Friday, March 02, 2007

Hot boxes

Sorry Andy, in spite of the subject line, probably not of interest to you.

This is a pic of the latest private development Melbourne University student accommodation. I can guess what they are like. Tiny, rabbit warren landings, all with ceilings as low as is allowed but all clean, modern and new, just as overseas students from Asia like. But see all the windows open?

The building may have cooled ventilation in all public areas, but given I took this photo at about 7.30 in the morning with many cars passing and it being a tram shunting area, so also very noisy, I would guess these apartments are very hot inside. They are facing the west and receive the afternoon sun for several hours.

Now to personalise it, our apartment gets a few minutes of morning sun in the winter but in the summer it gets sun for dawn until about eleven. Obviously it faces east. If the air-con is off, it can go from 22 or 23 degrees (its natural summer temperature) to 27 or 28. It is hot and unpleasant. The temperature drops back quickly enough once the sun is off it, and of course we keep the blinds are closed.

Well, I can only imagine what is like to receive seven hours of baking afternoon sun on a high rise building such as the apartments at Melbourne Uni. This morning, not the day I took photo, it was cool enough, but I could see a fan whirring away at a window, drawing the cool outside air inside.

I consider it is thoroughly irresponsible to allow such buildings to be built.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Playing with the big boys

I am a senior member of Walking Melbourne. All that means is that I have made one hundred posts. Still, I do take a wee bit of pride. The principle people within this group are smart, far more cleverer than me. Bit like a transport group I am also a member of. There are some clever people there too. Neither are gentle if you make a mistake or express an opinion they don't like. No matter, I push on with my slowly thickening skin.

Here is my latest post to Walking Melbourne. It only took about five hours of my life. I enjoyed doing it. I hope some people at the group appreciate it. I do admire the effort some people make in Walking Melbourne. Typing away on a blog is easy. Adding pictures takes more time. Multiple pictures with details is very time consuming.

Couple of big queens

They may have caused an awful botheration in Sydney, but it would have been pretty special to see them both together. Can Sydney be impossibly beautiful at times? Not everyone knows to click on the pic to make it larger. Do it to see QE2 and QM2.
Pic courtesy Cunard

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Girl Blogs

I read some younger women's blogs and some women's blogs who are a bit older and some blogs written by women who are quite a bit.....never mind. I never waste time. I read the these blogs because I like reading them.

If I was your average hetro male, perhaps I would understand, but I really hate the way male commenters on these girls blogs can be so sleazy and suggestive. The girl bloggers I read, naturally are sophiscated ladies and they respond with style and aplomb. Of course there is no suggestivness in comments on older chicks blogs.

It reminds me of seeing some Mediteranian men in the street. They may be old, ugly and fat, badly dressed and reek, but they will leer at a young attractive women in the street in the most obvious way. I feel like slapping some reality into them. How can they possibly imagine she might be interested in them? There is nothing wrong with looking, but this leering they do is over the top.

It is not the suggestiveness in blog comments that really bothers me, it is the differences between the blogger and the commenter. Kinda like when you see a very attractive young ethnically Asian women with an old man. The difference is just so great.

Since everyone seems to deal with ok, it is my problem I guess.

City Square

I am not keen on our City Square. Barren gravel and often used for commercial displays. I may have had a cup of coffee at the cafe there once, there is nothing there to attract me. But it did have a nice bit of grass in raised beds and put grass anywhere and people just love it and want to sit on it. Quite right too.

But due to the self imposed water restrictions, City of Melbourne turned off the water and of course the grass died. Fine. While I don't believe it is necessary to let our gardens, trees and grass die, it has happened everywhere.

But what did I see the other day? Nice new turf being rolled out. The grass is back. No doubt City of Melbourne will say that it is a drought resistant variety. No doubt they will say it is being watered with recycled water. Bulldust. There was grass there, why let it die and then go to the expense of laying more?

You will see a lot more of this in the future around greater Melbourne.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This weeks flowers

I just love dahlias. When we had gardens, we never grew them. Pity. And they are lasting well.

Are you sure Minister?

Victoria's new public transport minister is off to a fine start. Ms Lynne Kosky wants to keep the private company running Melbourne's transport system.

The Minister for Public Transport does not want to be in the business of running trains. I would have thought that she may have a little time on her hands then.

The government's target of having doubling public transport trips by 2020 is now 'aspirational'!

This one really gets me. She talks of relaxing penalties on the private compay for late running. We are too focused on punctuality, she says. Well minister, we would be less focused if there was a better service frequency. When there is a train every thirty minutes or more on a busy line in the evening peak, are you surprised that we focus on punctality?

If the private company was getting the system right, then no one would care two hoots, but I don't think too many people would agree that it is.

You see Ms Kosky, private companies are in business to make money. There is nothing wrong with this. That is how our society functions. But private companies and the provision of an essential service don't really sit well together, in my opinion of course.

