Saturday, June 09, 2007
The toy boy found newspapers from 1939 under some Exchange linoleum. I chipped in with, was it the declaration of the second world war day? No, he said, it was the bad bush fires. Dame M has already told us about her Black Friday experience, so I quickly chipped in again. Dame M, what were you doing on the day the war finished?
The boss loaded us all into his car, a big American car......started with B. Buick I again chipped in. Yes, we were piled three high and he drove us along Bourke Street. Like you see on tv, people were jubilant, but many were very very drunk. You see them throwing paper out the office windows on tv, but the were throwing typewriters out too. I was terrified. People were crazy.
The toyboy cut in here. I was a (insert name of prestigious private school very near Highriser, he did not say the name) school boarder. We could see all the trams stopped in St Kilda Road. The drivers had just left their trams and walked away. That night we tried to sneak out but the Masters had surrounded the dorm preventing us.
Dame M said, I forget how we got home to Prospect Hill Road, Camberwell, but every shop had closed, including all the corner milk bars. We had a packet of porridge and four potatoes in the cupboard and that was it. The shops stayed closed the next day and we were so hungry. Eventually my sister recalled that she knew a milk bar owner and got us some cans of food. Dame M said it was days before everything settled down.
So the next time you see the bloke in the street dancing in jubilation at the end of the war in old film footage that they bring out for any second world war anniversary, remember it was not all good.
Friday, June 08, 2007
I do take issue with the first sentence. Kangaroos breed when times are good and don't when there is drought and a lack of food, that is when they don't exist adjacent to man made pasture crops. It is all about population and I don't believe that economies should be built on the continuing building of new houses to house immigrants or the expansion of population. No more IVF, there are enough people in the world already. We just need to adjust the balance of where they live. Everyone who wants a kiddie can have one. There are plenty going spare in the world. Brown is the new black.
Sian Watkins is a writer for The Age.
WHEN kangaroo numbers rise beyond the land's ability to sustain them, we cull them. When rabbits breed like, well, rabbits, we poison them. Given the terrible damage that billions of humans are inflicting on Earth, why are we not controlling our numbers, albeit in more humane ways?
Now that we Australians are up a dry creek with nothing to paddle in, we're finally starting to think about the big, hot pickle we're in. We're flailing about for solutions to global warming, but no one seems to want to raise a critical, bleedin' obvious source of the problem — there are too many of us.
Instead, we're going to ban inefficient light bulbs and we've mandated half-flush toilets (although we can still build and fill private swimming pools). We might trade carbon emissions (a technical term for buck-passing), or find a way to stuff our poisons underground.
But cut our population here and overseas and blind Freddy could see that we'd consume far fewer natural resources, reduce waste and pollution, and improve everybody's quality of life — from emaciated, exhausted African mothers to Aussies stuck in traffic jams that belch tonnes of carbon dioxide.
In Melbourne, everyone is justifiably whingeing about the cost of urban housing and crowded public transport, and wringing their hands as polar caps melt, eastern Australia gets hotter and dam levels keep falling. Why, therefore, would Treasurer Peter Costello want to crow, as he did recently, about Australia's booming population, which will only worsen the problems?
A report published recently by Britain's Optimum Population Trust said: "The most effective personal climate change strategy is limiting the number of children one has. The most effective national and global climate change strategy is limiting the size of the population."
It warned in its report that each Briton produced nearly 750 tonnes of carbon dioxide in a lifetime, equivalent to 620 return flights between London and New York. Britain is expected to add another 10 million people by 2074. Multiply that figure by 750 tonnes and you get, well, Buckley's chance of meeting well-intentioned emission targets. Just as Australia will have Buckley's chance of meeting targets — and that's assuming that those who masquerade as leaders set any — if its population keeps growing.
Try to raise the issue of population, or overpopulation, and you get shot down as a misanthrope, a racist, a xenophobe seeking to deny others access to the fruits of Australia, or life to the billions of eggs sitting in women's ovaries.
And watch politicians and the business lobby jump up and down shrieking that population growth is essential to maintain economic growth and living standards.
But this doesn't add up. There are not enough natural resources, depleted as they are, to sustain a constantly expanding population, let alone to give everyone cars, two television sets, 20 pairs of shoes and overseas holidays every two years.
And if there is a strong correlation between growth in per capita GDP and population growth, how come most people in the Third World aren't driving around in Mercs and holidaying in Ibiza?
Politicians also insist that population growth, and the revenue it raises, is required to pay for the welfare and health costs of ageing baby boomers. But baby boomers and those who follow them are working longer, and putting more money away for their retirement. Treasury acknowledged this recently when it reduced its projected cost of looking after old baby boomers.
