Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dead

As I have worked the same job for a long long time, I have been witness to many workmates dying. They did not pass over, pass on, go to the other side, go to rest or any such nonsense. They just died. They are dead, gone and kaput. It happens you know, you live, you die. Sad for those who miss you, but you aren't really gonna know much about it if you are dead. Your brain has died, you only a bit of organic material now.......that is unless you have left a blog archive behind.

He was a bit painful at times, the latest workmate who died. I am not here to lecture anyone about smoking, but sixty Winnies Reds a day over a lifetime probably will mean you will die of lung cancer, as he did. I doubt he would have changed his habits if he had the chance of a longer life.

He had the most marvellous name though......mellifulous comes to mind but it is not really the correct word. Vale Victor Merrigan.

Quickie

Just a gentle warning. The first person to use paradime in their blog will no longer be my blog friend.

Blog prob

I am alarmed. Bloglines, my blog reader, went down this morning and I expected it would be back online this evening but it isn't. I always look at your actual blog and only use bloglines to see if you have made a new post.
I put bloglines in google and discovered bloglines was taken over by ask.com, formerly known as askjeeves.com. Ask.com is not working either.
Has there been a tech meltdown? Or will all be well in the morning?
Aplogies in advance if I don't read your blog for a while. I have sixty six to monitor and that is after a cull.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Neighbour on a mission

I am known for being able to excite people. I know all the right words, the right flattery and where to place it. It seems I have excited a neighbour. No, sadly not the cutish HK boy next door but a person who had something to do with concrete and not the laying of it, more the selling of it. He lives upstairs. He could be described as gruff, but he has a good sense of humour. Like many Anglos in our apartment building, he has another place, at Mount Eliza, although we have found out it is actually Safety Beach, previously known as Shark Bay.

It seems my behind the scenes building water consumption curiousity excited him. He has been looking around at pipes, meters, where water comes in, where it goes out. I will add here that he is not a body corp committee member, but influential, all the same.

He had now requested copies of our last four water and gas bills, along with the same request from nine others. He is just looking for an average figure. I am not sure where he is going with this but he reckons he has fond a water entry pipe that does not have a meter!

Divide if you can

I blithely made a comment on Ben's blog that yes, my writing is bad, but I do know how to do long division. Ummm, that is until I tried to do it and I actually forget how to do it. It has been a long long time. I am sure I could work it out given time, but I can't be bothered. It did not come to my mind instantly. I have forgotten how to do long division. The sky is falling.

I bet the American education system is superior. Come on Daisy Jo. Can you long divide?

Da trains

Isn't it marvellous. Ten new trains for Melbourne in 2009. Meanwhile six have been saved or resurrected from the dead. These old trains are like thirty or forty years old. They are still quite serviceable unless the the weather is warm. But what happens when the ten new trains arrive? Do these old six get retired and so we only get four extra trains? Or are they kept on to soldier on for a few more years?

And just like Sydney, we are going to add a couple of minutes here and there to timetables so that the trains can run on time. Funny, those dreadful old red rattlers used to make their trips in less time, while carrying far more people than trains do now, no matter how crowded you may feel. We have come a long way.


While in a tram today that was blocked from crossing Lonsdale Street by cars blocking the intersection crossing Swanston Street today, and again at Flinders Street I do really wonder whether this government has any committment to public transport.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Draft 29/03/07 Uni Education

This one is a ripper. I actually believe in free education for all but I just could not express myself well enough, hence it was canned for a strong edit. I like publishing these drafts. I can say what I like and then say it was not really for publication. I might actually write some draft posts.



If you go on to earn large amounts of money when you are qualified, then what is wrong with returning some of your taxpayer funded education to the taxpayers?


I believed in free uni education for all, until everybody wanted it and once qualified, worked along side me in a manual job.

Australia does not need so many uni educated people. We do need a well educated and literate population and a first class primary and secondary education should be a high priority for all governments.

My niece who missed out on first round offer for teacher training does not need a uni education to be a teacher. She is clever and smart and just needs some training on how to teach and deal with young students.

Puzzled

I am not sure why this keeps coming to my mind. I am not sure why I don't actually use the net to find out.

Now you have your Lebanon. You have your Palestinians, who live kind of in what was Palestine and Israel. So why are Palestinians in refugee camps in Lebanon or as I like to call it The Lebanon?

The more I learn about the Middle East, the less I understand.

New Cast List

I have decided to make a new cast list. I will keep the old one but this one is more to the point and hopefully more logical.

