Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just another birthday

Someone's partner is having an extra special and significant birthday tomorrow. He might even be the age of a lass in the southern burbs I am kind of acquainted with. We are celebrating with a long lunch at a cafe with friends and family in Acland Street, St Kilda. The Bank said yes, of course you can have more money, so we are paying for twenty plus guests.

One gift already promised is the birthday cake.

It is in an upstairs function room.

It is also Mother's 75th birthday in a couple of days, so we have ordered a very nice cake for her and will celebrate her birthday too. The Bank is being very kind to us.

There will be thirty helium balloons floating around and we have to collect them in the morning. Wonder if they will fit in the car. I have a contingency plan. More money please Bank Person.

A mate called Dan supplied 1/2 a dozen decent bottles of champers to welcome the guests. You sure you aren't putting your share holders at risk Miss Bank Person? Booster seat for Little Jo. Help upstairs for the Brighton Antique Dealer and Mother arranged.

Oldest niece, daughter of Tradie brother and sis in law, and her b/f cannot attend. I think I may well have a sock drawer to tidy later in the year when it is her twenty first birthday party. Never really connected with her well. Not sure why. I suspect she will come into her own when she is bit older, as her mother did.

Finally Mrs Bank Person said no, no more money. Bah humbug. What is this word you are saying, budget? Bugger your budget nonsense Monsieur Bank Manager.

But I have not bought my life partner a gift, I plead. It needs to be nice, Madame Bank Person.

Mademoiselle Bank says she can refer me to her friend, who charges a bit more. How kind are these Bank places to keep giving me money?

And no questions asked, Master Bank pays. I suppose when you buy a very personal male present for someone, and you are of a certain age, judgments are made. I was leaving the shop when he called me back and asked if I would like it gift wrapped. R would have wrapped it better but nice sales bloke did a far better job than a non artistic person like me could have done.

Thanks for you help with all of the above Bank Man. What? There is some obligation now on my part? They get you in the nads everytime.

Prahran Market Sign

Not sure how readable this blackboard sign is once posted. If the idea was to attract attention, it succeeded for me. For those of you who don't understand why it is odd, we have been using decimal currency since 1966 and metric weights for a long time also.

The market also had an exhibition of food eaten in Australia since its white person settlement. Tables were set with the mock up food, crockery, cutlery set on period tables with the appropriate accessories. It was quite well done considering it is only a market.

If you are wondering, we don't buy fruit and vegetables there, only flowers for home.

Staff Unwell

More than the committee members of any Owners' Corp need to know I think. This may or may not be the building I live in.

Good morning *,

I’ve been in contact with * last night as he has to go the doctors and then to the hospital late night as he was in lot of discomfort after his colonoscopy. He has been advice to rest for few days till his stomach settled in properly.

For the moment he will be absent for today and tomorrow, I will know further by Sunday and rely the information as it comes to me.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I don't understand

Our state government pays champ golfer Tiger Woods somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million dollars to come to Australia to play. This is just so wrong on so many levels. Does Tiger Woods hate the idea of coming to Australia so much that he needs a $3 million encouragement. Would seem so. Bugger orf Woods. (I might just see if there is a forum on his website. Oh, there is. I might just post something there. Oh, I did. Maybe there will be some advice to him from his PR people to make some nice noises towards Aussie. Oh, he has.)

Barwon Heads bridge is to be restored, but with a 'lovely' concrete bridge next to it to carry cars. A new or fix up project for the Barwon Heads bridge was supposed to happen in our Bi Centennial year of 1988. There has been a lot of planning going into it, it would seem. The end result, two bridges. Result, no one is happy. The money that has been wasted could have fixed up the original bridge umpteen times over.

Our state government pays Grand Prix big boss Bernie Ecclestone something like $45 million to stage a car race that I hate because it causes me much inconvenience. Not too many people who live in the area like our local Albert Park turned into a car racing track. I really hope it will be a miserable failure.

Our state government has commissioned a new ticket system for public transport. You think the present one is bad, and it is, wait for the next.

Our state government is 'concerned' about the fudging of figures in public hospitals. Given that if the hospitals don't meet turnover targets and so they will have their budgets reduced.............ah duh. More money, not less, and good on them for fudging figures and making sure they don't end up with less money because they have not met targets. My workplace doctors figures for public consumption all the time.

Our state government is 'addressing' road traffic congestion and public transport congestion. All I see is a lot of botheration. Will the magic day arrive when our state government has fixed these problems?

