Saturday, August 18, 2007

New Coles and foreign types

Our nearest Coles supermarket closed some time ago, the store in South Melbourne. I like the old Coles on its land with other shops and an open car park. Well, I liked the open car park and shops, but I hated the old Coles. It was cramped, congested and a horrid place to shop in. We avoided it.

The new is one very nice and spacious. I think it might have only opened today. We went to the area for a Pizza Hut pizza. Even though we have a pizza place across the road that serves us the grandest pizzas, we had a hunger for a Pizza Hut pizza, and it was good.

R gave me a nudge as we entered said supermarket, see who the staff are? Yes, all Indian and Sri Lankan students. How would Melbourne survive without all these foreign students? Or are they stealing jobs from us poor local folk?

The staff were pretty well all dark skinned but we Aussies are used to interacting with people from India and Sri Lanka, South East Asia and China. There are now a lot of them actually born here, so they are our equals.

How would we go interacting with black Americans? They seem to fall to service jobs in the US.

We have many ex pat US people here in Australia, but they don't stand out too much. But the black US citizens do, and there are a few of them around in Oz. I think they are all basketball players.

I suppose there are area in the US where people never really come across black people or Latins.

Perhaps country Ohio is a bit deficient in blacks and Latins?


Maples was a a furniture store retailer, the name shamelessly stolen from the UK Maples. They were masters of advertising and promotion, all done in house. No advertising company for them. They were also masters of hire purchase, in days before Bankcard, Visa and Mastercard. Here is a snip of what I posted in Walking Melbourne and my original post.

Answering my own question. Reference; Maple Tree: The Story of Maples Furniture. Author: Elana M. Steinberg

The book is a very interesting read, although I only skimmed through it at the State Library. Maples associated people started both Lanes Motors and Bristol Paints.

There was a brief reference to the South Yarra warehouse, and that is exactly what it was. No dates were given and it was owned by another company before it was taken over by Maples. It was closed in the late seventies? and developed into apartments.

The local Millswyn Street residents hated having an operating warehouse in their midst, with vans coming and going and were very happy to see it close down.

Joanna Cam

Joanna Cam is not pornographic webcam broadcast. It is my baby niece in front of a webcam. While we thought she was dead when we last saw her, she was very much alive and wriggling last night while we watched her on the net. But we will still have to ohh and ahh at my mother's disposable camera snaps tomorrow.

Sister is having a hard time of it with a baby who sleeps for no more than an hour when she is on her own. Current baby advice is pick them up if they are crying. They are not happy. Comfort them. Baby cries, mother is awake to care for them.

This is so alien to what I understood when I was able to make fertile eggs. I thought that you put them in a room to sleep and ignore the crying.

I think the right thing is somewhere in between. Babies will cry sometimes and not need attention. As a mother you will get to know when a cry is serious or not. If they are fed, changed and winded, they should be reasonably ok.

(The above is authorised by highriser who has had vast experience with children. He is an oldest child, yet he cannot recall about his siblings' baby times. He has nieces and nephews, but only visited them occasionally when they were babies)

My Favourite Pub

This is my favourite Australian pub, although hardly my local as it is in Sydney, Cumberland Street, The Rocks to be more precise. You can see the round white umbrellas on the roof of the Glenmore Hotel roughly in the centre of Google image.

While I have never made the bridge climb as I will not pay the extortionate price, after a much cheaper climb to the top of a Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon and a bit of walk in the hot sun, your reward is an several ice cold drinks at The Glenmore.

You can sit under an umbrella on the roof top or out the front on the footpath and take in the passing parade. In fact we saw these two chaps from the UK walk past hand in hand when they were in Sydney on holidays. The interior of the hotel is very olde worlde and the hotel tapers to a point where the men's toilets are located on the right of the picture below.

The view from the roof top is stunning and I think they have a dj there at night. It is a short climb from The Rocks up the Argyle Stairs at the end of Gloucester Walk.

I love it and I expect a free drink for such a promotion the next time I visit.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Busy but follow up

I am busy today, so nothing to post except to point you to my New Orleans post where a local New Orleanean? has made an extensive comment. It well worth reading.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Division of Labour

Our kitchen sparkles, sometimes, but mostly it doesn't. Of course you are not going to see a photo of it when it is filthy. I would call it a high maintenance kitchen. We cook, ok R cooks most nights and I clean up afterwards. Sometimes I am tired, very tired and all I can do is a quick wipe over and get the dishes in the machine. I also calculate what we are doing the next night for a meal. If I clean it properly tonight, and it will stay that way for two days I might go that extra less than three metres but more than eight feet.

