Saturday, June 13, 2009

Stop the press

The Resident Judge of Port Phillip posts on the death of Constance E. Little. You heard it here second.

Freeview

What on earth is the ABC doing getting in to bed with commercial broadcasters and promoting Freeview?

Freeview is being promoted as something magical. It is only what any digital television or an analogue tele with a digital box attached receives. Apart from ABC and SBS, only Channel Ten has done anything with a digital channel, sports. Boring.

What they want you to do is go out and buy a Freeview recorder when they are released, yes the one that does not allow you to skip ads and the Freeview recorder will probably be poor value for money.

I am absoloutely mystified as to why ABC is promoting Freeview. I am also mystified why they are allowed to promote something that will lead to a commercial transaction with another party.

Of course, I would expect the commercial media to try and confuse and alarm the masses and then offer a one stop shop fixes all solution. That the ABC is involved is wrong.

And here is the news

Man bitten by snake in the very heart of Melbourne town. How green are we to have snakes in the centre of town.

A work mate is away from work, suffering from swine flu.

Bar Mat Mum cannot travel to the US. How lucky is the US. She cannot take her kiddies to Dizzyland. CUBS. Cashed up bogans.

Madge has adopted a black boy. Lad, go for the money when you get the chance and enjoy what should be a charmed life.

The thoroughly gorgeous Ronaldo is sold from Manchester football club to Real Madrid. He celebrates with Paris Hilton by discussing metaphysics until five in the morning. (I made the last bit up hey, it was really the state of the planet they discussed)

Related, because he too was done by Paris, poor ex major tennis player Mark Philippousis is broke.

Tracy Grimshaw, host of a controversial daily tabloid tv show who not only took on the sickening Gordon Ramsey but has now had offers to strip. There comes a time girl........

Sonny and Cher's daugther is up for a chop and some additions, literally.

Peter Andre sounds like a hen pecked husband. I reckon she has more money. I hope he takes Jordan for heaps.

The almost broke James Packer puts up another sufferer of the global financial crisis and sufferer of people not liking him anymore, in a premium hotel suite when they visit Oz soon. They can both chat about something called scientology. I lump that in with Baptists and Falun Gong. No science in getting a good rogering Tom. Email me for the the local rent boy service.

Queensland police tazered a bloke three times and he died. No criticism of them but police chief says he might have died from other causes. Yep, ok, I believe it was just a co-incidence.

Perth can build a new train line 72 kilometres long, up hill and down dale and underground right into the centre of town, for 1.2 billion dollars. In Melbourne, a 3.5 kilometre rail extension in the outer suburbs will cost 562 million, more than half of the cost of Perth's 72 km train line. Must be caviar on the lunch menu for the gangers.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Solving our Indigenous People Problem

And what a problem our indigenous people have under the influence of their invaders. Our fair state of Western Australia seems to have come up with an answer. This is not yet before the courts, only the coroner, and it does not matter yet when it is interstate anyway.

You just chuck your indigenous person into the back of a van, drive in the heat until the temperature in the back of the van reaches 50 deg C, and voila. One cooked and fried indigenous person who is no longer a problem. Look out if you drink and drive in Western Australia and your skin is not so white. The punishment could be severe.

Four Corners, Monday night, on your ABC. Best to watch, just in case you are getting a bit too comfortable in your four walled and safe abode.

Has Bins

Simon and Garfunkel are to visit and perform in Australia. Wouldn't they be in their seventies? Can people still sing in their seventies? Not terribly well I would have thought. Performing at Rod Laver Arena here. A seat with an impeded view, $100. Isn't any seat more than twenty metres away impeded?

Liza Minnelli is to visit our fair shores too, also to perform. I wouldn't mind seeing her perform. She is only 64. $100 to sit in a monster tennis court. No mention of impeded seat, but I'll give it a miss thanks.

We seem to get regular visits from Joan Rivers. Gosh, she is 76.

There are many I could add to the list, but what do the above have in common?

They all come from the Democratic Socialist Republic of the United States, a country of hundreds of millions of people. Why do they want to come and perform in a pissy little country of a mere twenty million? The weather?

You tell me! We have to pay someone in their prime, such as Tiger Woods, many millions of dollars just to come here. How many $$$ were paid to one P. Hilton. Am I on the right path here?

He looks so gay

It seems to be something only young people concern themselves about. Reuben is not the only person who has ever asked me. While I am not saying anything radical or outrageous, input or thoughts are welcome from any gay readers I may have. Of course straight readers are welcome too. I am very accommodating.

The question is simple. How can you tell if someone is gay or not, by looking at them or talking to them? The easy answer is of course you can't. Even at my age, I am prone to saying, oh, I didn't pick that one.

While personal grooming and clothing used to be a pretty well sure thing, it does not work in modern times. Should you come across a guy with excellent personal grooming and he is well turned out and you are strolling in Upper Kombuctor West, you might be right to have your suspicions, but guys like that are as common as blow flies in your inner city areas. It won't normally hurt to give them a decent glance. They dress to seek attention and admiration and they don't mind who it comes from.

