Saturday, August 11, 2007

Childhood Confession #30

The electric kettle of my childhood lasted until I left home and it went for a good bit longer. I can't recall if it was Sunbeam or another brand. It was slow to heat the water but it was an attractive appliance. My mother would polish it up once a week. Nothing like a shiny chrome appliance.

I just had to clean our plastic kettle. It was disgusting and had not been cleaned for months. Household management has decreed that it does not suit a smart apartment and a new one is required and for once I readily agreed to such overt consumerism. Bugger the poor, I want a new stylish kettle.

When no one was around, my brother and I used to find it quite amusing to put the kettle of our childhood on without water. After a minute or so, the plug of the kettle would fly out of the socket with quite some force. Should this not have happened, the element would have burnt through the base of the kettle and perhaps the kitchen bench too and possibly start a fire.

My grandparents had the same brand and style of kettle and my brother and I discovered that it was made in two parts. How you may wonder? Well we tried the same method of plug ejection on our grandparents kettle, but its heat protection was much less sensitive. After the plug did not eject, we just turned it off and left it.

Soon enough my grandmother filled it with water to make a cup of Robur's finest and she called out that the kettle had sprung a leak. We looked around in astonishment. How could that have happened?

It would seem that the kettle without water in it had gotten so hot when we were trying to get it to eject the plug, the solder has melted where the kettle was joined half way up its side.

"That is sad grandma. It has worn out. We will buy a new one for you for your birthday". Not sure how we planned to pay for it, but it was a kind and generous thought.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The blog roll

Time for me to offend someone by not mentioning them in a review of my blog roll, or by mentioning them. In order of when they were added to my always read blogs. Sorry no links. You can work it out.

Daniel Bowen, reasonable, consistent and always interesting and a good mix of social comment, rant, family, transport and personal. Take a bow Daniel as you are my original blogger.

Andy at Spatula City, not a frequent poster but always worth reading when he does post. He hates everybody and is happy to tell them so.

Rob at Roborant. Very in tune with my views of the world.

His Excellency at There Ain't No Sanity Clause. With age comes wisdom, or sometimes being just too damn clever for the rest of us. As if I need any cynicism added to my life.

Jahteh at Copperwitch. Women can be odd creatures when they flick from dresses to hard science with ne're a post in between. Recommended.

Dearest Rosanna at Practically Perfect. She isn't perfect and she will quickly tell you so. My idea of an interesting old age is too have lots of intelligent and interesting young people around me. Rosanna would be at the top of my list.

Jo and Robyn at Bitches Closet. Bah, they quickly got a handle on me. Don't expect quantity, but when the girls post, it is good.

Ann at Guru Ann. Interesting for what she does post. I wish she wasn't constrained by her position as a local councillor and we could hear the real story.

Steph at Much Ado About Sumthin. If Daniel is the male blog guru, Steph is the female version. That she is young and attractive helps I suppose, but that is nothing to do with why I devour her posts.

Cazzie at I don't do Mornings. Wife, mother of four, part time worker, living in the burbs. Sounds boring? She is not, and a big blog elephant stamp to Cazzie.

Daisy Jo at He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. I have always wanted an American net friend. Have I found one? I reckon so. She is kewl and while very American, also un American too, the highest compliment I could pay her.

Ren at To Reign in Hell, so full of what makes us what we are. Kind, not so kind, frail yet confident. Attitude aplenty.

Anne O'Dyne at Bwca Dysthymia. What a history she has. You just have to know where to look.

Oh my god, as the younguns say. I just realized there is someone who I haven't added to my blog list yet and yet she is fantabulous and in competition with Steph for the most comments on her posts. Keshi at Viva Forever.

Is it shallow to read a persons persons blog because they look interesting in their avatar? Of course it is but that is what first attracted me to her blog. It is early days, but boy does she write well, and unlike me, she checks her facts before putting finger to key. Not sure that I can cope with such a careful person. So do check out That's So Pants.

If you are not in this post and would like to be on the next one of the same variety, you just need to cuddle up a bit more.

Dissing a saint

Once upon a time I was going to write a critical piece of Mother Teresa. Is she a saint yet? She has also received the Noble Peace Prize. One blogger kindly sent me some links, which I cannot find now. Every so often it has come to mind to make a start, but I haven't until today.

