Friday, November 23, 2007

Please Explain?

I very vaguely recall that there is someone at ABC online by the name of Declan who Lord Sedgwick has mentioned once or twice. Perhaps it was The Age where he worked. Perhaps Declan has a brother. I am sure M'lord thought he was doing some work experience.

No, it must have been The Age because dear Declan has been transferred to the Sydney Morning Herald where he continues his tradition of erudition.

Man missing with daughter after wife killed found in traffic jam caused by car crash.

It has taken me many reads but I think I can translate it now.

Nah, sorry, cannot. I am a blue collar worker with minimal education, not a wordsmith or a journalist.

I can break it down though I think. Wife is dead. Husband bolted with daughter. Dead wife was in a car crash that caused a traffic jam. I think that is correct.

I wonder if any other country in the world, whatever its language, would have a premier broadsheet newspaper with such tosh.

My member

My local Member of the House of Representatives is Michael Danby and he is very gay friendly. I have met him and Rob did the other day too. I know nothing of his personal life but by golly he has a glamourous woman on his arm. Do you think it could be his wife?

Pic courtesy MCV.

Blame Steph

Steph was not in a great mood yesterday and would like all her readers to be in same mood. This works splendidly for me. Steph gets an extra point for liking David Walliams.

At the ex NT politician/policeman's birthday last week, I took a few photos and R took a few more. Over this following week I resized them, chopped a couple of nasty bits off, usually my picture, checked the receivers' email addresses and emailed to them a couple of pictures relevant to themselves.

I have sent photos to four different people and I did not send them bad photos of themselves. Ok, only one of them requested, but still. Did one email back thanks? Nope, not one.

I am not asked for a printed and signed thank you card through the post. Just hit reply, type thanks, click send.

I decided last night that I would not do this again. But then what did I do today? I sent pics to sister of Little Jo from last weekend. The only difference is that I know in advance that she won't say thanks.

Are my expectations, in what is referred to as 'these busy times', unreasonable?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

My Mum

You may have read remarks over a few posts that I have had made about my mother, or Fud, as she is affectionately known. You may think that she is an uncaring and neglectful type of of person. She is neither. She is marvellous and endlessly entertaining. Last Sunday my sister was reading out a letter she received from Mum and we were in fits of laughter. She is also thrown into a flap if she had to do more than one thing at a time. She would concede herself that she is selfish. There are a few of her genes in me.

I only went to her once in a time of need when I was much younger and she was a pillar. She has been there to support my sister and her confused sexuality. She worries endlessly about my Langwarrin brother, his drinking and the end of this marriage and she was there for my Pakenham brother every day after his horrific accident, month in month out, year in year out.

I just came across this the other day. She is on the cover of the highbrow magazine That's Life. She was trying to find a wife for my Pakenham brother. There were lots of responses but my brother was very choosy. Hard to believe it was five years ago. She looks the same now, but has lost a bit of weight.

Voting Advice

I was going to point out to my readers how difficult it can be to vote below the line on the Senate ballot paper. I know. A few years ago, I made a mistake and had to start all over again and even then, I was not 100% sure I had it correct. My advice is if you are happy where the voting preference of the party you are voting for goes, and do find out, then just vote above the line. Oh, and the ballot paper is about one metre wide.

Mr Addam Stobbs from Joy FM provides a good example.

I did a postal vote this week, and the senate paper is quite tricky, if you are (and I hope you are) going to vote below the line.

I wasn’t sure about all the parties and I also rushed this in morning tea time at school, I numbered the ones I rally wanted starting at number one, and then when I wasn’t sure who next, I started number backwards from 68 from the despot parties, leaving the ones I wasn’t sure about in the 50’s, and of course the numbers didn’t match up. So I had the change them, and then I found I had duplicated one, and the paper looked a mess, being a postal vote I can’t get another paper so I rang the AEC for advise, which they gave and I sorted it out.

It took me about 20 minutes, so DON’T do it they way I did.

I felt, like a total dipstick.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Letting the side down

Gosh no post from me today yet, let alone multiple posts.

