Friday, May 23, 2008

Cuffed by the Sheriff

Our Victorian state Sheriff's role is entirely different to those in the US. But I believe they do carry a badge in the shape of a star. I am pleased to say, I have never been shown one.

Off the top of my head and without actually having any facts, as per usual, they are court order enforcers and deal with court ordered debt repayment, confiscation of goods in lieu and the collection of overdue government and local council fines. They have quite a lot of power.

My only experience of them until now was a couple of years ago when I saw their van set up in Prahran supermarket carpark. They were noting number plates and 'having a word' to the owners, to say the least.

I saw a car in a side street in Malvern during the week. It had a huge yellow sticker over the front windscreen and another over the side window. I assumed it was an abandoned car and that the stickers had been placed by the local council. However by this picture published in The Herald Sun, I now know who put it there.

'Tis the Sheriff wot dun it. I ought to have looked down at the car's wheels.

So are as I know, only the Sheriff has the power to clamp a car's wheels, and then only since a legislative change a year ago. And clamping they have been doing. If you are owing over $1,000 in parking and traffic fines, expect the Sheriff to clamp your car if he notices it and you will then have negotiate repayment of the fines before your car is freed.

In absolute glee, I notice that the Sheriff has clamped some expensive European made cars.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ohhh, Jamie

Our naughty Jamie has annoyed Phil the Greek. Jamie, Jamie, you must think of the Anglo Australian relationship. Yes, we know Phil is a pompous and racist old grouch, but best you button your lips when he is around. He knows some powerful and influential people.

From The Times Online.

The Duke of Edinburgh astonished gardeners at the Chelsea Flower Show when he turned his back and stalked off after a designer politely corrected him on the identity of a palm.

“I didn’t want a bloody lecture,” Prince Philip was heard to mutter after being told he had mistaken the name of a plant.

Jamie Durie, the designer of the Fleming’s Nurseries Australian Garden at the show, explained later that he had been showing the Duke around the showpiece when he put his royal visitor right. “It was my first experience of Prince Philip. He said to me, ‘I do like your tree fern’. I said, ‘Actually, it’s not a tree fern, it’s a member of the Cycad family. It’s a Macrozamia moorei’. With that, he walked off. I was quite shocked – I so didn’t mean to offend him.

“He said, ‘I didn’t come here to get a lesson’, under his breath as he walked away – one of the boys heard him say that. I thought, ‘Well, you did ask.’

“I was trying to be as courteous as I could and give him the right information. He just walked away. Maybe he was a bit tired.”

Mr Durie is a celebrity television gardener in Australia, having previously worked as a stripper with a group called ManPower.

Adam Savage, one of the gardeners who helped construct the garden, which was yesterday awarded a Royal Horticultural Society gold medal, said that he’d heard the Duke mutter, perhaps jokingly, to an aide: “I didn’t want a bloody lecture.”

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

City of Port Phillip Skate Park

A small residents' victory has occurred within the City of Port Phillip. The planned skate park for Fitzroy Street has been stopped by the Supreme Court of Victoria and it has been ordered back to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and an independent panel.

I don't like skate parks much. They attract trouble, anti social behaviour and noise, but kiddies need someone to skate.

The problem with the CoPP skate park proposal was its location. St Kilda attracts people, which attracts more people and it is now somewhat over run on weekends by tourists of the local type, and those from further afield. Mega dollars are spent at the beach front now, and since there is a lot of open space, why not put the skate ramp there? It could only add to the so called atmosphere. Instead they want to put it in a quiet area of parkland, with the only nearby activity being a primary school. This is very valued parkland and an area where the local Aborigines had a strong presence.

The silliest part for me is that the council argues that it needs to be provided for the local kids. There are a few very middle class kids in one direction and they are still some distance away, that is Middle Park. I don't think they care much for skating. Otherwise, St Kilda is pretty well bereft of kids.

The users of the skate park will be all out of towners, not only attracted by the skate park, but by the 'ambience' of St Kilda.

I would hate to think what the council has cost ratepayers with their fight for this skate park against such heavy resident opposition.

City of Port Phillip, encouraging anti social behaviour in a park near you and spending ratepayers money very unwisely.

