Saturday, November 29, 2008

News from the highrise

Last weekend we returned to CDocklands to buy the item I want for my bedroom wall. Although the weather hadn't been as bad as forecast, there was no sign of the market. R was grumpy after having made a fruitless tram trip. It was not entirely fruitless as we found a place that offers free parking for half an hour. Enough time for us to quickly drive in, park and pick up the objet d'art.

I emailed the owner in advance to double check that she would be there, and she said she would be there. During the subsequent week she emailed me apologising for not being there. Better that she emailed me Sunday morning saying she wouldn't be there.

It is so seldom I make a decision about anything arty. I am losing my nerve now.

Babysat Little Jo in Murrumbeena last night while sis and the bone doctor went to a white table cloth restaurant for a romantic dinner alone. Little Jo may be able to repeat simple words back to us, make us understand what she wants, count, walk, but please, when does the toilet training start? Pooh tink. (Andrew passes Little Jo to R for him to deal with, and guess who forgot their latex gloves, haha)

Sis and the bone doctor were home early and got into their jim jams. Wonder if LBD has happened yet. Jayne, ask the Feral Queen what it stands for.

Tommorrow, we are going to Wyuna Farm with sis, bone doctor and Little Jo for a Rainbow Families get togther. We have been there before for a family occasion. It was rather good, except the Swamps of Langwarrin niece was about twelve and for some odd reason was being sleazy and sexually suggestively pole dancing around a tree. Thank allah she got over that stage quickly. We will steal Little Jo from sis and parade her around like she is ours. I only look post menopausal.

Later, Mother has summonsed us to Pakenham for an afternoon tea to celebrate my brain damaged brother's birthday. He has been so great during my step fathers illness, how could we refuse. Funny, normally he can never do anything on Sundays as he umpires cricket. Kind of the club not to have cricket on his birthday.

Mother called both us and sister tonight to tell us what we need to bring for an afternoon tea. It would seem, everything. The hot water for tea and coffee and the china will be supplied, no wait, it will be brother's hot water and china. Brief hello to stepfather, and we move on to brother's.

Significant year really. Mother has always made christmas pudding. She gave me the recipe last year and I managed to get it into some sort of readable state .doc. Upon her death, I will circulate it among family. But the recipe has already gone out as sister had been told that she must make the pudding this year. Sister said her flat was quite warm tonight as the pudding has been bubbling away for hours. We may well get another pud outa Ma yet.

Tradie brother won't attend afternoon tea tomorrow as he is busy enlarging doorways for his ex mother in law's wheelchair.

I am complaining to R about our social calendar being too full for the the next month. He ignored my plaintive cries until he realised he had double booked his work christmas party and sis in law's mother's 80th birthday. He thought he might be able to do both until he realised he will need to be up at 3am for a balloon flight the next day.

While I am not happy about so many things on, I said to R, wouldn't it be sad if we were never invited to do anything.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Going Up

I know in the past I said no more balloon pics, but I can't resist this one. It was not as light as it appears in the photo. I fiddled with some settings. I just caught the glow out of the corner of my eye as I was dressing for work. Up up and away in my beautiful balloon, from Fawkner Park.

If you are wondering, we have another date in a week or so for the balloon flight.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Out and about in St Kilda #12

You may remember this site at the corner of Brighton Road, Carlisle Street and Blessington Street as a service station and it certainly was. It was up for sale and yes, apartments were proposed.

As well as selling petrol, it also had a souvlaki bar and if it did not stay open all night, it certainly kept late hours. Who might its customers be? Well, probably not the residents of houses in Blessington Street, although there are some flats nearby that may have given it some customers.

More likely the street girls who work nearby, their customers, or potential customers, people leaving the nearby Greyhound Hotel, people from Abode, across the other side of the street, general late hour people and smackheads with the munchies.

The souvlaki bar must have been very successful, so when it was decided to turn the site into a do it yourself car wash, a new souvlaki bar was built, closest the camera.

The carwash has since opened as has the souvlaki bar and the bar seems to be doing ok. I have since tried the carwash and it was a pleasure to use and not as expensive as my usual in North Melbourne. I am amazed how many wash bays they managed to fit on the site.

