Saturday, December 26, 2009

Misc Photos

Busy busy. Yesterday's post was pre-programmed. Today's is one I prepared earlier. An additional note to the roof top bar photo, it is now open and absolutely packed.

Not sure why I was at the corner of Lonsdale and Spencer Street, but I thought it odd that much effort and expense had been gone to to put this camera on an extended bracket on the roof of this building. Now I am wondering what the building is? It appears to have had its windows bricked up.

Another bar going onto a verandah roof. It was not finished when I took the photo. These bars are extremely civilised. I love them.

I shouldn't be so lazy. I could get out a cd and check where I was when I took this photo of a house called Delphine. Not sure why I took the photo, where the location is or why I wanted to put it on my blog.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Merry One

Best wishes to you all.

The music vid below is simple, trite perhaps, bad taste and even culture cringing. Too bad. I like it. It makes me feel happy.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mae West and The Boarder

I told R that in the future if he should get a similar request, he should say I am ignorant of such matters. I sort my life so that I am seldom stressed, but this request caused me some.

The late Dame M's Boarder called on the telephone. For the party last Saturday night, Jasmine was going to do a number or two. He wondered if we could help him get a Mae West cd called Mae West's Christmas Classics. He had tried many record stores for a cd, but the timeline was too short for ordering.

Maintaining my aversion to paying for anything on the internet, I got down and dirty into music searching and downloading via a free program. I managed to get three of the eight tracks, but this had taken me hours. I could not see my way to getting the rest. It did not help that the album seemed to have two different names. I burnt them to a cd and it would not work in any of our players. That could be my fault for a wrong choice when burning.

I spoke to The Boarder on the phone and ascertained precisely what he wanted and the name of the cd.

Ok, this will cost, but The Boarder said he will pay. I went to Amazon and installed a program to download the album and joined up. I should have gone through the front page where I would have seen the notice that MP3 files are only for US residents. More time wasted.

Right, I found it on Itunes. Will the same thing happen again? No, Itunes seems to know I am in Australia. I set up an account and I paid.

I am not sure at what point I felt like murdering R, The Boarder and anyone in sight.

Music download went ok. Now, if I burn it like the three other tracks, will it work? I was impressed that Itunes let me transfer the music to my hard drive. I believe it was not always the case. Then I noticed a button at the bottom of the Itunes screen that said something like, 'burn cd'. I clicked and it ever so effortlessly burnt the cd.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I was out of blank cds, so we had to visit Officeworks at 8pm to get some. I was still being nice to R, through gritted teeth.

So cd burnt. I made a list of the tracks and R resized it to fit on the back of a cd case. I did have some of those. Then added this picture from the original album to the front and no doubt breached some copywrite. We were rather pleased with ourselves.

We called The Boarder and told him that the mission had succeeded. The Boarder is vague at the best of times, so when we said we would drop it in to his place, he started to rattle off what he was doing over the weekend. I cut him with that we would stick it in his letter box if he was not home.

On our way, no out of way really, when we were going to Prahran for breakfast and shopping, we decided we would drop the cd into The Boarder. As I said, a girl needs some rehearsing time. We had not been to his new digs since he moved out of Dame M's place. It is in Ripponlea. As we were approaching the place, I saw drapes being opened, as would happen at 9am. I did not know it was his place until we were there and R explained that The Boarder had the top flat over the garages. We rang the doorbell, no reply. We rang home phone, we rang mobile. No reply. We tried again, nope. We left messages. Nope. We tried to put in into the mail box but it would not fit. We tried putting it under the door to his exclusive entrance, and it would not fit.

After about fifteen minutes, R chucked the cd up onto his balcony and later we learnt it was a perfect chuck, landing on his balcony door mat.

I suppose he could have been in the shower or something, but we were quite annoyed. No matter. We had done the deed. We will get a Mae West christmas performance at the dykes' christmas party.

To cut to the chase, ha bloody ha, the dykes are all digital (do not misinterpret) and do not have a cd player. No performance and no offer of $10 payment for the download cost.

And you wonder why at times I seem bitter and jaded.

But then along comes a friend who I know via the net who is staying near Birregurra and she sent me a lovely book and an article from a newspaper.

Chrissy gift from our Gov

The new traffic light and speed cameras were commissioned yesterday. I have amused myself muchly by watching the constant flashing.

As per the photo, the right turn lane used to be also for travelling straight ahead. The arrows were painted yesterday, making it an exclusive right turn lane. It should have been long ago. By being a right turn lane only, cars can be captured by the camera for disobeying the facing red right turn arrow. Ignoring the red arrow has long been a problem at this intersection. People generally seem to think that a red right turn arrow is less important than a normal facing red light.

What is causing the camera to flash with gay abandon (oh, I like that) is that motorists are travelling straight ahead in the right hand turn lane. Six in a row will go straight ahead resulting in twelve flashes.

