Saturday, March 05, 2005

Freebie watchers

It is strange how so many high rise buildings that view the Grand Prix circuit need work done to the mechanicals on the roof or their windows cleaned.

These are, I think, F18 Hornet Royal Australian Air Force jets. They fly over the Grand Prix circuit each day and can also be seen on Anzac Day. The are very loud, but the sound is always a long way behind them.

Friday, March 04, 2005

The President of Israel needs good Aussie air support.

The President of Israel is visiting our local synagogue. Much fuss and Toorak Rd closed for hours without warning.

This is the most interesting thing I saw at day one of the Australian Grand Prix Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 03, 2005

GP correspondent report

No Andy.

It is no privilege to live near the grand pricks track. Our local park has been turned into a race track and I don't like it, but we moved here after it was established, so I am not going to complain too much. By all means put up a screen, it might block the noise a bit.

It was free today, so I went. It was crowded when crossing the pontoon bridge, but that was the only time. Given it was free, where were all the people?

Toilets, plenty, food plenty, drinks plenty and no queues, walking on the golf course, nice. Good perving? Surprisingly, no. It was all very well organised.

Upon entry with a bag, you were stopped and searched. No opened bottles of water were allowed. Culprits were made to empty their opened bottles. I told a blatant lie and got away with my bottle of Melbourne's best tap water. What do they think might be in the bottle? Vodka? You can buy it inside anyway. All about protecting vendors I suppose.

Something I have wondered about it the wildlife and how they handle it. The swans and another bird I have forgotten the name of were fine and enjoying the extra food. No sign of any ducks or other species though.


The cars have been moved at last, so it would seem the occupants aren't missing in the tsunami.

So no 4WD for Andy, or free accomodation and a sports car for William.

I, foolishly, ventured to Carlton to visit Readings and check out the Jaques Tati dvds. They were available for $35 in Readings and the same price in Borders across the road. Why foolish, well what should have been an easy trip on one tram, turned into a marathon.

The Australian Grand Pricks cars were on display and racing around the city. So public transport and traffic was much disrupted. I caught the bus to cnr of Latrobe and Queen, then tram to Swanston, then another tram from Latrobe and Swanston to Lygon St. Must be an easier way to come back. Not really. I caught a bus to Lonsdale and Elizabeth, walked to Queen St and then the bus home. What should have been a quick trip took ages.

Anyway, two dvds at $35 equal $70. Available over the net including postage for maybe $63.50, a saving of $6.50. But I like Readings, an independant retailer of books etc, so given the price difference is not huge, I will buy them there I think.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Latest Movie

Just saw at the now very lavish Cinema Como, My House in Umbria. No one could doubt the talents of Maggie Smith nor Ronnie Barker, but the script was poor. Good film work though and nice scenery.

Noted the way, although it was made by the US cable company HBO, that the English love to paint Americans as terribly anal retentive and boring.

But it was worth the trip just to sit in the cinema lounge with a glass of wine. It is truly gorgeous.

I enjoyed the KFC before the movie too. It is becoming a highriser tradition that an evening movie is associated with KFC. Wicked, in both senses.


I had to post a parcel. It is always a nice walk through Fawkner Park to the St Kilda Rd Post Office. Along the way I spotted an old grey haired man on a swing, back and forth, higher and higher, almost horizontal. As I neared him, I recognized him as a resident of our building. One that causes some exercising of the body corporate committee’s minds. But it nice for an old man to be on swing. Wonder what he was thinking as he swung towards the sky? His childhood in some place? A remembrance of swings as a kid, or perhaps not having one when he was a kid and making up the loss.


In our car park sit two cars, one behind the other in their parking space. One is a huge 4WD (SUV) and the other a very sporty, low to the ground almost brand new Toyota MR something. They are covered in a thick layer of dust and obviously have not been driven for a long time. Their value must be over $100,000.

Seemed odd so I made enquiries. I found out that the owners are Indonesian and they went home to Indonesia in mid December last year. They are a family with the children attending Melbourne University.

Further digging revealed that the postman had asked the building manager in mid January to clear their letter box and store their mail as he could not fit any more mail in their box.

They have seemingly disappeared and deserted their assets. It does make me wonder where in Indonesia they were on Boxing Day last year.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Jell's Park

Had to catch up with ma (mother). Suggested we meet at Village Green Hotel for lunch as my guest. (That means, I pay, and boy did I pay).

After lunch we went to Jell's Park for coffee (again I paid) and whatever we found there. Jell's Park is great. I had never been before. It was one very packed park but so nice. I counted I think 12 sporting activities happening. Kids on bikes with trainer wheels, and what comes before that.

We sat on a bench under a tree, chatting, looking at photos, watching people. It was warm, but not too hot.

At 4pm latin music started, just made it even better.

A thoroughly gorgeous afternoon.

Family oriented readers, do go there. It is nice.

Just finished reading....

I have just finished reading two books. One is called Phaic Tan and it is a send up of
Lonely Planet travel books. It was written by the folk at Working Dog, a local film production company that is staffed by television comedians, among others. For a generous sample of what it is about, check the website. Don't miss the link to the map. I had read the previous book too, Molvania. Phaic Tan was perhaps a bit better. They do get a bit boring after a while. Don't think I will read another.

The other was Brother Fish, written by Bryce Courtenay. The second half was more interesting but generally so like a previous book, Four Fires. Don't know that I will read another Bryce Courtenay book.

Rent boys everywhere

We had a neighbour here who lived on the same floor as us who we thought maybe gay. We were fairly sure the night some ‘mate’ started to bust up his flat and he had to call the guard to get rid of him. To be fair, next morning he must have vacuumed up the bits of plaster on the landing.

