Saturday, May 09, 2009

Tullaree Open Day

I think I need to make this easier for people. Perhaps I will put a Lady of the Swamp link on my blog front page.

The house where Margaret Clement (there is a Clement in my antecedents but I don't think that there is a connection) lived, Tullaree, was open for inspection around a week ago. No, not by real estate agents but for a public viewing as a fund raiser for a local charity.

A very kind lass commented on an old blog post. Here is what she said.

Hi Andrew,
We went to the open day at Tullaree 2/5/09 - It was a once only open day to raise money for the local Christian Day, boy what a day was run so smoothly, 2 very long lines of around 2 hour wait to go through the house, which was out of the world, having read the book you could just see Margaret and Jeanie (room where she dies etc) I felt I had been there before, a friends mother used to visit Margaret twice weekly for afternoon tea with her.
The author Richard Shears was there signing books, which I have both and photo with him.
Any one who didn't go missed a great day of history. Everyone was so patient and all talking about their thoughts and a good day had by all.

The older book, Lady of the Swamp or the newer one Swamp are great reads and some nice local history.

The Dongle

Gee, you are all such a helpful lot with your assistance to a lap top virgin. Most kind. What clinched our internet decision was a shop front presence.

Virgin was being problematic, on their website at least, about delivery. Delivered during office hours, if no one there to receive, then either to a post office or the courier depot. Well, the post office would have been ok, but a courier depot? Where?

Then Raelene made a comment and as well as it seeming to be a good deal, I recalled the company has a shop right next where we often have a Saturday brunch in Pran Central before tackling the shopping. The Three shop has been there for donkey's years. So in we went and R signed up and we now have a dongle. $20 per month (five of that for the modem), 1GB. While we are grateful to Raelene at the moment, guess who will get the blame if things go wrong!

But, the downside is we don't have anything to insert the dongle into. It is like getting two wheels of a new car before you get the rest of the car.

We ummed and ahhed long and hard about the new laptop. My computer man said no, he can't compete with the prices the big stores sell for in the cheaper area of computers. As I was leaving, he said, I will make a couple of calls and see if there are any promotions. I will call you. He called the next day and had come up with a model with better specifications than anything we had seen and for $850. I notified R at work, he said go ahead if you think it is ok (I will get the blame if it isn't), I thought about it for a few hours and then bit the bullet. I called computer man back, checked a couple of details and said yes.

But it won't arrive until Monday or Tuesday.

Unrelated, Sister and the Bone Doctor are in town for the weekend, and guess who we are looking after this evening.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Laptop broadband plans

Telstra $60 1gb per month includes modem 3 year contract Own Next G network
First year half price

Optus $40 2gb modem not known 2 year contract Optus 3G network

Primus $35 1gb includes modem 2 year contract Optus 3G network

Dodo $25 1gb $149 for modem no contract Optus 3G network

Virgin $24 1gb includes modem 2 year contract Optus 3G network

It will not be our primary computer so no movie or music video downloads. I am very inclined to go with Virgin. Corrections and opinions are welcomed.

Topical words of wisdom, you be the judge

I don't like horses. I don't like their skittish eyes. That won't win me friends, will it. But do I ever want to hear a horse scream in pain? No. Running horses at high speed with jockeys on their saddles and then making them jump numerous times as they run. Wrong! Cruelty to animals. Simple.

No names, but long time readers may recall an Ann who used to be a blog mate. She was, I think still is as of the last time I did some stalking, a local councillor for municipality very much in this evening's news. I recall her writing about some intimidating behaviour by some people. I think I might now have an understanding of what she was up against.

I won't say I don't enjoy Spooks quite as much as I used to. It is probably just me. But I did get a quick glimpse of Adam's willie earlier this week. Fortunately it was recorded so I was later able to establish that he is uncut. I was motivated to add him to Highriser Celebs. I put the rudie pics on the second page in the hope that they won't get pulled. By putting a link and the actor's name here, they will be sure to be pulled, so just have a look at Adam. Oh dear, they have pulled two already. You'd better hurry.

The one hour program about Media Watch and its twenty year history was interesting. I have been watching it since it began. That is one reason why I am so cynical. I was reminded of some very bad people, some of whom had the cheek to front up to the show in present day interviews. And oh, the evils that happened under the Howard government. Like it was said, there is nothing like MW in the world. I am not so cynical that I won't take their word for it. May it live forever.

