Friday, January 26, 2007

The Oz Day

Finished work at 11pm Aus Day eve and naughty R stayed up until I got home and generously shared his bottle of scotch with me. He got a couple of personal issues out of his system. By 2am we had finished the scotch and solved the problems of the world, but alas, not our own.

Don't you be grumpy or ratty with me in the morning because you stayed up too late and drank too much were my goodnight words. Well, he wasn't, but due to the late night, the best laid plans went astray.

That isn't a bad way to start Australia day is it? Stay up too late and drink too much?

We went across the road for a bacon and egg sanger and excellent coffee and noted what good business the place does on public holidays when many other places are closed. I eavesdropped on the local detectives brunching, but did not hear anything of interest.

In the the true Aussie spirit, we felt the need to materialistically consume, so we walked to Officeworks to check out new printers. More on printers later.

As my mother's blood pressure has suddenly ballooned to 225/105, we thought it best to visit her before she has a massive stroke or heart attack. She appeared from her bedroom in a nightie and dishevelled, most unlike her. However she still talked and if the conversation drifted from her, she quickly steered it back to herself. She fed us tomato and cheese on Sao (dry biscuits) and jam tarts and lamingtons. Quite Australian.

My aquired brain injury brother picked up his new Mazda 2 yesterday, so he took us for a spin. I tried to talk him out of buying a red manual transmission car, but again I failed. It was an ok car. He is very happy with it and I was surprised how well he handled the manual gears given he had never owned a manual car. My sister has a manual car too. Very odd. I would be the only member of the family who knows how to double de-clutch and I wouldn't dream of having a manual car.

On the way to Pakenham, we stopped off at Berwick to buy some flowers for the mater, and I had not been there since the bypass was built. Gee it is a pretty little town. Oaks, elms and planes make it, as well as the hill it is established on. We even came across a Dan Murphy liquor store and took the opportunity to restock the cellar, read pantry come linen press.

But no flowers. We went to the shops in Pakenham and it now is not just a single main street but had many shops off to the side. The shops to the side were probably there even in AFE's time when he was a local lad. We settled on flowers from Safeway as that was the best we could do. There is a layby on the way to Pakenham where there is usually a flower seller as well as other vendors. As we swung into the layby, we both realised we had misread flounder as flowers. Only a fish seller, no flower seller.

Home for dinner and what else can you eat on Australia day but lamb chops, mashed spuds, carrots, peas and a concession to the foreigners, broccoli. Very nice.

Fireworks have just gone off in the city, but we are facing the wrong direction. There is an Aussie day party happening on the roof of where we had breakfast this morning and they can see the fireworks by their cheering. They are sounding very drunk.

I recall when a previous state premier abolished some public holidays. Gee if any holiday should be abolished, Australia day should be it. What a waste of a day. What an Australian sort of day.

Pulling a post

In my gay activist post, as soon as I pressed publish and I saw what I wrote in a reasonably viewable manner, I realised that the bad countries, obviously with the exception of Australia and the US, are all muslim countries. There are other countries without same sex partnership laws that could be on the list. The post smacks of being anti muslim and therefore I am pulling it and I may edit it later and republish.

The point being made was how out of step Australia and the US is with the rest of the 'civilized' world.

Australians all let us all rejoice for we are young and free.........well cheap anyway.

Happy Australia Day.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I slaved over a hot stove stirring a pot of bubbling fruit and laborisly? turned out some jam.


I chopped up two punnets of strawberries we bought dirt cheap at the market and tossed them into our quite old bread making machine, added a cup and half of sugar and three tablespoons of jam Setta and switched on the jam setting and a rather nice large jar of strawberry jam was the result. (Note to self for next time, reduce jam Setta to two tablespoons and chop the fruit a bit rougher)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More on the lift lock up

Someone else wrote about our recent lift experience. Some of it is correct. The person, R, in the adjacent lift did not become increasingly agitated. I don't know if I should show this article to R. He may go and give the author's beard a good yanking a la Bunyip Bluegum.

Later addition: Should I send him an email correcting his errors? I am not sure I want him to know who I am.

Random Pics

Our visitor from Japan has a much better camera than I do. Here are the christmas star lights on our balcony and the back of the Little Fairy penguin in the St Kilda breakwater. Penguin backs are not terribly interesting are they.

The Flag

You Sydneysider Big Day Out types, yep, take the Aussie flag and drape it around yourself. You kids with parents who who born in South East Asia, drape it around yourself. You peoples with parents from the Middle East, you are Australian, your parents have the paperwork. Embrace Australia. Ah, you are a more recent immigrant and have an accent. No matter. You too have the paperwork in order. Drape yourself in the Aussie flag too. You are Aussie and proud to be so aren't you? Beat them at their own game.

