Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tech Wreck Update

There was one tech wreck item I left out. It wos Little Jo wot did it. In Outlook Express, messages were being grouped together with a plus sign next to them and only the first message showing. I tried looking on the net for an answer about how to stop this, but I could not think of the right words to describe the problem. The words came to me earlier today, group messages (according to...). I was busy elsewhere and wrote down group messages. R was at the computer and quickly found the ungroup messages setting.

I have also fixed the HDMI cable problem. I could kick myself for forgetting. Someone, can I blame Little Jo for everything?, must have pushed the V Format button. I don't know exactly what V Format is, but it changes something from 576I to 576P to 720P to 1080 to Auto. It was on Auto and neither that nor 576I works at all. Picture seems best on 1080.

Distracting Justin

Psst, Justin, over here. Look, a whole city corner with barely a modern building to be seen. Go on Jus. Let it rip, just like you are about to let it rip at Lonsdale House. While it might be long time away, I fear for your political obituary Minister Madden. It just so ain't gonna be pretty.


Kelly ODwyer, the Liberal candidate for the Federal seat of Higgins in a soon to be held by-election. It is a safe Liberal held seat previously occupied by Mr Smarmy Peter Costello. She looks the part doesn't she. A true Tory blue blood. The Labor Party is not even bothering to run a candidate, so this will make the by-election more interesting with a reasonably well known Green candidate Clive Hamilton.

Her office is situated in a street I intensely dislike, Glenferrie Road, home to more 4WDs than the rest of Melbourne put together. In such a place it is very unlikely her office will have political graffiti sprayed on it or a rock chucked through its windows, that is unless I do it.

Ms O'Dwyer seems very reluctant to participate in an interview with ABC Melbourne's Jon Faine. He has been moaning all week about it. Possibly a good idea on her part. No-one can say she is a fool if she keeps her trap shut. Interesting that she tweets, with a Twitter address on her office door. I am sure that is riveting stuff. This is the first time I have seen a pollie advertise a Twitter address, but it won't be the last, I am sure.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tech Wreck

1/ Last weekend. Set mobile phone alarm to wake me after a doze. Fails to work. Set many times to test. Fails to work. Monday it worked. Discover obscure and buried setting to choose days for alarm. Set for weekdays, off for weekends.

2/ Mid week clothes dryer stopped drying. Overheats and cuts out after five minutes. Lack of air movement. Investigate new dryer. Nothing compatible with present venting. Remove dryer from wall and discover belt has come off. Put belt back, dryer back up and strain chest muscle in process.

3/ Equipment at work breaking down left right and centre.

4/ R is fond of his little desktop printer at work. It never fails him. Now his pc will be hooked up to a large central printer. Because of privacy issues, he must be trained in how to print on the big printer without what is being printed being viewable by anyone else. He wants to keep his own little printer.

5/ I totally screw up recording two tv programs. I am still struggling with the digital tv recorder. Because it can do so much, I make it do so much. Then I get confused at times. All R wants to do is watch a program and loses patience while I struggle.

6/ Regardless of above, for some reason now the digital recorder has decided it does not want to send the signal to the tv via the HDMI cable and will only use the RF? cables. Lucky I have them hooked up for the very reason of HDMI problems.

7/ And never mind how hard it was to simply put money in Sis in Law's bank account.

8/ Not very old paper shredder has not been good from the start. Always paper jamming. Should have taken it back. Normally I clear it with a skewer but this time it would not clear. Tried triggering the sensor with a knife and shredder started to drag knife in. Won't work at all now. Note to self, pay more than $35 for a paper shredder.

9/ R's workplace aircon has broken down. Eight days before a tradesperson can attend.

I blame climate change, ex President Bush, Maggie Thatcher and State gov ministers Kosky and Madden.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

401 St Kilda Road

Remember this lovely mural, exposed last year when the courtyard with shops and a 711 opposite us was demolished? I was astonished as I remembered seeing it in the nineteen eighties but I could not remember where. Then it appears right opposite us.

