Saturday, August 05, 2006

Saturday night

Souvlaki at Lambs in Malvern Road, very nice. The souvlaki has been upsized as has the price. A very fine cup of coffee at T21 at the Jam Factory, except it was barely warm and the service was slow as, but it was very good coffee. Jindabyne at Cinema Europa. While all these people queued to buy tickets, I retrieved our tickets easisly from an ATM type machine. We booked in advance.

An extra $1 per ticket booking fee, I can wear that, but if we went Gold Class, it would have been $5 per ticket. Outrageous.

Jindabyne. R hated it and would have walked out if not for me. The acting was fine and the scenery was beautiful. The Irish accents were lousy.

As for the content, there was not a likeable character in it, it was depressing and sank lower as it went on. I like Aussie bush and dams, lakes and rivers. I associate them with happy things. They were just made spooky. Shades of Picnic at Hanging Rock. It was a fairly well made movie although it did jump from scene to scene in an abrupt manner. Nor do I think the real Jindabyne would be anything like this place in the movie.

I like to leave a movie theatre feeling passion or joy or just amused. I don't want to leave just feeling depressed.

Damn Coles

Can you see why I have to return to the supermarket? I would use about one can of oven cleaner every two or three years. I certainly would not buy two at the same time.

Later Update: It just occured to me that I got a petrol discount coupon that I would not have gotten if I hadn't been double charged. That is, the bill was just over $30.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The fast net

Too much to do on the net. Too many emails. Too many blogs. Too many interesting sites. Too many cute guys. Too many friends. Too many hearts. Too many interesting things to look at. Too many jokes. Too many photos. It all overwhelmes me at times.

So you gotta forgive me at times when I write nonsense stuff like this. 'He WAS shout you a pie'.

Just spoke to R. He would love to go, so go ahead and book. I am sure he was shout you a pie and sauce. I love the look of gravy down a tee shirt.

Carlton V Hawthorn.....now that might be exciting.

Someone should start a collection of my nonsense sentences.

Not quite an Aussie dollar

I put what I thought was a dollar coin in the coffee machine at work. It rejected it. It must have been a light spend week for coins, because I tried three times over the week to get coffee from the machine with the same dollar coin.

I did not realise it was the same dollar coin that was giving me grief. I thought the machine was faulty.

After the third time, I thought I better look at this coin that was causing me trouble. Perhaps it has a chip out of it? Nope. Sit spectacles on nose and realise it is a two dollar New Zealand coin. Slightly larger than the Aussie one dollar coin, but looks the same.

I owed R a dollar for coffee or something. He was not keen to take the NZ$2 and my argument that he cash it at the bank for more than AU$2 fell on deaf ears.

I thought I passed it off at Prahran Market last weekend, but no. The bloody thing was still in my wallet. I passed over the wrong coin.

I hope you all have an impression of me as being scrupously honest, coz I am, but, well, I paid for a newspaper with the dodgy coin at a newspaper kiosk at Melbourne Central Station.

The owner of said kiosk used to be employed in my industry and is now a self employed entrepreneur, so I hope he quickly passed the dodgy coin onto one of those waster Uni students that pour out of Melbourne Central Railway Station.

Laugh out loud

Does lol stand for laugh out loud or lots of laugh? Who knows. It is a great piece of net speak.

I lol'd a few times today.

1/ Once when in the local chemist and the ederly female chemist and the younger chemist staff person were filling the shop's order for easter, 2007. They made a great joke of it. Easter 2007? Have we done christmas 2006? Yes, we did that in 2004. So it must be time to do christmas 2007 then? Just go away. Sorry Mr Andrew, there is no cheap generic alternative for your mega stress medication and no, that sticker was put in your script by mistake. You don't come close to the prescription payback limit.

2/ Usually the cross back from the commercial tv sports presenter to the commercial tv news reader is a tedious and un-natural process. Tonight's cross had us laughing. There had been a discussion of footballer Justin Madden's football boots. This chap is now the Victorian government sports minister. He is a big bloke and a crack was made in the sports segment about his slow speed. A clip was shown of him kicking a lucky goal. As the cross was made, a comment was made about being slow as treacle, responded to by a comment about turning the Queen Mary around. Ok, it not funny when it is written, but it was funny at the time.