Early in our relationship we used to have disagreements about housework and who does what and how they do it. We slipped into a situation of defined tasks. R does some, I do others. It has probably fallen to what each of us does best.

Keep in mind that I work shift work and R does not and he is home by 4pm and does not work Saturday or Sunday.

Clean up after cooking, although if he hasn't worked and I have, he will often do it
My shower
Bill paying, although R deals with home mortgage and Hotham St flat.
Balcony/range hood/oven/dishwasher/barbecue/washing machine/aircon/mirror cleaning
Extras like light fitting, blinds etc

Hard floors and kitchen once over

Ironing. Do own ironing
Beds. Make, change, wash and dry own
Shopping. R on Saturday and if I am free, I assist. I often do small shopping during week.

While my list may be a bit longer, some are things I do that only get done once every three or six months, or less.

I have mentioned before about accusing each other of being a 'dirty housewife' when something such as a fridge is pulled out of its position and the floor underneath is exposed. I don't care about what is not seen.

Of course if I make a mess, I am the worst in the world. If R makes a mess, "It is a home, not a showplace".

Not perfect, but generally it works pretty well for both of us.

New Orleans

It does not matter how hard I try, I cannot pronounce New Orleans as the Americans do, that is as one word, let alone get the accent right.

I was wondering how things are going there, specifically the city's recovery from Hurricane Katrina. I have heard a couple of news reports and I just did some hunting on the net, and it would seem things are not going so well, well not for the poor and the black.

We know what a disaster the hurricane was for New Orleans. We know what a disaster were the efforts of the US authorities to alleviate peoples suffering let alone protect them. We also heard many stories of personal bravery. We know that, like our own country, there was insufficient money being spent on infrastructure and still is.

But for all the self criticism we heard from the authorities, it seems not a great deal has changed. If you are white and financially comfortable, you are probably doing quite well back in New Orleans. If you are poor and black, or either, you may not even be back in New Orleans, or if you are, you ain't got much at all honey child.

That the richest country in the world could have allowed its citizens to die and suffer so badly is puzzling to me. That so many still suffer in spite of the soothing words from authorities is a disgrace.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rampant Consumerism

You could call it rampant consumerism or you could say what is the point of going to work if you can't buy something you want?

The lass in our local Chapel Street Retravision did not have the model that we had selected after doing a little research online. Although it was in the Retravision catalogue, she refused to stock as she reckons it is ugly. This one is certainly nicer, but $19 more, even after beating her down $11.

I am not sure if it goes for all Retravision stores, but I can never beat our local on price. Plus I had to make an executive decision without R there. No problems she said, he can come down and scream at me if he does not like it. Everybody does. We know her well enough to stop and have a chat if we see her in the street. Useful to cultivate the owner's daughter.

It is not Alessi, not even Russell Hobbs but good old Aussie? Sunbeam. Looks ok yes?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Way Wrong

A 92 year old woman is assaulted while in bed at night in her own home. I am not sure of the mentality of someone who would punch a 92 year old woman home alone in her bed.

Her home has been broken into six times in a short period, the last time being just a few days before, Saturday night. Ok, she does not live in the poshest of areas, but no matter. She has lived in her house for fifty years. What must it be like to live in a house for fifty years and reach the age of ninety two and then be punched up in your own bed by an intruder after suffering five previous break ins in a short time?

Who is there to protect this person? Was she a drug dealer when she was younger? Did she breed scum sons? Is there some reason why she should suffer like this? I don't know.

But at her age, this should not happen.

Clearly she does not have the protection of Victoria's police force. I guess she wouldn't get enough for her Housing Commission house to move to a little flat in Brighton where the police force would actually do something if the same happened, not that it would in Brighton. She would be more likely to die and no one know about it until the postie noticed a pile up of letters.

Commissioner Nixon, I really think you ought to have a good look at the Victorian Police Force in the area where she lives. It is not right and it is clear that no resources were devoted to the case. The Victorian Police cannot even protect a ninety two year old woman. Shame.

