Saturday, March 12, 2011


This is clip from one of David Attenborough's tv programmes. I knew the Australian lyrebird mimicked other birds and I had heard that they also mimic digital camera shutters. I did not know they mimicked chainsaws, kookaburras, motor drive cameras and more. I almost thought this was faked. What a bird.


I fear this earthquake in Japan is going to be terrible. Thankfully our friend in northern Japan is ok. We are keeping in touch by sms. Her nuclear power station has been shut down, so she had no electric. She walked the dark streets back to her home from work.  Our friend endured several hours of her work place shaking which sounds very frightening. It just coming into spring in Japan and in the north the seasons happen later so it is still very cold and of course without electricity, there is no heating. Several friends called last night to check if our friend is ok.

This morning I hear that the death toll may be over one thousand and after seeing tv footage last night, I am surprised that the figure is not higher.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Moseying around St Kilda Road South

574 St Kilda Road really ought to do something with their water feature. I believe it was switched off when drought water restrictions were enacted, but they are allowed to have it operating again now. I suspect this is just stale rainwater after the heavy rains. Yuk!

The verdant playing fields of the tax payer subsidised Wesley College.

This is the outdoor area of the Belgian Beer Cafe Bluestone, on land that is or was owned by the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind, now Vision Australia.

On the other side of the bar's driveway, the land is unkempt. I quite like it actually. The area has since been slashed.

Yve is a fairly top notch St Kilda Road apartment building with some well known residents. Since it was completed I have puzzled over the use of the two strong colours at its base. I am never sure if I like it or not.

Bit difficult to see, but along the side of Yve is a waterwall, similar to the one in Collins Street in the city. The city one will come up in a post soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Clearing Photos 16

This waterwall was turned off even before our drought was at its worst. A board covered it over with an image of a lake, but over a period of time the water level in the lake dropped and eventually it was a picture of a dried up dam, with what was mud, now hard and cracked. I have no idea who the artist was, but if he or she wants plaudits for creating a depressing work, they are deserved. The water wall is back on, and in certain lights it absolutely sparkles, although clearly not for me when I was there with my camera.

The News in Brief

I only wear one pair of jeans with a spare pair for when they are washed. They are getting a bit old and starting to fade. I need new ones. They are black 504 Levis, eminently suitable for a person my age. Myer, $99, Just Jeans, $99, General Pants, $109, tried Melb Central Jeans West, but it has closed. Australia online, too hard. Why is it so complicated? I don't want to join anything. US, postage included, $68. Deal done. $31 in my pocket.

Mother sent her rates notice for me to get my brother to pay, as per agreement. Included in the envelope was her house insurance bill. 'I don't have the money!' she pleaded. I shopped around and got it $55 cheaper with RACV. Sister gets bitten for money all the time from Mother, so I just asked Brothers to contribute. We accidentally left the bill in Sister's car. Post it to me will you Sis. Of course she is way to busy for important stuff like that.

R's sister was threatening to come to Australia, with the news being imparted over face book. Some frantic phone calls to other sisters ensued and apparently she is having a bit of a nervous break down after her one year old second marriage broke down. One sister has taken her to Spain instead of Australia for rest and recovery (and a hot Spanish stud I should hope). Monday our time she posted on face book that she was coming to Australia, Monday night R rang other sister to inform her of intention to come to Australia. By Wednesday morning they are both in Spain. Bah.

R was stressed tonight after dealing with the company about our cracked window. It is not resolved. Stay calm, don't stress and don't push so hard. Just because they say they will call you back this afternoon and don't, doesn't mean they won't ever call you back.

R was also stressed about a friend not returning a call, but she just has. After the fail of our campervan trip to northern NSW and settling for Adelaide, we might just be going to luxury accommodation in Bali mid year with our dyke friend. Depends on price, but may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

R was also stressed because the barbeque caught fire tonight. It is his fault because after the last time I cleaned it, it caught fire and he said perhaps it was better not to clean it. I took him at his word and have not given a good internal scrub since. We have now decided that after something marinaded is cooked, the next time we use the Baby Q, it catches fire. Nevertheless, it had a good build up of carbon? Impregnated with oil and marinade it went up like the proverbial hindu widow. We wondered how to put it out? It was in no hurry to go out. I never panic (startled rabbit syndrome?) Eventually I recalled 'starving of oxygen'. I blocked the fat drip hole below with an old tea towel and the fire went out. But then R had to fry in the kitchen, spattered fat from elbow to you know where, and what wasn't spattered went straight to our waists.

