Saturday, October 22, 2011

If it ain't broke...

Right, for the third time, after a few months break, I am going to download the phone program from the supplied cd and MAKE it work. There are two small disks, marked one and two. I put in one and the whole program seemed to install and it did not ask for the second disk.

I opened the program and immediately the program told me is was out of date. I followed instructions and downloaded a whole new program over the net. Open the new program and I am told it needs updating. About ninety minutes later, I plugged the phone in and it did actually work. The program opened and I could find things on my phone and transfer them to the pc hard drive or vice versa.

It then asked if I wanted to update my phone's firmware. Why oh why did I click yes? Bells rang, whistles sounded, cogs meshed and lights flashed. Eventually the bright green screen with dire warning about unplugging the phone from the computer faded and the phone restarted.

And all was not well. Everything was still there, messages, pictures etc but it was different. Phone numbers were on the sim card and that is fine. My arrangement of screen icons was changed, with my personally added ones missing. No big deal. I fixed that. Apps have all moved around. Not a problem. They were in order that I downloaded them, now I wasn't sure what order. Android Market won't work. No rush to fix that.

My phone ring had gone. I didn't know what it was, so I tried them all and it appears to be gone. It sounded like a phone ringing. I don't like music alerting me to a call. I want a ringing phone sound. I found one acceptable one, but I think it is the same as R's phone ring. I will fiddle along the way in good time and get it all right.

I set the alarm that evening and it had defaulted. I fixed that, including the alarm sound. Next morning it rang and bleary eyed I pressed and held the red thing on the screen. It did not stop it. 'Are you awake?' R called out as the alarm went on and on. I had to find my glasses and look at the screen. Ok, you have to drag the red slide like when you answer a call.

Later in the day I try Android Market again and it won't work. I google it. Oh no. You have to do a factory reset and everything will be lost.

I checked everything was on the sim card and not the phone and bit the bullet. Reset! Damn, I forgot about the unlistened to podcasts. Oddly, they were still there. But otherwise my phone was just like it was when I bought it, not at all to my taste. It will take time to get it back to how it was, again.

So folks, do what I say and not as I do. If it ain't broke, it does not need fixing. Let sleeping dogs lie. Leave well enough alone.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy Melbourne

Robert Doyle is his name, and as Lord Mayor of Melbourne I didn't think he was doing a bad job, especially as he was in the past a Liberal Party politician. Some one hundred odd peaceful protesters who are against the extremes of capitalism have occupied our City Square for nearly a week.

Lord Mayor Doyle contacted the police to find out if they would come out in force if he issued an eviction order for the City Square. Come out in force they did, using pressure point tactics on the obstinate and capsicum spray on the unwilling. They went in with horses and dogs, using tactics they have no doubt studied overseas.

The protesters have been moved on at the cost of massive disruption to the city and its public transport. While I don't think this is over yet, in many eyes, and certainly mine, Doyle has lost respect to an unrecoverable degree.

Day in, day out, week in week out, year in year out anti abortion protesters harass women visiting a not so far away birth control and abortion clinic, but Doyle seems to think this is ok, yet peaceful protesters are driven out of the City Square after less than a week of occupying it.

A couple of businesses will be relieved at his actions I suppose. Fintona Girls' School can have their speech night at the Town Hall without having to see the great unwashed who are protesting about the manner in which their fathers may have earned their wealth. The City Square is once again available to commercial organisations to promote their wares. Not that Our Liz will be up at Collins Street, but there will be no danger of her being exposed to the riff raff. Well done Lord Mayor Doyle. Now how about cleaning up all that nasty graffiti in Hosier Lane? Why not go the whole hog on sterility.

Let's Do It

Of course Noel Coward being gay must mean I must automatically like him and think he is great. Well, I've got news for you. It is nothing to do with him being gay but all to do with his incredible talent, shown in many forms. A good singer he wasn't, but a great performer he was. I heard this on the radio at 5.50 this morning and I hadn't heard it in years. It takes rather a lot for me to grin at that time of the morning, but grin I did and it put me in rather a good frame of mind for the rest of the day until I got to work. As a favourite of the late Queen Mother, you can't help but wonder about the content of the conversations they shared over a bottle of Bombay Sapphire and a tin of Benson and Hedges.

