Saturday, August 09, 2008

Music of me yoof #213

The last computer reload of Windows must have been over a year ago. I had never bothered since with a new program for downloading music. I lost interest with music after I accidentally deleted a heap of music from my hard drive. It was all in terrible mess anyway.

Then I heard a track that I just had to have. I might stick it up next week.

Right, I used to use Kazaa Light and WinMX for music. Both were horrid to use and I always had to turn the firewall off. I mustn't had given them permission originally and they never asked again. Well, Kazaa Light would not work. I don't know why. I tried the full flight Kazza and boy did that set off some fireworks, virus checker did not like it, nor did the spyware program or the ad blocking program. It was all giving me a headache. Forget about it.

But a week later I thought of the song again. Let me have a look on the net and see what modern young people are using to steal music. WinMX is still around and very popular in Japan. I am not in Japan and I never liked it much.

I have heard of this Gnutella. I thought it was something ghastly from overseas that you spread on bread. I still don't know what it is, but you can access Gnutella music with a program called Limewire. I downloaded a copy but it would not install. Idiot, that is the Mac one. I want the one for the evil operating system. Ok, done. Limewire is brilliant compared to what I had used. It is so simple and easy and everything I want seems to be out there.

Now I must put in a leave request at work so that I can download heaps of music and have them sensibly sorted and burnt onto cds that do not have a Blondie track, followed by Madame Butterfly, followed by Noel Coward, followed by T Rex.

I thought I would like to hear Sk_yhook_s Ly_gon St Li_mbo but instead of it playing as a music file, the pc asked me if I wanted to run this .exe file. I don't think so! Then another track I downloaded was also an .exe file. Music never used to come as an .exe file, does it now? How would you know if it was music or something bad anyway? I think I have told Limewire to block .exe files in the future.

Ah, there is another track from my youth. Smu_t Good fun song.

The singer is Red Symons (pictured), now an almost respectable ABC radio presenter, the one Jayne spoke to a couple of weeks ago. He hasn't aged too badly, but he was quite pretty in the clip.

The deliciously smooth and bare topped singer Shirley Strachan, was killed in a helicopter crash.

So enjoy a bit of S-mut

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Family and the train

This week's family news:

Nephew set off for Thailand early in the week. He is now MIA. He spoke to his mother Tuesday and all was ok in Bangkok. She tried to ring him on his mobile today and an Asian speaker answered. She called us in tears, as she thought something terrible had happened to him. We tried the number and sure enough, a non English speaking Asian guy answered.

Not knowing that she had not spoken to him on his mobile phone yet, only a public phone, I suggested his phone had been nicked or he had lost it. Consultation with the brother friends revealed that there is no reason why it should be easy to speak to someone using an Australian phone and phone number in Thailand. Mobile phones are difficult when overseas.

For instance, in the UK, I could get someone's mobile phone number and call them direct, but I could not sms them on the same number. If they rang me though, and I saved the number or just replied with an sms, I could then sms them. Odd.

I called sis in law back and asked her if he had set up global roaming for his phone. What is that, she asked. I am pretty confident that it is a phone number problem.

I really needed all that as I walked in the door on a Friday night.

We met up at my sister's on Tuesday afternoon for a drink for her birthday. Mother and step father were there, on their way home from the Eye and Ear hospital. Sis went out for a tear around on her bike, and we took Little Jo to the park in Kangaroo Road. It was a slow walk with mother in tow. It was a great playground and quite busy. Jo's preference was for a slide, the bigger one of course.

We had some take away chicken for dinner and headed home. Social things are always so draining.

Oh yeah, R goes straight to sister's from work and I usually get the train, otherwise we would have two cars to bring home. I usually catch an earlier train and maybe have a cup of coffee in Murrumbeena before walking to my sister's. It takes time to get a train to there. I walk to South Yarra Station, 25 mins, train 15 mins, walk to sister's 10 mins. Total 50 mins. I can be there in 20 in the car. I thought to minimise the time a bit by catching the train at 3.45 to get to Murrumbeena at 4.00. Mistake. Chockers with school kids. The train only had two doors per carriage, and the school kids filled them, making it so difficult for anyone to get in or out.

Lucky R was not with me, as he goes off his tree at people who block tram doorways, often giving them a shove. I guess this is the standard way school kids travel on trains and it is wrong. There was space inside the train, just not anyway to get to it because of the school kids.

Anyway, my thoughts of fifteen minutes of reading the paper went out the window since I could not get a seat. It was not a pleasant trip.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Public Transport Overseas

I did not do any sort of proper investigation. I just used public transport when overseas when it was appropriate.

We used the the train in Singapore twice, and it works. Perfectly, I would say.