But no matter. Since you won't be running the trains and taking responsibility for them, pop your feet up on the desk and get your crochet out.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Move to Sydney for the cooler weather

Feb 01 Sydney maximum temperature 22.5 Melbourne maximum temperature 26.9 Melb hotter
Feb o2 Sydney 24.8 Melbourne 34.2 Melbourne hotter
03 25.3 24.7 Sydney hotter
04 26.8 29.0 Melbourne hotter
05 25.2 35.2 Melbourne hotter
06 26.9 20.7 Sydney hotter
07 25.9 21.1 Sydney hotter
08 27.2 22.4 Sydney hotter
09 27.6 32.4 Melbourne hotter
10 27.7 22.6 Sydney hotter
11 26.2 27.5 Melbourne hotter
12 23.3 32.5 Melbourne hotter
13 24.7 31.3 Melbourne hotter
14 26.6 27.5 Melbourne hotter
15 25.9 35.3 Melbourne hotter
16 26.5 37.2 Melbourne hotter
17 26.7 37.4 Melbourne hotter
18 26.2 38.5 Melbourne hotter
19 26.5 27.6 Melbourne hotter
20 26.6 28.1 Melbourne hotter
21 26.6 30.2 Melbourne hotter
22 27.0 30.0 Melbourne hotter
23 27.3 28.6 Melbourne hotter
24 26.8 23.7 Sydney hotter
25 23.0 23.4 Melbourne hotter

We only have six days for the month when it was hotter in Sydney than Melbourne. Sydney average 25.9. Melbourne average 29.1.

I recently heard that the reason Australia's financial centre has moved from Melbourne to Sydney was the widespread availability of air conditioning. I am not so sure about this one. Of course these observations don't take humidity into account and Sydney is known to be more humid than Melbourne, but Melbourne has been very humid lately too.

Perhaps Sydney is not so bad but Tasmania would suit me better. More days of sunshine than Melbourne and probably Sydney, just not so bluddy hot.

Later edit: The figure for Melbourne's temp sounds a little high. It must have been the calculators fault.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Caught in a trap

Bright lasses rowed straight into the Yarra River litter trap and could not get out of it. Older man tries to assist, but to no avail. He was staying dry. The current was holding them there and they had no idea which direction the paddles should be moved.
No friendship among rowers, they and other rowers rowed straight on past.
Ineffectual movements with the paddles does not help at all. A paddle wedged under the boom and the craft nearly tipped over.
We all need help from a kind young man at times.
Damn, so close but so far. The current pushed the bow in towards the bank.

More rrrs than class, finally free. We had been entertained for fifteen minutes. A crowd had gathered and we gave them a cheer. They crossed the river with the bow of their craft pointed directly into the barrel drain on the north bank.

Notes on a Scandal

I enjoyed the movie although I wish I hadn't seen the trailer in advance. If you haven't seen it and would like an idea of what it is about, check it out here. But don't watch the trailer if you intend seeing it. It just shows too much.

Both Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett were superb. It was hard to see who would win in the end. They both did or neither did. Take your pick.

Lady of the night

We have moved quite a few times in our lives. Elwood, East Malvern, Glen Iris, Burwood, Balaclava and now, officially, City of Melbourne.

But only in one suburb did we have a prostitute living next door. It sarted with B and it wasn't Balaclava.

PS She was very nice and a good neighbour.

It's a changin'

Last night after dinner at a Balaclava venue which we are rapidly coming to despise, with our brother friends we took a walk along Carlisle Street. The street was littered with outdoor diners and drinkers. We lived nearby for maybe eight years and although there was always life on the streets after dark, it was nothing like it is now.

As we passed each shop, we tried to recall what its purpose was when we left the area about five years ago. It was quite difficult as when a shop changes its purpose, its appearance can alter quite drastically.

I think it was the day after we moved to Balaclava we were in the local Coles supermarket and a very good looking and scantily clad couple were doing their shopping on roller blades. I was impressed. I think I will like living in this interesting area.

We did like living there and it was very interesting.

We were refugees of the Prahran property market. We were looking to live in Prahran, but you just weren't getting much house size for your dollar. And, they wanted $180,000 for an average house. Balaclava was much more reasonable at $160,000. Oh, had we known.

But the rot started with us. To street with one or two cars parked in it, we moved in with our two cars. By the time we left, the street was chockers with cars. What attracted us, also attracted others.

In retrospect, it was a relief to leave behind the new young urban professionals and the 'interesting' people. The 'interesting' people really wore us down after a time. While the local council bangs on about the 'interesting' people being forced out of the area by rising housing prices, there still seems no shortage of them. I am over 'interesting' people.

Now, I am used to seeing well dressed people on our local streets. Weekdays it swarms with office workers and perhaps I am an 'interesting' person, as I stand out in my casual clothes. When out for a weekend stroll, we come across other clearly identifiable local residents and I feel some solidarity and connection with them. Sometimes there may even be a greeting as we pass them by.

One day I saw in our present street, someone who would look quite at home in Balaclava, but wow did he stand out in our street. I nearly went into the police station to notify them of this intruder. Seriously. Short and skinny as a drover's dog, dirty looking long thin blond hair, skin tight jeans with smokes tucked in the back pocket, tattoos and why was he looking down the side of our building? I did note the time and if our building was robbed, he would have been on the police station exterior cctv and I could identify him. I am sure he was a 'known person' anyway.

Nah, interesting types are trouble. Now I'd better email body corp committee members about the cricket game happening on the tennis court last evening. Unluckily for them, the guard came on duty half way through their match and removed them from the court. Much more serious than a ninety year old neighbour getting assaulted by a drug affected whore while on his way to the Balaclava shops.