Friday, December 30, 2005

Overheard Snippet #41

"And I leapt for the ball and my hand landed on an upturned broken stubby in the garden. I was at Box Hill hospital from 8pm until they saw me at 3am."

Hmmm, must be a nice garden.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Sorting out the world

What we know as staying up too late, having too many drinks and talking a lot of ***t is actually called something in the UK.

When criticism comes from any person the next morning or the question arises as to whether we enjoyed the night before, the response is (say it to yourself in an almost rising and falling Scottish accent), ah yeah, we sorted the world out, did we not. A few drinks and we got it sorted.

The previously mentioned statistic regarding the amount of alchohol that English women consume, seems to be quite true. In fact R's sister has someone elses share as well. It is almost a daily trip to the recyling room. Ah well, as the famous bearded media person resident is away, there is plenty of room for the empties.

The sister and bro in law are very nice and we are all getting along well. We have done heaps of stuff with them and proudly shown them our city and its surrounds. They have met our weird collection of friends and particpated in barbies and meals etc. The time has absolutely flown past. Next week Sydney and the following week they leave. Five weeks gone just like that.

There are few things that we have not done and won't fit in which I would have liked to have done. Phillip Island being one, along with Cape Schank amd Portsea. Dinner in Lygon Street another. Bridge Road shopping. Victoria Street, Richmond. Vic Market and the Esplanade Market. But they have and will have seen quite a lot.

They know that the 72 tram takes them to Prahran, along with the bus. The 16 takes them to St Kilda and they can catch any tram home from the city except the number 1 or 8. I would have never known that we live near stop 22, but I had to find out for them and it is now burnt into my brain.

Tomorrow I am not working and we have packed them off on a bus to do the Great Ocean Road. Friday we are doing Puffing Billy and Healsville. But peace and quiet time tomorrow. Nice. Just hope R is in a good mood. He has been very snappy since their arrival. Stressed a bit I suppose.

Just a casual observation, it is a long time since I have been around women when they are getting ready to go out. Boy does it take them some time to get ready. I have known drag queens who can do the lot in less time.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Present list or highriser has entered the 21st century

Four Winds by Bryce Courtney. Already got it and read it and it is a good read. I accepted it graciously and did not say anything.

Tennis raquet, two balls, head band and wrist bands (sweat mopper upperers are useless to me. As soon as I start sweating, I will stop playing). R got the same.

R got a kite. A bloody big kite. This will be fun down the track.

O/S visitors bought us a dvd player. I think most Tebetins in yurts have a dvd player. We must be the last household in Australia to get one. Good for looking at photos on cds. Our only dvd was a gay movie, so we could not watch that, but I had some vcd movies to use to find how to work it. Sadly it does not play .wmv, .rm, or .mov.

But I am pleased to have the dvd player. I feel kinda modern. It is a nice shiny silver and very thin. Sansui. Our sound system used to be Sansui. I liked it but god help me if I want to find their web site.

Christmas Day

Drove to Geelong to sisters and her girlfriend's for c mas dinner, drove home, went to work. No drinkies for highriser of course, but I did try a no alcohol Cooper's beer. Very good really. Made under license to Carlsberg I believe.

Highlight, enmeshing cracker toys in nephew's dreads.

Bonus, nephew's 20 year old mate who was there has lost weight and blonded his slightly red hair. He is now quite attractive and speaks ever so much better than my nephew. Hmmmmm. Although presumably straight, he seems to like R rather a lot. Must be looking for a daddy figure.

Joke of the day was how badly sister's surgeon g/f carved the turkey.

It was a very nice day spent with family.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Eve

I am unused to not working on c mas eve, but this one I was not. Early rise but feeling a little hungover from evil whisky the night before. Push everyone to get up and get showered. We need heaps of stuff and need to take the car to the local shops. Give building manager and his wife c mas payola on the way out. Bugger, car nearly empty of petrol. Stop at cnr Punt and Commercial. Fill up. Remember to use discount docket. Park at metered car space at 9.43. First ticket machine broken. Try another. Shove two dollars in. Expire 11.23.

Go to Red Orange for half price breakfast. Go to electric bank. Go to Uncle Bucks for c mas gift tags and $1.75 photo frame for stepfathers gift. Go to Dans for c mas supplies. Unload at car. Car park super busy with cars cruising for a space now. Go to Coles to check ham price. Go to Safeway to check ham price. Go to Coles to buy ham. Go to market to buy pointsettia for Ma. O/s bride needs buy surprise gift cufflinks for husband to be. Check jewellery shop upstairs at Pran Central. Only female jewellery. Return to car as ticket expires and extend another twenty minutes. Send off R and sis in law to Cash Converters to find cufflinks. Stay in car. Second ticket expires and we are over the two hour limit. Parking officer approaching. Call R. He is nearby and cufflink mission accomplished. Terrible jam of cars in carpark. Escape down Greville Street.

Home, listen to lovely c mas message on answer machine from Brighton Antique Dealer, coffee, nap. Off on tram to Docklands via a photo shop. Too cold, too windy, too souless. Return to city on City Circle tram. Go to Transport Bar for a couple of drinks then home. Barbecue dinner. Watch the news, something about pigs and The Bill. Go off on foot to Fawkner Park and feed apple chunks to some possums. Notice they are mostly brush tail possums, not ring tail. Return home, watch the rest of Carols by Candlelight. Bed.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Wedding Planners

We have done well. R's sister and brother in law to be are getting married in Sydney. They have managed to buy appropriate clothing, jewellery etc. We did the rest.

The location is the Botanic Gardens with the bridge and opera house in the background.

The clelebrant we found has been very helpful. She can arrange everything, for 'my personal booking fee is $40 per item'. The bans have been published and all documentation is in order.

We are travelling on the upmarket airline Jetstar. I got the airfares for $79 each. Good, but Virgin have just released some tickets for $69. I knew this might happen but it would be taking a big chance waiting to save ten dollars. Fortunately we know the Jetstar manager at Avalon and we asked him to upgrade us to business class and he promised he would. Somewhere in the back of my mind I know there is no business class on Jetstar.

We are staying at the Holiday Inn in the salubrious suburb of Potts Point. Actually it is just behind The Crown in Kings Cross where we have stayed before. Potts Point in name, but The Cross in location. It is $140 a night and now we are closer time I checked the price again for the time we are staying there and it has gone up, so I did well there.

A day coach trip to the Blue Mountains x 4 pax was over $400 so instead we have hired a Caprice or Fairlane for the day at less than a quarter of this and I can drive through the newish Cross City Tunnel under Sydney. Oddly after checking Avis, Hertz and Thrifty, for all models, Hertz is the cheapest and Thrifty the dearest. The depots are just a short walk from our hotel.

I am really looking forward to a few days in Sydney in the new year. But as we 'Mexicans' say 'great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there'.

Unrelated, after our family c mas get together tomorrow, I will go to work and miss the low key get together at our oldest friends' place in Box Hill South. Such is shift work. I drew the short straw this year.

Best christmas, chanukah and holiday wishes to all.

Hard to buy for

Almost all of my family are hard to buy for so we have pretty well resorted to vouchers for c mas gifts. Everytime we asked my step father what he wanted as a gift, he would answer a campervan.

I have reduced the size of this pic but the original printed out beautifully as a photo. We superimposed L's campervan on the side and my mother's name on the front above the cab and then popped it in a cheap photo frame along with a note, 'Sorry L, we are a bit short this year to buy you a campervan but we will get you one next year. We hope you like the model we have put a deposit on.'

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Brave Lass

You can get quite attached to someone who you only know through their newspaper columns. I have read Pamela Bone 's columns in The Age for a long time and I am saddened to hear that she is retiring due to ill health, that is terminal ill health. Her last column was a moving and dignified exit. Best wishes Pamela.

I have learned in this year of illness that legislation for the right to die at a time of one's own choosing, and with help if necessary, will and should come.
'YOU have multiple myeloma. It's not curable, but it is treatable. The usual outlook is one to eight years." In the bed next to mine an old man who'd had two toes amputated because of diabetes was crying loudly. I don't know why they insist on putting men and women together in hospital rooms these days. I don't think either sex likes it much.
I had never heard of multiple myeloma, which is cancer of the bone marrow. I'd been in Africa, was sick while I was there and sicker when I got home, and thought I had picked up some exotic virus. My doctor sent me to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where after many blood tests the diagnosis was made.
The world of illness is a different world. Weeks later I stood before the mirror, 13 kilograms lighter, my head completely bald, a plastic tube burrowed into my chest, and saw myself a poor, diminished creature. I used to bustle about. Now I walked slowly, weakly. When I went out into the street I marvelled at how well and strong all the people looked. I felt no longer one of them.
I didn't cry, though I came close to it when my hair came out in my hands and lay in long strands on the floor of the shower. I didn't pray, and I didn't ask, "why me?" as others have told me they have. As far as I can tell there's no one up there handing out fairness; in any case, I wouldn't even want a God who would save me and let so many innocent children die. I am sure the parents of those hundreds of children buried under the rubble of the earthquake in Pakistan prayed.
All right, if I'm going to die, let's get it over with, I thought. But that was a year ago and I haven't died yet, despite my refusal to think "positive" thoughts. Why am I writing about this now? Partly because I couldn't before. But also because there is nothing unusual about my case. Multiple myeloma is fairly rare, but cancer is not. One in four, or even one in three people will get it. There's a whole community of us out there; we can be seen around the place in our headscarves and wigs and beanies, and we recognise each other and give each other sympathetic smiles. Please leave Kylie Minogue alone, I shouted silently to the media. She's one of us and I know how she feels: she just wants to be left alone.
What have I learned in my year of illness? That there is an amazing degree of kindness around. I have been overwhelmed by kindness: the kindness of family, of friends, of work colleagues; the kindness of people in shops and cafes in my local shopping centre; the kindness of the doctors and nurses at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, far beyond the requirements of their professions (oh, but the food at the RMH is an insult to sick people!); the kindness of my specialist, who tells me to stop talking about dying. There simply is a great instinct for kindness in most people. One thinks a system should be devised in which this is more strongly appealed to.

