Saturday, March 17, 2007

The fishy Mountain Women

The Mountain Women carted Dame M off to a trout farm and they bought $60 worth of fresh fish. They took it home and popped it onto the barbecue for a slow cook. Let's have a drink while it cooks.

A couple of hours later the forgotten fish was ruined and only fit for the dogs.

Dame M enjoyed her stay in the country but she said she was pleased to get home, although she was unsure what day she arrived home. I deduced it was Wednesday. She found the steep block hard when she wanted to go for a walk and I think the Mountain Women set a cracking pace with the drinks. Given the furtherest she walks now in the city is from her front door to a cab door, that is a little surprising.

The Good News

It's the little things in life that give me pleasure. Meet Senator Santo Santoro, sacked Minister for Ageing, who had large investments in companies that could be affected by his ministerial decisions. Shame on the crook. Good bloody riddance.

What about this prat Mr Kyle Sandilands, insulter of the less able bodied, less able minded and the untalented. Just a rude and obnoxious prat. Also a Sydney radio presenter, a shock jock. Well guess who has just lost their driving license for speeding? Couldn't happen to a nicer bloke.

This bloke, Senator Ian Campbell, lost his position as Minister for Environment for a meeting a with a shady character. I don't think he should be sacked for that, but his blatant nonsense over protecting the orange bellied parrot from the blades of wind farm windmills makes me pleased to see him go.

Childhood #31

I think I was wrong, so confessed Mother recently.

It was a local sports day or gymkhana, I can't remember. I suppose I was ten or eleven.

"Andrew, get dressed please".

"I am".

"Put proper clothes on".

"These are proper clothes".

"You are not wearing jeans".

"Everyone will be wearing jeans".

"I don't care, get dressed please. Wal (Dad), can you tell Andrew to get dressed".

"Do as your mother says".

"No, I am wearing jeans".

"If you don't get dressed, you won't go".

"If I can't wear jeans, I won't go."

It escalated a bit more from there. Skip forward a few minutes and I was running down a hill on the farm with my father in hot pursuit in the car.

But I had 365 acres, half of it bush, to get lost in, and I did. Dad had fences in front of him.

They went off and after creeping home, I am sure I found a good book to read for the afternoon.

I can't remember what happened when they returned. Nothing much I think.

Mum brought it up recently and said that perhaps she was wrong. It was rare for my parents to exercise such strong parental authority. I wish I knew back then about 'peer pressure', 'conforming', 'being one of the gang', 'not standing out in a group', 'daggy', 'nerdy' and all the other smart words and phrases that kids these days can no doubt trot out in such an argument.

I do understand where my mother was coming from. She wanted us to look smart for the benefit of the neighbours et all, but had she thought it through a bit more, I am sure she would not want us at a social event dressed up like pox doctor's clerks when no other kid was.

It was perhaps the first time for me that 'your parents are always right', started to crumble in my mind.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Sydney Bridge

(Caught out once again by writing a post in advance but waiting to a bit closer to the right time. It was all over the news and current affairs shows tonight. I wrote most of this post Tuesday.)

While we in Melbourne detest the Sydney Harbour Bridge for becoming a symbol of Australia (what is wrong with our older Princes Bridge?), it must be recognised that, along with the Opera House, it is a symbol of Australia. We must all take pride in it.

It would be a bit more interesting if it still had a symbol of Melbourne, trams, or streetcars if you like, running across it. But no, the trams were removed from Sydney streets many years ago. Now that was a good idea Sydney, not! Apart from one new existing line, you are talking about bringing them back.

Still, the bridge does have trains, footpaths and cars, lots of cars, travelling over it. You can climb over the top of it for an exhorbitant fee or just climb up one of the towers. See it from a ferry, from the harbour bank underneath it, from many locations in Sydney.

Possibly the people and businesses who were cleared away when it was being built, mostly without compensation, may not be so happy.

But we won't let that sour its seventy fifth birthday. Big celebrations on Sunday and the bridge will be closed to traffic. Happy birthday to the coat hanger.

Ohter pic is Melbourne's Princes Bridge. Ok, it is not really a contender, but it is a lovely little bridge.

