Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gay Chat

The absolute the last clearance post for today.

This is a queer thing. Gay.com chat rooms for Melbourne are dead. R uses gay.com but clearly for overseas chat. Gay.com would not work on this big computer and R complained even though it would work on his laptop. I did what I could and then sent an email to our isp. They offered advice, but I had already done all I could. Suddenly gay.com stated working again. I expect our isp bars it at times, and then realises that they have made a mistake and allows it to work again.

Gaydar seems to be the place to go now. I am well past chat on gay sites I can't cope with the sincerity. I do use the Recon network to communicate, rarely actually, with serious people.

Show us yours

More deck clearance even. I had a few goes at this post to tone down the crudity it was in its initial form and get it into shape. I can't recall where I was going with it. Perhaps I am just not passionate enough about breasts. I did at least delete the pic of the big black mamas who all had theirs resting on a table. That was back in May too.

Breasts, they are funny things hey. Apart from the bleeding obvious, I don't know a lot about them. I recall some fun with them when I was a teen. Well, not that much fun really. They were interesting an observational way.

An Asian born workmate once told me that Asian guys like women with small breasts, as they don't sag so much much when the women get older.

At times breasts do really hit you in face, so to speak.

What I find interesting about them is there are no rules about their natural state. A woman of a certain age seems to be able to have very firm and tight breasts, while a young girl can have breasts like jelly. I would guess the older woman might have had them, 'fixed up', but not all.

Bikes passing trams

More deck clearance. This one from May when it may have been relevant to what was in the news at the time.

I am not an apologist for cyclists, but fining them a couple of hundred dollars plus for slowly passing a stationary tram in the city is absurd. I advise the Victorian Police to pay attention to cars passing stationary trams at speed when passengers are getting on and off when the tram has open doors and umpteen lights flashing and a life is at threat. One of you who read this will be up to speed on archived court cases. I can only recall mid eighties, where a female driver passed a stationary tram in Burke Road, Camberwell, when someone was getting off or on the tram. She killed the person. Sentence, a few months license suspension and a decent fine.

Over to you VicPol. I am sure you observing what is posted here, as you are in so many places on the net.

Surviving Childhood

Bit of deck clearance happening. I was going to do something with this back in March. Below is as far as I got. I have lost my thoughts on the matter.

http://itaintalwaysmylife.blogspot.com/2010/03/way-it-was.html

I am surprised I survived childhood.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Aunty Age

It is not the first time I have noted this. The Age online is just so far behind the Herald Sun. ABC Radio called it at six o'clock. Herald Sun has it online but all The Age can say is,

It is not yet known if the shooting is connected to the death of crime family patriarch Macchour Chaouk, who was fatally shot this morning.

The Age may very well want to verify information before it is published, but they better get moving a bit faster.

God forbid, earlier in the week had to read Sydney's Daily Tele to find out about the proposed rail link. No mention of it at all on SMH online.

Cross your fingers but don't hold your breath.

Forget the Melbourne to the airport rail link. I will if you will. It will not be as necessary if below is built.

What we need is a high speed train to connect our large population capital cities, stopping at large regional cities along the way. Here is my suggestion and no nonsense about it running on existing tracks or going via the east coast. It needs to be new and dedicated track but can still follow alignments. It needs to go where the people are. Start Melbourne, next stop Seymour, next Albury/Wodonga, Canberra, Wollongong, Sydney, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Trip time Melbourne to Sydney from a central point, about four hours, extremely competitive against a one hour ten minute flight from our major airport on the outskirts of Melbourne and in a lot more comfort.

Is Australia going to be the last continent in the world to have a high speed train?

Argentina, 300 km/h
China, 430 km/h
Europe, 320 km/h
England, 300 km/h
Japan 300 km/h
Taiwan 300 km/h
Russia 250 km/h
Turkey 250 km/h
United States even, 240km/h

And good ole Oz, she'll be right mate, 160 km/h, except the track between Melbourne and Sydney is busted, and so no trains are running for the foreseeable future.

Now what would you pay to use a high speed train from Melbourne to Sydney return, or vice-versa?

Use me as an example. Many have.