I have learned that this is a society in denial about death — hardly a revolutionary discovery, it's often been remarked on. On one level everyone knows they are going to die, but the mind slides away from it. People change the subject. At first I was critical of this, but now I think it has to be this way. You can't spend your life being constantly aware of your death. Harder was the other realisation that struck me with force: not only will I die, but so will everyone else: every single one, every little baby with dribble running down his chin, every carefree teenage girl, every rich and powerful businessman.
All must die. What is the point then?
You have to learn again what you always knew. Life is more precious because it is brief and the only one there is (and really, who would want an eternity of anything, even paradise?). What matters — and I do apologise for this sentimentality — is that although every individual will die, the human race will go on. I believe it will, and I even believe it will get better. Notwithstanding the strange, apocalyptic times we are in, I still believe in the continuing, gradual, difficult, faltering improvement of the human condition. If I had space I could make a rational argument for this.
Fear of death is natural; it's what keeps us alive when we are young and strong. But for most older people, for whom death is no longer a remote, unlikely possibility, the fear is not so much of death as of what might precede it: prolonged pain and sickness and (especially) dementia. More than death, what most people fear is the prospect of being kept in some sort of half-life for years, being spoonfed and toileted in some nursing home, sans mind, sans personality, sans dignity.
What I have learned in this year of illness is that legislation for assisted suicide — for the right to die at a time of one's own choosing, and to have help to do so if necessary — will and should come. It will come because the majority of the population wants it (according to opinion polls), and because those who protest so loudly every time the subject is mentioned are a minority. To know there is the means to end life peacefully and painlessly when they want to would be a great comfort to most old people. This is a kindness that we, as a society, need to extend to ourselves.
Last week when I walked into the hospital, which is now as familiar as a second home, some schoolchildren were there singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing. All year, music students come into the hospital wards and play instruments and sing. Others come to offer conversation and pastoral care, for those who want it. In the foyer, volunteers sell knitted toys and jams and raffle tickets to raise money to help the hospital. There it is again, that human kindness. It's all around, if you care to look.
This is my last column. It has been an immense privilege to have this space for so long, to have my say about things. I have not set out to be a "contrarian", as I have been described, but then, to offend no one you will say nothing. I do want to thank all of you who have read, either approvingly or disapprovingly, what I have written over the years. I will miss you.

Select R for backwards

Two in one day!!!

Car entering main road from side street sticks nose out into main street traffic lane. Car approaching rapidly with nowhere to go. Side street car puts gears into reverse and slams into the car that had just arrived behind him.

P plate male is in the middle of an intersection waiting to turn right. Light turns red but he was busy chatting to g/f. Traffic starts to move towards him. He panics and reverses backward into a pedestrian who had started to cross the road. Just a bit of bump, but if it was an old person, it may have been the end of them. It wasn't a bump such as is reported in Fijian papers. "A forty year old male was bumped by a motor car in Davies Road, Suva and died at the scene".

Kiddies, you must look behind you when you reverse your motor car.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Highriser's c mas gauge

I have heard that the statistics are good for a happy retailer christmas. My annual christmas traffic congestion observations indicate otherwise, although there is still some days to go. However, it is not as quiet as the year we had 'the recession we had to have'.

I would be quite happy to hear that people have restrained their spending this year. Mr Visa and Mr Mastercard must be making a fortune from us all (ok, I am speaking for myself).

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

HRH, hot or not

Expat Rolf Harris has painted a rather odd picture of our Head of State. Here it is, courtesty The Age. I much prefer to see her with a slightly annoyed pout, like when you see her at Ascot and her horse has lost a race.

It has been interesting talking to the o/s rels who hail from northern England. They are quite dismissive of the royal family and are convinced, and they say so are their peers, that Diana was killed on orders from the royal family. My surmation of their thoughts is that the royal family is just not relevant to them and their lives.

What does seem still relevant to them, is Margaret Thatcher. They still feel the pain of the time she ruled. They remember vividly the poll tax riots in their hitherto peaceful town, all brought back to them by the action on Sydney beaches. They remember her spite and vindictiveness towards the working person. They hate her so much, that her name must not be mentioned and the converstation is steered in other directions.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Highriser biffo

I really am too nice at times. It was just a short ride home in a cab from Dame Ms with R and the o/s rels. $9.50........keep the change. Someone wanted to get in the cab as we got out and he was not a local person. He grabbed the taxi door and yelled at the driver that he had money and would pay. If I was a taxi driver, I would not have taken him anywhere and this taxi driver was saying no. While I hate the way most taxi drivers drive, I know their's, to put it plainly, a sh** job. I feel sorry for them for what they have to put up with. I tried to be nice to the driver and shut the door. The lout took exception to this and told me in no uncertain terms to let go of the door. Full of confidence as they were three of us and the building's guard was nearby, I slammed the door and the cab took off. The lout started to say something else and I was ready to run. R grabbed him by the scruff of shirt and told him to 'just f*** off'. My hero.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Faster faster

Cut left, cut right, force a space between cars. Damn, some idiot slowing me. Swing left again, accelerate and just get past. Bloody red traffic light. Accelarate hard and catch up to the pack in front. Swing left, swing right. Pack behind catches up. F'ing asshole drivers. Another red light. Green light, go go go. I don't believe it, the next set of lights has gone red and I am hemmed in by someone with a bowling hat on the back car ledge.

Mr dark 30 plus something in an irredecent irridecant sparkly blue car, you just looked damned silly and immature to everyone who observed you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Harping on about the riots

Perhaps you think I am harping on a bit about this but I don't want a divided Australia, no go areas or racially based ghettos.

Some of these comments in this person's below blog are just a retelling of their experiences and I really did not know it was quite so bad in Crass City. If you want to understand the problem a bit, have a quick skim of them.

I thought of this post today yesterday when home for lunch and then as I was going back to work I thought about any Lebanese I may know. I think I only have one Lebanese workmate now. He is always ok with me, but I have seen him lose his temper. Not nice. But I have seen that in many races including fourth generation Aussies.

Then I recalled the only time that I have experienced overt homophobia at work. To be fair, the disagreement was about something else, but me being gay was the weapon he used against me for quite some period. Never mind that another male workmate was shagging his male cousin. But it was nothing I could not cope/deal with myself and eventually he resigned. Yes, you can guess his origins, Lebanese. Then there was his older brother and while never personally unpleasant to me, I heard plenty of 'poofter' stuff............jokes and thinking more carefully about it, their attitude to women was appalling.

I can only base my view on what I read, hear and my personal experience, exactly the same as you will probably. Too many imigrants into Australia of one race in a short period can be very problematic. Perhaps not immediately but even in twenty years time. Or sad to say, is it that they just don't fit in?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Who goes there?

I rarely bother with it, but I do have a statistic tracker on my blog. Sometimes it leaves me scratching my head on the very odd occasion I look at it.

I am sure I did not write anything about man powered walking calipers and as I don't know who she is or what, I am also sure I did not write anything about tory lane rape.

I wonder why google directed their queries to my blog?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Coming soon near you

It is said that because of Melbourne's layout and demographics, race riots will not break out here. That may well be true.

From what I can understand of the rioting in Crounulla, NSW, and with a little help from my Lebo loving friend who lives in Sydney, it is the tolerance of anti social behaviour that has brought this trouble on. It does not matter whether they are Lebanese or whoever, anti social behaviour on the beach where others feel disenfranchised, intimidated or afraid ought not be tolerated by society and especially by police who stand for law and order. If anyone is to blame, blame the police who allowed this situation to develop. I expect police would argue, lack of person power. Maybe true. There is nothing like visible patrolling to make people behave.

So I would not feel too smug about it all happening in Sydney. It could happen here with different circumstances and groups.

Now sit back and watch the fun. More newspapers sold, higher tv ratings, politicians maximizing political advantage, police defensive and spin doctoring hard, apologists from both camps, expert advice from the socially aware workers.

Bugger, I have now forgotten what I was going to make a post about now. Was it work place relations? Student Union? Sedition legislation? There must be some happy pollies who will have a very relaxed christmas.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

So far, so good

The o/s rels are suitably comfortable and settled now. I am not so sure about us. R took them out last night to his work dinner and when I rose at five this morning for work, R and his sister were drinking and chatting away. I guess they had a lot to catch up with.

Tonight we are off to the annual Gay and Lesbian Chorus and Rainbow Band carols in the Prahran Market courtyard. Now we have only told them that it is carols but I expect they will work out the nuances for themselves. They can also meet a good percentage of our friends.

Tomorrow is family picnic day.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My last word on long neck

I am sorry to hear many express that he was a drug trafficker (he was only a mule) and deserved his punishment.

