Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour

Some nonsense from Sydney has caught on around the world. Earth Hour means we switch our lights off for an hour between 8 and 9pm on Saturday 29th March. We went along with the futility of it. It was a bit exciting. We are toasty warm thanks to our heating and we can still operate by the glow from outside lighting coming in, the large tv screen and the pc monitor.

As a scheme to reduce our nocturnal carbon dioxide emissions, it was pointless, possibly negative from candles being lit and some taking it as a chance for a bit of jiggy jig and further populating our planet which is the real problem. See Daniel's marvellous pie graph. As a publicity stunt, it was brilliant. People are talking about the greenhouse effect. People who I never imagined are showing concern. This community feeling will give confidence to politicians to act.

Back to the pie graph. I am astonished at the low figure for cooling and call it into question, but it is pretty clear what is causing the problem. Bloody well walk, or ride the bike, or at least use public transport. You in your motor, ok yes, me too, are the problem.

The Melbourne Trams

It started off as just something that interested me, that is doing a bit of research on Melbourne's extinct cable trams, mainly where they ran. It is very interesting because apart from the cable system itself, they also shape the way many of our present trams, and especially, inner suburban buses run. In no book nor online could I find a definitive list of cable trams and the dates they opened, the routes and their closing dates. Via a variety of sources, I did it myself. Some of it may be inaccurate and I not game yet to post it to an online group of experts.

However, I thought Jayne could do something with it in the lost and found section of her blog and lo and behold she has and a fine job she has done too. It is presented in a very interesting manner, as is her wont.

Then I thought, why not do the same for closed electric tram routes? I did that too and both are starting to flow through to Jayne's blog.

Umm, seems to have been a blackout. Black keyboards in the dark are hard. Lucky I can touch type. Well, for most of the keyboard. Thankfully I didn't need a + sign. Ha, I am better than I thought.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This week's news

So awful. Was it a mother and child killed on a train level crossing at a road accident? Can't recall now. Trains seem to bumping people off on a regular basis. I can't keep up.

Then some silly bloke drove into the side of a moving train, and survived.

Gosh, it is ages since we have been to see our very old mate in the Western District. Along the way we cross a couple of railway lines that have booms and flashing lights. The angles are acute but I always check carefully that no trains are coming. Technology is marvellous, but not infallible. T'would be an inglorious way to go.

Then it is alleged that a truck driver went through a red light and smashed up a car and its occupants. Another mother and two kiddies dead.

It is unreasonable to expect the State to protect yourself from everything. You have to look after yourself a bit. I have said before and I say again, driving is a serious business. You need to concentrate. Sort out distractions, such as screaming kids, by pulling over in a safe place and fixing it.

And when the chick/bloke of your dreams calls you while you driving, it can wait, it truly can. It might be better if you show yourself as being responsible by not answering the phone when you are driving. It is working for me.

I have firmly put into practice not answering my phone when I am driving. I can't safely do it anyway, although I expect some younger people can, almost. I just can't concentrate on a conversation and driving. My world has not caved in.

In the news this week has been Timothy Holding and Penny Wong, one a State Minister and the other a Federal Minister. One, I would like some dickie play with, and the other I would like to have an intelligent conversation with. You can guess which one I really admire.

While our Tory Party leader sailed off for months on a boat in the twentieth century, it would seem that the Tories now have a big problem with our Labor PM being absent for 17 days in the twenty first century. I am quite liking KRudd now.

Note to self: All of the above will disappoint you at some point.

I have heard some grand plans for Sydney and some grand plans for Melbourne. I have learnt to not hold my breath.

5/ The Murray River will flow again. I will believe that when I see water up to the upper wharf at Echuca and River Red Gums on flood plains not dying.

6/ I could go on, but I am old and tired and domestic matters are difficult. You are lucky I can write this much.

The old and the new in the park

I was sheltering from light rain in a posh eastern suburbs park, Central Park if you know it. I wasn't far from a dingy toilet block. I vaguely noticed an older woman enter the toilet while the dogs she was walking stayed obediently outside.

My god, what is this, a look I have never seen in East Malvern before. An obviously Moslem woman in Central Park and she is heading for the toilets.

She was dressed in a full length grey robe, with a black overpiece that covered her head as well. I immediately thought she was a letterbox woman with an eye slit, but I could not even see that much. She must have had the gauze over her face, so nothing to be seen.

They grey haired woman in the toilet was of a very middle class variety, typical of the suburb.

This is going to be interesting I thought, and settled back for the show.

The Moslem woman got to the toilets and almost went into the male toilet. She headed around the toilet block to find the women's and then hesitated when she saw the dogs. They proved to be not a threat and she went in. Suddenly the dogs went beserk and rushed into the toilet. Older woman exited the lav in haste.

But this older East Malvern women must have been a 'doctor's wife' (it is probably in the urban dictionary). She was pretending to gather up her dogs but actually waiting for the Moslem woman to come out. When she did, I could see older women smiling and saying something to the Moslem woman. I could not see the Moslem woman smiling or saying anything. :-P The Moslem woman stayed a few seconds as they no doubt discussed scone recipes, children and grandchildren and went off and got into the passenger seat of a large van.


I don't think I have ever seen a Moslem woman in Malvern. Well, maybe I have seen a young Indonesian student lass with a scarf around her head. Me being an adventurous type has seen letter box women in Foootscray and even a couple in the city. I have never seen a fly screen Moslem woman before.

Anyone can get caught short.

Although totally hidden from the world, the Moslem woman moved very confidently, even though she was clearly in unfamiliar territory.

It is surprising how quick the Moslem woman was, when she went about her business, considering her robes.

I would probably have been frightened too and perhaps screamed out. The grim reaper has come for me.

