Saturday, December 29, 2007


I think it is fairly clear what happened here. Can you see the yellow line on the road. The tram stays one side and the cars ought to stay on the other side. The tram did not swerve and hit the car. This model tram weighs 34 tonnes plus more with passengers.

The best braking in the world would not stop 34 tonnes of tram quickly and even if it could stop on a dime, imagine the damage to those people inside the tram. I can't imagine this will end in a court case, but I have heard from reliable sources that even what seems so clear cut, can end up with the motorist bringing the tram company to court and often getting a sympathetic hearing. Outrageous, in my opinion.

Photo by Ian Green.

Ring Ring

Once upon a time I searched long and hard for a British telephone ring for my phone. It is also the old Australian ring, two rings and a pause, two rings and a pause. I eventually found it but it was a horrible tape recording of a British telephone ring. My phone rang one day when I was chatting to our ex building manager and she said, 'What the f*** is that'.

I ditched it and my phone ring is.........I can't recall. Sort of American ring. Just one long ring I think. People seldom ring me and if they do, even more seldom do I answer the call. I let it go to the message service.

I heard a ring on the tele tonight. I have heard it before. To use the correct musical terms, it is a downward key change from major/minor/seventh/major/minor/diminished. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing hey musical Rice Boy. The ring tone is quite good.

I heard another recently that quite impressed me.

We all know the basic Nokia ring. It has been around for ever so long. This phone went off and it sounded like a quality rendition of the Nokia ring tone, but then it went to some really dud notes. There was a music piece around it the eighties that I liked called Song out of Tune. That was what came from this phone almost. High marks to the out of tune Nokia ring for originality.

The worst ring tone I have ever had was 'I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world'. Someone should have shot me when my phone rang. But I recall setting up a quiz at my stepmothers when my nieces and nephew were there and that was one question. What is my ring tone? Nephew got it quickly. He is a worry at times.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Family Biffo

Our family never really argues. Maybe we don't care enough? Or maybe we care too much and hold our tongues. I guess it was the way we were brought up.

Brother the youngest had saved an article from the august newspaper, the Herald Sun. He produced it from his work van and offered to me to have a read on christmas day. I actually recall reading it online. It was an Andrew Bolt opinion piece that was very anti Green and anti Bob Brown. I don't think much of Bolt's writing or his opinions and seldom bother with him. I answered with a considered comment about tank water, without actually being too challenging.

Oops, her comes the Green sister. Sister refused to read it as she has no respect at all for Andrew Bolt's writing. Sister must have been in a bit of a grump on christmas day. She let forth with a tirade of facts and figures, articles etc etc of when Bolt has been wrong. Just read it, asked my brother. Sleep deprived sister with non sleeping baby refused again. I think very much along her lines, but I do not confront like she does.

Before 'Fertilise the forest, (bull) doze in a greenie' step father came out and a serious Green versus working class tory battle ensued, I changed the subject.

I said did you notice Fud (Mum) left the price tag on my present again. Sister said, if it is an expensive present, she always leaves the price tag on, after she removes the discounted price label. I don't know. My mother leaving the price tag on gifts does happen often, but I have never thought she would be so calculating. While my sister worships my mother, she clearly doesn't do so with her eyes shut.

There was something my mother said a while ago and I did realise that she plays the incompetent and confused card when it suits her.

I must remain naive and ignorant to such behaviour, otherwise I would have to confront. But I may just slip in a comment somewhere during a chat one day. Oh, and the present? Yarra. A diverting history of Melbourne's murky river. Price $32 and a good choice as a gift for me.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas cooking tips #12

Years ago I heard this and I was surprised that someone who was a very experienced cook did not know how to keep ham for a while in a good state.

Wrap your leftover ham in a damp tea towel. If the tea towel dries out, wet it again. Your ham will keep for yonks. I could say weeks, but I don't want to be responsible for food poisoning. In the fridge of course.

Tip two is bit late, but remember next year. The pudding must be piping hot but don't pour brandy over it and then light it. Light the brandy first and then pour it over the pudding. Be conscious of your personal safety while doing so.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Thank someone it has finished

The 25th of December has passed and it was an enjoyable day for highriser. So hectic but at least we beat City Link while travelling this year by buying a day pass, and so it cost $11 instead of over $20 with the Etag. Only four stop start traffic jam points on our travels. I believe we have an extra day next year before christmas arrives again. That can't be a bad thing.

There will come the day when my mother is no longer with us on christmas day and it will be a very sad christmas day. But I think we will take the opportunity to review how we do christmas day. This hot stove slaving for someone on the day, and then chaotic serving of the meal and an often rushed giving out of gifts is not good. There must be a better way. I like the idea of a simpler meal, some kangaroos and some water wading like Cazzie's christmas.