In Australia and other First-World economies, living standards are largely defined by people's capacity to consume by way of higher wages and cheaper goods. The more we consume, and the more of us who consume, the better. But the returns from so-called increasing (material) living standards are fast diminishing. Most of us in Australia now have everything we need and much more that we don't.
In many ways, population growth and a strong, consumption-based economy are diminishing living standards. Sure, we've got dishwashers and we're no longer vulnerable to the black plague or death in childbirth but our lives have not been improved by owning excessive amounts of stuff, or by the social and environmental problems generated by an expanding, ever-consuming population.
Traffic congestion is awful and affordable housing is on the ugly, barren, car-dependent city fringes. We cannot swim or fish in many of our creeks and rivers. Geelong just about meets Torquay. The Gold Coast, a paradise in the 1950s, is now one, long, depressing suburb choked with cars and drug addicts.
Yes, a bigger population generates more revenue, but also a great deal more social problems and related costs in terms of civic infrastructure, health, education, law enforcement and welfare, let alone more greenhouse emissions and environmental damage, which politicians and industry keep refusing to count as a cost in their stocktaking.
I'm no economist, scientist or engineer, but I would still bet $1 million that the sky would not fall if we had a lot fewer people in the world. I would bet another $1 million that we'd all live a lot better if this was the case. But we won't, and not much else will, if we keep breeding the way we are.
Sian Watkins is a staff writer.
What was good about this show? A strong female lead, Kate, a train, a hotel lift that did not work, although I can remember in one episode it did.
It always puzzled me why there was only a train and no road access to the hotel. The colour version is available, but I prefer the black and white opening theme, as I remember it. The later version had the dog also popping up his head from the tank. The daughter cast changed a few times. Just looking at a site as a reference, they all had the same character name, but nicknames were used, Billy Jo, Bobbie Jo, Betty Jo.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I saw him a year or so ago for real. For some reason he looked at me, very unceleb like, and of course noticed that I was looking at him. It was just a brief glance, but it said from me, I know who you are, and from him, you know who I am.
On the radio, he can be entertaining but I am not sure that it is a good idea for him to appear on tv in an ABC radio promotion. (of course it is, I am writing about him). He still looks quite good. He had on full tv make up and his hair is dyed, but although a bit fatter in the face, he still looks quite hot.
And I reckon he is vain enough to google himself often and will probably read this post.
ABC Melbourne in conjunction with Melbourne University had made some podcasts about Melbourne. There are three, one on food, one on entertainment and one of dirt, death and disease. The idea is that you download them to your personal mp3 player, print out the map and use them for a guided walking tour. I did the printing and the downloading.
Problem one, I don't have a personal mp3 player. But I can use my mobile with earphones. I transferred them to my phone.
Problem two, I realized my phone doesn't have a pause feature. I will have to keep pace precisely with the commentary.
Problem three, no need for me to actually go to Fed Square or Princess Bridge, so I must start the commentary on the way to the city. I did, in the tram.
Problem four, even at maximum volume, it is not loud enough.
Problem five, I was running behind the commentary and became quite hot while trying to catch up.
Problem six, I checked the map and I have to actually walk to Lygon Street Carlton. Screw that.
I was now at Bourke Street and thought this was all very stupid. I already know all these places, streets and lanes well enough. I walked back to Swanston Street and caught the tram home. I then did other stuff around the apartment while listening to two of the commentaries on the computer, the dirt, death and disease one and the food one. The commentaries are wonderful. I learnt a lot. I thought the food one would be boring, but no, very interesting.
But an outing is never a waste. I am not sure of the connection between a galahs and bongs, but in Bourke Street at the dealer end, they are closely associated.
The theme of the show was how this man who had jumped forward in time by fifty years dealt with the new things that had been developed while he was frozen. And this was back in the sixties and I sometimes wonder what it would be like to jump forward by five or six decades if you were born back before there was electricity, telephones and motor cars (and air conditioning).
Not so quite dramatic, but jumping forward from the sixties to the two thousands would be interesting too. Walking into a shop and having to pay perhaps eighty percent more for something than you thought you should. Computers, mobile phones, dvds, remote controls, electric toothbrushes in my abodes. You might be a bit surprised that although your train to the city is now air conditioned, it now takes longer to get to the city.
This post was inspired by the Polish man who went into a coma twenty years ago back in communist times and regained consciousness and was surprised to see all the products in the shops and seeing so many people walking around with a mobile phone to their ear. He would have been more surprised if he went into a shop and had to pay for something.