3/ There has been a commercial tv ad that has amsued me quite a lot. It came on a couple of minutes after then end of the news. But it was different. Normally it is a dad and son in a car and the son asks why the Great Wall of China was built. The dad responds after a thoughtful period, 'to keep the rabbits out'. It is ever so Australian, and it is an ad for a search engine or something. Tonights was different. I missed the initial question from the son, but the father was thoughtful for even longer. It was built by the Emporer Nazi Goreng......(long pause) to keep the rabbits out.

And, we had barely had a sip of our Pommeroy's Claret at that point. Must have been the Friday night joi da vie or whatever of a weekend off work.

Celeb Male Aussie Swimming Hunk

The way the newspaper stories are going, we may not be seeing much of Ian Thorpe in speedos for much longer. He has gone off a bit, but I am sure he is just as charming as he always was, but then chatting to him was not really what I had on my mind. I especially like the pic where he has just made a turn in the pool. What a narrow waist. The one of him sitting in the boat isn't bad either. Look closely now.

Thorpie.

Fireworks at Albert Park







Sometimes not having the steadiest of hands pays off. No idea why the fireworks were let off or if it was official, that is legal, or not.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Census

We met our friendly census man last weekend as he delivered his package of goodies. Me being a innernet type person rather liked the idea of sitting down and marking a piece of paper. R being less of a net person suggested straight away that we should do the online version. He will be busy at a body corp committee meeting that night, so I will be 'person one'. I do wonder what will happen when at about 8.30pm on that Tuesday, suddenly all these electronic census forms are lodged.

On the last census form we had the opportunity to fill us in as a defacto couple. I cannot recall whether we did or not, but I think we will this time. It does end up being a no names study, so we should. I have yet to calculate whether we will be better off financially and otherwise in our old age as two singles or a couple. While Howard stays in power, we are certainly better off being two singles. But I am not even so sure of that, given that I have state superannuation, not federal. Too hard. What about the English pension he is entilted to. Worry about it later.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Page 123, go to 5th sentence, type the next 4

I got tagged and it has got to be your last read or nearest book to hand. I don't like inflicting tagging on people really, but let us see if we can find out what is on intelligent and mature type folk's bedside tables. 'Fess up Jah Teh and Lord Sedgwick.

Faithful readers will guess the book and if not, you don't have to read my blog back to far to find out what book it was. I cannot recommend it. It was lousy. But I am a compulsive book finisher. Cheers Therin of Andor.

"That meant that I didn't want to do what I normally would in this situation, and jump in the car and call around to Mum's. Instead I rang one of Mum's neighbours, John, and asked if he could go to her house, see if there were any lights on and knock on the door. Mum usually leaves a light or two on if she goes out, but there were no lights on. Kind man that he is, he tried shining a torch in through the window in case she'd fallen and hurt herself before dark."

UFO

I thought it might have been a UFO. It looked like something on fire in the sky. I think it rose from the Alfred heliport or near there. Unfortunately it turned it's lit side away from us and I could not get a good photo, not that a would have anyway with my photo taking skill. As it got closer, we could see it was an airship, of the eighties Alan Bond variety. Then we noticed Holden on the side of it. That was about 6.25pm and as we walked back inside, it was being shown on tv in the daylight hours. Keep a look out for it, it is pretty special.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Taxi

Taxis are a very important part of out transport system. I rarely use them, but when I do, I want them to work well and they have. I don't have any complaints as a passenger. I have a very sympathetic view of people working for such lousy money and putting up with crap from passengers.

But a couple of observations recently make we wonder if they are not a bit out of control. I niaevly used to think that any person who was on the road all the time became a good driver. Wrong about that was I. Some of my workmates are attrocious drivers.

Since north African immigrant Austrlian drivers appeared, I dunno, maybe five years ago, the standard of driving by taxi drivers from an observational view, has deteriorated substantially.

Their next fare is all that they concentrate on and show a lack of concern about fellow road users.

R and I were having a bitch session about bad and or dangerous road intersections. He complained of taxis queuing in Toorak Road at the corner of Chapel Street in the early morning when he is travelling to work. They queue in a no standing location. He feels it is dangerous.

I countered with the intersection of High and Chapel Streets where what used to be a Greek club, is now a night club, well an early morning club. On my way to work last Sunday, the taxis had actually queued around the corner from High Street, occupying the left turn lane in Chapel Street. It is not dangerous, just inconvenient for many.

Then tonight when coming home from work and driving up St Kilda Road in the outside lane of the service road, a taxi stopped in front of me to pick up a fare. It was not dangerous, but it was outrageous behaviour. You can't just stop like that in the middle of the road. Well, it seems you can.