Readers will already know my personal thoughts on the matter.

While this is my original thought, it has been expressed elsewhere now.

I am terribly proud of so many Australians who stood up for Van Nguyen because he was an Australian. In some ways you who are born elsewhere may feel you are bit on the outer, but once you are convincingly Australian, we will look after you as our own, which of course you are.

I don't like a foreign country killing one of us and nor do I like one of us being detained like Hicks is in the US.

Prediction: There won't be nine Australians standing in front of an Indonesian firing squad. Nor will there be in Vietnam.

Depressing world

Doom and gloom is what we read and see. It could be depressing at times, but just when you think things are so bad, there is light on the horizon. Margaret Thatcher is 'dizzy' and has been taken to hospital. See, nice things do still happen.

Sadly, our oldest, oldest friends had to have their pussy put down this week. RIP Adam.

The o/s visitors arrive tomorrow. Help!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Casino, they would like you to call it Crown

A friend had a friend visiting from the Gold Coast, so he asked if we would like to eat at the Casino on Monday night. Sure, no problem. Apart from a little tram drama, we arrived almost on time. Not a bad meal at Kings if 'all you can eat' is your thing.

At the eastern end where the entrance to the hotel is, we saw some very nice carol singing and also a pretty good animated christmas show. The exterior water works that the kids run through, seems to have been upgraded and it is entrancing to just sit and watch. The water droplets were golden in the dying sun and it was a hoot when a gust of wind arrived and sprayed water over the spectators.

While I have certain views of the people who frequent the place, it is great that they subsidise these amsusements. So do take advantage of it, with or without your kiddies.

Building's barbeque

Last Sunday all residents were invited to a barbeque hosted by the body corporate committee. I have heard of an estimated average for a building like ours, 2.5 residents per apartment. 128 by 2.5 is 358 residents. I doubt the 2.5 figure for this building but even it is just two, 256 residents. Sixty said they would attend. R did a head count at the peak, and there was a figure of 35. A few came a left quickly, so say forty. Not a great figure really. There was plenty of food and drinks left over.

The participation level and the fairly mono culural anglo aspect aside, it went very well and hopefully it will be bigger next year.

Moff attack

I left to go to work today and the car park was full of moths.......well not full, but there were heaps of them everywhere. I got into my car and off I set for work. By the time I left the carpark, I had three fluttering around inside the car. How did they get in? No idea. Maybe crawled in through ventilation openings. I opened the back windows and they disappeared, I hope.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Life kicks back in

I had worked so long without a day off, I needed to do a mega shop. Rain threatening, too much to carry, too much for the shopping jeep. Take the car. I filled the car with stuff from Prahran Market, stuff from the supermarket, stuff from Dans. Two large shopping jeeps of stuff from the car to the apartment. That was just Friday morning. Afternoon was cleaning the place, with the mind of the o/s guests arriving at the end of the week. The unmet sister in law could be a seriously fastidious person. Need to have the place looking top notch.

Then we had dyke visitors who at least were happy with take away pizza for dinner, but of course we had to provide the nibbles before hand. I had forgotten about pate, but I bought some and yum yum. Then ex NT policeman called in who brought a friend who had a couple of days ago been looking at Q!, the tallest residential building in the world on the Gold Coast. Co-incidently, one of the dyke friends parents have just bought an apartment there.

It was a good night.

Saturday was better, a walk through Fawkner Park to do even more shopping in Prahran. Among other things, we needed to buy a clock radio for the spare bedroom for the o/s rels. R had session at the electric beach and a hair cut for $15 in Prahran Central.

Let's stay home alone tonight hey. We agreed but then later R said he mght like to go out. So we bashed off to Victoria Street and met our oldest oldest friends for an early meal at Tran Tran.

One of them said, I suppose since we are not been invited back for coffee, we will be on our way. Oops. So we invited them. Then sis in law called from Casino. She had taken my most gorgeous niece to Harry Potter movie. Can they call in for coffeee? Of course. As we were seeing friends off, they arrived.

They stayed a wee while, then left but we expecting the surgeon girl friend of my sister to call soon after her christmas party to stay the night. I hope one of us wakes up. She should have called in earlier to get the dudad and key.

Please no visitors tomorrow.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Sad assed cry baby

While I know perfectly well that I am a victim of an extremely successful media/public image management operation/campaign, I cried three times today. I can't remember ever shedding a tear for a road accident victim. While I would happily see someone who parked in a disabled parking space, when they weren't entitiled to, slowly and painfully tortured to death, Van Nguyen did not deserve to die and certainly not by such a barbaric method.

At St Ignatious in uphill Richmond at 9 am, the time of his death, the bells tolled. The mournful sound of single church bells gets me every time.

Later in the day I was silly enough to watch an online interview of his mother. At the end of the interview she broke down completly. It was horrible.

When watching commercial tv news tonight, my eyes only filled with tears.

And what is his stupid mother like? Bolting from Vietnam to the Lucky Country so that her children have an opportunity in life. You really did screw up badly there hun. Better you stayed where you were.

Fortunately of I am of resiliant stock and I will have forgotten about it all by tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Crash bang

I saw the aftermath of five car accidents today. I think that might be a personal best for me. While I never leave my work postion normally, there must be something in the air as yesterday I advised someone who reversed into a parked car for no apparent reason, that it was time for him to give up driving. The same day I told a taxi driver that he will be in the coroner's court if he continues to bump into school boys at speed who are getting off a tram. Today I told a woman that making people who have have left a tram leap back onto the tram to avoid her hitting them meant that she ought not have a driving license. I told my workmate that she seemed to be Mauritian, as was he and he offered to abuse her in Mauritian.

Advice to self, stay in work postition until January 2nd.

Smack head

I was standing at a street corner in the poshest of posh suburbs in Melbourne when a person staggered past me. Very odd for this area. I know enough to not get caught looking or noticing but out of the corner of my eye, I saw him stagger badly and slowly crumple to the ground. Oh dear. I don't want to be involved.

He sort of looked like I looked once after leaving the Peel. I fell in the gutter and did not know which way was up to get up. Ahh youth, what fun it was.

He was talking to someone on the phone and he called to me, could I talk to them. He had rung 000 but he wasn't making much sense to them. I took over and after what seemed quite a long time, got the details through to them of his exact location. My location description was very accurate as I am used to giving such information, but it seemed very difficult for them. What part of 'on the northern pavement, 10 metres west of Glenferrie Road in Toorak Road, Toorak' was hard? The police will probably attend and want to ask you some questions, I was told by the Ambulance Service.

Not on your nelly thought I. Mate, I am just going across the road. I'll keep an eye on you from there. You'll be ok? Sure mate, thanks heaps for your help. He was then on the phone again to someone who he told he would meet at The Alfred.

Ambulance arrived, police arrived and I hid around the corner and withheld valuable information, such as 'I was standing there reading page eight of Tuesday's paper.......'

Gay stereotype

There is one gay stereotype that fits me perfectly and that is celebrities. I like hearing gossip about them, I collect hot pics of them and they are nearly always male. But there is a twist to it. There aren't many from the two thousands and not a lot from the nineties. I am caught in a time warp.

It probably started with me coming across a faked nude of Leonardo Di Caprio. Oh, I'll save that and it grew from there. I now have a folder called 'celebs' that is 129mb big. Originally it was only nudes of famous guys but it now just hot pics of anyone who takes my fancy.

Why, you may ask? Dunno I would reply. Coz I can. I am a bit of a collector. I have yet to tell you about my stamp collection........true, I do have one.

Here is an illogical snapshot of my Celebs folder.

It is divided two ways, folders for those who have quite a lot of pics of or single pics sorted by family name. First folder is Will Ames, last is Usher. (And you Aussie rapper type kiddies, I knew about Usher and Sisquo long before you did). Previous MTV presenter Simon Rex features with his jerk off stills and vids.

Bieng a child of the seventies, of course I have a large collection of David Cassidy pics and his less attractive brother Shaun, but at least Shaun did some underwear pics.

If you are knowedgeable about modern Melbourne music, you will know who Les Gock is. I have baretop pics of him when he was in Hush.

Scott Baio from Happy Days. Yum, and still doesn't look so bad.

Japanese footy star

Downloaded in a job lot, many pics of Jap pop stars.

Latest additions, pics of the late George Best. I knew a little of him but he suddenly become quite interesting not that he is dead. The truly latest is an animated gif of David Beckham running, swinging side to side, so to speak. He is not quite in the league of Matt Shirvington, but not too bad. He is quite hot looking..........until he speaks. Something really needs to be shoved in his mouth.

Local gay star Opell Ross, starred in Melbourne's production of Rent.

Most explicit, probably Alex Dimitriadis stills from Head On.

I do have pics of Paris Hilton and somewhere I have the vids. Go girl.

The vids of Tommy Lee and Pamela someone were quite explicit too. But as they are vids they are saved elsewhere.

The only other female to have a folder is Patsy from Ab Fab.

The above were all folders. Individual pics start at Ben Affleck and 596 pics later end at Billy Zane.

Saddest pics are of Princess Margaret.

Most surprising discovery just noticed, pic of Mick Jagger nude.

Most dissappointing as they have aged is Leif Garrett.

Noah Hathaway still looks good, even though older, except for a very nasty tattoo.

Most dissapointing nude, Diego Maradona. He really was at the back of line when they handed out equipment.