Our state government is working on the water shortage. Holding my breath, not. A drought in Australia. How odd!

Our state government says Docklands is not working. No surprise there. Sometimes we have perfect weather in Melbourne when Docklands might seem to be nice, but that is rare. Mostly it will be a hot north wind or a freezing southerly chill. I have tried very hard with Docklands, and it is crap.

Gee, there is an awful lot of state government above. Best have a go at the Feds too while I am in the mood.

Climate change? Look to how well Germany has done. They did not wait for the 'rest of the world to get onboard'.

First world countries can no long compete in manufacturing, we are told. Again, look at how well Germany has done, along with the place wherever Nokia HQ is located.

I regret campaigning for an independent East Timor. They would be better off accepting Indonesian rule. Like we need another broke tin pot corrupt country near us?

Does it please me that under PM Rudd, we are now closer to arguably the most corrupt country in the world, Indonesia?

If I hear the word alchopops once more, I will take up meditation...or perhaps medication. What a lot of nonsense.

Now, what is for lunch? Sour cream and lemon juice. Lovely.

Lighting Shop

I started writing here along the lines, 'this is probably an old pub and', however, I knew where I could easily check and it seems it never was. It looks like one though.

It sits on the north east corner of the intersection of Alma Road and St Kilda Road, St Kilda. It has been a lighting shop at ground level for as long as I can recall. Perhaps one of my non teen readers may have more information. What? I don't have any teen readers? How disappointing.

I believe there is accommodation of some description on the level above. The garish advertising signs do nothing for the building and the sign atop spoils the small third level.

But still, at least it still there. Some very nice buildings lined the the other side of the what was then High Street, St Kilda, but they were lost when the road was widened to become St Kilda Road.

Btw, this building I previously posted about sits on the diagonally opposite corner.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's the economy stupid

I have been hoarding this, just waiting for the appropriate time to slip it into a post, but the occasion never seems to arise. I am sure it would be a great analogy at some point, but I will just spill the seed anyway, so to speak. The occasion has never risen.

When the clothes washing goes into the machine, who is responsible for tissues in the pockets? That is, is it the person who wears the garment or the person who does the washing?

Surely it must be the person who wears the garment is responsible for removing everything from their pockets. They are smart enough to remove their mobile phone I would reckon.

Do they want their garment spoiled by being covered in tissue if their garment is washed and they have left tissues in the pocket?

Washing does not tend to work on an individual garment manner, so all washing will be spoiled.

It is only a fool who washes clothes without checking first that there are no tissues in the pockets.

Hey, I can use it.

The world seems to full of washer people who have not checked for tissues in pockets.

Our Kate

There are a few Kate's around at the moment. I saw my favourite Kate on tv last night. She is gorgeous as ever, although tight fitting upper garments can show rolls!

Which Kate, I hear you ask? Not the Winslett Kate, and not the Blanchette Cate, but Kate Fitzpatrick.

Friend and confidante of the the late Australian author Patrick White, cricket aficionado and radio cricket commentator, tv, movies, thoroughly competent actor, entertaining radio guest. Kate is just glam wife I would like to have if I wanted a wife who came without the bits I like.

Pics from Fairfax, News Corp and Classic Australian Tv.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Fires #97

You don't have to connect with a blogger to always read what they write do you? I am obliged to Middle Child for pointing me to the link.

I looked at the link she posted, photos of the fire deceased, trying to see a commonality. I could see none. Just people who you may come across. No connection. Nothing in common. All different. All victims of the same. All joined by one thing only. All cut short before their time.

From today's Age online.

Some people driving out of Kinglake this afternoon angrily gestured at cameramen filming police removing the roadblock into town.

Others chatting to police before the reopening appeared glad they would no longer need a wristband to get and from their homes.

Seems there is some conflict there. It is over a month since that terrible day. No doubt some people are still very emotional, but I am not sure people in the past were allowed such an indulgence. All this public spirited fund raising has been a marvellous. I wonder what the survivors of the Cockatoo fires in 1982, which I recall vividly, received. I don't recall such fund raising. I don't recall police protection. I don't recall benevolent insurance companies. I don't recall counsellors. They just got on with it and went on to build their lives. They could have been severe and the worst case victims or survivors and probably did not have media mouthpieces. I am not denying the impact on present victims.

I would hope that some of the money raised for victims and survivors of this last fire is kept aside for future survivors.

As is should be, we taxpayers are kicking in, aside from the massive personal donations.

