Saturday, November 07, 2009

Friday TV

Watched recorded ABC's Addicted to Money, first of three parts detailing the global financial crisis. Well made, but I did not learn much.

Watched recorded John Saffan's Race Relations. Don't know if I will bother again. The foreskin restoration piece was amusing.

Watched Stateline. I used to be able to watch other state's Stateline on ABC 2 before it was ABC 2. Then The Collectors and Midsommer Murders.


Stonnington was once the Governor's residence. You can look up its history easily enough. The Gov moved onto a grander place. I remember it better as Toorak Teachers College. Later it became a Deakin University campus and was flooded with overseas students.

I walked along Glenferrie Road Malvern the other day and took a couple of snaps.

It was to be turned into apartments with new apartments built on its grounds. It seems this might have been completed and they haven't built the apartments at the front and obliterated the house, but behind.

The rather nice jungly and overgrown garden has been attended to and this what we see today, external restoration of the mansion and a garden renovation in progress. I have never seen the house so exposed. It also has a rather nice gate house at the driveway entrance, somewhat larger than Audrey Forbes-Hamilton's gate house.

This is only a phone camera pic and the camera seems to have focused rather more on the leaves than the house.

Are these water supply pipes or fire hydrants? If they are hydrants, they are far too close to the fence to connect hoses.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Food Words

Here are a few foodie words I suggest you don't use in my presence, lest I think less of you.

Barista or barrister. I care not. It is the person who makes the coffee, the coffee maker.

Degustation. This word would be high on my list of ugly sounding words. Disgusting? De-gas? What ever it is, I am sure you will come away feeling hungry and cheated.

Jus. The perfectly well known words such as gravy or sauce surely are sufficient. Calling gravy jus in a pub is wrong.

Fusion, especially influences. It makes me think my meal may have been bombarded with nuclear rays. I'll have my lamb chop unfused, thanks.

Any pet foodie words you dislike?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thursday TV

Finished watching the program about the Berlin Wall. I thought it would more about the fall of the Berlin Wall. Maybe there is more to come. Watched recorded Media Watch. Watched recorded Taggart. I love Taggart. Such beautiful Glasgow scenery and a hot copper with a Glaswegian accent. The chick with the decent sized nose is nice too (what a real woman who is not perfect? Very odd).

Channel 7 6pm news, Today Tonight, ABC news, 7.30 Report. Then something that caught my eye, a local show on SBS about a Chapel Street hairdresser and his much younger wife who bought a large property on the Mornington Peninsula (oh god, did I get peninsula right) for over $4mill to renovate and turn it into paying top end accommodation.

I never watch Channel Ten, but for Rush, which I half watch. Probably watch Graham Norton show on ABC 2 after this.

Lost at the Astor

It must be nearly thirty years since I first heard this amusing piece of music. I still love it today. Interesting, the performer, Harry Roy, married the daughter of the white Rajah of Sarawak.

A Brunswick Fall

Or that could be a Brunswick Fail. Fenz took some snaps of the building that fell down yesterday. I have wondered about accidents like this for some time. I have looked at construction sites where construction workers have dug deep and there is an existing building next door. I gaze in puzzlement as to why the building next door does not fall into the hole.

Clearly some clever engineering works prevent such a thing happening, but obviously not fail safe engineering works.

The Brunswick fall has caused massive inconvenience to so many people and cost authorities and people lots of money.

This is just general speculation but I wonder if it is not like the way cars are now constructed, that is the 'just in time' process for supplying parts to be fitted to a car being built? If something goes wrong in the parts supply chain, the construction of the car stops.

The construction companies do not under engineer when shoring up a hole in the ground (I hope), but nor do they over engineer, which would cost more money. They hit the sweet spot, that is minimal expense and a shoring up that will work............but without a margin for error.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The television set

(Wrong publish date. Corrected now)

I had started a post on tv, with too much writing. Instead I will give a day by day blow for a week or so and throw other stuff in where I think of it.

Today I watched recorded Landline. You have to keep in touch with your country roots. Kezza, take note. Lamb prices down. Southern oscillation index not looking good. Kill the wild horses in NZ.

Watched a recorded Aussie doco on tropical rain forests. Very interesting, narrated by Jack Thompson I think, who can use a broad Aussie accent, but he did not for this show. It should sell well internationally. A boi bower bird destroying another boi bower bird's courting room was kewl.

