Friday, December 12, 2008

Kill the scum

Good effort by Victoria's finest. They got rid of some scum off the street. He was anti immigration and probably extremely racist. Hey, I am anti immigration too. Australia is full. No more people.

Loopy, stealing knives and threatening police lives. Deserved what he got.

But, and isn't there always one?

He was a fifteen year old lad armed only with knives. Cops took him out with multiple gunfire. Was it four or six police present? Against one fifteen year old lad?

Ok, I wasn't there and I don't know the circumstances, but on the face of it, multiple cops shooting up a fifteen year old, (note, I have refrained from emotively saying child or kid), is just bad policing in my opinion.

Fifteen year old lads can be very bad for sure, but I am not sure that they are quite bad enough to deserve death.

What an 'orrible mess. Dead teenager and cops who are going to go through grilling like hell.

I don't want to turn in an English person who constantly bags their country, but something is seriously wrong with our society. I myself had a recent experience of out of control drunk young lads who have had a privileged upbringing.

When did it switch from being naughty to being really bad?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Around the highrise #33

We call this the auto trolley. I don't know why or if that is even the correct term. I recall timber models being called tea trolleys. The chrome is due for a good clean. Just add it to the long list. The wheel protectors are bakelite. The wheels creak like four creaking doors opening at once. The glass had a sand blasted pattern. It only gets moved to vacuum under.

I suppose it is quite old. We acquired it when I killed our brother friend's mother. She clearly had no use for it subsequently and it did not fit the brothers house's decor, so it was given to us. We have had it for perhaps fifteen years and it has resided in four houses.

We are quite attached to it. Just looking at it now, I suppose it is Art Deco.

The wide based decanter was bought duty free in Christchurch in the early eighties. I am not sure what we were thinking. We paid $200 for it. What would that be in today's kilometres? Why so much? It is Waterford Crystal.

The two miniature bottles behind the decanter are spirits from Cyprus. We are not game to try them. The were gifts.

The water jug belongs to an expensive whisky glass set. All the glasses have gone. The present were also a gift.

They sit upon an inscribed silver tray presented to me after twenty seven years slavery for twenty five years slavery. No one noticed I had been there twenty five years until I had been for twenty seven. I keeps me 'ead down. The maid complains that he has to polish it as it tarnishes quickly.

Left over from R's abode in the seventies is the black plastic encased cigarette lighter. It was yellow, but we painted it black. No idea if it works or not. Doubt there would be gas in it.

The rest is just cheap crap.

How did I kill the brother friend's mother, I hear you wondering? We invited her and the brother friends for afternoon tea and I served my very special boiled fruit cake. That night she died in her sleep and the blame was firmly directed at my fruit cake.

City Bogans/Bogongs

Mayor Doyle wants to rid our fair city of bogans, or chavs if you have a regional UK accent. US of A needs to have an equivalent word. Oh yeah, trailer trash.

Good on Mayor Doyle. Please do get rid of bogans and while you are about it...... well, you are getting rid of untalented buskers too. Get rid of those loud private school girls please. And those druggie types with there parachute fabric type pants. And all those foreign students who clutter up up the cheap Asian/Indian restaurants and yabber away in their own tongues.

Grannies who walk so slowly, they impede the flow of pedestrians. Ban them. And skate boarder types as well. They cause alarm to all with their clatter over pavement joints.

Those Big Issue sellers who try to embarrass you into buying their socialist propaganda. Ban them for sure.

Kevin selling lollies from a wheelchair is not a great ad for Melbourne. Ban him.

We are a classy city. Get rid of the barely moving statue people and the bloke who gets off on lying on nails.

Photo looking art work from spray cans and twisted bits of metal or cane will never get a gig at the Tate. Banned.

Blokes in suits talking on mobile phones about their latest shafting of a collegue. Not nice. Banned.

Idiots from overseas photographing all sorts of buildings. Idiots, all the photos that need be taken have been and find them on the net.

Ringwood lass in town for your boyfriend to buy you a wedding ring, he will ditch you at the drop of a sagged pudenda.

Nudge out of town those pretentious types who attend city churches and not their own local ones.

Local people who live and shop in the city? Why? Did you ever think where your visitors might park?

You lady, yes you, the one with gloves on and who lives at Barradene in Toorak. You are an anchronism. Get into the 21st century.

Ok, we have got the city rid of the undesirables.