You may wonder why I would do this? I want to make sure that there is not any disillusionment about this supposedly saintly woman.

But I am not really going to write a full post on her. I have discovered that many other have and even books have been written. If you want to have a quick look, here are some of the links I found at Wikipedia.

Mother Teresa was anything but saintly and her beatification should be reversed.

The Illusory vs The Real Mother Teresa

Saint to the rich

Mommie Dearest

The squalid truth behind the legacy of Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa: Where are her millions?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

No end to human's cruelty to animals

Read no further if you are a person who gets upset at cruelty to animals, like I do. I post this only to further public awareness and perhaps stimulate some folk to direct some of their money and energies towards to prevention of cruelty to animals and be outspoken and upstanding should the topic of conversation arise.

Today in a regional town of Victoria a dog was found impaled on the spikes of a fence. It was probably just a silly action on the part of a dog who liked to jump, but for a while there was a possibility of human involvement. The jury is still out.

Then there is this story from Queensland which I just came across, an attempt to skin a cat alive.

A gruff, outspoken and well known person from Australia's RSPCA was asked to comment on the dog impaling and he did and then went on to other animal cruelty. The broadcaster was pushed to ask him to tone it down. What did this RSPCA person say?

Last chance, leave now.

How about *****deleted*****.

Benders

No, contrary to popular belief, I don't do them and never have.

I am talking about Bender's Bus Lines of Geelong.

When we were in Geelong a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a few buses around and I wondered what the service was like. I have finally got around to checking and there seems to be two bus companies who service Geelong. Ok, out of curiosity I will check what the service is like for Highton where my sister lives. She lives just off a main road and her abode would be over ten years old, so it is a newish area but not that new. New houses are being built there by the day.

To my surprise, there does not seem to be a bus service at all.

The above is incorrect. There is a bus service near to my sister's. I reckon I spent fifty minutes on the net and with a street directory before I found it. Admittedly my knowledge of Geelong streets is poor, but I think Benders might be able to do a bit better with their website.

For my sister once I traced all the old Geelong tram routes onto a map so that she could see where they went. She was surprised to see that there was a direct tram to the school where she taught, but otherwise not very interested. Oh well, it was a bit of fun.

This investigation came about because her g/f has been transferred to the north of Victoria and my sister intends spending some time with her, although still remain living in Geelong. The bone doctor has forbade her from driving such a long way with little Joanna when she is not getting a proper night's sleep, so she will have to get the train and she needs to get to the station first and I wondered if the bus was practical. I expect she will cadge a lift or get a taxi.

Take a bow Ms Deveny

I am not sure where this cheeky upstart came from. I only noticed her a few months ago. Catherine Deveny writes opinion pieces for The Age newspaper. She writes a little like a blogger having a good old rant. I like her.

If you haven't caught up with her down to earth, boiling it back to the basics writing, this column on our Medical Insurance companies and Medicare is not a bad one to start with. Of course I agree with almost every thing she says nearly all time, otherwise I would not be promoting her here.

Escalators, a bit more

With assistance of Wikipedia and a very large search engine.

There is no correlation between what side of the road is driven on and what side of the escalator to stand on.

Stand on the right in London, Washington, Boston, Hong Kong (contradicted elsewhere), Seoul and Moscow.

Stand on the left in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore.

Montreal and Toronto, walking on escalators is prohibited.

Malaysia and Rome, stop walking when reaching the escalator and stand both sides.

I can now confidently travel the world knowing that I will not make an escalator faux pas. Of course, easier, follow what the locals do.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Git outa my way moforger or all things escalator.

People in UK and US and other places stand on the right hand side of the escalator and walk on the left? I believe, correct me if I am wrong, that we do the opposite in Australia.

When driving we overtake on the right, so that is what we do on escalators. I can understand the people of right hand car drive countries such as the US doing that on escalators, but UK?

I am quite puzzled by this.

You can always pick the Bayswater types in the city for whatever, no offence to Bayswater folk....ah too late. They always stand on the right side of the escalator and block any walking.

While I am talking about escalators, I reminded of what a workmate told me when he saw another workmate at a shopping centre. This chap was clearly not used to escalators and was very hesitant to board. Sweat was on his brow and his face pale. He made a couple of false starts and then made a leap and got on board.

It is weird for us who are so used to them, but if you were not, I suppose they could be intimidating.