Sack City of Melbourne

Is there no end to incompetency of City of Melbourne? From invalid parking fines to snouts in troughs while the council is in financial trouble.

What is their latest, no second latest. Sack council workers and then rehire them to do the same job with less pay and lesser conditions.

How about this one I just learned of. Many of the fountains are being switched back on that were turned off due to the drought. I hadn't noticed that the drought was over. Anyway, I never agreed with them being turned off.

Mayor So says they can be filled from Royal Park wetlands. That's right So. Empty the wetlands of water. The first Australian solution to any water shortage is to steal some from somewhere else. The fountains that are to be refilled are ones that lose minimal water when operating.

Well, would it not have just been better to leave the water in them that was already there and they could have kept operating.

Here is the doozy though. The Bali Memorial Fountain is to be switched back on. About two weeks ago workers came along and built a timber frame in the fountain and then boarded it over after it has sat open and empty since last year. The amount of timber used would have cost thousands of dollars, never mind the labour cost. And now it is all going to be removed. I despair!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The end of the internet

At a suggestion from Google, I now use.....not sure what it is called. I click the next button on my toolbar and it takes me the next unread blog post on my google reader. It is not really any better than my google reader that shows all new posts, but I have quickly become used to it.

When none of you bludgers have written anything, this below is what I see. If I click the link, it takes me onto the screen at the bottom.

I worry about the dominance of Google, but gee, they are lot friendlier than Microsoft with their 'You have made an illegal operation' message.

Google Reader
Congratulations, you've reached the End of the Internet .


The End of the Internet

Congratulations! This is the last page.

Thank you for visiting the End of the Internet. There are no more links.

You must now turn off your computer and go do something productive.

Go read a book, for pete's sake.

Push button car

I read of innovations in new cars with great interest. Rear view cameras are a bit of wank. Turning your neck around to check behind will probably help your arthritis. Use it or lose it.

Have you noticed how hard it can be to walk between parked cars at times? Their bat wing mirrors stick out so much, you have to turn sideways to get past. There is some massive four wheel drive in our car park that has mirrors that fold in when the engine is turned off, or should I say the car shut down. Hmm, good idea.

Santa may or not bring me a satellite navigation system this year. Quite unlikely really, but I think they may be useful and certainly fun. Can't you bloggers club together and buy me one?

We hear endlessly about ABS, ESB.....lost track of them and what they do. But they are good if they help avoid accidents. Of course driving within the capabilities of your car is a bit alien to many. The capabilities of cars are so much greater now, so you tail gate a bit closer, go around the corner a bit faster, swing the steering wheel that bit sharper. Your car is your protector and insulates you from the world.

When my old car, the Humber, first arrived it Australia, a car that had been retrofitted with power brakes had a warning sticker on the rear windscreen. Caution, power brakes fitted. The Humber came with power operated disc brakes and also hemispherical combustion chambers in its engine, long before Chrysler made a song and dance about them in their Valiants.

Speaking of Valiants (I had one of those too, best car ever), I mentioned to R just now about a new car that now has an electronic push button gear shift on the dash board. Seems a brill idea to not have a silly stick in the middle of the car.

I had one thirty years ago, R said. I have established that is was an AP6 Valiant (I think) and indeed it did have push buttons for gear selection. To the right of the steering wheel were buttons in a vertical row, L, N, D, R, low, neutral, drive and reverse and next them a slide lever to select park.

For you real motorheads or people who typed Valiant into that very large search engine and came across this post, I believe it was a three speed transmission. Holden (GMH) and Falcon (Ford) only offered a very inferior and slow two speed automatic. If you selected Low from start, the car would stay in first gear. If you selected Low when you were moving and in Drive, the car would select second gear. Valiant enthusiasts, correct me if you will.

My Humber had a quirky gear selection too. It went in the opposite direction to most column shift automatics. Park was on the hard down left, not the high right. It was a three speed auto, but started in second gear unless you really put your foot down. It had a very sloppy change from second into a locked up top gear and when driving it on steep hills, it was always hunting between second and top, in a constant state of being in neither gear. But it was just a matter of shoving the gear stick forward and it would stay in second gear up to about 80kph. It made for a very smooth car, eminently suitable for heavy London traffic.

Aren't moi so butch with all my car talk?