Watched half a show about the wall dividing East and West Germany. Interesting. Bloke wanted to smuggle his girlfriend from west to east, he had rights of passage, and substituted his fuel tank with his g/f.
Will watch the rest.

Heard news all day, so no interest in news tonight, except for wanting to see pics of the fallen building in Brunswick. Hope Fenz's foundations are ok.

7.30 Report, half watched.

New Inventors, half watched. A cockroach trap?

City Homicide. She did not highly feature this week, but I vividly recall last week when Noni Hazelhurst had a big part and she was fabulous. Noni is magic. What an actor.

Watching recorded Spics and Specks now. Someone suggested that the show will go forever. I don't think so.

The slip in, a fabulous doco on the Ganges. I tried to watch the recent show about India, but I lost interest. The three part Ganges show was great.

Sydney Curiosity

Is there a connection between this bloke and my post about a 'residence on a cliff top', about a third down, . Is the resident the Bondi Cave Man?


Is the the city's narrowest lane? Truly, none could be narrower. No dining tables set up for left leaning, chardonnay quaffing latte sippers in this one. Go on VCAT, you may as well get rid of it.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


I don't believe in a greater being, afterlife, horoscopes, flying saucers and add whatever nonsense you like to suggest.

So really, you could call this culture rather than superstitions, but you won't find me choosing the number 13 in a lottery, nor the unlucky Asian number, 4.

I do not walk under ladders, in fact I stay clear of any overhead workmen, especially since I was showered with building debris twice, once in Centre Road, Bentleigh, and once in High Street, Prahran.

Two other old superstitions I take note of, because R yells at me if I forget them, do not put new shoes on a table and do not open an umbrella indoors.

One more, do not give knives as a gift, and if you really want to, the recipient must pay you at least a token amount.

My grandmother lectured me about never changing the calendar month page before the new month arrived. She would change her calendar at the end of the month when she got up at night to go to the lavvy.

Like to tell me about yours, or places where you have noticed that there is not a 13 or a 4? Eg, we lived in a flat once where there were 26 flats but there was a flat numbered 27. Yep, no thirteen.

It is only in one of our lifts, but the external display does not show the fourth floor. The indicator is just blank four the fourth floor. Do not upset the prospective Asian buyers.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Sunday bluddy Sunday

Too, too busy, we have been. Planned for a quiet weekend, marred only by a dinner out Saturday night, spoiled by been stuck in the public bar to dine at the Dick Whittington. It won't be so bad, I said. No big sporting events on. Ha, Bledisloe Cup or some such nonsense. Noise level horrendous. All agreed, bad idea. Glad I did not organise.

But last Friday we had a confluence of ideas. See a movie on Sunday. Come Sunday morn, we checked out movies online. We could not agree on a movie and neither of us was passionate about any of them.

Already a half baked idea of getting some single lengths of coaxial cable for television sets to replace joined bits, so a visit to the city.

Even me who watches very little commercial tv had picked up something about a new DFO, Direct Factory Outlet, at South Wharf. Where on earth is South Wharf? Non helpful friends had suggested the DFO was at the So Cross railway station, and another said in South Melbourne.

The internet is my friend and I found it. It is at the end of Lorimer Street on the south bank of the Yarra. Now this is important. I cannot instantly find out about DFO at So Cross Station. Has it closed? DFO website has no mention.

It is quite close to where Neverland will be, the 1500 person nightclub . Looks a bit hard to get to by tram/train. Ok, City Circle or number 70 tram and walk across the river. There seems to be a bridge and we won't have to play jesus.

City Circle tram came first. Rough driver, brought us up to halt very firmly many times. At least the passengers could feel the braking and brace themselves. Before a tram driver jumps down my throat, I have used trams long enough to know when the tram is at fault or driver error.

I only made an educated guess at which stop to get of at, and I was right. R was doubtful. He should trust me to get such matters right.

We crossed the marvellously named (cut and paste) Wurundjeri Way and walked between the Semens Mission and Flinders Wharf apartment building. What is this bridge? I recall a bridge opening being reported on the news not so long ago. I thought it was the kinky, sorry, kinked Web Bridge. Apparently not. There is a newer one.

This is the Semen's Mission, replete with bell and Flinders Wharf, a rather nice apartment block. Note the lovely fish.

