Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Journey

We took a day trip this easter Friday. I will guess that only Ann O'Dyne will guess the locations in the photos. The first three photos show where we stopped to stretch our legs and have some coffee. It is a lovely and pretty little country town.

The last photo shows a view at our destination. The view has been obscured lately by the growing cypress plantation.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Middle Park Beach

We were at Middle Park Beach a week or so ago, one of our last hot days. I wondered what would happen if I pointed the camera directly at the sun and clicked. I quite like the effect. In the distance can be seen Kerferd Road Pier, further back, West Gate Bridge and in the centre is the smoke stack for the Newport Power Station. Most of our electric comes from burning dirty moisture sodden brown coal, but if we get a bit short of the old electric, the gas fired Newport can quickly be brought online.

Dr Who

Well, this post has been hanging around for a while, like October last year. It must have been when the last series of Doctor Who finished and I expect I was going to state my approval, well mega approval of Tennant as Doctor Who. He was in Brian's neck of the woods in 2007 and in front of a huge crowd, turned on the Blackpool Illuminations.

I can't really recall what I was going to write, but I really enjoyed the last series of Doctor Who. I eagerly await the next series with a new Doctor.

I probably liked the series with Billie Piper in it best. They have been rebroadcast and I have them all sitting on the digital recorder, but neither R nor myself seem to want to watch them again. Is an episode of Doctor Who something you only want to see once? For me, most tv shows are like this.

I tried to connect with Torchwood, but it just did not work for me.

Dr Who has been in my life since I was kid. For a long time I think it was the 6.30 tv show that led into ABC news, although I think each episode may have been short of the half hour. It is certainly a very slick production now, unlike the older series. Eccleston was a good Doctor, but I think Tennant really is the best there has been and will take some beating in the future.

This is not one of my best posts, I know. You were probably expecting something far more interesting. But it sat too long unattended and I just forget what I was going to write.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Is easter funny?

This forthcoming easter thingy could be quite depressing. All this banging nails through people's limbs, locking people up behind stones and self flagellation is hardly cheerful stuff, never mind ladies of the night.

How about some humour? Have done this before, even if just for yourself. What is your porn star name? You know, the name of your first pet followed by the name of the first street where you lived.

I fear to reveal mine. Who knows what Lord Sedgwick or Ann O'Dyne might do with it?

Ah well, publish and be damned. Mine would be Joffa Boy Riley.

Have you got a brilliantly sleazy name or a funny one? Ok, however boring it is, do tell.

Sad for Sister

The usual Wednesday thing, if I can, train to Murrumbeena, meet R from his work and take Little Jo out to a park and give Sister some respite. I had to go early yesterday as she had a doctor's appointment.

When she returned, she told us she had miscarried the morning before, six weeks down the track. We did not know she was pregnant. She had been unwell the previous week, which no doubt did not help. I felt so sad for her but she did not seem overly upset. Mother earlier in the day had told her, quite insensitively I thought, that perhaps she is getting too old. She is 41. Anyway, miscarrying is not going to spoil their camping holiday at Port Campbell over easter.

She said she will keep trying for a while. I hope she succeeds. Little Jo really needs a sister or brother.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I recall Hawkeye did not like this sculpture. I don't mind it. It is quite pretty at night. It is in front of the recently completed Lucient apartment building. It looks very nice inside, well the foyer does and what else can be seen from the outside looking in.

I have heard that before a bank will lend a developer money for construction of a building like Lucient, that eighty per cent of the apartments had to be presold before building could commence. Going by the visisble occupancy on our side of the building, I would guess something less than 20 per cent are sold. Very odd.

Last night I went out to to a snap of the sculpture at night and thought I would take this one of the foyer too. The concierge must have been watching me on CCTV as he was straight out to investigate my intentions. Really, he just wanted me to buy and apartment and suggested I make an appointment. I pointed. We live there, in the cheap seats. No need to move.

Don't do what I do

Full article here, but here is a snip from the Herald Sun.

FIFTEEN per cent of Aussie parents have used a handheld mobile phone while driving with their children in the car, a survey found.
This disturbs me muchly and I observe it often. Especially prone are blonde women in 4WDs with their children they have just picked up from school. There will be whole generation of children who think talking on a mobile phone while driving is normal.

Grossly irresponsible parental behaviour. I can only hope the kids see their parents get prosecuted.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ferry Bridge

Oh dear, my problem has recurred. I have become Sydney focused. I fight against it, but it overwhelms me at times. Well, Sydney is on my mind for a personal reason. A post on that later.

A Sydney ferry crashed into some rocks recently. Management immediately took any blame from the driver, or should that be pilot, whatever, the person who steers, and blamed a faulty clutch. A little later, they unblamed the clutch and I have no further information. It is an old ferry. Nostalgia is all very well, but not if you want to get somewhere in a safely, in good time and in comfort.

Perhaps the Lady Northcott will suffer the fate of the ferry Dee Why. In the second pic you can see her sailing merrily along, not thinking of her fate and perhaps wondering what impact this weird structure behind her will have.