We used The Tube in London, and it works. I can't say it is perfect, as it was way too hot in the odd little train carriages and we had significant pauses mid route, but pretty good. I had to laugh at Tim Fisher, presenter of the ABC's Great Train Show. He said that some of the older tube trains are used above ground in a regional area and that they looked strange above ground and needed to burrow back down to where they belonged.

Although we did not travel on Amsterdam buses or trams, they provided a very frequent service, were not overcrowded and no observed dramas.

Newcastle has an underground overland rail system, called the Metro, like in Paris, and I understand it is very efficient and it is about to have umpteen million pound injected into it for upgrades. The bus service seemed good, with service intervals matched to loading. For security, passenger safety and ticket checking purposes, there was no rear door on the bus. It seemed to not be a problem. Rear exit doors were abolished some time ago on Newcastle buses.

Blackpool trams are not the fastest way to travel, but like all trams, they are very trustworthy. You can see where the rails go and the tram follows the rails. The onboard conductors are a bonus, but then it wasn't exactly cheap. You get what you pay for. There were plenty of buses which I would guess provide a good service and are probably faster than the trams.

Visitors to Melbourne struggle with out public transport ticket system. Locals struggle with it even. But I never had a problem with any public transport ticket system when I was overseas. That tells you nothing about my cleverness; it tells you the ticket systems were easy.

How, when local people overseas scan their cards fast and without any visible to me probems when using public transport, and I assume they do it much cheaper than tourists like us do buying a single trip ticket, do we have to reinvent the wheel? The world over is using stored value scan cards. Why does it have to be reinvented for Melbourne? Why is it so expensive and running years late in its implementation?

The only argument that I have heard that may bear weight, is that our ticket system is very complex........well, simplify it. I despair.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Biff the missus

I heard an interesting discussion on the valveless wireless today. Please don't go to ABC Melbourne radio website. The site is so so bad, you will never find the details.

The discussion was about domestic violence in the Indian immigrant community and how both the male partner and the female partner have to change their attitudes to adjust to the Australian way of such things, along the lines of the man is not permitted to beat his wife, whether it is a punishment or just to keep her in line.

I quite like the idea of an occasional slap to keep the other half in line.

I wish I could remember name of the group that has been set up to support Indian immigrant women when occasions of domestic violence happen. But I dare not look at ABC Melbourne, as steam comes out of my ears when I try to find anything at their new beaut website.

There was even a magistrate on the program, giving her view and how the courts deal with the matter when it comes before them.

Although Keshi is not Indian, her antecedents are from the same area of the world, and she had a friend who was one of her country women and suffering domestic violence. I think it was sorted out, kind of.

Steph, the retired, who hates me, was also a sufferer, as she wrote in one very poignant post.

I had a couple of Indian workmates who were husband and wife. She was about 150 kg, and he about 60kg. I learnt that he committed violence on his wife when he was drunk on whiskey. It was hard for me to imagine how, when she could just sit on him and flatten him, but that is how it was. I learnt this years ago, but every time I speak to him or see him, I remember. J, you are nothing but a wife basher of someone who really struggles in this world. You have your solace in your whiskey, what does she have?

Believe it or not, I did have a boyfriend before R. The guy punched me on the nose one day after pursuing me through the streets of Ormond in his car. It was a half hearted punch and we were finished anyway, just petty jealously because I took his ex, that is R. It was nothing like living with the threat of domestic violence on a day to day basis.

Of course, none of my intelligent readers would indulge in such a thing, but if you know a victim or a perpetrator, there is help out there for all.

And, you have to think of the kids. I didn't like seeing my mother humiliatingly beaten bare assed after she had smashed all my father's bottles of beer. It is not something kids should see.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Street View

The internet abounded today with news of Street View. After hearing about it, I googled it, to no avail. It was only when I opened google maps for another reason, I saw it was there and waiting. I am liking this! I will play with it for at least half an hour before becoming bored and never going back to it.........actually, it could have a practical application for something I am involved in. But that would mean more time at the pc and not getting out and about.

With some expectation of a net savvy killing against R, I called him to the pc to show him the front of our building.

Too late. I can't believe it. This morning he checked google maps to see where his course is happening on Friday morning, and clicked on the street view link and saw the front door of the premises.

I refuse

Busy day, so a quickie.

I will not look up the word degustation in the dictionary, not that my old one would have it, or would it? Nor will I search on the net to find the meaning. I will not visit a place where degustation happens either. I have no wish to know what it is and it is a horribly ugly word and too close to disgusting anyway.

Ok, I know it food or wine related, but I have survived for forty years and done all sorts of kinky things but I have never degustated, to my knowledge, and I have no intention of starting,........unless it was that night at.........nah.

