Friday, April 20, 2007

More tenant

I am writing this as much for me as you dear reader. I can recall so little about past tenants of our flat. At least I can refresh my memory at a later point.

I vistited Consumer Affairs in Exhibition Street on Wednesday. It is a bit like a bank. You get a number and wait your turn, but I did not have to wait at all. The person confirmed my thoughts, a lease is not valid without both parties signatures.

Armed with this info, I was now ready to speak to agent today, well Thursday. I had over rehearsed what I was going to say to her and it was a less than perfect performance by moi. While she started in a apologetic mode by the end of the conversation I had clearly pointed out to her that we felt like we had been taken for a ride and made to seem like fools, than we felt we were within both our moral and legal rights, that she had been less than perfect and that there was a situation that needed some focus. She did take on board that we, well more me, was well peed orf.

While she had sought some advice from VCAT and her collegues which she painted in 'nothing you can do' manner, she would seek further advice.

Advice later in the day with a subsequent phone call was that as the lease agreement is not signed by us, it is not valid. She has records of her phone and email attempts to contact the tenant about the new lease which he sat on for three months, there will not be a charge by her company for her to go to VCAT to represent us and the VCAT fee is minimal.

While R was perhaps pro letting the lease stand, I am dead against it. I spent an almost sleepness night sitting up in bed thinking about it. I am right.

I told her to wait until Monday when I have had a chance to discuss it with R, but I am all for increasing the rent which won't apply until June anyway and ignoring the lease agreement which we haven't signed. Worst case is come June he goes into rental arrears when he does not pay the higher rent and we end up in VCAT. Best case is, he just gives the appropriate notice and moves out.

You know, we are quite nice people. We don't want to rip anyone off. We don't want to be unreasonable, we have always been more than fair to our tenants, more so than they have been to us, but I do have my limits.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Best wishes

While I have never really connected with Rebecca, and she has been around for a while, she is on a hard road. I wish her well with her battle and I expect she will be lining up for her gold watch in a few decades.

Let it go

About once a week I check two old web email addresses, just in case you know. I don't think there has been anything significant there for a couple of years. Although, one of them has such a lot of history and I have just realised I must keep it alive or spend a lot of time forwarding old emails to my later addresses.

And the other I am a bit nostalgic about as it was my first web email address. It was a me@rocketmail.com address. Rocketmail was great compared to other web emails in the mid nineties. It got taken over by yahoo at some stage and I ended up with me.rm@yahoo.com

I may have had a hotmail address before that, I can't recall and it is not the hotmail address I have now that I keep alive and that is all. Actually, I need that one too as it is my msn messenger address.

All too hard, easier to just log in every so often and keep them active. But I really might have a go at the forwarding my past from rocketmail. I don't think there is too much there.

Parma at the Palmer


We finally have had a meal at the Palmerston Hotel, Kingsway, South Melbourne.

It is a cozy little pub and busy enough for a weeknight. The staff were very friendly.

R had the parmagiana and rated it excellent. I am not keen on parma, so I had a pepper steak. 300 gram steak is too much food for me, but I did not leave much meat just most of the chips. I could not highly recommend the steak. I think they focus hard on their parmas.

At Superparma.com the hotel is rated number two for its parma. Thanks D.

Pic from St Kilda Historical Society website.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Can't ignore it

While generally Americans are quite ignorant about the rest of the world, not my blog readers though of course, Australians are quite well informed about the America, whether we want to be or not. We know about the political power of the National Rifle Association and we know about the right to bear arms in their constitution.

I took the massacre of 35 people in Australia for severe laws controlling guns to be enacted.

As a proportion of population, will it take the US to have a massacre of 200 in one hit before a politician is brave enough to to enact the will of decent people? And I don't mean your church going folksy types in Idaho.

I heard one US person argue that the victims should have had their own guns to protect themselves. It is odd that this sort of thing never happens in Europe where no one has guns to protect themselves.

