Friday, December 11, 2009

Prepping for pressie day

Look how politically correct I am becoming in my senior years. Present Day indeed.

At Mother's garage sale, we acquired a christmas tree. can't think of the name. The branches light up with colours. Little Jo helped R decorate it last Sunday. She quickly lost interest but she was there when the top adornment went on. She does not like Santa, so it is a star this year.

Today we got stuck into shopping for presents. We are over half way there. We bought ourselves a present too. R bought me some new sunglasses. I went into Moot sunglasses shop to check out what they had last week, but they no longer see to carry $3o jobs, only expensive brand names. I am past brand names. The last pair I bought at Moot were a bit tight on my head when I wore them for a long time. Unbelievably, I went to the fruit and vegetable shop and then Dan Murphy's for supplies and I lost my old pair. That is within half an hour of going into the sunglasses shop to just check out what was there. I ended up buying a replacement pair for $8 from an el cheapo shop, but now I have a much nicer pair. Thanks R.

We bought three weather bureau calendars from their headquarters in Collins Street. They are good gifts for hard to buy for people. God, everyone is hard to buy for now, even Little Jo who has so many toys and a regular change over from the toy library. I also had a haircut in Brunswick Street. The old, um was it a tram power house or a cable house for trams? Anyway, there is a tiny bit left, the rest demolished. Another day should see that bit of history demolished. Love your work Minister Madden, you *&$#@)&, er, not so good person.

Total number of trams we travelled on today would have been in the high teens. Apart from one wait of five minutes, the rest arrived at the stop as we did. Why anyone would want to drive in the city, I do not know. None were overcrowded, although I do pick my trams carefully. Apart from the Bumblebee type, we travelled on every class of Melbourne tram. Well done Yarra Trams, today at least.

As our contribution of support for the the climate change gabfest at Copenhagen, this year we are not decorating our balcony with lights. Or it could be that we are over it and can't be bothered. Maybe next year.

I have made pizza for Little Jo in the past. She had returned the favour. Mine is more edible.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

From the Balcony

A tram had broken down, causing a long bank up of trams behind the broken one. Of course, it was just as I was heading out to Prahran. Dunno why the other trams could not just go around the broken one. Luckily a bus arrived quickly, so I took that instead.

Usually when I hear a report of an accident on the radio and I am nearby, I have noticed that the accident has already cleared. Not so this time. It was on the radio and I looked down from the balcony to see the cops and other services arrive. Hard to believe, but that patch of dry grass a month later is now bright green. Lovely.

We had a couple of nights of puzzlement as workers beavered away doing something in the median strip. Yay, they are replacing the flower beds that Kennett had put in for the first Grand Prix. No. A couple of days later I saw go in what looked to be the base of a traffic light, the anchor below the ground, not normally seen. Yay, they are going to redo the dangerous intersection to a safer standard. No.

As you can see from the photo, speed and traffic light cameras have been installed. I can't wait till they are commissioned and I can watch the flash going off, especially in the early days before people are aware the cameras are there.

Other cameras have recently been installed at St Kilda Junction inbound and Chapel Street and Dandenong Road inbound. At the same location is an old set of cameras for outbound traffic. Six months ago or so, some were installed in Kingsway at the corner of Sturt Street inbound and Park Street outbound.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Bad Victor

Damn you Victor for mentioning Cabaret today. As I suspected it would, the music from the show has gone around in my head all day, and now I am writing about, it probably will tomorrow too. Sad but true, I know the words from many of the songs in the film Cabaret.

I used to have girlfriend known as Elsie,
With whom I shared two sordid rooms in Chelsea.

She wasn't what you call a blushing flower,
As matter of fact she rented by the hour.

But when she died the neighbours came to snicker,

(Liza Minelli at her concerts when in Australia recently, inserted a pause before the next line. Of course a good percentage of her audience were gay and the rest probably gay friendly and of course gays always abuse drugs and alcohol, so I can only imagine how that would have brought the house down. Liza does have a history of prescription drug and alcohol abuse)

So that's what comes from too much pills and liquor.

But when I saw her laid out like a queen,
She was the happiest corpse I'd ever seen.

I am a gay male, so I am obliged to like Cabaret, but regardless, I think I would like it if I was str8. Go on, you know the tune. Have a sing song. You will feel better for it. Dance and fling your arms about if you must.

Christmas Decs

Ho ho ho. Christmas is coming and public decorations have gone up. Bourke Street Mall, QV shopping centre and the Jam Factory. QV's are fairly simple but quite attention grabbing. I like them.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Fox on the Run

Fox on the Run. Reminds me of music from my youth. Sweet was the band? Bit dirge like music really.

Annie from London Underground site came up with this photo of a fox getting to a platform on The Tube. How good is that. Note fox is standing to the right, as you do in England. In Melbourne we stand to the left on escalators. Stand to the left. Stand left. Yo hearin' me!! Keep left. I am going to make a scene one day.

No Dogs Allowed

This is becoming scarcely believable.

Last week it was Jetstar who's staff apparently did not know that seeing eye dogs are allowed on airplanes. Link to The Age story.

This week it is Qantas and Tiger Airways who have done similar to other people. Link to that story here. Dogs not allowed in Adelaide Airport? What nonsense.