Can't say it does much for the visual appearance of the area, but neither did the service station.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


1/ Your nice thoughts come through telepathically, so no need to say anything, but it would seem we won't be buying my stepfather a weather bureau calendar for next year, nor a yearly fishing magazine subscription. I am fairly sure we will be saved the expense of an easter egg and possibly not even have to bother with a christmas present. Hopefully sister can announce a new sis or bro for Little Jo to give us some cheer.

I have just found out that the Brighton Antique Dealer's last husband died of colangiocarcinoma too. She gave me some tips and what to expect. It ain't gonna be pretty.

2/ The brother friends have been evacuated from the Bangkok airport to a hotel. The one I spoke to sounded quite stressed and said they had experienced a hairy time. Drama queen. Someone, who knows, is paying for the first night. Must be time to bring on a coup.

Of course they don't know how aware of the situation we are. So as well as a reassurance call, he asked that we call their places of work to inform them that they won't be there.

Not published

I am supposed to write a guest post for Spatula City. I tried to post it last night, but it would not publish and then today I decided it needed tidying up a bit, well a lot perhaps. Here is what I wrote.

I guess I better give this priority as we are all on a time limit. I had vaguely planned this post in advance until Andy said no public transport. Tosser, what else am I going to write about. He is anal enough to be still monitoring with his Raspberry or whatever he uses, and so can delete it if he wants.

But you must admit, there is a certain poetic justice when someone who has robbed cars in a railway station carpark and then gets mown down by a train as he is fleeing the scene.

Damn such high faluting terms as poetic justice. If you have ever had your car stolen, then you gotta feel real satisfaction when you hear a dude who was attempting to steal a car by short circuiting the ignition wiring was blown up because there were inflammable gasses around.

I am sure Andy thoroughly approves of such Darwinian outcomes.

Speaking of tossers, Carl Williams cannot go to his mother’s funeral. Just perhaps once in his murderous life, he ought to have asked himself, ‘Will there be repercussions?’ Seems there are, like gaol, lack of contact with society and family and not being able to go to your mother's funeral.

Joys of international travel #98

Hmm, where are the brother friends? They were in Thailand and should have been home yesterday or today. What? Airport surrounded by demonstrators and no flights in or out. Grenades being tossed. Angry mobs. Bombs going off.

In the manner of all things Thai, when it is really needed, The Bangkok Post fails to proceed. Whoever thinks the internet will be helpful when there is a disaster, here or overseas, think again.

Anyway, I bet it is just a ploy by the bitches to top our travel delay story.

Later Note: At least The Nation is slightly working.

Sick Doctor

Geez, I have already had one doctor die on me. My current doctor looked so thin in the face last week, I am worried about his health. I thought I was safe by choosing one younger than myself this time. My last doctor was only my age and he operated at Middle Park Clinic, a place where all the happy chappies went and sat with the middle class Mums of Middle Park, along with their offspring.

Although I liked him very much and he was a good doctor, his time keeping was not great and I hated the snooty reception staff.

My present doctor is quite hot, keeps good time and of course though, the reception staff are still snooty but I deal with such matters better now. That is, I don't care and I know how little they earn.

But Doctor has added one more script to my medication list. I am clearly falling apart and only being kept alive by chemicals. Just one more prescription and I will reach the drug safety net.

Most of my ills, I have my genes to thank. Ta Mum, ta Dad.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

West Gate Bridge Traffic

I drew up a map to show you the congestion south of the city caused by outbound congestion on the West Gate Bridge in the evening. It was a pointless exercise really, as I would have highlighted all of the streets to show congestions.

It used to be rare that streets around the highrise were affected by West Gate Bridge traffic, usually only if there was a major incident on the bridge. It is now quite common without any cause except for the volume of traffic.

Now, you have the pay road, City Link, feeding traffic along the West Gate Freeway to the bridge. There is the Kingsway on ramp entrance and the Power Street entrance. Traffic banks back from the bridge along the West Gate Freeway and causes a bank up in the City Link tunnel, at which point they close a lane to reduce the number of cars feeding through (and they expect people to pay to use the tunnel?). Traffic starts to bank up at the Power Street entrance, back along Power Street, City Road, Southbank Boulevarde into St Kilda Road, and right along the river in the adjacent Alexandra Avenue.