I wonder how this will be dealt with. Their actual offence is being in a wrong lane, not a red light offence. It may seem a bit harsh, but the arrows are very clearly marked. If they are fined, it will total thousands of dollars, maybe enough to fix up all the MYKI machines and readers that don't work on our new ticket system that is not working.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lost in Northcote

I had to visit (oh, that makes it sound unpleasant, it was not) Sydney Road, Brunswick. I knew there were some old signs in Sydney Road, so I also took the camera along and took some photos. I then needed to get to Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

Firstly, how to get to Brunswick? Tram is tedious, boring and slow. I will take a train. I have never been on the Upfield train line. It was an interesting enough trip, especially going through Royal Park and seeing the back of the zoo. The just renovated North Melbourne Station, ho hum. I alighted at Anstey Station (I had no idea how to pronounce the name until I heard the lady voice in the train loud speaker say it. She better be right).

I did what I went for and took some photos and then, how to get to Brunswick Street? At this point I should have pulled out my phone and had a look at Google Maps. I knew buses ran along Moreland Road, too far out, Albion Street, a possibility and Blythe Street. I was close to Blythe Street, so I waited for the bus. I expected the bus route would cross Brunswick Street somewhere.

My mental map was defective. The trip from Sydney Road seemed to be taking too long. I started feeling uneasy as the bus passed the Lomond Hotel. Isn't that out near the end of the North Fitzroy tram route? Oh my god, now we are at St Georges Road, Northcote. How did I get way out here? Off the bus and onto the tram in St Georges Road to take me into Brunswick Street. I screwed that up good and proper. As usual, I thought I knew where I was going and so I did not check in advance.

Jayne is going through a bit of a hard time at the moment. Here are some nice polychromatic brick chimneys to cheer her.

CFA rss

One day last week, the very hot day, the Country Fire Authority website failed to proceed. I don't go to the site when it will be busy. I leave it for those who really need it. I won't be threatened by a bush fire and I am not sure why I was posted information about how to protect my home in the case of a bush fire.

A day or so later at the CFA site I saw an rss feed link that gives summaries of all fires throughout the state. I joined. It wasn't a bad fire day the day I did this, but at the end of the day, I had 400 fire summaries in my google reader.

It doesn't seem to be of much practical use to me. Why not make it area specific?


Barangaroo aka The Hungry Mile.


View Larger Map

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What a swell party it was

Who would have thunk it. Dykes can organise a fabulous party.

Actually, no surprise. They have done it for a few years now and we have attended our friends' party every year.

Fortunately they live close by, in East St Kilda. R and my banter about who was the nominated driver went to hell in a handbag once we sampled the lethal punch.

We laughed, we talked, we played games, we et, we drank...we had a lot of fun.

It was not too late when we left. We dumped stuff in my car and walked along Alma Road to Hotham street to get a cab. One came soon enough. The driver was not interactive, but that is ok. We wanted transport home and he provided it efficiently.

Dyke friend's brother who we thought homophobic is now very friendly. He might be just a wee bit too well groomed for a straight bloke. Not a nostril hair showing, not a hair in the ears. Maybe his wife groomed him. But it would not be the first time I have mistaken a latent homo for a homophobic straight bloke. He told me a horrible story about his work on reconstruction of the Monash Freeway. I will tell you at some point.

Next morning, instead of driving to pick up my car, we caught the tram and walked through the very busy and quite pleasant Alma Park to collect my car. In my boot I discovered desert packs of trifle and pavlova. I forgot I put them there. I had one today and very nice it was.

It must be three years ago, maybe four, when the late Dame M came to the girls' christmas party.

Ah, she was such fun, especially after a drink or ten. I can imagine her playing a game of stick Santa's balls on.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Rich

A conversation between R and myself had two worlds collide tonight.

R was telling me about a bloke he works with who owns properties in the Block Arcade, among other properties around and about.

I was telling R about a workmate who had a business in Malvern. The freehold owner of the building owns other Malvern properties and lives in very exclusive Finch Street in a very grand house. My workmate visited the chap once and his driveway was full of expensive cars.

So what might R's workmate and my workmate's previous owner have in common?

They don't drive and they both ride bicycles to get around.

Psst, and neither dress very well.

Pas me a muff

Isn't it ironical that the Eurostar train linking England and the Continent has failed to proceed because of cold weather, and yet the people who were stuck in the tunnel on failed trains sat in 25C degree heat and humidity. When we were in England in midsummer, I found, and still do, it hard to imagine it to be cold and snowing, but photos prove otherwise.

Here is a nice photo taken in the snow by Beth of Newcastle Upon Tyne in England at the seaside village of Cullercoats. Take a look. She had to be up at the crack of dawn to take it......ah, what time is dawn in the north of England on this day of their winter solstice?

It can be very hot in Australia, yet our transport system fails when it gets very hot, or very wet for that matter.