A pic that raised my eyebrows? Richard Gere nude in the water at the beach in Sweden. Now Sweden is a cold place with cold water. My mind boggles at what he might look like in warm water.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Something a bit lighter

It was a fine still morning and four balloons rose seemingly from among the forest of buildings. They go up so quickly, I did not have time to check the camera settings. Unfortunately it was set on the smallest size pic.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Bye Bye Van

Many eloquent words have been written about Van Nguyen being hanged in Singapore. I shall write some in-eloquent ones. I have a very simplistic view of the matter. Murder is wrong, be it personal or by the state. I can't think of a murder victim who has so long to think of their demise.

It is just so awful that he is not allowed physical contact with his family before he is hanged. While the goodbye would be a dreadful scene to witness, I am sure a cuddle from your mother, the mother's last memory of cuddling her son, the brother whispering how sorry he was into his condemned brother's ear would make the memory of an awful thing so much easier for both the condemned and those left behind. It is positively inhuman to not allow physical contact.

I am afraid that Singapore's appearance as a first world country is nothing but a veneer and it is somewhat hypocritical when the last port of call for most drugs before they enter Australia, is.........Singapore. Their port is as corrupt as anywhere you will find in the world and the only thing Singapore understands is money. If you view Singapore as a large corrupt corporation, you won't be far off the mark.

LKY, Lee Kwan Yu, or Harry Lee as he used to be known at Oxford, still pulls the strings in Singapore. He is the one all appeals should go to.

I recall the time Barlow and Chambers were killed in Malaysia and there was not this much of a pubic outcry. They were hard ass drug dealers, couriers, users and a bit of a waste of space. This Nguyen person is just a sadly delusional upstart. A fool, for sure, but he does not deserve to bounce around on the end of a rope.

Of course we will forget in time.........pretty well. But every time we hear the word Singapore or transit through, some little thing in the back of brain will tick. Personally I won't forget the day Singapore killed one of us Australians in cold blood. It is going to be a long emotional week.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Truly Horrible

While quickly flicking through the Sydney Morning Herald today, I read about a cop who committed sucicide, the fourth this year in NSW. Whether it is realted or not, he worked in the child protection area.

I saw something so terrible today, my mind had already blanked it, until I read the above story. Actually, I am not sure what I saw. What I think I saw was a modern silver car, I think a Mercedes, pull over to the side of the road. An agitated male reached into the back of the car and started punching something, three hard punches and whatever he punched crumpled. Then I noticed a child in the back of the car. I did not look away, I stared, he stared back at me through his dark glasses and contined to obviously speak very loudly. I refocused on the back seat and the kid is looking at me, looking at his father. The kid did not seem unduly distressed.

That is my interpretation of what I saw, but I am not sure at all. I suppose I should have taken the number of the car and the location and thought about it. It is one thing to see some scrubber or smack head hit a kid. You know what has to be done and I have done it in the past, but this was different. If only the kid looked distressed, I would have been convinced and acted.

Christmas and barbeque

Last year through the efforts of the body corp committee, we had a c'mas tree in our foyer. It was the first time and some of us worked hard to make it happen. It looked very nice and was very much approved of. It will be errected again this year and the corny carols will be playing too.

A recent experiment failed miserably. Fake flowers in the foyer, changed monthly by a company. Building managers said bad idea, they will be stolen. Sure enough, they lasted five days and disappeared by someone with a hooded top (on video) and did not use a dudad to get out of the building. There is good knowledge of who it is, but no proof.

The task of community building continues. This year's effort is a building c'mas barbeque. We are able to go and we think it is a good idea. We will see how it goes Sunday week. I have already being pressing people I know in the lift. If it does not bring out extra people, just the usual anglo residents, then I would judge it as a failure. But it is worth a shot.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Assumptions, be careful

As I mentioned in a previous post, we ran into a workmate at K Mart plant nursery in Chadstone. He was Scottish born and his wife Chinese born.

R jumped to conclusions and said later to me that she hit paydirt as this workmate is not poor and still has a farm in Scotland. Many of us would have made a similar conclusion with limited knowledge. Even someone who knew better, made a crack about the general matter in a specific way and lost his job as a a parliamentary opposition leader.

She was not a mail order bride. The both owned flats in the same apartment block. She is a nurse. The met as neighbours, fell in love, married, sold their respective flats and bought a house together and they seem very happy.

Take some care kiddies. We live in changing times and the old standards have changed. Make your assumptions, but don't base your response or re-action on your assumptions.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Good deed and an offer

I discovered a bird trapped in our car park upper level. It was an Indian Mynah bird, a horrid bird that is agressive towards our native birds. But I thought it very unlikely that it would find it's way down upteen ramps back to the car park door and then wait until someone came along in their car and opened it. I don't like critters to suffer, no matter how much I dislike them, so ten minutes of sheperding the bird and a couple of fall backs, it flew out the door. Good karma for me.

Good karma reward already. I have just been offered a part time job in the United States. The pay is $4,000 per month and the offer arrived via an old email address. They don't actually specify what the job is, but it is not door to door sales. I will email them back and ask about relocation expenses. It must be a big company as I noticed it was sent to many people at once. They must need a lot of staff.

Learning my job

I wasn't looking forward to it. Spending a day in an air conditioning office building usually ends up with me having very sore eyes. Spending the day refreshing my job role after doing the job for two and half decades is inclined to get up my goat, or is it get on my nose?

The only good things that I could see, was that it would be conducted at just a pleasant walk from home and it would be a short day.

The first part was conducted by my immediate superior who I also consider a good workmate and we have known each other for a long time. I will offer my opinion to him privately.

The next part was conducted by someone/people in my job I normally have little contact with or knowledge of and it was VERY interesting and I learnt a lot of what I should have known years ago. For those in the know, it was Carlton, which is soon moving to EROC. The day was worth it for what I learnt.

The quite hot guy who I used to work with, is now in a position of considerable controlling power, but he does his job well and hasn't fogotten his skill at how to play up to the fags. He too was interesting, although I have heard it all before at different location (GH).

The final part was Customer Service and Conflict Resolution.

I had a really bad experience at one of these lectures maybe five years ago. I was offended for myself and offending for my lifestlye, offended for my my black and yellow work collegues, and some very good staff who I worked with many years ago who happened to be punks or tranvestites or whatever. The quality of the staff had nothing to do with whatever they were or looked like and I am getting angry now remembering.

If you know me, you will know that I rarely swear. I probably swear more when writing than in real life. I save swearing for serious times. My maternal grandparents never swore, although we shrieked with laughter once when Pop said bum, and nor did/do my parents swear. I got a terrible telling off once from my mother for saying 'shit' when I was 16 years old.

Back to the point. I did have advance warning from an Asian workmate, already somoene who was offended by what was coming

'This is absolute shit', I said as I stormed out of refresher class and caught the tram home. I went to the next day, work place based, refresher and nothing was said.

Have I got you interested at all to know what was said?

I have not heard of the woman since. I think she may have moved out. Perhaps I was totally wrong about how I heard what I thought was rascism, homophobia, ageism, sexism and more.

Here is what she said and feel free to challenge me if you think I was wrong to take offence. As well as seeming offensive to me, it was also obviously seeming offensive to others, or I would not have heard about it in advance.

'We want our customers to have a good image of our staff.' (No problem with that). 'We want them to have an image of our staff as being married, living in a nice house with a white picket fence, in a quiet street in a nice suburb. Our staff will have 1.3 children who go to a nice school. We just want you to be Mr and Mrs Average, someone who seems just like a passenger. Someone they can relate to.'

My translation: Straight, married, male, kids, white, part time working wife, mid to outer burbs, Commodore. I think I did have one workmate who fitted that bill, but he was the oddball out.

It was terribly offensive to me and to most of my workmates who did not fit the bill.

The only good thing about these days is these days is that it is usually an early finish, and it was. But whether it was worth the boredom, the sore eyes and the headache I ended up with, I am not so sure.

So good fucking riddance to that previous employer by whom she was employed. They were the rats who deserted the ship that will never sink.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

St Kilda Rd Joint Neighbourhood Forum

Last night we attended the above forum, conducted jointly by City of Melbourne who look after the eastern side of St Kilda Road, and City of Port Phillip who look after the western side of St Kilda Road. A year or more ago, it was decided that rather than each council go it's own way, there would be joint policies for the boulevarde. By the way, technically it is a real boulevarde. There is a world accepted definition.

It was held in the Hoopla Room at Malthouse Theatre. Although cool outside and it has a tin roof, it was very very hot inside. The sandwhiches and cakes were very good and we did not need to eat before we went, but we had.

While both councils have put considerable resources into plans, there won't be much decided before next year. It really was just a public relations exercise and while the room was full, half the people there were paid staff from various groups who have an interest. Interestingly Yarra Trams had two representatives there, but responded unsatisfactorily when a complaint was made about track repairs late at night affecting residents' sleeping. They did not know anything about track repairs the previous night.

It was a dissappointing turn up, although the room was full. COPP conduct there forums often, so they would know what sort of numbers that they get.

What struck me was the number of conflicting aims. Take this one which is perhaps relevant or of interest to some of my readers. Limit speed to 50kph, speed tram travel up, give more time for pedestrians to cross the road, widen and increase the length of safety zones (tram stops), widen the bike paths, maintain existing car parking spaces..............and yet, recognize that it is an important street for car travel so traffic flows need to be maintained. Some quite radical ideas are being thought about by the two councils and those with interests in the road.