Fort Macquarie or the Opry House

Dina hasn't really mentioned seeing the Sydney Opera House when she just recently visited Australia with her husband and son. I expect she gave it a good going over on her previous visit.

The Opera House is best viewed from a distance where you can wonder at its splendour. Not one reader here would not recognise it from a picture. Truly an iconic building in the fullest sense of the word.

But what was there before the Opera House? Originally a fort, Fort Macquarie. Construction began in 1817 and the Fort was completed four years later.

In 1901 Fort Macquarie was demolished. Does this mean just post Federation that Sydney no longer felt that it might be invaded by the Colony of Victoria now that we had all become states of Australia? Work out your own theory. I like mine, no matter how implausible.

By 1902 the newly built Fort Macquarie Tram Depot opened. Maybe not as beautiful as the Opera House, but certainly very important to the people of Sydney who depended on their trams. The luxury of so much space after partly operating in the cramped area in the Bridge Street Yard must have improved the tram service immensely.

As Sydney's tram system tottered towards its forced closure, Fort Macquarie Tram Depot was demolished in 1959 to allow for the construction of the Opera House. The Opera House construction took considerably longer than the tram depot took to construct, not opening until 1973. Our big boss Lizzie cut the ribbon.

Fort Macquarie wasn't Sydney's largest depot. That honour goes to the Dowling Street Depot, now the site of the Moore Park Supa Centre. Sydney probably had just as many tram depots as Melbourne, but Dowling Street Depot was huge. Melbourne's biggest tram depot, Malvern, when the maximum number of trams were on Melbourne roads, perhaps supplied 100 trams to the system. Dowling Street ran 300 trams out of its depot. The logistics of this are mind boggling.

Questions for Father

'Dad, if a cat had was about to be attacked by a wild dog and there was a river, would the cat jump in the river to get away from the wild dog?'

'Probably not, it would try to run away'.

'Dad, if god sees everything, can he see you sitting on the toilet?'

I can't recall the answer.

'Dad, how can the universe go on forever? It has to stop somewhere.'

'And what do you think would be on the other side?'

'Dad, why do thingies get stiff?'

I can't recall the answer.

'Dad, Mr Holt (PM) has drowned. What will happen to us without him?'

'Nothing will change.'

'Dad, who is Nana Dorothy (The Bolter, Dad's mother)?'

'Your grandmother.'

'She is not very much like Grandma'.

'Dad, what is wrong with Mum that you go to that woman T?'

I can't recall the answer.

Not too long before he died the father son position is reversed, about 1998.

'Andrew, who is going to occupy all these office buildings and developments being built in Melbourne? There will be a big oversupply.'

'Yeah, Dad, I don't who will. There are too many'.

There was a brief period of oversupply at the time, but it was very brief.

No more questions from either side after that.

Getting R to work by PT

Just as an exercise, how long would it take R to get to work in Blackburn South? It takes him between 35 and 40 minutes now door to door in his car.

I am assuming everything will run to time, there not be cancellations and that he will arrive at work at 7.00am, as he now does. Obviously he now leaves home at 6.20 to drive to work.

Here is the pick, arrive 7.03 at his workplace.

He would leave home no later than 5.50 to catch a tram to Flinders Street Station. He would catch the 6.08 Lilydale train then change to a bus at Box Hill and after a ten minute wait, would catch the 732 bus to his work, alight at work at 703.

40 mins by car, 1hour 13 mins by public transport. I thought it might have been worse than that, but even so, going by public transport is really not a viable option for him.

Tim Tam Slam

The Resident Judge of Port Phillip has never done the Tim Tam slam. I didn't know it had a name. Perhaps it is different. My recipe is not the same as that featured on her website.

Have a couple of spirit drinks, not too much dilution mind.

Make strong long black coffee from freshly ground beans. Suck up some black coffee through Tim Tam.

Chuck Tim Tam away over shoulder. Pour and drink another strong spirit and take another Tim Tam.

Suck up more black coffee. Feed Tim Tam to nearby child.

Pour and drink another glass of strong spirit. Suck up remainder of coffee through Tim Tam.

Feed left over Tim Tams to nearby dog. Pour yourself another drink and toast yourself in approval at your celebration of Australian culture.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Crook Track

Did I tell you I have just been to Calcutta to take photos of their tram system? Well, I didn't tell you that because I haven't. No, this picture is taken outside the highrise on a curve, but you could well be mistaken into thinking this is what a third world country's tram tracks might look like.

Eventually some little man in the dark of night will come along and make a repair with his welding machine. Highrise residents get quite naff if concrete has to be jack hammered out at night, but this is rare.

After it is repaired, another break will appear a short distance away, which will eventually get repaired and then the original repair will break again and so forth. The trams make quite a bang as they drop when they hit the cracks.

