Saturday, September 02, 2006

Night out

A getting together of the gang is always good. It is always add some people and subtract some. Tonight was mostly subtract. It was a small gathering. The Brighton Antique dealer attended, but without her toyboy. Instead she brought along her Anglo Indian florist, gay of course, and who has a large garden property near Ballarat.

BAD, the Brighton Antique Dealer, has been offered a gig on the wireless. BAD atttended a commercial radio studio last week and performed well enough for them to invite her back as a permanent guest. She is not sure if she will take up the offer. Although she was picked up and delivered in a Porche, the show is on at around midnight.

After mentioning her large boobs on air, she was hoping for a queue of men the next morning at her shop, but alas for her, it did not happen. Perhaps 74 year old boobs don't have the appeal that she thought. But she has had quite a few business calls since being on air. A workmate tipped me off about her being on air. Ain't workmates good.

Overheard conversation #87

Or you could call it this weekend's contribution to literature and the spoken word:

'And she was f*** hot. She had an f*** convertible and asked me back to her f*** place. Couldn't f*** believe it. She lived in an f*** apartment in Queens Rd. It was f*** huge. I opened a cupboard door and there was an f*** light inside the cupboard.'

'S*** man, and when she was driving there and I was sitting in the f*** passenger seat, I started feeling so f*** horny. I just felt warm and relaxed and my f*** balls were f*** tingling. I thought f*** hell, this chick is really f*** turning me on. And you know f*** what? After a while she f*** well asked me if the seat was too f*** hot and if it was, she would turn the f*** seat heating down. Do you f*** well believe that man? The f*** seat was heated and I thought I was f*** well turned on by her. F*** man, f*** unbelievable.'

Friday, September 01, 2006

Dear Assistant Commisioner Noel Ashby

Assistant Commisioner Noel Ashby informs us that the police will not tolerate cyclists breaking the road laws. Their pack riding along the beach road will be watched.

With all due respect Assistant Commisioner Noel Ashby, should your force not have been doing this all along? Is that not what you are supposed to do? It was a well known problem and many were saying someone would get badly injured. Did it have to take a cyclist riding through a red pedestrian light and killing an old man for you to suddenly decide that road laws need enforcing? Ah, you arranged a code of conduct with the cyclist. That worked well, hey.

Too little, too late, Assistant Commisioner Noel Ashby.

I will just add that I don't care if cyclists go through red lights, so long as they do it in a careful and considerate manner. I don't care if people jaywalk, so long as are considerate of motorists and other road users. I don't care if motorcycles lane split, so long as they don't frighten the horses.

What I do care about, Assistant Commisioner Noel Ashby, is that is was a known dangerous situation and your force failed to act. Are you going to resign in shame?

It is happening

The hops are on the elm trees, a fly is dying of natural causes on my bathroom floor. I have changed the calendars and started extra cleaning. A little less hot water is needed when showering. There is increased bird activity. 3/4 pants are appearing on the street and jackets are disappearing. The heating is getting a bit of a break at times. A stiff northerly breeze is blowing today, bringing warm air from inland Australia.

It is spring. I just spoke to my mother on the phone and she does not like this sort of weather anymore than I do. It must be in the genes. I feel overly warm and it is only 25 degrees. Suppose I will get used to it. Fortunately the dirty, pollen carrying north wind does not blow for very long.

By my reckoning, weather like this should bring some very needed rain.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Buying on ebay

It was interesting to hear the defensive ebay spokesperson today. He was telling viewers and listeners that ebay was not responsible for cricket ticket scalping on ebay. He suggested that the Melbourne Cricket Club was at fault for a poor ticket selling process and allowing multiple ticket purchases by individuals. For me, the jury is still out.

A few weeks ago I bid for a book on ebay. It had a reserve price of $15. I bid up to $25. Two minutes before closing time, someone bid $26, I bid $27, person bid $29. Let it go I thought.
And I did.

But I did want the book. While trimming down my bookmarks today (I bet you are adding to yours. I just trim mine down) I came across a saved link for second hand books in Australia. I had a quick look. City Basement Books in Elizabeth Street indicated that they had a copy for $20. I went in there and sure enough, they had it and it is in very good condition. Pleasant and helpful service too.

So the net is not always best for buying, except without the net, I would not have known that the shop had a copy.