The meeting concluded with a mini quiz on the history of the road and I could have answered every question bar one. I received a chocolate frog as a prize for one question I answered. The one question that I did not know, was that Prime Minister Bruce lived in St Kilda Road in the early part of the twentieth century. I wasn't sure if the right answer to the question how many tram routes run down St Kilda Road would include route 1 trams. The answer didn't.

Oh, and we did meet some other residents of the road. That was nice. There was one famous actor who lives in the Domain building, so famous I cannot remember his name.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Simple Life

While I have great memories of times past when we would hit 'the scene', clubbing. venues, night life, it is not for us now. Although I felt slightly dazed today because I worked very late last night, it was a very nice simple Sunday. R had a good night's sleep and was rareing to go at 10, nah I said, I need some more time. So he watched something about Parsley, Rosemary and Tyme that he had taped. I am thinking of composing a song along the lines of those words.

I chilled and got my act together slowly. We bashed off to wash R's car in downtown Ashwood, and then went on to Megamart, only to find it closed, but with lots of Harvey Norman signage. We et a sausage with onions and sauce in a roll. We bought a nice coulorful plant for the balcony and some potting mix at the K Mart Nursery and had a cup of very ordinary coffee. We bought some nice sheets of paper for our annual christmas newsletter from a large office supply company. We ran into one of my workmates and had a nice chat.

We potted some plants, I rode off on the Apollo to Clarendon Street Coles, which I detest, but it is easy to get to on a bike. While I have no idea why, some 10 year old kid on a bike, without a helmet, stalked me through the back streets of South Melbourne. Go away kid. I don't even want to think about what you think you are up to.

Not that anyone would want to steal the Apollo, I thought I securely locked it up outside Coles. I go in and had to dodge another kid on a bike who just rode into the supermarket. sans helmet too. I bought the one required ingredient and came out to find that I had not looped the cable through anything, except the bike. I was so sure I had locked it to the trolley rack, but it would seem not.

R was astonished how quickly I was home. Bikes are pretty good hey. Most of the time was spent waiting to get across Kingsway.

Sms arrives, great that you can join us at the Dick Wittington (insert hyperlink) for dinner. I never sent an sms that we were going there.Via a convoluted way, our acceptance to a casual mention had been noted.

The Dick was ok, but it will probably be a while before we return.

Oh dear, did I write that

There are some bloggers who are very careful about what they write and what they publish. There are others who are perhaps a bit more emotional in their posts.

I expect we all have posts that we think could have been done better, or not done at all. I stand by all of mine I think, bar one. Comments to other peoples blogs are another matter and perhaps I regret a few of those.

I will readily confess to the one of mine, perhaps the only one, I really regret. I did not pull it as it is a good reminder to me of how public a blog really is. While you have your select readers, search engines need to be taken into account too. The post was about Paul Hester, a local muscian who suicided. What I wrote was tasteless, tactless and ignorant. I have since learned quite a bit about said Paul Hester and it seems he was an admirable bloke. In fact he is to be publically honoured by having a lane/street? named after him.

While I am very unsure about this tagging thing, can I ask my bloggers that I link to on my site to on my blog to mention if they have one that they regret? Spatula exempted, as you pulled one of yours and Random Concoction as he on notice from blogger, but mention one if you like fellas. So Toxic Custard, Hecho En Mexico and Semaphore Junction, do you have any?

Unhappy Snap

Those of you who know me reasonably well, if not personally, will probably know why I may spent quite a lot of time at the corner of Orrong and Dandenong Roads tonight.

It was a joyous time to see so so much revenue raised for the State of Victoria that will be spent on the general good.

Flash, flash went the camera and in poured the money.

Speed cameras on the West Gate Bridge have raised far more money than the tolls ever did and this combined speed/red light camera at Orrong Road in Dandenong Road isn't do a bad job of fundraising.

The best was three snaps in one set of green lights. Two speed and one red light. If I had to estimate speed, then the majority would have not been going very much over the limit, in fact I would have guessed they were not. The camera did snap three that I saw that were going really fast and fully deserved their fine and perhaps more. The red light snaps were very tolerant. If you see the light turn red, then don't go through the intersection.

I am still open to arguments about speed cameras, but from what I observed tonight, I am not about red light cameras.

Anyway, thanks to you who tonight who contributed a few thousand dollars to the state coffers at one location.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The City Library and the station button

I think it is a great concept. A normal suburban type lending library in the heart of the city. It costs the ratepayers heaps though, but so do all libraries. That is the point of them. They are free education and a resource for the masses. The rich pay high property rates and subsidise the education of the poorer. Don't tell me you can't do something because you are not connected to the net. Just go to your local library. As well as books, you can get videos/dvds, large print books, mags........the list is long.

I think the City Library is probably built on the collection of the Council of Adult Education which was next door or nearby, perhaps still is.

I had a weird experience there recently. Well two really. The simplest was why was there such a long queue for people to check out books when there was a self operated machine sitting idly by? I use the self check out without a problem. The machine reads the bar code on your library card and on the book you wish to check out. It ain't too hard. Why was there a 30 person long queue?

While I was using the computerized catalogue, a polite well spoken foreign student, asked me about the $1.65 charge that she could see on her screen. She asked if it was to use the internet. I explained to her what the charge was for.

Hey, we gotta be nice to them. They bring in heaps of money and add a lot of life to the city as well as cheap places to eat.

It was only a bit later that I thought, you stupid cow. Why did you not read what it said? It quite clearly says that is a charge for reserving books. There is no ambiguity about it. If you wish to reserve a book, there is a charge of $1.65. That is what it says on the screen, which was in front of her.

Blind and dyslexic apart, I can never understand this need for personal communication when there is clear visual or audio information provided.

It even goes to railway stations. In nice big print there is always a hand written, station appropriate timetable, and yet people have to constantly push the audio button to find out when the next train is. If the audio device just gave the info, it wouldn't be so bad, but there is the dial in, then the ringing. When I was a frequent train user, it used to drive me to distraction.

But checking either the written or verbal is pointless in the situation anyway. What are you going to do? Walk? Yes, I know to not check that goes against human nature, mine included.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The droop

Naively I asked R why florists wind wire around the stems of gerberas. I knew that it is to keep them upright, but these ones were standing up like a Brazilian goat. R replied watch and wait. Five days later I found out why. Bit sad when the flower head is still intact.

The o/s rels are getting closer

Only a bit over two weeks and the o/s rels are arriving. Plan to take them to Sydney for a few days in early January. I spent many hours on the net this week looking at flights and accommodation when I could have been looking at guys getting a load of cum sprayed over their faces, chatting to hot studs in Rio or even out riding my bike (oops, or making a christmas cake, damn, forgot again this year, but not too late).

Then one of them sprung on us that they want to get married while they are here and it is to be a surprise for the other. We have discovered this is impossible as they need there divorce certificates. You cannot do surprise marriage from o/s in Oz.

R thought maybe at Phillip Island, but thinking that through, too busy in January and too difficult just before christmas and when I am working, because of shift work, it is always difficult.

Then I had a brainwave. Why not do it in Sydney? Bondi Beach maybe? Nah, said the celebrant, too windy often and too many people. Botanic Gardens? Under the bridge? All would be great photo ops for o/s tourists. Celebrant knew just the right place, Botanic Garderns, views of both the bridge and Opera House, pavillion nearby in case it rains. There will just be the four of us, plus the celebrant. It should be great fun and romantic too. I am really looking forward to it and I do love going to Sydney.

Of course you can expect many blog posts from me while they are staying here, as with them hovering all the time, I won't be looking at movies of two guys can that possibly fit there?

'You write a lot on the pc Andrew?' 'Yeah, letters to Mum'.

The words of the wise Dame M ring in my ears constantly. Fish and visitors go off after four days.

This is becoming terribly rambly. I know the o/s visitors like a drink. Today I heard English woman consume more alcohol that those of any other country. 220 litres per year. I am not game to calculate per week. I will take refuge in my ensuited bedroom with my books, wireless and earplugs.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Marvellous, with qualification

I listened to the soccer last night on the radio. It was very exciting and Australia won and can now compete in the World Cup.

ABC Local Radio was the broadcaster and I have never listened to soccer on the radio before and I will avoid it in the future. It was awful, although maybe it is always like that. Screaming and biased commentators trying to be humorous was not what I was expecting.

Later, if what I saw last night was what will happen in Australia when we do well at soccer, then I hope we are wiped out early. Flinders and Swanston Street corner had to be closed as a crowd from Federation Square spread across the road. For a couple of hours trams and cars could not pass. In the couple of minutes I was there, I saw one policeman sitting on someone, someone punching someone and someone running who went for a massive trip and flew through the air and landed on the tram tracks head first and did not get straight up. It was quite frightening and seems to be unreported this morning.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bit scary

Ever wonder where that person who made a comment on your blog once and then disappeared into the ether?

This could be one answer. Last week I needed to make an appointment at my doctor. I was unsure if the clinic opened at eight or nine. Type Prahran Market Clinic into the search engine and the second listing was my blog!!!!!!! I didn't recall making a post about it, but upon further inspection, I did discover I had mentioned it when writing about how our movements can be tracked.

It is not the first time this has happened to me. The ever mysterious silent readership is out there, no doubt.