Ok, we drove here and parked a long time ago and looked around. The area has changed. Polly Woodside is locked into a wet dock. But looking at the impediments, I think it could go to sail if it was really needed.

Orienting: Jeff's Shed, and Melbourne Convention Centre. Kind of worked out where we are.

Signage was good without being overly commercial and directed us to South Wharf. We spied peoples with plastic bags full of their purchases from a DFO shop. Follow the crowd now. No, R steered me in a different direction. He was right. Those people were leaving. We go this way., smack bang into the food court. Hey, it is half an hour since we left home, we need coffee, and a very good cup was supplied by a Coffee Free Trade stall.

At this point, I realised I could be in any big shopping centre anywhere in Melbourne. We did the full circle, as you do at a DFO. I requested we went outside so that I could orient myself. We did so, and we at a very confusing big intersection with a large open car park. Later we saw an internal carpark. I could never drive here. Too hard.

Never doubt the success of commercial television advertising. Most of the people at this place were not nearby residents or city folk, but people from afar. I don't know why they would bother. But, it was a very busy place.

Here are a couple of shots of the foot bridge we crossed. I liked it.

There was no explanation sign for this, but I gather it is the original bluestone paved wharf under glass, about 1/3 of metre below the glass.

An old building with VR on it, which could stand for Victoria Regina, or Victorian Railways or my father's mate Victor Richards who gave my father some cutlery with his initials on it, VR.

The weather was truly weird this day. City buildings had their peaks in fog but it was not cold.

I bought a shirt and R bought a backpack and we decided we had enough of DFO and so back across the river and onto another city circle tram. Oh my god, this driver was worse. Everytime he started off, half the tram passengers almost ended on the floor. The kids loved it though and set up a cheer everytime. The tram reversed direction at New Harbour, another shopping area. Poor old wheel is broke but there were plenty of shoppers regardless.

An Indian man boarded the tram in the city and stood in front of us and was not holding onto anything. I looked at R and he motioned for me to put my hands up. Sure enough, the tram started off as it had every other time and the guy started falling towards me. He recovered just before I would have had to catch him.

Did what we had to do at QV and home and would you believe it, another rough tram driver who's accelerating and braking technique seemed to be to do so with surges. Back and forth, back and forth we swayed.

Enough of crowds, enough of public transport, enough of people. Home and rest.

I have been to all the DFO stores now and the only one I like is the original one in Moorabbin.

Later Edit: Jahteh requests, I comply.


Sis in Law is in the UK and has been reunited with her son, the 22 year old dreaded nephew, dreaded because he has extremely long dreads. Nephew thought he was meeting his mate's mother at the Heathrow. Instead his own mother turned up. They both cried for five minutes. He is such a mummy's boy.

Ok, this is not how it was. It was telephone calls, texts and emails but indulge me.

Uncle Andrew and Uncle R stop Homesick stop Send money for air fare home stop Dreaded Nephew stop.

R became stressed while I remained practical. R wanted to buy the ticket from here. By them buying it over there, it was $400 cheaper. Flight Centre is sorting it out. It was a compromise. I reckon I could have gotten it cheaper. No matter, he is on the same flight home as his mother and her friend, via Seoul.

I wondered how many years it will take him to pay us back, but then I learnt he is due a £2,000 tax refund.

What an adventure he has had, from Thailand to floods in Hmong villages in Vietnam, to Helsinki, to Glasgow where he stayed and worked for a year and saw plenty, including visits to the Continent and now in London, where it is costing him more to live than he thought.

Haha, R's credit card is getting the bash, not mine. Well done me.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Tosh from the papers #39

'the rollout of smart meters across Victoria is expected to take up to five years. But once they are installed, they will be able to read a household's use every 30 minutes.

The smart meters will send information back to the provider and allow households to monitor their own power use in peak times.'

Some of our daily tabloid or broadsheet's finest work.

The highriser household visitor conversation goes like this.

'Lovely and warm/deliciously cool in here.'

'That is because the air con is on'. It is either heating or cooling minus times in autumn and spring, summer even, when it is not required.

I don't need a smart meter to tell me it costs a lot to run. The fridge costs quite a lot to run, but you don't have a lot of options there. Clothes dryer, yes, it costs, so that is why I minimise use of it and use a drying rack for most things.

Tvs and pc monitors are LCD, so don't use too much. Dishwasher uses it share to heat water.

So why would I need to pay for a smart meter? It ain't too hard.