome ex British colonies in the South Pacific, so let the French take a bit of responsbility for one of their own.

And how come all these tin pot islands have such good relations with New Zealand and turn up their noses at Australia? Hey when the going gets tough, I don't know that NZ will have the resources and money to help you.

Pelican on the lake

I don't know much about pelicans. We see a few at the local lake.

The water wall is quite new. A storm water has been opened to the left of the picture and the water will be filtered by the newly planted reeds and then flow to the main body of the lake. We can hope that then the level of the lake will not drop over summer to a level too low for boating.

During the last drought a small sewerage recycling plant was set up by Parks Victoria to top up the lake. I am not sure why it was removed after a few months. It did raise the water level though.

Click on the pic. It is one of my better ones.

Old Age # 30

As an antidote to Old Age #29, there is a young bloke at work. He is vaguely attactive but not particularly focused on his sexuality and he certainly is not my type. I am not sure if he has decided which way he swings yet. Maybe he is asexual.

No matter, he always goes out of his way to be nice to me, Auntie Andrew, no doubt he thinks. He moving to a new work location at the weekend and I will miss seeing him around. I wished him luck and said to him keep in touch. I doubt he will, but no matter.

Tap Washer

It is pretty obvious why R's shower tap was dripping. Anther fine Central Equity fixture and fitting. I fitted Hydroseal tap washers as replacements. They should see him out and me too probably.

Old age #29

Sometimes things in life just make me feel old!

There was a guy who I had some contact with a few years ago. It was purely about politics. We met once and exchanged several emails. Over the three years we swapped a couple of emails, but not for over a year now.

Post state election, I emailed him with a few points about how well badly the Greens did and also asked how he is going etc etc.

"Hi Adam," he replied, "hope things are good with you. Sorry, but I know many Adams and I can't quite place you. What is your last name?".

Somehow I don't think it would have been any different if he absorbed that my name is Andrew. I bet he knows plenty of them too.

Monday, November 27, 2006

401 St Kilda Road

I am not particularly happy that a developer is building a block of flats across the road, expecially as it will breach the 'suggested' height limit of twelve metres.

It is to be built on the site of King's Cross Plaza, a useful little local for we highrisers. It has a 711, a cheap Chinese takeaway and a shoe repair/drycleaner/building remote battery replacement/clothing alteration business. There will be a retail component, but I have no idea what.

Now when I say a block of flats, it is not just any block of flats. The cheapest price for a flat will be $2.7 million plus and the dearest over $7 million. I have a feeling our place may end up being the cheapest house in the street, well not quite. But it can't do the value of our place any harm, although as I have said before, we can't eat our apartment. And the more it goes up in value, the more the council rates go up.

If you are inclined to max out your credit cards, www.401stkildaroad.com.au
Good luck with your bank.

Just noticed AFE, same developer as your abode.

Idol Au

I tried kiddies, I really did. The venue, the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House, was fantastic, the crowd great and if you were there, no doubt the atmosphere was as exciting as it felt on tv.

But what a boring, boring show. It was to decide a winner, that is choose one person from two. How could they possibly string it out for hours?

I stuck it for half an hour and then remembered that a stray hair had grown on my shoulder and needed plucking out.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Critters in the 'burbs or ecological disaster

Lorikeets. Pretty birds. Noisy though. Arrived in St Kilda about five years ago I think. Desirable address for many. Now wide spread all over Melbourne.

Pelicans and swans on Albert Park Lake? Maybe they have been there for a long time.

Increased number of ravens in Melbourne. We don't have crows in Victoria, only ravens. Don't they make a mess when they empty a rubbish bin.

Then two or so years ago, sulphur crested cockatoos appeared. They are are seriously noisy and their numbers are increasing.

I dare not mention possums that abound. Too controversial.

Kangaroos hopping about in the outer burbs.

Has Melbourne created a natural environment so that the critters are attracted here? Is it the long term dry conditions that have driven them into the city? Is it land clearing that has reduced their habitat and they are driven to the city and will die out as a species?

I don't know, but the other night, this person who does not sleep well, was awake at 4am and through his open widow heard a kookaburra laughing.

Magic, but I want to know why.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Disappointed

An air con unit had been removed from a building at work. It did not look big in situ but sitting on the ground in front of me, it was huge.

'No matter how big it is, it still did not work adequately', commented a workmate.

(Has anyone guess where this is going? I have used the words big, huge and big again)

The person who spoke, I have lusted after for a long time, like twenty years, and my lust was requited in a minor way at a cmas party many years ago. He is from Mauritius and has black African antecedents. He was so handsome when he was young, nice and trim with a very nice bubble butt. And, we all know about how hung Africans are. But from the years ago brief encounter, I cannot recall how he shaped up in that area.

I have not flirted with him at all since those many years ago. I am one for the chase, not the kill. (character defect screaming out loud). We just chat about work or other inconsequential stuffs. But he started it again, to my surprise, so I will continue. He has put on weight now, as we do, and has smoke stained teeth, but there are enough remnants of the twenty year ago person for it to still work for me.