But I think Reuben was thinking more along the lines of picking up another gay in the street. This is not hard. It is just a matter of meeting someone's eyes for slightly too long. Pausing just after passing. Looking back to see if they are looking back once past. Hesitating. Not my style really, but a smile might work. I have been the recipient of such a knowing smile on a tram.

If you are focused on someone and it seems like 'game on', you can be more obvious. A slight lick of the lips perhaps. Thumb in the pants pocket and hand framing the bits. A hand inside your shirt and a rub of your chest. Nowadays, with short shirts and low pants, a lean back to show some stomach is probably good, assuming it is in better shape than mine.

Perhaps I was thinking about this post this morning. I took some time to observe a couple of people this morning.

One was a guy who walked across the street. Well groomed, nicely dressed, good hair, smart sun glasses even though it was overcast. Not enough to be conclusive really, but the gleam of moisturiser on his face gave him away. GAY.

Next were four school boys on a tram, all from the same school and of a similar age, perhaps seventeen. Three sat together and one sat alone. Ok, loner, clue one. Very neatly dressed for a school lad. Tie was neat with shirt buttoned up to the collar, unlike the other three slobs. Something very shiny on his jacket, a badge. Maybe he is a prefect. Hair cut, good but the clincher, perfectly plucked and shaped eyebrows. I was sure. GAY. But then he left the tram and he had such a masculine walk and carriage that just did not fit in with him being gay.

So there you go. You just can't tell and no end of stereotypes will always hold true.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Fires Part 61 1/2

I worked Black Saturday. I was glued to the radio all day, listening to the information about the fires from local ABC radio.

I finished work at 6pm and drove home, still listening. It was so hot and I was not in a good frame of mind after spending a day in the 40 plus degree heat. We were going to the local pub with friends for dinner. R and I had a nasty little argument. He refused to go and I went on my own. He was in bed when I arrived home about 9pm. I tuned into the radio again until about midnight.

For the whole day, as they had for the previous week, the non specific warning had rolled on and on. I was well aware that the fires were big and serious, but at no point did I pick up that decent sized towns were under threat. The radio just droned on and on, enact your fire plan. Go early or stay and defend. (Insert town name), is under threat of ember attack. Residents should be aware that they may be threatened by a fire.

What actually happened was mega fires roared across certain areas, consuming everything in its path, houses, buildings, cars and people the same. It was only from peoples' own observations that some knew fire was coming.

The Royal Commission will come up with its conclusions, but I already have some of my own.

In these days of satellites in the sky, able to pinpoint anything, phone signals that travel over the air waves, phones that use a satellite signal, television, radio, sms and god forbid, the old fashioned fire siren, is it not possible for fire authorities to note the direction of the strong wind, see a big fire and tell folks in a town, there is a large fire approaching, pushed by very strong winds, the like of what we have never seen before.

Our official advice is to GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE.

Could no one see the fires and where they were headed and warn people? Seems not.

I slept fitfully that Saturday night, waking every so often to tune into the radio to hear what was happening.

By next morning, ABC Radio had reporters on the ground in Marysville. I can't remember what was said, but I had also heard about a fire in Bendigo where Sister and Little Jo were. I called her to see if she was ok, and she was, although she had her car packed are ready to go to the centre of town. I must have heard something about Marysville though, as I said to Sister, it looks like Marysville has gone. At that point, I had no idea of the death of nearly a couple of hundred people at various locations.

The last thing I would want CFA volunteers and DSE ground staff to think that I am being critical of them. Nope, the blame surely must lie with what I think has become a large paid bureaucracy at the top of or within the CFA and perhaps to a lesser extent, the DSE.

One person, looking at a screen showing incoming information from human and technical sources could have made a few phone calls to someone in charge in different areas and tell them to evacuate this and this and this town.

Now what shall I do. Watch surfer boys on Waikiki Beach, the horrendous traffic on the Sydney Harbour Bridge or a tiger giving birth at Amsterdam zoo, seeminly all a lot easier than fire watching.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I am incomplete

I feel like an incomplete person because I have never checked to see who Arianna Huffington is. I have never looked at her whatever, called the Huffington Post. I assume it is online. Am I the last person in the world to not know who Arianna Huffington is? She was menioned on tv tonight. I have heard of her for a long time. People I respect know about her. Do I really need to know who she is?

My life feels like it is collapsing around me, and it may well be, but if I find out about Arianna, will the knowledge make me happier or just more cyncial, jaded and disillusioned?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Nostalgia

Wallowing in nostalgia is a privilege of getting older, but is it really nostalgia if it happened before you were born? Probably.

Here is link to a blog with a post about the Spirit of Progress train. As well as the train being absolutely gorgeous, the details and the short embedded video are interesting.