Andy had a good go at the media this week, and they should take notice. With perhaps the exception of perhaps Pants, youse all make errors with spelling and grammar in your blogs, as do I. Ok, maybe I make more. No matter. Neither you nor I are professional writers. Journalists are supposed to be professional writers and so should get it pretty right. They clearly don't. All very well to blame the speed at which they have to work, but professional writer? Hello?

Still on the media. Rupey Murdoch reckons he might charge people to read his publications online. I recall a few years ago trying to read something on the New York Times website and I could only read a summary or the first sentence. I had to pay to read more. That seemed to have been dropped the last time I looked. Like anyone in their right mind would pay to read Melbourne's Herald Sun or Sydney's Daily Telegraph online. Mind you, The Sydney Tele is so trashy, gossipy and salacious, I might almost pay to read it, even if only half the stories are true.

Our ABC's pre promotion for Four Corners, a poor man's Panaorama perhaps Brian, started Thursday night with a promo for a story on a Sydney footaball player, possible rape charges and sex. With all due respect to woman, and no does mean no, mixing it with drunken and out of control professional footballers girlfriends, you will find your self in trouble. Just remove yourselves from situations, early.

I could go on, but tis enough. Ah, I left religion out. Next time.

Oh yea of little faith

You were all so cynical about me efforts to improve a local street, but here is the proof. I saw a problem and alerted the council, the council examined the problem and my suggestion for improvement and acted just as I suggested. Good on me and City of Port Phillip.

Older than your grannie

Mother thinks this book may be worth something. She is unsure how she acquired it. It has a very handsome cover, but I doubt it would be worth much.

I can't quite make the handwritten text, but here is my best shot. Now off to look at old books at ebay.

To Miss A. May from Mrs Foster
with kind regards &
and best wishes for her future welfare.
Feb 9th 1898.

Update: Published 1897 and might fetch $20 retail.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Ok, I fess up. I am a closet heterosexual. I am so in love with Ali Moore. I want to have her babies.

I have always found smart women attractive. Note that my blog links are littered with them. Ali is not only smart, but extremely attractive too. Ok, I am not in lust with her like I would have violent excretions (Brian, you have no idea about how long I will exploit this, but isn't all publicity good?) about her, but still, she is pretty hot.

Have I written about her in the past? Can't recall. The voice and the accent is so important to me. Ali has an odd accent. Was she born in South Africa? Her accent is somewhere between an educated Australian accent and a neutral English accent. I am not sure if Ali can sing and dance, but she can sure do radio and television well.

You can't be bothered searching for her picture on the net? Ok, here is one.

And that is what I hoped to insert here, but I can't find a decent picture of her, only plain ABC photos. Seems that there is a porn star of the same name.

Seems like just yesterday

It seems like just yesterday I was complaining about the heat. Just a memory now. West St Kilda Beach.

A little gem

Lovely art deco apartment block in Robe Street, St Kilda. Nice from a distance, but not too great close up. While the apartments would be quite large and with generously sized rooms, places like this do tend to be quite dark, even gloomy, inside. Of course while most modern apartments are filled with light, they don't not even come close to having any style compared to this block, let alone the production like standard of workmanship.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A day for mother

Well, a few hours. I arranged to visit Mother today. At 9.30 she called me in a panic as her toilet was not draining. Every time she flushed it, it filled to the brim and then slowly drained away. For American readers, our toilets do not normally fill to the brim. I recall being very alarmed when I was in Thailand and had my first American toilet experience. I thought it was going to overflow.

Pick up some Draino will you Andrew, and a pie for lunch.

I battled the Monash Freeway with its varying speed restrictions from 40 kph to 80. While most slowed down for the speed restrictions, I think I was the only one who actually travelled at the correct speed. Smugly I say my unblemished police record remains intact.

Mother's lav had cured itself by the time I arrived. I put some Draino in the bathroom basin drain and the result was an improved flow.

Mother's funds are reducing at an alarming rate, according to her. She must sell Stepfather's car. Be lucky to get $1000, but it will help. She needs to transfer it to her name. It is a standard procedure, but she has made it bigger than Ben Hur.

She has a book to sell that was published before 1898. I might make a separate post on that. It is kind of interesting.

I cleaned the inside of her lounge room windows. She had asked me to pull the furniture out so that she could do it. Easier to leave the furniture there and just clean them myself.

