Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fleeting Fame

Fame is such a fleeting moment. My blog is already electronic fish and chip newspaper wrapper. I am not sure what I wrote in the past that impressed someone, but what I have written and will write after 20th September is unworthy.

Ah well, it was fun while it lasted.

High riser [blog] was selected for preservation by the State Library of Victoria. This title is not scheduled for re-archiving. The publisher's site may provide more current information.


Archived 20 Sep 2007 00:00

Armageddon


Has Armageddon come to Melbourne? Where are the cars at 3.30 on a Saturday afternoon? There should be cars, trams and people everywhere. Is everyone home watching tv? Ah, it is the last Saturday in September when the AFL football grand final is played.

Writing Proper

I am a blue collar worker with minimal education but with enough education to know that those who criticise spelling and grammar have set them self up for failure because they must then be perfect. How is this for a clanger. It is in reference to a tram crash and from the Herald Sun newspaper.

Do we blame brumby or bracks for this one !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Half of these drivers cant even talk english, how do you expect them to drive a tram

Oh dear, regardless of the the lack of logic, he did leave himself wide open didn't he?

Funny, every blog person I know is good at writing. I don't like the idea of blogging being the exclusive domain of people who write with correct spelling, grammar and sentence construction. I like the idea of people expressing their thoughts online, whether they know how to spell and/or construct a sentence. The spelling and grammar police are very intimidating to such people.

I have seen people criticised in public forums for their lack of perfect written English. I have seen them then disappear, no doubt hurt and feeling inadequate. The forum is then deprived of their knowledge.

I don't like laziness when writing, in spite of indulging in it myself, but if someone makes an effort, good on them and you won't hear a word from me if their written English is not correct, with perhaps the exception of names or errors of fact.

Then there is another category of people who do know how to write proper(sic), such as my Sydney friend, and don't. Not sure why. Guess he wants to appear to be younger than his age. Thirty two is getting on a bit in gay years. This is the full text. No greeting, no goodbye, just this.
amazing.
i used to live 3 blocks from there in livingstone road.

Choosing a neighbour


You know folks, we could be looking down on this building now. Imagine how great it would be if it was restored. It could be apartments or offices.....maybe an artist's colony or a boutique hotel.











Instead we look down on this ugly monstrosity.

The old building was demolished in the sixties I believe and did I read somewhere where the normally unsentimental demolition crew were a bit regretful.

I supposed the developers are dead now. I hope their spirits are floating in a troubled and restless limbo somewhere.



Beauty is easily seen in one simple picture. Here is another picture so that you can fully appreciate ugliness.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Murder in Myanmar

Had I have been blogging ten years ago, you may well now be reading a post about the brutal Generals in Burma. Of course I hope no one gets injured or worse, well worse has happened already. I also think of the Karen rebels on the Thai border and the refugees in camps along the same border too.

But ok, say the Generals give over to democracy. Will it get any better?

I was somewhat passionate over independence for Rhodesia and it turning into the country now known as Zimbabwe. That was a good idea, not. India did not turn out to be a great example of colonials bolting. Self rule for Papua New Guinea, not a great result either. Fiji? Disappointing. Indonesia, what can one say.

One where I wore my heart on my sleeve and actively campaigned, East Timor, is not going great guns.

We are to believe that a rise in petrol prices has led to the present disturbance in Burma. Maybe. Perhaps that is the fuse that will bring it to be like a successful democratic Asian country like Thailand. Ah, problem there, Thailand is ruled by the Generals too.

I love a fight for democracy. But I am not sure that the end result is worth the effort for you average person. I will go so far as to suggest that the your average person may be better off under rule of Generals like in Burma, or colonial masters. There may well be immense pride on Independence Day, but there are the other 364 days to consider.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ebay

I am selling a book on Ebay. It is a while since I have sold anything on ebay. The last item was in dispute between R and myself. He said he gave it to me as a birthday present, hence I should not have sold it. I was sure it wasn't a present. Now I am not so sure. I kinda of wish I had kept it. I did get a very good price for William Yang's Sydney Diary though.

