Saturday, April 15, 2006

New Link

I have added a new link on my blog front page that takes you to an photo album with pics of a celeb I just happen to like the look of. The current one is Japanese footballer Hidetoshi Nakata. It is a few years since I first noticed him and he still looks great.

The next featured celeb will probably be Aussie tennis player Leighton Hewitt. I don't like his personality, but he looks pretty good in speedos.

For you straight bois, I might even put a female here occasionally. Also for you staight bois, there is no tracking of who looks at the pics.

Royal Children's Hospital

Thanks to all of you who generously gave to the Royal Children's Good Friday Hospital Appeal. You are good and kind people.

Old grump did not give anything. I reckon it is pretty sad that a country as rich as Australia cannot give the best medical treatment and care possible to it's sick children without resorting to charity.

Sad, sad, sad.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Go fly a kite

It is a wonderful thing to go fly a kite on a breezy Good Friday. The shops are shut, the day is boring. While I mostly watched, I did have a small and hopeless try at sending the kite aloft. These two handed ones are hard initially, but I expect once you get the hang of them, they are far more satisfying. Nephew started doing quite well, once he learned that it is a bit like driving a car, that is, you have to steer it. After a very poor start, we got it up briefly. There was an encounter with a tree and I had visions of having to climb it, briefly forgetting all the younger and fitter people around me who could climb a tree.

There was much laughter and a bit of a crowd gathered, to their own peril.

Then it went soaring, high into the sky. Marvellous.

Teen niece returned with us to stay for a couple of days. I entertained her with escaping from the Crimson Room. R has just taken her down for a swim before dinner. She has stayed before, but she was younger and easier to entertain. I am a bit worried that she will be bored staying with us two old faggots. Ah well, her idea.

The dangers of straight bois flirting with gays

Many straight bois do it. That is, flirt with gay workmates. Mostly it is harmless and nothing will come of it but sometimes it can go too far, sometimes the 'deed' might even happen and sadly sometimes someone might get hurt or aggrieved. It probably happens among straights in a work environment too.

In my workplace, I have heard that 'compensation' can be had for swapping a shift with someone. If that person is desperate enough to not work their own shift and they want yours, a cash amount could be offered, or even a favour of whatever you could imagine.

I add here that I have never heard of an individual instance of this. It is pure rumour. But I think it would be niave of me to not think that it does happen.

What do I do when a straight workmate who I flirt with and think is hot as, sends me an sms pleading for my shift? He was asking me to do him a favour and give him my shift so that he can attend a wedding. I replied that it did not suit me at all and but perhaps we could come to an arrangment. I phrased it a bit more frankly really, very frankly and specifically in fact. I knew he would not do it. I knew I would run a mile if he said yes (straight guys are just too hard work. I like guys who like guys as much as I do).

He sms back and politely declined.

I saw him three times subsequently. The first time he waved at me and the next two times, ignored me totally.

Oops, I went too far. No more flirting from him. No fun or nice chats. I was truly regretful and remorseful, but not to the point of apologising. If you are straight and flirt with a gay guy, it might come at a cost. No, no, no. I respect him for it. I like straight guys who are straight. I can't bear the ones who might play on the other side on the odd occasion. You can have cake and eat it sometimes, but you won't at my expense.

Selfishness always overcomes pride. Today he sms me about another shift swap and this time it did suit me and I answered yes to him, without any bribe request. Formal agreement made.

Passes the time I suppose, no harm seems do have been done.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Medals for the helpers

The Brighton antique dealer's toyboy received a medal for his services as a Commonwealth Games volunteer, as did blogging mate M!key

Sadly I doubt there will be much rarity value of these medals, but it a nice recognition for the volunteers.

A fellow building resident is a city volunteer and she works a day a week in the info shop, downstairs at Fed Square. She has done this since Fed Square opened and was a city volunteer long before this. Of course she wanted to be a Games volunteer, but their bosses pleaded with them to stay at their posts. She obliged but is well annoyed that the normal city volunteers who give their time, week in and year out received nothing. She spends part of her week here and part at her house in Ocean Grove. Her week revolves around her one day at the info shop. I do think she has a point.