Here is a quick one before I go to bed. I wrote about Juanita Nielsen some time ago, in fact twice.
Here and here.

And there were two comments posted on one of the posts yesterday that are of interest to those interested. I don't believe that Sir Robert Askin was involved, but I have nothing to base this on. The case ought to be opened by the permanent corruption inquiry or whatever it is called in NSW.

Here are the quick links to some more reading. and put Nielsen into the search box.

Hope all that works. I am so tired.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My friend in Japan can't vote

Some of you may have hard of the collapse of Nova. It is an educational organisation dedicated to teaching English in Japan. It has gone broke. Most of the employees were Australian and have been left high and dry by the company.

I am not sure if she is incredibly smart or incredibly lucky, but our friend from Melbourne bailed out of Nova in Japan a wee while ago and now works for a more local private organisation.

I think she has been in the north of Japan for nearly five years now and is not showing any definite signs of moving on. She has made a life for herself there, a combination of local life and people and some connections with foreigners like herself. We are quite proud of her.

As it less than five years that she has been out of the country, she should be able to vote in our forthcoming election and she wished to, as she has in the past.

But no, she has been removed from the roll. In spite of the embassy knowing exactly where she is, everything done properly, when she asked why she couldn't vote she was told that the electoral commission had written to her and did not receive a response, and so removed her from the roll. They wrote to her at her old Australian address where she lived nearly five years ago. It is not that even they did not know her current address as she has voted before from Japan in Australian elections.

I just hope the AEC is more competent when conducting our Federal Election. Perhaps there are good reasons why scrutineers are needed at vote counting.


This is not a great photo. I found it on the net some time ago. When my father was alive, we used to drive past Dhurringile on our way to visit him and my stepmother in Kyabram or Tongala. It is perhaps ten kilometres north of Murchison.

The first time I noticed it, I thought 'What the ???' It always fascinated me as it looked so out of place. It is large building and has a tower. When do you see something like that in the middle of nowhere?

Thanks to the marvels of the net, I now know about it. All I knew back then is that it was a prison because my step mother told me when I asked her.

It was a sixty five room house built for James Winter and completed in 1877. It used some material and labour from overseas. It has a ballroom for one hundred dancers and some below ground rooms to escape from the summer heat. It was lit by gas produced by its own gas plant.

During the second world war, it was used to intern Germans in Australia and later as a prison for German army officers and their batmen.

In 1947 it was bought by the Presbyterian Church and used as a home for immigrant boys.

In the 1965 it was bought by the government and used until now as a rehabilitation centre, in my own words a low security gaol.

I don't suppose there is much of a chance of getting a guided tour of this one.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The numbers

Number technology can be frustrating at times. Someone's partner, when using a calculator, always adds the zero cent, as in .50 rather than just .5. It makes no difference and is unnecessary. I understand why, but I learnt very early that it is a waste of time.

I read somewhere a while ago on the net where a chap was complaining about using internet banking and I totally agree with him. It is such a waste of time when you have to enter .00 at the end of every round dollar transaction. The banks clearly think we are pretty damn stupid. Is there any bank, local or o/s who does not force you to do this?

I had a friend who lived in Raleigh Street, Windsor some time ago. His street number was K9. He had endless trouble with all sorts of businesses and government authorities. As soon as they tried to enter K9 Raleigh Street, their systems would not accept the initial letter. It did work in his favour in that he never received a gas bill for the time he was there.

I just attempted to enter the address into the online Melbourne street directory and it won't accept it either.

Of course, how about all the numbers we now have to remember? We used to, okay, us older people, had to remember our phone number, car registration and house number. There was even a bit of vacant space to remember friends and family phone numbers. Think how many numbers you now know and remember. No room left to remember anything else. Lucky that mobiles and home phones have memories, otherwise our heads would be swelling to contain our overloaded brains.

Sunday Drive

I called my sister last week. What are doing Sunday? Have plans she replied. Going surfing. Ok, no probs. Just thought if you were home we would come down and see you and Little Jo. Sister sms later, come at 3 to 3.30 if you would like, for afternoon tea. I sms back ok. We were in Little Jo withdrawal pains.

