Friday, May 26, 2006

East Timor

The cynical me: All those Portugese poking thier dickies into compliant local women did no favours for East Timor. It made their produce far too bolshie and non compliant. Don't put hot Latin blood into local populations.

The emotional me: I am devastated by how it has turned out. I had such hope and faith, in spite of so many warning signs along the way.

The hopeful me: We stay there and make it a wonderful country

The realistic me: We will pump millions into the country, to little avail

The polictical me: For once I agree with PM Howard. Leadership has being lacking. I still have some faith in Horta, but wrote Gusamao off a long time ago. Chatted to his Oz born wife once on the net when the Catholic church forced the goverment to drop recognition of gay East Timorese in the constitution. I did not like what I heard.

The real me: Death in the family, relationship problems, family problems, work problems, money problems. I don't have the wherewithal to care anymore.

This week's hot guy. I am in love

I only noticed him this week on tv it a new show called Absolute Power. But I have seen him before. Combine his nice looks with a dead sexy voice and hey, I am in love. Sorry, not many pics of him.

Pre PC

My normal routine on days when I am not working and I am home alone is when I get out of bed, I will spend a couple of hours in front of the pc doing 'stuff'. It may even be longer. If I am up at seven, then there is not much point rushing off anywhere before ten.

But what did I do in the morning before the days of the information super highway? I know I used to read a lot more. More newspapers, magazines and books. But I don't think I used to bound out of bed to read. I have never watched daytime tv, let alone morning tv. I don't think I sat and stared at the radio where the voice was coming from. We did have pets, so I suppose I might have spent some time with them, or at least cleaning up after them. There used to be big gardens to look after, but I wouldn't be out in the frost or the mist to do that first thing in the morning.

Nope, it remains a bit of a mystery how I used to occupy myself early to mid morning before the pc arrrived.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Schlock and the TV

Is that the correct spelling? What a marvellous word. American now but no doubt derived from a European language or perhaps Yiddish. Take it as read that I enjoy many shows on our ABC. Peking to Paris was great on Sunday night.

But I confess to liking a bit of schlock. While I only listen to ABC Radio and Joy Melbourne, the tv sometimes drifts channels a little. It drifted all over the place on Sunday night. After the Alan Clarke Diaries finished, what was there to watch? I wasn't even keen on that afore mentioned program. (I want to insert an extra m and an e at the end of program, but I am adjusting to modern language. I have stopped spelling jail as gaol too).

Double episode of CSI. I have never watched it but thought I would give it a chance. Too, noisy. Too many cars. Too much action. Crashing cars and shootings. Switch back to ABC. Boring ernest show about Vincent Van Gough. Don't like seeing animal cruelty, such as bullfighting, but I did learn a bit about him. Not very interesting. Finished up watching Love Actually as when I turned the dial, there was quite a hot Spanish looking guy in it. Sorry M!key, but it was an atrocious movie.

So what is my schlock tv? Today Tonight with Naomi. Bichy tart she is but I don't mind her. Don't care if I miss it though. All Saints. Watched it for a long time and enjoy it and seldom miss it. It is pure soap, but great characters and pretty good acting for a churn out an hour (less that 50 minutes I should think) a week show.

R likes a more schlock tv than I do and much is not to my taste, but I love Desperate Housewives and he does not. Desperate Houswives is a must see for me. Perhaps I am in love with the fantasy of middle class America.

Then there are the ads. If I watch commercial tv, it is nearly always taped and I fast forward through the ads, but a couple of ads have grabbed me. Famous bearded radio person who lives above latest tv ad is good, if only for the expression on his face after he has finished talking to room service.

The ads for whatever radio station Dave Hughes works for are great. Turning up with a choir to someones house singing 'Mama is making Kantong' to someone's house where the resident hates the song.........inspired. (another product placement cheque on the way?) and the latest, a fat woman turning up a dieters house with lots of doughnuts (that is how I spell doughnut. I can only be so modern).