Highriser stands at the corner of Bourke and Swanston, and with much self satisfaction, now realises that he has now recreated the 1970s.

I did tell you I would be in a grumpy mood this week.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ad immune

I am immune to ads. Immune to those advertising parasites that try to infect everything we do. Immune to full page newspaper ads. Immune to tv ads. I am cynical and smart.

So I am not quite sure how I ended up in Hungry Jacks at the corner of Bourke and Russell Streets asking for a kids meal deal with some afore knowledge that had somehow been implanted in my head. A small burger, small chips, a small coke and a plastic toy, all for $4.50.

Plastic toy complete with small choking components was later given to Little Jo. I told sister I had found it on the train.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Train to Tulla

Sometimes things just make so much sense to me that I cannot understand why they don't happen.

Melbourne is a big city and we Melburnians travel, both domestically and internationally. We travel a lot and we get our fair share of visitors.

Sydney has a train to its airport, even though it is very expensive and no one uses it and it went broke. I am unaware of its present status. We looked at it once and it was cheaper to get a taxi.

Brisbane has one. I think it does ok now financially after a shaky start.

Our Federal Government is funding a feasibility study into a rail line from Perth to its international airport, even though the stupid Tory Premier says he does not want it.

Why on earth doesn't Melbourne have a fast train to our international airport? Instead we are forced to depend on the kindness of friends or family, catch a bus that mixes it with traffic on the often congested freeway and the major bus leaves from our suburban and country railway station anyway, or a taxi cab, which is quite expensive.

The land is pretty well there to do it. It would be packed if the train used normal Metcard fares, and I see no justification for any any system to use anything else but its city's fare system.

It will happen one day, but I doubt I will see it.

When I think of London's Heathrow Express to Paddington, or the train from Singapore Airport to Orchard Road with good stops in between, it just makes so much sense. You could bet that every decent Euro city has an airport train.

Premier Brumby, stop wasting money on the Grand Pricks and the like and spend money where it is really needed, like police, public transport and hospitals and health care.

Yeah, I am in a grumpy mood and probably will be all week.

Lost Box

I found this timber box in the recycling room. I had no use for it, but I loved the note stuck on the base. If you can't read it, it says,

Please take me. I am clean and come from a nice home.

Oh god, just as I was about to publish this, a thought occurred to me. What if the box had contained a kitten or puppy?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Pants has a dishwashing machine

Pants has her head stuck in a book and has refused to acknowledge her garden. Good for her. Survival of the fittest. She has acquired a dishwasher though in downtown Larrikin's End, and so that gives me an opportunity to republish my dishwashing tips that I wrote back in 2005 I think, for a fellow blog mate. I am not keen to drink from hand washed glasses. Here 'tis back from the past.

Some of you won't have ever had one and maybe you will have one soon. Maybe you have one now and have problems with it. I have had six different ones over twenty odd years and have used them pretty well daily, so I feel well qualified to offer some advice.

I can't find bullet points so I will just list as individual points as best I can.

Your dishwasher is not a miracle machine. If you have burnt something onto a pot, your d/w will not clean it.

Cheap detergent and rinse aid is a waste of your money. They don't give good results. If you remember the 'F' word, you won't go wrong. You really do get what you pay for. We have experimented with others.

Some things need rinsing off before they go in the dishwasher. Starch and cereal. Rinse off the pot that you have cooked and mashed potato in and whatever you cooked rice in. Rinse off your cereal bowl.

Orange juice can be troublesome. Rinse those bits of fruit matter off.

Cooked on substances need to be scrubbed off first, but if something is very greasy, don't worry, shove it in.

Otherwise, dirty plates, cups, glasses, vases, ceramic products, glass products, range hood metal parts, toothbrush holder, dog bowls and all cutlery and cooking tools..........if it is glass or ceramic and it will fit in, stick it in. If it is not dishwasher proof, get rid of it. If it is metal or plastic, think about it first. Plastic exhaust fan covers, no, no no.

When loading it, remember the direction from where the water sprays, that is the centre out, so at the back, stuff needs to face to the front and at the front, stuff needs to face towards the back.
Spooning is something you may do in bed with your partner, but it does not work in a dishwasher. Two spoons resting against each other facing the same way will not come clean.

Clean your filters often and dishwashers do get surprisingly dirty around the seals, so clean them too.

Your dishwasher will present your crockery and and glassware far better than you do by hand. Embrace it and love it.