But I am a tolerant person and you can do all the degustation you want. Just don't include me in it.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Heard about the Olympic ticketing scandal in Australia?

Bleeding Edge is fairly respectable site. Some blog sites I would not automatically trust who published a tale such as this. I will give Bleeding Edge the benefit of the doubt and immediately link here to the brief article about Australian and world wide Olympic Games ticket buyers being fleeced. If this is true, it is extraordinary. If you have heard the basic info, you only need read the last paragraph, which I will just paste below.

But the real question is this - how can it have taken so long for Aussie consumers to get notified that they need to cancel their holidays because they don't have tickets? The Washington Post run an article on this scam site way back in February, and it was 2 weeks ago that the IOC and USOC filed suit against the companies involved. If the Australian authorities had at least taken action then, those caught up in this would have had time to make other plans - but now it's too little, too late for Australian consumers.

Gold, gold, gold and a note to Mr Yu

China is an interesting and fascinating country and Beijing is soon to host the Olympic Games. At some moments, I waver in my belief in democracy when it comes to governing such large and diverse countries. Of course India is a democracy on the face of it, but hardly a successful one, if the measure is the elimination of poverty. Could China ever be governed as a non corrupt democracy? We haven't even managed that yet.

I could bash on about Tibet, The Peoples Army, pollution, The Communist Party, intransigence, workers rights, really bad hair dye on leaders,........the list could be very long.

But I will leave that for those with more knowledge and confidence of their thoughts.

What I wish is, for you average Mr and Mrs Yu, and of course Grannie Yu too along with young Bart and Baby Yu, is a very successful Olympic Games. Mr and Mrs Yu, I know you are very poor and eek out a meagre living, but just as we do in the west, you have dreams and you love your children and want the best for them. We are bound more by the things we have in common, than we are by our differences.

Mr and Mrs Yu, I wish I could say that I find the Olympic Games interesting, but apart from watching the male divers (my friend in Sydney will digitally record and edit them for me), I won't really be watching.

However, at the conclusion of the games, I hope you can both stand and puff your chests out and feel a sense of pride that your country, for all its issues, hosted and presented a wonderful Olympic Games.

I am more usually more a 'bah humbug' type person, but I say, on ya, Mr and Mrs Yu. I wish you and your Olympic Games well. You will be entitled to feel some pride.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Journey to Braaaghtin.

I have used the affected way for saying Brighton so many times over a long period, I can no longer say it naturally. Are Kath and Kim who were to blame for this?

I had some strong family connections to Brighton, but all that was when it was not quite so posh.

While Brighton has a pretty good train service and a decent bus service, it felt swamped by cars. You don't really go through Brighton to go somewhere, unless it along the beach road or Nepean Highway. Most of the cars contained local people going to local shops.

We were summonsed by the Brighton Antique Dealer to attend her birthday party at the Brighton Hotel in Bay Street. While she denied it was her birthday, and Dame M is longer around to inform us, we just guessed. Not recognising it meant no card and gift, so that is a bonus and Highriser can afford a smallish bowl of rice to eat this week.

There was no obvious sign, not even discreet one, that we were at Bay Street as we drove down New Street. As usual when going somewhere, I thought I knew where Bay Street was precisely and so did not bother to look it up. We went on to Church Street and I knew I had gone wrong.

We went back and of course, that big intersection was where Bay Street crossed. It took forever to find somewhere to park, but later we learnt of the motel that had parking for $2.

The food, the prices, the staff were all excellent at the Brighton Hotel, but the noise level was extreme. It would be I think, the noisiest place I have ever eaten. At some point something clicked and I realised I had worked here behind the now altered bar in 197*. Asterisk is because I am not sure of the year. It was only for two days. It was horrid. I did a Friday night full of obnoxious underage private school kids, and the Saturday night was full of people who thought they were in a five star restaurant. The pub called me to work on the Monday, and I declined.

Outside the pub window I saw the 220 bus. Wow, we could have caught the bus. Actually I knew one of the three buses that goes past our home, goes along Bay Street, as the Brighton Antique Dealer uses it since she no longer drives.

The thirteen of us all trooped back to BAD's place and admired her house renovations. We had not been there since she broke her arm a couple of years ago and we took Dame M with us to take flowers. As soon as I saw the stair inclinator, I remembered Dame M regally rising up to the second storey with a queen like wave to us below. We weren't out for that long, but it was a very nice evening. BAD's orgasmic......well she said that, organic coffee was excellent. 'Bring you coffee over here Andrew, and we can orgasm together'.

I think BAD is 73, and still working and travelling. Under her sometimes over the top outgoing nature, is the mind of a steel trap and a business brain to match. She makes a better friend than an enemy.