Back to the air con unit. 'You see, bigger is not always better. What do you think Andrew?'

I suppose my loins did twitch a bit when he said this. 'Maybe', I replied, cursing myself for my lack of a clever response.

But was he telling me he is small down below? I recall he had an affair with the local work tart who I doubt would be interested in someone 'small'.

Am I not sad or what? One sentence from a straight guy, I am conjuring up all sorts of scenarios.
Anyway, I am not going to be caught on the hop by him again. I have our next conversation choreographed down to finest detail. He will be sorry he started the flirting up again. I am older now and much less niave.

Workplaces can be boring. It passes the time.

(Code for TJ: GC and SD)

An Outing

No, I am not going to out our Ian Torpedo. Some time ago when carousing around Big W at QV, I noticed some very large boxes of soap powder, inlcuding the brand I usually buy, Cold Powder (sic). I knew how much I normally pay for a one kilo or one and a half kilo box so I got the Ericsson out and and used the calculator facility.

The price was less than half what we normally pay if we bought a fifteen kilo box. Hey, gotta get onto this. With management's help, we lugged a box home. The next, although it nearly killed me, I brought a box home by myself on the tram. We have since bought large containers of Windox and Comfart, again half price.

But no way was I carting a 15 kilo box home on the tram again. The net proved useful, as always, in locating a nearby Big W that was easily accessible by motor car. It actually was a bit further than it looked on the map, but as we were going to Brunnings at Altona, we decided to go to Altona Meadows, just a bit further on. It was a small shopping centre, but ok, and it had a great bakery on the outer perimeter. We bought the detergent, trollyed it to the car, trollyed from the car to its resting place in the spare room wardrobe. Don't worry visitor from Japan, I will make sure you have some space for your lame dancing dresses.

We left Central Square, I think it is called, in Altona Meadows and travelled along a minor road and then via the beach to Altona proper. Sydney excepted perhaps, I think I saw some of the ugliest houses I have ever seen. There was a mix from the seventies to current and without exception, they were horrid.

Sorry if I am offending some locals, and your house may be nice, but I just did not see it.

Well, management can't say I don't take him anywhere interesting.

Barmy Army

Of course Australian cricketers do not play well in fog, cold and rain. It is no wonder we lost the Ashes when we played in England? But do those English know how to waste money?

Fancy paying to come all the way to Australia to see their cricket team defeated. They could have gone to Blackpool, Bognor Regis or even for a nice break on the Costa del Sol to Benidorm.

Talk about living in hope.

A serious aside. Today I watched a bit of cricket. There were some Indian lads having a fairly proper game at Malvern's Central Park. One batter hit the ball out on the full, which I believe results in a score of four or six sprints on the board without him having to get hot and sweaty by dashing the length of the very green grass bit between the wooden posts. And all the catchers spread over the oval clapped him, even though he was on the other team. Is that good sportmanship or what? Wonder if it happens in Ashes matches.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Karachi Tram W11

R, henceforth referred to as Management, decided to not attend the work dinner at the Rosstown Hotel. He told his fave workmate that he wasn't going and she lamented who would she talk to. The others he said he had a headache and was going home from work early and he could use it as an excuse for not attending the dinner.

Instead the beloved and I hopped a tram to Flinders Street and walked to Russell Street and boarded the Karachi tram. Sadly Andy was not the driver. Lazy prick probably pulled a sickie.

We travelled around the city via Cocklands, sorry, Docklands and back to Swanston Street and then walked to Little Bourke Street and had a great meal at Lemon Bistro. A water main burst in Little Bourke Street a few days ago and it is still under repair so the street was blocked off to traffic. Made it a much more pedestrian friendly place Mayor So, so have a think about it.

Back to the tram. It was fantastic. Pakistani music was blasting from the speakers (sounds the same as Indian), the Brighton Antique Dealer's great nephew Roberto welcomed us on board, an old workmate was also on board, the tram itself was fabulously decorated. A stop later comedian Rod Quantock boarded and he performed very well. His straw poll of passengers worked out tomorrow's state election results. Either the Greens or the rich family dynasty Baillues(?) will govern from Sunday.

One of the Paki staff was just past his prime, thickening in the middle and in the chops, but oh, he was a very handsome dude. I'd do him, and if he was as good as he looked, he might even be able to do me a little bit.

We walked back from the restaurant after dinner to Flinders Street, hoping to see the Paki tram go past in the almost dark at 8.30, but alas it did not appear. And then Swanston street trams had been delayed, so it was a bit of a wait for a tram home. Management complained muchly.

Conversation when walking to Flinders Street.

