Saturday, March 14, 2009

MCG Noise

We were out at a pub with a few of Dame M's friends to celebrate mourn her death one year ago on Monday. I had just bought another glass of wine with the others wanted to adjourn to another venue for coffee and cake. After a large meal, quickly drinking a glass of red would not have gone down well on my stomach, so I told them to go on and I would catch up with them after I finished my drink.

Too far to walk, one suggested. No it isn't.
It is raining. No it's stopped.
Dangerous. I will walk past the police station.
It is cold now. I will get a tram.

Eventually they seemed convinced that I could walk for ten minutes to where they were going in their respective motor cars.

I was pleased I did stay. I sat on a comfy couch and watched some of the MCG fire benefit concert on V, whatever V is. It is a pity our first wet day for months and the concert co-incided, but the rain did not seem to spoil the concert atmosphere.

Earlier I caught a bit of Wolfman Mother. Oh dear, really not my sort of music. Any relation to Wolfman Jack?

Did I catch the end of Kylie? Her leaving the stage? Damn, missed that.

But as I sat on said comfy couch, Hunters and Collectors were performing. One guy in the bar had pronounced three numbers ago that this was it, their song, called Throw Your Arms Around Me. He got more excited when an electric guitar was swapped to an accoustic one. He was convinced that this would be it. Nope, another dirge to go. Finally they did perform the very popular song. I have heard it. It usually washes over me like most music I hear on AM radio stations.

My fellow occupants of the bar threw their hands up into the air, sang along and cheered. They kind of were of an age where Hunters and Collectors could have been around in their impressionable years, just.

But I am puzzled by what I saw on Channel V. Is that Channel Five? I have been to smallish music concerts, Skyhooks and Supernaut come to mind. Must have been more than that. Good fun. Everyone watched and jigged around on the spot. But I saw at the Fire Benefit concert people jumping up and down, going crazy, going off, jumping on top of other people. I did not note any moshing, but perhaps that was happening too. Many of them would have been barely born when Hunters were around.

I just don't get all this physical stuff when you hear music you like. Surely you want to relax and listen closely to music you like. You want to hear the lyrics, hear the tones in the voice, listen to the instruments and how they are played. If you get really excited by a performer's music, perhaps you want to dance.

I really just don't get it at all. You can't half tell I am getting old.

Busy Boris

It clear to all and sundry that I will quite happily criticise our public transport system, but is the paragon of virtue, known as The Tube, in London so good? Maybe the Subway in New York City is better. We mostly travelled off peak in London when we were there, so it was ok, although pauses between stations seemed long???

We travelled twice on the Tube in peak travel times and we had to wait no more than five minutes both times! When the Tube train arrived, it was busy, with people standing but not crowded.

Oh that this is how Melbourne's public transport worked.

It would seem that Boris Johnson, the Lord Mayor of London, can control public transport. He has outlawed bendy buses, that is articulated buses in the City of London. Probably not a bad call, but from my observations, amazingly, they worked ok and coped with the small road widths.

Your Boris has allowed motor bikes into public transport lanes, previously the preserve of buses, taxis and bicycles.

Your Boris is a kind of typical Tory eccentric and rides a bicycle. Given the complaints about motor cycles in bike/public transport lanes, I am not sure why he allowed this.

But your Boris is not anything but marvellous at sorting out London's traffic problems. He will speed up London traffic by reducing pedestrian walk time. Ahh, did I notice much favour towards pedestrians to cross roads in London ??? Nope. Never mind.

Boris will reduce the walk time for pedestrians, and thereby reduce the the delay to motorists. Pedestrians will just have to walk faster to cross the road and this will be good for their health. Maybe there will be crossing supervisors armed with cattle prods to encourage pedestrians to move smartly.

I reckon we might just have a job for Boris here in Melbourne.

Friday, March 13, 2009

PT Moan 3/3 Investigating the Brighton Bus

The Brighton Antique Dealer is a regular user of the Melbourne Bus Link. She catches the 219 bus to go out and return home. It runs along Bay Street in Brighton with a very convenient stop for her. Although she is still mobile, she has a stair inclinator at home and uses an electric chair rather than walk long distances.

