Saturday, January 05, 2008

Questions for Daisy Jo

It might of kind of be called a meme, but I don't really know what that means. The United States is a very big place but surprisingly to me, I have only ever connected with one blogger in the United States. Yes, my blog is a bit parochial, so I guess that is to be expected.

There is one who I feel I have connected with and I clearly recall how I came across her, so I shall lay upon her the responsibility to answer a few questions.

She has a gorgeous house, without it being grand, and lives in Ohio. At some point, I am saving it, I shall slip in 'down by the banks, of the old Ohio', but the time hasn't been right yet. She doesn't post quite as often now since she 'picked up', but no matter, she is still lovely.

So Daisy Jo,

Is politics relevant to you? Do you keep up with the election news?

How many people live in your town?

Does it have a Walmart? (Is this the status symbol of a US town?)

Do you shop in a multinational supermarket? Like a large company one?

Is it hot in your town in Ohio in the summer? What temp is a killer hot day? Do you have cooling airconditioning?

Which public utility company annoys you the most? Electric? Gas? Oil? Phone?

You must have central heating and a boiler/furnace. Is it fuelled by oil or gas? Is that your hot water heating system too?

Does your heating heat your whole house? (Here we can manage with just heating the living area in winter)

My council rates, that is the local government authority, are around AU$1,000, equivalent to $US880. Do you pay similar to some government authority?

Has there ever been street cars in your town? Is the public bus service decent? Is there a railway? Can you go to New York from your town by train?

Do you have a vacuum cleaner or a central vacuum system.

Do you get paid monthly or fortnightly. I would guess monthly. By cheque or bank deposit?

I reckon most of my Aussie readers would be quite interested in the answers if you have time. I am.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Friends with Grange

Our dyke friend has a bottle of Grange Hermitage. This is very special wine. She was going to share it with her girlfriends father who was visiting from interstate. The occasion did not happen. She promised the person, who thinks it would be like serving champagne to pigs, a little left in the bottle to taste.

Wonder what she will do with it now? She told me the year of production, but I forget now. Nonetheless, I said, oh dear, that was a drought year. It won't be much chop.

Haircut in Brunswick Street

Post effort, huge.

The inner north of Melbourne is a bit of a strangeland to me. It has novelty value as I have really only been going there since we moved to highrise. It intrigues me. While we have our own distressed, shabby chic or just paint peeling old hotels, such as The George in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, the Provincial Hotel looked good enough for me to take a picture. I think it is very old and I am hoping perhaps RH might have a tale or two about it. But then he was a more south side person before he became a west side person. I haven't been brave enough to enter what I think is a very trendy Provincial Hotel, but I think it would be quite nice.

You can see the tram tracks in Brunswick Street trailing off to West Preston. You may not know that along the other street, Johnston Street, a cable tram once ran.

I saw a mention of this cable tram somewhere and did quite a bit of research online only to come up with very little. I should go to the library and research properly for this blog post and get the facts right, but I don't have the time at the moment and why would I start doing proper research now?

But here is what I think. The cable tram travelled from Abbotsford, probably near what is now the Johnston Street Bridge, across Hoddle Street and past the Provincial Hotel and turned left from Johnston Street into Lygon Street and then down Russell Street in the City.

Melbourne's old cable trams were mostly replaced by electric trams. This route was not but a good bus service replaced it with the intention of it being an electric tram route, but that never happened.

The building in the other picture is just one I happened to notice. I know nothing about it except I think it is stunning. If I was around when it was completed, I think I would have cried with joy. Do we ever think that about modern buildings?

Still people still need to be told, click the picture for a bigger view.

Barack Obama

He seems to be doing well according to reports from the United States. Perhaps the states will unite on something, and elect him. He is not an unattractive man for sure, but he is married with children, so that puts him out of the picture for me. Some people would beg to differ with these posts. They are a bit of a laugh. 1 2 and 3.

I think he might actually succeed over his rivals in the Democrats. Perhaps he will go on to be President. Lucky that he is not too black, just a pleasant coffee colour. Quite acceptable to the masses nowadays.