Albert Park Manor, a couple of doors along, opened a very handy small convenience shop after the 711 closed and another 711 has now opened in Illoura, just to our south.
401 is now almost complete. The cheapest apartment seems to be $2.7 million. It amuses us up here in the cheap seats to look down upon it, knowing we are blocking their views with our less than fine architecture. See the top apartment? It has no shading at the front and faces west. Fortunately for them, our building will block some of the late afternoon summer sun. R suggested we should charge them for the favour.

At its base are a number of shops, yet to be let or sold. One has opened already though. Cafe Vue, a child of Shannon Bennett's Vue de Monde in Little Collins Street. We had coffee and cake with a friend there last Saturday night. It was very pleasant sitting out in the warm evening air.

Remember it was the last day of the Spring Carnival Racing Season, and a warm night, so people were a bit crazy that night. One of the new apartment owners was having a party, even though the apartment was as yet unoccupied. Guests in various states of soberness or not arrived and went as we sat. Most tried to enter the residential part by going into the arcade. They would walk out talking on their phone and then find the correct entrance. There seemed to be an issue with the intercom system as the guard kept coming out to let people in.

To one side of Cafe Vue is an arcade lined with empty shops which may eventually lead to the street behind.

Late info. The arcade ends in a large shop, so it won't be a walk through.

Staff at Cafe Vue were slow to attend to us at our outdoor table. Should we wear suits to visit? R went inside to order, and was told to go back out and someone would attend to us. We had waited over five minutes. Yet again, after R arrived home tonight, we had coffee there again, and the same thing happened. We waited and waited, then R went inside, only to come out and shortly after a waiter came out. Five staff were gathered behind the counter but managed to not notice us sitting outside. I am sure I need a suit. The food prices are quite reasonable, the wine prices very high, the service is good once you do get served. Very attentive in fact.

Some residents have moved in. The top apartment has a guy who wears red jocks and maybe has a grand piano. Hard to see into the hotbox.

Below him is a guy who has two West Highland White Terriers. The dogs come and go onto the balcony. It is the apartment with the outdoor furniture. No sign of a wife, although there was a young man who was barbecuing last weekend. We once had a West Highland White. Lovely nature, but physically defective. Poor Jess. Get a mongrel from a lost dogs home, not a pure bred from a breeder.

Below there is an apartment that has either a camera tripod or an easel. I can't tell which.

At the back two levels down, a family seems to have moved in. They had a barbecue last night. They pulled some awnings out which we had not noticed in the past.

I think I might have totally reinvented nosy neighbours.

I posted construction progress photos to Walking Melbourne. You can see them here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Telegram

Dearest brothers in law stop Run out of money stop Please send $1000 to secret Scottish account stop Favourite sis in law stop

Reply: We will put into your bank account electronically stop You daughter can give us details stop Favourite Bros in Laws stop

Oh that it was that easy.

Last night I text teenage niece for older nieces mobile number. No reply but there was a left message for me asking where Mello's restaurant was. I was driving and I did not answer phone. Really, she meant where is the Republic restaurant. Don't ask. I don't know, although I do know about Hellenic Republic, or am I mixing my restaurants. The one in Lygon Street.

Call younger niece at 9am. Woke her up. Seems to be a problem. She is a two day school camp in Melbourne and has hurt her arm and said something bad to a teacher. I am concerned. She called back a few minutes later with her older sister's mobile number, since her older sister got home late and did not return our call left her the family answering machine.

Call older niece on home phone, no answer. Call her on her mobile and she answers. She was asleep too. Nine bloody thirty and they are all asleep. Niece says she will text details of her mother's bank account straight back.

Meanwhile I am tearing around trying to get things done before I have to be at work by ten.

The day passes but not in a good way. I am extremely grateful to my employer for giving me an air conditioned workplace, but it went down for forty minutes, I was feeling savage. No reply with bank details from older niece.