She was on about the bus service a few weeks ago, and it has taken me this long to check what she was talking about. It seems pretty obvious to me. She has called the bus company many times, but the problem still arises.

BAD said that the bus often just does not turn up when she is going out and often goes down a different street when she is coming home. She gets on really well with the drivers as she can be quite charming but she is one friend who I would never dare to cross. Her wrath would be heavy.

Now the problem. I looked at this map to work it out. BAD's complaint is about buses not coming along her street when they are scheduled to. I would guess that if the 219 bus is running late, it just turns down North Road to get to its terminus on time. By doing this, it could pick up at least ten minutes, if not more.

I will suggest to her that she always notes the time when a bus fails to appear or goes down the wrong street. I expect she will have done this already though.

It is not good enough if this happens regularly. If the bus does not have enough time to run its full route, then give it more time. Oh, that would cost money.

PT Moan 2/3 Train and tram fwits

Off to Murrumbeena last night to take Little Jo to the park for some play. We still watch her closely on the equipment but she is much more steady now.

So it was the usual for me, tram to the city and then train to Murrumbeena to meet R at Sister's place.

I was on Princes Bridge near the door and ready to alight when a fellow passenger asked me how to stop the tram. Just press this button and showed her. The tram will stop at the next stop. Ah, she said. I have missed three stops now. I wanted to go to The Gallery. Yeah, right, she had missed one stop only. Usual exaggeration. The tram had a fullish load, without being crowded. She then said, why can't the driver see me standing near the door? Doesn't he watch what is happening in the tram? I replied, there are other people near the doors. How would he know that you wanted to get off? Besides, I feel happier that he is watching where he is going, rather than looking around inside the tram. I would have to guess that she was a first time tram user and not a terribly bright one at that. Funny, the world over you have to press a button or pull a cord to indicate to the driver of a bus or tram that you want to get off at the next stop. Only in Melbourne.

Onto the train, an earlier one than I normally catch, hoping it wouldn't be so crowded. It was still crowded by at least there was space to move to the exit door. Along the way a young couple boarded the train. He carried a computer tower, which he plonked in the doorway. They both sat on the floor opposite the door they had boarded and proceeded to take afternoon tea. That is a snack and a drink. At the next station the opposite doors they sat in opened for people to get in and out. Did they move? No. Picnicked on as people stepped around and over them. The train was getting busier and they were getting crowded in.

By Caulfield I was planning to 'accidentally' kick one of them as I was leaving the train but the situation was saved by someone getting in with a bicycle and they were compelled to stand to make room. I just do not understand why people so rebel against society.

PT Moan 1/3: I want a seat

What can be done when trains regularly become more crowded? Overcrowded actually, to the point where no more people can fit in.

You might think, have bigger trains, or more saliently increase the service interval so that they arrive more often and are moving more people.

Ah, no, you are not thinking laterally.

Our train company, Connex, and our state government have the answer. Remove train seats so more people can fit in.

Many years ago, a friend said to me that she liked travelling on trams. They were nice and relaxed and friendly, with a conductor to help. She hated travelling on trains though. She thought they were like cattle cars. What would she think now?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Politically Correct

When I hear someone rant against political correctness, I usually run a mile. Usually they have a hidden agenda or a prejudice. That might sound a bit funny coming from me, but the point is valid.

However, sometimes this so called political correctness just goes too far. As my stepmother is fond of saying, why call it a spade when it is a shit shovel?

An Indian born lad tragically went missing in surf waters along our ninety mile beach. There is a theme of Indian born people underestimating Australia's beaches and overestimating their abilities in the swimming department.

The police have found a body but won't confirm that it is the lad who went missing.

Surely the question arises, how many other dark skinned people of an Indian appearance have gone missing along the very lonely and mostly deserted Ninety Mile Beach? I don't expect the police to literally confirm, but they could just say, it is probably him, or, looks like we found him but we need to confirm.

It is not offensive to recognise a description. He was an Indian bloke who seemingly drowned and a body has been found in the water, but the police aren't telling us that it is an Indian bloke who has been found.

I dunno.