You probably have to be of a certain age to know many of the people mentioned, but everyone will know some of them.

Royal Park

Without a proper map as my phone maps had let me down, I had to rely on memory of where the wetlands were in Royal Park, and I failed. Walk with me.

It was pretty warm in the sun, and for once I remembered to bring a cap, which I put on. I stopped in the shade of a tree to look at my phone map, and noticed some paper dangling from overhead. It was an active nest, as a bird flew out, maybe a wattle bird.

A pretty patch of oxalis?


I looked one way and I could have been miles from the city.

I looked the other way and it was clear that I was close to the heavy Elliot Avenue and Flemington Road traffic.

I thought I should walk up Manningham Street but I was waylaid by this slightly faded but nice looking house, a gatekeepers house I think. The porthole window is wonderful.

Then I saw the sign 700 metres to Royal Park Station. Ok, the track seems to go the wrong way, but I will follow it. Grumble. Seem to be going uphill a lot. I am getting hot.

Sentry boxes for very short sentries?

Anzac Hall. There were more modern associated buildings. I wonder if this was where the army camp was that Cazzie has written about?

The stupid City Link toll road yellow sticks make their presence felt, even in the park.

The city is not far away.

I seem to be at the high point now. What are these large buildings poking up between the trees out west? One had a curved metal roof.

I would have taken closer photos of this fungus, but I am afraid of joe blakes. It seemed a bit odd to me that the fungus was growing in bright full sunlight. I was walking along the side of the railway line now.

This is a real leg. I saw it moving. I snapped the photo so quickly and moved on, I did not give the camera time to focus. While I might be described as 'adventurous', my imagination could not come up with an explanation as to what was happening.

The State Netball and Hockey Centre, constructed for 2006 Commonwealth Games.

I did not dare take a photo, so sorry gentlemen and ladies, but two lasses were sunbathing in quiet area surrounded by trees. One had her top off. Although I am no expert, they appeared to be a full and upright set.

With relief I spot the back of the zoo and tram wires. That was a very long 700 metre walk.


I intended catching the train and I thought one must be due as I hadn't heard one go past. Then in the distance I heard an approaching tram. It will take me almost to my front door. I hopped on and immediately regretted my snap decision. Had I have caught the train to Flinders Street and the tram home from there, it would have taken half the time. Traffic light after traffic light, people on, people off. I did get to see the new traffic light treatment at the Haymarket roundabout. Seemed ok. The tram crawled through the city and then I was home. Also noted was the new Children's Hospital, about to be reRoyaled when our HM Liz officially opens it next week. The hospital looked quite good. Far be it for me to deny poor little sick kiddies, but it seems odd that our permanently stretched health budget can afford a million dollar aquarium and a live meerkat enclosure for their pleasure. Still, a pittance compared to waste of dollars on the annual Grand Pricks car race.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Carrying a child on your hip

When Little Jo was smaller and only a toddler, sometimes when out she would tire of walking. Oddly though, while she might tire of walking, she could break into a run when she sited a playground or similar. R used to carry her at times and once hurt his back rather badly while doing so.

I could not carry her. I tried. I put her on my hip, but unless I held her there almost using entirely the strength in my arms, she would slide down, or I would walk with the top half of my body sideways which my neck did not like. Sister told me it was easy. I couldn't do it.

I can only conclude men ought not carry babies or toddlers. It is a woman's job. There are two meanings to baby bearing hips.

Brunel's Tunnel

In nineteenth century there was a British civil engineer in England by the name of Brunel. I really know nothing of 19th century English railways, but his name is omnipresent. I do know he designed Paddington Station in London, which we became very familiar with and also the Box Tunnel on the Great Western Main Line.