Funny that all the smart and worldly US bloggers I know are nothing like these people they find.
Every so often a list is posted on the net of what American tourists ask about Australia before they arrive here. No, you will need more than a sandwich when crossing from the east coast to the west coast....and we do have electricity.
But the Chaser team had a good piece the other night. They started by asking US people in the street about the World Trade Centre disaster. When given a choice of three religions of the attackers, two people said Hindus. Another question was if they knew the year of the attack. I got it wrong, it was 2001 and not 2002 as I guessed. But the classic was when they started asking people what was the date of 9/11 disaster.
It is on their website http://www.abc.net.au/tv/chaser/war/
Go to Video highlights and it is the Firth 9-11 poll.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Hi. Just thought if you want a little cooking project over the next few days, you could make some of your delicious soup.
The cheek..........but I did notice ham bones at the butcher for $6 as against the supermarket for $9. I will make a loaf of bread too for Friday night when he returns.
When returning home, three teenagers boarded. F this f and c that, such bad language. I have no problem with bad language when used in context but they were horrible. Two who were already on the tram and seemed drug affected walked to the door to alight and one started scratching something on the interior paint work.
The good part was someone who was sitting opposite me was caught for not buying a ticket. She was unfazed as her details were taken. I expect she has been down this road before. I was impressed by the ticket checker who was very polite and showed empathy, without going over the top. While they could well be out there and I see a lot of them in action, I am yet to come across one of these ultra nasty ticket inspectors who beat up passengers.
Maples was a furniture retailer and while I don't recall what it was like in its latter days, it retailed quality furniture from my memory. There was a large store at the corner of Chapel Street and High Street in Prahran. I think Clarke Rubber bought the company and for a while it was a Clarke Rubber store. I think it is now a mix of offices and retail.
Apart from the building in the picture, there weren't other factory/warehouse type buildings in that part of South Yarra to my knowledge.
I have asked this elsewhere today but do any of my readers know anything about it?
There was sad news last night too. Hairdresser person (see last entry in cast list) has breast cancer. She is going for, not as Dame M said an autopsy, but a biopsy this week. Funny, I did not think she was her usual self last night. She had told R and Dame M and I spoke to Dame M about it today. What a barstard of a thing.
Today the hairdresser had the operation although I am not sure of the details. Yesterday her mother travelled by train from Swan Hill to be with her. It had been planned that the mother would catch the late train and the hairdresser would pick her up from the station after work. The mother decided she would like to do some city shopping first and caught the earlier train.
For me, it has ceased to be interesting to wonder where technology will take us in the future. Expect the unexpected and I am pleased that people only take up the technology that suits them, not just because you can.
More interesting to ponder is what is stubbornly holding out against technology.
Here is a short list. Add to it if you can think of one or two.
Number one must be my Mum.
Whizz bang feautures of basic appliances. Did the rot start when micro wave ovens started to have buttons to press to reheat certain types of food? Who has successfully used them? Who has bothered at all? I just checked ours for the first time. It has a setting for jacket potatoes along with express defrost and defrost. I am sure microwaved jacket potatoes are delicious, if they don't explode.
We all like our feature packed mobile phones. What do we do with them? Mostly talk and text.
Our HD LCD tv has many, many features. Unfortunately they compromised on the one feature I use a lot, the sound. I have played with the many features, but never actually use them.
The computer could be a book in itself. All I want to do is web browse, download 'music' and email and some occasional simple word processing.
Lord Mayor's Children's Camp still exists but it is a Portsea. The cogs turned for a few minutes and now I can recall. That is correct. It was in Portsea. R is staying in Mount Eliza, some distance away.
I stayed at the Lord Mayor's Children's Camp when I was a kiddie. It was certainly in Portsea. It was for disadvantaged children of a young age. Not sure why I was there as I don't recall the disadvantaged childhood. Amazingly it still exists, under the auspices of the Lord Mayor's Charitable Fund. I assume it is the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, but not sure.
It was the only time I have ever experienced real homesickness. We had to have a medical exam. I was sitting next to some dude and he said, can you stop breathing so noisely? He was my bunkmate and when I woke the first morning and my bed was wet, I wondered how I suddenly developed a weakness of my bladder. It came to pass that it was my bunk mate above me who had the bladder weakness and IT had dripped down during the night. He was a toughie, but with a weak bladder. I can recall staring out to see in the direction of Melbourne and thinking that by the time I left the camp, my grandparents would be dead. I cried. I must have cried again at some other time as there was a lovely lady from an apple orchard near Maldon who comforted me.