Watching for the blooms 17th


Last year it was fun watching for the cherry blossoms and I posted some pics back then of the blossoms in Northern Japan where our friend lives. Recall the first comment Jess made to my blog. Hope all is well with her back in Canada.

The Japanese weather bureau is forecasting full bloom on the 22nd. It all happens so quickly and then it is gone.

Tuesday 17th

What happens to old bloggers when they die

Blogging has been around for a while now. What happens to your blog when you die?

I have thought about being stuck down by a terminal disease and posting a daily blog about my slow demise and then one day, there are no more posts. Then R, after diligent searching, manages to work out how to post on my blog and mentions my demise. 'I regret to inform you that Highriser.....'

And then at the reading of the will when Highriser is mentioned? All the nieces and nephews will devour the contents of my blog and think what an interesting uncle they had, not! Wish they had known him better, not! My blog will just disappear in the ethernet, whatever that is. Some people in a heavily edited form will live on because they have been Pandoraed.

For most of us, our blogs will die with us. Although I really hope they don't. They will be a wonderful archive for historians (ouch, I nearly wrote future historians).

Tanked

My workplace has installed some tanks. Quite interesting to observe and my god, what cost. Pressure systems, piping everywhere, downpipes, overflows, electrics, etc etc.

We had a bit of rain a couple of weeks ago. Amazing how much water was in the tanks. Large collection area though. It amazes me as to how little water the men's conveniences seem to use. (I am on a lavatory roll? pun intended). Actually I suppose they service the women's lav too. Interesting as it has been to watch the water level slowly drop, it would be nice to see it rise.

Of course never mind that there is now no longer any hot water in the men's lavatory. It is about public relations.

Firstly the hot water service had to be moved further away so that a steel stairway to the roof could be built so that the plumbers could do their work. This made it a bit of a wait for hot water to come through but it did eventually.

But then flow restrictors and aeraters were intalled at the basins. Now there just isn't hot water anymore. Maybe if the tap ran for a few minutes, the hot water might arrive. But even when four people in a row have the hot water tap on, it still does not run anymore than tepid.

My workplace is fantastic at public relations. Pity they can't supply their staff with hot water to wash their hands.

Crash


Yeah, another one today. But one of them was unlucky as a police car was nearby as it happened and I am sure there will be charges. It was a strange one though. Normally I hear the screech of tyres and then the crash, but this one was the opposite. Possibly another car stopping quickly to avoid them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fuming highriser and the tenant update

Anger is a bad emotion. It can make you do bad things. As I am almost emotionally dead, I don't feel anger often but I am furious. Furious to the point where I will spend money I don't have just for self satisfaction.

Tenant, since he has not signed the lease that was due to be signed on the 23rd March that he requested in late December, received notification that his rent would increase. Naturally he was notified of a rent increase. Naturally, he quickly signed the lease and returned it to the agent.

The agent tells me today in a message that since we agreed to the lease, it must stand. I care not much about the money (lie). What I care about is that he has taken us for fools and succeeded.

Had he signed the lease at the appropriate time, all would have been well. Instead he tried to play smart and delay signing it.

I am unable to speak to the agent until Thursday, but here are my thoughts.

Firstly I need to check that it is backdated to the 23rd March. I am guessing it won't be.

Secondly I need to make a point to the agent that she should have kept us informed that the lease had not been signed and not tell us when we called her because rent had not been paid.

Thirdly, while I had plans for tomorrow, the priority is to look on the net at tenancy and landlord rights and responsibilites, but more importantly laws.

Fourthly, tell agent that we have not signed any second lease with the tenant and the rental increase stands.

Fifthly, when agent makes soothing words about rights of tenant, point out that owners have some rights too.

Sixthly, point out to agent how the whole business has made us feel like fools.

Seventhly, change agent.

Eighthly, prepared to go to tribunal.

