Friday, February 06, 2009
But it means a lot more to we Melburnians. Our present state government, and the last, believe heartily in Private Public Partnerships. I believe in them up to a point. I am quite happy to have private companies run food stalls at our railway stations. But oh, it gets a bit troublesome when a PPP builds a railway station.
Well, I am only thinking this. I am not really sure. Southern Cross Station is pretty good and it was built by a PPP. There was a bit of fuss, but not too much and I don't care to know the details of the intricacies of the contracts etc.
Well, I wasn't interested but since Transport Minister Kosky has buried the papers concerning the PPP and construction of Southern Cross Station until 2058, I am suddenly very interested. Will Little Jo be glowering over her reading spectacles in 2058 at the outrageous PPP who constructed Southern Cross Station. Neither me, Kosky or Brumby will be around to blame and Uncle Andrew won't have to answer the question, "How did you allow this to happen?"
Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then best bury the duck in case anyone notices it is a duck.
I have seen ivy burnt before, but never to this extent and this lot was shaded by a large tree.
Tough old agapanthus, fried, baked, cooked, whatever you like. Poor Aggie.
This is just not the type of plant that burns easily.
Another toughie, and it only gets morning sun.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
While we complain about our Melbourne public transport, especially during the extremely hot weather last week when the train system all but collapsed, it was interesting to see that there were massive disruptions to London's public transport after heavy snowfalls.
Oddly, although other European countries suffered similar weather, only London's transport fell in a heap. Might it be that we followed the English model of privatising public transport and so we suffer in a similar manner?
Heat in Melbourne and snow in London. Who would have thought?
Personally, I was not overly impressed with the London Underground. While I was so excited to be using the LU, the stations were drab, gloomy and hot. The trains were very hot and rough riding. There seemed to be a lot of stationary waiting between stations.
But it has a truly marvellous coverage of London and you can get to wherever you want to go pretty well by the LU without a long wait for a train.
There are some fantastic blogs and internet stuffs on the London Underground if you have a bit of a search. I came across this piece below linked to this blog, which is an extract from an article in The Guardian. Keep in mind this was back in 2000. I am sure a lot has changed, or maybe not.
Apparently the money was reasonable so Jesse got the job
"I took the job in good faith, with a half-formed plan to let all the fare evaders off, take night walks in the tunnels and even be friendly to the weary public. I was, after all, one of them, born and bred in the shadow of the underground roundel, and I had this dream of a station where the locals would know we were on their side - a place where only tourists would buy tickets and we would have a friendly word for the regulars at the end of their journey."
Obviously Jesse could not fulfil this plan!!!!
"I found that the general public seemed to be, for some unfathomable reason, pissed off all the time. Once, early in my career, a man laden with luggage approached me at the barrier and asked to be allowed through the gate. Naively, I asked for his ticket. Luckily, the gentlemen was happy to put me straight, at no charge. "You f?***&%g c**t. You want to see my f?***%g ticket do you. You want me to put all my bags down to show you my f?*&&g ticket? I'll show it to you when I'm f?***g through, you f?***g c**t . . ." Meekly suggesting that showing me the ticket either side would require him to put down his luggage made no difference. .....
"Rudeness comes in many forms, from the tramp who wants to beg in your ticket hall to the young whippersnapper who wants to get himself and 13 mates through the gates with one child's travelcard. There is also the faux-rebel who wants to prove himself by being rude to a uniform. This kind of person saunters straight past you at the barrier as though he is hard and bunking the fare and then, when you pull him up, gives a great big sneer and produces his monthly travelcard."
That's top I must remember that one myself. Anyway, Jesse continues:
"You soon develop tactics to maintain your self-esteem. Some are noble, but the most effective is simply to be ruder, faster - which is no mean feat - and the experts at this game are the booking clerks, secure behind bulletproof glass. The clerk's life is an exercise in frustration - trapped at the window, doing a job that requires concentration but little actual intelligence, faced with hordes of incomprehensible and indecisive idiots who are all trying to maximise the amount of effort you have to put in just to sell them a ticket. After days or, to be honest, hours of £2.10 tickets bought by credit card and unintelligible tourists on top of a rush-hour crowd of miserable Londoners, the more sensitive clerk starts to wilt, and only dishing out tongue lashings, not always appropriately, can restore his sense of pride.
"Why are you always so rude?" one customer asked the ticket clerk on my duty. "The others here are always nice." "Well come back when they're here then," he replied. On another occasion a customer couldn't believe what he had been hearing. "I've never heard such rudeness in all my life," he exclaimed. "You want to get out more," came the response.
Jesse to be fair realises that beyond the "rudeness", "acute stupidity" and "braindeadness" of passengers, we've actually got a lot to put up with:
"Of course, the familiarity Londoners have with the tube tends to be familiarity with overpricing, overcrowding and under-running. The consequences of 30 years of efficiency savings has left a skeletal system that has no slack to accommodate the inevitable mishaps. In addition, the inexorable rise in passenger numbers means that even a fully functioning train service is bursting at the seams......
"The current crisis on the national rail system is a sure indicator of the direction the underground is taking as management fragments and the staff are required to be multiskilled, in order that one person can do three people's jobs. If the underground has avoided the catastrophes of the train network, it is only because it has not yet succumbed to the full-blown idiocy of privatisation."