Just venting, as seems to be the modern term, there are too many people in Melbourne City. I cannot walk along the street at a reasonable pace anymore. I just constantly get tangled up with people. I don't think I walk particularly fast, perhaps I do, but everyone gets in my way. I have learnt to follow a fat assed chick who is walking at a good pace, and she clears the way for me, or I walk on the road.

Back to escalators. They can be dangerous. I recall back in the mid eighties when we were doing christmas shopping at Chadstone. It was very busy and there was a big build up of people at the bottom of the escalator. People were being fed down via the escalator but they were not clearing at the base. It was actually getting quite dangerous with people piling up on people but then I think someone hit the stop button. No big problem for us fit twenty years olds who could scramble over the top of grandmothers and spastics, but not great if you were less fit.

Crane

How is your attention span? The vid is only thirty seconds long and more interesting than watching paint dry.

Actually, at times it gives me the creeps. I am standing at my bathroom basin and the mirror reflects the window behind me and out of the corner of my eye I see something move. It is of course the crane, but I don't like things moving like that behind me.

Found a stash


We were going out for an evening meal when R spied this long piece of twisted paper, looking almost like a joint. He picked it up and we examined it. Ah, your on camera sweetie. Wait until we are in the car. It contained this cream coloured waxy material was shaped and firm, but would break easily. I had never seen anything like it before but the smell was familiar, but I still cannot identify it. Did it smell like green and undried dope?

I also considered that it could be a Chinese medicine.

I will take it to the police station tomorrow, I suggested. No you won't. I guess he threw it out somewhere.

Wonder what it was?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Totally screwed up

To the woman tram passenger today who made tut tut noises at me, don't worry, I would have done the same. I wanted to get off the tram at Bourke Street and I was running a few minutes late. Preoccupied with trying to be punctual, I lost track of where I was and almost got off the tram at Collins Street. I caused an absolutely confusing pile of people as I almost got off the tram and and then realised I was at the wrong stop. Previously I had been fuming about all these people standing in the doorway and blocking it. Their crime was less than mine.

I met ex building manager's wife for coffee and caught up on all goss.

I then went to the State Library to check out a book I had ordered to be brought up from the bowel of library. I had ordered the wrong one. Well, I am not hanging around for twenty minutes while they retrieve the correct book. I do almost have a life you know.

Into office works to buy a steel ruler and surprise surprise, they had just what I wanted and not so bad at $4.60. (anyone thinking kinky thoughts, desist now). Ah but......ah, at the check out I discovered I had $3.40 in my wallet. Oh yeah, I was supposed to go the electric bank. I put the ruler behind the counter. Did the lass believe that I would be back? Well, I did go back with enough money.

A wee bit of shopping in Woolworths, collect the ruler and head off to Dick Smith for now foam ear bud coverings. A new set of buds costs $16. Three sets of foam replacements in fashion colours for $9. I only want black. Another mistake. I should have just bought a new set. I am not wearing red or bright blue foam ear buds. Yes, I bought the set of fashion replacements.

To Myer to see if they have any nice sun glasses. My sunnie's arms are about to snap. After fifteen minutes of looking, yes I know that is short in girl terms, but it is long in guy terms, I bought a pair. When R arrived home he grinned widely when I put them on. F you, I said. You did not like my last pair and so they are sitting in the wardrobe going to waste.

Nearly ready to go home but damn and botheration, I am cooking tonight and I forgot the Lup Chong in the supermarket. Trudge up the Bourke Street hill to the Asian grocer in Russell Street and buy some. Cheaper here anyway.

Want to go for a walk sweetie, I said to R when he arrived home. No, you have forgotten I am going to the dentist.

Ah well, I walk on my own as I want to take some pictures of new buildings in St Kilda Road. Yesterday was an RDO for constructions workers, today must have been overtime day as they were all still working at 5pm and showing now sign of rushing off, so I was short one picture. I didn't want to invade the worker's privacy. Besides, big Bill Biffo was standing near the gates.

Sister's birthday yesterday and as well as sending her a card, I also smsed her. She replies this evening. God, how much time can babies take up? Can't a kid suck while you hold it with one hand and you text with the other? I am not telling R the contents of the sms as the bone doctor arranged a surprise party for her last Sunday, with all her friends there, but clearly no rels. I don't need another rant from R about my sister.

