Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Bellarine Peninsula Pt 1

R had seen Little Jo consecutive Saturdays while I was at work. I was missing her. I had not seen her for three weeks, so Bellarine Peninsula, here we come. We went down Sunday morning and returned Monday afternoon. Bone Doctor is working down that way and part of the job is cheap accommodation. Not a bad place really and much more room that at Murrumbeena. They have kept the flat at Murra and are renting it out.

After pumpkin soup and sandwiches, Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo took us Point Lonsdale Beach. We walked a kilometre or so along the beach to the lighthouse, stopping at the playground along the way, and then when returning from the lighthouse, we again stopped at the shops for a cold drink. We returned to where we arrived at the beach and Sister and Bone Doctor and Little Jo all stripped off on the beach and slipped into their bathing costumes. We averted our eyes. The weather looked atrocious when we left Melbourne and so did not take swimmers. We waded and looked after Little Jo and made sand castles when she wasn't in the water with Sister and Bone Doctor. They adore swimming and are very fit. Note, we stayed on the beach, swimmers or not.

I thought Point Lonsdale was wonderful. I liked that it had beach and cliffs and good walkways and if you are bored, you can watch the ships coming and going through Point Phillip Bay Heads, between Point Lonsdale and Point Nepean.

We went back to their place for salt and sand removal and then out to Port Arlington to get some fresh farmed mussels for dinner. $10 for 2kg turned into 3.5 kg. Nice.

We travelled back via the coast and stopped off at the St Leonards hotel for a cold ale. We sat outside and peered out to sea and watched the comings and goings on the pier. Poo Mummy, poo and Sister gave orders. Little Jo was rushed to the lav by Bone Doctor.

Unlike R, Sister is not a natural at cooking but she served the mussels well in a thin tomato, wine and garlic sauce. The heavy bread sopped up the sauce and there were sausages if we were still hungry. The upside down pear cake was somewhat more compact that when if first came out of the oven, but it was nice too.

Sister's friends had called on the telephone. Asked if they could drop by. By all means. More the merrier. The did come, with their teenage kids.

We were sitting outside in a covered barbeque area. R's wet and and sandy jeans were hanging on the clothes line to dry. A few spits of rain came and I urged him to bring them under shelter. He did and hung them in the covered area. Tune in tomorrow to find out what happened to R's jeans.

The Point Lonsdale Lighthouse in the distance.

Sister thinks the weather in winter will be ok. I did not mention southerly gales coming in straight off Bass Strait.

Somewhere under out feet is supposed to be William Buckley's cave. Unverified info from Sister.

Local shops, for local people. All are welcome.

Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo enjoying the 21 deg waters.

Collision at The Heads imminent. Did not happen.

This touristy stuff is hard work. Time for a stiffie at St Leonards Hotel.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Long Lunch

No, I did not go out for a long lunch. Long Lunch happens every year and I think for the last few years it has been set up outside the Victorian National Gallery. Quite a few diners had left by the time I took this snap. It must have been hot in the sun. A Chinese Dragon just happened to be passing by. Meanwhile on the lawns outside St Kilda Town Hall, a shorter Long Lunch was happening. This time the guests were the poor, the homeless, the down trodden and general assorted scum from the streets.

At least the St Kilda lunch for the poor did not disrupt traffic, unlike the Long Lunch which blocked off the St Kilda Road service lane and caused terrible traffic congestion and at least one car and tram accident. Maybe the Long Lunch is a charity fund raiser, like the next disruption to the city is, Run for the Kids, where St Kilda Road will be entirely blocked along with the major city toll road, the Domain Tunnel.

Is that the end of it? Of course not, a week later is the Grand Pricks. Traffic is already disrupted. I know. I suffer from it. Victorians subsidise it for around $40 million and the profits go overseas to some creep Ecclestone. Fast cars dashing about our local park which we are not able to access and terrorising the wildlife is not a good thing in my book. Our gov says it promotes our State, so you overseas types better watch the Grand Pricks and make plans to visit because of it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Still in Collingwood

Nay, not Collingwood, Abbotsford. Why can't I find the comment that explained why? Collingwood Town Hall was in the City of Collingwood until the area became City of Yarra. Collingwood Town Hall and Collingwood Station are in Abbotsford.

