Saturday, September 10, 2011
This mural is in Cato Street, which runs off Commercial Road on western side of Pran (sic) Central and although I was initially alarmed when I could not see any immediately recognisably gay person, I did spy a gay couple after a bit. You name a type of person in Melbourne, and there is a good chance you can see them in Commercial Road. It used be nothing for old Greek ladies on their way to the market with their shopping jeeps passing by still dressed from the night before drag queens having breakfast outdoors. Apparently it is not an area for girrrlzzz. Perhaps they are represented in a Northcote or Fitzroy mural.
With limited space, photo stitching was not terribly successful, but you get the idea.
Friday, September 09, 2011
Little Jo is dancing around the room while R is busy with some Little Jo craft on the making table. Sister and the Bone Doctor are at the football and Little Jo, I and R made pizzas for dinner. There is some left over for the girls when they return.
Abba has finished playing and now it is Elton John singing, I'm Still Standing. I feel such a wave of sadness come over me. Is it a sad song? It sounds quite upbeat. I'm glad I don't suffer from depression but only feel sad at times. I've had a high achieving couple of days off work. All is good in my world. Why the sads? Probably because I am a priviledged westerner and I don't have to worry about the wherewithal to get food to eat tomorrow. I have the luxury of feeling emotional and sad.
Anyway, if this clip was filmed in 1983, I am surprised at the homoeroticism, with some token female scenery.
"Steeped in traditional magic and innocent of modern economies, PNG's citizens prove easy marks for Ponzi schemes which proliferate throughout the country,'' the embassy observed. "Now it's election time … and the politicians are dusting off their bottles of snake oil … it's an appalling spectacle of disregard for governance.''
In another report before the 2007 election, PNG's most recent national poll, the US embassy memorably reported that "the pork has hit the fan" as Sir Michael Somare reallocated ministerial portfolios to ensure that his cronies were well placed to buy political support.
Thursday, September 08, 2011
'This new (renovated) computer is no effing good. It won't get sites. It won't do anything. It was fine before it was upadated (it wasn't), but now it won't do anything (it was fine except for one site)'. He expends all his patience at work and has no inclination to be patient when he is home.
'Darling, sweetie, love of my life, show me what you mean'.
City Link seemed to be the problem. It had gone into what I describe as 'safe mode'. In Firefox it mostly timed out. In IE, it showed stuff, but in a simple way, and he could not add money to his account.
Well, this is serious as I need to use City Link (toll road) in two days time. I hate one beep from the Etag (electronic device to charge a toll fee), let alone multiples.
R has spent an hour trying to get it work. I never do anything like that. If I site doesn't work, I go on and do something else and go back to it later. R unrealistically expects when he sits at a computer to use the internet, it works. Yes, he is very unreasonable, but he possibly did not have anything else to do on the computer, whereas I have a permanent backlog.
Before work this morning I checked City Link's website, and it was working well. I told R. He came home tonight and again it was back in its safe mode. He persisted, only to discover he could only top up his account with Diners Club or Amex. He got on the phone, and naturally as the website wasn't working, there was a long wait for a customer service person. He topped up his account over the phone.
8.34pm 07/09/11 it is fine, but too late. R is quite right to be peed orf with the City Link website. It should have decent backup and not fail so easily, twice in two days.
I saw Rita Erlich once at a cabaret performance at a place in Hawthorn. I can't remember who was performing, or what the venue was, but Rita was in the company Elizabeth Chong. (remembered later with some help from R, it was Capers and we saw Stan Munro, a female impersonator in the vein of Danny La Rue)
While born in China, Elizabeth came to Australia at a young age. Her father invented the Australian dim sim, which many of us treasure as a fast snack food. She grew up near Melbourne's Victoria Market, where her father a fruit and vegetable seller, had his dim sim factory. Her father opened a restaurant at some point and one of the staff he gave a start to, a young lad called Gilbert Lau, went on to become the entrepreneur of the Melbourne institution, The Flower Drum.
As a bored Balwyn housewife, instead of taking to Bexs Powders and the Vickers bottle, Elizabeth started doing cooking demonstration fund raisers for the school her children attended. Her cooking school evolved from that and the rest is history.
There is another famous Melbourne foodie connection for Elizabeth and that is Stephanie Alexander, who had been more successful in Australia with teaching good food eating habits to children than Jamie Oliver. Elizabeth is older than Stephanie, so it is unlikely that she taught Stephanie the art of Chinese cooking, but Elizabeth did teach Stephanie's mother.
Later edit: I should have made mention of her significant award for one of her books. She won the Prix La Maille as International Cookbook of the Year.
So, Elizabeth, you turned eighty in May this year. I takes me 'at orf to you as a Melbourne icon.
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
We walked through the interior of Fed Square. I don't know what these fabric drops were for, but plenty of people were taking photos. I brushed past one and it was the lightest fabric you can imagine.
Out into Flinders Lane, I puzzled about what business was run by McDonalds of Sydney and Wellington. Google is not always your friend. More puzzling was that its Melbourne presence was not evident in any way apart from it actually being here.
Ours is a Daikin. Although we had a problem with it in early days, for some reason the circuit board on the exterior part became damp, it is now nine years old and still working very well. It was not especially cheap, I don't think Daikens are. Mother's is only one year old and hers is a cheapie and not a patch on ours.
I am sure they are online calculators to work out the size of the unit you need.