Just tried again and it came up third.

Monday, November 14, 2005

In the genes

My mother and I have something in common. We both have ethnically Chinese doctors. Even a bit more in common. Although hers is female and mine is male, they both like to do the biz with blokes.

My mother has for as long as I can recall said something, when referring to a kid's friend, along the lines of 'her/his little friend'. It did not matter what size the kid's friend was, it was still be a 'little friend'. Ma can be exasperating at times.

Her previous doctor who had an obviously Indian name needed no ethnic identification. She then had another youngish Indian born doctor, who 'put his face close to mine and looked at me with his beautiful dark eyes, and said relax Mrs C, you will be ok'. The way she said it, I expect he could have got his leg over. (ohhhhhh,, don't go there, yukky, does not happen) But for the past twelve months, she has been under 'my Chinese lady doctor'. Finally today a wall of Jericho has fallen and 'my Chinese lady doctor' has become Doctor Li, without qualification.

I too qualify my doctor though, but only by adding the honorific, the very hot Dr ...., and he is for a forty year old. Masculine, stylish, well groomed, pleasant personality, good looks. Too good to be true. Probably has a tiny penis and is lousy at sex.

Jell's Park

It was going to be a family get together at Jell's Park. Sister; sorry, forgot, I have tickets for Babba. Sister in law and kids; sorry forgot, birthday party. Brother; sorry, I just have too much to do. So, just me, R, Mum and stepfather.

But we had a nice time. Jell's Park attracts a varied mix of people with different ethnicities and an even greater variety of informal sport being played. We saw pentanque, badminton, Aussie Rules, football, kite flying, tennis and cricket. Favourite moment was seeing Auusie/Chinese playing cricket.

If you haven't been to Jell's Park, the main picnic area has a very Australian feel, but walk a bit further over the rise towards the lake and it has a English Common feel about it.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The bus, the bar, the band and the baby

Bus stop outside our place. Bus stop outside Muse Bar in East St Kilda. We were off to see Sourmash perform. Makes sense to catch the bus. No problem having a drink then. We had such a good time last time we went and saw Sourmash. We should have left it at that, a great memory.

Arrive at bus stop at 7.34, bus due 7.39, bus arrives 7.58, the next one. What happened to the earlier one? Early is the word I think. Bad start and a painfully slow crawl as the driver read whatever he was reading. Alight from bus just as the heavens opened. If we had caught the correct bus, we would have missed the rain.

Enter venue. Reserved seating right next to band. Not much chop. Brighton antique dealer had reserved ten seats and there were only four of us. Six no shows. Why do people say the will come and then not? One sms with apologies.

Is it an appropriate venue to take a baby? Is it appropriate to change the baby in a smoking room?

Music was ok but a bit on the heavy side. Band due to finish at 10pm. Bus due at 10pm. Saw bus sail past at 9.54. Go out at 10.10 and next bus arrives on time and a slow crawl home.

Double check paper timetable and online timetable to verify that I had not made a mistake.

Check tram route three. Would have been quicker and only a five minute walk to venue.

Love Shack

It is only a guess, but I think Love Shack would have come out in the early eighties. Two years ago it was around this time of the year I suppose that we went to my niece's deb ball. It was all very nice and well done and one of the lads amused us by getting terribly drunk and forceably marched out. My brother intervened and he too was marched out. R intervened and cooled the whole situation.

Off track, sorry. After all the formal stuff, a dj started playing. Quite a few were dancing then something happened. The girls squealed and the boys faces lit up and there was suddenly a mass movement to the dance floor. Now keep in mind that this was 2003, but what dragged them all up on the dance floor? Yep, a twenty odd year old song, Love Shack.

They didn't just get up and dance. The dj pumped the music up and they went wild and many of the parents did too. Uncle just sat back in amazement. Some music really is timeless.

Friday, November 11, 2005


I was in Coles in Prahran at eleven a.m. on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. There was an announcement made, requesting a mintutes silence. No one did.............I looked around, some foreign types but also some Aussie types. No one took any notice. The check out chicks/chaps kept working. Everyone kept shopping. I was prepared to stop, but I would have looked like an idiot. Bit sad.

What I would not have seen

Two days sick leave and then a day off. Good lurk. I was really only unwell for one day. For a simple cold, it cost me twenty dollars for a sick leave certificate, so I thought I better make it two days to get my money's worth. The man repaired our oven today, so tonight we had a pie, chips and vegies tonight. When he was here and I asked him how come a neighbour with the same oven and the same problem, serviced by the same company had his restuck and we had to have a new one, our price $260 as against neighbours price of $170. I had some done shopping in Prahran and walked back through Fawkner Park with the jeep in tow. Ah, bike ride. Rode down Albert Road to the beach with a bit more confidence than yesterday. It would only take five minutes without obstructions observed by a cautious rider. So many traffic lights, so much waiting. Nice cup of coffee and a read of the Hun at the very empty Portebella?

I road out onto the Kerford Road pier for a bit, but not to the end as I did not want to distrurb the fisher folk. There were some bike rest/tie up/stand thingies near the caf. Huh, like anyone would want to steal the green and white Apollo.

This morning while I was telling the building manager that the bike room door needed some attention, another resident put it into words. The tongue plate needed some attention. I was pleased to learn that. Said resident asked why I ride a bike. I did not tell him that I was nearly a virgin bike fact I did not have an answer. I should have asked why he, who had a nice apartment in this building needed to have a holiday house at Safety Beach.

It is too far to walk to the beach from here. But it is not so far on a bike and I noticed rather a lot that I would never have seen from the motor. There was a new wooden seat along the way. I know about these chunky seats that were created from the timbers of something old in Port Melbourne. There was an almost unreadable plaque at the base of tree, commemorating when the Save Albert Park Group put a fence around the Grand Prix Office, complete with NO TRESPASSING sign. I saw some people and some residences. I was amazed to learn of the bike facilities on the road. I was gobsmacked at seeing what they are doing at the Sports and Aquatic Centre.

While on the ride home, I felt very calm and very relaxed. This bike thing is a very good at destressing. I suggest you give it go.


The New South Wales state Labour government will not be re-elected.

Macquarie Bank will implode or explode or just go broke.

There will be some very innocent people who may have their lives ruined caught up in the November 2005 anti terrorist raids.

A rail line to Doncaster will be announced post next year's Commonwealth Games.

Victorian state opposition leader Robert Doyle will still be the leader of the opposition after next year's election, but not for long perhaps.

I will have run out of ideas for blogging by the time the Doyle loses and I will retire gracefully.

Tales from the US

I love dogs, but certain breeds should perhaps be bred out. Some movement has been made in Australia to stop importation of pit bull terriers. I have yet to see anyone who owns one who doesn't look scary. There is a little poetic justice in the following tale, the owner had his thumb bitten off. I hope the kid will be ok.

A 10-year-old boy is in a critical condition after three pit bulls escaped from a US home and went on a rampage, authorities in Illinois say.
The dogs, who then attacked another six people, were later shot dead by police.
No charges had been filed today, but McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren said the location was being treated as a crime scene.
Neighbours said the attacks started late yesterday when children going door-to-door for a fundraiser arrived at the home of Scott Sword, 41, who owned the dogs.
"We had music playing, and I heard this bizarre sound," said Debby Rivera, who lives three houses away.
"I looked out the window, and I saw a young boy. The dogs were just jumping on him."
"The screams were horrible," she said. The dogs were "relentless, like they were possessed".
The pit bulls attacked the two children, and when the dogs' owner tried to stop them, the dogs turned on him and bit off his thumb, Nygren said.
The boy's father also tried to protect his son and was attacked. The dogs went after another neighbour as well.
"The scene sprawled over a couple blocks, it was a very chaotic scene," said Lt Michael Douglas of the Cary Fire Protection District.
Residents threw rocks at the dogs and honked car horns to try to distract them from attacking.
Police later arrived and shot the animals.
Jim Malone said he and a neighbour tried to beat the dogs back with baseball bats.
"He'd hit them, they'd run, and they'd come back," Malone said. "This went on for 15 minutes."
The boy who was attacked was hospitalised and remained in a critical condition today.
His friend, also 10, was in a serious condition.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Bike, the end

Due to a couple of days sick leave, I have the Apollo up and running now. It only took about two hours of fiddling to get the brakes correct. I had a bit of a ride around the car park and tried to understand how derailleur gears work. A loose translation would surely be derailing gears. Hmmm, not sure about a gear system that derails. I was not well enough to take it out. It took all my energy just to lift it off the hook. But I felt a bit better today, so I strapped on the old fashioned blue bike hat.

Going down the carpark ramps at a fair pace was fun. Out into Queen's Lane and then down the footpath of Bowen Crescent and then along Kingsway footpath a bit. I had already rehearsed my 'not ridden a bike for thirty years officer. I am too scared to go on the road' speech. I dismounted to cross Kingsway.

I set off along the Albert Road footpath to the lake. Doing ok. Terribly uncomfortable position though, leaning forward. Seat is too high, but it has seized and won't lower. Will fix that later.

Now I have asked many people about the derailleur gears and no one has ever given me a simple explanation. It is a ratio system. The left lever operates at the cogs at the pedals and the right lever alters the chain at the wheel cogs. So simple. Why did no one tell me? Why did I spend twenty minutes on the net searching for the info, without a result? While I am not an expert, at least I know how the gears work now.