Investigators believe the 77-year-old driver's foot slipped on the accelerator of his station wagon as he turned into a driveway at Hampton East about 2.15pm today.
Children on holiday narrowly escaped being mown down when an out-of-control car smashed into a Sydney convenience store, killing a passenger. The 71-year-old male driver suffered fractures to his ribs, knee and pelvis and a dislocated hip after
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
But no, some took it upon themselves to harass the Aleph (gay and lesbian Jewish org) stand at carnival, and some took it upon themselves to harass the Young Aleph, along with Aleph at Pride March.
Not the time nor the place and besides, who knows what they think as individuals.
Just not cricket, what!
What a great effort by the West Australian police. A pretty kid, just starting an apprenticeship has a couple of eckie tabs on her and they spook her into swallowing them all at once.
And the port they came through to get into Australia or where they were made?
The financier of drug production?
The chemical company?
You may very well wish that your kids don't take stuff like that and nor do I want them to, but there is a pretty good chance that they will at some point. Is this how you want police to police drugs use and deal with your sons and daughters?
Well done WA police and finely sympathetic follow up comments by WA Premier Colin Barnett who quotes that old bag of bones with skin stretched over it, Nancy Reagan, 'Just say no'.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
A friend who we were going to meet up with arrived at Fitzroy Street at 3.30 and called to find out where we were. The march started at 5.00 and that was the time we intended to be there. He sulked and went home, seeming to blame us for his error.
We decided to stay only for the parade and to cheer Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo as they marched with the Rainbow Families group. We saw them briefly before the march and almost missed them in the march. They too headed off home as soon as the parade finished.
What is it about Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon? I have never heard anyone receive such heart felt applause as she did as she led a group of perhaps forty police, preceded by the police pipe band. She warmly greeted everyone back. When she marched a few years ago after taking up the role of CC, she was cheered, but this time there was a real warmth about the interaction.
We forgot our water bottles, so in the bit of time before the march, we slipped into the IGA to get drinks. Oh, alcohol, I spied. We bought a can of vodka and citrus each, and sat on a stone wall to drink them. Along comes the husband of an ex workmate of R's who lives near us. His reddened face convinced me that as he is married, he can't possibly be gay. Daughter, he stammered. Just around the corner. Lives in a flat. Bringing her a fan. Just wondering what the fuss is about. Yeah, ok.
Then a familiar face walked by, body attached Brian before you jump in. Looks like Reuben. Can't be. Hair is not quite right. Surely he would not spoil his north side cred by visiting south of the river. But it was said Reuben and he marched in the parade. Good on him. I don't think he was in the Prostitutes Collective group, but not 100% sure.
Ok, I did only think it was Reuben. If I was sure, I would have said hello. Confirmed later.
So, as the parade finished, we headed for the tram home against the tide of people who were heading to the entertainments in the Catani Gardens.
This was all the photo we got of Little Jo.
I have taken plenty of photos other years, so I did not bother much this time. Here is the Police Pipe Band approaching where we were standing.
Monday, February 02, 2009
The intention is to assist route 16 with weekend loading. That the 16 with a twelve minute service barely copes with weekend loading is well known. It struggles with its Sunday 15 minute service before 10am, and with 30 minute service on Sunday night. Saturday is not so bad normally, but any event in St Kilda will see very heavy loading.
Ideally, there should be enough trams and staff to just increase the 16 service interval on Sunday but no one wants to pay for that. So it is good thinking to utilise the 3 to assist.
Unfortunately it means around ten minutes trip time added to those who want to use the 3 to get to Carlisle St or further afield. You might beat this by some tram hopping. Worse, it leaves only the 67 Carnegie tram to service quite a busy stretch of St Kilda Road, that is between St Kilda Junction and Carlisle Street.
As per the Metlink website, the previously existing 15 minute Sunday service interval for the 67 tram is still the same. That mean a long wait for people on this stretch who were used to a tram every 7.5 mintutes. Once the changes are well known, there will be lot of extra walking and tram hopping.
Another alteration is the route 79 tram will no longer go to St Kilda Saturday afternoons or Sundays until the evening. It will operate as a route 78 to Brighton Road. I expect this is to elimenate delays to through trams at St Kilda while also help with late running of the 79 on Saturday afternoons and Sundays.
It is a pity that the 16 tram service can't be just improved to help with loading, but in my opinion, it is not a bad work around.
While it hasn't appeared on destinations yet, and after the disastrously incompetent last reprogramming, fingers crossed, the new weekend route 3 will be route 3A.
There is also chatter about a redevelopment of the area at the intersection of Acland and Carlisle Streets where trams intersect and the route 79 terminates.
Even more chatter about increasing the route 96 service on weekends by doubling the service with the slotted in trams travelling only to the city and not to, as they usually do, East Brunswick. We won't see that. No spare trams and no spare staff and no money for either.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
"CBF", for example, is short for "can't be bothered", "LOL" is "laugh out loud", and its more energetic cousin, ROFL, means "roll on the floor laughing".
I get ROFL and LOL, but how do you get 'can't be bothered' from CBF. It is not a Declanism is it LS? A mistype?
Ah, I've got tit. Can't Be Fagged. They just don't want to offend us.