As you can see by the photos below (or will they appear above?), by two similar phones, same brand, are very dependant on the operator. You can guess which pic is mine, taken in a pub under a light, and which one is M!keys.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Widow's (er's) Lament

After having someone around for nearly three decades, one kinda misses them when they are away with work related stuff for a couple of nights. Normally when I am not working, my days alone end with being home at 4pm awaiting R's arrival and him moaning about the traffic, how long he had to wait for the lift, work colleagues and assorted grievances.

We will then go out for a decent walk, sometimes and/or coffee, or a swim in the pool followed by chatting while we sit in the spa, or rarely a whack of the tennis ball.

Suddenly, it has changed. There is no four o'clock focus. At five past 4, I lay on the couch and had a nap. I waited for a friend to call in, who cancelled. (Well pssed off about that after the work I had put into the occasion). I poured a glass of wine and ordered a delivered pizza. I et lunch so late today, I couldn't eat much pizza. No matter, cold pizza for lunch tomorrow will be fine, if I am home.

To be so focused on your partner is probably not a good idea but I like it and R does too I think. If we had kiddies, I guess we would be focused on them and less reliant on each other.

So when some old woman call up radio and says, (switch to shaky old crone voice) 'I'm 80 years old and I lost my husband 18 months ago, after being together for 60 years', I wince, but I do appreciate what she is saying.

Careless of her to loose him. Has he got his mobile on him? Maybe she should call him and see where he is.

The subject line will keep you guessing as to who gets used to get on top.

St Kilda Boat Builders

A fine start at St Kilda Beach was made to construct a boat to travel the world. Sadly, work has stopped.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Silly dreams of youth, or a bit older even

There was a time when I was younger that I thought when I was older and not working, I would like to live overseas. Obviously it could only be a cheap country where our dollar would go far.

I liked Thailand an awful lot and I centered my imaginings there for a while. But I could only ever live there as a tourist. A long term settled tourist, but a tourist. Would anyone in Oz be able to send book parcels and video tapes to me?

Later when a friend urged us to travel with him to India, I grew to know quite a bit about that terribly overpopulated country but never ended up visiting. I would very much feel settled in a hill station such as Simla or Ooty, or perhaps even Bangalore or Goa. Bring back the Raj I say.

As wonderful as Vietnam is, the war is over. I could not live in the Continental Hotel in Saigon as a pseudo war correspondent.

Last Saturday, our local gay radio station, Joy Melbourne, had a guest on a travel segment promoting tourism. It was the Tourism Minister from the Cambodian government promoting gay tourism to Cambodia and he was in the station's South Melbourne studios. I was surprised to say the least. A Cambodian work mate and I once planned to buy some of Melbourne's old Z trams, remove the windows and replace them with grills so that they were a bit cooler and run a tram service from Phnom Phen to the coastal resort of Siahnoukville. Not a drop had passed our lips. Cambodia does sound interesting.

But for all it's faults, I love Australia. I love Melbourne and now cannot imagine living anywhere else. Still, I have never been to Brazil....................

Wonder who lives here?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Blue, red, green

Three bright lights have appeared on our horizon towards St Kilda and all within a short space of time. One is red, one is blue, the last green. They are all quite separate and unrelated. I have worked out two of three.

The blue to the left is a new advertising sign at St Kilda Junction. I have only seen it from a tram and not the road, so not sure how well it will show to motorists.

The green is neon tubes around the top of the new St Kilda Pier kiosk. The re-creation of the original kiosk is absolutely marvellous. But I am not sure about the green neon tubes.

The unsolved one is red and probably in Fitzroy Street.

Once they turn off the bloody bright construction lights in Albert Park, I will once again be able to lie in bed and see the coloured lights of the buoys in the bay.