Curious about the book I bought? Tramways of Sydney. It is a general view of Sydney's trams from the beginning in about 1860 to it's closure in 1961. It was a huge system with many quirks. It could move around 100,000 Randwick race goers at the end of the races in an hour or less. It had a tram direct from within the Supreme Court in Oxford St straight to Long Bay jail. (They certainly did go directly to jail). In 1947 the system took 200,000 to and from the Royal Easter show in one day. Some trams used to have postal boxes attached to receive your letters. There were special trams to carry politicians home after late night parliamentary sittings. Special trams to carry newspaper to newsagents early in the morning. Special coal and sand carrying trams. There was a barge to carry trams across the harbour before the Sydney Harbour Bridge was built. The Balmain tram route had a steep decent to the terminus at the harbour. A counter weight was attached and ran underground to keep the tram under control. As you can see in the pic, not all trams managed to stop at the Athol Wharf terminus.

Unlike Melbourne's trams that pretty well go in straight lines, Sydney's tram lines twisted and turned, went up hill and down dale and even into bush land.

What a loss for Sydney.

The little sandy desert

This is the edge of what was a nearby ugly overgrown park. It is now a sandy desert with a few additions. I look forward to the red hot pokers flowering. They don't look much any other time of the year. Sadly again this year, someone has been in picking them and flattened the foliage.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sorting the friends from the chaff

Oh, am I in trouble again! My little tale of trouble with friends has upset or at least annoyed someone. Often after writing a post, I often run through my head who might be reading and who it might offend. I screwed up this time. It was not so much the post, as a comment I added later to someone else's comment.

How does one define a friend? I tend to have a pretty narrow thoughts about it, possibly too narrow. I think it is a bit more than someone you just see sometimes or speak to on the phone. I couldn't agree that someone you have known for a short time could be a real friend. You need a bit of history with them. You need to have spent time with them, talked to them, done stuff together.

What about confiding in or turning to them in times of trouble? Well, I confide some things to some people, some things to others. I would not expect a friend to be all things to me. Not even a partner can fill that role. I hope I would be able to turn to all of my friends in times of trouble but I would not want to put them in the position of saying no, so I would do it carefully.

Our most recent friends we have known for less than ten years. Dame M, the Brighton antique dealer and the dyke with the medical problems.

Then there are three guys, including the brothers obviously, who we have known over twenty years. These really long term ones are all problematic at the moment, but we are getting there.

There is the ex NT cop and polictician who we have known for over ten years and my friend in Sydney, who I can tell my deepest and darkest sexual fantasies to, knowing he will come back with even more extreme.

Over ten years ago, through R's work, we met someone who has gradually become a good friend. She now lives in the northern wilds of Japan, taking onsens with the snow monkey in thermal pools. She is a talented ballroom dancer, speaks a couple of other langauges, is intelligent, interested in the world around her and open minded.

Of course we were friends before she left for Japan. We would meet up a few times a year, often for dinner or lunch and have the occasional phone chat. But since she moved to Japan, oddly, we have become much closer, well I think so. Much has to do with email I suppose. R sends her a weekly email and I send an occasional one when I come across something that may interest her or to tell her something or to ask her something. I don't want to tread on R's toes by telling her things he likes to tell her himself. She is one person who I could confide in so far as personal matters go, and I recently did. But I am not sure I could do it over the phone or in person. That is a fault with me.

Anyway it slipped my mind that she reads my blog and I made no mention of her when I made that previously mentioned comment. I was wrong. In fact, as your relationhips with people change, I would probably admit that she is in the ranking of a very good and close friend.

I have been heard to say, 'friends, oh, don't want any of them. They will only want to visit or bother me on the telephone'. Ah, no one ever takes me seriously. Wonder why?

We don't have a lot of friends, but the ones we do have are pretty good friends. We are lucky.

Not another bloody balloon pic

But this one was really close. Only about 150 metres away. Hope my dressing gown was not gaping when I snapped them early in the morning from our balcony. No one pointed and laughed. But why were camera flashes going off in my eyes?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Fessing Up and the bad Post

I am a failed person. I have a credit card debt. All you smug people who put stuff on your credit card and pay it off each month are now shaking your head in disgust. That was how it started for me, then the car needed money spending on it, etc, etc. I have had a zero balance a few times, but not at the moment.