The cogs are still turning. Now I remember that I did stay in Sunnyside Road, a camp when I was in secondary school. So I went to two camps, LMCC at Portsea when I was in primary school and another during secondary school, in Sunnyside Road, Mount Eliza.
Bits I recall from this one was a monstrous communal dining room and had this small device that shot out insecticide every so often. There was also a piano, and after a friend and I had played it a few times, the cook came out from the kitchen brandishing a cleaver and said if she heard bloody chopsticks one more time, she would chop the piano strings.
We were also to be taken somewhere by coach, but at the end of the street the coach collided with a car and it was cancelled. I recall the motorist walking around covered in blood. It was back in the days of 'give way to the right', so I expect the motorist was at fault.
We were also taken on a tour of the Morning Star Boys Home. They were involved in small agricultural projects. I was frightened of them. It was rather like going to the zoo and the boys were all the exhibits.
Now, do I get a prize for my messiest post ever? Sorry.
Lord Mayor's Children's Camp
Morning Star Boys Home
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Having seen out four pets, I know what it is like. I cried more at the death of our first dog from old age than I did when my father died. I sent a bereavement card to the ex workmates wife when he died last week, even though she did not care for him much. What is the appropriate thing to do when a pet dies? Pet bereavement cards? Should I start a business?
The US persists with its non-metric system and is now lumped with Liberia and Burma as being the last to hold out against the much more sensible metric system.
Neither of the above affect me too much. But here is one that causes me much botheration.
I never knew about this difference in the way a date was written until the arrival of the internet.
My Australian and UK readers will know the day I mean if I write 05/06/07 but US readers will be thinking I am talking about 6th of May.
There is a world standard to formally write a date now and it is in use in Australia on some official forms. So the date above would be 2007/06/05. At a glance I can easily see what the date is. It just reads backwards to what I would use and the use of four digits for the year makes the format immediately clear.
But when I write 05/06/07 and you are in the US, do you know if I am writing it the way I would, or am I accommodating you and your way of reading it? Either way, you could be wrong. The clue is I suppose, is that it is today's date, but then you haven't reached that date as I write.
Web sites meant for international viewing are pretty poor if they are still using that format and although I would like everyone to change to suit me, at least I can understand the international standard format.
This clock is for the chop.
Monday, June 04, 2007
His brother is back in gaol for pedo activity. I don't know the grisly details.
We met his brother once. He lived in a smart house on the railway line in Yarraville. He was pleasant enough, nice looking and quite artistic. I can't understand why he did what he did, repeatedly, three times convicted now.
Our friend from the past tried hard with his brother and has sacrificed an awful lot, but you cannot keep someone under observation 24/7.
'I just want to catch up with a mate', turned into a deserved gaol sentence.
There were mutual assurances that we will catch up soon. Blasts from the past are nice, but can't go back though, can you?
Pollies: Julia Gillard. No nonsense type and nothing wrong with her hair. Pity about the horrid pant suit she had on a couple of days ago.
Judith Troeth. Although a Tory, she beavers away behind the scenes, sits on many committees and known for her sympathetic ear when helping people.
I have some Scottish blood, and I think I picked up some Scottish meanness or tightness. It doesn't make me any wealthier, just a bit more content that when I spend money on people, you will never hear me complain about it. My choice, my decision, my responsibility.
People who know us as acquaintances assume I am a minor in our financial equations. Natural, I suppose. He is older. He normally pays when we are out (I hate the bother of it). I defer to him publicly most of the time.
But behind the scenes, I am the one who sits down and does the sums. Food kitty is short by our shopping. It owes me $8.70. It owes you money you spent last week. $7.70 was it? The difference is $1, split, 50 cents, so we won't worry about then. You paid for dinner and we used your petrol, I work it all out. Even so, I would guess I am in front. Sometimes I just miscalculate to adjust the sums in his favour a bit.
Is that how relationships are supposed to work? Well, ours has for a long long time. Not my idea to have separate money, but it works for us.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Unlike Michelangelo's statue of David with his modest equipment, this male nude sculpture is very nicely done. Muscle Marys are usually under endowed but this muscley male sculpture isn't. The detail, right down to creases in the foreskin were very clear.
I initially thought these sculptures were covered in grass, real grass, but it just plastic or similar fake turf. Couch grass was sticking out in a couple of places though.
There is a fantastic sculpture at Docklands and I can never remember the name of it. It is wind responsive, as is this sculpture. The blade rotates and swivels as does the base. Marvellously balanced and engineered. Breeze imperceptible to me moved it. A gallery staff member told us some info about this sculpture, but I forget now.
