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.