I am so ANGRY I am ready to smash some arse licking mother fucker's head in.

(and I feel a bit better now)

Tissues v toilet paper

Firstly I pretended I did not hear and then I glared when R referred to toilet paper as bog roll. He's English. Bog is such an ugly harsh word.

I am quite happy with the words lav paper or even the really Australian dunny roll or pehaps the toilet squares which were always the pink pages, that is the gay section, of the sixties era telephone book or The Sun News Pictorial. (Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock and there would be Andrew Bolt's picture hanging on the hook and ready to use)

But I have a dilemma. To the right of my lavatorial appliance sits the toilet paper and to the left sits a box of tissues. Which is cheaper to dry my dick off after using the lavatorial appliance?

Before you get your calculator out, I must add that I use very cheap tissues, but very expensive toilet paper.

The quandries of life.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thoughts of a teen

'I hate my Dad being drunk. I am never going to drink. Beer is bad.' Ah well, the best laid plans of mice and men......

'Why don't old people like our music. It is so good. I am always going to like modern music.' Well I did, until I got older. Now I don't like it much at all. It started going downhill in the nineties to the point where I just don't like much young peoples music. I love the music of my youth, the banal pop tunes, some of them anyway, disco and I have moved on you know.

I like quite a lot of trance and electronic and house. There are some very clever people out there who can mix electronic sounds and make quite good music, albeit you cannot sing along. Fifteen years ago when my eight year junior brother was renovating our house and one day he arrived when I was listening to a dance music program on Triple J and he suggested it was crap music.

There may well be a few people who move with the times and adjust to the music of now, however many times it changes. But I expect they are a tiny minority. The rest of us will cherish the music of our youth and not connect with modern music.

I think I would have done better with music if it wasn't for rap. My interest in modern music even included some early rap, but it was much more musical than the present stuffs.

How did I end up being this old person who hates the music that comes out of comes out of commercial radio stations? Well, actually, I have noticed they do play quite a bit of my music too, that is stuff from the eighties and nineties and even earlier. Young people seem to like quite a bit of my music.

Brother who did not like Triple J listens to the tradie radio station. I don't know what the frequency or call sign is, but all tradies listen to it, either on a portable radio or from their car radio. It plays what I consider the worst music of the seventies, eighties and nineties. I wish I was brave enough to tell them that they are listening to absolute crap, but they might threaten me with the large and dangerous tools.

There is a temporary tradie in my workplace at the moment. He has his radio blaring, but strangely when I come across him at around six pm, it ABC's evening current affairs program PM that he is listening to. I want to tell him he is weird, but I reckon he has a large dangerous tool too.

Matters Building

It has been a while since I writ about our abode in general. I guess it indicates that things are going smoothly, and they were, note were.

Item 1/ Under the building is a huge basement, almost the whole footprint of the building. Apart from a couple of sump pumps, there is nothing else there. It does have some lighting, but not much. Around the floor at the walls are gutters to drain the floor which can flood. It has often been mentioned that it would be good to utilize this space and a feasible plan has been hatched.

It would require lighting to be upgraded and the door to the area changed to a metal grill door for ventilation, but these are minor. The plan is to build storage cages and extra bike racks. While the bike racks would be free, as the others presently are, there would be a charge for the storage cages, somewhere around $10 per week. Once the capital investment is repaid, the money will be divided up between the body corp committee members........no, just kidding. The money will go to the body corporate and reduce the body corporate charge that owners must pay.

Item 2/ Rather that have a live in building manager and cleaner, for the last nine months or so we have employed a company to supply the cleaning and building manager. They are a totally Sri Lankan firm and most of them are quite easy on the eyes. Their competence varies, but they are eager to please. The one nominated as building manager is a nice bloke, but was a little intimidated by white people. But as well as gaining experience about managing a building and tradespeople, he has also learned how to deal with white people and non sub continent Asians who infringe rules. He has turned into quite a good building manager. One committee member has put a lot of time into assisting him. But he is now leaving. We have trained him up and he is now good and can go off and do a good well paid job elsewhere.