The quickest I can get to Sydney. Leave home at 10.45 by taxi, half hour trip and some allowance for traffic congestion. Arrive airport 11.15 for a noon flight. Arrive Sydney 1.15. Train to centre of Sydney, maybe 45 minutes including wait time, 2.00. Personally I would have left home earlier to allow extra time for coffee or delays. You can say the trip took 4 hours, exactly the same as a high speed train would take with only time to get to the city high speed train station to add, say 30 mins to be safe. If I were to drive and use the long term car park at the airport, add another 30 mins and we are getting up near 5 hours by air.

Cost, airfare maybe $90 if I bought a ticket at a special price. Taxi to airport, $70, train ticket from Sydney airport to the city, maybe $20. Add on cost for high speed train, only the cost of a tram ticket to the city, $3. Total for flight, $180 or return $360.

Canberra could be Sydney's second airport, one hour away by high speed train. It can take that long to get to Sydney City from the airport on a busy Friday night.

To go in comfort by high speed train, I reckon I would pay $400 return and arrived un-stressed and in a good and happy relaxed mood, the opposite of how I feel when I arrive by air.

Will it make a profit? Who cares. It is public transport, convenient for the public.

How would it be funded? Nowadays, via a Public Private scheme I suppose.

I have deleted it and so I can't refer back to it, but Jayne sent me a clip of a parliamentary proposal from the early 1900s where the government was looking to expand Victoria's railways by borrowing £1,000,000. That's a million pounds if you can't read the old currency. Imagine how much £1,00,000 of 1910 currency is in today's dollars.

The first Shinkansen, bullet train, ran in Japan in the early 1960s. The bureaucrats knew it would cost more than parliament had been told, but they weren't concerned as they knew once the people used the train, there would be no going back.

Now the vested interests. Who won't like the idea? Airlines of course, taxis, airport buses, Sydney airport to city train, City Link, Vic Roads, airport owners, road builders. But whole new businesses will spring up to service the high speed train.

That we have to put up with bastard air travel when we could travel on a comfortable train is disgraceful compared to what the rest of the world has done or is doing. I could do some environmental impact searching, but that is enough for now.

The first Japanese Shinkansen, 1962, by Daniel G.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tech Head Tony

I very much enjoyed seeing Anthony Abbott struggling with technology details under the stern and well boned up Kerry O'Brien on the 7.30 Report. I am not too critical of him for not knowing tech details, no matter that his plan is hardly adventurous. More on that in another post.

But naturally we want to have a laugh at Anthony Abbott's expense.

Try this for size.

http://dailylolz.lolpolz.com/2010/08/tony-on-broadband-policy-its-all-geek.html

Across the Road

Cafe Vue has new outdoor heating of a type I have never seen before. The flame spurts up a glass tube to a height of about two metres. They don't throw out as much warmth as a normal outdoor heater buy they sure look good, especially at night from our balcony. Oh yes, our new local Post Office has opened too, plus another convenience store almost next door to an existing one. That makes three now within a minute's walk, when for a time after the large 711 closed, we had none. Sorry about the photos. I can't do night photography and the other was with the phone in a restricted space.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Check your mail

Mother was puzzled to still have the letter she had written to me in her handbag when she returned from the shops. She clearly remembered posting the letter. It slowly dawned upon her that she had posted her blood pressure tablet, also in an envelope in her bag.

She is not going senile. She has always done things like that. Now, should you happen to receive a tablet in an unmarked envelope in your mail, give me hoi if you please.

The Voice of Julia

This is not political. I hated the way ex PM John Howard spoke. I thought he was an embarrassment to Australia. Menzies was statesman like and a person of his time and spoke like educated Australians did then. God Gough was wonderful. Fraser, whose politics I did not like, sounded good on the international stage. Hayden was ok. Hawke, not great but he made up for it with his charm. Social climber Keating was ok too. Howard has a terrible accent and lousy voice. He just was so not how I wanted the world to hear Australians.

That brings us to Krudd. Tight lipped technocrat speak. While I did not see him as embarrassing us internationally, I did not like the way he spoke at all.

Anthony Abbott as a possible PM, well, passable almost and certainly has a better delivery than Krudd.

Of course I must not leave out our present Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. There was some fuss about her referring to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as Misterabbit, rather than Mister Abbott. She does have quirks in her speech and she seemed genuinely surprised by the accusation that it was deliberate. I used to find her voice very grating, but whether with intent or not, she seems to have modified her voice and accent, especially her voice. Maybe I have just become used to her voice, but I don't think so.