I suppose it is safe. Yarra Trams assures us that its tracks are well maintained. It just doesn't really look like it at times. It's the old story, perception.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Underground

What is it about the London Underground? Your Paris Metro and New York Subway don't engender passion like London's underground railway system. Melbourne's own City Loop certainly doesn't.

This fascination with the Tube is infectious. I have just printed out a map of the London Underground with a key to each station on the back. Now whenever a tourist in Melbourne asks me, I will have all the information to direct them to the appropriate Tube station in London. What????

You want some Tube trivia? I am sure I heard you ask.

This, I think teenage, lass used to write a blog about her adventures on the London Underground. Now she only seems to post photos to her Flickr site. Pity, I enjoyed reading her blog.

Clapham Junction is the busiest railway station in Europe. I just checked my map and I can't see why.

The Tube is hot and stuffy. Electric motors whirring. Friction from brakes. Other associated equipment and people generate a lot of heat to the point where the temperature on trains or at stations can rise on an extremely hot day to 47 degree Celsius. (It was damn hot when we were travelling on it last year).

The first London underground railway opened in 1863. The first real Tube was opened in 1890.

The last new line built was the Jubilee Line in 1979.

The much loved Maggie Thatcher removed control of the Tube from the Great London Council in 1984.

Who owns London's underground train system and who runs it and who maintains it is a mystery I have not been able to solve. Cheers Maggie.

I recall a blog mate's son being very interested in the Tube, and probably poured over the map as I am doing. I am not sure why we in Australia need to know about the Tube.

Back to the lass Version 3 point 1. Doesn't the architecture at Uxbridge Station excite.


How about the fantastic use of colour on the metalwork at the station where the Eurostar departs? Forget your traditional black at St Pancras. Great use of blue. London to Paris by train from St Pancras to Garde du Nord in two hours and fifteen minutes.

St Pancras has the Barlow Shed over it. The largest single span structure of its time.

You are still doubtful about the passion for London's underground railway? Give me the url of New York Subway blogs or Paris Metro blogs. Here are a couple for London.

One Stop Short of Barking.

I haven't worked out why the Tube aka the Underground generates so much passion, but it is a pretty good train system to get about on.

Run Away for Kids

All we grumpy old men wanted to do was go to the city and get a few bits and pieces but the charity Run for Kids made it very difficult.

I knew the trams were stopping at the Arts Centre, so the walk from there as far as Lonsdale Street would be the exercise for the day. I didn't reckon with Flinders Street being totally blocked by the runners. This all seems to hard. Tempting to go back and go to Prahran. We pressed on and remembered the Degraves Street subway under Flinders Street. Luckily the railways had left a barrier open for people. Buying a train ticket to get across the road would have infuriated me. Ok, I did have one already, but that is not the point.

We did what we had to do and loaded with stuffs, we waited at the tram stop for a tram home. I knew they were to start running at 12.45 and after a couple of minutes, the first tram through the city arrived. It was showing Arts Centre but we were turfed off and Flinders Street. A few minutes later a Toorak tram arrived but that turns off before our place. We caught it anway and changed again at Domain Road to a Carnegie.

I can inform City of Melbourne and traders that next year when the run is on, I will not be going to and therefore not be spending my money in the city. I will go elsewhere. Why can't a run be held elsewhere for a change? What's wrong with Croyden or Sunshine?

Sexy Older Men

Generally a guy has to be under thirty for me to fall in instant lust with him, although gay guys who work hard at their appearance could string this out for a few more years. This doesn't mean I wouldn't or don't have sex with older guys, but slim smooth bodies with good skin are what really excite me.

But some older guys still do it for me, although I am not sure that this in not a case of memory of what they used to be rather than how they are now. The list of pop stars would be long. David Bowie would be in there, as would Mick Jagger. As I said, the list would be long.

But on a more personal and local level there are a few guys seen on our screens who don't not exactly make me weak at the knees, but certainly stir something in me.

I was going to include actor Erik Thomson, until I learned that he is a good bit younger than I am. Since I went to the trouble of finding some pics of him, you may as well check him out.

Now to the biz. There's only a couple of older guys. I realised why this post was saved and not done. It is rather hard and I am not going to spend too much time on it.

Aussie actor John Waters. I have no idea how old he is but clearly not so young and he seems to have been around for a long time. He is certainly of the age where he ought to stop wearing a large gold earring. I can't remember what he was like when he was younger, so I guess I did not find his younger self so hot. He has a face that tells me he has lived and that is why I think he looks so attractive. I am sure you would not die of boredom in his company.

And you could say the same about Gordon Brown of ABC's Collectors show. Do you know how many pictures of I had to look of England's PM before I found a couple of Tassie's Gordon Brown. He still has a decent Scottish accent, a penchant for very bright shirts, is very knowledgeable about antiques and seems to do things with passion.
"I'd do 'im" seems to fallen out of the highrise general household lingo and moved on to "I'd knob 'im", or "Would you knob him sweetie?" So Erik, John and Gordon, I'd knob you.

Suggest any older bloke or woman if you like who works ok for you.