Saturday, April 09, 2005

Seen today

At the top of Scotch Hill, Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn? there is a large block of flats with a single driveway entrance. Today there was a BMW 318i parked across the driveway, preventing any entrance and exit. It was one of those older silver BMWs, favoured by young rich kids. A 'P' plate (probationary driver) was displayed. Parking lines were clearly marked on the road.

Many residents were out of the flats chatting and looking on as the attending policeman went about his business.

Worst case is, the owner got a fine.

Better still, the car was towed away and the owner had to pay heaps to get it back.

Best case is the car was crushed and taken to the tip.

Good luck to you if you are rich and have rich parents and went to the best school. But your arrogance will cause you much heartache when you are older.

You will learn.


Liquor outlet? Did I really say that in my post about Patterson? I meant bottle shop of course. Or did I? Is it a bottle shop if it is attached to a hotel? Otherwise it has another name such a liquor outlet or grog shop or 'Dan's".

While I don't use it, I do like the English expression 'offy', 'off license'. That is 'off licenesed premises' I guess.

The bike

I really did not think there much more that would be of any use to anyone that could be removed from this bike, but see pic below and you will see that there was. Good to see it is still safely secured.

The bike

The present state of the bike.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Negative and depressing or 'Patterson'

My blog is sounding very negative at the moment, so I will write something a bit cheery. I am scratching my head.

I did have an outing on Tuesday which was a bit interesting. R's car had to be serviced so Monday night we dropped it Brighton Hyundai which I think is in Bentleigh. He went there straight from work and I picked him up. The next day, he took my car to work.

I said I would make my own way to the car service garage the next day and he could come straight from work, collect his car and give me mine back.

I had a look at the
Melways and realised the place was near Patterson railway station. I had always associated the name with Patterson Lakes. I could probably tell you exactly where every railway station is that is south or east of the city, most western ones and some northern ones. But I never knew where Patterson was.

I was in the Carlton and caught the tram to Flinders St Station. That was a mistake as I should have alighted at Melbourne Central Station as the train went around the City Loop and passed Melbourne Central. But no matter, I was not in a hurry. I used to know which way trains went in the Loop at which times, but I have forgotten now.

To my pleasure, the train was one of the new Siemens trains. I had never travelled on one before, nor the other new Melbourne train. It was very smooth, cool and clean. What was alarming, was the flexible concertina material between carriages. It moved so much. Up and down, back and forth, sideways, diagonally, and not just a little bit. I am talking like half a metre it seemed. Quite alarming. Tram concertina material only really moves when going around a corner and then only one direction.

From the window of the train I saw the back of a workmates house in McKinnon and remembered that those huge trees that are there now were tiny little alder trees planted in a row along the back fence many years ago.

I alighted at Patterson Station, walked down the ramp and found myself in the midst of what must be the Patterson local shops for local people. I went into the newsagent looking for bookmark flags that seem to be only sold by large office supply companies. I went into the milk bar and bought an IC milk drink (how working class is that, but I was hungry).

I walked along Patterson Street toward Nepean Highway, past a closed liquor outlet and a few other closed businesses. Village strip shops aren't very profitable now. I checked out the the houses, some were ok, but the gardens were dreadful. Lots of clipped shrubs and nothing allowed to grow over head height. What about some trees you Patterson folk? Plant an oak! Plant a gum. Not even a liquid amber to be seen.

There was a quite nice looking park that I walked past.

So, that was a bit of an outing to unfamiliar territory and I now know about Patterson.

Odd things seen #53

She, 80 years old, sitting at a tram stop. He, 80 years old standing. They, having a tug of war with a tube of new boxed Colgate Toothpaste, the plain red variety. Very odd.

Old age brings wisdom? Bullshit, and if there are any youngish readears of my blog, don't believe it. I am just as stupid now as I was twenty years ago. Older age gives you experience and knowledge, but not wisdom.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Highriser in strife

Is strife an Aussie word? If it isn't, it is still a pretty good word.

As a very active member of the body corporate committee of our building, I am prepared to be criticised. But I have now been on the receipt of some downright nastiness.