Mother's birthday is coming up. Picnic or if weather is ok. Hot or wet, Village Green Hotel she ordered. Why VG? Sister said no way. It is all being rethought.

R's birthday also this month. I have booked us and two friends on the tram car restaurant. It is Grand Pricks weekend though. Different pick up point near Victoria Market. Panic as my work changes for Grand Pricks weekend, but found out today, safe. Bah.

Step Mother's birthday this month too. Fortunately a card and a phone call or sms will do.

Oh cakes. Mother insists on one and R likes one too. Then there will be another celebration with more friends for R's birthday.

R is talking of retirement and went to a superannuation seminar two nights ago. Planned date is March next year. Life will change a lot if that happens. He was advised that he needs $60,000 a year to live comfortably. Ha, he survives on $30,000 a year now as he sticks a lot of money into super. He has always been generous to me, so I expect I might have to take over paying some bills. A car will have to go though.

You would think there just being the two of us, life would be relaxed and easy, yet it never is.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Clearing photos 15

You know folks, there a plenty of bits of Melbourne I have not seen. The Myer mural hall was one of them. But I took a peak through glass with the camera and I feel I have seen it now. Workmen were there. Two weeks later a fashion show happened, which I guess is why tradies were busy.

Man Crush

Our ABC Melbourne Radio's afternoon host Boring Burns was taking talk back this week about the Oscars or some film award thingie. I don't really care, but the question was asked who is hot in the movies. Well, I knew some of the suggestions. Straight girls were also calling in with who in the movies they had a girl crush on. A girl crush is not a lesbian thing. I can accept that. I admire women for their nice looks, the way they dress, their hotness. I get that. Just for once, the Burns woman was not disturbed.

But when straight blokes started calling in with who they had a man crush on, I was troubled. This is getting weird. I am feeling uncomfortable. I better take a look at Urban Dictionary in case I am misunderstanding what a man crush is.

'The highest tier of a man's love for another man, without having any sexual want towards the man.' But what if your man crush target desires you? Could you knock your man crush back?

'An intense infatuation of one straight man for another.' Infatuation can only be cured by one thing, a disappointing experience with the object of your desire.

There was a guy at school, in my time not a place to come out, who was a couple of years senior to me and I am pretty sure he was straight, yet he openly confessed to adoring David Cassidy and wanted to marry him. I too adored David, but I did not want marry him. Trying to make babies with him would have been good enough. Oh how I hungered for David, in the manner of adolescent school girl. I did not know what I wanted from him, I just wanted him and I would bear whatever he wanted to do.

Do I recall that it was either Nijinsky or Novello who had men and women falling at his feet?

Nah, I am not liking this man crush thing. Call me an intolerant old poof if you like, but either you lust after a guy or you don't. I'll wear that a bloke can hold another bloke in high esteem, but there are lines that ought not be crossed.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Clearing Photos 18

What is a bus zone? I have no idea. There is no bus stop nearby.

The Hatchings

Sunday we were home for a good bit. I suppose because of the good rainfall this year there are lot of dragonflies and butterflies around. We have seen quite a lot up at our level. Yesterday there were many many monarch butterflies. After a bit I started watching where they were coming from and going to.

They were rising from somewhere at the base of the building and flying upwards, past our balcony and onto or over the roof. At a guess over the whole day the figure was certainly in the hundreds. They just kept coming and coming. Time for some research.

First thing that I learnt was that we in Australia know them as wanderer butterflies. They only eat and are born on milk weed plants, which I later learnt was untrue, and their life cycle is typical of a butterfly, eggs are laid on the underside of a plant leaf, they grow into caterpillars, pupate then come out as a butterflies.