Traffic also banks back along Kingsway and Queens Road. Bank ups in Park Street, South Melbourne westbound, as cars cannot get onto Kingsway and the same for Albert Road, which in turn banks up traffic along St Kilda Road for a short distance.

Worse is the effect on St Kilda Road, where Kingsway begins and is fed by traffic from St Kilda Road, Queens Lane and Toorak Road. It is not rare for traffic to now bank back along St Kilda Road for a kilometre or so to Commercial Road, that is three lanes of solid traffic. Because of the design of where Toorak Road meets St Kilda Road, to get into Kingsway, cars must turn right from Toorak Road, then after a very short distance, turn left. But they have trouble turning left as the intersection is already full of cars. So you get cars stuck in the middle of St Kilda Road and blocking the free passage of trams. An extra lane of cars turning left illegally is often formed, leading to conflict with motorists who want to proceed up St Kilda Road. And never mind the effect on the three bus routes that run along St Kilda Road and through Southbank.

Or bus routes that use the West Gate Bridge. Throw a wet night into the mix and it is chaos of the non organised variety.

My personal record seen for Queens Road, is a bank up back to Queensway and Chapel Street.

So what to do? Add some extra traffic lanes to the bridge? That might alleviate the problem for about five years at my guess.

How about a study to see where people are coming from and going to who use the West Gate Bridge? And then we could hang a rapid railway line on the bridge to give a viable alternative but it must take people from where they are to where they want to go, quickly and efficiently.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Foreign Dragonflies

Thanks to Vik, here are a couple of dragonflies in a park in the north of Japan. Be warned before click, it is a large picture, although I am not sure how it will appear in the blog. Good to have a close look though.

No Standing Only Dancing

We had to go into town for a couple of bits and pieces today. We thought we could do with a dose of palatable culture as well, so into the Ian Potter Gallery at Federation Square to see an exhibition of photos taken by the late Rennie Ellis.

Around twenty years ago, we often used to eat in a very small restaurant in Toorak Road, South Yarra by the name of Brummels. The cuisine was sort of Austrian and German. The chef's name was Wally and he was often the worse for wear by the time he finished cooking for the evening and was doing the rounds of the tables. Often equally worse for wear was the waitress, a middle aged and quite attractive woman who was or had been a nurse. She loved the company of gay men and would pay us a lot of attention with her slurred speech.

Now, who can connect the above paragraphs? I bet Ann O'Dyne could but she is internet deprived at the moment.

I'm not exactly sure how it was connected, but above Brummels restaurant was Brummels art gallery, set up and owned by Rennie Ellis to exhibit his photos. I believe he moved the gallery to Greville Street, Prahran in later years.

Anyway, that was quite interesting to us as we had no idea of the connection. The exhibition is good and if you can't think of any of Rennie Ellis's work, think back to the eighties, if you can, and the book Life's a Beach. A few more Life's a ........ books followed.

The exhibition called No Standing Only Dancing runs until February. Catch it if you can. See some of his work here and you can work your way around his site to find more info.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The good and the bad of the US of A.

At a birthday barbecue last night, we met a visitor from the United States. He is Australian born and left our shores some fifteen years ago to work for a short time in Sacramento and just stayed on when he was offered and accepted assistance to get a Green Card. He has returned to visit family here but only for two weeks. We vaguely knew him before he left Australia and through a common friend, we have kept up with what he has been doing.

As it was mixed company last night, he did not get his gear off as often does. Pity as he is quite nice. He has even stripped at the Exchange Hotel when he was last in Oz. I suppose he is a true exhibitionist.

Last night I asked him what he really liked about America and his answer was the mountains. He said there is nothing like them in Australia and he just loves spending any free time he has in the mountains.

Naturally what followed was the question about what he disliked about America. His answer, "The whole religious thing just drives me crazy. I thought I would get used to it, but I haven't".

I reckon it would get to me too.