Saturday, February 21, 2009


This simple, functional and attractive building I believe is an electricity substation in New Street, Brighton. It is surrounded by a carpark which makes it rather stand out. The question that arises to me, was it purpose built?

From memory, there are only the two doors that are visible and none other. The very tall one seems to be an odd shape for moving electrical equipment through. I would date it about 1920, which probably is about the time electricity was being spread around the land.

No evidence of any wires going to it or where they might have connected before power was put underground. What are the strange almost ground level openings? Ventilation? They appear to be boarded up.

Any thoughts?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nonsense from UK Trains

Railway news from England. It has always amused me in American movies where a long lingering goodbye kiss was tolerated by the Greyhound bus driver. Once the woman had finally boarded the bus after the lingering kiss and a long and meaningful conversation, the door would shut and off the bus would go.

It is not how public transport works in Melbourne. The tram/train/bus door will be shut in your face if you take the time for a kiss or to try to have your final drag on your ciggie. And so it should be.

I suppose delaying trains was the reason that Warrington Bank Quay Station in England introduced kissing and non kissing zones.

Is this how privatisation of train systems and competition between different train operators works?

Meanwhile at High Wycombe a good old parting pash is welcomed.

Warrington Bank Station is on a train line run by Virgin. Hands up who likes Richard Branson? Ok, none. Hands up for someone who shakes things up? Branson has.

High Wycombe, 'seems' to be run by a more local company known as Chiltern Railways. But wait, no, it is run by Deutsche Bahn AG. We all know about Deutsche Bank. Is it in liquidation yet?

Thursday, February 19, 2009


A post on Twitter is called a Tweet. How Twee. I have been a member for over a week, and I just do not find it of any interest to me. From my observations, it can be very useful when disasters happen, such as our fires, but it could be easily replaced by a good website. I think Twitter perhaps has a place on the internet. I am just not sure where or more saliently, why? Do point out to me where Twitter succeeds and the your basic internet does not?


No murder that I picked up, but deaths yes, corruption yes, heaps of government involvement and interference, engineering feats to marvell at and some failed engineering attempts, artistic egos, gays, artistic endeavours and art, public ridicule, short cuts and cheapness, forty years in the planning and completion, councils fighting against state government, and vice versa, destruction of our cultural heritage, sinking St Kilda Road and bent tram tracks, alienation of public land, alterations, budget cuts, seagulls, moths, lazer lighting, politics of course, architects.

I could go on with many more adjectives and phrases. What am I talking about? A fleshed out post in a day or so.

The George

Have I posted a picture of The George before?

It is thoroughly gorgeous and has a fascinating history. Some may think it needs a coat of paint, but I love the peeling paint.

While St Kilda has been overtaken by people with money, the state of The George reminds us that St Kilda was very sleazy and that there is still a good bit of the sleaze remaining. But sleaze people, just don't ask me for money or a cigarette. I don't have either. Note the fine photographic tradition of chopping off the top of something continues unabated. Photo was taken on Pride March day.

If you don't know, within The George are businesses, apartments that were sold as shells and a Palace Cinema. Note Rob and Andy to redeem your payola.

Home Celebs

Famous bearded resident was on tele a couple of nights ago, talking about his battle with the demon drink. Some quite old file footage was used as the old landing carpets could be seen briefly. We were out, but we recorded the segment.

Given the botheration last time a film crew were in the building for a couple of hours to produce a few seconds of him talking with an area of the building in the shot, I am not surprised that they are fond of using file footage.

Naturally no one in the building will have seen the latest story on tv and no one will say, 'hey, I saw you on the tele the other night'. Even he can be almost anonymous in a large building.

As for me, I will probably just briefly discuss his large, black American car with him should I encounter him, as I normally do. Although, the last time I saw him was Monday post bush fires when he was going to work, and I told him that I did not envy his job that day.

Famous non bearded resident with model girlfriend has not been seen by me for some time. Wonder if he still lives here? Course he must. His car is in the car park at least.

Look who is coming to dinner

The jokes, the humour and the laughs I will withhold and just say it is kind of Princess Anne to travel all the way to Australia for a memorial service for the bushfire victims. The service is to be held Sunday morning at the Rod Laver Arena and will be hosted by ABC tv newsreader Ian Henderson who has perfected the art of the grave face for sad stories.

Picture by Hello magazine.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Where are my glasses and the prize Dawns

It would be a lot easier if I just wore a rope around my neck. Instead I have spectacles spread all over the apartment. This system works reasonably well, although it is not unknown for three pair to end up in my bathroom.

This pair sits very discreetly on the window side of the armchair. Used for reading, often the tv guide and when I need to read a remote control to operate a function I am not used to using.

Sitting upon my book prize from the marvellous Ann O'Dyne and next to my bed are the specs that I use most. They travel with me all the time top in my top pocket. Only useful for reading for up to about half a metre.

The tech specs. Well, tech because they are weaker than the others and essential for reading what is on the computer monitor. Also used at galleries for looking at works of art up to a distance of about two metres.

The bathroom specs. Nice big lenses and you really don't want me to list all the things that the bathroom glasses are used for.

Behave Yourself

I have a vague recollection of seeing signs such as this one many years ago. This one is in a lane often known to have some art along its length so I would guess that this sign is 'art'. Especially so as it looks to be a friendly sign.

When I took the photo, I did not realise how wonderful the brick work is.