Lite Eggs

No, they are still bad for your cholesterol, so light in weight I mean.

I weighed a 70g Safeway/Woolworths bought free range egg on our barely used and quite new Salter electronic kitchen scales and it came in at 65g.

This was sparked when I thought a dozen 65g free range egg looked particularly small. The eggs were bought from a cheap fruit and vegetable shop. The one I weighed came in at 60g.

If you have electronic scales and you believe they are accurate, try weighing an egg or two and let me know what result you get.

Either our scales are inaccurate or this is the great egg weight rip off scandal.

Snowden Gardens

Once upon a time on the south bank of the Yarra River was a lovely little park known as Snowden Gardens. I believe it was named after a Melbourne mayor. Now the area is all concrete and is where Melbourne's Hamer Hall is located, a fine music concert hall .

Please, please give us luscious green grass. No more concrete.

While it was a late addition, within the park was a fountain. I have heard that it was called the Wind Fountain, but I cannot confirm. It was designed by the famous Melbourne architect Robin Boyd of the even more famous Boyd family.

I can very vaguely recall seeing the fountain in situ, as can R. Ann tells me it was a favourite target of uni students to add some soap to, making it froth and foam. Ann also thought that it had been moved. It would seem it was, to storage, but met a sad end. While it is not my sort of fountain, I am not sure that a famous architect's work should have been treated so carelessly.

From a list of Robin Boyd's work.
99. Project: Snowden Gardens (Southgate) Foutain
Architect: R. Boyd Location: Yarra Bank, Melbourne Designed: 1957 - completed 1960 Condition: Demolished

An anecdote from someone on the internet: I once heard that it is was damaged beyond repair while in storage and then later dumped.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another odd lamp

There are still quite a few of these lamps left in Collins Street. I am assuming they are left and not new. The shade was so filthy, I could not tell if they were gas or not, but as it was the middle of day, I guess so. The light they give off is very insufficient for modern times but I am pleased they are still there.

While some of Collins Street is crap, there are still many nice buildings in the streetscape. For those not in Melbourne, we have a term, Collins Street Cocky. It means a rich farmer. Collins Street is, or was, a street with many private doctor's surgeries.

Mardi Gras Wings

I took a flick through some online pics from Mardi Gras, which was held last weekend in Sydney. It seemed that next morning the streets were littered with fairy wings. Every second person must have been wearing them.

Lo and behold, what did I see in pics of our own Moomba Festival? More damn discarded fairy wings.

What is this bit of culture that I don't understand? Why discard them too? Single use only? Don't want to be seen on the train home to Blacktown/Croyden with wings?

Should I buy a set to be fashionable?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Random photos. Very heavy on dial up. Heavy on broadband even

I save photos in a very random manner. Here are many. No credit given, coz I can't recall.

The George Hotel in the background, behind the St Kilda to Brighton tram at the St Kilda railway station.
One of these peeps is our friend. The NT policeman cum politician of the first NT Parliament.

You would have all seen the koala getting a drink of water picture. Here is some photoshopping.

It gets bit chilly in Budapest.

This Sydney cutting was made for trams. How sad.
Guy with good hair from London Underground blog.

Your alighting platform will be modest at Alberton railway station.

I reckon this wedding would be a real hoot.

Lordy, you should see the bottom half of the photo.

I like mussels.
Wife talking to husband.

It has been hot here.
Never mind the Bendigo tram. Look at the gorgeous house behind.

Tempe is not far from the city of Sydney, in a south west direction and once had good public transport, in the form of trams.

A bit of the slap and rough XXX Post

Write about sex and the readers will come. Muttonchopped Mutant recently filled in a meme. I don't normally do them, so don't ask me. He did not ask but suggested anyone who wanted to could. I shall then, I can't resist, but I won' t give as much away as Mutant did and I will be briefer..........or will I.

1. Is there anyone of your friends that you would ever consider having sex with?
Yes, I am pretty amoral so far as sex goes. Just call me a choosy prostitute who doesn't ask for money.

2. Sex in the morning, afternoon or night?
The afternoon matinee is my favourite time. At night I am tired when I go to bed and I want to sleep. Morning can be ok, but I like to shower first.

3. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
I usually sleep on my own in my own bed and on the right. But if with someone, the side nearest the door is my preferred position, so that it is easy to bolt.

4. Have you ever taken your clothes off for money?
No, and at my age, no one would pay. I would have paid me, your atypical drovers dog, when I was younger though.

5. Have you ever had sex in the shower or the bath?
Yeah, but soap is an unsatisfactory alternative to lube and can sting. I am traumatised by a soap on a rope experience.

6. Do you watch/read pornography?
Never.......well a bit.......actually rather a lot. Much easier than all the messy business with another human.

7.Do you want someone aggressive or passive in bed?
I like active, whether they are top or bottom, so to speak. Mind you, almost dead and unresponsive can be good too, if they are enjoying it.

8. Do you love someone on your blogroll?
Love schmuv. Let me change it to sex. My name is on my blog, so yes. I have probably thought about everyone on my blog roll in a sexual way at some point, but I don't lust after anyone on my roll.

9. Would you choose love or money?
I have love and not much money. I would still go for love.

10. Your top three favorite kinks in bed?
Not telling. Suffice to say, I am seriously kinky.

11. Has anyone ever gone beyond your personal line of respect sexually?
Yes. Going beyond the bounds can work. But sometimes it is too far.

12. Where is the most romantic place you have had sex?
In a car in a paddock lined with poplars when I was twenty.

13. Where is the weirdest place you have had sex?
A public transport museum.

14. Have you ever been caught having sex?
Certainly have. The repercussions were horrendous!

15. Ever been to a bar just to get sex?

16. Ever been picked up in a bar?
Yes, and regardless how the good the sex is afterwards, it is very exciting and morale boosting.

17. Have you ever kissed or had sex with someone of the same sex?
I will reverse this to opposite sex. Yes, a couple of times when I was young. It was ok, but not exciting to me. Due to the internet, I do have some curiosity about the female bits.

18. Had sex in a movie theater?
Yes, a very sleazy theatre. Hideous animal like act.

20. Had sex in a bathroom?
Is that the American bathroom, like a toilet? Regardless, yes, both, many times.

21. Have you ever had sex at work?
Yes, more than once.

22. Bought something from an adult store?
Duh, of course.

23. Do you own any sex toys?
My beside cupboard is full of them, and they sit there generally unused. I like to keep historical artifacts.

24. Does anyone have naughty pics of you or are you on film?
Yes, but I am very cautious. You will never find a face pic and a naughty pic of me on the net. Besides, I only really let trusted people see them.

25. Have you ever had sex with someone and called them the wrong name?
No. Generic names are better if you must talk during sex, along the lines of 'do me daddy' or 'take that pig boi'.

26. Do you think oral sex constitutes as a form of intercourse?
Depends how deeply it is pushed in. If it passes the tonsils, then it must be intercourse.

27. What's your favorite sexual position?
Unanswerable. I don't have one.

28. What's your favorite sex act?
Again, unanswerable. I don't have one.

29. Have you ever had sex with more than one person at a time?
Since this is the last question and I got through the questions quite quickly, I will answer in more detail. The answer is yes, threesome, foursome, orgy. A 3some can work with two tops and bottom. Foursomes generally see people either pairing off, or more usually, three having fun and one left out. Orgies can be ok, many can target one, or people pair off and perhaps change to someone else. By its very nature, an orgy will be made up of like minded sex pigs who either want to get their dick in or get dicks in.

In summary, that was fun. I take no pride in any of the above. It is just how it was. I overheard R and a friend of his discussing some ten years ago how their sexual desire had decreased. I found such a thing unimaginable then, and yet it has happened to me, and by golly, it makes life a lot easier and less complicated. I still maintain the health of my prostate though. Now bugger orf. I have Xtube, Recon, Gaycom, Gaydar and Manhunt to check. One can dream.

The Quake

It was odd to experience the recent earth tremor in our highrise building. Nothing rattled, nothing shook, the building just bounced up and down as if on springs. Weird. I suppose it was built to withstand a decent tremor, but I don't know about the technology.