Home. Tell R the so far details. R gets stressed. I am concerned about younger niece. Clearly big problem with her. I know getting stressed gets nothing done. Must be methodical.

Why did not older niece sms me bank details. Does she want her mother prostituting herself in Dublin?

Call Tradie Brother, former husband of sis in law and father of nieces. Worst case is to ask him for sis in laws bank details, but I don't think she would want him to know we are funding her travels. Tradie Brother fills me in on details of younger niece. Not good. Older niece had carted younger niece off to the far north of Victoria to chill out at my step mother's place. Younger niece is truly in a mess. Yes, she did talk inappropriately to a teacher and did hurt her arm. An xray showed there was nothing serious.

I don't know what it is about my sis in law. Her children are just so strongly attached to their mother. They seem to barely function if she is not around to look after them. So different to my upbringing.

Ok, I really need the bank details to send sis in law money. Call older niece mobile. No answer. Call younger niece mobile, phone off or out of range. Call step mother. Step mother's partner answers. Make small talk about weather. Talk to step mother. Yes, niece is here. Older niece is on way back to Melbourne. Step Mother might be able to get younger niece to talk about her problems. She won't talk to anyone else, not her father or older sister.

While talking to step mother, another call is coming in. Must be older niece. Call older niece. I sent bank details, she said. Repeat of my mobile number explains. 628 not 268. Resends to correct number and at least finally I could put money in sis in laws account.

We have never really connected well with older niece. I said to R some time, she will come into her own when she gets older. It seems she has. She has sorted out her younger sister with a break in the country. In spite of the mixed up phone number, she eventually sorted that. Tradie Brother is proud of her for looking after her younger sister so well.

The last post, for tv that is, and a very happy Remembrance Day

Monday night.

Australian Story, often good, sometimes brill. They have stopped using a soft focus lens on Caroline Jones. R watches Flash Forward. I liked the concept, but I find it boring American nonsense. I did tune into Lateline. The luxury of not having to get up too early this week.

Tuesday night, 7.30 Report, Foreign Correspondent and then the brill Packed to the Rafters. It is a well written soapie with brilliant actors. Stephen Fry's QI. Pure class. I struggle to get everything they say. And English as a second language person would possibly get one word in five and shake their head afterwards and say, what was that all about? Then Lateline.

Just so that you don't have to suffer any more tv posts, here is what I have saved to watch.

Media Watch. If you have the time, take a look at Andy's little bit about Jonathon Holmes and pwned. Everyone else has it seems.

Hope Springs. A great English show with, as per usual, very strong characters.

Stateline from last Friday and Can We Help. Collectors is there too, but I think we watched it.

Sunday, Landline. Gotta keep in touch with the country roots. Also the second episode of Busting the Wall on SBS. Yet wait, ABC came up with their own single Berlin Wall show, Where is the Wall. I was glued to the wireless as the Berlin Wall came down. It is of great interest to me, and I might add the the world changed significantly from then on, maybe for good, maybe not. Interesting thing I have just leant. The present Chancellor of the now unified Germany was from East Germany.

There are a couple of episodes of East West from SBS there. This Muslim Aussie cop show is very good, but sadly doesn't get a great number of viewers, and honestly, I find it hard going. Regardless, it is a quality program.

I recorded Four Corners, but probably won't watch it. It is of course worthy.

I save the best to last. About twenty three years ago, a couple of dyke friends visited us in East Malvern. R sensibly went to bed, but I sat up with the girls until five in the morning watching video taped episodes of Jewel in the Crown. I noticed all episodes on video tape in video stores a few years ago. I promised myself I would take a long holiday and watch it again. I never got around to it and now technology has overtaken me and here is digital Jewel in the Crown being broadcast on ABC 2 on Sunday nights. It is every bit as good as I remember it but I am picking up more of the subtleties this time, such as Mildred being perpetually pissed and Count Bronowski asking Captain Merrick if he thought the Nwab's son looked hot (paraphrase). I would have loved to lived in India in the time of the Raj, obviously not as a local, but an important person of the Raj. But they didn't get air con until '47 and then the Indians kicked the British out. Bugger.