No danger this time as somehow I have ended up with two copies of the same book. The book is Tram way of Sydney. If there is not a bidding war and it does not sell, any blog reader is welcome to it for cost, $20, plus postage. I'll let you know if it does not sell.

Not unexpected

It seems the only person in my family to express negative views about my sister, the bone doctor and the baby is my brother.

Although he is ten years my junior, his social views are terribly old fashioned.

He called the night before last after I had gone to bed. He left a message saying that he would like some advice. Oh dear. I can barely look after myself, let alone offer advice. I sms him to call earlier the following night and he did.

I am not sure what advice he wanted really. He had been talking to our mother and expressed an opinion about my sister and her baby and the whole situation. It is f***ing bulls***, he gently suggested.

Firstly he asked if he needed to apologise to our mother for swearing. He said that it was the first time he had ever said the eff word in front of her, let alone to her. Yes, you need to at least say, sorry, and that you were a bit out of line the other night and you were a bit upset.

But I figured there was something more behind this. Ostensibly his problem is with my sister receiving government support while the baby is raised but really I think he just does not approve of the whole matter. I talked sensibly to him, mentioned the many ways people like myself and R, my sister and the bone doctor are financially disadvantaged, that to bring a child into the world to brought up advantaged and loved is a wonderful thing, etc etc.

But when I went to bed, I was inwardly fuming at his moral judgement. I sent him this sms.

Would you feel differently if sister had a casual f*** and became pregnant? There but by the grace of god go me and probably you too. She told R that she was happy to support herself if she could have what every different sex couple can have. The government will not recognise her relationship so she can only be considered a single mother. Her financial details were stated. I shall remind myself of this when my alarm goes off at five in the morning and I go to work and pay my tax, but I shall also remember it when I vote. I suggest you should too.

My brother is so ocker, it gets under his skin when I use words like 'shall'. Am I being too harsh on him? Defending the indefensible? She is my sister, I cannot do otherwise. He better learn to live with the situation and not bother family with his own judgemental opinions when they can hurt and upset people. Leave that for his oldest brother to do.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Why oh why?

I have done it again. I have caused myself un-necessary trouble.

The brother friends noticed some movies on our pc. They liked the movies and want to download movies themselves, just very short ones mind.

Cannot do on our clapper that you now use, I told them. Certainly not with dial up.

Can we have faster internet?

Of course. But you really need a new computer to do it. (Not exactly true as that was our computer and it worked ok with cable broadband)

They want an lcd screen anyway.

You can see where this is going hey?

I was a bit smarter this time. I gave them some specs and suggested their local Chinese shop front chappie was a good place. Let them do some leg work.

The deed is done and it arrives Friday. As a last minute detail, because I did not have the specs in front of me, I asked them to check that it has at least four USB ports. God, it has eight.

The matter of broadband remains, ADSL. They trust me to give them correct advice, a heavy responsibility. I have spent some time looking at the larger companies, Telstra, Optus, Primus, Dodo and there really is not much between them price wise. Where a plan will be cheaper, the connection fee will be higher. One does not include a modem. Add the price of that and you back to equal. They all work out to be so similar.

So I will advise them to get Telstra as it is just easier. They would never thank me for having to change their home phone service to get a cheaper price if there was any future problem.

I am still going to have to spend several hours at their place getting the pc set up and connected. Will I still have any energy left for our own planned upgrade?

Happy anniversary to me

The marvellous bwca aka all sorts of other names pointed out that it is my blog anniversary. It was un-noticed by me.

Three years. It is hard to believe. I could not imagine I would have so much to say.

Thanks for reading.

Spam

We have found your CV in online job database and would like to ask if you would be interested in part-time processing manager vacancy in EFG.

Thanks Hannah, but me and a CV??? Most unlikely!

Neighbour Wars

The neighbour war continues. I quote from my blog:

The year before it was an owner complaining about being victimised by a resident over his objections to her having a 'Please remove shoes' sign on her door. It was amazing how long this matter took and is only now being resolved because she is moving out.

