Saturday, September 20, 2008

Out and About in St Kilda #2

Here is a side view of St Kilda's Palais Theatre. It doesn't look much from the side. The view is across a car park and a bomb site where an extremely ugly annex was demolished.

I went to a night club in the annex once. It was called Bassline and that was what we got, bass, lots of it. The type that vibrates your teeth. We found a chill out room, and that had different music and was a bit quieter, but still the music from the main area blasted, so we had two pieces of music playing, with one being very loud. We did not stay long because we felt a little uncomfortable among the zombie like dancers who were dancing alone with glazed looks in their eyes. Clearly we needed more than a drink and a smoke to get that eye glazed look.

Th other Palais visit was many years before when we went to see Debbie Reynolds perform. How gay was that! She was good though.

City of Port Phillip has approved a monster development to be built next to the Palais. I don't like the plans and not many it would seem do. I don't think that there is a silent majority who like the plans. You can find out about development from this anti Triangle deveopment website. Take a look at the front page at least and see the area to be re-developed.

But the Palais is a pretty nice buidling and well worth restoration. Only today I noticed an un-sympathetic addition, just above front overhang. That would have to go. It is nice to see the red Palais Threatre sign from our lounge room lit up at night. It means the old girl is getting some use, but that doesn't happen too often.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Memo to Yarra Trams

Dear Mr Yarra Trams.

I am sure you know that your trams in St Kilda Road are overcrowded to breaking point during the peak times. This is not so easy to fix, I know. But I see no sign of you trying.

What you should have control over are the destinations and route numbers that are displayed on your trams.

Unfortunately I often have to use the number 16 tram to travel to St Kilda. I have learnt that it can be numbered 16, 016, 0016. Is there not a policy for a consistent number to show?

It is ok really, I can work that one out.

But what about destinations? I can catch the St Kilda Beach tram, the Luna Park, the Kew via St Kilda Beach, the Kew via St Kilda, the Kew.

It really is ok for an experienced user like myself. I can work it out with the combination of a route number and a destination...........but then even I was beaten one day when a tram travelled down St Kilda Road showing Kew and 69! As it said Kew, I took a chance and I was right. It was a 16, or is that an 016, or 0016.

You have very odd policies for tram destinations and route numbers Mr or Ms Yarra Trams.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bus v Cyclist. Bus 1 Cyclist 0

It gives me no joy to write this. Some time ago I wrote to City of Melbourne and Victoria Police over the deplorable state of Swanston Street. Not sure if I mentioned in my blog. I received a letter back from one of Catherine Ng's minions of the infuriating variety that leaves you no way to respond. I had argued my case and there was nothing left for me to say. I called in black, they called it white. Of course I mentioned the danger of the tour buses. When they first appeared in Swanston Street, I said to R, someone will die. I did think it would be a pedestrian though.

One can only hope that the death of cyclist today in Swanston Street will move some backsides off chairs and do something.

My plan? Glad you asked.

- Ban tour buses and horses and carts along with their obnoxious drivers.

- Either ban taxis or take control of them. Perhaps one recessed parking location for a limited number of taxis and it controlled by a taxi organiser. Enter from one street, exit at the next and no cruising for fares.

- Ban all private cars, all day, every day, with decent bright signage at any entry point.

- Recessed parking for delivery vehicles and tradespeople and further restrict their times.

- Adequate parking for police vehicles off Swanston Street. They accumulate at the corner of Swanston Street and Flinders Lane.

- Ban Tramway emergency vehicles from parking while waiting for a tram disaster to happen. They can park anywhere.

You would be left with trams in the middle of the road and not blocked by all and sundry and cyclist flowing freely in a lane next to trams

But none of this will happen. It is pie in the sky. What could be done is the existing rules to be enforced.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Write Word

Not a greatly relevant subject heading, but it is about words.

PM Kevin Rudd's wife's name is Therese Rein. She did not take the name of Rudd when she married Kevie. Rudd is a bit of a harsh sounding work, Rein is much softer. I would have done the same.....not that I would marry Kevie.

The media always refers to her as Therese Rein. Why do they always mention her last name? Has a protocol for such situations been developed? Why can't she be Kevin Rudd's wife Therese? Conversely, he should be known as Therese Rein's husband Kevin.

I am not sure that I like this protocol.

But here is one expression I hate almost as much as my favourite dreaded word (I am so passionate about it, it has slipped my mind). It is 'stepping up to the plate'. We are a nation of lovers of the most boring game ever invented, cricket. We should 'step up to the crease', not to the baseball plate. We could even use an Australian football word, stepping up to the mark.

To link up another half written post, and it is relevant, here are the harsh sounding words a judge used before postponing sentencing to a later date. I have heard these words too many times, and I know the guy, who without provocation beat a lass to pulp on a dance floor (found guilty), will receive a very lenient sentence, probably a community service order.

"(I will be) sending a clear message to those who want to indulge in alcohol and violence in this area that the community, through the courts, won't be tolerate it."

Yeah, right bud. Heard it all before. Ten years in the slammer might make an example of him to others.