This is just so nice. It made me smile. It made me think. It cheered me. It made me remember the Sydney bloke who used to go around writing Eternity on footpaths. An ex workmate made a film about him.
But when you are in a grump, early in the morning when you have to go to your lousy job, could you fail to be cheered when glancing up the road hoping a tram will come soon and then glancing down at the tram tracks and seeing this.
We trod the usual path to the Frankston market to see my sis in law. There is a suburban street we travel along for a couple of kilometres. It is called White Street and it is a single lane street lined with houses. It should be the White Arterial. Thousands of cars must travel along the street daily as it links two major roads. I imagine in peak traffic time, there would be a long bank up of cars. Intolerable for the local residents. I am not sure if anything is planned to relieve them of this.
We had a cup of coffee with sister in law and younger niece at their food vendor caravan. We were surprised to see my nephew and his girlfriend there. They were returning from a prize dirty weekend away at Sorrento. I mean prize in that they won it as a prize. It was very nice sitting in the sunshine and chatting. Nephew is still working at Metropol in St Kilda but also at Hubcap in Richmond.
We then went onto the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park in Langwarrin to meet up with my mother and step father for lunch.
The park is very nice and has a lake containing pretty green water. The ducks were unconcerned with the water colour. There are lots of outdoor sculptures and I will post a few pics in the subsequent post. The site was very nicely laid out. There is an inside gallery too but truly, I do not get most
Mother managed to find an piece that must have been an art piece from 553 St Kilda Road. I haven't checked what this building is yet but I will check on my St Kilda Road picture web site. I found a piece from Marland House, which I think is or was in William Street and our public broadcaster, the ABC, had premises there for many years.
We had a lovely lunch in the cafe in the company of Dame Elisabeth, well she was on the next table. She was there with a male around my age. He certainly did not seem to a rich person and there weren't any very expensive cars in the car park. My guess he is a paid carer, or chauffeur or companion. She went down in my estimation when she left some wine in her glass after lunch and she left. She paid and I noted a fiver went into the tip jar. Proportional to her wealth, it is like giving the staff a sniff of a five cent piece. But I don't have a problem with Dame Elisabeth. She is generous benefactor to many things, mostly artistic, including the sculpture park. At the age of nearly one hundred? she is sharp as a tack and always good media value. Her son, well he is another matter. Her short Wikipedia entry is well worth a read.
It is so unlike my mother to not bowl up to Dame Elisabeth and start chatting, but I think a real Dame even intimidates my mother.
I had Cajun chicken and salad for lunch with two glasses of wine and a short black for just over $25. Pretty good value and it was lovely place to sit and look out over the gardens and I highly recommend it. The only negative was the traffic noise from the road.
Straight home for a rest after that. Enjoying myself exhausts me.
Perhaps we do have the natural trainability to become marathon runners, long distances at slow speeds, but jogging? Nah, can't be good for you. Just not natural. All these joggers in pain from their various injuries
It reminds be a bit of that demonstation chair in Ikea, the one behind perspex that gets a mechanincal pounding every few seconds. Eventually it must fail. Isn't that what jogging would do to your lower spine, knees, hips, ankles? Perhaps ven shaking your brain around like dice in a cup.
While I am fairly brand loyal, I don't have any brand loyalty to soap. I have tried the lot. My latest is oatmeal. It is quite spikey with bits sticking out of it to abrade one's ultra smooth body. I have heard that it can be used for kinky sexual purposes. No idea how. It is also disappearing very quickly. It just melts away. You do have to be a bit careful with it on your tender parts.
I will try to be succinct Steph.
I was on the body corporate committee and R is presently. The committee has a duty I suppose to investigate what may see like not being right and protect the body corporate against overcharging or mysterious matters.
I don't want to pay more than is my obligation.
I have and always will be a botherer of those in authority.
This is my home and I like it very much and want to continue to live here for a long time. My home extends to the building which I also care about.
I have worked a crap job for many many years and I don't have much to show for it. I have had a couple of nice holidays, I have a very old car, I buy cheap clothes and the person I most admire in life is the one who invented the wine cask. Apart for a relatively successful relationship with R, I haven't achieved much in life. It is an emotional thing for me and not sound financial logic. Although our place is worth a lot of money, we have well and truly paid for it many times over to the banks and the government. Sadly, we cannot eat the cement it is made of.
So, I live in a very nice apartment on a very prestigious boulevarde in a nice city and in an ok country. I am not one to gloat, but I do feel some pride.
So that is why I am bothering about water. You set me up for this didn't you Steph. Kiss kiss.