She moved out alright, down stairs to another apartment. The war goes on. At least they are not side by side anymore. Now there are accusations by him against her that she keyed the side of his car. I am not giving him the benefit of any doubt. He is grumpy rich old white male who is known to let fly with a barrage of bad language. He owns two apartments here and a house at Mount Eliza.

She is a smart mouthed rich woman with attitude from Hong Kong. She can also string together some nasty adjectives. While I believe her last apartment was dreadfully dirty, she is a good rent payer and the owner of her apartment has always been happy. But due to a couple of issues, she should not have been given another rental property in our building. A change of staff in the body corp management office meant the new person had no knowledge of previous problems.

It will go on until he dies or she moves out. Meanwhile the body corp committee do all they can to stay out of it.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Overheard conversation #35

I can't repeat it word for word as it went for ages.

It is interesting that our local cafe across the road is also a haunt of the detectives of the homicide and drug squads from the nearby police station.

I would never stoop to eavesdropping of course, but I can't help overhearing conversations, as I did today.

They were talking about various criminals dating back to 1969. One 'd' was visiting from interstate and I missed what city, but it was 34 degrees there today.

The local one was bitching about force command, unusual I expect. He did not want to climb the management ladder. He prefers hands on work.

One day I am going to hear something very relevant to a current media story. Of course I could not pass that on to my readers as may jeopardise an operation.

No holidaying school kiddies in here

If all the kids in the city are troubling you with their hopping on and off trams, cluttering the streets and adding more noise to the city, take some quiet time at Span Gallery at 45 Flinders Lane (between Spring and Exhibition).

They are hosting a photographic exhibition by Senator Bob Brown, leader of our Greens Party. He confesses to being only an amateur but there are some fine photos there.

My favourite was of his own house in the Liffey Valley in Tasmania. It is a small white house in a beautiful valley with towering peaks behind it. The house is double fronted timber with a worn verandah. There are masses of hydrangeas at either side of the front steps which lead out to an area of massed daffodils and jonquils.

The nature photos he takes are very good. One in particular that grabbed me was of a wombat in a snow area. It has very pale fur, unlike any wombat I have ever seen.

I think exhibition finishes on the 29th of this month. Catch it if you can.

Stastics

Golly gosh, it must be six months since I looked at my blog stats. Numbers of readers is well up. Always pleasing to see returning readers.

Hello to my single readers today in Ireland, Singapore, Canada and Austria. Seven in the US is not bad, considering I pretty well write for an Australian audience.

The number of people who view my blog with Firefox is almost the same as the number who view it with Internet Explorer. This must be a good statistic.

But my favourite to look at is keyword analysis.

Cake shops in Rosebud. Yeah, may have mentioned them.

Simon Bryant chef gay. I reckon so, but who can tell? Should I ask his boyfriend?

Christopher Pyne gay rumour. I never said Christopher Pyne was gay. How did that connect up?

Pretty hairdresser Singapore. My hairdresser of past was pretty and he was from Singapore.

Noah Hathaway gay. I keep telling you he is not. On this one I am quite sure.

High Park police sirens. No idea.

Lack of social life. I know all about that. But it is mostly by choice.

Sister sucking me. Oh dear. Did she do it well?

Molly Sugdeon . Yeah, she died didn't she? Loved her.

Electric button machine. I have been known to call an ATM an electric bank. Is that what you mean?

Bali memorial Carlton. I am still steaming from my ears about that one.

Mitford Letters. You are person of high culture.

How high will Docklands ferris wheel be. No idea. Do a trig calculation. Bit shorter than The Eye.

Dick Smith's electric cable. No idea, but you have reminded me to get some printer ink. Thanks.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Perhaps you voted for him

We have a Federal Government Minister by the name of Christopher Pyne. If forget what his ministry is. It is one of the small ones given as a reward to peoples who have done a good job for the party, but will never be a star performer. Something holds him back. Just because he comes from Dolly Downer territory, means nothing.

I first recall him from being on ABC's Lateline. Squeaky little upstart I thought. I did not like him. There are a few tory pollies I don't mind, but he is not among them. He is in the despise category.