Is the extra I pay on goods for advertising and commercial tv is worth it? Probably not. But I know a lot of people watch commercial tv, so I don't mind subsidising them really as long as they don't mind subsidising Our ABC.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The painter, the sister and and the daughters

I have mentioned in my blog before that we used to live next door to the late painter Albert Tucker's sister. Like in an older ad on tv, she welcomed us with baked scones when we moved in. The two nice boys moving in next door. They look very clean and decent.

She was a great neighbour, although there were times when she called out over the fence, we ignored her and crept around silently, but it was not often. As she was the other half of our semi detached in East Malvern, she wasn't easy to ignore and we did grow fond of her.

Our neighbour's father was a politician in the first Victorian Parliament. I can't remember the details now.

One night she invited us in for a sherry and canapes. We learnt how to make mock chicken. Forget how now but something to do with tomatoes. She was clutching a photo of her Adelaide daughter and son in law. We had already met her daughter who lived in Melbourne. She started to show us the photo and then pulled back. She repeated this. Then she said with great gravity, 'Um, there is something I need to tell you before you see the photo'.

Our minds raced.

'His name is Rajiv and he is Indian'. Our ho hum reaction must have been a little disappointing to her.

While she was in the kitchen preparing tea and cake, we looked at the really weird pictures on the walls. Why would this very normal middle class woman have such odd pictures on her walls? Of course they were works by Albert Tucker. They were grim pictures.

The Indian born son-in-law called one evening to take our neighbour out for dinner when he was in Melbourne for a few days. We peeked out the curtains, sure enough he was Indian, although not very dark. Probably a Seihk

I used to buy the Age daily back then and she bought the Sun. Once I had finished reading it, I would tuck into the fence pailings and she would retrieve it. She did the same with the Sun. The day arrived when she did not collect the Age or put out the Sun. We called her daughter who broke in and she had had a stroke. Of course we visited her in hospital. It was indignity for her. All that hair on her face, no make up and speech very slurred. She recovered to a point. She would not be seen on a walking frame. The shopping jeep was an ideal walker. But probably about a year later, again the paper did not appear jammed in the fence palings. Again we phoned the daughter, but it was the end this time.

We went to the funeral of course. The intellectual daughter from Adelaide attended and did the full histronics thing. Unlike the Melbourne daughter, she wasn't particuarly nice to us; quite dismissive really.

Some old queen conducted the funeral, and surprise surprise, not long later, he conducted my brother's wedding. Maybe it was the other way around.

The Melbourne daughter was very nice and grateful for what little we had done. She and her husband had a picture framing business in Eltham. They had two sons, I seem to remember. I the bet they are important people in the world of art now, like their great grandfather. Maybe not. Should not have such expectatations.

A fellow blogger posted a tale of the loss of a pet dog and it reminded me of pets we have lost. One was the cat Thomas. Our neighbour had taken a photo of Thomas sunbaking in her back yard and a while after her death, her daughter gave us the photo framed with a note on the back. I suuppose the daughter would be oldish now. Just for curiousity, I put her name into google. Yes, she did come up. More interestingly, there were links to her sister, the Adelaide university lecturer, niece of Albert Tucker with the Indian born husband.

I was pushed for time and did not fully follow through at the time.

Here is what I quickly gathered. She is a WHISTLEBLOWER and a member of the club. She accused authorities of stiching her up with a charge from the RSPCA regarding the death of her dog because a what she might divulge. She has an early child reading school/business, one in Adelaide, one in Melbourne, and is also on the speaking circuit. She is a rabid feminist. I really can't be bothered finding out much more. I am not that interested. More interested to know what the Melbourne daughter is now doing.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Almost Marvellous Wikepedia and Google

This internet is a wonderous thing, but it can't tell me everything. No matter what I enter into google or wikipedia, they cannot tell me why R forgot to put beetroot on the shopping list when he served up the last of it. It cannot tell me that when I put the beetroot depleted serving dish in the dish washer and that I wasn't reminded to check if it was on the shopping list. It cannot tell me why once I did belatedly put it on the shopping list, that I forgot to buy it. Fotunately I had a salad roll with beetroot today for lunch. It makes up for the lack of it in tonight's salad. I take pride in my 'never run out of stuff', shopping list. I have failed. I must look around and find someone else to blame. See, I am not so old. I know the modern way of thinking. There must be someone to blame. Not my fault. I think it must be the supermarket's fault for not reminding me.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Million Paws




Sob, sob. I love dogs but I don't have one to walk. What better to do than enjoy dogs' company at RSPCA's fundraiser, Million Paws Walk. A few thousand of them, along with their owners, circle Albert Park Lake.