Recommended media: Australia All Over on Sunday morning broadcast from Observatory Hill on ABC Local Radio, streamed on the net, Ignore the bumbling idiot presenter, the content can be very good.

Constructing the Bridge, ABC tv, Sunday night, 7.30

Koskyism #2

Koskyism number one was when the new public transport minsiter expressed a view that Melbournians were too obsessed with punctuality of our public transport.

Today I heard Koskyism number two. The problems are our fault again, because we all want to travel on public transport at the same time, that is in the morning and evening peak periods.

Minister, believe me, if people had an option of not getting on jam packed trains or trams or sometimes not even being able to fit on, I think they would use it. Already the peak travel times for public and motor car transport has spread in both directions at both ends of the day. What more do you want?

Her solution? She is going to talk to schools to see if they can stagger their start times more. Hip bloody horay. I wonder if she has some bribe money in her purse for all the elite private schools.

It is quickly becoming clear to me that the new minister blames the public for the poor perfomance of our public transport. I don't think I have ever taken such a dislike to someone when I have heard so little from them.

Two fat ladies

Well, they were not so much fat as stout. Nicely dressed and wearing makeup and sensible but stylish shoes, perhaps in their late fifties or early sixties. They reminded me of the two Berlin women in the start of, I think, Cabaret who walking along chatting, oblivious to anything around them.

Pefectly normal you may think and normally it would be, but kiddies, it was 4.55 am, that is in the morning, when I saw them crossing High Street at Chapel Street. What on earth were they doing up at this time?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Juanita Nielsen

It must be time that this woman with a seventies beehive was dug up. But who knows where she is? She was presumably murdered back in 1975 by those associated with property developers who had grand, and I am sure very lucrative, architectural plans for Victoria Street in Kings Cross/Potts Point. I wrote a bit about her back when we were last in Sydney in early 2006.

Son of now dead Sydney 'colourful 'Cross identity, Abe Saffron', reckons it was one of his father's close business associates who did the final deed.

Perhaps her body went into the foundations of a property development, the third runway at Sydney airport, somewhere in the country near a main road, or as the latest suggests, Sydney Harbour.

Anyone my age and older would have a recollection of how corrupt Sydney was when New South Wales was under the rule of State Premier Sir Robert Askin. I might be sued if I suggested it was also very corrupt under the rule of Nifty Nev, Premier Neville Wran and as he is still alive, I won't. [note, verify Wran is still alive and did he and Jill separate?]

Juanita was against the re-development of Victoria Street in Kings Cross and Potts Point, the street where she lived. She led a campaign against the developers and brutal vested interests murdered her. Many of those who were involved or were witnesses or people of interest are now dead and more will die in the near future.

Before too many more of those who involved or may have been witnesses die, it must be time for some modern police investigative tecniques and forensics to be brought into play, perhaps under the authority of a Royal Commission.

Her death had been a concern of mine since I saw a tv show about her demise many years ago. After visiting Victoria Street and liking it rather a lot, it was well worth defending. It is a lovely and interesting street.

Of course she was a rich bitch, an heir to the Mark Foys deparment stores and and so could indulge herself in her protest movement, but she was also an interesting person in her own right.

This link is good ten minute read but well worth it if you want to understand more and what Sydney was like in the seventies and even eighties and of course about her. Our ABC did a bit on it in 2004. Put her name into google and there is plenty of stuff about her, including this
which will give you more on her background.

Yep, a full and proper inquiry is needed and some people, including cops, the rich and policians need to be held to account.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Shave, clipper, wax and pluck

I hope he does not mind this reference, but the first blogger I ever read diligently was Daniel and he recently wrote a post about his own hair removal procedures. From head to wherever.

The post is interesting enough. I am sure even straight blokes like to know what other straight blokes do about excess hair and hair growing where it unwanted.

But what got me was the first couple of comments. They just blew me away. While I laughed, I also felt some sort of annoyance.

We blokes put up with hours and pages of women and their fashion, their body images, their make up, their conversational superiority, their multi tasking skills etc, ad naseum.

One little post about a bloke's personal grooming had a couple of chicks up in arms.

I thought about it while I showered and plucked an errant hair from my shoulder that appears every month or so, and then made my vapid comment, but it was all that I could think to say.