I am just reminded of one of Dad's workers who always bought Abbotsford Lager to take away. He said that because few people drank it, it was always the coldest from the hotel fridge.

While I took a very good guess, albeit with a little research, at 17 Stanton Street, Abbotsford I was puzzled big time by this building. I had many thoughts but none were coming to the fore. An RSL club was on my mind.

Jayne found the definitive answer for the Police Boys Club and Frank added some extra information that 17 Stanton Street is now used for boxing. But also the site Jayne directed me to solved the puzzle of this building. I quite like the building. Could it be put to use? It was a Sea Scouts club house.

Here are a couple of extra pics thrown in, and a bit of the Collingwood Town Hall and the side of an ex friend's place who used to own this milk bar which now has a mural on the side. It's at the corner of Gipps and Raphael Streets. Might I have met a guy there who jumped off the gallery at what was then Three Faces, now The Market, and broke his leg. Such is the effect of hallucinogenic drugs. He thought he could fly. Surely it wasn't me who licked peppermint schnapps up from the coffee table yes, and all are in Abbotsford.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mini Condoms

Well, this had me saying WHAT to myself. I repeat the piece below. I am over the shock now and thinking that it is better that they stay safe and don't plant seed at their age. But even so, twelve years old? Then again, I read elsewhere that it was alleged a twelve year boy old raped an old lady here in Australia. Oh dear, I feel ever so old.

Extra small condoms for boys as young as 12 are going on sale in Switzerland, The Telegraph in London reports this morning.

The Hotshot was produced following government research which revealed that 12 to 14-year-olds did not use enough protection, with many going without protection because regular condoms are too large.

The study, conducted by the Federal Commission for Children and Youth, interviewed 1480 people aged 10 to 20, according to The Telegraph.

It showed that more 12 to 14-year-olds were having sex, in comparison with the 1990s.

"The result that shocked us concerned young boys who display apparently risky behavior. They have more of a tendency not to protect themselves. They do not have a very developed sexual knowledge. They do not understand the consequences of what they are doing and leave the young girls to take care of the consequences," a researcher told the Telegraph.

"The results of this study suggest that early prevention makes sense."

The Hotshot condoms, $A8, for a packet of six, have been created by Swiss condom manufacturer Lamprecht AG.

Company spokesman Nysse Norballe told The Telegraph that a standard condom had a diameter of 5.2cm, but the Hotshot's diameter was just 4.5cm. Both are the same length - 19cm.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Mending the Highrise

Finally the tv was repaired. The tech bloke came, unscrewed the back of the tv. Unscrewed the power supply, unplugged the power supply, plugged the new one in, screwed it back into the tv and put the back on. Two minutes flat and I could have done the same except I have lost confidence in my ability to repair things. Such is aging.

You can see from the photo why the balcony door failed to proceed properly. He was a big strong dude and just lifted the extremely heavy door off its tracks, unscrewed these old bearing and screwed in the new stainless steel ones that will see us out, and lifted the door back onto the tracks. He then kindly tightened the inside handle screws and suggested I needed to clean the outside aluminum handle of salt air often as it was corroding. The door now slides beautifully, better than it ever has since we have been here.

My father used to rant against nylon bearings. I agree with him. When I hear that nylon bearings are used for train wheels, maybe I will be convinced that they are viable.

But same thing again, I could have done that. Well, with R's help to lift the door. I am so annoyed with myself that I have lost confidence in my ability to tackle such things. I have pulled carburettors to pieces and reassembled them, installed a heating system in an older car, done electrical work, plumbing work, electronic repairs, cut trees down with a chainsaw, hand renovated with saws and drills etc and now I am impotent and almost happily pay someone to do these repairs. I can now afford to pay for such things, but I wonder why I have lost confidence?

Let me give you an example as to why.

I bought a bolt for the balcony sliding door. We don't want Little Jo going onto the balcony without our supervision. What if she got up in the night and went for a wander and opened the door while we soundly slept on? I have fitted and repaired locks before. Should be no big deal. I opened the package and examined it carefully and worked out how to install it. While I have heaps of old drill bits I bought poisonously expensive new ones to make it all right. I did not rush into it. I try to be careful. If I am doing things with the taps or near a plug hole, I put the plug lest a screw fall down the hole.