Can I remember where the lane is? Nope. Probably off Little Bourke Street.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Letter Box Women

Ok, this is getting boringly repetitive. Why do some Muslim women have to hide their faces and just have slits in their head garb to see?

I have read and heard of various reasons. Modesty. Cultural. Not exciting men. I have even heard that it empowers them. Perhaps disconnecting them from the basic male sexual desire.

So, you tell me why a letter box Muslim women would paint her toe nails in a bright colour with flecks of sparkle and wear bright gold sandals visible to all and sundry?

If I don't hear a satisfactory explanation, I just give up.

When Melbourne Public Transport Works

Connex must be terribly pleased about the fires. Well, a little bit anyway. Taken them off the front page of the papers. I am sure they would have preferred some other distraction. A private company can have a heart can't it?

I haven't counted up the number of trains trams and buses I was on today, but it was a few. How is this for excellent. Left Sister's at 1.05 after feeding the cat. Caught 822 bus along Murrumbeena Road at 1.09. (I had checked the times in advance as it is a 30 minute service) Catch connecting train at Murrumbeena Station at 1.13. Arrive Flinders Street Station. 1.35. Depart 1.39. Alight Parliament Station maybe ten minutes later. Why does the Loop never go in the direction I want? No matter, the train was cool and I was engrossed in yesterday's newspaper. Catch 96 in Nicholson Street ( I exited the wrong exit at the station) for one stop, then swapped onto the 86 behind. Alighted Gertrude and Brunswick Street and caught 112 tram in less than a minute for two stops and I am outside my hair cutter at 2.00. Subtract ten minutes if the train went in the opposite direction in the loop and I exited the correct exit, would have been maybe 1.50 or less.

By jove that it is good.

It was just as good getting back home. What is the rattly old W tram doing in Brunswick Street? I have no idea, but it was showing route 35 (City Circle route) and City, and it took me to where I wanted to go in town. I waited for five minutes for a tram home, only because I rejected the first two as they did not have air con and the next two turned off before home and the next because it was too busy. The air con tram to Camberwell did very nicely for me.

C'mon Andrew, when have you ever been so positive and praising.

Ok, there was a negative. We were going to a restaurant in St Kilda for dinner and we were going to catch the tram, but after checking tram tracker on the net, it gave a message of service disruption. So far as I could see as we drove there in the car, there was no disruption. R fumed over the cost of the parking. Now he knows why my preferred choice of transport to St Kilda is the tram.

Marysville Remembered

So what was Marysville like before it was almost totally burnt to the ground? The Herald Sun has combined some readers' photos into a slide show. Note the non native deciduous trees. I expect they won't regenerate, unlike Australian native trees that are a bit used to fire.

This link should work.,22010,5037487-5006020-1,00.html

If it doesn't, go find it yourself at the Herald Sun.

The Plan

Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo spent the weekend in Geelong where they have one residence. The plan was for Sister and the Bone Doctor to part. Sister goes back to Murrumbeena and Bone Doctor goes back to a large hospital in central Victoria. They could not bear to say goodbye, so Sister is in large central Victorian town. Ain't love pathetic. Sister will come home by train on Wednesday.

Now I must take the train to Murrumbeena to feed their cat. Lucky that there are some old sign pics to take in the locale. Then onto Brunswick Street for a haircut and, yes, more old signs there.

Into QV for some shopping and I just recently realised my mobile is out of contract, so I will be looking for a new phone. Excitement!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bonus Edition. Recommended Reading by Two

A good chuckle and something serious.

I have done this. Maybe an electric toothbrush. Maybe a portable radio. In this case it is a USB stick. The lad could have an acting career or at least appear as an eloquent spokesperson in the media. His timing approaches the level of being very good. Check out Daniel's reading of instructions.

SOMEONE is responsible for Pants turning off her comments. Victory to him and frustrating for me because I want to argue and discuss, or at least have a go.

Pants is a returnee to Australia from England and wisely decided Victoria is the place for her. Not sure that she is happy to be living here and not in London, but hey, shite happens.

While I so much want to argue with her about some aspects of what she wrote, you can't fault Pants on her grammar or spelling. Flatteringly, I will say she is product of 1970s Australian schools. What Pants has to say on the bush fires is well worth a read.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Camry v. Volvo

Are Toymotor Camry drivers the new Volvo drivers? There are some really racist thoughts behind what I think about my fellow motorists, but you fill in the blanks. I will just say that Camry drivers often need a blast from from a cattle prod.

Simple English.

Green means go. No thought about it required.

A car ahead is turning right, swing to the left. Do not pull up behind the right turning car when you aren't.

At some point, you know you will have to turn left. So why sit in the right lane and make such drama by crossing three lanes of traffic?

It is a two lane road. We can both pass. No need for melodramatic pulling into to parking space.

Best when turning hard right to be in the very right of road. Best when turning hard left, to be in the very left. You don't need two traffic lanes to turn left.

Courtesy on the road is good. Stopping umpteen lanes of traffic to let a stupid old woman to cross the road, when she has pedestrian lights at hand is not.

You want to park? Probably best not to desperately dash in front of a tram and then seriously annoy the tram driver while you back and forth to attempt to squeeze into a space far too small. Ah, you know, there could be heaps of people on the tram who want to get somewhere too.

Drifting off the point and starting to think about middle class wankers in 4wds.

Your average Camry driver should either be deported or forced to resit a strict driving license test.