I can't wrap without mentioning the really important matter about tv. Julia's hair looks great on Lateline tonight. Thanks Tony.

Monday, November 09, 2009

TV Sunday

My House in Umbria. Saw it at movies some years ago. Enjoyed it again. What luscious gardens and countryside. Last tv post tomorrow or soon.

No u turn

Heaps of new road laws, but everything stays the same, almost.

I forget the last version of not passing a stationary tram, the new one is to not pass if there are people between the tram and the kerb and or the tram doors are open. Ridiculously like common sense, but so many don't and endanger and sometimes hit passengers. Given the old law was never enforced, even if a complaint was made with witnesses, we will just forget about this one.

New child restraint laws. All sound sensible to me. Are the existing laws enforced? I damn well hope so.

Use of mobile phones while driving laws have been refined and tightened. The new laws pander to the wealthy a bit more. Ban 'em all I say.

Now this last one is interesting. No 'u' turn over a single white line. This is something many people do daily and many do it safely and without interfering with other drivers. But, if you drive around inner Melbourne, especially shopping centres, people make u turns across single white lines all the time and interfere with other vehicles, including trams and buses. They think nothing of impeding the traffic flow, often because they can't actually make a u turn and it ends up being a three point turn. Perhaps if they drove a slightly smaller vehicle rather than a massive four wheel drive, they might be able make a simple u turn.

I make u turns across a single white line quite often. I guess I better think twice about doing that in the future. I am disadvantaged by this new law, but I approve of it. But apart from perhaps an initial assault, I doubt it will be much enforced.

Just to clarify a couple of points in regard to u turns in case you weren't sure, you can turn into an angle parking space on the opposite side of the road. You can cross the single white line to get around a stationary car. You cannot cross a single white line to overtake a moving car.

Tianjin Gardens

Ben alerted me these gardens and like the sincere person I am, I promptly forgot about them. Ben then wrote a post about them, which I also forgot about. Then I spotted them as I passed by in a tram. Ah yeah, these are the gardens Ben mentioned.

The Tianjin Gardens sit over Parliament Station. Some of the gardens can be seen from within the station. Tianjin in China is a sister city to Melbourne.

I was in the area a couple of weeks ago and took a look myself. The gardens are noice.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


When I work weekends and there is nothing on the wireless to listen to that appeals to me, podcasts save my sanity.

Boys for Noise Episode 11. The lads are very amusing. Their show is essentially pop culture and boy do they know there pop culture, but there is plenty else mixed in. Mind you, they both need their mouths washed out with soap and water. Ah, reminds me of a video I saw the other day where this guy was made to bite on soap, better stop.

Hindsight is a marvellous show on Radio National. Take what might sound like the most boring subject and they make it listenable, in fact fascinating. One podcast over the weekend that sticks in my mind was about Kings Park in Perth.

Rear Vision, also RN, comes up with some rippers at times. Today I listened to a program about the origins of the Freemasons. Yes, they were actually masons, right back to the time of the construction of the pyramids.

There was another I listened to, which seemed to be English PM Gordon Brown's political obituary, written before he is out of office. Also very interesting.

A very interesting one from Ireland's national radio broadcaster I think, about Irish reform schools. Sounds like worse things happened in Ireland than here.

Joy Melbourne came up with an interview with a Maltese born man who was a seventy eighter, that is, he was in the first Mardi Gras demo in Sydney, 1978. He is now a historian focusing on the gay history Malta.

Jayne pointed me in the direction of a talk by Age columnist Martin Flanagan when he had published a co-written a book with ex politician and WWII prisoner of the Japanese, Tom Uren. The talk was extra interesting because it was made when Howard was still in office. Flanagan must be disappointed. I certainly am.

Saturday TV

Brief and to the point. Slightly timeshifted The Bill followed by Taggart.