I think, no longer the four years ago, perhaps even three, I was quite proud to live in Port Phillip. I was happy for some of my rates to be spent on expensive public art projects and other things that added amenity to our local council area. This is not so any more. The waste, the opposition to residents, wanky things like you may have read in The Age this week about the employment of a spiritual type to re-organise the council structure, for so many tens of thousands of dollars, the skate park, the Triangle site, my duplicitous local ward councillor, providing housing for the poor (clearly not the responsibility of the rubbish bins and drains people, that is our council).

I am just fed up with them. I think in the eighties, pretty well the whole council was overturned by residents' votes and pro residents councillors were elected, headed by Mary Lou Jelbart. I hope this happens again at the next election.

Music of my Yoof #13

Just when you thought it was safe, I am returning with a Music of my Yoof post.

I believe this was a Beatles song but the Australian band Zoot covered it and did a so much better in my opinion, and some others. Whether Rick Springfield was a member then, I am not sure (correction, I think I see him in the clip).

See, Rage is not just for when you out of it late at night. Hope you enjoy hearing it again Lad, Robert and other fans. Hmmm, the vid does look very ghey!

Speaking of music of my yoof, yesterday on ABC Melbourne, I heard a track by an old British band, Sweet. One album of theirs had a very homoerotic cover. While I remember Ballroom Blitz well, the start surprised me for a moment, Are you ready Andy? Are you ready Steve?

Email from a Pollie

The first email I have received from a politician, well an ex one. I quite like the bloke, just not his political bent. Nice of him to take the time too.

Dear Andrew

Thank you for your email and suggestions with regard to future inclusions for The Great Train Show.

You will be pleased to know that it will be mentioned in Podcast 18.

Cheers. Tim Fischer

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rick Springfield Speaks to the Sky through his .....

Some of this information comes from The Age.

Rick Springfield recently appeared on Oprah in the US, which is rebroadcast here. Evidently he spent his childhood in the US, moving from small country town to small country town. In the early eighties he landed a small part in a US soap opera and then switched to singing and made his mega hit, Jessie's Girl.

My addled ageing brain must be defective as I am sure I recall him in the seventies. He was hot! He had a fairly ordinary hit, Speak to the Sky and if he had another hit, I can't recall. Different bloke? No, not by the pic.

The Age confirms, he was around in the seventies, in a band with Daryl Cotton called Zoot. Now Zoot was around when I was in secondary school, so how old must this Springfield be? Obviously a good bit older than me.

Wikipedia states that he was born in Sydney in 1949, which makes him 59.

Why would he lie when it is just so easy to find out his details online? Never mind personal memories such as mine. In fact his own website seems to tells it truthfully. Very odd. Has The Age sold me a pup?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Million Paws Walk

Our dyke friends have a dog, a cute enough dog, but I don't love dogs with a passion unless they are my own. Last year, they planned to participate in the RSPCA's Million Paws Walk around Albert Park Lake, but due to St Kilda Road being closed, they could not get there very easily. This year they registered before hand and asked if we would like to join them.

Our original plan was to meet them at the starting point and do the whole walk. The night before, we decided we would truncate our walk and just meet them at the point on the lake nearest our place. On the day of the event, we realised it was a decent walk to the lake from our place and a decent walk home. We decided we would catch a tram down St Kilda Road and meet them at Powerhouse.

As we stood at the tram stop waiting for an infrequent Sunday morning tram, a cold blast of wind came in from the south, bringing a shower. We were on the verge of sending a 'this is absurd' text and coming back inside. But we persisted and met up with them and walked perhaps three kilometres rather than the full lake circumference of five.

Just to compensate for the effects of a walk, we found a stall selling egg and bacon sandwiches, and nice they were too. We watched some Carlton football players taking their dogs through an easy hazard course. The girls went on their way for lunch and we decided rather than go to town via home, we go straight to the city on the Clarendon Street tram. More bits and pieces bought and then home to book a day trip to Paris from London. Train to Paris and lunch half way up the Eiffel Tower has to be good, but my hand is trembling badly every time I enter my credit card number online.

It was a busy enough turn out.

Little Bella and friend try sharing a stick.