Car Dashboard

Some time ago there was a request for dashboard pics of the new car, Mazda 3 Maxx Sport, and eventually, here they are. They were taken in the carpark, so it was a bit dark.

Not my car. I don't listen to 1278 on the AM dial. You can easily see why I had problems trying to get the clock to read PM.

It looks very pretty all lit up.

Arrivals and Departures

Well, not much in the way of new.

Fenz at We Drift Deeper, Into the Sound is relatively new. I enjoy reading her on both her blog and at twitter.

Keshi has departed the blog world for a bit.

One blogger reinvented himself as Mutton Chopped Mutant .

Fitzroyalty is an exciting and fresh addition to the roll call.

Raelene is back with a new blog.

The Resident Judge of Port Phillip has a gig under The old, the new, the marvellous.

And a special mention to this lass resides across the big waters. She knows more about Australia than we who live here do collectively. No posts of late, because she is visiting Australia. Get ready for long reads about her holidays here. The Girl who wished she was Australian.

Otherwise, my list of photo blogs grows. I read many more than I have linked. Quick and easy, interesting to see other places and no back chat involved.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Langy Niece

The Langwarrin niece, the younger, called yesterday to ask if she could stay the night, without her b/f though. Of course I said yes, and sms R to let him know.

Niece was going to see a performer on her own at Moomba Festival. His name is Rob Sawyer and he is a friend of her brothers. She saw him and had a chat to him and he gave her his latest cd, unplugged, at the Powerhouse, Albert Park.

I had a listen this morning and although not my sort of music, he is not a bad performer at all.

I managed to make Niece cry last night with my frank talk about her and her father's relationship. I think I talked some sense as this morning she showed my an sms she had sent him last night. Quite loving. He answered in a similar vein this morning.

Her plan was to meet friends at Southland shopping centre. The trams for her to get to Flinders Street Station were mucked up because of Moomba, so I thought to drive her to South Yarra Station, but then I thought perhaps we would go to DFO in Moorabbin and drop her at Southland on the way.

We did so but before we left, we took her across the road for some breakfast at the cafe. I could see her eyes looking past me when I was talking and I turned around, and this is what was to be seen in the chemist window. Not great ads to have next to your local cafe.

Did the full circuit at DFO and kept a watch out for any local lurking red heads who might be around. Bought a shirt and a wallet and a bottle of ginger beer made to a one hundred and twenty year old recipe. Nice, but I lifted my arm and forgot I had the top in my other hand and most of the ginger beer was absorbed into my newly bought shirt. Sticky sun glasses and sticky old wallet along with the shirt and a bag full of ginger beer.

Home for some r & r.

A rotting toe nail. Delightful.

The Intestinal Broom. Charming.

Another birthday, another party

This party thing is getting to be a habit. I was really reluctant to go, mainly because I finished work at 7pm and had to start at 7am the next morning and it was a long drive to the Dandenongs where the Mountain Women live.

The late Dame M christened them the Mountain Women. One was having a party for her significant birthday. While a lady never tells her age, the party had a sixties theme, so you can take from that what you will.

Being a holiday weekend here, the traffic was very light as we drove up into the hills. I could not believe it only took fifty minutes. I was expecting a ninety minute trip.

I didn't have time to organise anything sixties to wear, but many of the guests did. Is the sixties defined by having a head band and long straight hair? A ban the bomb sign was painted out on the lawn in tennis marking line whatever and a few protest signs were carried, such as Ban the Bomb, Make Love not War, etc. Much holding of fingers in Churchillian manner and saying Peace Man.

While my cultural memories are very much of the seventies, I don't think much of the fashions of the sixties, although there was a hot guy who wore an open sheepskin kind of vest. Nice chest!

As the birthday girl is English born, Huddersfield, so were many of her guests and one we found very entertaining. He had us in stitches. While he was not cockney, he had a similar sense of humour. The conversation turned to English holiday camps and the horrors that they were. Good laugh.

Much discussion of bushfires of course. The Mountain Women and their dogs had left their place three times in the past few weeks to stay elsewhere when fire was nearby. One works part time at a nearby winery which was somewhat damaged by fire.