Some brief unofficial stats. West Highland White Terriers were in the greatest number. We were fashionable having one before they were fashionable. Samoyeds are out of fashion, as are Aierdales. Breeds behaved as expected with the right dogs showing interest in the bird life in the water. One showed exceessive interest and jumped in. Most just ignored the wildlife. Many dogs pulled hard on their leashes. Bad training makes hard work for the the walker. Maybe by the time the dogs reached where we were, they were 'empty', but not one bit of anything was on our shoes. We did not see one squabble or cross word between dogs.

While there is nothing to stop anyone walking with their dog, by far the majority had evidence of having paid the $17 registration fee.

The last pic does not quite show the huge drinking container. It had a hose running constantly into it, such was their thirst. Click the pics for a better view.

Coppers

With rules and regulations and monitoring, our Melbourne cops are now well under control, I think. No shifty business, no graft, and corruption has to be very well hidden if it is still happening. But only a fool would think that any police force can remain free of some corruption.
I wonder how this works? The LEAP database. Who adds info to files? Who deletes files? It is hardly surprising that cops might want to check their own file and those of there friends, family, aquaintances, pop stars, famous people, politicians. If I had a data base available to me, that is exactly what I would do. Police command should have seen this coming when they transferred from files to computers.

This was many years ago, but when my stepmother's car was hit by another and the person gave a false name and address, my stepmother contacted a friend who was an ex policeman, who contacted a mate who was still in the force and found out the registered owner and she had the offender's details within half and hour. Obviously this could not be done nowadays. I bet it is a long and torturous process.

It probably would not be a good idea to turn back the clock to those days, but boy you wish shortcuts could be taken sometime, probably no one more so than cops themselves.

It is a well published fact that police visible on the streets is a major crime deterrent. They need to be on foot, bicycle and car and why not helicopter too. This is clearly not happening and the reason must be numbers. There are insufficient police for our population. Our population is growing and new police must be continually added. I doubt anyone except those in government would disagree.

If we don't increase the numbers, we will have a two tiered society. We will have your basic law abiding citizen and those with a total disregard for society's rules and standards. The number of the latter will grow and the former decrease as people realise that there is little consequence to their breaking of the law.

You can already see this in the way people drive. Your middle class inner suburban dweller obeys road laws when they think they may get caught, otherwise, they have there own rules. But because these drivers drive in a co-operative spirit with each other in very slow moving congested areas, the system does not crash. When you throw in a cocksure outer suburban driver into the mix, it starts to go wrong. They don't drive as co-operatively and right is might. But your usual inner city driver is going further and further along the lines of blatantly ignoring road rules. Having coppers around inner areas to police motorists is well overdue. And while they are at it, they can observe how incompetent some older drivers are and report them. Hear the inevitable cry, 'We allocate resources where they are needed most'. In this case, it would be high serious accident and death areas I suppose. Meanwhile, everywhere else becomes Rafferty's Rules driving.

I think it is also without doubt that standards of behaviour by people in the street have fallen. A few coppers walking the footpath would help a lot. How did we get to have people dealing and selling drugs openly on the street and it not being policed? The police command responds with, 'Well, if we police one area, it just moves to another area'. Well, then you target that area. It is unrealistic to have a drug free society, but at least drive it underground where it has minimal effect on everyone else.

How come we have millionaire drug dealers? Citizens making hundreds of thousands of dollars by drug dealing and nothing is done? Why not? You can bet your copper knows who they all are and I doubt there is any political pressure to go soft on them. It has to be just the lack of numbers of cops to investigate.

Exasperating. Are we heading down America's path with walled communities and high level security in buildings. Well that is what is happening in my place of residence.