Virtual Gift

Poor Copperwitch only received one gift on christams day, so she says. So, in a new spirit of generosity, once the Copperwitch emails me her address, I will send him around to her abode to do some gardening or housework or clearing cobwebs, whatever.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Day

As a heathen, I don't celebrate christmas, but I do join in. Have a great christmas day everyone and I'll give a thought to those who are alone and would prefer not to be. Much as I moan about christmas, it is a special family time and I am very fortunate.

The cake is made. It was only when uploading this picture that I noticed that the cake fringe was upside down. For goodness sake Andrew, put your glasses on. Plenty of brandy went in and a layer of marzipan topped with white icing. The decs are kitsch and not wonderfully placed. I should leave the arty stuff to R.We have done a bit more with lighting our balcony this year. Next year will be even better. Sorry about the dodgy pics. I haven't mastered night time photography yet and it is not in the spirit of the day for you to say I haven't mastered daytime either.

Our building's christmas tree. Let us hope no drunk interferes with it at five in the morning like they did last year. He was caught on camera and profusely apologized.
The tree effort for our place is somewhat more modest. Every year R threatens to chuck the tree away as it is so old. Oh dear, I hope they are not porn mags on the shelf under the tree. Perhaps best to not click on this pic and enlarge it.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Friend of a friend

Our Brother friends both have Thai boyfriends in Thailand. They see them twice a year. The boyfriends are not money boys as they are now too old now to be money boys. Instead they are faithful partners to our brother friends.

This amused me a great deal:

Friend, Hi my sweetheart

Thai, Hello my darling

Friend, How is bar going (that he paid for to be set up, a local bar for local people)

Thai, Close three day, election

Andrew to friend, why close for elections?

Friend, it is a matter of security I think.

Andrew, lucky they don't celebrate christmas.

Friend, they do. Bar is christmas decorated.

Thai politics are very complicated. I am lucky that I have a Thai workmate who gives me explanations that cut through the bull dust.

Social 2

This weekend our dyke friends held their annual christmas party. Well, their second at the same time of the year. We had a fabulous time. Dykes can be very talented and not just at driving bulldozers.

R received a panicked phone call a few hours before the event. Did we have an electric frypan? There was no way they could barbecue in the shocking weather. No, we don't but another friend did and R gave him a call. But then R suggested, they must have been a real state to not think of this, why not barbecue in your garage? And that was what happened.

Thirty of us were crowded inside mostly as it was too cold outside. The food was great and it was all so well organised.

We played a couple of games, the second one being pass the many time wrapped parcel around. The first game was one I have never heard of until last night, but R tells me they have played it at his work. You can do the searching although I am sure most of you know Pinata or Pinyata.

When we arrived at the party, I thought it was a little macabre to have Santa suspended my his neck by wire. This version was a suspended Santa Claus and the poor creature received a good whacking from a golf club by about fifteen people before his body fell away from his head. It was an absolute hoot. However, if you take pride in your dwelling's floor coverings, do not fill the Santa with sherbet bombs.

After I had a whack at it and then returned to my official photographer position, someone called out that there was a lolly poking out Santa's arse. I rushed back to claim my sweet.

Given there was no one under thirty there, playing children's games went down very well.

Oh, Bella did not really eat yours truly's foot and Dame M's boarder Jasmine made a late appearance.

Social 1

You'll be relieved that I forgot to take my camera to last weekend's birthday dinner for a friend who reached a zero year. This year must be the year of birthday zeros as so many people I know, including myself, are having birthdays ending in zero. Logic tells me that this must have happened ten years ago too, but I don't recall.

I may have forgotten my camera, but suffer. I had my phone camera. birthday friend had been very busy decorating their house exterior with christmas lighting. It looked marvellous. There was much piggy backing of power points and extension leads everywhere. I did like the Indian exterior power connection protection method. All you need is a cereal packet.

Only a couple of pics are worth publishing. It was a pleasant evening with great food.

Ship Ahoy

A friend is going on a Canadian cruise next year, as half the world seems to do. This is the ship they will travel on in the icy cold Canadian waters. It visited Melbourne today, so I alerted him of its arrival with an emailed picture at 8.20 this morning. He somehow wrangled a boarding pass and will go down to Station Pier later today and check our where their room will be.

R and I were in the area a bit later, so we went and took a look at the Statendam owned by the Holland America line. Nice dinghy.

I was in town last week and there was a long procession of lads and ladesses with silly motar boards and gowns disrupting our public transport. They had graduated from RMIT, I think.

Great photo ops for the families of the graduates who seemed to all be of Asian heritage, and great publicity for RMIT. (mother showing photo to her sister in KL, this is my son when he graduated from RMIT in Melbourne (feel like adding, big deal. It is not Monash or Melbourne Uni, but I suppose it could be worse, Latrobe).

But like my view of parking fines, traffic fines, pokies, the same goes for overseas students.........more money to trickle down to me.

Seriously, Melbourne City would be a pretty dull place without them and some of them are hot!