I put a photo of her father in a frame.

Her gas heating has failed and it was diagnosed by a professional as unrepairable. She must use her aircon but after a killer bill for summer air con, she is worried. Duh, we all had killer air con bills for this summer. I don't think it will cost too much to use the air con heating and she can get the gas disconnected and save a bit there.

I forgot to check the water meter as suggested by a blog mate. Next time.

I took Mother to the local shops. How good are her shops! Post Office, newsagent, bank, and supermarket all within a hundred metres. She did a big shop while I returned to her house to get her phone bill which she had forgotten. The big shop will save ABI brother some bother, as he normally takes her or does her shopping.

Her supermarket is an IGA supermarket, under the name of Ritchies. They donate a percentage of their sales, if you have their card or keytag, to charities. There is a nearby Safeway, but in spite of its slight shabbiness, I very much like Ritchies. They seem to have everything and the staff are like no where else. They are so helpful and friendly. But I think they may well be unsustainable against the heavy competition of the Majors.

Took Mother home, carried in the groceries, has a snack, and then home to the highrise.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Meal Out

When you are in town and the cook, aka R is on strike, you need to find somewhere to eat. Many places to choose from, but we end up at an old fave, Lemon Bistro.

The lass who took our order got it way wrong. She pressed me whether I wanted Thai chicken or shrimp salad. I said it it was both, which it was, but she repeated back Thai chicken salad. Bad Engrish. From what I could see, she could not read English. I did get prawns and and chicken though.

I observed my fellow diners. A total of six et alone. Only one did not have reading material. He was very old.

There was a foursome and the two young guys were cute as. Although one's jeans were already half down his ass, I really wanted to suggest that they were unfashionably high and I would pull them down lower for him.

There was an American Asian lass in the company of a western girl who spoke way too loudly. I am sure Dina and Daisy don't speak so loudly, but there does seem to be a large number of Americans who do. At one point she became so loud, necks snapped as heads swivelled to glare at her. Ok, I will concede that she was probably not long out of a private school and you know how loud private school lasses can be.

There was a couple, probably visitors to Melbourne. They were in the forties at a guess and a nice enough well matched couple, except for her hair. The colour was ok, but what a style. Hideous and straight from the ark.

There was an Asian couple, she very glam looking and he looked ok while he was sitting down. He was in black pants and a nicely fitted shirt. Then he stood up. He was not exactly skinny and his pants fitted him so badly and were too short. He looked good from the chest up.

I shouldn't be so critical should I, and R and I did talk too. I wasn't just staring around the room all the time. I do like people watching though and it was a nice meal.

To laptop or not

R has occasionally mentioned that he might like a laptop. For some reasons, it has come to a head. While my 900 Krud pesos cleared some debt, R's is sitting and wanting to be spent. I did some preliminary searching on the net and looked and the GG tv guide which has ads for laptops, neither of which was particularly useful. Time to go to town. I thought R would be dead against using our usual computer person in St Kilda Road, but more on that later.

We looked at the big Telstra shop at the corner of Bourke and Swanston. Telstra is so proud of their name that they don't put it on the building. Brought us to the point of clarifying net book or note book. Prices not too bad.

On to a small shop in Latrobe Street. Not much on offer but more informations gathered.

Harvey Norman at QV had an ok looking notebook model for $840. A net book was written off because they don't have a cd/dvd slot.

On to Officeworks. Similar product at similar price but with $90 cash back. I asked about batteries and the evil microsoft word. No to the latter. R could use online word processor? No, he said. Ok. Must have Word.

Out of the blue, R said, What about our computer man in St Kilda Road, St Kilda. What do you think he could do for us?

Well, I now have a pretty good idea of prices of laptops and what you get for your money. I am now educated a bit about laptops. So I will approach St Kilda Road computer man with confidence. It will only be for web browsing and email.

Telstra will connnect the laptop to the the net for free via that dangly thing and charge us $15 per month for the privilege of 1 GB of data. Then $30 for the subsequent 12 months which is probably the period of the contract. I need to check this. R is keen to stick with Telstra even though I pointed out cheaper plans.

The laptop will be very useful when we visit Sydney. I normally find all the info in advance and print out maps etc. I won't have to if we are connected to the net via R's laptop.