The brake cables have freed up nicely with some use and I seem to have their adjustment pretty ok.

I thought I was doing ok on the gravel path around the lake, but then a jogger overtook me. Every time I slowed down, I wobbled and wandered badly. Once I was at the southern end of the lake I stopped for a break for a couple of minutes and watched the workmen working on the lake wall scratching their nuts.

The other side of the lake was very unfamiliar to me. There was a boardwalk about one metre wide alongside what I think was Rob's Carousel, Redheads, Carousel. I was going to get off and walk to be on the safe side, but I thought bugger it, I will give it a shot. I was unlikely to catch up to the power walking chicks in front of me. I encountered two joggers coming towards me and avoided them. But then a guy came around the corner of the boardwalk unexpectedly and I lost my nerve. I braked too hard and grazed arm on some shade cloth. Damn, my first bike injury.

Somehow I ended up down near the old cricket ground when really I wanted to stay near the lake. Enough, I am going home. There was a quiet road for a bit. I switched the chain to the big cog at the front and the big cog at the rear and pedalled hard. It went fast. My brother, whose bike it was. said it vibrates over 30kph. No it didn't. It must have been the old tyres. I felt in full control of it then. Why do I wobble so badly at slow speeds? I worked it out later. I have never ridden a bike at slow speeds. When I was kid, there weren't pedestrains to dodge or worry about. It was just always open road.

Bike went back on the rack until another day. Surprisingly no sore leg muscles. We walked to South Yarra tonight to eat and no problem. Feeling quite self satisfied.

An offer I can refuse

Sorry Scott, maybe if you were a bit younger.........

Dear Johnny, Kimmie, Andy and Bobby

Chaps and chicks who govern us, please take note. While I fully understand that the most important thing to you is to be re-elected, you could be a little less offensive about it.

Yes, families are important and should be supported. But there is a very high percentage of those who vote for you are not a family in the sense that you use the term. I am sure that you really mean you want to make Australia safe for all of us and not just families. You seem to have gotten over the 'bush' word and I have not heard 'battler' for a while. About time to indicate that you are governing for all Australians, not just families. I am starting to find it quite offensive.

(PS Is forrest a good word to substitute for bush? Not in the above sense. We want a better deal for people in the forrest sounds creepy.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Good stuff

I was about to post another whinge about something but instead I will do something positive.

The country we live in is not too bad. It could be a lot better, but at least we can rail against our government and the authorities.

Put people in a car or on public transport, they can change their personality considerably. But outside of these pressure cookers, most Aussies aren't bad people and would rather help than not.

We have gorgeous food and eating places. Value for money, it would be hard to beat around the world.

We have more open spaces with nothing in them than perhaps anywhere else in the world. It is not a bad thing to have open spaces without man made stuff in them.

What ever sort of weather you like, you can find it in Australia, and in Melbourne, possibly find it all in a short space of time.

Some thoughtful people put a lot of care into infrastructure, building and architecture in the last couple of centuries. We hope this continues.

Our groomed parks are marvellous. Our ungroomed parks are pretty good too.

Personally, well I have a job that almost pays the bills (end of positives about job). I have a good family, an ok home, not many, but good freinds, a caring partner.

Life is good hey? Well, I have a cold and feel thoroughly miserable and writing that crap was no help at all. Sniff, sniff.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Call waiting and 101

This never occurred to me when we joined Telstra 101 service. We just wanted to try it to see if when we buy our next cordless phone, we need an answering machine or not.

It worked ok, but we stuck with our answer machine. One problem is that there is no visible indication of a message when you arrive home. Another just discovered one is that it rather defeats the purpose of having call waiting. Instead of an incoming call tone, it goes to the 101 service. If it someone whose number is in our phone, our phone shows who is calling, but it won’t when the call goes to 101.

So, I decided I wanted it off. Unlike mobile message service, there is little that you can do by pressing buttons on your phone. You can only really listen to your messages. I called someone at Telstra yesterday after trying to turn in off, but they said it was not a user feature. He said to call the general Telstra number. I tried that but they only work business hours. I called today and got into this terrible voice recognition loop. After a couple of false tries, I decided to say ‘consultant’, but then it still wanted to know why I was calling and then would send me back into the loop which did not have a talk to consultant option. Arrrggg. I was getting annoyed after the fourth try.

Eventually, I just called the number and said nothing, and that got me through after a time.

Now our net has gone down. Call Telstra tech support. It took four tries before getting through. Message was ‘we are experiencing excessive calls at the moment, please try later’. Yes, well that is quite predictable because the net is not working.

I have had enough experience with Telstra tech support in past to know exactly what was coming. Well, I though I had, but they have added a couple of extra touches.

Here we go. Press 1 for broadband, press 1 for cable, press one for standard cable. Fine. But here is a newie. ‘Please enter your telephone number related to your internet connection.’ Given I had pressed all the buttons for cable, the system should know that there is no telephone number connected with my internet connection. F***wits. Smarter this time than the last, I said nothing at all and then started on the rest of the process.

Your call maybe monitored etc.

Please be sitting in front of your computer with it switched on etc.

Please have your account number ready.

I suppose this all took a couple of minutes. I was silly really. I did know exactly what I would hear. I have heard it many times.

‘We are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our Victorian big pond cable network. Our technicians are working on the problem, but due to the complexity of the problem, we are unable to give a time when the network will be available.’

I can’t imagine what logic tells them that people need to go through all that nonsense when callers just want it confirmed that there is a network problem. I am quite sure it is nothing to do with intelligent end of the business, which are the ever nice, pleasant and polite folk who eventually answer your enquiry.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Bike Progress

I have had new tyres put on the recently aquired bicyle. I bought a tyre pump, a bell and a lock.
To get the wheels off to take them to the bike shop, I had to let one tyre down to get it past the brake calipers. The other was already flat.

So, with two new tyres, it should be ready to ride. Not quite. Putting the newly tyred wheels on while inflated required me to do something with the brake calipers. The most obvious was to loosen the cables. But I can recall, sometimes it is hard to get them set up correctly again. What I did was unscrew a part of the caliper. Mistake, although very educational. The back one was fine, but the front one sprung apart, and try as I might, I could not get it to go back correctly.

Bugger it. I will do it another day. I have already done too much today and I am weary and it is time for a pre dinner chard. As I started to wheel it out and back to the bike room, the chain fell off. I will get there, eventually.

New Blogger Linked

It is a long time since I have added anyone to my blogger honour roll. Many are worthy, but I need to feel some sort of personal connection or linkage with them. Bar one, all of the linked bloggers have something to do with public transport. It can hardly be a co-incidence.

Peter's blog, Melbourne in Transit, is almost exclusively about public transport. His posts are interesting, informative and well written. So welcome Peter.

Melbourne Public Transport

Melbourne's public transport is dear to my heart. I both use it and work in it. It is terribly important to the ammenity and the good functioning of our city. While there is bit of media and advocacy pressure happening, it is a good time to make some personal contact with your local member and indicate that you would be happy for several billion well spent dollars to be thrown at public transport. Strike while the iron is hot. Just a quick email will do. Even if you never use pt, the better it works, the less cars will be on the road bothering you.

As the sun sinks

It is incredible at how quickly the sky changes as the sun sets.

Who is up the tree?

No matter how hard I stared, I could not see anyone naked up the tree.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Dallas Brookes Hall

The poor old thing is going to be pulled down. I am not greatly fond of sixties architecture, but I liked the old hall.

I only went there twice back in the early eighties. Once was to a rally organized by Friends of the ABC over, wait for it, budget cuts. A woman, intellectually superior to me, tried to pick me up at the drinks and nibbles afterwards. Quite attractive too she was. Maybe she had money? Maybe I made a big mistake in rejecting her invitation?

After my second visit to DB Hall I would probably have been locked up, not allowed to contact anyone, interrogated and an ASHIO (sic) file would be started on me if it was today.

It was a rally to support Fretilin, the terrorist organization in East Timor that was fighting for independence for East Timor.

I was a bit more politically active back then and I supported several terrorist organizations. I cannot now remember the names of them now. One was the anti apartheid Nelson Mandela organization in South Africa. It was quite clearly a terrorist organization. Another was in Nicaragua.

So, I was a supporter of overseas terrorist organizations and now I could be locked up for it. I hate you Howard and all you stand for and how you turned Australia into paranoid, screw the worker, ignore protocols and Westminster traditions, take from the poor and give to the rich bastard of a place. If there was anywhere better, I would emigrate.


Who doesn't like a nature pic of some cute and fluffies? Yes, I am not very good with a camera phone.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


These things come in lots hey.

Last car service, I was told my timing belt needed replacing. While it could last for a long time yet, if it fails, it can do some damage. I would certainly be without the motor for a time. There has be an ignition switch problem for a time, along with a heater tap problem. Last straw is the air con is not working properly. It is probably a blown seal. But after working, hot, sweaty and grumpy, it is nice to get into a chilled car for the trip home. After working for getting close to thirty years, at least I should be able to have a cool car to drive home in. So I will have to pay a lot for the car maintenance.

We bought a new fridge.

I bought some bike tyres and tubes.

We have yet to pay for the oven door repair.

Total cost..............terrifying.