Poverty Strikes

Why do I feel like such a poor person? I work hard enough and I don't spend huge amounts on myself. Yes, bills are high, but on paper they look easily manageable. Clothes wise in six months I have bought a couple of shirts for less than $80 combined.

Everybody I know seems to have plenty of money to flit off overseas whenever they want, buy nice things, have a new car, bring up children, while I think I will have to do a cash advance on my credit card to survive for the next week.

Where have I gone wrong?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Dodgy Camera Work NYE

NYE did not quite go as planned. Our dyke friends were at a loose end for the evening so they were also invited to our barbecue. R must have slogged all day at home while I slogged all day at work in the heat. He came up with pre dinner nibbles, four salads, three types of meat to barbecue, breads and a pavlova along with drinks for all and sweet treats for after for eight people.

We had to eat dessert after we returned home as we ran out of time and we did not watch Priscilla on dvd. We just chatted, drank, ate and laughed and watched the Albert Park fireworks at midnight.

We were supposed to view the early fireworks from the banks of the muddy Yarra with all the other plebs. But, one of dyke friends is a corporate type and she took us up her fortieth floor office in her Collins Street building where we had a good view. It did not have a lot of atmosphere, but we raided her office bar fridge and that helped.

The walk down the Collins Street hill and Swanston Street was very atmospheric but the trip home marred by a broken down tram. The fireworks at Albert Park Lake went off at midnight and it was just as good seeing them as the city ones.

Thankfully the year changes only one a year. What?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

NYE Trouble

It is only most peoples sense of decency that prevents occasions like NYE celebrations turning into a massive disasters. I read that the police were pleased with the behaviour of Melbourne's NYE party goers in public spaces. Why? Ok, it is a tiny minority and I am focusing on the negative, but after seeing the numbers of young people going to New Year's Day Summadayze open air dance party today, I predict, if not a disaster, some serious problems.

Here are some clips from news reports about NYE.

He said 248 people were arrested for traffic offences across the state, a jump on 157 last year.

In total, 160 people were arrested for drunkenness, 41 for street offences, 248 traffic offences, 74 for drink driving and two for driving-related drug offences.

The highest blood alcohol reading recorded was 0.12.

Although the sweltering heat deterred many from partying in the city centre, the crowds moved south to the beach at beachside suburbs like St Kilda.

At 2am there were 100,000 people at the St Kilda foreshore and police were forced to close the beach an hour later.

Two young people lost parts of their fingers after firecrackers exploded in their hands and are now in hospital, said Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Gary Jamieson, and four bystanders were hurt by crackers thrown into the crowd, including at Federation Square.

with 49 arrests this year compared with 119 last New Year's Eve. Ten people were issued with new banning orders, which prohibited them from entering the CBD for 24 hours.

The St Kilda Surf Life Saving Club advised people not to use the beach, located near Brooks Jetty and the Marina, saying it was unable to get rescue equipment onto the sand because of the amount of rubbish, particularly broken glass, left by people welcoming 2008.

Matt Culka, president of the life saving club for six years, said he had never seen St Kilda beach looking as bad following New Year's celebrations

A man was stabbed in San Remo about 11.30pm.

The victim had three minor stab wounds and police arrested a man over the attack.

There were four people in custody in Cowes and five at Inverloch.

St John ambulance treated 290 at the Pyramid Rock festival for dehydration and drug-related incidents.

About 30 people were treated on the Cowes foreshore.

Sexual crime squad officers are also investigating an indecent assault against a girl at the rock festival early Monday morning.

Several drug overdoses were reported at the event and many people said they were shocked at the lack of security.

POLICE patrolling Melbourne's most troublesome New Year's Eve hot spots were armed last night with riot shields.

The Police Association had demanded riot shields and helmets to deal with violence, and yesterday lodged a prohibition notice with force command banning members from going within 50m of large groups if demands were not met.

An 11th-hour meeting yesterday saw police issued with riot shields, but not helmets.