I suppose I have had a credit card for around twenty years and I have never not paid the minium by the due date. My last statement arrived and it had an overdue fee on it of $35. What??????

I checked, and it was correct, I had not paid it. I had not paid it because the statement did not arrive. I rang the bank and after enduring a lecture about date to be paid and auto deduction from account, they waived the fee. So they should when they have done very nicely out of us over the years.

Then the inyanet bill arrived with a double amount on it. No extra fee. Just overdue amount and current amount.

What is going on? Well, missing mail obviously.

It is now imprinted that I need to pay the credit card by the 29th of each month, but what about the rest of the bills? I can't remember when they are all due.

Buggery Aust Post. Our postie is of an age where I would have thought he would need spectacles, but I have never see him wear them. Sometimes our mail has gone to the building next door or in the wrong box here.

One missing mail item I can cope with. Two in a month is wrong.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Tax time

Tommorrow we visit our brother friends and the tax man comes. That is the bloke who does our tax each year. We are very happy with our tax man. He is pleasant and competent and does not overcharge.

The last two years, he has had to check a couple of details with us and has done so via email. He posts forms for us to sign and we post them back. He posts back the documents we have given him.

I am wondering why we have to actually see him? Can't we just do the whole thing by post and email? It is now a couple of months after the end of the financial year. It has taken so long because everyone has to be available. It could have been all wrapped up by the middle of July if we used email and post.

Stern Lecture

I expect nothing less from straight guys on an in person basis. They have their focus and I have mine.

Homophobia comes in many subtle ways. The media needs to look at their presentations. As you should know by now, I am not a 'gay crusader' but this really gets up my goat. I have noticed some attempts to get it right. But the Silver Bodgie, aka, ex PM Hawke, is pretty old. Media take notice.

He was being asked his opinion of ACTU leader Greg Combet. One comment he made was that he thought the ladies really like Greg. They thought he was a bit of a dreamboat (what a quaint word). I hear this type of statement often on tv and it snaps out loud to me. Perhaps Hawke might consider that some guys might think Combet is a sexy dude? I don't actually, but that is not the point.

While saying, 'Some people think Combet is a sexy mother****', is perhaps a bit extreme, I am sure there is a more inclusive way of expressing such a thought in a way that does not make me feel like a freak.

This week's flowers

Closed iris for $5 and they opened the next day. Bargain!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Oz celeb studs

Last Man Standing wasn't a bad show. Not many watched and it was dumped. R liked it and I watched it, as it was on. So this week's celebs are the cast in all their glory. Bonus pics are from another show that R liked, Evan in The Secret Life of Us. The blokes in these shows are almost like I would like people from other countries to see your your average Aussue straight dude. They are a bit mono cultural, but if say an Asian was to be included, he would have to speak with a very Aussie accent.

Last Man Standing.


This afternoon we walked to Albert Park Lake. I noticed that the cherry tomatoes were still lying on the verge of the Kingsway. As well as the accident mentioned last week, there was another last night. It is a dangerous intersection that we look down upon and often travel through.

I would lobby Vicroads or the council to make it better, but I think it might all change if the tram plans for St Kilda Road go ahead.

Bolting from the convent

Yes, highriser and his partner ran away from the convent today. Be assured we have not taken vows of chastity. We are still available for ring a root. We were only visitors to what was a convent.

I had never seen the Fairfield boat sheds and it has been many years since I drove along The Boulevarde. My 'tourist in your own city' quest continues.

Along the Punt Road and Hoddle Street to the Eastern Freeway to exit at the strangely named Chandler Hwy. It is not really my idea of a highway. Turn into The Boulevarde and after a couple of stops to look at things, we arrived at the boat sheds. It was a little cool but not too bad to have coffee outdoors.

We watched the white ducks swimming and preening and a 'family group' hire a boat. I note family group because it did not quite add up. Man in his thirties with Asian/Islander appearance, and four boys. Two with Asian appearance, one pure Anglo and one dark skinned boy.

The boys wanted to row of course. I was nearly crying with laughter as the boat just pivoted on the spot for about ten minutes. Occasionally it would crash into another of the moored boats and they would then unsuccessfully try to push off into middle of the river. The ducks, perhaps with a mind to assist, swam over. A prefect picture when I had forgotten the camera. Our fellow Kew type latte lappers were unamused.

