Friday, March 30, 2007

This week's flowers

Chewlips. Although handsomely erect in the photo, over the week they have slowly sagged and curved and look a little creepy and triffid now. The maid will remove and replace them with something else tomorrow.

The old blogger on the new blogger

After all the trouble that google caused for me and many others when they took over blogger and then upgraded it, I will say the new version is better.

Things are a little more logical generally. You can add tags which helps me a lot as my post filing system failed due to neglect. You don't even have to actually republish to add a tag to an old post, so I discovered after actually looking.

I cannot change my page look without loosing my template edits though. I thought it was time for a change to my look, but I could not find anything better. I could have gone for the template upgrade, but again I lose the edits and while they have some stuffs to make it easier make changes, a lot of the html was not showing. I know html, that is how to cut and paste it, so I don't want to learn these new toys.

The spell checker is vastly superior to the old version and I should try to use it more often.

The photo uploading system is better, but I just wish I could place photos where I want and arrange the text around them as I want.

I have some problem with something I do in some posts. Perhaps a combination of key strokes. When I want to insert an aphostrophy, it operates some keyboard shortcut and something else pops up. I am not stressing over it and neither should you when you notice missing apostrophys (ies?).

Another problem I have is me stressing over making too many posts on one day and then maybe nothing the next day. I attempt to even them out, but not very well. Sometimes things are so topical, that the next day a post about subject might be stale. Sometimes I get a backlog of posts and just think dam, and just publish. I have a backlog of unfinished and not so topical posts. I may get around to them. I have decided to not stress anymore about it. So if you are flooded with posts on one day, space them out yourself.

Must say though this blogging thing is fun. What a nice lot of people I have come to partly know. The not so nice ones don't hang around. Then there is the mystery one comment on a post and never hear from them again. Just the subject matter interested them I suppose.

Sadly some bloggers have come and gone. I understand this. I did think about it once because surely I will run out of things to say one day. While I do put a good bit of time into blog posting and reading others, I can't say I put in a lot of effort, certainly no more than I want to. Some focus a lot on the how their blog appears on a screen. To me, it is the words and to a lesser extent the pictures that make a blog I like to read. So if you blog looks like an MS notepad document, that is fine with me.

I tried hard to contain my blog list to just a few other bloggers but it is impossible not to add nice people who have good blogs. That is something I really do worry about, to add or not to add. I notice some don't have a list at all. that makes it so easy. I should have done that.

Of course I should have listened to someone and changed to the superior word press, but I am not so young, a bit set in my ways and I don't want to learn new things when I really don't have to. Learning a new printer, the fourth, is hard enough and there are plenty of other things to learn in life.

Gee, this is sounding like an anniversary post. Btw, I thought I started in 2005, but I just checked and it was September 2004. Blogging has changed a bit since then. An awful lot of my words written and forgotten. I think my writing has improved and hopefully sounds a little less childish. Not sure about that.

One wise decision I made was to not tell people I know well about my blog. There is only one friend who knows and reads it, so I feel less contrained when writing. There are a couple of workmates, but since I don't talk about work, not a problem. Of course R reads it sometimes but as usual, is tolerant of my nonsense.

You know I almost feel confident enough to put up a proper picture of me, but not quite. Thank you Brownie for christening me Camera Face. You are too kind.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Distasteful post. Do not read. Sydney V Melbourne

Can I mollify you all with the fact that people have lost their lives and this is surely a tragedy for their loved ones.

BUT. So our road tunnel has a major crash and fire which gets world wide coverage. Is Sydney content to let us bask in the spot light for a moment?

No, if a car mowing down a bus queue is not enough, now a river cat slices through a pleasure boat right under the harbour bridge.

What a publicity seeking whore is Sydney.

Verboten 2

As I clearly indicated back in this post, I am against the compulsory government elimination of the sale of standard light bulbs. One rule does not fit all. I have since learned that if the manufacture of the much more complicated energy efficient bulbs is taken into account, there may not be much saving in the big picure anyway. I have now stocked up on a supply of ordinary light bulbs. So there! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Quickie #79

Sony Ericsson handsets are favoured by ambitious young men trying to make their mark.