Not exactly personal, but today I spoke to a friend who is a tram driver and he had a bottle thrown at his tram on NYE and a side window smashed with only lamination holding it together.

Dear Mr MicroGates

I don't have the energy to write tonight, so here is some tripe I potted up earlier.

I was very amused to read a post on someone's blog from a person who upgraded from Windows Vista operating system to Windows XP. From my understanding of matters pc, it was a good choice.

So Billy Boi, while I have a bit of a fetish for nerdy computer guys who wear glasses, sadly you a a little too old to interest me now, but however in the spirit of memories past, I offer you this advice.

Your new version of Windows, XP that has supplanted Windows Vista, is a good product. You are on the right track. We computer types like the slimmed down new version, Windows XP. You do have a way to go yet but with Windows XP you are well on the way. It just needs to remain as stable as it is and yet be slimmed down a bit more. There are many things in Windows XP we don't need or want. Just make it a bit better. A bit trimmer and a bit faster.

So I do offer congrats on Windows XP. It is not bad at all. You must have something planned Bill? What is next after XP. I am sure it will be brill. You won't disappoint me will you?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy 2008

In this weird blogging world, that at times feel so real and the connections with people strong, we get to know each other quite well by our writings, well as much as we allow ourselves to give away.

I think I will be a bit busy for the next couple of days, so I bid all of my readers my best wishes for 2008 and I hope you all keep right on blogging and/or reading.

Kill them

Oh, I should say cull as I should say pass on or pass over but I never do.

Dear PM Rudd. Foreign critters have and are infesting our land and damaging it and our native critter population. I know there are many demands on our country's finances but I think it would be an excellent idea to spend money to once and for all rid our land of these pests. If you can get rid of ex PM Howard, then these pests shouldn't be too hard. Priority should be given to cane toads and and animals with hoofs.

Wild pigs
Cane toads
Wild dogs
Wild horses
Wild buffalo
Foreign bees
Wild camels
Fire ants
European wasps
Trout. I am not sure about trout. Do they do damage?

Any more?

Public Art 2

This is not real folks. Do not try this at home. This mural had disappeared behind trees and ivy and I had forgotten it was there. The demolishing of Kings Cross Plaza has revealed it once more. I am guessing that I haven't seen it for ten years or more. It won't last long now with the weather on it.

Public Art 1

I like public art. I judge the success of public art work by the number of people it stops. By my criteria these pieces of public art work extremely well. Cameras were snapping away everywhere, along with much head scratching about what the bees were about. You could feel the buzz of excitement in the air. A roaringly successful art installation on Eureka Tower at Southbank. Well done!


The NYE approaches. I used to so look forward to it. We always had something big planned, usually a dance party or a special night at a bar. This year it was suggested we have a barbecue in down town South Oakleigh. I was not happy about this, and when I heard that it was going to 41 degrees, I needed to put the kabosh on this. Even more so because the gap between eating and midnight is too long. But I had to come up with a better alternative that pleased everyone.

As I won't be home from work until after seven NYE and have to work NY Day, it has to work for me. It will be killer hot both days and I hate the heat. My choice would be to stay home in the air con and watch tele, but that won't do at all.

We have never held a barbe since we left our house. We don't have an outdoor area but there really is no reason why we can't. The only difference is that it will be inside eating.

So, here is the plan, barbe for friends, arrive seven, dine seven thirty, depart for early 9.15 family fireworks at Yarra Bank at 8.30. Home in air con by 10.00. Watch Priscilla on DVD that a friend has just bought. Watch fireworks at Albert Park at midnight. Do lots of air kissing as we are all old and don't kiss older friends. Bed by 1.00. Work at 10.00.

You would not believe how much stress to get this arranged has caused. I stupidly changed my work shift so that I could participate with friends on NYE. I wish I hadn't now and could have used the excuse that I needed to be in bed by 10.00 as I had to get up at 5.00.

Ah well, finally R had taken control and has planned a great barbecue and I hope to avoid a heat headache.