It was not spoken about, but I guess we were pretty sure the day when we and us were in the lift together on Mother’s Day, and he meekly wished us ‘Happy Mother’s Day’.

We met his semi live in friend, a young man who was very nice, very friendly, very straight, but………..slightly too nicely dressed.

We spotted our neighbour in a smart restaurant in Chapel St having lunch with two very attractive young men.

We noticed some comings and goings of some very attractive young men to his apartment. Lest you think it was daily, no, just maybe once a month we would see someone.

So we concluded, correctly I think, that he likes rent boys, and likes rough trade, not really overtly gay boys.

For complicated reasons, he decided to move from his rented flat to another rented flat in the building, just a couple of floors up. So we no longer came across his rent boys on the landing, although once or twice in the lift.

Not long after he moved upstairs, we came home and he was in the lift and was very ‘happy’. He invited us up for a drink and in the short time we were there we learnt quite a lot about him. Although he rents, he certainly does not live on $500 a week. He had been seriously wealthy in the past but lost a lot at some point. Even tonight when we saw him, he was off to see Cher with a $495 ticket in his hand, front row.

Yesterday we had a lovely day. A trip to Bunnings in Altona, a stop in Williamstown for a late lunch, a bit of supermarket shopping and home at three. But brunch was a while ago and we were hungry, so at four we went across the road, hoping the café was open, but no, it closed at 2.30. Ah well, perhaps a bite in the world wide Scottish restaurant. We rarely do it.

The two subjects above are connected, be patient.

We sat in the window, watching the trams, cars, people and world go past. Some young man turned up and stood in front of us outside the Scottish restaurant. He was very nice looking and looked very straight. He did have very expensively done hair, blonde, his tee was a label one that I can’t recall the name of, his jeans sat perfectly, expensive shoes and sunglasses. He stood in front of the Scottish restaurant smoking a Dunhill. He went in, ordered and came back out and had another cigarette. Boy, is he a heavy smoker. He went back in and collected his order, two paper bags full of Scottish restaurant food and trotted off.

We noticed him, but in a distant way. Nothing relevant to us. Just casual observing, people watching, as you do. If asked, I would have said he was a very classy metrosexual.

Now our tums were satisfied with Scottish restaurant food, we left, crossed the road to home and decided a swim in the pool would be nice. A quick check, and yes, no one is down there, so down we went.

Bit of a swim and then into the spa. It is always nice to have a spa when you are with a loved one, but after a long time of being together, you don’t talk about romantic stuff. You talk about where you live, jobs, friends, the building. You gaze around, look at anyone who is on their balcony and reflected in the building behind.

I was gazing around, and who should I see on a balcony, but the guy who was in front of us at the Scottish restaurant. He was again smoking and, on the balcony of the flat that our previous neighbour now lives in.

Another one of his rent boys.

Ok, that was all. I am just off now to check my last superannuation statement.

Oh, just to add. It wasn't an accident last night. I think a car drove over the median strip and buckled two wheels. The car is sitting in the bus stop today.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

PC Rage

No, not my own. Mine, as previously mentioned, is not a bad machine. Windows XP Pro seems pretty good. I have Telstra cable internet which mostly works fast and well. Our building is backbone wired, so there. It is rare that I am tempted to chuck it out the window, not that I am that sort of person. I am more the type that has huge self control, a master of silent insolence and before chucking a pc out the window, I would do the sums, dollar and personal, as to what it would cost me as against the satisfaction gained. I expect people like me are consumed by cancer at an early age.

But I was stumped tonight. We helped friends with their pc. Fixed up a few things, sorted out some stuff, scandisked, defragged, updated virus checker, cleared temp folders, got rid of some spyware and nasty dial up sites. Good work. But they cannot send emails. They can receive them, no problem. Browser works fine.

I checked all the settings against the Primus site. All was well. They have dial up and only one phone line. Called the helpless desk, or should that be tech suppositery. Went through all the settings again, established there was no firewall, turned off virus checker, still cannot send. Helpless desk suggest I write down the error message and to ping the outgoing and incoming mail receiver. I did this after hanging up and recorded and printed the results and left it for our friends to have a go themselves tomorrow. It was already so late.

I will check tomorrow evening as to how they went. Very frustrating. It must be something simple, but overlooked.

I, like most Telstra customers, love to complain about Telstra but gee, it is a much more pleasant experience dealing with their tech support than IPrimus. There was the bored tone to the voice, the rote reading from the help file, the lack of any interest and a lack of any personal knowledge, experience or ideas input. All I could overlook, if it was delivered in a friendly tone.

But it wasn't. Telstra is the exact opposite. They don't always get it right and I have wasted considerable time trying to fix things on my pc that were a fault at their end, but that was a lack of the person being informed about outages etc. Telstra tech support is more helpful, more interested, more friendly, more personal, more knowledgeable, more honest, less waiting time, better follow up........ I could go on. But of course if I need to use Telstra tech support, then I quickly whinge about the wait in queue, all the buttons on the phone you have to press etc etc.

But that is nothing compared the lack of service from IPrimus. Lest you think it was one bad experience, no, it is the fourth time I have called their helpdesk on behalf of our friends. One of them called the help desk himself last week and he is very even tempered, but he ended up slamming the phone down on the bitchy queen at the other end.

Primus internet and their service sucks. Sue me if you like Mr Primus. You won't win, coz it is the truth.

Now, has that driven the price of my meager Telstra shareholding up half a cent?

Oops, screech of tyres (tires?) outside and and a hit.............rear end collision, girls doing the biffo and mobiles (cells, hands) glowing everywhere.

Sorry sis in law, we were out battling with a pc when you were on your way home from the Cher concert. Hope you enjoyed it.