Friday, April 11, 2008

I try not to judge and assume

One of these people speaks Chinese Mandarin. The other does not speak Chinese at all. It is not as you may think. I marvel at the paradoxes of the world. Prime Minister Rudd and Federal Minister Wong.

A St Kilda Stroll

I hoped to be out by nine in the morning for a stroll in St Kilda. I made it out by ten. I really wanted to see the tide out too, and it was out further than I thought it ever went. We are looking westward, with the Spirit of Tasmania docked at Station Pier. Newport power station appears to working by the smoke. It is normally only used when we are short of power. Can't imagine why it was fired up on this balmy day.

Here is the iconic Espy Hotel, (Esplanade Hotel on the Upper Esplanade) dwarfed by the new and controversial apartment building behind. From some angles, it does not look as bad as it does in this pic.

So Mayor Cribbes, this is where my rate money has been going. There must be tens of thousands of dollars worth of timber there, with more happening along the way. Enlarging the walk way, cycle way, blading way was necessary, but this is a bit over the top. How about investing some money in a water recycling plant and green up our fair borough and save the trees.

This arch with walkway above has recently been renovated. It is a totally pointless construction, but I like it.

Still close to the beach is the St Kilda Community Garden, or allotment as they are known in the UK. Did Pants have a plot at an allotment in Hackney Wick? Does Brian turn a sod somewhere in Fleetwood? Where the community garden is and the adjacent sporting field is know as the Peanut Farm. I have no idea why.
Against Robyn's advice, I then shopped in Coles in Acland Street. Helga's Light Rye was on special, otherwise I would have gone celebrity spotting at Safeway instead. Coles in Acland Street is a bit of a rabbit's warren and not a celeb to be seen. Perhaps it was too early for them. I had visions of Magda in a brunch coat.

St Kilda is a marvellous place, before 11.30 am on a weekday. I goes to hell in a handbasket with crowds after that. Don't even think about it on a weekend.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Little Jo at nine months

The gay uncles are getting very clucky. As Madonna sang, strike a pose. Just point the camera at Little Jo, and she beams. Nine months old now. How quickly the time has gone. I was between Jo and sister's cat, whose tail she was about to tug, and R was giving her a bath. She is finally getting some more hair. No comments needed on how gorgeous she is. I know.

We were going to bail the water out of the bath for the new lawn, but Jo kept pulling the plug out, so there was not much left. I must teach her cause and effect.

Sister's housekeeping standards are not quite up to ours.

The Non British Luxfer

Here is a picture of an intact luxfer. Luxfer seems to be what they are called. I came across this one in Collins Street and three different ones in Russell Street. This one was unbranded but one other showed the name Brooks and Robinson and another just Luxfer.

Now this was an odd thing. I typed British Luxfer into that very large search engine and came across my own post via this site. I quickly also came across this post by Miss Diarist.

We are all being indexed!!!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Kerferd Road Wedding

Bogans in Australia, Chavs in the UK, what are they called in the US? Trailer Trash? We were having a quiet cup of coffee but our beach side locale was a desirable place for a photo shoot for a wedding, never mind the very strong breeze. The girls looked tarty, the blokes uncomfortable in their dinner suits, in the middle of the day. I said to R that one of these old bombs won't start. Sure enough, one had to be push started. Still, the cars did look great.

St Kilda Road Babysitters

We saw Little Jo tonight. She grabbed my wallet from and pulled out my Visa card. Bad omen.

Sometime later, she had her very large mobile plastic mobile phone in her hand. I am sure she memorized my card number and was buying something. What seemed to be Mum Mum Mum on the phone, I am sure is 4564............

We insisted that sister should not cook and we go out for a meal, but as they have been travelling of late, sister was quite happy to cook for us and eat at their home.

Sister and the Bone Doctor had turf delivered today. Sister's back was aching badly after laying turf. I pointed out that I was not working today and could have helped. Maybe sister ought to keep in touch more and she might know when I was not working.

Sister and the Bone Doctor asked if we were busy next Wednesday and could we babysit. Stupid, of course we could. They want to go to some place called the The Corner. I have a vague memory that the Rolling Stones performed an unannounced performance there. They want to see Weddings, Parties, Anything at The Corner. It used to be a smoke filled, sticky carpet venue. Now I guess it just a sticky carpet venue.

But while I was out of the room admiring the new turf and watering the non existent lemon tree, plans were hatching. Evidently we are going to be looking after Little Jo every Thursday evening. To simplify things, we are buying a baby seat for the motor. While it will go in R's car, can I steal his car and pretend I am a straight man? I have a vague memory of guys who had a baby seat in their car were very successful when picking up.