Sydney sleeping

We shall not be sleeping on the streets of Sydney when we visit. After perhaps four hours in total of searching at different times, we have somewhere to stay for a reasonably price. How much can you believe testimonials on a self promoting website? Probably not much, but I keep my faith in humans and Inna sounds very nice and competent. I requested a single and a double bed. Beds can be problematic.

Dear Andrew ,

Thank you for your reservation. Please provide us with your approximate time
of arrival to Sydney.

You have booked a self contained studio non-smoking apartment with balcony.
Your reservation number is xxxxx. Please call us on 89010049 or 0412-627601
from the airport as we need at least 30 minutes to come to the apartment
building to meet you for check in.

The following is the confirmation of your reservation.

Confirmation of Reservation/Receipt.

Address of premises: 38 College Street Sydney (Hyde Park Plaza).

Booked for: Andrew

Dates: June

Number of nights: 6

Number of people: 2

Rate: AU$139.00 per night per apartment. Parking not included. Internet
access not included.

Total Cost: AU$ 834.00

Non-refundable deposit paid: AU$500.00

Balance due on arrival: AU$334.00

Fully refundable security deposit due on arrival: AU$500.00 (credit card

Check-in is after 14:00 and check-out is by 10:00 (unless otherwise
pre-arranged and confirmed).

Approximate time of arrival: Please advise to avoid delay.


1. Please call us on 89010049 or 0412-627601 from the airport as we need at
least 30 minutes to come to the apartment building to meet you for check in.
2. The address: 38 College Street Sydney (Hyde Park Plaza). Nearest corner
street: Oxford Street.
3. Please advise us if any information above changes or is incorrect.
4. Let us know if you have any special requests and see you soon.

Note: This reservation is subject to the terms and conditions available at

Inna Gamayunov
phone: 61-2-89010049
mobile: 61-412-627601
fax: 61-2-94019743

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG -
Version: 8.5.325 / Virus Database: 270.12.16/2094 - Release Date: 05/03/09 16:51:00

Cork soaking 'umour

I was feeling a little queer this morning, just a feeling of uneasiness. I needed a laugh and a laugh I got when I viewed this video clip a friend sent a few days ago. Normally I don't have enough patience to watch a clip right through, but I did with this one. The clip is probably very old and I would guess many of you have seen it, but no matter.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Is this a meme?

I came across this at another blogger's page in a circuitous way and it sounds easy and requires little thought, thereby matching my present state.

A - Age: You have already forgotten my significant big birthday celebrations that I wrote about? So have I.

B - Bed size: Queen size, appropriate really. Oddly I sleep straight in the same place in the bed.

C - Chore you hate: Changing doona cover. Thankfully some bloke called Tim is going to immigrate and help me with this.

D - Dog’s name: Don't have one now, but in the past Toby and Jessie.

E - Essential start to your day: Coffee, black,no sugar.

F - Favorite colour: Black

G - Gold or Silver: Silver, it sparkles better

H - Height: 180cm or 5'11"

I - Instruments: No idea what this means. I find my special splinter removal tool very useful for many things, such as piercing a large pimple on my face. Does it mean musical? I can play scales on a piano and major minor major 7th diminished, or something like that.

J- Job: I have never mentioned what my work is and I am not about to now. I will just say that it is a crappy job, but suitable for a person with no work ambition. It almost pays the bills.

K – Kids: None of those. They interfere with 6 o'clock drinks.

L - Living arrangements: Share with a good bloke and have for a long time. (Social Security is watching me)

M - Mum’s name: Not saying. Her second name is Marjorie.

N - Nicknames: Blanche. I am the sluttish Golden Girl. Friends can be so unkind. Nowadays more commonly called Shirley, but don't call me Shirley.

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Tonsillitis at four years old.

P - Pet Peeve: Stupid car drivers. Not bad car drivers or aggressive car drivers or idiot car drivers, just stupid ones, the kind that pull up behind a car that is turning right when they are going straight ahead.

Q - Quote from a movie: I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong hills.

R – Robot or Human?: Mostly human, although at work, perhaps often robot like.

S - Siblings: Two brothers, one sister

T - Time you wake up: Shift worker, so it varies but when on holidays, about 7. Sleeping is boring.

U- Underwear: Are mine called bikini briefs? If I say the word jockette, I will seem so old. Not boxers or shorts.

V - Vegetable you dislike: Brussel Sprouts.

