Saturday, March 11, 2006

Comfort Zone

Back in the comfort zone tonight, in fact all day. Shopping in Prahran this morning, our friends flat auction in East Melbourne in the afternoon and then out for dinner to Saigon Rose in Chapel Street tonight. We haven't been there for a couple of years but it has had a makeover and it is much nicer now. Only complaint is that it was a bit warm inside. Air con was on, but it needed some fans to circulate the air.

Good service, good food, reasonable prices, good dessert list and bonus, the tram service worked ok. Don't rock up at 8.30 on Saturday night expecting a seat though.


Last night we went to the Dendy movie theatre in Church Street, Brighton. I have been to the Dendy before. The last time I went, I think an organ rose up and played an intro to the movie. It is a bit different now.

Church Street Brighton is like being in another world. It was so quiet. Plenty of people around, but it was so quiet. Melbourne is made up of many different parts. Church Street is a real enclave. It felt surreal. I was a visitor, an actor on stage. It was not real life. Before the movie we had coffee, very nice and not expensive and good service for us common types from St Kilda Road.

Just like multi national take away food places, I was well out of my comfort zone........but then in younger days, I did have quite some experience in Brighton, but I was such a niaeve youth.

Our antique dealer friend who lives in Bay St, never goes near Church Street. It is truly another place.

We saw a movie called Kinky Boots. If you like English style movies, it was a good one. The lead character, a drag, was great and Aussie actor Joel Edgerton had a very good role too. It was almost a theatrette that we viewed it in, but lay back seats and a table next to you is very nice.

Movies are an individual thing, some like some genres, some like others, but do yourself a favour and have an experience and go to the Dendy in Church Street Brighton and see one. If you get bored, count the number of four wheel drives that pass.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Perhaps it was me

Maybe it was me who crossed the road and went to McDonalds this morning to try their toast. I feel so uncomfortable in such places. I asked how many slices of toast I get? The lass looked at me as if I was an idoit and replied one. I was hungry, so I asked for two. Where do I sit? Ah, perhaps at the window looking out. Opened one packet to find a nice thick slice of toast, warm and looking nice, but nothing to put on it. Will I really embarass myself and ask does it come with butter or can I buy some? Nah, I don't feel comfortable here anyway. I'll just take it home and have it. I am thinking I could buy a nice fruit loaf for not much more.

Ok, I took it home and put my own butter on it and it was good. It was one of those days when I went out and left everything a mess and then came home to tidy up. As I was disposing of wrappers of toast, I discovered that in each packet was a plastic knife and a container of butter. Am I a dumbf*ck or what?

But I don't want to buy stuff from places where I feel like I am a dumbf*ck. The last time we patronised the Scottish restaurant, R made a scene when he ordered breakfast at 10.28 and it could not be supplied as breakfast goes off at 10.30.

I am pleased to see Hungry Jacks in Prahran is closed and boarded up. Well may they say closed for renovations, but we will see.

Today was a freaky sort of cheap take away food outlet day. Along with my own experience this morning, Daniel also wrote about Hungry Jacks and then tonight before we went to a movie, we pigged on KFC beforehand. I loved the deep fried saturated in fat chicken, but R did not enjoy it.

Wasn't me

You did not see me crossing the road to go to McDonalds to try their fruit toast, apple and cinnamon I think. Nope, you must be mistaken. Wasn't me.

Slamming the Quay

One problem Melbourne does not have. Wonderful stuff.
From Sydney Daily Telegraph

Jinxed ferry still in exile

March 10, 2006

A MANLY ferry will next week have been out of service for nearly six months.

Today is the 174th day the ferry Collaroy has spent floating in the Balmain shipyard.

The accident-prone ferry was stood down for repairs on September 19 after slamming into Circular Quay.

As Transport Minister John Watkins baulks at allowing the Collaroy back on the Harbour, tens of thousands of dollars are being spent every day to charter private vessels.

The Daily Telegraph revealed in January that a whale-watching cruiser had been chartered at $20,000 a day to replace the Collaroy over summer.

Called Ocean Dreaming, the vessel was found unsuitable as a ferry and spent the majority of its lucrative contract period tied up.

Sydney Ferries mechanics say the Collaroy has been ready to return to work for months, but Mr Watkins is unwilling to risk another crash or breakdown.

In a shambolic year for Sydney Ferries, the Collaroy twice ploughed into the backboards at Circular Quay in 2005.

Asked whether the major overhaul of its Japanese-made propulsion system should take so long one ferry worker admitted: "You could build a totally new ferry in six months."