  • R, my partner since I was twenty one. Born in the UK but has been here since he arrived when on his world adventures as a teen and stayed on. He is a few years older than me.
  • Mother and step father. They have been together for thirty five years and get along some of time. Mother is a health professional's walking nightmare and a great talker. Step father still works at the age of eighty. Edit: Step Father is dead 26/12/08.
  • Younger brother, has an acquired brain injury but works a full time job and has his own home and umpires football and cricket.
  • Youngest brother, a successful tradie who drinks too much and is very socially conservative. He has been kicked out of the matrimonial home to live in a shared household. Edit: Is now back in the family home on his own which he owns outright.
  • Sister, a dyke teacher with a girlfriend who is a bone surgeon. They are expecting a child soon. Edit: Little Jo was born in 2007. Edit: Bone surgeon is now a GP specialising in sports medicine. Live on the Bellarine Peninsular.
  • Stepmother and father. Father dead, step mother lives with her new partner in the north of the state.
  • Brother friends. We have been friends with them for a long, long time. We have had some issues, but we have survived them. They have boyfriends in Thailand and visit them twice a year.
  • Ex NT Politician. He is exactly that, along with being a cop and a journalist and now works for a peak agricultural body. He has a Fijian Indian partner who had a special friend as well. Too complicated for me, but it works for them. Edit: Retired and now is a radio announcer for a volunteer radio station.
  • The dyke friends. T moved to Sydney to further her career a few years ago but her heart became defective and she had a heart transplant. She now has a girlfriend here in Melbourne and they are happy together and both are good fun. Edit: They are separated and now live alone but remain friends.
  • Dame M. She is a rich widow who lives in faded grandeur on St Kilda hill. She smokes, drinks and gambles and at 82 is still hale an hearty. I could almost recommend her vices. Edit: Dead, 2008..
  • The boarder. Dame M's house is large and she has a boarder of twenty plus years, sometimes known as Jasmine. Edit: Moved elsewhere. We see him at times.
  • The tenant. Dame M owns two flats above her house and one of tenants is also a friend of ours. Edit: Lost track of him
  • The hairdresser. A close friend of Dame M's boarder. She has lived in a tiny rented flat for many years in St Kilda West and drives a sports car.
  • The Mountain Women. They live in the hills and they have found love with each other after being married to men.
  • Brighton Antique Dealer and her ToyBoy. She has an antique shop in Brighton where she lives. Her toy boy is only a few years younger than her. She is terrific fun. Edit: Shop is sold and she is now in a nearby retirement apartment. She moved her ToyBoy on.
  • Wombat,our dyke friend in Japan. A long time friend met through R's work. She lives and works in Japan.
  • My Sydney friend. A total user of the system and people, but never me. He is a professional Sydney gay guy and all that goes with it. Edit: Pretty well don't hear from him anymore.
  • Western district friend. Life would never get old for him, but it did, and it is not a great idea to retire to a town where there are no medical services. Lived in London and Amsterdam and inner Melbourne until retirement. Edit: Very old now and will soon be in care.
  • Sister in law. She kicked my brother out from home for good reasons. She is lovely and a wonderful mother. Her parents live in a attached granny flat. Edit: Both parents have died. She is engaged and bought a house with her new partner. Edit: Moved to Gippsland and she and her husband own a local store and bakery.
  • Nephew. Twenty with 'dreads' and lives in North Melbourne and does various jobs, from manual work to waiting. Sweet kid, well travelled but not as naive as he may seem. Edit: Still has dreads, somewhat older, now lives in Carlton.  Edit: Dreads gone. Now lives in Gippsland, a firefighter for the DSE and has a permanent girlfriend.
  • Nieces. One eighteen and is already a supermarket department manager. She has ambitions though. The other fifteen. Our favourite. She stays with us every so often. Edit: Oldest is engaged and is almost a school teacher. Younger has a boyfriend. Edit: Oldest niece, along with her partner has her own house. Younger niece now works for a local council in the their parks and gardens department.
  • O/S rels: R's three sisters int the north of UK. Two of whom have visited us in Australia with their husbands and one adult child. The last one is pending.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Draft 29/06/06 Hot guy

You may be wondering what sort of guy I like? Ok, perhaps you aren't, and best you don't ask, as it is a hard answer. As I don't really know myself, it is extra hard. The sort of person I lust after and the sort of person I like are two very different things.

I like clever people, people who are smart and know a lot about all sorts of things. They do have to put it in a humourous way though, because ultimately, I like to laugh. You gotta make me laugh.

For lust, I like hot.................no, not telling (How can I say anyway if I don't know?).

Exciting building projects

The committee dreaded by all management and staff, that is the body corp committee of our building has a couple of projects underway. The dreaded committee is one of the reasons why this is one of the best run highrise residential buildings in Melbourne, and I don't say this lightly.

One is the refurbishment of the foyer. While people still stop and gaze in, it is looking dated and stylistically showing its almost nine years. Ideas have been thrown around and a couple of companies have been requested to submit some plans.

The second and more interesting item is what is happening in the basement. The area has some walls but only wide openings without doors. Its size is almost the full footprint of the building and apart from a couple of sump pumps, is empty. It was used as a lunch area by the building's construction workers, hence the air con unit still in situ.

The plan is to install thirty storage cages for the use of residents and fifty two more single bike racks. Presently there is storage for about forty bicycles in two different areas. These are both full to overflowing. These would remain as well as the extra ones added.