Instead of a Sunday surf, they went surfing Friday and Little Jo had a roll in the sand. Yesterday sister had a whack at a cricket ball and injured her already damaged and splinted arm, a result of poor holding of Little Jo.

The Bone Doctor g/f reported sickness in family for work in Wangaratta for Monday as she must look after Little Jo. Tuesday and Wednesday, sister will go to Mother who has aircon and a big tele, our old one, to watch the cricket and stay cool and Mother will make a melodramatic token effort of looking after Little Jo and complain to all and sundry, especially St Kilda Road son, how hard it was. Step father will probably actually do the looking after.

As we had nothing planned for the earlier part of Sunday, I suggested to R that as sister is moving to Murrumbeena and we won't be going down that way anymore, we should see a bit more of Geelong. We will go earlier and do some stuff. I gave him options.

Eastern Beach (seen it)
Botanic Gardens (struck off as it was so hot)
Barwon Grange, historic home on the Barwon River.
Buckley's Falls, also the Barwon River.

After a warm car trip, and I am sure Cazzie zoomed past us, we went to Barwon Grange and spent a pleasant time there. We walked across a footbridge over the Barwon River and watched water skiing and then wandered around the garden of Barwon Grange, which was very nice. The guided tour of the house was only five dollars and we spent over an hour being shown around. Although the house looks large, inside the rooms are quite small and it does not have a spacious feel at all. It was well worth the effort.

We were going to go onto Buckley's Falls but it was too late, so we went straight to my sister's. The photo is from her balcony across Barrabool Road to a house opposite. I believe he had a bore put in for garden water.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Link

I have added a new link on my blog. It is to a site called Fading Victoria. There are some fantastic pictures of old country homes in varying states of decay. I think Living is Detail will like the site. Note the picture on page one LiD, of an abandoned milkbar in Brunswick. Perhaps you have seen it.

From the house flyer

Since I had to scan the cover, I scanned other pages of the real estate agent flyer of our old house. One day I will scan some photos of the back yard which looked ok.

Howard or Rudd?

The Age seems to think that aspiring PM Rudd will win easily. The Herald Sun does not and thinks Rudd will just scrape in.

PM faces massive defeat

Rudd set to win by a nose

A suburban birthday

The ex Northern Territory policeman/politician turned sixty five yesterday. He held a party. There was the usual collection of the weird and wonderful in attendance and a great night. The Fijian Indian b/f has jacked up and is not cooking for us freeloaders anymore, but as this was a special occasion, he fed us well.

I am not much of one for cakes and sweet stuffs, but the one on the right in the picture was made by a pastry chef friend of his and it was very nice.

He requested no gifts on the invitation but R insisted. My suggestion of native-ish flowers from South Melbourne Market was acceptable and they turned out to be excellent.

The Brighton Antique Dealer attended, along with her toyboy. She was telling me about a movie she had just watched about a lass in Afghanistan. She is normally a very tolerant person but she then launched into a tirade against Muslim women who cover up. She said, and I know there is some substance to this, that she hadn't fought all her life for women's rights to have women hiding themselves behind clothing at the behest of men. I told her about a recent rape case in the Middle East where a woman who was raped, has been sentenced to many lashes because she was in a car with her ex boyfriend. I have never seen the BAD so angry and so passionate.

We and the dyke friends were the last to leave and reached home at 11.30 but there someone's partner kept someone up till 4am chatting. Ah well, I felt like crap today but we did solve some of our and the world's problems.

Why white?

The colours in this real estate flyer scan of our old Balaclava house are not great. The dominant colour was a cream and it almost looks orange in the picture. We consulted heritage information and chose the colours very carefully. Two different shades of green and the cream. The roof was originally mustard, but I repainted it green.

The front faced north but it was protected by the verandah. The back faced south and never received direct sun. The western wall faced a narrow walkway and received little weather. So why on earth did it need repainting a bland total white?

The flyer scan really doesn't do it justice. It looked very nice. The should have spent the time painting the roof. Clearly one coat was not enough. And they put a ghastly security door in front of the lovely old door.