Ferries management yesterday issued a statement to explain the Collaroy's absence.

The organisation – now led by former RAN Rear Admiral Chris Oxenbould after the sacking of chief executive Sue Sinclair a fortnight ago – said the ferry would return once "important safety initiatives are implemented".

"The plan includes a series of engineering trials, vessel specific crew resource management training and long-term planned maintenance," a spokesman said.

Mr Watkins defended the Collaroy's long holiday as part of a $6.5 million plan to improve the 30-strong fleet.

"Sydney Ferries has advised me that a return to service plan for the Collaroy is being developed," Mr Watkins said.

Opposition transport spokesman Barry O'Farrell said Mr Watkins was stalling in letting the Collaroy back out on the Harbour.

"It's one thing to (respect) safety, it's another thing to be so gun-shy of adverse publicity that you let a good ferry rust at Balmain," Mr O'Farrell said.

New Media

If you write a book or record some music, how do you 'get it out there'? One way in this new internet medium is to put your subject matter into a search engine and find people who are talking about what you have written or recorded.

I have had two nice emails in the last week or so. One was from a very attractive Indian lass who has cut a cd, along with the film clip. Yes, I have made mention of Indian music in the past.

The other was from an author of a book called Rice Queen. Yes, made mention of Rice Queen too.

It seems a fairly time consuming way of making one sale, not that they have yet to me, but I guess the thinking goes that I could also be someone important and influential. I could perhaps even talk up their product on my blog which could have hundreds of readers. I suppose it is worth their while.

The internet and where it is heading. Interesting.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Chooks are good

We were at a barbeque at our friend's house in South Oakleigh last weekend. It was good that it was before dark as the chooks were still out. There are about eight, but they are shy with strangers. They look so nice although I would not want to keep them myself.

Public Private

Some of you will know what my job is but I kinda like to keep it separate from my blog and don't normally blog about work. Many have said too much on their blogs about their job for their workplace's liking and have suffered. I expect if I wrote about work on my blog, I would say way too much.

But over the period of the Comm Games, I am keeping a bit of a work diary. It is for my eyes, a couple of workmates and anyone fellow blogger who has a public transport connection. Sorry, that is all. If you wish to read it, email me for the address but I will need to be able to identify you in some way, by name, blog or whatever. Please don't pass it on. It is a private document.

It may be interesting or it could be dead boring with me having nothing to write. We shall see. I will delete it a couple of weeks after the games.

Patiently waiting for her to blot her copybook

I am counting the days, no, not to the Empire Games, but to the day when I become extremely disappointed in another politician. This Federal Labor Opposition member, Julia Gillard, is quite impressive. But she, like the rest of them will end up disappointing me.

The list is long, topped most recently by ex NSW Premier Bob Carr.

Just so that I am not totally negative, there are a few who I do respect.

Greens leader Bob Brown and quite a few of his colleagues.

Senator Lynne Allyson, Federal Democrat Leader.

Ex Labor Party President Barry Jones.

Almost unknown until the recent abortion debate, Liberal Senator Judith Troeth. A damn hard behind the scenes worker who never sought limelight. I have known about her for years though. Her office was/is near St Kilda Town Hall.

While I consider most Liberal Party politians are just bad people, I have some admiration for Senator Amanda Vandstone. She has had a lot of dirty and nasty business to sort out, and not of her own making. I think she may even be a good person at heart. So rare among Liberal Party politicians and increasingly rare among Labor.

Lastly, across the big water, NZ Labour PM, Helen Clarke. But then we don't hear the day to day stuff about her.

When my father wiped up my baby brother's messy 'accident' with the front page of a newspaper with a picture of Holt or was it Bolte? Can't remember, but I told him he should not do that to Mr Holt/Bolte.

I have changed my opinion now.

When my mind turns to politics, I feel so very, very old, so very disillusioned, so very cynical.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Junk, junk, junk

If you were to visit highriser, you would think our apartment is tidy and clean. It is pretty well, most of the time. Don't look under stuff though. What they eye does not see........ Don't call when we have had a night of drunken debauchery though.

On my semi permanent list of stuff to do is tidy my wardrobe. It would be a pointless exercise though. At best, it would be a rearrangement. But I must do it soon.

Video tapes over twenty plus years, some of a pornographic nature, are fairly neat in those cheap clear large plastic boxes on wheels from $2 type shops. But not so neat because I forgotten what most of them are and like my computer filing system, the filing system for them is not great. I could throw the lot out and not worry.