The storage cages would be around 5.5 metres square and available for rent at somewhere between $10 and $15 per week. Going by other buildings, they will quickly be taken up (and filled mostly with absolute junk).

There will be drainage modifications to make. The lighting is minimal and needs to be upgraded. Ventilation is poor so two exhaust fans and a mesh door need to be installed.

The cost has already been quoted at around $50,000, although other quotes are being obtained. If all the cages rent, this amount will quickly be repaid in two to three years. From thereon, the income will subsidise the body corporate fees.

I am just wondering if thirty is enough and why not go for forty, one third of the number of apartments, assuming there is enough space.

Unlike in a private dwelling, things like this move at bureaucratic pace here. But slowly it is all happening.

Draft 03.04.07 Annabel Chong

This was just too explicit for my gentle readers and so I have deleted it bar the tease. If you dont know who she is, I am not telling you but to give you an hint, it is all about numbers.


Does much intersting come out of Singapore? Well my ex hairdresser did in years past and so did Annabel Chong.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Spooky Crane


This crane sits outside our windows. It nearly freaked me the first night it was lit up. At six pm it was facing one direction and at eight pm R pointed out that it had moved. At ten pm when I went to bed, it had moved again and at six in the morning, moved again.

I learnt a bit about cranes a while ago. I learnt how they erect them with hydraulics. I am guessing what I did not learn was that pivot freely when unattended so that they are not side on to the prevailing wind. This is just a guess though.

The light looks quite pretty out the windows.

Draft 07/12/06 Tales of the rich or not so rich

Retail businessman, drives a four wheel drive, child goes to private school, lives in Balwyn, dines in find restaurants, would not be seen dead on public transport, employed three staff, one of whom was a friend of mine.

Woman on a bicycle, shopping stacked in the basket and on the back. What made me notice her the first time was that she was probably in her sixties and was cycling without a helmet. A closer look and I realised that her quite decent hair style just would not cope with a helmet. Hmmm, she has a dress on too, an expensive looking dress.

I have seen her a few times now and I now know she lives in a VERY expensive and exclusive apartment in Malvern.

Then there is the slightly eccentric and oldish resident in our building who was the chief complainent about famous bearded media person smoking chiminere. She lived next door to him and suffered the smoke in her apartment. I know she is seriously wealthy, but she also rides around on a bike for exercise and shopping. Although she does have a BMW for when the weather is inclement and to carry her golf clubs. She is also frequently seen on public transport.

Ah, back to the retail businessman, he had to sell the business to cover debts, sell his 4wd, rent a cheap flat, take the kid out of private school and is now a low income wage earner. Remember that survey of 4wd drivers? The survey about their social attitudes? He was the model. It couldn't have happened to a nicer person.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sleepy Sunday



I don't normally feel sleepy during the day unless I have had an extreme work shift change. Today I felt sleepy and if I wasn't driving, I could have quite happily dozed off. I was worried that I was losing concentration today when driving, but I was ok really..........I think.

In the morning we took a walk to Albert Park Lake. I forgot it was the RSPCA's Million Paw Walk. People and dogs everywhere. Nice. I like dogs. While I did manage to step in swan crap, not a bit of dog crap to be seen.

Look, I said to R. A spare seat. Let us sit. We did.

We should walk around the lake, R suggested. Ok, I agreed cautiously. (Never done that before, is it far?)

Ah, I proclaimed a minute after we set off, coffee vendor. Forget the walk around the lake, let us have coffee. $3.50 for crap coffee in a take away cup.

I was half way through the coffee and oh, plenty of time, let us still walk around the lake. We did and saw many dogs and many people. But five kilometres around the lake plus perhaps 1.5 to and from home was a bit much for me. I shan't do that again in a hurry. I have a sore spot on one foot where my shoe rubbed.

Set off a bit late for Geelong to meet sister and bone surgeon girlfriend. They called at ten past the time we were supposed to be there and suggested we meet at the place where they had booked. My concerns over freeway driving were found less. As soon as I was on the onramp, I got up to the speed limit and maintained it all the way, no problems. Noted an accident on the other side of the freeway, someone holding their bleeding head and another person running somewhere.

We had a fantastic lunch at Pakington Cottage Cafe in Pakington Street, Newtown with sis and her g/f. A bottle of nice local red, lovely food and coffee and good service along with reasonable prices. Sis is not overly large, she is big bodied anyway. She and her g/f had been to antenatal classes the day before and were well accepted. It is at a private hospital and not the Geelong Public where the reception may have been a little different.

My sister has changed since she has been with child. Even R who has exhibited hate towards her in the past thought she is a bit nicer.

Two hours of driving just for lunch with sister is an effort, but I am glad we did it.

The alternative was a trip on a train to Canterbury to blast from the past with a check out of Maling Road antique shops. I did mention it to R who was interested to go. No matter, we will do it in the future.

The pic is of one of the boat launching ramps and landing at Albert Park that nephew built. They looked horribly red when done, but with a bit of sun, they have aged nicely.