Nah, not really.
I have seen her around and she may a kangaroo short in the top paddock, but she knows what is what. I boarded a busy tram and there was a seat. She quickly removed her feet from the seat and in a friendly way said sorry. I was not in the mood for friendly. I swept the seat a couple of times with my newspaper in a pointed manner an sat. Every so often I glared at her over the top of my reading specs. She gathered up her walking stick and moved to another seat as soon as one became free. I contemplated changing to the seat she had vacated and facing forward, but nah. I am not sitting on the seat where the filthy cow sat.

Yes, I was being precious, but public transport will always be shite when no-one can confidently sit on a seat when wearing white clothing.

My 'excuse me' had some extra harshness when I had to push past the usual teens who crowd the tram doorways.

Then suddenly I slipped out of grumpy old man mood and I boarded the 112 to Brunswick Street. All was well again with the world. I even helped some badly bleached and over macaraed? scrubber off the tram with her pram at the housing commission flats. Thanks darls. No probs hun.

Past halfway

Sister's partner the bone doctor!
Flesh and blood Uncle and Uncle in law!
10th July!

Portarlington What we did

We did not do much actually, apart from sitting around. Mother and step father arrived an hour late, and not due to daylight saving changeover. Yes, I know she should have been an hour early if she forgot, but you don't know my mother.

Our plans for getting there early went amiss due to carwash and airshow, so we did not even see the town. The bone surgeon rode her bike from Geelong and had a puncture at Drysdale. She had a tube and her bottle opener doubled as a tyre lever. Sister's condition ensured she drove.

We went for a decent beach walk though, all of us set off, but stepfather stopped soon, Mum and I further on, but R, sister and the bone surgeon went on right up to the main pier. After chatting with Mum on the beach for a while, I went off in the other direction on my own past the sailing club and came across a minature railway and a quite busy boat ramp.

A couple of kids had caught toad fish or puffer fish or something. It had a tail. They threw it to a pelican who gobbled it up. Within a couple of minutes, five pelicans had arrived. They hang around the boat ramps as there are fish cleaning facilities.

There was so much smoke in the direction of Avalon that I thought an airplane was burning after a terrible crash. I think it might be called afterburn.

So nice to be at the country and the beach and see the city skyline across the water.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Callea gay?

So almost Pop Idol Anthony Callea has cofessed to being gay. Wonder if he can take a big.......nah. He said he was going to fess up, like it is a crime, but a Sydney radio prestenter outed him before he could tell his story.

My Sydney friend is an evil bitch, but one with inside knowledge. A few weeks ago he sent me Callea's profile. While there was nothing there that I could identify Callea by, I trust my friend in these matters. He sent it on to UK and it was published and while popbitch is sleazy, they do attempt to verify, as they did when my friend sent them the info on Idol's Shannon Noll going to a certain Paramatta Road Sydney brothel and then publishing it.

Sydney friend has taken on the challenge to 'get' Callea and spray paint his face. Since he knows little about cars, I am not quite sure what he means.

Then the Sydney radio presenter mentioned Callea being gay, and shock horror, he did not realise that he was outing Callea. Like no one knew already.

I am sounding like I care about all this and I don't much. But what I do care about is that people were speculating on Ian Thorpe's sexuality when he was 16. Speculating on Callea at 20. Yes, fame has its price, but it is quite unreasonable to press younguns so hard over sexuality when they may not even know themselves. It is still hard being a gay person, certainly if you want to maximise your profit in a straight world. By all means out the hypocritical, but go a bit easy on the younguns.

And all of us who were speculating on footballer Anthony Koutafidis seem to have been wrong. I saw him on tv with his kiddie and missus, so I no longer believe what many sources have told me. He is not very hot now anyway.

Portarlington Happy Birthday Mum

Do not ask my mother how she is. I never do. I find out anyway. Everyone does. She does have some serious medical problems but she is alive enough to accept my sister's birthday gift to her, a few days in a 'luxury' cabin at Portarlington Caravan Park, sorry, Portarlington Seaside Resort.

R and I journeyed to Portarlington a year or so ago and found it to be a rather nice place. I wrote about it at the time.

We had an idea of staying there Saturday and then meeting up with Mum and my step father on Sunday, but everything was booked out. Portarlington, Indented Head (I put an 's' in there but took it out when I read my old post, and it was Grand Prix weekend two years ago), St Leonards, Queenscliff, Ocean Grove and Barwon heads. I tried the lot, hotels, motels and caravan parks. I have never done B&Bs, and don't intend to.

