Saturday, August 20, 2005

Sunset Boulevarde

Military precision because of our friends working until 5.30.

6.05, order pizza

6.15, buy them tram tickets at the 711.

6.18, collect pizza.

6.20, friends arrive.

6.25, pour drinks.

6.30, sit to eat pizza.

7.05, leave home

7.13, catch tram to Arts Centre

7.20, arrive at Arts Centre

7.25, seated

7.30, Sunset Boulevarde starts

It was a great show. David Campell, son of Jimmy Barnes of Cold Chisel is it? was fantastic as was Judi Conelli as Norma Desmond. The first half was ok, the second half wonderful. During the second half, I forgot about how uncomfortable the seats are at the State Theatre. We actually saw several people we know........well 1/3 of the audience was gay, so the odds were good.

Patron Jeannie Pratt is very short, but had good presence in her mink. I didn't see her out the front having a fag or swilling a champers at the bar. There must be a VIP area.

The State Theatre really is lovely, but they must do something about the uncomfortable seats, but please don't consult Qantas.

428 St Kilda Rd

Things can change very quickly. This dust(mud now) bowl at 428 St Kilda Road was once a combination of flats and businesses. In just over one week, it just disappeared. Some asbestos was removed first. There was a rather good florist operating there. The pic of the building is flattering. It was horrible and very run down and I am not sorry to see it go. I just hope what is built there does not block our view of the neon ANAL sign, sorry, ANL

Wedding Crashers

It has received blitz publicity and I have seen the trailer for Wedding Crashers and it looks like absoulute crap. I won't waste my time.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Emails sent

Here is a selection of emails sent from the last couple of weeks that I have sent. Email makes life much easier for chronic complainers like me. But they are not as effective as a written letter.

One to city of Melbourne re parking and traffic in Swanston Street, no response.

One to City of Port Phillip regarding parking in Queens Lane, given a reference number

One to City of Port Phillip notifying that our building received copies of their newsletter, Divercity, I am on a response list.

One to a US DVD company requesting information, no response.

One to company in UK to ask what the extra buttons on our intercom system are for, amazingly a response in a few minutes. The extra buttons are blanks.

One to Yahoo complaining about their poor service, they never respond.

One to ABC Melbourne's Virginia Trioli wishing her well in Sydney, unlikely to get a response.

One to our building manager's wife with a funny picture attached, she returned the mail with a pps file with some Bin Laden humour.

One to friends wishing them bon voyage as they head o/s, I also called them on the phone.

One to a body corp commit member wondering what is being done about the tennis court fence, a response, but vague.

One to our accommodation in Darwin suggesting they get rid of so many apartments with adjoining doors and also complimenting them otherwise, no response.

One to a St Kilda Rd resident to ask what progress he has made in his campaign to severely reduce signage in St Kilda Rd, no response as yet.

One to my brother with two pictures of hotels in some country town to ask him which hotel his friend owns, I just realised I forgot to include the pics, no wonder no response.

One to a friend in Japan with a description of how the 60th anniversary of how the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was covered by the media here and wishing her happy camping at the seaside with a friend.

One to Metlink suggesting they also publish a combined timetable for the St Kilda Road Melbourne Bus Links routes, yes self interest here. This is an interesting one and I will make a separate blog post about it

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Trams and buses

Dear Pete, your new hair styly looks ok and I see you now trim your beard quite severly but I will still affectionately think of you as fuzz face. Your public transport system worked well for me today. I caught many trams and a bus and I only have minor quibbles. They are as follows.

The city traffic lights seem to be arranged to delay the trams to the maximum. The trams stop at the traffic lights and as people are getting on and off, the lights turn red. This seems odd to me. There are so many more people on the trams than in cars and yet cars seem to get the favoured treatment.

The road design seems poor where buses turn from City Road into Power Street. The bus is in the right lane as it needs to turn right again shortly after, but the lanes are not wide enough and so the bus driver must take great care with the right turning cars on it's left and almost always mounts the central concrete strip with the back wheels.

The intersection of Victoria Parade and Nicholson Street does not work very well. The tram I was on was delayed a set of lights because of the intersection being blocked by cars. Again on another tram I was delayed at the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets by cars blocking the intersection.

Once more another tram was delayed by a person standing on the step and asking the driver a question. This resulted in a missed set of traffic lights too. Perhaps a person could be put on the tram to answer question and maybe even sell tickets as people seem to have a lot of difficulty with the electric ticket machines. Many must have had bad experiences with them as they did not even attempt to use the machine.

But your vehicles were quite comfortable and clean. I will give you a rating of 7 out of ten.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Firstly, they said four weeks, then they said six weeks and the last time eight weeks. Eight weeks of wearing a splint on my finger? Nah, computer says no. After five weeks, the skin of my little finger hurts, the joint hurts, I make a a non medical educated guess that another week or so is not going to make a difference. I was warned in advanced that it may never be perfect and it is not. But it is a lot better. I does not look like it needs Viagra, but perhaps just a picture of a cute guy.