Good diction is often often associated with a superior manner of speaking or a more English accent, but I find it not always to be so. Some of the clearest Australian accented speakers have quite broad accents and I put Julia among them.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nylex

The Nylex Clock is still busted. So sayeth Jayne. It is indeed busted. Will we ever see its return? It wasn't long ago that a lot of money was spent on its repair and upgrade and it was switched on with much excitement and relief by those who love it. But Nylex went bust and the clock was switched off.

Now I doubt Planning Minister Justin Madden could ever salvage any respect from those of us who have seen and will see more destruction of our history and historical buildings and streetscapes, but he might earn an iota of respect if he could get the clock turned back on. C'mon Jussy, how about it? And while you are at it, there is a bridge up north a bit that needs a nail or two.

Bad Idea Libs

Who's clever idea was it to use Andrew Robb as a front person to get the Liberal Party elected as our new government? His recent mental illness and break from parliament is irrelevant except to mention I am pleased he has recovered and got his life back on an even keel. (I deleted this last sentence, but I have reinstated it before anyone accuses me of being unsympathetic to someone who has had a mental illness)

However, he is a most unappealing front person for the Libs and I really question their wisdom of using him as a front person. Yes, he can talk the figures and sprout the party line, but not in any kind of way that could possibly described as warm or convincing.

I have my faults and I will wear them because generally I know what they are, so negative comments about me come as no surprise to me. They are usually self recognised faults.

Maybe Andrew Robb isn't dour, cold and humourless, but that is how he comes across to me. I will call it, a bad decision Libs. Bishop the younger is much more appealing but for goodness sake, don't dig up Bishop the older. She is only going to catch votes from aged wealthy middle class men who have school m'arm spanking fantasies. They already vote for the Liberal Party.

From the Mouth of Babes #36, #65 and #79

Said I, 'Little Jo, are you excited to be moving into your new house and your new bedroom?'

Little Jo: 'I have had many bedrooms already'. Indeed she has.

---

Little Jo: 'I don't want to see Taylah', a playmate her age.

Sister: 'That is not very nice Little Jo'.

Little Jo: 'I am not very nice'.

---

Little Jo as we set out to walk along the Geelong waterfront: 'Mummy, you stay here. They (meaning us) will take me and look after me'.

Me: 'Mummy is coming with us for a walk'.

Little Jo at me: 'No, you take me. She can stay here'.

What googly has been looking at this week past

I have been googlying plenty of things this week. This is normal. Here are a few of things I recall.

Our friend in Japan is taking a holiday down south to Nagano. Heard of it? I had, but I could not recall why. It was where the 1998 Winter Olympics were held.

There was the great emu war post World War I in Western Australia, pointed out to me by Timespanner. It sounds like it was a bit Dad's Army. As implausible to me it sounds, there was also the great cat cull in the Diamantina, south west Queensland. Seems to be true.

Of course a lot googlying took place to write the Shinkansen post. In fact it would be rare that I write a post without googlying something to get a fact wrong.

But what I found extremely interesting was our Yarra River. Unlike Sydney with its boring open water, Melbourne has a river flowing right next to the CBD. As I travel over Princes Bridge in a tram, if it has been raining, I look down to check the level of the river, and then pull myself up with the reminder that it is tidal as the river passes Melbourne, I think.

Googly gave me the answer, tidal up to Dights Falls in Abbotsford. Do you know we have a Yarra Riverkeeper?

From memory, there used to a small waterfall at the bottom of Elizabeth Street before the river was widened for the turning basin, so the river was only tidal up to Elizabeth Street.

Of course our Yarra River sadly does not sparkle blue but more often than not looks brown. We are told that it is a natural state, caused by sedimentary run off. Really?

The Yarra banks and its catchments were all forest. All run off would have been filtered through forest mulch, grasses and water plants. It would normally be pure crystal clear water flowing down the Yarra. The sedimentary run off must be from land we have farmed or developed. Of course we have to farm and develop, but it could now be done without such detriment to the river.

The last time the Yarra flooded near the City was 2005. This photo from Picasa is by Frank. I would guess high water flow coincided with a high tide.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Family First puts down gay families

Of course always, family first, but not Family First. It appears they may well be wiped out the forthcoming election. Not a moment too soon.

This is Queensland Family First Senator Wendy Francis. She looks kind of ok, thanks to bit of 'work' I expect.