Anyway, I've paid $40 to see a play that I enjoyed less than I did that scene played out before me.

Mates, check this out

Mystery object pictured at Jayne's blog, somehow public transport connected. I don't know but I feel I should. Have a go. It is here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What a marvellous lot

This blogging world is so marvellous. I would so much like to meet you all and let you see for yourself how boring, socially inept and old I am. No probs though. I expect I would find you quite different to what I imagined. But some of you lot have been really helpful with my new blog look with your simple critical comments.

From Tony who first sent me my blog header photo altered to include The Adventures of High Riser (as I said to him, it makes me sound too energetic), to M'lord who sent a heap of my header photos with altered colours and of font High Riser, to Bobby who suggested a way to delete the photo header surround altogether (it worked but the picture was distorted and I needed to host the picture elsewhere to where I had it), to Ben who told me the colour number to fix up my Flickr border dislike, to Jayne and Brian who told me that it was an html problem in code and I could spend hours fixing it, to Bliss who also educated me about colour codes, to Jo who emailed me and actually told me how to change the code.

I would actually like to do away with the border and will revisit Bobby's comment. But at least it looks a bit better now and thanks to Jo, the blog header photo is centred. It only took me forty minutes of trial and error to fix that. Not sure that I am happy about the merged colour for the Flickr surround, but it is much better than the awful green.

Thank you Linesmen, thank you ball boys and ball girls.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I am cool

She who never sleeps always wakes from a nap with a stern and grumpy demeanour. It lasts less than five minutes before she is laughing, clapping, waving and attempting to speak. Little Jo had her first jetski ride yesterday and after the camping weekend at San Remo, she will be travelling to Brisbane next week for a couple of days.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Lazy Sunday

The plan, birthday present shopping for R with him at my side. Card for mother's birthday. Some general shop strolling and lunch out. Cancel all, as shops are shut.

I reckon it is damn odd that shops close on the Sunday of Easter but they fight to stay open and extend their hours at other times. What is this day anyway? I vaguely recall something about a prostitute rolling a a big rock over Jesus and he awoke from a two day pass out after drinking too many casks of papyrus vino and then bottoming for some seriously kinky action while attached to a timber upright and cross piece. And I thought I invented the wheel.

R slept late because of one of his depleted birthday presents (pictured), so just a gentle drive in the motor and coffee was all we felt up for. I put on my sunglasses that I bought yesterday and felt some coldness on one side of my nose. Wow, one nose rest has gone. The screw must have fallen out. Nothing to do with me leaving them on the floor of the car last night and R standing on them. They weren't bent.

It was in the direction we were headed, so no trouble to check in the extremely unlikely event that South Melbourne Market was open on this day when everything is shut. Praise the lord, it was and sunglasses quickly repaired. We ate a 'famous South Melbourne Market dimsim' to celebrate the repair of my glasses and then headed down the coast.

We really have ought to kept going to San Remo where Sister, the Bone Doctor and Little Jo are camping, but we only got as far as Brighton. I swung the motor right into North Road and there was the beach and a place selling coffee. We barely walked a hundred metres while there. It was too warm. Instead, we bought take away coffees (excellent coffees) and sat on the old peoples seats under the shade cloth. I admired some of the views (see picture, no time to allow the camera to focus but they must be twins, or at least brothers), and watched the children playing.

The wooden ship construction for kiddies to play in had some nice recesses, which I thought would be excellent areas to use for overnight shooting up into the veins. I suppose the person who opens the gate in the morning checks for passed out drunks and syringes, but then it is Braighton after all.

Something I must ask my mother tomorrow when we see her for her birthday, is about North Road Brighton Beach. I recall my grandfather taking us there for a beach outings. I recall going on the North Road bus with my grandmother to the beach. But where is the beach? It is all rocks and stones (see picture). Childhood memories can be very defective.

Look out below

I was looking over the edge of our balcony when I spied something that looked familiar. I went to our laundry and checked and sure enough it was missing. Our mop must have fallen off the balcony the last time I cleaned the balcony. I hadn't seen it go nor missed it and probably would not have until the next time I went to clean the balcony.

Our tiled floor area is small, so R washes them by hand. I will now do the same for our balcony. The mop was worn out anyway. It is the only thing that has ever fallen from our balcony except a tradie dropped a screwdriver once. I would never live in an apartment with a courtyard at the base of residential building. You would never feel safe.

I am thinking back to when I cleaned the balcony and it was a Grand Prix day. Perhaps I was distracted by these sky jumpers.

Tibet in a quick lesson

If you don't know about what is happening in Tibet, then I suggest you could have a quick read of Reuben's post on the matter at his blog Reubenville.

Tibetan supporters marched past our place this morning, heading for the Chinese Embassy in Toorak. It is bloody long way to walk to from the city. Their chanting was loud enough to draw my attention to what fuss was happening.

China is a country full of educated people, and yet they never seem to grasp how people in west will perceive their actions. Or perhaps they just don't care. China is now a very powerful country and approaching the point where they may be able to say, 'Youse can all get ****ed'.

Hope for a blog reader

No names, although she has written about it herself, but it just doesn't seem right to name her. One dear blogging mate has a sister with a serious drug dependency . She does not have much to do with her sister anymore, who caused much trouble in the blog mate's and her family's life. This is a tale of hope but ultimately not.

We have a friend who is an ambo driver, sorry paramedic. She has a brother who had a serious drug problem. Abuse of parents, theft of money from them, hocking their possessions etc etc. He took the parents and his sister to hell and back.

It has taken years, maybe more than a decade but he is finally drug free. He moved to Perth and started a job and his life was really together, only be diagnosed with a fatal, not drug related, disease. What a bugger.

Perhaps all the effort that goes into rehabilitating those who are drug addicted, can pay off. It did in his case.