At ten thirty we decided to leave. Now what a dilemma. Do we stop the party midstream and announce to all that we are leaving? Do we have a quiet word to the hosts? Neither. We took the cowards option and just slipped away. I will email them our thanks later.

I just knew I would have to blow the police party whistle somewhere, and sure enough, there they were in Kingsway. While I was sitting at the traffic lights, I could see them, so I swung out wide onto the far side of the road, but they had set up there too. While I knew two glasses of wine over three hours would not be a problem, I suffer from the 'guilts' in such situations. As it was, they were busy with others.

A bit tired at work the next day, but I survived.

Happy public holiday to us today. Eight hours work, eight hours play, eight hours sleep and eight bob a day. Apart from the eight bob, what happened to the rest? Where is my increased leisure time?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Day off 2

By 11.15 on my second day off, I had trucks to the left of me, trucks to the right, trucks in front of me and one very close behind me. All making huge amounts of road spray from the wet road. What is this fool doing. It is my day off and I am supposed to be enjoying it.

Some new bits of the Monash Freeway have opened, but strangely the speed limit is even further reduced in these sections. Of course, as per usual, I was the only one who took any notice of the speed limits, no doubt infuriating my fellow motorists and truck drivers. There is still plenty of gouged road remaining. This road gouging to remove painted lines in absurd. It is hard to distinguish the road gouges from the painted lines. It may well be a very safe road when it is finished, but it is not at the moment.

The day did improve somewhat and turned out to be not not too bad. Mother suggested pies for lunch and for me to pick them up at local bakery. They were very nice and mine was the hottest pepper pie I have ever had. Mother had a list of jobs for me written on the back of an envelope. I don't know why she can't use a notepad, but she never has. Always scribbles on a used envelope or the back of a sheet of paper.

Clean three exhaust fans, tick. Put rego sticker on car, tick. Blow leaves away from back door, tick. Remove glass from broken photo frames caused by the air con surround falling down, tick. Take down and clean hallway mirrors, tick. Vacuum floors, tick. Put washed doona cover on doona, tick. In frustration take very long handled duster from Mother and clear cobwebs in all rooms. She just cannot see them all.

Take Mother to hairdresser for a do up. Fill in time doing her shopping at supermarket. A small friendly local one called Ritchies. Great place. I had staff running around looking for Phenyle Bin Cleaner and trying to read Mother's handwriting. No one could decipher Nil Odour.

Great gift shop called Crazy Frog. Find gift for sixtieth birthday of one of the Mountain Women in The Patch at weekend.

Bad coffee last time in downtown Pakenham. Will try another place. More bad coffee.

Meet mother at hairdresser. We both go to pay cat registration for a long dead cat at post office (don't ask). Pay newspaper bill. Go to bank. Take Mother home and make sure she is not locked out.

Traffic not bad on way home until Domain Tunnel. The left lane in the tunnel closed. So that is why I have a whole empty lane to drive along. A generous soul let me push in to clear the empty lane. I was actually interested in what I was listening to on the car wireless when City Link broke in with a stupid announcement. Then after that an inaudible and disembodied announcement came over loud speakers within the tunnel. When can I switch to the empty lane to exit at Kingsway? I don't know. I just did when I thought it was right. Traffic extremely slow in Kingsway. Home. Where did my two days off go?

Ah, you are not getting out of it this easily, there is more.

Mother's vacuum cleaner. She had a very old upright and it wasn't picking up well. Sister said she would buy Mother a new one. Mother wanted a Hoover, but none available where Sister went so she bought a different brand. Mother not happy. It is too heavy and does not pick up well either. Mother's friend bought her another and both Mother and I am impressed. It is a small upright and light and works off a recharagble battery. It really worked well.

I asked Mother how she would explain the new vacuum cleaner to Sister who had generously bought her a new one a month ago, and Mother said she couldn't as Sister would yell at her. Sister would not really, but Sister might feel a bit hurt. Mother said she would put it out of sight for a while.

Oh yes, our old fridge that was brought down from ABI Brother's place did not work. The freezer worked but not the cool area. Another of Mother's friends bought for her an as new second hand one.

Saved for publishing Sunday.