The Turnbull

We have a new leader of Our Majesty's Opposition, one Malcolm Turnbull, best known perhaps for defending ex MI5 agent Peter Wright against the British government.

For a Tory, I don't mind him too much, but it is only day one. I know it is a lot of theatre and games, but I can never help being interested in politics.

He is clearly a very clever money maker and always seemed to bail out of companies at their peak and make a killing profit. People who got in early with the internet often made fantastic money, so long as they got out at the right time.

I suppose he now has a car and driver, so don't bother looking out for him on the 325 to Watsons Bay. Anyone as rich as him and who uses public transport as much as he did gets at least one tick from me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fetching the water

There must have been a drought about the time my parents separated. While we had a plentiful supply by this time of dirty water from the dam for most things, such as bathing, washing and the garden, I guess we had run out of drinking water.

In my step mother to be's (referred to by my mother as bitch, tart, whore) Morris Minor we drove down the bush track to the Tanjil River and filled two milk cans with fresh river water. The water was always icy cold, a tributary being Icy Creek.

(I just checked on google maps to make sure it was the Tanjil and not the Latrobe, as we lived between the two rivers. I am amazed that maps have so many of the bush tracks marked with names we never knew and the main road has even been google street viewed. Try Willow Grove Road and Cronin Track if you are bored)

I am not sure how we filled the milk cans with river water. They would be too heavy to lift when they were full, I would have thought. The Morry thought they were too heavy too and refused to go up the hill. My father turned the car around and successfully reversed up the hill. Reverse gear must have had a much lower ratio.

That is all, just so that I remember when I am no longer a teen.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I may be a daddy yet

Yesterday at a family gathering, Sister asked me to sign some papers. A lot was happening at the time and I didn't have time to read them. Something about power of attorney, medical and legal. I signed them and did not really ask what they were.

It would seem if Sister and the Bone Doctor go up in a fiery inferno, I will be the one making the decisions about Little Jo's future, including where she lives. I am too old to be a father! I am thinking of one my nieces. They will both be good mothers. I should ask if Jo will come with some money.

And of course, any excuse to post a picture of her. Sister was at the football, so we babysat. The Wiggles are marvellous, entertained her and us. No wonder they are so popular. Sister's football team is playing again this coming weekend, so we are doing the honours again.

Out and About in St Kilda #1

The Prince of Wales hotel. Here is a link to their website. The site makes no mention of live music or the downstairs bar.
A recent post resulted in some reminiscing about the Prince of Wales hotel in St Kilda in comments. It was interesting to recall some things that I had so forgotten. POW is now quite upmarket above ground level but the downstairs bars remain much the same. If they still have $1 pots on a Monday nights, I bet they are $3 pots.

Along with hosting Pokeys, the gay Sunday night drag stage shows, it was a live music venue and still is.

One of the downstairs bars was ruled with an iron fist from the bar side by a transsexual. I probably have that noun wrong. I get scared when using such words.

For Robert and Ian, you can see an extension at the your left side to the hotel. I am not sure what is there except the large open balcony for smoking.

Radio station PBS used to broadcast from The Prince.

On a personal level, we would drive into the multi storey car park at the rear of the building, drive up onto the roof, go down some stairs, pay our admittance and continue downstairs to the Pokeys venue. It was huge. It was the whole floor of the building. There was the showroom, the piano bar, another area where dykes would sit, bits in between. A great venue.

For our entry fee we received a meal, and oh how bad they were. Did not matter.

At ten o'clock, later 11, the venue would close and we would go home to bed and have a good night's sleep and feel refreshed in the morning, unlike today when people are just getting dressed to go out at 11pm.

The ugly orange bits at the front are barriers between out door seating and the footpath.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

You can come to my birthday, but not you over there

R hung up the call on his mobile phone as we doing some shopping. His face looked pained and he said, 'That was just awful'.

A friend was having a birthday dinner at a pub. She invited us and the brother friends, but left some others who we know off the invitation list, one couple in particular who have been generous and extremely hospitable to her and her partner.

We had predicted that this call would come. A invitation to their place is usually preceded by some email jokes in the couple of days before and they had been arriving. We had planned our response, but R is not a great liar. He should have handed the phone to me, haha.

'Lovely warm day', the friend said on the phone. 'We thought we might have a barbecue tonight if you are free'.

The rehearsed response went out the window. R answered that we weren't free because we had been invited to this other person's birthday dinner. R immediately picked up the hurt in his voice because he had not been invited. It was just wrong that he had not been invited.

I kept trying to mollify it to R by reassuring him that it was not our doing nor our fault. Her birthday, she is free to invite whoever she likes. I didn't convince R and I didn't convince myself.

I suspect the reason was that her girlfriend is not so keen on this chap. I should talk to the birthday person and explain what a difficult position it put us in and the repercussions. I may or may not.

What I will certainly do is call the uninvited friend tomorrow and tell him that we were just the token friends, as almost everyone else was either her girlfriend's friends, or her workmates. It is almost true.

Oh, it was quite a good night of fun, regardless.

This week's flowers

Can you ever go wrong with iris?