Saturday, September 23, 2006

Whatever happened to #61

Barry Evans from Doctor in the House and Mind Your Language. I used to think he was quite handsome and had a nice voice but he came to a sticky end.

Once he lost his boyish looks, he had trouble finding acting work and took to the bottle. In fact, he died of alcoholic poisoning. That is the official cause of death, but somehow a rent boi was mixed up in it. He made a will a couple of days before his death, his credit cards were stolen, his telephone line cut and someone else had been driving his car the day he died. His blood alcohol reading was around .2% Although the young man was charged with murder, the prosecution offered no evidence and the case was dropped.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Book Crossing

Quite a few years ago I think I joined the online Book Crossing. Never did anything about it apart from look at the website.

We were on our way home walking along Toorak Road and R stopped to pick up a book off a public bench seat. It had a Book Crossing sticker inside the front cover. We went to the website and logged the details.

To save you the bother of looking, you join the site and print of a sticker to put inside a book and leave the book in a public place for someone to find and hopefully read. When they do, they enter the details at the website. Kind of like an informal book exchange. Once you have read the book, the idea is to leave it somewhere for someone else.

Book Crossing has no borders and books can travel around the world. Nice little scheme and for a change, no money involved.

Pity I got rid of all books I don't want to keep, or I would start leaving them around.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Scabs and Strikebreakers

While our ABC was not quite itself today due to industrial action by staff, who was it who worked and showed no sympathy or empathy toward their workmates.

No surprise that Ian Cover and Jeff Richardson, The Coodabeens, worked. Cover is an ex Victorian Tory politician.

Sue Howard, boss of ABC Radio worked on air. No surprise there either really.

Alan Kohler, tv business presenter worked as did the Sydney rugby boofhead Peter Wilkins.

In the past we would get soothing music on the radio and basically just repeats on tv

I barely listened or watched today, so to the others who I did not hear, shame on you and shame on those who participated in talk back.

But thank god things are back to normal tomorrow, and we perhaps won't even hear the names Steve Irwin and Peter Brock.

I will just slip this in and sorry if you have heard it.

Irwin yelled down from heaven, "I said, send me a croc, not a Brock".

Grim Movies

What happened to fun movies being made in Australia? All we seem to get now is grim, bleak and dark and disturbing. Look Both Ways, Wolf Creek, Jindabyne, 2.37 and The Book of Revelation and now the latest, Last Train to Freo. There was that dreadful 48 Shades, funny? No.

I want to see a Priscilla, or Strictly Ballroom or Muriel's Wedding, or Moulin Rouge.

I want to see happy. I want to laugh. I want to leave the cinema grinning. I want R to leave the cinema not moaning.

I want a feel good local movie.


Honesty is the best policy, isn't it? Perhaps not always.

We were eating some pasta in a local pasta chain restaurant. Very nice.

The diner next to us finished his meal and went to the cash register area to pay. I watched. I didn't think I could lip read, but evidently I can a bit. Six dollars fifty, I observed the till person say to the man. The diner did only have water with his meal, but as well as having pasta, he had a huge bowl of sorbet.

Here is test of these foreign types I thought. The customer was of Chinese extraction. Sure enough, he chipped in something and it was obvious that he was now going to pay for his sorbet too. Good, but not sure that I would have done the same given what a large business it is.

I certainly would not have mentioned it if I knew what was going to happen.

The till person, who I assume is the boss, went around the restaurant asking each staff member if they took the order for sorbet at this table. One of them confessed and it was obvious that she got roused on (look it up Bard). I had never seen this lass before and it was pretty obvious she was very new. The boss did it publicly, bad.

So before you are scrupulously honest, think it through first.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Army in, Thaksin out

Coups in Thailand used to happen on at regular intervals but it has been a while between drinks this time. I have looked at both the Bangkok Post and The Nation. Interestingly the Bangkok Post website seemed to be a simplified version earlier today. It is back to normal now, but slow. The Nation is a lite version too.

The better quality The Nation is working well in its lite version. If the above about the Bankok Post is correct, it seems a good way to manage a site when it is under extreme load.

Jack of all, Master of none

I know a little bit about a lot of things and how I admire people who are so boned up on a subject that they can be interviewed and have all the knowledge at their fingertips.

There are a few things I know quite a bit about.

But because I don't pay daily attention to these, I even forget these things.

As previously mentioned, I know a fair bit about the Vietnam war, especially the lead up to it.

I am not bad on garden plants, motor car mechanics pre computers and I am pretty expert at matters body corporate.

One weird thing that I know a lot about is the Mitford Sisters. I was reminded of them the other night when we were watching some crap tv, a local Aussie show about tourism for us in the UK.

The present owner of a large, that is very large, like hundreds of rooms, house in the UK, is the son of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Perhaps the son is now the Duke. The house is called Chatsworth.

The Duchess of Devonshire, Deborah, is the last remaining Mitford sister. She was the youngest and married well.

The other sisters were famous in their own right.

Nancy was an author who wrote Love in a Cold Climate.

Unity was a friend of Hitler and it was rumoured that it was a 'very close' friendship. She unsuccessfully tried to suicide at the outbreak of World War II, and the shot to her head damaged her brain. She was subsequently became an invalid and died eight years later.

Diana was married to Bryan Guinness, heir to the company that makes that disgusting black drinking liquid. She divorced him and married Sir Oswald Mosley, the fascist leader in the UK. They were married in Joseph Gobbel's drawing room in Berlin. Mosley and Diana were jailed for three years during the war back in the UK as they were thought to be security risks. They moved to Paris after the war.

