Friday, February 17, 2006

Selling the Snowy

I don't know much about the Snowy Mountain electricity generation setup. There was a school tour there but I must have been busy that day. It is to be sold and, as almost all our other public infrastructure has been sold, so why not that too? Co-incidentally I am reading a book about it at the moment. Well not so much a book about it as a novel in the construction setting. You will really old if you know who I am talking about, but the author is Judy Nunn. She was an actor on an old tv show called The Box, set in a television studio.

The book is not going to win a a Pulitzer prise for literature, but it is an ok read. It is set in the time of the Snowy River construction but also tied to the end of WW 2, persecution of Jews in Europe, the new Israel and a Jewish terrorsist group.

Staying topical, it is to note that we used bring foreign workers to Australia to work and become citizens. Now it seems we are to just bring them on short term contracts to undermine Australian workers. $4o,00 per year is not great Mr Bread Man, not if you have to start work at 3am and get nothing extra for weekend work. Mr Bread Man and others, have you ever thought of paying proper wages? Ok, you will charge more for your bread. There are many things that we should pay more for so that people who perform the service are properly paid. Perhaps even taxi drivers. If I pay more though, I might expect a bit more.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Commonwealth Games

At my workplace we have had information, poor treatment by management, union propaganda and management propaganda regarding the forthcoming Empire Games. The games are only eleven days, but for some odd reason, it impacts on my work place in the extreme for 28 days. Changed rosters, uncertainty, up in the air, unsuredness, trying to have faith in management when you know it will be a huge farce on their part and it is only going to be down to us, on the coal face to make it work. There are some competent people in management, I can count them on two hands and they have all had hands on experience. The rest are theoretical type people. I don't doubt their committment, but I do doubt their competence.

It is not always a bad thing to be at the bottom of the ladder and be in the position to critisise everyone above you.

Crossing the Yarra

It was not always easy to cross the Yarra River as you can see in the pic. The Punt Road Hill does not look nearly as steep as it is.

I had occasion this week to travel across the river into foreign territory, that is Carlton, Brunswick and Fitzroy. I find these areas very interesting, but would I live there? If we sold our modest apartment, I expect we could easily buy a house on that side of town. The locals are certainly friendlier and less, well not pretentious, shall I say less materialistic?

But practically, no, I could not. Apart from the years when I was 4 until 15 or 16 and in the country, I have always lived in the direction of and less than 15 kms from the south bank of the Yarra. The north side of the river is as alien to me as Sydney or other Aussie capital cities. I would adjust, but why would I do it when I confident in my own area? Nope, I am definetely a south side person. It is what I know and am used to and the twain shan't meet for me, except for occasional micro holidays across the Yarra.

Dulcie's Dog Show

An important part of Midsumma Carnival every year is Dulcie's Du Jour's Dog Show. It runs for a couple of hours and we see all sorts, shapes and sizes of dogs. Dulcie is a wonderful hostess and is always full of humour, albeit somewhat crude at times.

There are always celebrity judges and Dr Hugh Wirth of the RSPCA has become a regular. He is not bad with the quips and fits in well. One year we had Joan Rivers, a USA comedian. This year we had Melbourne's Lord Mayor So (nice suit Cr So) and Bodie Holland who is an Aussie Rules footballer. Friends tell me that he has a very nice, chiselled body. Be that as it may, he appeared to have no sense of humour at all. Perhaps Dulcie felt him up before hand and put him in a bad mood, but he seemed determined that not even a grin would pass his lips. Or maybe he is just too thick to get jokes. Annoying beccause there are many Aussie Rules players and other sports people who would fit in so well and add much to the event.

LM So was very well received. I think people like him because he just so hopeless at public speaking, in English anyway. The dog show really is my favourtie event.

Overheard snippet #71

"Mate, I was alright until I fell out of the car. It f***ed me up bad", said the man with long grey hair. Who was it? The bloke who plays the bagpipes outside Flinders St Station. He has been there for as long as I can remember. Funny how time has moved on but his fashion sense has not. His hair has turned from blonde to grey and that is the only change I have noticed.

An elderly woman of Scottish birth who I knew a couple of decades ago suggested to him that he wore a kilt instead of filthy old jeans. He replied that the pipes worked the same, no matter what he was wearing.

Actually, I haven't seen him for a while. I recall his times were restricted. Suppose he still plays there at times.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Early Career

Some of you may be familiar with the character in The Bill known as Phil Hunter. He is certainly not the only well known celeb who may regret some of their work in the past. Perhaps the best known is Simon Rex who made solitary porn vids and later went on to host MTV (of course I have them)

It seems our Phil, aka Scott Maslen, did a little modelling work when he was younger. Very gay look I must say. Pics from back then and a present one.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Vietnam is a marvellous place, truly wonderful. The people are free and happy and becoming prosperous. I urge you all to visit. We had a wonderful holiday there. It is governed by the best and most progressive government in the whole of South East Asia.

You can use the above. I put this bit below for ease of your editing.

Just curious though, what did I write that aroused your interest? Will I get another visa in the future ok? Oh, and be careful if you take too much notice when I say that I am not very clever with computers. While Excel puzzles me and I don't know what happens in the big box under the table, I have now been using the net for ten years and so pretty knowledgeable in this area and have a long term friend who knows even more.