There was something about him that made him suspicious to me, but oddly also desirable. He is the sort of guy who when you slap them across the face, you are a bit excited by it.

Alas, I just checked. He is married with children so he is obviously straight.

Good, I like clear cut, know where you stand stuff. So I am ignoring the rumours and innuendo coming in from so many directions.

Busy day in St Kilda Road

You don't move to the city environs for a quiet life, that's for sure.

I was just dropping off last night and rat a tat tat. Tram track works. A jackhammer in full flight. Oh, to be bothered by Rosanna's magpies. I closed my window.

I did not hear multiple police sirens. R asked how I could possibly have slept through them. I did hear R's light switch click though when he got up to take a look at what was happening. It was around four this morning when I looked out my window to see a car on a median strip surrounded by seven police cars. I found out what it was all about later from The Herald Sun.

Then this morning when driving home for lunch, I came across this little bit of drama in St Kilda Road about half a kilometre from home.

Pic is from Herald Sun website.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Less smug highriser

A terrible fire in Hobart has destroyed the historic building that housed Myer, our largest Australian department store company.

I am so confident in our building's sprinkler system. How could our building burn? It is all concrete and has umpteen fire protection measures.

The mainland newspapers seem to have forgotten the fire a few hours afterwards. I have been dwelling on it and checking stuffs online.

The Hobart Myer store had sprinklers, but the fire started in a cavity between a ceiling and a floor where sprinklers could not put it out.

Given we stayed at this hotel a couple of years before ninety one people died when it caught fire, I am very aware of fires in high rise buildings.

I have seen fire sprinklers in action and I cannot imagine how they could not put any fire out. Sprinkler is a poor descriptive word. High pressure pumped water is sprayed out at force.

I assume the building had wooden floors and they fire caught hold so well in the old timber, the sprinklers could not put the fire out.

It is a worry and I will follow the investigation. ( just checked google for Jomtien fire and guess what, I have written about it before.)

Pic courtesy Hobart Mercury.

Gen X lie

It must be around twenty years plus since I first heard the term Generation X. The time period is now clearly defined but it was not originally. I thought I was perhaps borderline Gen X, on the cusp so to speak, tenuously, pretty close, near enough.

I told R I was Gen X and he believed me and has for many many years.

But the internet is not always your friend. Today R looked up the year I was born and discovered that I am a baby boomer and not even close to being Gen X.

The shame I feel is beyond comprehension. Pass me a self sharpening Wiltshire from its scabbard.

Love your real estate agent

An email arrived today from a friend who we spent some time with last night.

Just following up on our conversation last night about the house we went to the auction today . . . it was quoted at $630,000 . . . the opening bid was $750,000 !!!! - then after a battle between about four couples; it went to $865,000

They were just looking and knew the property would go for much more than the suggested price. I recall the suggested price range was $580,000 to $630,000.

How many adjectives can I come up with off the top of my head to describe real estate agents? Perhaps my view is coloured by having bought seven properties and sold five.

Lying, duplicitous, cheating, fraudulent, low life, smarmy.....you add some more.....if you can think of some positive words. The bad ones are known by everyone.

The New Foyer

The reno of the foyer is pretty well complete. In spite of some dissension before it was finished, I feel and most others do too, that it scrubbed up ok.

I am reluctant to post the pictures directly in my blog, but here is a link to them.

The framed fabric wall hanging is Japanese silk and it is very beautiful. It is by a local artist, as are the stunning black and white photographs of local Melbourne scenes. The photos are over ten years old. Princes Bridge Railway Station is still present in one picture. In another there is a magazine advertising poster at a newspaper booth and it has Princess Di on the cover looking very alive and well. The now not seen number 12 tram was running in Collins Street. Members would have liked to include a tram in St Kilda Road photo, but none were available.

Our pond had to be turned off due to the drought so something had to be done with it. It can revert back to being a pond when and if the water supply situation improves.

It is not a dramatic change to the area but the work has brought it forward in to the 21st century. Restrained and tasteful I s'pose.