I observe them in Swantson Street, causing delay and inconvenience to trams and passengers. They don't do actively. They are just stupid or unaware of what is happening around them.

Back to the original point, we pay peanuts, so we get monkeys.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Border Security

Our borders are important to us. Customs and immigration work hard at protecting them.

Australia's top rating television show is Border Security. I have watched it a couple of times. I liked the content but oh, how they string it out and turn it into something so boringly repetatative. I no longer bother with it.

This protection of our borders is a fine thing hey.

Ah, but it is not all beer and skittles.

I cast my mind to when I was offered money by customs at Melbourne Airport to silence my complaint. Out of the pocket of custom's supervisor even. I wonder if customs still repack your bag after inspection? At least if you do it yourself, you are the one who packed it badly and are responsible for breakages. When they repacked my bag and I picked it up, and a bottle of precious liquid fell out and broke, they did not want it to be official. Instead I was offered out of the pocket compensation, after being escorted to a private room. This was around twenty years ago when returning from New Zealand.

That was a long time ago. Now customs and immigration are vigilant and correct in their behaviour.

But how far should they go. An aquaintance from nothern Victoria travels to Thailand twice a year. He is a person about 70 years old. As well as having a boyfriend in Thailand, he has many friends there and a very small business interest. Wihtout fail, his bagage is thoroughly searched every time he returns to Melbourne airport. The last time a couple of weeks ago, they looked at all photos he taken and skim read his diary, page by page. I can only guess they suspect of him pedophile activities. I have known him a long time and I very much doubt it.

An Aussie friend with Indian heritage went on a a tour to New Zealand last year. He is only late twenties and quite cute if you like petite hairy Indians. He has the prettiest face though. He enjoyed the tour and went again this year and is not long returned. I doubt he will go again.

While he felt the need to relieve himself just before the plane landed in NZ, he was mesmerised by the snow laden mountains and held off until he the plane landed and once he was out of the plane, he headed straight to the toilet. Customs grabbed him and asked what drugs he was about to get rid of. He protested his innocence and the short storey is that he escorted to a toilet to urinate, after strongly insisting, the tour group he was about to join was informed reluctantly that he was being detained, then he was strip searched and released without an apology. He had been detained for one and a half hours. I know this guy fairly well, and he is not bright enough to even attempt to carry drugs. If I wanted to paint him in a unflattering light, I would say we a stereotype empty headed faggot, but also he is not stupid and would never have anyting to do with drugs.

So what is going wrong with customs profiling? Both here and in NZ. In tv's Border Security you see the criminals and the stupid and even the ignorant caught. You don't see the innocents harrassed needlessly.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Point Nepean and Barwon Bridge

It seems the very nice bridge at Barwon Heads has been saved from the fiends at Vicroads and we will have a national park at Point Nepean. The power of the people when they organise into an action group is wonderful thing to see, if they are doing something you approve of.

I am thinking the state electorate covering Barwon Heads may be a bit marginal or least potentially so.

But Point Nepean is in a safe Liberal Party electorate, so what goes on here? Well, chief lobbyist is Kate Ballieu, a one time reporter for A Current Affair and it seems she has inherited considerable wealth and is now of independant means. (Bitch!!!!!) It has been reported that she has the ears of many important and influential conservative figures and is she not the sister of Ted Ballieu, the state opposition Liberal Party leader?

It is funny the things you remember. I recall, and I am sure it was her, wrote a piece in a I guess The Age, about when she was living in a single storey terrace in North Melbourne and one of the terrace houses caught fire. They all shared a common roofspace without a firewall in between, so there was a serious risk to all the houses.

She called the emergency number but not the Aussie one, 000. She called either the English one, 999 or the American one, 911. I can't recall which one now, but the point was she did it automatically and how influenced Australia had become by overseas tv. This would have been in the 1980s.

Anyway, Ms Kate Ballieu is no fool. Along with tory types, she also courted Labor figures, Green figures, public personalities......the list is long. I seems she eventually got her desired result, a national park at Point Nepean. One could be a little cynical since she lives nearby the park and has made a nice backyard for herself, but still, I think she has done Victoria a big favour. Apart from some unexploded bombs etc, it is quite an original vegetated piece of land and there is some great history to the area as well.

Well done Kate and well done the Barwon Bridge lobbyists.