Then there is the glorified destroyed communities. I am sure there were communities in these country towns. But before you get all too warm hearted about country communities, they can be nasty and vindictive places for those who 'do not fit'.

When I was a young kiddie, our family never fitted. We were way too posh city slickers. 'City slicker' was a valid insult term. Mother wore modern fashions to country dances and was derided. Father drank too much for what was the norm in country towns and he never really fitted. My Uncle who lived with us was a very attractive guy and he was popular with the lasses, so the town overlooked his drinking. Girls of the country town fell at his feet. Fell at his feet is one way of putting it. Sleazing up to him with desperation is another.

Country towns have probably changed since I was a participant in them. I hope they have moved on from being gossipy and cliquey places.

Competition: The ugliest railway sation in Melbourne

Well, if you have a photo or link to any really ugly railway station, let us know about it.

I will nominate Balaclava Station. It is nasty pebble dash with not an iota of style. All that saves it slightly is that it is elevated and you can look into tree tops and over houses.

Jayne reckons Hughesdale is pretty crook.

Reuben suggests Bell as his unattractive model.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I was in Glenferrie Road Malvern today. There was a bit of jam up of trams at the Malvern tram Depot and a jam up of traffic too. Not unusual.

Funny how things have changed over the last few decades. It used to be trams that blocked and slowed down traffic. Now it seems to be traffic congestion blocking trams.

I overheard one woman say, who was of an age that she should know better, why on earth did they put a tram depot in such a busy shopping area?

I am not sure when Malvern Tram Depot was built, perhaps around 1910. There wasn't much in the way of shops in Glenferrie Road, Malvern then.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Family TV

As if it wasn't bad enough that Sister was on some hideous morning tv show, pouncing about on Mount Whistler in Canada, now ABI Brother has been on a appalling current affairs show. Mother used to embarrass me when I was a teen and my family continue to do so.

The story goes back a bit, but it only all became clear to me this week.

A couple of months ago ABI Brother was set to participate in some meet up of lonely and womenless guys in Nar Nar Goon with some lonely and menless women from a town in coastal country NSW. I felt a bit bad for him. He is setting himself up to fail, but as I could not see any immediate financial disadvantage to him, there was no need for Big Brother to intervene.

The whole business reached a crescendo the week before last when ABI Brother went for the final meet with said lasses. He was plied with beer, he does not usually drink, and ended up a bit messy. A mate gave him a lift home, but he left his keys in the mates car.

At 1.30 am, he was knocking on Mother's door to get his spare keys. He had walked the two kilometres plus from his house to Mother's. Mother, sleepy and somewhat confused, found the keys. She told him to call her back once he got home. No call came.

After an hour, Mother called the police who set off to look for him. They reported back to Mother that they had slowly driven the route he would walk home and did not see him. Ten minutes later he turned up back at Mother's, complaining that she had given him the wrong keys. She hadn't. He was drunk. That makes to me that he had walked six kilometres plus in the early hours of the morning.

Mother called off the police and told ABI Brother to get into the spare bed and she would speak to him in the morning. She readily admits that she should have told him this in the first place, but she had woken from a sound sleep and wasn't thinking clearly.

ABI Brother called this week and it all became clear. He said, look out for me on the channel 7 Sunday night current affairs show. I will get $2000 for every minute I am on screen.

Given they had plied him with beer, and because of his ABI, I wasn't looking forward to seeing the show. I was sure they would take advantage of him. However, he aquitted himself well enough among the embarrassments of blokes. Well, actually one wasn't too shabby, the one with the facial piercing. I would not mind seeing what he had under his moleskins so long as he kept his mouth shut and I did not have to hear his vowel sounds. Actually, that could work for me in a weird way.

During ABI Brother's recovery at the Transport Rehab place, they did excellent work by restoring him back into a functioning member of the community, but they may have pressed the need for easy money a little too hard, or at least the need to earn money.

I think he enjoyed being bad and irresponsibly drunk and making Mother worry. I think he enjoyed the whole experience and he seems to have earned a zac or two.

Mid year he is off on an overseas package holdiday with sporting mates. It seems to combine cricket at Lords, County Cricket and Gallipoli. The cost is about $8,000, but absolutely everything is paid for. If your interests are in any of those directions, it doesn't sound too bad. Perhaps the money he earned tonight is to pay for eastern European prostitutes or similar. Nah, more likely for nice gifts to bring back to family in Aus.