The blog itself, I Wear a Hat is in itself is quite a find and I shall subscribe.

And just when too much nostalgia is not enough, Ann O'dyne recently pointed me in the direction of this blog, a gay guy in Murrumbeena who posts lots of scans from old homemaker magazines. Great photos and a good laugh, if slightly in horror.

Beer Mat Man

I adored this picture on the side of the our National Gallery of Victoria when it was advertising an art deco exhibition.

In a similar travel poster vein, I came across this beer coaster at a pub recently. Very nice. Ignore the gambling promotional writings.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Cheers Liz

It was the Queen's Birthday holiday here today. It isn't her actual birthday, but no matter, we like the day off. So from a republican, dearest Liz, may you have many more and long may you reign, just not too much longer over us.

We had a nice breakfast at Red Tongue, our preferred place, Madame Sousa's being full. Excellent service at Red Tongue. Where do they get them from? I am surprised at the expressions of support for royalty in Brunswick, but hey, every likes a queen.

Niece mentioned that the hanging bears mean a drug dealer working below. Not so sure about that. Poor bears.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Grumble grumble

What me? Me whinge? Nah.

Niece supposed to arrive 10am but did not show. 11am, we called her but went to voice mail. Left a message. Called Sis in Law, no answer. Dreams of a nice breakfast out disappeared. 11.30 niece rang back. Sorry, mix up, I won't be there until after 1pm now. We have something to eat and go out for a walk. Sis in Law and niece turn up at 3pm. We felt like we had wasted a day. We didn't actually, but it felt a bit like we were hanging around waiting. I will not show my displeasure as it is not worth causing bother. Sis in Law had to work this morning instead of the afternoon and niece failed to pass on the information to us.

We did go into town after Sis in Law left. It was too late to go to Brunswick Street. Myer had a stocktake sale happening. Bought some full price birthday cards. R spied a jacket he might have bought if niece and I had not talked him out of it. We then checked out hand held vacuum cleaners as our present one is held together with sticky tape and the batteries seem to be failing.

Our fave coffee place, The Wedge, in QV was closing. Damn. Ended up having a nice muffin and ghastly coffee at a place called Mrs Fields I think.

Onto Harvey Norman. Prices for hand held vacs similar to Myer. Pu tin the too hard basket for a time. I am a hard wearer out of ear buds for a Walkman or MP3 player. Phillips model in a cheap bin for $5. I'll have them. Electric razor, reduced from $74 to $29. My promise of faithfulness to my thirty four year old electric razor disappears. The new one is half the weight, 2/3 quieter and does the job a bit better. Why was it so cheap? I guess because it does not have batteries.

Officeworks for a mouse mat for the lappy. Mouse won't work on glass dining table.

Onto Woolworths for some ingredients for dinner. Niece is cooking. Ok noodle stir fry she made. I prefer R's cooking. He has had many years to develop cooking skill.

Something I had bought earlier was setting off alarms every time I entered or existed a shop. Only when I was leaving Woolworths at QV was I challenged. Lad asked to search my bag. I refused and kept walking. I heard him call a guard, but I had not noticed a two way radio on his person, I think he must have been pretending. Still, I was waiting for a heavy hand on my shoulder, but it did not eventuate. I never show any shop staff the contents of whatever bag I might have. Target staff asked me once before I paid for something. Clever. I left whatever I was going to buy behind and walked out. Can they not see my honest face?

Tomorrow, a Queens Birthday Dev Tea at our friends' in South Oakleigh. That'll be a barell, barel, baral...........lot of laughs without wine, not. I am rather fond of Dev Teas though.

I think we might have time to take niece to Brunny Street in the morning for breakfast.

Niece is being forced to watch an ABC telemovie at the moment. She is quite into it. She wants to be a park ranger. Oh the dreams of the young. I shall set her the task of finding out why gum leaves are shaped the way they are. See if she is up to the crease on her thinking and net searching abilities.

Sydney Travel

One week Sydney Yellow Travel Pass: All ferries along with buses and trains as far out as we would want to go - $50 plus possibly using the airport train, an extra approx $20 return.

or

Five day Sydney Pass: All ferries including River Cats, all Sydney buses, City Rail trains with the red zone, Hop on hop off Bondi and City Explorer buses, train from airport to City return, discounts at museums and other attractions - $150. We will be in Sydney for six nights and so probably won't need public transport the first and last days, the train part is not part of the five day period.

Tempting, but I am not sure. Maybe we will just pay as we go. Day tickets for trains, buses and ferries cost $17, a lot more than we would pay in Melbourne for a tram, bus and train daily ticket. Unfortunately, the Sydney tram and Monorail are not included in the day ticket. I can't imagine we will want a daily ticket every day though. Plus, it needs to be a relaxing holiday, not a race to make sure we get full value from periodical tickets.

I guess I need to plan out a bit more what we shall do in Sydney.