But after a bit dodgy efforts the last couple of times, my fried rice was divine tonight. (Must stop picking up Rosanna words, such as divine)

Later edit: Now another screw up. I posted a comment on someone's blog thinking they were a different blogger. Slow down flawed human being Andrew.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Capper


Clearly Warwick Capper does not appeal to a blog mate. He is straight, so he would not understand.

I cast my mind back twenty plus years and there was this sexiest AFL player who was a member of the newly formed Sydney Swans. Oh, those tight shorts, those almost visible ass cheeks, the long blond hair. He wasn't a bad football player either, although I fully pretend to have no knowledge of this game.

Now at the age of 44, he has made a porn vid with his girlfriend.

One of the brother friends rang tonight, ostensibly over arrangements to see tax sorting out person, but he slipped into the conversation strongly about the Capper vid. He wants to see it, and boy, so do I. R does too, and so does every other gay person around our age.

I promised R that I will get it from the net in a day or so for free. It only takes one fool to pay for it and share it.

Just an early evening out

R feels the need to connect with the brother friends at least once every weekend and we usually do. We made arrangements to meet at a Chapel Street restaurant and I emailed the ex NT policeman, but he declined the invitation. I thought I better ask the dyke friends, so I smsed them and they declined too.
Then one of the dykes called R and said she would like to come for dinner and was it ok if she brought two female friends from Sydney. Sure, we replied.
We had to pick the dyke friend up from Dame M's where she had been having a drink or two and had also met Dame M's niece who is in Melbourne to buy stuff for her Queensland card shop. Some wholesaler exhibition at Jeff's Shed.
What nice lasses the Sydney friends turned out to be. One was chatty and outgoing and the other a bit shyer with a slight speech impediment. They both live in Lane Cove, although separately. I am not sure if they are dykes or sisters or friends. I will find out tomorrow.
They were staying at the Lindrum Hotel in Flinders Street and R felt compelled to offer them a lift back to their hotel, given it was drizzly and ever so cold.
About twelve years ago I was in a car going to the city on a Saturday night. Admittedly it was Grand Final night, but the traffic was horrendous. So when R mentioned taking them home, I went into panic mode. I don't drive in the City. Stuck in stop start traffic for an hour with people we hardly know is not my idea of a small favour.
I thought a bit and worked out the best way to go. Commercial Road into Punt Road, Wellington Street then Flinders Street and St Kilda Road to home. It went ever so quickly and they were so appreciative. They even asked nice questions about the Nylex clock and the silos.
They made an effort to be friendly and we responded. Even a jaded bitter old queen can be impressed by some people. Doubt we will ever see them again, but no matter. It was a nice experience.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Naughty Andy

I had occasion to search Spatula City blog to try and sort some stuff out. I entered my search term into the search box, and no information could be found. It did not actually say that, what it said, and I know I don't swear normally but this is a cut and paste,

Couldn't find what you were looking for. Fuck off.

The lad is a laugh at times. I expect google is approaching him with offers.

Green not always good

The following is somewhat, but not totally negated by the fact that water tanks to collect roof run off were installed. The water in the tanks has not run out since they were installed, but have come close and certainly will in the summer. Then the system switches to mains water.

In the men's toilet at my work place, waterless urinals were installed. I wrote about it that time and you can search my blog for the post as easily as I can.

It was a few months ago and they have proved unpopular. Clearly some people use them as they absolutely stink. But very few use them as people don't like them and now are using the conventional toilets, and of course flushing, which they would not have done every time at the old standard urinal. Installing waterless urinals has meant an increase in water use.

To install the tanks a safe climbing ladder had to be installed. This meant moving the hot water service a couple of metres. Add to this flow restrictors and aerators on the taps mean that it takes two minutes for hot water to arrive at a basin from cold. Try it yourself. Stand for two minutes watching water flow from a tap. Insanity on its way. Some pressure will happen to improve pressure at some time and the flow restrictors will be removed. Not necessarily more water used, but certainly great inconvenience.

And every time a tap is turned on, an electric pump starts up.

Then there is these low power consumption lights that we are urged to use. Yet, I read about how much energy goes into the manufacture of the circuit board in the lights, along with the lights themselves.

Green is good, but has done be done sensibly, practically and with a view to all angles.

I am just waiting for the howls of triumph from my workplace about the reduction in water consumption. A clean and green workplace, bah.