If I was young. cute and desirable, I may be concerned about having a less that perfect little finger. It is vaguely straight now. Good enough.


A few years ago friends moved to a house in downtown South Oakleigh. Shortly after, they built a chook house and bought some chooks. They were continually ripped off in so far as they bought what were supposed to be eggs with females in them. Instead so many turned out to male. Once they started crowing, they had to go. Can't have crowing roosters in the burbs.

One of their first females to be born was named Cindy. Cindy could be picked up and carried around and even ventured into their house of her own accord before alterations were made.

Sadly, yesterday, Cindy fell off her perch, figuratively and literally.

So no more hugging Cindy under the arm and no more jokes about the curry that we are eating is Cindy and no more sitting down and 'sorry, Cindy has been here'.

Although she wasn't mine, losing pets is hard.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Western sky

The sun sets over Mindel Beach in Darwin. I was promised it would be good, and it was. Don't forget to click the pic for a better view.

Eastern sky

Given it is the eastern sky, I suppose it was dawn, but I really can't remember. Taken from home. It really is worth seeing it full size.


I recall some years ago back when the net was new and fresh that some nerdy type set up a survey that was along the lines of look at the person and guess if they are cut or not. I participated and got a perfect score. Maybe it is the only time I scored 100% in a test. So be afraid guys. I know something quite intimate about you. I am never wrong about this. It has been tried and tested over many years and I have never got it wrong. Of course if you tell me I am wrong, then I will require visual evidence as proof.

PS I don't have a preference, the male appendage is a wonderful thing.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Dame M had summonsed us to appear at her artistic embroidery exhibition at Como House yesterday. She has a small part in a video that is part of the exhibit. We saw her hands working the embroidery machine. She gave us a live demo later at her home. She and had a lot to do with the costuming of tv programs, films, opera and theatre in the eighties and nineties and can name drop her customers at ease. She still has rooms full of sewing machines..... embroiderers, overlockers, stitchers, etc etc. It is not something I know about. Thanks to a six year apprenticeship, she is one of only two people in Australia who can confidently work and is aware of the capabilities of this non computerised embroidery machine.

The machine is quite fascinating to watch. It has be used at quite a high speed, one foot controls the power, one hand sits on the fabric which sits over paper and the other hand steers the machine from underneath. I could not believe the speed at which it works, but if you slow down, it will start missing.

It was amusing to watch her convincing the person on the door at Como House that we five guys and one girl, all over 40, were all her children. It worked. But as she is 80 it was feasible. She got us in on her family pass. "C'mon Mum, hurry up, and stop stuffing around," one of us called out.

The exhibition was quite interesting and it was nice to have a look through Como House again, as I have not been there for twenty years. Dame M got told off by one of the attendants for sitting on a couch. I won't say anything about the volunteer attendants as they volunteer their time and are very knowledgeable but.......

I asked Dame M how she used to work out a price in advance, expecting an answer along the lines of working out how long it would take and have a vague hourly rate in her head. Nope, she used to peek out the window, check what sort of car they had, think of a figure and double it. After some publicity in the eighties, she had to start refusing work. She could not fit anymore workers in her lounge room. She said the money just rolled in, not that she knows where it went.

We went back to her abode, whacked on the heating, had drinkies and she served lasagne followed by bread and butter pudding. A very pleasant afternoon with friends.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Lighting our life

We could just use the overhead oyster lighting. In the living area there are two, one with two 100w bulbs in the dining area, the other with two 40w bulbs in the lounge area. But we rarely do. We normally use a combination of our electic lamp collection. Sort of the cottage garden of lighting.

This lava lamp distracts me no end. It is supposed to have a coloured bulb in it, but we have decided we prefer a plain one. I love watching the oozing fluid go up and down.

This picture lamp is quite bright and sits above the tv, so we don't use it a lot. The blue standard lamp is very practical and has a dimmer on it. Not much to say about this green one. It is probably my least favourite and was originally bought as a bedside lamp for the spare room.

The red and blue shades on the lamp at the window were originally white, but we found them too bright, so we painted them with enamel and fired them in the oven. Then the transformer burnt out and after much discussion with people is shops, eventually Radio Parts helped with advice and the sale to us of an appropriate transfomer to power four fifty watt halogens.

The tortoise was a whimsical purchase. I think it is cute.

The glass lamp is my favourite. It is small pieces of glass all wired together. After I took this pic, I noticed that after two years it was quite grubby, so I washed it and it looks much better. It casts great diamond like reflections around the room. I can't remember why, but I took the electrical part out for some reason and it had been dangerously wired, so I had to rewire it. Somebody! mucked around with the picture and compressed the size and distorted the image a bit. When trying to correct it, things happened. I have spent enough time on this post, so I will just say it stands about half a metre tall.

Hmm, multiple pictures with text has been interesting. Maybe I will get it right next time.