It can be very cold in the UK, yet too, their transport system fails. Maybe Maggie should have paid more attention to the transport system instead of heating the seats and grassed area in soccer stadiums. Fortunately nothing stops the Blackpool to Fleetwood tram. Well nothing except an extensive rebuild.

All just an excuse to show you a video from my collection of of cars misbehaving in bad weather.

Etag ill morte

How old is our Etag? I guess we signed up for one when we moved here as R might have been using Citylink quite often on his way to and from work. He has used Citylink for work, but rarely as it is so congested in the afternoons and no quicker for his trip to work in the morning. So the Etag would be about seven years old.

We recently noticed it had failed to work when we were travelling outbound east on Citylink. It worked when we were travelling inbound. We fools thought perhaps Citylink was giving us a free trip as compensation for the pain we have endured as casual Citylink users and how they slugged us $20 on a christmas day past.

Ok, it did not work the next time we used Citylink. Ring Citylink. Very pleasant person on the phone promised to send a new one and that there would be a reply paid envelope to return the old one.

Very pleasant person failed to notice that there were two cars registered for the Etag and only sent one windscreen clip. Another call and an extra clip was dispatched. Hang on, where is the reply paid envelope? We felt like we had more than enough contact with nice person at Citylink. We just bought an envelope and paid the postage ourselves. Like in many areas of life, we are the only people who have needed a new Etag, so I wouldn't expect Citylink to get it right the first time.

Had a death in your immediate family lately? Just try to start cancelling the like of mobile phones. Your relative is the only customer of the phone company who had died. It is a new learning experience for the phone company. I can only conclude this from experience. In fact this applies to many utility companies and banks.

But it is supposed to be the jolly season so I will be very nice about the new Etag. It is a very neat unit and clips easily into its holder, unlike the old model that I never mastered the intricacies of getting it into its clip and always got R to do it for me, or sat it on the seat. It is less sensitive too, which is a good thing, kind of. Because I was without clip, I had it sitting on the dash and it did not work. I had to turn it over.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dear Diary

I have not recorded things in my online diary as I should. Here we go.

Am I the only person in the world who takes road work speed limits seriously and slows to the road work speed limit. I am sorry if I have annoyed you, but hey, I have an unblemished record, and I don't want to spoil it. I was travelling at 100, and the car I just overtook who was travelling at 90 has now passed me while I am travelling at the road work speed limit of 80. Mind you, VicRoads contractors having speed reduction signs out one kilometre before the works is problematic. The less anal types do actually slow while they are going past roadworks. Please god tell me the nightmare of the trip to Pakenham has passed. Hehe, we are now passing it on to the Ring Road, five year of work. Suffer babes.

Oh, yes, the trip to Pakenham and then to Cranbourne was to take Mother to chiropractor. Miserable. She moaned on the whole time about herself. What are we going to do about Mother?

39 degrees and it is the ex NT politician and policeman's Fijian boyfriend's birthday. We must attend the barbecue. Indian Fijian boyfriend has his mother here, along with two nephews. handsome lads but then eek, I found out they were fifteen and sixteen. They look so much older. Very polite though. We will see them again on christmas night and I reckon they will be chuffed that we bought them and their grannie a Koko Black gift. Actually, no they won't. They will have no idea how much Koko Black costs.

I am a refrigerator air conditioning person. After dinner I found a place where their water cooler air con vent blew directly and flicked through a picture book of outback Australia.

As for the the party last night, better make that a separate post.

St Vincents Plaza

There are worse places to stand waiting for a tram than St Vincents Plaza. Calling tram stops plazas rather amuses me. Still, it is better than the cumbersome 'interchange'. SVP has some rather nice building around it.

This is the old Eastern Hills Fire Station. I popped inside not so long ago. Pretty nice hey.

I am not keen on pink buildings, although the brightly coloured Art Deco buildings in Napier, New Zealand and Miami, Florida is it? Well the pink ones look good among their counterparts. Regardless, no need to demolish old buildings. They can be turned into anything you like. I would guess East Hill House has modern offices inside. At least the modern building either side don't smack me in the face with their presence. See Jussy Madden, it is not necessarily about individual buildings, but also streetscapes and surrounds.

Why had I never noticed how gorgeous the facade of St Vincent's Hospital is before? The photo does not do it justice.

Now this pile of junk below, just a couple of weeks after I snapped the photo, has been demolished. But you have to look a bit deeper to see and learn of its merit. Of course it is Planning Minister Madden's fault that it was demolished. He is the boss of such matters. It is a bit hard to see in my photo, but the building has a very stylish Art Deco tower. It had to go. Profit for developers is the prime consideration and undoubtedly we will see something as tall as they can get away with. Bosco Parrasio has a rather good post about the building, with an old photo as well. Read some more details at Melbourne Heritage Watch. Old as I am, I wasn't around to see the grand houses of St Kilda Road destroyed, nor many of the grand buildings in the city. I thought it was all history that would not be repeated, and yet our heritage is still being felled like our native trees for woodchips. Resign Madden, you are a disgrace.