You see, the problem is, we are paying less than half to a private contracting company than we did when we had a live in manager. We all know that our building manager was only getting around $1300 a month for a 36 hour week. But no one did anything about it and now he is leaving. While he is staff of the company we employ, we could get around this by topping up his pay with regular bonuses. With the live in manager and cleaner wife, their package cost the building around $80,000 and that was too cheap. For more hours of service, we are now paying $38,000. Since R is on the committee and not me at moment, I don't have much say, but I am quite annoyed that we are losing a good building manager when some extra dollars would have retained him, and he deserved the money too.

3/ We have the buildings inaccessible windows cleaned twice a year and they came this week to clean the windows. I was home when it was all happening. They cleaned my bedroom window and were almost to R's window when a shower of rain happened. They called it quits for the day and returned to finish the job the next day. Well, the rain made my just cleaned window dirty and it will remain so for the next six months, but R's, the spare bedroom and the inaccessible lounge room window are sparkling. I am not happy.

Later edit: This was written a week or so ago. Not sure why I did not publish it.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Grandfatherly advice

My paternal grandfather never gave us kiddies any advice but our maternal grandfather did. I can only remember these three.

Never go into a paddock when there is a bull in there. Quite so, cattle bulls are dangerous critters, especially if they have horns, but even without.

Seesaw the towel between you legs after bathing. I got his point, but I never have seesawed the towel between my legs.

Don't sit out on the (brick fence) gatepost. A man might come and take you. I wished, and I continued to sit out on the gate post watching the traffic and listening to 3XY on my portable transistor radio!

Matters Race

Our recent visit to the zoo was an interesting many cultures experience. There were a lot of obviously moslem people, although thankfully no letterbox women who scare me. I did see one in the city last week and while yes, scary, gee she swished her black skirts with such confidence as she walked.

What I really noticed at the zoo was the many mixed racial heritage couples of all sorts of combinations. If they have a bambino with them, I always try to get a peak and see who he or she takes after. Invariably the mixed couple's children are gorgeous.

To see a Chinese looking woman with an Indian looking man seems downright odd to me. I see it with o/s uni students too. I would guess that they are Malaysian or Singaporean. I have not seen the reverse as yet. Gay Singaporean and Malaysian males of Chinese heritage are very intolerant of Indians and Sri Lankans in my experience.

What about your Asian bloke with a Aussie girl? I am seeing increasing numbers of them. My first thought is that she doesn't mind it smaller but we who know about such matters know she is getting a hard one. None of this ten inch swinger, but never gets properly hard disappointment.

Through work I know a guy from Laos who married an Aussie girl and a guy from Indonesia who married a white girl. Both marriages ended after a few years, mostly through cultural reasons. From the woman's perspective, the men come with so many expectations of their own upbringing. From the man's perspective, the woman comes with so many expectations of their own upbringing. A couple of very different backgrounds coming together can only be very difficult.

There are obviously many successful relationships between white Aussie male and non white first generation women from a very different culture. My mother's neighbours are a good example.

It is all very interesting to watch how our society is developing. But if you are openly racist, you really are going to be on the back foot soon. The times are a changin'.

Hackett Weds

Yesterday Aussie swimming champ Grant Hackett wed his betrothed at Carousel at Albert Park. A tall building blocks our view of Carousel. It was quite a limited guest list for someone who is famous. Only one hundred people.

I don't know much about Hackett, so I assumed he was an ok guy.

But out of a mere one hundred people who were invited, one was Alan Jones with a fag hag on his arm. Shock jock Sydney radio broadcaster, London beat user, cash for comment, inciter of racial hatred Jones is to everyone except the far political right, absolute scum.

Am I right to judge Hackett by one of his wedding guests? I feel sick.