I can't believe how well this new building blends in with the iconic Eplanade Hotel, St Kilda. It looks like they grew there together.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A Sunday Afternoon Timeline

Cross road to tram stop.
Notice bank up of trams at stop before.
Ambulance arrives.
Puts deceased or otherwise onto trolley.
Trams move.
16 is first, the one we want.
Sails past.
R annoyed.
I tell him there will be another in a minute or so.
There is.
Tram very busy.
Musty smell in new tram.
Too many bodies.
Jam packed tram upon departure from St Kilda Junction.
Bad driver, jerking acceleration and deceleration.
Socialble person wants to talk to anyone who will listen.
Ignore person.
Alight Luna Park St Kilda.
Walk along Upper Esplande looking at market stalls.
Very cold.
Not very busy.
Buy Easter card for friend in Japan.
Cross road to foreshore and examine what looks like a wrecked ship on beach.
Walk out along St Kilda Pier.
Check out viewing platform at replaced St Kilda Kiosk.
Observe our apartment building clearly in view.
Consume strong latte and healthy fat and salt laden hot chips.
Walk back to Upper Esplanade.
Catch tram to Balaclava.
Driver is mate.
Very good driver.
Driver does not notice us.
Alight from tram and see 79 tram deliberately leave passengers behind at Chapel Street.
Recall that Balaclava was never somewhere where you could fire a cannon on Sunday.
Notice Balaclava is so so busy this Sunday.
Comment 'What happened to our old Balaclava'
Buy cheap photo albums.
Buy satay powder from Asian grocery.
Wait for tram home.
No tram approaching.
Look in real estate window.
Wonder if our flat's rental is too cheap.
Notice a kerfuffle.
See critter, pigeon, 1/3 of body missing, staggering across road after being hit by motor car.
Supress scream.
Bolt back to tram stop.
Tram arrives.
Again not noticed by driver.
Driver rolls starts on downward slope while passenger on rear step with doors open.
Driver blatantly goes through red light at St Kilda Junction.
Otherwise, quite good driver.
Alight at home stop.
Go to electric bank.
Restock wallet.
Arrive home.
Note left heating on.
Think leaving heating on was good idea.
Frig around for rest of daylight hours.
Finally give in to lump in throat.
Realise I am not well.
Self diagnose forthcoming cold.
Self treat oncoming cold with...
Glass of wine.
Long hot shower.
Recall no cure for common cold.
Eat wonderful chicken satay.
Frig around.
Watch tv.
Recall no cure for common cold
Attempt cure with large glass of whiskey.
Feel well enough to sleep.
Hope there is no nightmare of half dead pidgeons staggering across Carlisle Street.
Good night.

Rock and roll, not slamming

Look kiddies. Finally someone has noticed. From Sunday's Age. I am quite happy to gently rock and roll when I am tram travelling, but slamming from one side to the other is not nice. Nor do I think less doors on a a train is a forward step.

The analysts say private operators bought about $500 million in rolling stock, some of which would have been bought under state ownership.

But they say $2.2 billion is a lot to pay for such an investment and the trains and trams "which were ordered in haste to meet contract deadlines have serious design flaws".

Trams had poor suspensions and fewer seats, and some train carriages had only two doors, slowing boarding and alighting.

Endless Amusement

You can share yourself around in many ways over the internet. You can particpate in a yahoo group called, 'old women scone makers' and one called 'lesbian long nail fisters' (I made these groups up, don't bother searching). Yahoo groups is not bad, a remnant of the marvellous egroups, so many years ago. I vaguely recall another group hoster called domeus. It had some really scary stuff. Not sure if it is still around. Yet another is smart groups. I signed up for one reason, Humber cars. Emails arrive regularly, but I don't think the hoster is very good. Posts are often delayed and sometimes repeated endlessly. I am surprised that it has not died and that emails still arrive.

But this Humber group amsuses me no end, not so much for what is posted but from where the posts come. They are from all over the world. The thing that they have in common is Humber cars. But everyone seems to think locally. One will ask about some help with something about thier car. The next post will ask, are you in Canberra, and the following, no, I am in San Fransisco/Kent/Madrid/Tel Aviv. It always ends in total confusion, and then someone will step in to sort out the location problem.

All it would take is to identify the location initially, but posters seldom do.
It is not a bad thing, hey. While the world has gone global, people are still thinking locally.