They are native to North America and probably arrived in Australia and New Zealand by island hopping in the 19th century as white man planted exotic plants on the islands.

They are poisonousness to birds.

Kiwi Nomad has taken a good photo of one here.

Interesting but none of this explains what happened yesterday. Here is my theory. They were crawling out of their pupas and drying their wings during the day on plants at the base of the highrise. They are pre programmed to fly in a certain direction. To go in that direction they had to fly up the side of the highrise and over the top. I doubt there was anything on the roof to attract them so they went on the merry way to wherever they were going. There was only ever three visible at once, but they mostly flew up singly.

It was quite a special sight. Of course everytime I went for the camera, they stopped coming, as if they knew. The few shots I did take and not worth posting.

Today, Monday, there were a few stragglers in the late afternoon, following the same path.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Blogspot fail

My blog changed its appearance. The background went pale green and the text size tiny. I fiddled but I was unable to restore it to its previous fine condition. As I expected, it was nothing I did, just some weirdness caused by a kiddie at blogspot fiddling where he shouldn't have been and it has returned to normal. But my header photo is wrong. Such botheration. I don't have time for fixing other people's errors but I guess will fix it at some point.

Edit one minute later: I thought it had been fixed, but when I checked just now, it is back to being faulty.

Clearing Photos 17

I put my boots outside my bedroom door to be cleaned, but after 24 hours, no one did it. Perhaps I should move to a third world country.

Payoff Time

How is Teddy Bails settling into his role as Premier of Victoria?

Letting cattle onto the highlands to graze and causing serious ecological damage? It is fire fuel reduction, you know. Rather like Japanese whale research whereby they need a couple of hundred whales each year for research.

Oh Teddy. Are there any other debts you owe to your coalition National Party?

The Highrise is an ugly building and never should have been built and neither should have the adjacent buildings. They were approved in Kennett times. I am not sure which of Labor or Liberal like destroying streetscapes the most? Neither seem to like retaining streetscapes.

Local activists and less local activists have long argued for enforceable height limits for the the street and its sub streets. Finally we have them. Why is that?

The Liberal Party, our state government, has asked me to pull the other one.

When the views from The Domain apartment building, the old BP House, occupied by the rich and famous and many politicians had their views threatened by a high rise on this site, then suddenly we have a height limit.

You want to build a highrise on the this land?

And block out rich mates' views? Well, we can't have that.

While I expected nothing less, the Liberal Party should not ever pretend that this is anything else but the bleeding obvious.

Oh Teddy. Are there any other favours you owe to your fellow rich dudes and political mates?

Ah yes, there are the religious organisations you owe a debt to. So, you will change the rules and make it legal for these orgs to discriminate against gays, lesbians, single mothers, in fact anyone who is not a family with a father, mother and 2.3 children. Ok, I don't really want anything to do with religion so will that affect me? Yes, it will. Right or wrong, religious organisations provide government services and charity. This is just wicked payback work by our state government.

Now anymore debts or favours the state Liberal Party Government owe?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Some of us think she did it

I am now watching Lindy Chamberlain, or whatever her last name is now, on tv. Those of a certain age who were around at the time probably have a fairly strong view of her guilt or innocence.

My own view is that she did it, but should not have been convicted on the evidence. I would be very interested to know how public view now swings, so do cast a vote.

Clearing Photos 14

This photo was taken in almost darkness, yet it looks to be light. I think the blurriness tells you the camera was struggling with light.

I think the tram shelters work like this. A private company erects them, maintains them and cleans them. They sublet the shelter advertising to another company who maintain the ads and all do a fine job, I must say. It costs tram passengers and councils nothing. All win.

But when the advertisers start taking over public footpaths with their ads, I start to get concerned. Thankfully it has now been removed.

Edit: The mat may have gone, but the sticky stuff that held the mat in place has not gone and dead leaves have stuck to it. Very attractive.

Clearing Photos 13

You'll get no argument from me. Oddly, it has a religious tax free status. How does that work then? But then I am not sure why any religious institutions have tax free status. Surely by now they should be classified as cult.