Me: It is funny to watch the older interstate Anglo/Aussie tourists. They are so obvious and they look stressed and never look happy or like they are enjoying themsleves.
Him: I can understand why. It is hard being a stranger in a strange place.
Me: Melbourne is not a strange place. It is an easy place.
Him: It is not the Melbourne I remember and like. The ten years behind everywhere else Melbourne.
Me: What are these old dudes doing queud up at the town hall?
Me: Ok, yeah, it is different.
Him: You can stick your fooking global village up your arse.
Me: Better hurry along or we will miss seeing the Karachi tram go past at Flinders Street

I do remember the old quiet Melbourne. It was nice. But we have to move on, hey.

Music of me yoof #55

Music used to have some entertainment value for me, but I don't care for it much now. I do still like the music of my younger days. I just loved this David Bowie song, including the video. He was hot and did he and Mick Jagger really get fresh with each other?

Later, later
















I am ususally not bad at getting things done. Friday is vacumming day. Friday is procrastination day. I put off vacumming until later. It is usually done in a last minute rush before I have to do something important. I thought I would do it shortly after I got up this morning, but here it is, 1pm and it is not done yet.

I am off to the shops and I should just have time to do it before Management gets home from work.

I did do the tap washers this morning though. It was a slice of cake.

This evening is up in the air. Either R will go to his work dinner or he won't. He has not decided yet. If he doesn't, then we will go to the Little Lemon Bistro in Little Bourke Street to eat and then go for a ride on the decorated Karachi tram. In fact I will probably go on it whether R comes or not, after I have vacummed of course. Photos don't do it justice. It has to be seen to be believed. Does it make you feel ill Andy?

Edit: It is Lemon Bistro, no little. I was thinking of the Little Lemon dog boarding kennels.

Car crash

Those with inside knowledge will know there is a bit more to this.

I was in a tram this week. I was looking out the window as a car tried to pass the tram. I did not think it would fit between the parked car and the tram, but it did, almost. I saw a shower of glass go up high in the sky as the left hand mirror hit a parked car right hand mirror. It just got worse.

The travelling car swung left to the nature strip, presumably to recover from the shattered mirror. But it was at quite a few kms. She then drove into an electric pole, smashing in the left hand side of her car.

The tram stopped briefly, long enough for me to observe the driver getting out. She was an old woman, hunched over.

My step father is close to eighty and is a competent driver, but for god's sake, get these f*ing old hopless drivers off the road. Their irresponsibility is as bad as young hoons tearing around. Coppers ignore them as they are too hard.

I momentarily felt sorry for her, but then I know full well she lives in a suburb well serviced by public transport. By her clothes and her car, I know she can afford taxis. Get these past their prime people who have no driving skill off the road.

Today on my way home form work, I came up behind an FC Holden station wagon. For you youngers, it is GMH car from about 1958. As the car was in good condition, I thought it would be a young person driving a car that might be a bit hotted up. Nah, closer, it was some old bloke with grey hair. I was not in a rush and I like old cars so I was happy to sit behind him. I could see he had to do something with a large lever next to the steering wheel to keep the car moving, but he did that well and he kept up with traffic. He did not drive aggressively but neither over cautiously. Well done Pops.

My observations come from the areas I frequent in my motor and not a general observation of Melbourne, but my crap driver list is as follows, all stereotyping included.

(Sexist, racist, ageist rant about other drivers removed by author)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Connections to people

I went to a caf today, because I had time, to buy a paper and some coffee. I said to the owner, 'Ah, I know your sister Jenny'. Of course he asked how and I told him that R worked with his sister. I would like to say it was a good experience, but he was a bit weird. It is a good shop though. Although R later told me he has a Chinese wife and she is the brains and the real worker behind the business. Convenience store in High St, Glen Iris near the train station if you are wondering.

Better still later I ran into an old workmate. Now when I say old, I mean really old. He is 81. First thing he said was that he nearly didn't recognise me. We batted this around a bit and he really had no idea of my age now. He remembers me as when he last saw me, many years ago. I regained my pride in my youthful looks. The problem was not me ageing, but his memory of me. Yes, convinced myself.

I had limited time and could only chat to him for five minutes, but really I would have loved to have a long conversation with him. We talked about who has died recently and politics. Tas and (the late) Joyce were just one of the reasons why I stayed at my present job past three months. He was honoured a few years ago at some Centenary dinner in Canberra, flown there all expenses paid. The reason? He is a passionate unionist and has fought for his union for most of his life. He is an honourable person who fought through the union, and sometimes against, for the betterment of workers. I dips me lid to your unselfishness Tas and your efforts for collective improvement.

He bought his house in Malvern (value wise for you Sydney people, probably inner north shore) in the mid 1970s and had to borrow to do so. He panicked about owing $20,ooo and paid it off quickly. I would hazard a guess that it now worth around $800,000. His late wife Joyce used to love red. She wore bright red lipstick and black and red clothes. She grew up on the banks of Murray River in a hut. Her dream was to have red appliances, and sure enough, she got them well before she died. A red stove and a red fridge. I saw them. It is true.

I won't even go further about the starched 3d swan doillies he used to crochet.