I think Brunel was a pretty damn marvellous engineer, from what I read. However, I am not writing this to list his achievements. That can be found elsewhere. But I did come across an interesting anecdote.

If you stand at the western end of the Box Tunnel on the morning of Brunel's birthday, as the sun rises, it can be glimpsed at the other end of the almost two mile long tunnel. This only happens on one day each year, the day of Brunel's birthday. It is very hard to verify as it is nigh on impossible to check because of the very busy train line where you would need to stand.

Some scientists argue that the sun moves around too much each year for the story to be true, but some people passionately believe that it really happens and Brunel designed the tunnel so that it would occur. I am never one to spoil a good story with facts, so I am a believer.

Here is a photo from Wikipedia of the western end of the Box Tunnel, and you can see that some brave souls seem to be checking the truth of the tale or they have a death wish.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Project: Make Kath Cry

I know the suburb where Kath lived when she lived in greater Melbourne and it is a long way away from her present abode in Geneva. I could pinpoint her location even better if I back read her blog, but that would look like I cared too much and maybe a bit stalker like. Kath seems to have settled into Swiss life, but of course there must be moments of nostalgia. I thought if I took and posted some photos of her suburb, then I might make her cry. Aren't I the kindest person?

That was the plan but it didn't quite work out like that. In fact the day was full of surprises. Flemington is the 'burb, but looking at maps, I am not sure where the Flemington shops proper are. The project was put on hold. But while studying maps I noticed the suburb known as Travencore, with its streets named after places in India. That's interesting.

My eyes stray across to Royal Park. Ah, the Trin Warren Tam-Boore wetlands. From memory, Melbourne City Council takes water from here to use on our public gardens, or did so in the drought. I might go and see them.

Ah, a shopping plaza at Newmarket. I vaguely recall the Newmarket area, but I couldn't visualise the shops along Racecourse Road. I could get the train to Newmarket, take a look around, and then catch the tram to Royal Park and have a look at the wetlands. Sounds like a plan.

The train only took ten minutes to get there, once I remembered to look for the Cragieburn train and not the Broadmeadows train. So Cross Station, North Melbourne, Flemington and then Newmarket. I noticed for the first time that the viaduct between Flinders Street Station and Southern Cross Station is actually two separate viaducts, one quite old and made of bricks and metal and the other newer and made of concrete.

The Newmarket station exit leads directly to the shopping centre, but it was only a supermarket and a few shops. I bought a pie from the bakery and sat on a seat near a playground and the station to eat it. As I sat down and ate my pie I checked on my phone maps exactly where the wetlands were in Royal Park. Damn, they are not shown on the phone version of Google Maps or Whereis. Maybe I can locate them from memory. Right a tram to Royal Park, and as I approached Racecourse Road, one sailed by. Damn. Twelve minutes perhaps till the next one. I turned in the direction of the departing tram and look, under the rail bridge, there are local shops for local people on other side. Goody. Old shops mostly, with stylish architecture. The Douta Galla Hotel is grand looking. I was scratching my head at Doutta Galla. I could remember it is or was the name of an electorate. Hmm, bit interesting. Where did the name Jika Jika come from? I walked along a bit and decided I would miss the next tram and have coffee instead. I backtracked back to the corner near the rail bridge and I had a surprising experience.

Would you think you would get the best cafe latte you have ever had in your life in Newmarket? Verb Cafe is on the corner of Racecourse Road and Pin Oak Crescent. Verb can contact me via my blog eddress for my life time supply of cups of coffee. It looked like a pretty interesting place to eat too. Hmmm, its proper address is Flemington. Perhaps Newmarket is one of the non real places. Maybe I am in Kath's territory. Maybe she has partaken of what Verb has to offer. Maybe the Woolworths supermarket was her local, where she shopped.

Right, onto the tram to Royal Park. I'd better make a part two as I seem to have become rather verbose.

The resplendent Doutta Galla Hotel.


The DG pub again, as I leisurely sipped a cup of the fine coffee at Verb Cafe.