I said that we will teach Little Jo to kick a footy. Then I realised that sister, her mother, kicks a footyball much better than I do. I will teach her about inner city architecture and buildings and English style parks.

The Black Man and the White Girl

A lass I used to work with was a bus conductor in Sydney. You can guess her approximate age given Sydney bus conductors disappeared in the 1970s. Her St Kilda house, not far from Dame M's house, was featured in one of the home magazines after it was renovated. We are talking early 90s here. She personally was very stuck in the sixties. Think teased hair with a long fringe. Think Dusty Springfield with dark hair. Make up the same as Dusty's too.

Her husband I also knew. He was your typical whinging Pom. A thorough misery guts and a good bit older than her. Alas to someone I suppose, he died and left her in an ok position financially. I wondered if her boyfriend would bolt now that she is free, but no, it is like her husband is still alive.

She had a taste for the black. Her first long term affair was with with a Mauritian guy who I worked with. He was quite nice, although he used to fall asleep at work. Musicians ought not work day jobs. He must have had plenty of energy at some point though. I know nothing of his home life, but I assume he was married with children.

The next was an Anglo Indian, who I also work with, a bit of an Elvis Presley imitator in the Indian manner. Their affair started long before her husband died and continues to today. It must be ten years now. But he remains a married man with children.

The odd thing is, his wife must know. All his workmates know. I don't know enough of his home life to judge, but we gay peoples are supposed to understand non conventional relationships. We ask to not be judged. We cannot judge others.

Although he is about the same age as me, it just makes me feel so so old. I just don't understand. Tell me what I missed.

Oh God, the Frog Spammers are into me

What did I do? I am very careful with my isp email address. I don't use it for pornography sites or any dubious commercial sites. I get maybe one spam message a day even so, but now I am getting spam written in French. Just now there are two. One is about female cosmetics. Shirl needs cosmetic surgery; make up only works up to a point.

The other guarantees satisfaction with 500 gratuities thrown in and there are 500 coloured models available. It must be advertising paint sets or miniature cars or something like that. Thankfully the French seem to know that I do not have erectile dysfunction or need a larger member. In my very limited experience, tiny in fact, I am not sure that the French are ones to point out other races' 'small stature'.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Daniel of the late Toxic Custard fame has another blog, and this post amused me no end. Do I ever give you bum steers? Local, national and international, it works.

The British Luxfer

The British gave us some marvellous things, such as

Railways through Africa
Dams across the Nile
Fleets of ocean greyhounds
Majestic, self-amortizing canals
Plantations of ripening tea
(got it right this time Rosanna)

I expect they also invented this device for allowing almost natural light to below ground areas in buildings. I am convinced that the British Luxfer must have been superior to any other model. Sadly this one near my workplace has had its glass removed and filled with concrete, but I know there are some intact ones in the city. But I wonder if they are the British Luxfer. When only the best will do.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Booking the Holiday

Remember we are going to the UK mid year, via Singapore? We lost out a bit by not booking our flights in 2007. A few days ago I looked at the accommodation in Singapore where we thought we would stay and it had gone up. Why did no one ever say to me, the earlier you book, the better the price?

Right, better book stuffs now. Singapore accom booked, London accom booked, train to Newcastle booked. At some point, you just have to choose a place from the the huge number on offer. We will be near Paddington Station in London and on a direct line to Kings Cross Station where we will catch the train to Newcastle.

The train one is interesting. Just as an exercise, I also tried to book for tomorrow. The fare was around £50. By paying online in advance for June, the fare is £12. I wish I knew when and if we are going to Blackpool. I would do that in advance too, but then we might have a car and drive there.

A tour in Singapore we have decided to arrange at the hotel tour desk once we are there.

Next step is a tour or two when we are in London. It is not so much about money here, but the time factor. It takes time to do these things and we will only be in London for a few days.

I suppose using a travel agent takes time. You have to visit them etc. But boy this online holiday booking can take over your life. Even booking one locally like Jo has taken her a lot of time.

Walking Melbourne (another unpublished post cleared from the deck)

I suppose it depends on the number of posts or responses you make. At some point at the marvellous Walking Melbourne website, I was a Senior Member. Not so long ago I looked at the site and I was a little nonplussed. I seemed to be just a Member. Maybe I am not understanding this site. I have just had a quick squiz now, without any devotion, and I am now an Honorary Member.

Dame M Swearing

I never really heard Dame M swear. She would say bugger or bloody, but always strictly in context. She had a wonderful way of saying bugger, very guttural and used to great effect.

She could tolerate swearing without batting an eyelid.

One area where one had to tread carefully was sex. Given she was a white middle class female born in 1925 and a product of her upbringing, it is not surprising.