Birds, bees and weather

Living high in the clouds, one becomes very aware of the weather and birds, and bats to a lesser extent. So as bees go, we get very few of any six legged creatures and I have never seen an eight legged one since we have lived here. (Post Script. One was found yesterday. I guess it arrived in a bunch of flowers. It was treated kindly; captured, carried outside and dropped off the balcony to a certain death below)

I am exaggerating. We don't live that high really. But we are about the right height to view just outside our windows birds flying between the Bay or Albert Park Lake and I presume the Botanic Gardens. It seems to be a bit of a flight corridor between buildings. Sometimes I will notice a bird that is not a duck or a seagull. Mildy interesting. We used to see a lot of bats before they were moved on from the Botanic Gardens

But what is really fascinating is watching the weather. We watch lightening, cold fronts arriving across the bay, storms, fog and mist rising and descending, rain clouds over Mount Dandenong. We can watch sunrises and we can almost see sunsets.

Aside from weather, we see balloons float past our windows. Display fighter planes flights fly overhead, a helicopter lands on the roof next door. We watch the tragedy of the ambulance helicopters landing at the Alfred. I barely bother to look at fireworks now or note whether the Spirit of Tasmania has left port on time. St Kidla Road traffic congestion is always worth a comment though and I still run to the balcony when I hear an accident happen. Trams just rumble by creating a constant background noise if the balcony door is open. I am very used to them and their noise, although some drivers use their bell excessively.

But it is a bit rude to live in such a location and get woken by wildlife. I expect these are the creatures responsible for last year's balcony plant massacre. I can see evil in the mind of the solitary one.

Midsumma Carnival

Ah, yeah, we went again this year. Best friends have always been with us in the past, but they decided not to this year but joined us for take away pizza this evening. Our dyke friends were there and we spent a little time with them, but they had other friends there. We called and found our friend from South Oakleigh and he had an Indian guy and a visitor from KL with him. He was busy enough with them. We wandered around for a while and went home but there were a couple who are aquaintances on the tram home.

I remember married Cambodian guy accidently happening across Carnival one year, in the company of his wife. Boy did that freak us both when we saw each other.

We did run into Fritz, the previous owner of The Star hotel in Hoddle Street. Nice to see him and have a chat.

I also saw a guy I used to see out and about a few years ago. I thought he was pretty hot. He now uses a walking stick.

Depressing in some ways and not sure if I will go next year........ah, but the perve factor........ohhlala.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

How bloody hard is it?

There are countless references to check that details are correct. I don't particularly blame the Midsumma organisation as I have seen similar mistakes time and time again, even government deapartments. Can you see what is wrong on this map?

She was a screamer

I was sitting at an outdoor table having a modest $4.50 bacon and egg sandwhich and coffee one morning this week. Just a local office building I sometimes go if I am in the mood. On the table next to me were three burly building workers on their morning break. They were speaking in Greek I think. While I did not really notice that one of them was extremely hot (god, I can lie), somebody did.

I did not see him go into the cafe but I certainly saw him come out, pun intended. He looked like he had just had a gay makeover. He exhibited perfect gay style as in the stereotype. His hair was longish and shaggy and sitting perfectly and really well coloured. His pants and shirt fitted perfectly and sat just so right. His tan was perfect, his smile expensive in that dental work American manner. But what a big girl he was. He headed straight for the builders and addressed the nicest looking one. "Excuse me, do you have a light for my cigarrette?" Now I cannot paint a good enough word picture of the way he spoke. But there were many more sss in that sentence that there normally is. His voice had been honed to be crystal clear above 100db on the dance floor. The individual words were long and drawn out. He wasn't a very big guy. I can almost liken him to a really cute puppy dog that you just want to pick up take home. Aw, isn't he/she just gorgeous. The builder obliged him with a light and off he swished. It was truly a meeting of extremes.

He was one of those professional gay non lighter carrying persons. They never have a cigarette lighter so that they can connect with people by asking for a light. At least one of you would remember Carlos who worked at South Melbourne, perhaps South Bank too, and when having lunch with him one day, he pulled out a cigarette and held it for a while. No one rushed up offering a light, so he got up and looked around the room. He spied the nicest looking most masculine guy who was alone at a table, went up to him and asked him for a light. I don't think the guy smoked as Carlos never got his cigarette lit, but he had a five minute conversation with the guy and got his phone number. (I was sitting there thinking, I will kill you Carlos if you ask him to come and sit with us)

The end of my brunch story. I am grinning trying not to laugh. Builders are grinning, trying not to laugh. Once he was away a bit, the four of us looked at each other and our attempts not to laugh failed and we laughed together. I suppose it was not the time to mention to the builders that they were being a bit homophobic and that I was also gay, so I didn't.

Ungrateful cow

It seems our flat in East St Kilda is no longer good enough for a pierced nose alternative female. She is bolting. Such ingrattitude. She has complained, we have fixed. She was there for over one year and paid on time, so we kept the rent at the same level. Just $165 per week. She came into it with brand new blinds, but sadly a cord has broken and she had reported it as a fault. Bah, they are best quality blinds, I wish we had such good ones at home, but she has managed to break one. Agents always seem to be on tenants side. Fair wear and tear, agent said. No, they were very good quality blinds. The must have suffered some abuse to have a broken cord after 18 months. (Advice to tenants, rent through Shocking Stupid, don't worry about damge, it will be all listed as fair wear and tear, the landlord will pay.) Not really this tenant, but the previous one did quite a lot of damage. Foolishly we thought the bond she had paid would compensate us. It would seem not.

But agent tells us to ask for $190 now. Yippee. On the horizon, we might actually make money, instead of sinking it in and recoup a little towards the damages we have had to pay.