I can only think that these commenters had placed Daniel in a box and did not want to know that he was human, and a male with hair in more places than his head. But oh, the bit about his post being like thinking of your parents having sex.........what can I say. Father figure Daniel?

The post is here and the comments below of course and the bit about Intelligent Design was clever. Just shows how easily the concept is to discredit.

A note from the printer

We thought we would send the Mountain Women a thank you note. R thought better still, print out the photo of the dahlias (from their garden) onto a card, add a note and include our email address which they asked for.

We knew that the next time we had to print something serious, we would need a new printer. While I have one brand new colour cartridge for our old printer and I investigated getting the same brand so that the cartridge would not go to waste, I am now past that point and fed up with the printer. I also reckon it was pretty expensive ink wise. Perhaps not a quality product.

We took a quick look online at what was on offer from Cannon, HP, Brother and Epson, not Lexmark this time. We wanted another multi function printer around one hundred dollars. I also noted suggestions from a couple of blogger mates.

Okies, we have a bit of knowledge now and waited until we thought the Moomba parade would clear and walked into town. We had three stores in mind and firstly checked Dick Smith Electronics and actually found pretty well what we wanted at a good price. Onto Harvey Norman. Nothing much around the price and nothing to compare equally with what we had seen at DSE. I don't like HN anyway.

Onto Officeworks and they had an ok selection but not exactly what we wanted. Down to Big W to buy another low energy fluorescent light to replace the one which has failed once again. Just happened to notice they had printers and the same one we were interested in for two dollars less.

Nah, I would rather buy it back at DSE where the product knowledge was quite good I thought. We had already checked that they had stock.

So, we bought an Epson CX3900 Multi Function for $97 at DSE, well we thought. When we went to collect one and pay, they did not actually have a brand new one, only a repacked one that had been on display. I looked at R with a cautious expression and he returned the look. Of course, you can have it for $75 said the salesman. I packed it myself and I know it is complete and never been switched on.


I uninstalled the old printer and the new one installed easily enough. I later discovered that the help file won't work. I am guessing it is because it wants to do it online and use IE rather than Firefox. Maybe. I will investigate it more later.

Well, the printing of the photo on the card was almost impossible. I had never done anything like that before, although R had. He normally just uses MS Publisher and then prints. But no, it was not that easy with this new printer. He finished up printing the photo on photo paper and attaching it to the card. He swore a lot during the process. He managed to do some nice word printing on the card.

From what I see, this printer will be more economical than the old as it has three separate colour cartridges. If you don't read another post about it, I must be reasonably happy with it.

Now where to I take the old printer for recycling? Anyone have a suggestion?

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Wet Patch

Subject line catch your attention? I can't recall the last time I had a wet patch in public, that is I was so excited by someone that I leaked a bit.

Nah, I am talking about The Patch, which is where we were today. The Mountain Women picked up Dame M on Thursday evening as her boarder was away on family business. It is a very long time since Dame M stayed away from home for more than one night. But she had been ensconced in the hills among gum trees and critters for a few nights and seems to be coping. "I lived in Belgrave when I was five", she said. "There is a monument somewhere, but I can't find it". You had to be there. She later said to me that she was finding it a little quiet up there.

We, R, moi and the Brothers surmised on our journey up the hills as to whether it would be mud brick, western red cedar, bluestone, or whatever. I won with with western red cedar, with cockatoo bites in it.

Plain house, not bad garden, decorative, fruit, vegetables, lots of bloke sheds for women and a couple of dogs. It was great fun and the Mountain Women are good at local history. I got an update on Burnham Beeches, the old home of the Aspro family.

All houses in the Dandenongs must have a deck to look out on the forest, theirs is no exception.

One dog, Marx, (Karl I asked? No Marks and Spencer, forgot she was from Huddersfield) chose the most attractive person present to make love to their leg. Guess who! He never does that normally they said amid the laughter. My sexual attraction is omnipresent, either that or I can pull a dog easily.

We stayed far later than we intended, as you do when you are having fun and there are drinks and food involved. Andrew got approval to have more wine when R said he would drive home. One of the Mountain Women backed our car down the steep and curvy driveway and we were off quickly down the hills back to suburbia loaded with left over food, lemons, grapefruit and dahlias.