We walked across Kane's Bridge, a suspension bridge to the other side and back. Interesting levelled playing field on the other side with very old bluestone retaining wall, almost a haha wall.

Back to The Boulevarde and onto a looping road just off Studley Park Road. But it was barricaded. I have no idea why. It used to be a nice one way drive around.

Next was the old Abbsottsford convent, now an arts precinct. We wandered for a bit but apart from the buildings, not much to see. There is a vego restaurant there and it was time for lunch.

I assume most people who work in vego restaurants are vegos themselves. They always seem a little spaced out. Of course some of best friends are vegos.............. R ordered a curry and I decided on pancakes. It is a place where you pay what you feel the meal and the service is worth. We sat outside in the weak sun and after a half hour wait with no food, we left. I am pleased that we did not donate in advance. I was thinking of somewhere between $15 and $20 for the two meals. So while we did not technically 'do a runner', we may as well have. The only difference was they could sell the serves a second time maybe.

While I accept the reasons and convenience of paying in advance in cafes, it really does take away your power if something is really wrong.

The traffic coming home in Hoddle Street was stop start. How much more pleasant it was last weekend when we went to Williamstown by train.

Later corrections. It is Yarra Boulevard not The Boulevarde. It was Studley Park Boathouse, not Fairfield Park Boathouse. I cannot confirm that the Abbottsford convent is known as an arts precinct.

The old Terry is back on the rails

Lets get commuters on the right track

By Terry Lane in Sunday's Age

Now then, let's see if we've got this right.

The State Government has spent $750 million improving regional rail services and that is a scandal. The minister is called to account because the fast trains aren't fast enough.

Then the minister announces that $1 billion is to be spent widening freeways and there is not a peep.

Just think about it for a moment. Petrol is heading to $1.50 a litre and the rise is steady and inexorable. Who knows what it might be by this time next year.

The freeway system is already a bumper to bumper sewer for most of the day and an elongated car park at peak hours. It is the most inefficient, expensive method of commuting. Adding an extra lane in each direction is not going to help matters much, unless the economics of driving forces people to leave the car at home. There might be some price for petrol that eventually turns the freeway system into a place safe for skateboarders.

Apart from the economic costs of driving there are the environmental costs. According to the Federal Government's Australian Greenhouse office the transport sector accounted for around 80 million tonnes of Australia's total net greenhouse gas emissions in 2003, representing 15 per cent of Australia's total emissions.

About 90 per cent of these emissions came from road transport, including cars, trucks and buses. Greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector are growing substantially, rising by 29 per cent between 1990 and 2003.

Latest projections indicate that emissions from the transport sector will rise by 53 per cent between 1990 and 2010. These terrifying figures do not come from Green alarmist propaganda but from the dark brown Howard Government.

Any politician of normal intelligence and concern for the wellbeing of their grandchildren would be closing off freeway lanes, not adding new ones.

But if some visionary had proposed building a rail track in the space that will be occupied by the extra lane they would be howled down.

Mr Bracks and Mr Batchelor would tell us that it would be too expensive. Compared to what? Expanding a freeway? When it comes to public transport, politicians morph into self-defensive Scrooge, but when it is cars in question their confident prodigality is boundless.

OK. Let's try another appeal. Our political overlords are fond of boasting about Melbourne's standing in the ranks of world cities. Everything about the place is either iconic or world class these days. Well, it isn't.

One of the marks of modernity is a public transport system that is so good that even the rich use it. Even, in some rare cases, the politicians.

The problem with the regional fast rail service is not that it cost too much or that it isn't fast enough - it is that the concept is not bold enough. By modern standards, 160kmh is a dawdle but it would do if the trains are frequent and do not have to stop at every station on the way. A 160kmh express from Ballarat or Bendigo to Melbourne would be an excellent service and $750 million would be cheap at twice the price.

If $1 billion is to be spent widening the freeways then let the extra lanes be for trains. Your grandchildren will thank you for your foresight.


Amusing enough little movie about a plumber. Great acting by the male lead. His character was just too nice for this world, but even he had his snapping point. Buggery Hoyts at Melbourne Central though. What a queue for tickets. Should have booked online first. That is what they want us to do I suppose. Can movie theatres really cut staff costs anymore than they have? Seems like they can.