Jessica was an anti fascist and a communist and supported those against the Spanish dictator Franco in Spain. She became a journalist and later moved to the US and wrote a book that blew apart the funeral industry in the US. For a short time, funeral palours reduced the rip off of their poor customers.

There was another sister Pamela, who just lived quietly in the country and a brother Tom, who died in the war.

Truly a fascinating family.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Doing My Head In

All this chatter in the media about Moslems, English language tests, Australian values, etc etc is starting to get on my nerves but it is also having an impact on me.

Of course migrants should learn to speak English. What did they come here for in the first place? Other thoughts flowed from there and try hard not too as I could, I was starting to feel very anti immigrant. Actually I am anti immigration until Australia's water shortage and some of the enviromental problems are sorted out, but I mean everyone, not just those who don't speak English as a first language, like Scots and Kiwis.

Then I remember our Fijian Indian friend whos mother and aunt spent a day in the kitchen preparing food for us. Smiles, nods and laughter was our communication with them, as neither spoke English.

There were our neighbours in Balaclava, Latvian born and a nicer old couple you could not find. "Please, any way can help, please ask us. Except for money, we dont have any of that but anything else, please ask." That was the wife speaking. He barely spoke English at all, but he was very kind to us.

The Greek lady who lived a couple of doors from us in Glen Iris used to often bring us tomatoes from her garden. She barely spoke English.

Then there are my workmates, some of whom are Moslem, who speak English with varying degrees of competency. Often I pretend to understand what they are trying to say, and I am sure they do the same to me. But they are mostly nice people and contribute to society and this country.

Of course migrants to our country should be encouraged and given opportunities to learn English, but gee, I was not a great student at school.

Lights on

Well over twelve months ago when our body corporate budget looked a little dire, economies were examined. One of them was to cut the electric bill. Separate the what we know as bud/star/supplementary/sparkle lights from the public areas and the private landings. I was a committee member back then and agreed to the separation of the lights and the switching off of the landing lights, and the promise was that once it was done, the matter would be revisited.

It did not happen, that is the revistitation. The lights have been off ever since.

The above mentioned lights in the public access floors come on from 6.30 to 9.30 and 5.30 to 9.00.

I reckon it is a total waste for them to come on in the morning, but it does looks nice when I pass by the building.

They are nice bright glam lights and perhaps R more than myself was a bit put out that our floor's lights never came on. He did not need much urging to bring it up at a committee meeting.

He did and the result was, 'do the sums'. It ought have been done in the first place.

An almost clued up techie committee member gave us some sort of formula, and I had to work it out from there. He did leave a couple of significant points out. I suppose it was unintentional. Hope he did not think we were stupid.

This is the calculation and the result. Our bud lights are on now from six to nine in the evening. I am happy with that. I don't like bright lights in the morning.

20 watts per lamp

+ 15% transformer loss

= 23 watts

X 10 lamps per floor

= 230 watts

X 19 extra floors

= 4370 watts

X 6 hours use per day

= 26,220 watts

X 365 days

= 9,570,300 watts per year

/ 1000

= 9570.3 kWh

X peak tariff (7am-11pm) .04887 per kWh

= $467.70

/ 128 apartments

= $3.65 per apartment p.a.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Scratching my head

Things puzzle me at times, and then I forget about them. Here are today's.

What is that funny little fin thingy on the back of BMWs above the rear window?

Today I observed a just boarded passenger bashing on the tram driver's door to ask the question, does this tram go to Lygon Street. Given it clearly said Moreland via Lygon Street on the outside and the inside of the tram, why?

I am a member of a site called It connects gay and lesbian Asians and those who like them from around the world. If you see someone's profile and pictures who you like, you can send them a heart and maybe they will send you one back or a message. Why did I receive a heart from a dyke in Penang and how should I respond?

Why do so many car drivers decide at the last minute that they want to go left, when they are on the far right of a multi lane road?

Why are some Australians somewhat sceptical of chef Jamie Oliver?

Why did three very attactive blonde lasses tail gate me when driving up the ramps in the car park this evening? (I already know they are going to be kicked out as soon as their lease is up)

Given Australia has not declared war on any country, how would our army perform if it was not just involved in 'peace keeping'?

How come famous bearded media person chose a wife so much taller than himself?

Why did, I assume VCAT, approve the 'cheese grater' building in Smith Street, Collingwood?

The list could go on, but I shan't.


Plasma or holiday, make your mind up.

Drawn out moan/groan.

Presently investigating a 101cm high definition LCD Samsung with built in digital tuner, whatever that all means. Retravision in Chapel Street is beating Harvey Norman's specials hands down.

Havery Norman is offering $200 off with trade-in too. But if you buy today, we will give you that price and even allow you to keep your old set. I was wondering when I saw the trade in offer, as to what they would do with an old tv that no one would want. Is a four year old tv considered old? Probably.

Presently investingating a day trip to Bendigo, so you see which way this is going to end.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Our friends gave some home grown eggs. We had a marvellous omlette. But what about the blue ones? What are they? We are thinking they are bantam eggs. I am really not so sure that I want to eat blue eggs.

My vegetetarian credibility is sadly lacking, in fact I have none. Just to offend some, I love beef, pork and lamb, but I think I may draw the line at blue eggs. It just ain't right.