Never mind the ongoing battle blind people with seeing eye dogs have with taxi drivers refusing to carry them and their dogs.

Apart from a lack of human empathy, isn't such discrimination against the law? What on earth is wrong with staff training that such a basic matter seems so unknown?

Bad Jetstar, bad Qantas, bad Tiger Airways and bad some taxi drivers.

Mickey at the Library

I don't know that it is relevant, but it is an Asian Mickey Mouse. Had Mickey been into the library? Wonder what he might have been reading?

Sister News

Sister is no longer preggo. Nowt more to say except we are a bit sad.

Monday, December 07, 2009

WTC Wharf

After our initial visit to South Wharf and the new DFO shopping centre, a few days later I returned to the area for a slower look around the World Trade Centre Wharf. It was Oaks Day. Flinders Street was abuzz with people going off to the horse races but there was decent number flowing into So Cross Station too. A very good train service was being provided, with a train every couple of minutes and people being marshalled via PA to stand at an end of the platform and get into certain carriages.

Opinions are now being expressed on South Wharf and the new DFO store. Take a look here and here and our own visit here. While it is not far from the nearest tram line, there certainly doesn't seem to feel like there is any effort by DFO to attract anyone from the tram lines. No obvious connection at all. I will go out on a limb and suggest that if there is not a quick increase in activity in that area, DFO will fail at this location. From the tram, you must cross a wide and busy road, wind around a couple of buildings, cross the river on this bridge, then walk along the river bank.

Plenty of work is happening on the World Trade Centre Wharf. It might be quite good when it is done. The eateries inside the WTC were quite busy.

Just for Jahteh, I took this closeup photo of the fish. The ever so clever Altissima guessed that they are old Commonwealth Games river fish and that makes sense to me. I found a few more along a short lane.

I am really not sure, but I think this barge might have something to do with putting a new sewerage trunk line under the river.

Back on my way into the city I stood on a corner and looked at this new apartment building and how close it is to the railway line. A few metres from the balconies, a train passes by. Trains are not quiet beasts. Even with double glazing, the occupants would have to hear the trains, or feel the vibration surely. As for the balconies, well, would they really be usable?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

An Outing and I'm Not Racsist But

It was my ABI brother's fiftieth birthday last week. In case you have forgotten, ABI is Acquired Brain Injury. I no longer refer to him as brain damaged brother. He hired a venue last night for a party and we attended, as did most of our family, along with his friends. It was an ok night, although very late for Little Jo to stay up. R looked after her today while Sister and Bone Doctor went to some hockey match in Parkville and they both fell asleep together on the bed. Once again I was working.

Mother looked very nice in her $10 Savers dress. Step Mother came down from Echuca way by train for the occasion. Tradie Brother got quite drunk. Par for the course. Sis in Law and Tradie Brother's girl friend did not speak but nor did they come to blows. Mother and Step Mother are long past that point. Caught up with Dreaded Nephew for the first time since his return. We brought him back into town to catch up with friends at Riverland Bar. Nice chat in the car on the way back. Good kid and much more mature since his return from old Blighty. His two sisters worship him.

Remember, well I can hardly, but when ABI brother was on tv show earlier this year. Something about a gang of interstate girls meeting up with some local Pakenham guys. The guy who was with my brother when the show was screened was there. He was the same one ABI brother did the Ashes cricket tour with. I met him and his girlfriend.

Now she was interesting, if a bit challenging. Via ABI brother, they both knew rather a lot about me. She invaded my personal space just slightly. Not too badly, but enough for me to note a slightly visible moustache. Maybe she had a wrong impression of me from what my brother had said and she spoke a little too frankly.

"I am not a suburb snob, but truly coming out here to Pakenham is the pits." The obvious response was "Ah, so where do you live?" "Yarraville". I refrained from making a remark about what Eastern Suburbs folk might have thought of Yarraville twenty or thirty years ago. I think I made positive comments about Yarraville and Williamstown. Bah, she probably lives in Spotswood. (can a young person tell me if meh is an appropriate alternative to bah?)

She did seem like she would be good fun though, but as nominated driver, I wasn't there to have fun. She had not finished there. Slight paraphrasing follows.

"You know your work, well, how do you deal with all your co-workers? I am not racist, but......". I lack the energy to fight the good fight on much more than a non emptied rubbish bin these days. I just replied along the lines, "Well, they are rather like us actually, except a bit different".

She still hadn't finished. Sheesh, I only spoke to her for five minutes. She was surprised that I did not give her the obvious answer about the biggest problem I have in my work place. My reply was my workmates and their work performance, rather than very obvious things that most people, and she, suspect.

Thinking back on it now, I guess she had had a decent drink.

ABI used to drink heavily but no longer does since his accident some ten years or more ago. But last night, he drank a lot of beer. Tradie Brother and his girlfriend were staying the night at ABI brother's place. None of them had cars there, but I was very insistent about them getting a cab home and not walking and crossing Princes Highway in a less than sober state.

Families, who'd have 'em. Well I would really. You know who you are and your simple remark made me appreciate my brothers and sister more. I am fortunate indeed.

Little Jo went off when Mama Mia came on the Juke Box. Her eyes even went weird.