But what you really need is an inverter air con unit. I don't know the tech stuff about them, but what I understand is that instead of the compressor cutting in and out, it speeds up and slows down, making it more energy efficient, and more comfortable and less noisy inside. The maximum exterior decibels the exterior part registers as 65db, relatively quiet.
I really would advise you, don't go for the cheap when you are buying a split system air conditioning unit.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Btw, have I ever mentioned that when I was nineteen, I got my Valiant up to 97 miles per hour (157km/h) on a straight stretch of road? I can't define valve bounce, but that is what the engine did. I was so disappointed that I could not crack the ton. The VF 225 cubic inch hemi straight six twin venturi carby motor would just not do it. I should have bought bigger wheels for the car. It would have done it then.
Back then, there was a speed limit, but I think it was variable depending on the conditions. I really can't remember. It was fun to go fast though. I can remember my grandfather taking us in his Zephyr over the Hanover Street rail overpass in Oakleigh at a speed where the car seemed to leave the ground. But my father never drove too fast, as he weaved his drunken way home from the pub. He was a safe and conservative driver.
Ah, the good old days. Some remember them as such and decry the present nanny state. I am not so sure that they were really always the good old days.
So today's post will be photo based. It is hard to believe that these murals have been on these walls for so long, yet they aren't spoiled by graffiti. This one stands alone.
It was pointless to try and do a photo stitch in such limited space. These two photos make up one mural. Of course you can probably see the area where the photos were taken by looking at names on the murals, but has anyone seen them before? Altona Beach main street, opposite the pier, is a quiet and friendly local shopping centre, albeit with some trendy cafes. The sun was shining with little breeze as I sat on a bench at the beach and ate my chicken sandwich.
Monday, September 05, 2011
S'cuse my French. I translate the sign as Wood and Coal. Charbons is not to be confused with charabanc. There is no connection, well for some reason there was in my head.
I have seen this site myself. I don't know why I did not take a photo. Maybe I did not have a camera. This rather good photo is by Adam Maher and is published on Deviant Art. It is near to the old Abbotsford Convent, which for want of an accurate description, I will just call the convent an arts hub.
I knew this sign was painted for a scene in a movie but I never bothered to find out which one. However, I heard the other day which movie it was and it rather makes sense.
The movie was The White Mouse, a biographical tv movie about the late Nancy Wake's time as a British agent in the French Resistance during WWII. While she was actually born in New Zealand, as we do, Australia now claims her as our own as she grew up in here. While I have never been fond of her when I have seen her being interviewed or some of her attitudes to society, I certainly recognise her as a war heroine.
Nancy Wake died on the 7th of August, this year.
Check further. Three termini at Docklands, so it rather depends where you want to go. There is a minor terminus for route 30,which come from St Vincents Plaza along Latrobe Street. But it only runs weekdays with a twelve minute service and terminates on the edge of Docklands.
Victoria Harbour has the route 48, plus two other routes, one being the 31 from Hoddle Street, but while it has an ok twelve minute service, it stops at 2.30pm and is only weekdays. The route 11 has a full service, around ten minutes during the day. I conclude, Victoria Harbour is well served and while this Collins Street route is very useful for workers at Victoria Harbour it is not of much use for visitors to Docklands.
To penetrate right into Docklands, you need a tram that goes to Harbour Town/Waterfront City. The free City Circle tram uses Latrobe and Flinders Street, depending whether you are travelling clockwise or not, to get to Harbour Town. It is a twelve minute service but it doesn't start until 10am and finishes at 9pm.
The 70 runs full time along Flinders Street with a daytime service of ten to twelve minutes and the 86 runs along Bourke Street with a daytime weekday service of around eight minutes.
So which to take to get to Harbour Town, or Waterfront City as it is also called?
Coming from home, if it was a weekday, I would opt for an 86 along Bourke Street as the maximum waiting time would be eight minutes, in theory. Weekends, I might be tempted by a 70 and City Circle in Flinders Street, but the CC can get very crowded. Then again, the 86 drops to ten to twelve minute service on weekends.
Sunday night with a half hour service on the two routes is a different matter. Lordy, they arrive five minutes apart. Oh noes, they depart not evenly, but seven minutes apart.
Well, after this research, for tram users who know the system and walk around with live tram times on the phones, it is not such a bad service to Docklands. But for a stranger to our fair city who asks the question how do I get to
Sunday, September 04, 2011
London and Paris both have bicycle schemes, but theirs are much more successful because bicycle helmets aren't required to be worn by law as they are here. I believe, no, I will check... Right, there are some helmet vending machines but mostly they are available from 7 11 stores. The 7 11 near us has them and they cost $5. From the website, they look a bit like a pudding bowl on your head. R, who does not like bicycles, is tempted to have a ride. I think it is a great scheme. I wonder if Sydney is getting into it yet. I just imagine the atrocious Alan Jones ranting on the airwaves about it.
I was amused by Ian Visits blog, when he and a friend hired bikes in London, took them on the Eurostar to Paris, rode around all day, and had them back in London that night.
Anyway, named after the Mayor of London, Boris Johnston, their bikes have been nicknamed Boris Bikes. Catchy isn't it. We should have a name for our bikes. Let's see. Melbourne's Lord Mayor is Robert Doyle. Rob Bikes? Nah, I've got it. A common nickname for Robert is Bob, so we have Bob Bikes. Will it catch on?
But for Sydney, with a mayor called Clover Moore, well, I am not sure much naming can be done there. Moore Bikes. No.