Mum's accommodation was nice enough in an almost bush like setting and the beach a hundred metres away. Luxury villa is stretching the description a bit though.

We had a slapping afternoon tea, sandwiches, cheese, biscuits, dips, crisps, grapes and cakes.

Ah don't mention the cakes. My mother is allergic to almost every food stuff known to womankind. I surprised she can eat anything. She ate the top layer of her piece of her birthday sponge and left the lower half.

It is not often I cry with laughter, but when my sister smeared some of the cream over my mother's face, it was a hoot. My sister had made some honey dews, which I had never heard of. They are corn flakes with honey on them. Quite uninteresting. They had not stuck together well. The honey was still honey. So of course Mother, if you tip them upside down, everything will fall out of the paper cup and make a terribly sticky mess.

Mother disappeared inside with the word 'bin' meaning she was putting the lower half of the cake, the bit with the jam and cream, in the bin. She reappeared with cream at the corners of her mouth.

'Bin she said', I cried out. 'Look at the cream on the corners of her mouth.' We were hysterical by this time.

They are there until Tuesday. I am kinda envious, but I don't enjoy that sort of holiday like I used to when we had dogs. Salty wet dogs, sand everywhere, tennis balls thrown in the sea for fetching, driftwood retrieved, rolling in stinking seaweed on the beach and finding disgusting animal matter. I am tearing up.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Portarlington The Drive

We picked that Sunday wrongly. The drive to Portarlington was not pleasant. We started with a car filthy from dirty rain a couple of days ago so went via North Melbourne car wash to give it a rinse off. All bays full and all seemed to be at the same early stage of washing. After over a ten minute wait we were in, as every bay around us emptied and we were the only ones there.

Down the, new to me driving, Wurundjeri Way and onto the Geelong Freeway. We knew the Avalon Air Show was on but figured by nearly noon the traffic should have cleared. Wrong, it was a slow trip but we did not actually stop. I was astonished at the numbers queued in two left lanes waiting to get in.

In the light of last weeks tunnel crash, it took me some time to get into freeway driving stride. I admit, I felt nervous. Which maniac was going to lose control and slam into us or just nudge our car a little and send it into a spin? Has anyone ever driven off the Westgate Bridge? What if that big bomber aircraft falls down on top of us. R saw it make a 360 deg roll in the sky, but I was too busy willing it to stay aloft to see and concentrating on driving. Then there were all these people stopped on the side of the freeway watching and taking photos while everyone sped past at 100 kmh. One wrong move kiddie.......

When travelling through Geelong, it is our tradition to stop at McDonalds before we get into town. Apart from a snack, there is grassed areas which was nice for the dogs when we had them, and a creek that was nice for one dog to plunge in and get wet and muddy before returning to the car. But dogless as we now are, it is a tradition. Of course it was packed but by the time we were served, there was no one else waiting. Just one of those days.

I thought six o'clock would be a good time to leave Portarlington to return home. Surely the airshow traffic will have cleared by then. Wrong again. Still plenty of it pouring onto the freeway at 7pm. It is all your fault Cazzie. I really expected a long bank up of traffic at Kingsway exit since the tunnel is still closed, but it wasn't too bad. One and half hours from Port Arlington to home.

No pics from the airshow, but here are a couple I prepared earlier, from the Grand Prix flyovers.

Got a Sunday ride

This is the new Combino tram from Siemens of Germany that is here in Melbourne as a promotion with the hope that Melbourne will order many of them. It is part of an order for Lisbon or nearby, Portugal. But as they are not ready for it yet, it was sent out here for a few months. If you look around it carefully, you can see some Portuguese writing and stickers over some Portguese writing.

Consider your oldest Melbourne tram, the W class, is 14 metres long, the newer Z class model is 17 metres long, the Siemens Combino tram in Melbourne presently is 20 metres long, the extra long Combino tram, 34 metres, this one is 37 metres. It is a long long tram.

It is a considerably improvement on their last model and with some meticulous calculations I worked out where it would be so R and I went for a ride Sunday morning. We only went for a few stops and then walked home. Just enough to test it out. We were quite impressed, but it is probably too long for Melbourne.