There are two types of bodies corporate. One is where there is a secretary who handles day to day stuff and is probably a boss in a a way. The other is our style where all decisions are totally consensual. But I would say invariably in this type there is a boss anyway.

This boss likes to have total control, is a good speaker and persuader. When in charm mode, he is excellent. Challenge him, and you are in trouble.

Not that I did. I like to get along with people and reach agreements on stuff.

But at this moment, I feel like getting out of it and handing it over to my partner, (from here on referred to as R.) While he might not get things going like I do, I think he is much better at meetings and making a wise and considered comment at an appropriate moment.

Our AGM is in May where I can renominate as a committee member and I have some serious thinking to do about the whole thing before then. Do I leave the committe and let this person win? I have contributed a lot already and will continue to do so if I stay. Should I let R do all the meeting stuff and I just assist him as seems appropriate? Should I continue as I do now and try to deal with the friction? I am really not sure I am up for it. Other committee members would be disappointed, I think, if I did not renominate.

My own credo that I worked out shortly after I joined the committee, was that I will always do what is best for the building and the residents and always act openly. While I may have my faults and may not always get everything right, I believe I have followed the above.

Bodies corporate are certainly very hard political things. We learnt that many years ago. Pity we forgot.

R always said it will end in tears. Perhaps is has.

New wallet

The old one just wore out after about 5 years. I bought it in Bangkok. I haggled, went to other stalls, went back, haggled some more and eventually paid around $20 for it.

The new one came from South Melbourne Market and cost only $15 and it seems about the same quality. No haggling, just pay the asking price.

One reason I am always pleased to return home from Asian countries is to be able just walk into a shop and buy something, without haggling, worrying that you are being cheated and without being ripped off.

In Vietnam, the same large bottle of water, of which we bought many, varied at similar street stalls from 30 cents to a dollar twenty cents. Not much money for us really but it is the point of it. Once we established a place that sold it at a fair price, we would buy other stuff there too.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The noble Australian Aboriginal

The noble Australian Aboriginal is a bit of a mouthfull. I think referring to them as abos is not so nice, but many do. Privately and only among the closest of friends I might say boongs, but I only do that for shock value in the same way I would say 'pigs arse' in a very deep voice to an erroneous statement someone may have made.

They, the noble Australian Aboriginal, seem quite happy to call us 'white fellas', so in the future I shall refer to our noble Australilan Aborignal as 'black fellas'. It works. "Hey black fella, wotcha doin?" If the intonation is right, I think that works.

Doubt I will have an opportunity to use it and doubt you, any reader, will either.

Save the whale

An ipod of whales beached themselves in Western Australia a couple of days ago. Aren't the people, the non paid ones, truly wonderful in their devotion to saving them. Most often they aren't terribly successful, but that never stops them.

When you have had a crap day, just remember, the world does not revolve around you. You will get over it. Get out and do something for someone or something that is thankless. You are not going to get an award, but you will feel better.

(There, I almost convinced myself).

Monday, April 04, 2005

Feeling guilty

Next Sunday at around 5.30pm will see us on the Tullamarine Freeway on the way to the airport to collect my partner's sister's partner's sister and her partner. Got that clear? I have.

They are rich people who hail from the isle of Jersey, which is sort of part of England. They have some very pretty cows there and it is a bit of tax haven. Were the Rolling Stones domicile there for tax purposes?

We will pick them up at the airport and take them to their accomodation. They seem to like to stay in hostels, even though they can afford to stay anywhere.

Neither my partner nor myself has met them, although my partner has spoken to the female on the phone from where they were a week ago, NZ.

They sound quite nice but I think they will need to hold up a card at the airport so we know who they are.

They are inclined to stay in either St Kilda or the City.

Their impending visit was intially good, as I have that week off and I am available to collect them from the airport, and have free time for a day or two to take them around.

But friends, and those who have been paying attention, will know that we have three bedroom apartment for two people.

Are you getting a clue to the problem and the moral dilemma?