I have seen rather more of breasts lately than I am keen on. It started on Derby Day in Hawthorn when a couple of girls, and girls is the very much correct word, passed me nearby with minimal horse racing clothing. The had obviously found a supply of Hollywood Tape. In spite of me not looking, I could not help observe how firm their breasts were, kinda like I have seen on sex changes who have silicon impants. If they stayed like that, small and firm, I could almost like them.

Come Cup Day, and there was a drunken woman staggering along Swanston Street with her equally drunken male companion. Now if ever a bloke needs to stay sober and look after his female companion, it is at horse racing events and the aftermath. She was probaly in her thirties. She bent over to do something with her shoe and, and full credit to her for still having her shoes on, her ample and kinda loose floppy breast fell out. Without a fuss, she stuffed it back it in. Well done honey. They may be a bit saggy and you may have been a bit drunk, but you kept it together, just about.

As I may have mentioned, the service man who attended our oven had a look at our fridge at my request. He felt the compressor and said it was too hot. I told him it was running excessively and it was very noisy and he said it needed replacing. Great. Just what we need. A six year old fridge is no good. Because of the noise issue and the overseas visitors sleeping close to it and the thought of how much electricity it is using (and the cost of a new fridge means that R will stop banging on about plasma tv and home theatre for a while), I thought it wasn't a bad idea to replace it. R did some good ground work. I called into Retravision in Chapel Street today and they had a bargain. 420 litre Kelvinator/Electrolux fridge, delivered and the old one taken away, for $999. We went tonight and paid for it and it will be delivered tomorrow. We were catching the bus home and thought, ah to celebrate, we will stay on the bus and go on to Crown and have dinner there. We stayed on the bus and had a great meal at Margots in Crown. It had slipped my mind that today was Oaks Day, so it was quite busy with more drunken women.

There were breasts everywhere I looked. I am not interested in breasts really, but I just could not help but see them. In contrast to the teen hard firm teen breasts I saw on Derby Day, a female only ten years older, in her mid twenties, had these jiggling breasts. They sort of flopped around like loose fat.

Breasts are a funny thing. I will leave them to you straight guys who no doubt know all about them already and are laughing at me at my ignorance.


I recently heard that a treatment for hayfever is to eat honey made locally, that is, in your area of town. It builds your resistance to local pollens that cause your hayfever reaction.

I used to suffer terribly from hayfever but sometime in the early nineties it pretty well disappeared. If I still suffered badly, I would give this honey eating idea a shot. It sounds quite plausible.

A couple of hours after hearing this, some electrical impulse shot from one side of brain to the other and I remembered that in the early nineties, I bought honey from a work mate. He lived only a couple of kilometres from my workplace and kept bees and made his own honey. Over a year or so, I guess we bought five jars. I got sick of it crystallizing and having to heat it in the microwave to clear it, so we stopped buying it.

The time roughly co-incided with the almost ceasing of my hayfever. While it is hardly proof of the theory, it would be well worth a try if you are a sufferer. Believe me, I know how bad it can be.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

First Tuesday, November

Profit and loss statement

Highriser - $20 TAB + $20

Gambling is bad kiddies

Monday, October 31, 2005

Stay home mater

I object to paying for many things, but most I will wear. There are a couple I object strongly to.

One is publicly funded child care for families where both work. We seem to pay in both Federal and State tax and then council sticks it hand up as well. No, lady, stay home, bring your kids up properly. I have never heard so much nonsense as having children and then paying someone else to look after them. Why have them in the first place? If you really don't care enough about them to stay home, then why expect us to pay as well? If you have to work, then the bloke should stay home. A good flow on effect is that the price of property will drop and become more affordable for all. And if a mother spent a bit more time with her children, she may just not tolerate the appalling behaviour of some of them, and instill a bit of decentness into them.

I am not heartless enough to suggest that the poor ought not have decent housing, but bay views on Beaconsfield Parade and Upper Esplanade and Williamstown? Nah, it is not right that they occupy such expensive real estate. How many more people could be housed by selling these off.

Now why has City of Port Phillip building rooming houses for single men on prime Balaclava real estate? My rates at work in ways I don't like. Housing for the poor is State Government business, not council. Neither the state or federal governments are going to come with any money if the council starts doing it.

While I know some old people who did worry about where they would live and what would happen to them when they were old, I also know too many who just drifted and thought their wages were to spend and everything will be looked after for them when they are old.

The world and Australia has changed and sorry, but you are being driven away from the very expensive real estate that you occupy. It is a hard life, but it is also hard for people to go without when they are younger so that they do have something for their old age. Your lives of total self indulgence have consequences.

The Favourite

It is very naughty of us adults to have favourites, that is favourtite children, favourite nieces etc. but I cannot help, and nor can R. adore my favourite niece. I think she is just thirteen, attractive, clever, very social, charming, loving, good sportswoman and an all round great kid.

After a 4.30am rise, the pic is of her in her mother's food caravan at the Frankston Sunday Market. She can competently do all that is required in the van, pack it all up, including tables chairs, umbrellas and stands at the end of the market.

Then she wowed me as she guided her mother in the car to hitch the van onto the towbar, and then hitched it herself, folded the jockey wheel out of the way and put on the safety chains.

Her maternal grandmother has said about A since she was five years old, she has been here before. I believe that to be correct.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Daylight Saving

I really could not afford to lose an hour's sleep last night, but then even more time after work taken in reseting clocks.

Car X 2
Clock Radio X 2
Mobile Phones X 2
Organizers X 2
Answer Machine
Air Con
Sound System
Wall Clock
Mantle Clock
Electric Timer
PC, no just kidding. I used to think that the pc knowing when daylight saving started in Oz was a was quite a few years and pcs ago

Friday, October 28, 2005

The lion, the king and the cockatoo

I have fought hard to only have a minimal number of plants on our balcony. The balcony is not huge. I don't want it cluttered. I don't want to have to cart plants in and out to water them. I have spent many, probably thousands of hours in the past tending to our gardens. They were pretty good. But now, just a couple of special plants is all that is needed.

R bashed off to see the Lion King last night. He loved it. I would not go. I did not really like the sound of it. It was terribly expensive. I was working too late anyway.

I arrived home with my chicken and chips from Charcoal Chicken in Balavclava. It was the largest quarter of chicken I have ever come accross. I could barely eat it all.

What has happened on the balcony? One annual flowering plant has just been disposed of recently because it ran out of flowers. Remaining is a woody flowering plant and a neglected cactus. The cactus was a gift. I don't like cactus much, so I never watered it. But that does not ensure the death of a cactus. As it was a gift, I was a bit loath to throw it out.

The two people who R was going to see the Lion King with were the ones who gave us said cactus.

(It is coming together, be patient)

These friends came here last night to call for R and then they travelled into town on the tram together.

But the balcony. Cactus bits strewn everywhere. The other plant had two thick stems cut off it. I am thinking the friends have tried to do something with the plants, then run out of time and just left the mess there.

I saw R briefly this morning and he had no knowledge of the incident and was just as curious, so it wasn't them. We have had quite a few birds on our balcony lately. A couple of doves, occasional blackbird and quite often, Indian Mynahs. But I have never seen them attack any plant like this.

I was puzzled. R worked it out. Cockatoos. I have heard of them attacking western red cedar in country houses, but an attack on a balcony in St Kilda Road? Only very sharp cocky like beaks could have bitten through the woody stems on one plant.

Yep, umpteen floors up with only two modest pot plants, we are the victims of a wild life attack. You truly would not believe the damage they did. It is fortunate that I care little for either plant.

Lack of social life

Let me think. I suppose the visit to Frankston Market last week was a social thing with some of my family, but otherwise, work has impacted heavily on any other social activity.

But on the horizon, Saturday night we have been invited to our dyke friend's newest squeeze for dinner in down town East St Kilda no less. Her newest squeeze is quite nice. Her mother did not cook, so she learnt herself at a young age and does it very well we believe. I only said so in front of our two closest friends, but oh, not a dyke social worker in government employ. Dame M, the boarder, and our friends the twinnies will attend too. I am morally concerned as our dyke friend's relationships don't normally last very long, and I hate the idea of her new squeeze going to so much effort for people she may never see again. Anyway, it is her choice, but.

Then we are invited to a cup day party, but as I am working, I cannot attend.

Cup night we are invited to Indian Divali celebrations. The days co-incides, take it as a omen for your Cup bets at your risk.

The Revolting Poor have Started Their Rebellion

Apart from their four wheel drives and Brighton mansions, what else symbolizes the rich capitalist class? Yep, in Melbourne it is a bathing box. Brightly coloured timber structures that sit on the sand of our public beaches and are privately owned. Minimum price $9,000, maximum, $150,000.

So now the poor are revolting, and torching these symbols of rampant and uncaring capitalism.

(I hope that is why some were torched and it wasn't stupid vandalism)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

R's frustration

I don't think I am too hard to get along with, but I am somewhat of a careful person. I consider things, especially purchases, to the point where R is over it by the time I make up my mind. The barbeque for the balcony was an example.

The most obvious present example is the bicycle I want. I still don't have one, but I am going to get my brother's bike, that was my sister's, gratis.

Good deal, and I will see if I like cycling. It is only about two years since I first mentioned to R that I should have a bike.

When you don't have anything on the go, or to look forward to, you may as well not exist. Perhaps procrastination over purchases is is one way of always having something to keep your mind busy.

Update: This was written a while ago, but I got too busy to fix it up and publish, so it is out of chronological order, but I am posting it anyway.