W - Ways you run late: Never run late, but seldom early either. If I have any talent, it would be for master of timing.

X - X-rays you’ve had: Childhood broken bones and adult chest xray and hammer finger.

Y - Yummy food you make: Given I only make fried rice, that would have to be it, although my pea and ham soup that takes three days to make is pretty good. Fairly mean boiled fruitcake too.

Z - Zoo favourite: Meer cats.

Don't think I have ever asked anyone to participate in one of these meme thingies and really, any of you can have a go, but oddly two people's name come to my mind. Go on Jahteh and Mutant.

Call 000 but don't rely on it

If we are in big trouble big time in Australia, we should call 000. It provides a similar service as the international 112, 999 in the UK or 911 in the US.

In have never been bush walking, although I have walked in the bush quite a bit when I was young. I never got lost, and so did not use to what was nagged into me by various adults, moss on the south side, rivers always go downhill to the sea, sun rises in the east and sets in the west. If you are really confused, stay put and we will find you, clear some land and light a fire.

A modern addition to this would be to keep your fully charged mobile phone with you.

It seems David Iredale was taught none of this, except keeping his mobile phone with him. He got lost in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. Duh, how can you really get lost if you have a mobile phone with you and have a signal?

Before someone bothers me about inquests, possible trials and sub judice etc, I am in Victoria and I am writing to my Victorianl readers. There are legal precedents.

Poor David. He may have been a bit slow to call 000 when he became lost, but he did eventually call the emergency service, 17 times. What a horrible way to die, an alone teenager lad slowly dying from dehydration.

It was a bush walk under the care of Sydney Grammar. 'Nuff said there. Careless to say the least.

But where it really went wrong was when David called 000 and was continually pressed to provide a nearest street, seventeen times. Given he was lost in the bush, how could he? The number he was calling in from should have been transferred to someone senior who did not just go through the rote as taught.

The New South Wales 000 service totally failed David by not responding appropriately. I think disgrace is the appropriate word. An utter disgrace.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Simple Sunday

It should have been a simple Sunday. We were to drive to Mount Waverley to check out a shop that sells half price Rockport shoes. We knew the shop would probably be closed on a Sunday, but R had seen a cheap cordless phone at Harvey Norman. We haven't bought ourselves a new toy for ages, so I was happy to consider a new cordless phone. We hate our present one and yet we have our older one still sitting in a wardrobe. It is even more unstylish. If you want either, send me the postage cost and you can have either the old old, or the old.

I was inclined to use normal roads but R said use the toll road and motorway. Mistake. We paid heaps to use the toll road, which led us to the freeway where four lanes were compressed to two because of works. Hideous.

As usual, I was confident in where we were going and did not bother to check and as usual, I got it wrong. I thought it was Glen Waverley near the railway station. Mein gott, Glen Waverley shops are nightmare. It is a huge shopping area, totally overwhelmed by cars and car parking, and yet we could fine not a space. I strongly advise, do not go to Glen Waverley shops by car on a Sunday.

Got it now after referring to the street directory. Mount Waverly Station, corner Stephensons Road. Funny little local shopping centre, for local people. We were big time hungry. Found a cafe but with only one pie, which is what R was fancying. What about me? We eventually found a quite nice place to eat in Stephensons Road, and had an eggplant focacia with a bowl of chips.

The shoe shop was closed, but we looked in the window. Certainly cheap. Not sure if it is worth the effort to go back. I know of factory outlet in Fitzroy where you might get the same shoes for the same price.

On to Harvey Norman in Warrigal Road.

Interuptus here. Did I mention that I woke up with a sprained hand? I think I might have slept on it. I am blaming strenuous activity with Little Jo yesterday. Did I mention that my foot was sore this morning? I am blaming Little Jo for strenuous activity yesterday. It could well have been the way I sat at the computer last night. By the time I got to Mount Waverley, I could hardly walk. Seating and posture when sitting at the computer are terribly important kiddies. Take care.

R tried to excite me about new bookshelves/dining suite/lounge suite but Old Limpy maintained his focus on phones. After much discussion and matching prices to what was on shelves, we eventually decided on one with a lot of pretty flashing lights in blues and reds, reduced by $80 and then scanned $20 less, all up $98. The the two handsets and base are charging as I speak. Can't do much with it until tomorrow. I will then have to learn how it works, alter it to suit us and manually enter all the phone numbers into the storage.