Angels and Demons

These rather lovely sculptures are promoting the Melbourne Festival, which I think has or is about to end. The are several along St Kilda Road/Swanston Street and they certainly create interest. The one outside Melbourne Town Hall has a dire warning sign about interfering with them and that they are under video surveillance. Yeah right, it didn't stop one wag placing a potted flower from a council flower display on the sculptures upturned tail. The once I photographed are in the forecourt of the State Theatre near where the Spiegeltent is erected.



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In the News

There was a story in Melbourne media news today about a horrible thing that happened to a family member some two decades ago. I am not using specific details that can found by searching. You can work it out for yourself. While she was a bit of a wild kid, she wasn't a bad kid. Her parents had not long ago broken up. She felt unloved. My immediate family took her on, but love from a substitute mother and family was not enough. The murder did not tear families apart, but it certainly was a bad time for all. I remember the endless phone calls from Mother that told me nothing, as there was nothing to tell. Sis in law is very emo, and she sobbed over the phone. She tried so hard, to no avail. The endless questions as to why. The endless tears. Was there a funeral? I can't recall.

In a manner, justice has already prevailed, but not in a way that can be officially recorded.

Touching down a scrum

Victor is going to get stuck into me for my rugby errors, but I believe it is the posh rugby that has been played in New Zealand over the last few weeks. New Zealand seems to be a cursed country at the moment. Just like in Australia, rogue ships take short cuts and ground on reefs and cause shocking environmental damage. Just like in Australia, authorities are supposed to control movements of ships. That would be a fail for authorities then, but don't expect to hear a mea culpa.

This rugby thing must have been quite good for New Zealand. While I care little for sports, I do like economies to be boosted by activities and action, and I think many towns in New Zealand have been. Yep, give them a party and no one will wonder about the bigger picture.

I am sure I saw two Australia versus New Zealand rugby scores a couple of night ago. One had Australia winning magnificently and the other had had us losing. It must be a posh rugby versus the bogan rugby thing.

I think I am now talking about rugby league now, but one Ms Wendy Harmer, a passionate supporter of the Sydney Manly team, made a comment that most of her team knew the words to the New Zealand national anthem and sang along, whereas very few knew the words to Australia's nation anthem and did not sing along. We can only conclude the obvious as to where most of her Sydney team were born and grew up.

We Aussies have a long and proud history of stealing high achieving Kiwis from a country that does seem to punch above its weight in the world. The list of Kiwis we claim to be ours is long and benefits Australia no end.

The Gog and a Happy Jewish New Year

I am a bit late with this one. I have been a lernin, so you may as well too.

I very much dislike when private enterprise takes over possession of public assets, often temporarily. Building sites where roads are blocked and pedestrians detoured are particularly irksome to me. It is often done to save money by the builder.

As you can imagine, a religious organisation taking over public areas also bugs me. As you can see in one of these photos, the synagogue across the road has taken over parking spaces for its own use. This happens every year and it initially made me annoyed, but then I thought further. What if it is made too difficult for people to gain access to the synagogue? They may choose one further away where there is easy parking and then what happens to the synagogue? Worst case if it was no longer used, it could be pulled down and high rise apartments could be built and we lose our view. So ever the pragmatic, I overlook the take over of parking spaces.

Anyway, I thought I better learn about this celebration of Jewish New Year. It runs for ten days, beginning with Rosh Hashana and concluding with Yom Kippur. I read various opinions of which is the most sacred day, inconclusively. I will say Rosh Hashana is the serious day and Yom Kippur the fun day.

I like the 'gog' lit up at night, as it is on these special days. I fiddled with the camera settings a bit and the second photo below is the best night time shot I have ever taken. It is crooked because I had to rest the camera on the balcony rail. While my hands are extremely nimble on a keyboard, they are hopeless for trying to hold anything still.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Falkirk Wheel

Everyone has an idea what a lock in a canal or waterway is? Its simply a way of getting watercraft to a higher or level of water usually by flooding water in or draining water out to raise or lower the the boat to get to a higher or lower level of water. Water locks have been around for hundreds of years, but we have now invented an alternative. Although the capital cost was probably quite high, the running costs are very low, with power consumption only what a household might use with most appliances running.