For mine, flags are for sticking up on poles and not normally to be used as a sarong or scarf. I wonder if Kathy Freeman knew what the eventual effect would be of her running around a track draped in an Aboriginal flag. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Three years ago

Knock, knock.

Come in.

Good morning Amanda.

Good morning Prime Minister.

How do you feel about immigration Amanda?

Oh, it's a good thing PM. We need them as factory fodder and taxi drivers and 711 workers and..................

No, no Amanda, I mean how would you feel about taking on the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs portfolio?

Come on PM, I haven't been doing a bad job in my other ministries. What did I do wrong that you want to give me that bunch of lazy, incompetent, arrogant and absolutely hopeless time servers?

We need someone tough in there Amanda. I reckon you could sort them out. You know there are some really serious issues on the horizon with the department and it is not going to be pretty.

This is just not fair PM. If it all comes unravelled, I will be the one wearing it.

Indeed you will Amanda and I am sorry, but someone has to do it. How old are your rottweilers now?

About five years old PM.

And your children have grown up now. Rotties don't tend to live much past eight years old, so you should be free to take on something that is not home based, if you know what I mean, after three years. That is if it all goes wrong.

I suppose so PM.

Great. Drink Mandy?

Yes please PM, I think I will need rather a lot of them over the next three years.

Don't worry, we will do what we can to help. A bit of muck will go back Ruddock's way and the ABC is well overdue for a hammering. We'll see if we can mute down Lateline Jones and Kerry the Red a bit. We're working on it now.

Thanks PM. Yes, I'll have another, a large one. To the top please PM.

You know we will look after you Mandy. Now come over here for a hug.

I take no pleasure in being so cynical. I just feel sad. I am no friend of our Tory government, but I reckon Vandstone has been treated pretty shabily. I guess it is a case of 'If you can't stand the heat in the kitchen....'.

The tenant

The person we deal with at the rental agency, Shocking Stupid, called me last week. She is so lovely on the phone. She enquired about what we did for christmas and the new year and some other chit chat. I met her once when our last tenant left and the new one was coming and I aboslutely hated her. She is gorgeous over the phone, but a cold hard stern business like bitch in person. I scarcely believed it was the same person.

Anway, the tenant wants another twelve month lease. Bit unusual. Normal practice is an initial one year lease and then month to month. To paraphrase what I said to the agent, screw him for more money if you can, but if not, sign him up for another twelve months anyway. She won't bother as there is precious little in it for her company.

The last condition report said the flat was ok, but messy. Well, each to their own, so long as the flat is ok. He pays (deducted from his bank account) on time and is the best paying tenant we have had, and we are up to about five over eight years.

The flat is at the end of a long central hallway, and I mean long, like maybe 100 metres. The hallway is an absolute mess. We are paying a substantial levy on top of the normal body corp fees to have it fixed up, but the work won't be started until March. I think it is about $30,000 worth of work. So I feel a little guilty about how bad it looks and I wouldn't want to be paying any higher rental. But with a lovely new hallway and another year down the track, he can look forward to a substantial rental rise next year.

Btw, lest you think I am a rich property owning type, it does not make a profit and if sold, would not pay what we owe on our apartment, but it hasn't done badly for capitol growth.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Myer christmas window

Did we all see the Melbourne's Myer christmas windows? They were rather good this year with a strong Aussie theme. Them were based on a book by Mem Fox. I have heard her talk on the wireless. Wouldn't you like a name like Mem Fox? The book was something about wombats and or Australian critters. Our friend in Japan likes wombats and when she was here in Melbourne a few weeks ago, she did catch the Myer window christmas display. As a christmas gift we bought her the book.

But a problem with the windows arose soon after the display opened. It would seem the positioning of a couple of animated koalas could have led to a misinterpretation of what they were doing. I understand one was trying to help the other put on some clothing. Children wondered why adults found the window display so amusing. Before too many people saw them, the koalas were removed from the display and they went into storage.

Reminds me, we are approaching Sydney Mardi Gras time and Dimmeys' Richmond store will have a suitably appropriate male manequin window display.

It seems Melbourne's gay and lesbian radio station, Joy Melbourne, managed to aquire the koalas for use on their float in yesterday's gay Pride March in St Kilda. I had to work, so I could not attend and I am not sure how they went down.

Of course, someone has taken a video of them in the Myer window and of course, it has been uploaded to youtube. They look to be very happy koalas.