During her wild times over the years, she gave us the impression that she was an observer of such matters and not a participant. She may well have been or not.

On a one to one level with me, she was pretty good and I had some very honest chats with her about sex, lies and the whole damn thing, however, if The Boarder thought I was venturing too far in public, he would say Thank You, in a certain way that I knew to shut up, regardless of me thinking that I knew how far to go.

When I took her to hospital a few days before she died, she told me one of the Mountain Women had given her a sponge bath, but that was only because she wanted to see my fanny. (Daisy Jo, it means a different thing in Oz) Oh, Dame M, you don't normally say stuff like that.

One occasion where she did let free a bit was when our dyke friend told us all about her experience of having a Brazillian (a wax down under) and we asked Dame M if she thought she should have one, and she said it would not work on her saggy old bits.

Dame M pretended she was above sex, but I don't really think she was.

(Written on the 26/03, but not published as I did not like the post. I have a few of those, a back up and have to do something with them)

Unreliable Sunday

I am feeling R's pain a bit. Easter we had to go to the north of the city centre. No tram past the Art's Centre. We caught a tram altered to run along William St and another down Bourke St. We were in a hurry and it all took so much longer. Once finished, we walked back to the Arts Centre and caught a tram home.

The following week R went into the city midday in the middle of the week. Tram broke down, half an hour wait.

Sunday 13th again heading into the city. Run for Kids. No trams past the Arts Centre.

I was at work and he thought sensibly that he would not try for the City again this Sunday just past. I subsequently discovered that the trams had been disrupted by some religious march.

No, he headed south to North Road, Ormond to wash his car. Coming home, he got caught in traffic congestion because of platform tram stop construction in Brighton Road. Stop start for a couple of kilometres, then he wanted to go to Balaclava but there were no right turns allowed at Chapel Street. He made the shops eventually.

I suppose if we are to upgrade infrastructure, we must expect some disruption. But what I don't think is right is the frequent transport disruption because of charity events. Swanston Street is the main tram route to and through the city. Thousands use it every day. Why are people being so inconvenienced by charity events?

I am not sure about Melbourne, but in Sydney, trams used to cease operation for Sunday church services in the morning and often the evening too. Slowly things changed and eventually the trams just kept running all day. Probably did not matter too much as everything was shut.

Back in my earlier Melbourne days, disrupted trams would not have mattered so much. Again, there was nothing open. Why would you want to go to the City on a Sunday?

But times have changed and almost everything is now open Sunday, even the City GPO. Lots of people work in the City on Sundays.

The tram service should not be disrupted un-necessarily.

As for disruption by demonstrations, it depends on what the demo is for. If it something I think right, then that is ok. If it a crank religious parade like yesterday, forget it.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Da word verification

I am nagging again. Do you know you only need blog comment word verification on if you are getting a significant amount of spam comments? Try turning it off for a bit and make your blog a friendlier place. I had mine on for a while and then switched it off and now barely get any spam comments. I did get that 800,000 word religious one though.

But how unsympathetic is Blogger/Blogspot? When I mistype the word verification, as I often do when commenting on other people's blogs, I would have thought the next try would be a bit easier. Nope, it is usually harder and gets progressively so. There are more letters. Closer together. More odd shapes. Perhaps this is necessary to defeat spammers, but I doubt it. Totally random I suppose.

I am alive and still moaning on

Gosh, better post something lest everyone will think I have died of an infected wound from my fall. T'was a busy weekend.

Due to me not thinking ahead well enough recently, I had to use a foreign auto teller. I don't seem to have been charged the extra fee oddly, but no mind. I think it was a National Bank machine. I use ANZ. I wanted $80 and entered as I usually do 8000. This is stupid and annoying, but that is what you enter to indicate $80. The last two zeros are the cents.

I can use auto tellers without my glasses on. They are fairly instinctive and the writing is usually just visible enough for me to get the gist. The fine detail is lost though.

There was something about the shape of what should have been $80.00 that looked wrong. Out with the glasses and it said $8000. Ew la, la. That would have bounced big time. I think that is a better idea, but regardless, it is ridiculous to have such differences.

Speaking of consistency and shapes, a brick bat to tram drivers who like to add zeros to the front of route numbers. Again, I use the shape of the number as a tram approaches. If it is a single digit, it may well be a tram I want, or I can eliminate it and continue reading. A pox on 0006. I want 6.

And while on trams, why do some drivers show unusual destinations? Normally all the Combino route 16 trams show Kew via St Kilda Beach, but then one will come along showing St Kilda Beach, then sometimes they will show Luna Park or some just Kew Cotham Rd. There should be firm policies on correct destinations and zeros in route numbers. Kew via St Kilda Beach is clearly the most useful one to show, as most drivers show.