Jayne gave me the tip off about the Falkirk Wheel. It is in central Scotland and joins the Forth and Clyde canals with the Union Canal. It was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.

A picture can tell a thousand words, a You Tube time lapse video, ten thousand words in ten seconds. You may need to watch it twice to absorb what you are seeing.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just another Sunday

While Sister and Bone Doctor rode around the bay, well half of the bay, 100 kilometres from Sorrento to town, to raise funds for charity, along with thousand of others, R and I separately took our own exercise. R went to a party in the afternoon and I took Mother out for lunch.

Mother is suffering quite badly from arthritis at the moment and has sprained her wrist, so she had a perfect right to talk about medical matters, but for my whole visit? Mostly my diversionary tactics lasted only a couple of minutes and she back to matters medical. Still, we had a nice lunch at Lady Lavender's Tea Rooms (Lord Sedgwick, I am warning you). It is not cheap, and for good reasons. It is very nice. The place was certainly turning over the tables. Later the devonshire tea crowds would arrive. When we entered, I was the youngest person there.

Our intention was to go to Serendipity Lavender Farm for lunch. I turned off the highway where the Serendipity Farm sign was. I then turned off the main road onto a gravel road, then onto almost a bush track and we arrived, only to be greeted with the sign, Permanently Closed. It is also a pet cemetery, but I don't know the status of that. What a pity a sign at the highway did not say Serendipity Permanently Closed. I now have dust on my car from the gravel roads. I am not sure that my car has ever been off bitumen. Now it is an off roader. Being an eleven year old car, it already lets the Highrise car park down with its presence among mostly much newer and expensive cars. Now it has dust on it. That won't do at all in the Highrise carpark. I will have to wash it I guess. Bah.

We went back to Mother's town after lunch. She had to go to a department store to change a brassiere. Wire cutting into her? I don't know about such things. She also found a hat to garden in to buy. She is known for her hats. Chuppa Chups, 3 for $1. I'll have those. They are good for keeping Little Jo quiet for a while I have been known to like the occasional suck too. I left the store under the gaze of the security guard with the three unpaid for Chuppa Chups in my hand. "Your Honour, I really truly meant to pay for them." I took them back in and paid for them and had to wait a decent time to be served.

On the way home I diverted to drive past the soon to be opened Cardinia Station. It looks like a big bus shelter, not my idea of a railway station at all. I predict it will be very busy. It will initially draw passengers away from Pakenham Station and perhaps Officer, but both of those will quickly recover as there will be even more people using the train. The housing developments that are underway are unbelievable.

Oh yeah, on our way to lunch, we drove past the the Gumbya Park bird that was blown up.


Oddities in the library

I was in the State Library of Victoria researching some stuffs in the card index of The Sun News Pictorial and a couple of things jumped out at me as amusing. This is but one.

7th May, 1958, Mrs Norma Bond, a blonde dancer, stops a runaway truck.

It would almost be worth finding the entry in the newspaper to get the full details on that one.

From a history of the Melbourne suburb of Clayton, as I recall it:

Should you miss your train (at Clayton Station) and have to endure a one hour wait, there is a warm fire in the waiting room. It may not be possible to get too close to the fire though as it is often surrounded by dogs. Gee, they don't even have a loo at stations now, let alone a fire, dogs notwithstanding.

From the same book:

The football match between Clayton and Clyde on Crawfords Paddock erupted into chaos when the players in their new bright red jumpers were charged by a bull. They fought each other to take shelter in the dressing room while ladies lifted their skirts and ran into an nearby market garden. What? They grabbed a carrot and threateningly said 'Don't you come near me you big, bad, bull'?

I became so engrossed in my research for stuffs, I forgot the time and three hours had passed. It was more fun than the internet.