But no, to quote her, “Children in homosexual relationships are subject to emotional abuse. Legitimising gay marriage is like legalising child abuse.”

Hmm, I have a bit of a vested interest in this subject. While I care not two hoots for gay marriage, what she says is outrageous, in the best tradition of Fred Nile. She should be before the courts.

Then there is some absurd pastor in the United States who wants Lego banned because it teaches children that the Lego pieces can fit together in many different ways and they learn that this is normal and put this into practice in their sexual relations when they are adults. I say the more ways we can fit together, the more fun we will have. Imagine doing it in missionary position with the same person for fifty years. Yawn.

Not how I wanted to spend Sunday

Things happened quickly so far as installing a split system air con unit for Mother. Tradie Brother teed someone up and kapow, it is done, at a very cheap price. Tradie Brother wasn't there when the air con unit was installed. Mother knows R is usually home Saturday afternoons and she knows how to push his buttons. She rang him in a distressed state while I was at work.

She didn't want it. Money would have been better spent elsewhere. We shouldn't be spending money on her. The air con is faulty. It is stopping and starting. It is noisy. Then R gets distressed at her distress. Her own children just make an occasional sympathetic sound when we get such calls, and spend the time otherwise thinking about the chemical components of water or mentally writing this week's grocery shopping list.

What she really wanted was a visit from us and we did. The air con unit is fine, it will heat and cool better and be cheaper to run than the old one. She is keeping the old in the wall model in case the new one fails. Good, so we don't have to fix up the wall if it was to be removed. She is going to hang a painting in front of the old one.

She needed reassurance that the new one was working ok and some tips on using it. She must have spent Saturday night staring at it and listening to it and then went to bed to read the air con manual. While we were there and she was talking, she did not notice what the air con was doing.

Before we arrived, we went to a nearby carwash to clean R's car and then to the local bakery to buy lunch for us and Mother. I pruned Mother's roses, checked that the circular saw she had found in the garage worked and could be sold, and that the motor mower would start, which she is also going to sell. I explained to her about us paying her rates and and for any major appliance that breaks down.

ABI Brother arrived once to deliver some meds for Mother, and then a few minutes later returned because he needed her to apply some ointment to his back. Silly boy, he knew we were going up to his place shortly.

ABI's sewerage had blocked up and flowed into his house. He had the roots in the drains cleared by a plumber and the carpet had to be replaced, his insurance company paying most of the cost. He still has to have four offending trees cut down. They are described as poplars and they are a poplar shaped, but they look more like some kind of willow tree to me. Regardless, both species are bad for drains and they must go.

So we went to check his new carpet and to deliver our old LCD monitor to him. Mucked that up as I did not bring a connecting cord. I had forgotten that CRT monitors have a hard wired cable.

We went around straightening pictures on the walls. Mother nagged ABI Brother about the state of his garden and the cleanliness of his windows. Forget it Mother, he is just not interested in the garden. He jumped with glee at my comment about it being survival of the fittest in his garden. Otherwise his place was neat and tidy and he busied himself making sandwiches for work lunch the next day.

Ole unpulished post 101. Arrogance of foreign phrases

(I didn't publish this one because firstly it wasn't topical, secondly it needed editing, thirdly because I did not want to offend someone in particular).

I don't mind the odd foreign word inserted in books. A word or two of French and I can usually get the meaning even if I don't know the French word. Such usage can often add to writing.

What I don't like is when a whole sentence is written in another language. Let us stick with French. Such a writing technique was often used by English writers who assumed their readers were well educated and had learnt French. What arrogance it was of them to attempt to isolate the working classes.

French is a fine language and very useful if you are in France, parts of Canada and some other tinpot dictatorships around the world, and ok, the Olympics.

But there is a good reason why the French set up an organisation to protect their language from foreign influences. It is not the lingua franca of the world. English is and it is spoken well, badly or barely by more people in the world than any other language. English embraces new words, foreign words, changing meanings and untold accents. It is a very flexible language.

Move 27/05 to 08/08

Sunday, August 08, 2010

What is this thing called, love?

Tradie Brother put the glass brick window in and built this balcony contraption at a house in St Martins Lane in South Yarra. What do you reckon it is?

This Week's Flowers

Strange. The orchids look almost pink and yet a week later they are still alive and are decidedly dark red. They came from Prahran Market and are usually $10 or more, but last week they were only $8, so only a couple of dollars more than our usual flower budget.