I have my routines when I am not working. Regain concioness at around 8, sit in front of pc for an hour or more, eat some cereal, take my blood pressure medication, shower and dress, present a brave face to the world by 10.30-11.00.

My ever considerate partner, once he remembered I was not working that week, killed the idea of inviting them to stay.

But I expect it will be something to regret at a later point in time.

Aussies rule ok

No, think that subject should be Aussie Rules. What fun I had needling my brother about Aussie Rules no longer being football but football is now soccer. It is a good thing, but will take some time.

While I don't actively seek out information about Aussie rules footy, I can't avoid it. In a silly moment, I joined the tipping comp at gayfooty I did ok the first week and I am so interested that I haven't yet checked how I went this last weekend.


Oh, I am 91st in the comp. Not so good.

The Torpedo's torpedo

Photoshopped or not, it is an interesting pic. While I love his attitude and 'niceness', I no longer lust after him. Perhaps if he shaved more often........

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Right click, sort by name

I have slipped into a comfort zone with my short blogger list in my favourites. They are not ordered in any way. They are just where they are and I know where they are. Two in the list are mine, a couple I occasionally look at and a couple of new and pending blogs for additions and of course, the regulars.

But I really think I should put them in alphabetical order before they get out of control. You know, that anal retentive thing? Change the name of the link so it suits your purpose. Put a captial as the first letter, Andy!

The sensible must overcome the easyness. Right click, sort by name. Yeah, I will do that............soon.

My eyes are dry and I can see

I am normally pretty tolerant of folks and their foibles, but I really don’t have much time for organized religion. (Someone may add here, 'you? tolerant? haha')

The old Pole in Rome has died. I shan’t shed a tear. Homosexuality is an ‘objective disorder’, he said. ‘If it is not a sin, it is evil’. The ‘tendency is ordered toward intrinsic moral evil’.

‘When rights of homosexuals are protected, family and society are threatened.’

‘Homosexuality threatens the lives and well being of a large number of people.’

While I have little time for homosexual marriage, he said ‘it is a new ideology of evil.’

'You were christened catholic? You were brought up as a catholic? You have the catholic faith? Out arms are out to you. Oh, you are gay, sorry, you are not welcome. Go away now please and don’t come back to our church. We are busy with cute young kiddies anyway.'

You don’t have to go back to the Spanish Inquisition. Just early to mid last century, the catholic church supported the brutal torturer General Franco in Spain. Late last century it has supported right wing terror militia groups in South and Central America against democratically elected governments and also didn’t it support Cheuchesku?, that madman in Albania?

It won’t allow decent contraception to be used. No surprise there that they want the population explosions in third world countries that have a strong catholic faith. The catholic church may not have much credence in some places, but it sure has some numbers among the poor and poorly educated.

You may think that it would like to keep it’s numbers high by suggesting that it would be wise to use condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS. Nup. And millions suffer and die. But the church’s brainwashing is so good, no doubt the victims think they are going somewhere better.

In my own hometown of Melbourne, how many acres of slums did the church own? How many poor people did they evict and turn onto the street when times got tough.

While a pregnant woman is tearing her heart over deciding about an abortion, does the church support her? Nup.

I am sorry for you decent and honourable catholics and people of the church who have a strong faith and are good people. Many things have been done or said that you may not agree with, but sorry, you are misguided to stick with such archaism.

I am very dry eyed about his death, hate all the media nonsense about it and I hope his successor will be somewhat more enlightened and bring the catholic church into the 21st century.

Saturday night

Do go and see Ladies in Lavendar , especially if it is at The Rivoli where you are surrounded by some 'new' art deco and some original art deco, and you can enjoy a drink of the roof top terrace in the warm balmy evening. First class acting, beautiful filming and humourous in parts, but probably not a younger person's movie.

Do look up as you walk past the Rivoli aparments in Camberwell Rd if you want to see a muscular naked young man wandering around in his apartment with all lights blazing.

Do not eat at The Tower Hotel, East Hawthorn, unless you like small serves of overpriced and fairly ordinary food. There are some great looking cafes near the Rivoli. Much better value I think.