A sewing machine bought at a charity auction takes up a bit of space. R has needled (unintenional pun) me about it but it takes up space in my wardrobe, so my business. It only needs a needle to make it work. I am sure I will need it one day. Perhaps it should go.

I am not bad with clothes. I check once a year and if I haven't worn it, it is stuffed under the bed. If I don't retrieve it the following year, I throw it out. Shoes could do with a cull though. But one week after I threw my old Blunnies out, some quite nice guy with whom I was chatting on the net was very interested in someone who had boots, especially well worn ones.

A large box of work related material. Maybe it might be interesting for a museum one day.

A large box of travel related material going back nearly three decades. I recently sorted and tidied it. It stays.

A smaller box of theatre programs going back many years. Keep that. Debbie Reynolds at The Palais, maybe priceless one day, well, maybe not.

The killers are two shelves and two drawers. Here is a list of one shelf.

Stack of pay slips. I had them all but recently culled them to keep only those where my pay went up. There aren't many now. Binoculars, an old mobile phone, three mobile phone boxes, a cushion cover R wanted to throw out, but I liked it, a series set of twelve matchbox covers, a series set of beer coasters for an St Kilda art exhibition, a heat pack, two baseball caps, an easter egg for R, Aussie Post plastic bag, a wrapper off a Japanese biscuit...beautiful, a keyring/compass, two mobile phone manuals, an old Gomaco calendar, two old calendars from Singapore and an OG magazine (just for the stories).

At the back sits a very old Benson and Hedges cigarette tin containing a photo of my first and only girlfriend (dead), some opals, a cork from the Trafalgar Cork Club, a pair of thumb cuffs (don't ask), a few strange coins, a bottle opener, a tiny magnifying glass, a pair of brown shoe laces(I really don't know), a Shell cloth badge, a small cylindrical container meant for lead for a compass but it would be ok for some coke and a neck chain.

Multiply that by another similar shelf and two drawers. Not much really that I could throw out.

Waiting for the train can be enjoyable

Anyone in the area who would care to recount a personal experience?

(I wrote this yesterday but saved it until today. Someone else has beaten me to it in the meantime)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Nearly in the cemetery

I was a bit concerned about walking along this wall at Brighton Cemetery. It was where a Melbourne underworld criminal was about to be shot and killed in gang warfare somewhat over a year ago.

But of course the real danger was in the simplest thing, like getting off the tram at the corner of North Road and Hawthorn Road.

One car flew past the stationary tram and another almost did but came to a rapid stop with a squeal of tyres, smoke and the smell of burning rubber. It was actually too late as the nose of the car was level with the nose of the tram. I 'accidently' banged my bag into the side of of offending car as I alighted.

It is a dangerous place for tram passengers. Anywhere where there are two lanes of traffic plus a tram lane is dangerous. If there is enough room for three lanes in total, then there should be enough room for a tram safety zone. Other similarly bad locations are Toorak Road and Park Street heading west and Toorak Road and Chapel St heading both east and south and Chapel Street and Dandenong Road heading south is not too crash hot either.

Before the days of an extensive number of safety zones outside of the city, people knew better about stopping for tram passengers. Safety zones are kinda good, but they do breed complacency and pass the onus onto those using the tram, rather than the motorist who needs to interact with the tram and it's passengers.

What would the penalty be for running over and killing a person as they were alighting from a tram? The last I can recall happened in Burke Road, Camberwell. The driver received a short license suspension and a reasonable fine.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Scared kiddies

I am unsure of the correct name for this structure at Brighton Cemetery. I will just call it a crypt. When we were children and lived in the country, we often stayed at my grandparents house in Oakleigh. Every Mother's Day and Father's Day and respective birthdays my grandmother would either be driven to Brighton Cemetery by my grandfather or catch the Ventura 630 bus to visit her parents grave. If we kiddies were staying, then we would go too. We were brave and by day at least, the cemetery was a great place to run, hide and muck around. (I suppose and hope that kids still 'muck around')

We used to peer into this crypt that was near our great grand parents grave. We were convinced that they were real bodies lying inside and not statues. Of course as kids do, one would be peering in and the other would sneak up to try and frighten him.

I assume the window boards are there to protect the beautiful stained glass windows from vandals. It is a bit sad the way that graves etc fall in disrepair.

Tit Trend

Is this a trend? Today, Sunday, I saw three different women, all forty or more in tees and not wearing bras. While not hanging down to their navels, they were not what you would call perky.

Ah, you can call me old fashioned and sexist. To steal someone's quote, it is the duty of young people to expose their bodies and the duty of older people to cover theirs.