I did not intend to install the lock tonight. I was just checking how to do it and get it right. I held the lock up to the door in the correct position. The bolt fell out, dropped onto the balcony and shot over the edge. I should have kept the door closed. Effing idiot. I humiliated myself by knocking on a ground floor apartment to retrieve the bolt. I would have happily paid for another set, but I was lucky. I spied it sitting in their garden. I was very apologetic and suggested this happened often, things falling off balconies and into their garden. No, was the reply. I felt worse. But I do recall an aircon tradie dropping a spanner into the same courtyard.

R said, you shake too much. Can we get a locksmith? Well, that is a nice version of what he said.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Falling Hail

I was at work and caught in the thick of the hail storm. While I wasn't frightened, I was wondering how much of a pounding windows could take before they started to smash. Where I was the hail was the size of marbles. Clearly it takes larger hail stones to smash glass, and there were larger hail stones further out of the city to the east. My day at work turned out to be very interesting indeed, but I finished work on time, which is what is important to me, as my employer works me to the minute to maximise what blood they can get from me, so I repay their generosity.

R was at home and taking a nap. He was awoken by the hail smashing into our windows. He thought I had came home unexpectedly which is odd, because I am not a crash about sort of person. But then he says he was in a very sound sleep and awoke with such a start.

He took a few snaps. Personally, I have seen worse flooding but not hail as bad. Sister and Bone Doctor and Little Jo were in Melbourne for what was supposed to be a flying visit while BD sat an exam in Alphington. Sister and Little Jo picnicked in a nearby park and saw the weather coming. They were amused by batting the hail stones away from the windscreen with the wipers. They all came here and so R entertained them and they then went out for a meal before they attempted to tackle the West Gate Bridge to get home.

Here a couple of snaps R took.

A Question

Ah, what to write. Life is particularly difficult at the moment. We are back from staying on the Bellarine Peninsula with Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo. It was a nice enough time in spite of a certain chill in the air. Photos later of course. I have some personal hail storm pictures too, some of them later. I am not in the mood for playing with photos. I guess the hail photos will not be so topical.

Instead, let me pose this question to you? A serious or humourous response is fine.

Why at around the age of forty two did I stop wearing tee shirts and started wearing collared shirts with button up fronts? There are two reasons I have in mind.

Ok, I might go and start playing with photos.

Later Edit: One reason is that my shape had changed a little bit I was no longer skinny and I no longer thought tees flattered me. But the main reason was I had to start wearing glasses to read with, and so you have to have somewhere to carry them, that is, a shirt top pocket.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Big Wave and Fire

Bugger this tsunami word. So far as I can see, it is what we used to call a tidal wave and tidal wave is much easier to spell. There may well be a difference, but the effect is the same. A big wave comes.

Australia was issued with a tidal wave warning after the Chilean earthquake. Would a big wave really travel all the way across the South Pacific to Australia and be a threat to us? Pretty unlikely in my mind.

Nevertheless, Aussie punters flocked to the beaches to see it arrive which is kind of wrong isn't it? But perhaps Aussies aren't quite as stupid as they seem. No one took it seriously. So far as I know, nothing really happened here.

Authorities do not want to be blamed for not warning, so therefore, we can expect more cries of 'wolf'.

We are just so fortunate here in Victoria to have been spared bad fire weather this year. While the fire season is not quite over, we have passed the worst of it. But had it have been fire weather, that is very hot temperatures with strong north winds and perhaps a southerly wind change, then mark my words, we would have had Code Red days, catastrophic days, called left right and centre.

The day before February the 7th last year, that terrible day when around two hundred people died in bush fires, Premier of the State John Brumby was on television telling us that the following day would be a very bad day indeed and so it was but I am sure even he did not imagine how bad it would be. Of course no names, but not everyone believed him. When I heard the weather forecast, yes I thought it would be a bad day, but not to the extent it was.

So can I take from that I should ignore warnings from those who measure tidal waves and those who measure fire risk and wait until the Premier warns us on tv?

I fear that there will be so many wolf calls, for both tidal waves and fire threat, that no one will take them seriously.

Ah, written a few days ago. I will now add storm warnings to that. Somehow in spite of being in and out of online media and checking rain radar, I missed the storm warning for today's severe storm. Another person who is online often must have missed the warning too. But I heard the subsequent one, that was later cancelled, and the one a few days ago that was also cancelled. If in doubt, call a warning. You can always cancel it later