Balloon Flight

R had been to sis in law's recently widowed mother's eightieth birthday with Sister and Little Jo. I was at work and he sms'd me, Do you want some Scotch tonight? May as well, I replied, doesn't look like the balloon flight will go ahead tomorrow, Sunday. The weather forecast for ballooning was not good, but to our amazement when we called at 6.30, it was definitely going ahead. Ah well, the Scotch will keep.

We arose at 3.30 and walked along St Kilda Road to the meeting point at the Langham Hotel, Southbank. There was a sense of a lack of reality. A steady stream of taxis passed in both directions and the number of people out and about on foot at this hour was amazing.

I said to R, the last time we did anything like this was in June when we were making our way from Sussex Gardens to St Pancras Station to catch the Eurostar to Paris. We saw a squirrel then. I wonder if we will see a possum this morning? We didn't.

We met the group with whom we were flying and given some instructions and driven in a mini bus with the balloon in a trailer to a vacant gravelled site at Fishermans Bend, very close to the Port of Melbourne Control Tower. Our fellow passengers were two m/f couples and two m/f exchange teachers, one from England and one from Canada. The bus driver/balloon get readier person was a woman about thirty and our pilot, a Canadadian male with 25 years ballooning experience, including flying huge balloons over the Rift Valley in Kenya.

What was never told to us, was that we had to help with the balloon flight. So nine of us, the bus driver and eight passengers, unfurled the balloon, unloaded the basket and generally assisted. A small test balloon with a bright light was sent up and although to me it headed west, at some point it must have turned north east.

The balloon is intially inflated by a deisel powered air fan and once it reaches a certain point, one of the three gas burners ignight and it rises upright. There are eight passenger positions and a larger one for equipment and the pilot. We were shown the brace position for landing and in a very undignified manner, scrambled aboard using the footholes in the side of the basket. The basket was tipping over every so often and had to be corrected with a blast of hot air. We had been advised to wear caps to protect our heads from the heat. Otherwise, it was pretty cool, in fact I was a little too lightly dressed as usual, but I hate being too hot.

Clearance was given by Melbourne Airport Control Tower and we had lift off.

Three different companies operate balloons and they co-operate and launch from the same site and land at the same site. A total of seven balloons.

The flight was undramatic. Great views of course, dogs barking in back yards, horses running in a paddock, a kangaroo leisurely hopping along.

Of couse you must go where the wind blows and it was clear we weren't going to sail past the highrise. We followed the Yarra River upstream quite closely. It was quite breezy and as we decended near Templestow, I heard the pilot say on his radio that we were travelling at 25 knots, say 50 kilometres per hour, or 30mph. It seemed fast as we neared the ground.

We assumed the brace postioned, squatting down with our backs against the padded compartment divider and knees against the basket wall and gripping rope handles. I can't really describe the landing. It was sort of a few bounces and a drag along the ground. I laughed so much.

We were in half metre high grass field in Westerfolds Park, Templestowe. We were the first balloon to land, so we watched the others come in and then had to pack up the balloon and basket and load them back onto the trailer. Hard work!

We were driven back to the Langham Hotel for an excellent champagne buffet breakfast in the breakfast room with views of the river. The Langham Hotel is seriously nice. Go in and check out the foyer if you are passing by.

We caught a tram home and R went to bed, while I mucked around with stuffs

Depart Highrise, 4am, meet 4.45, depart hotel, 5.00, arrive Fishermens Bend, 5.15, Lift off, 6.00, land approx 7.00, arrive hotel, 7.30 for breakfast, home by 8.45.

The photos that didn't turn out very well, were of the Exhibition Buildings and St Patrick's Cathedral, Heidi and very old large historic house near Heidleberg and I can't recall the name.

Holding the balloon still and open while it is pumped full of air.

A bit of hot air and one balloon slowly rises. PoM Control Tower is in the back ground.


Even I, used to heights, felt a bit odd when looking directly downwards. But I was fine if it was via the camera.
From the top of the pic, Port Phillip Bay, St Kidla and St Kilda Breakwater, then Albert Park and the lake, the Royal Botanic Gardens with the Governer's modest cottage and across the Yarra River is the Melbourne Cricket Ground, MCG. Somewhere down there too is the Highrise. We could see it at times.

We passed over an awful lot of golf courses.

A fellow traveller balloon lands near us at Westerfolds Park.