Saturday, November 26, 2011

Blog meet

How exciting. We are meeting not one blog mate for brunch on Sunday, but four of them. It will a brunch coat party. I expect three of them will be hungover, as we probably will be after spending Saturday helping Mother with another, surely the last, garage sale. Apparently it is going to pour rain on Mother's garage sale. Good, we can pack up early.

Mother was moaning on the phone about having to get up early, get her jobs done, shower, feed the feral cats, all before the garage sale. I felt like adding, and we will do most of the above plus drive for nearly an hour to get to your place. Tradie Brother is in charge of organisation and Dreaded Nephew will assist.

Back to Sunday. In about 2006 or perhaps 05 I wrote a post bemoaning the lack of older bloggers, well ones my age. Tezza was kind enough to steer me to a red headed one, and his own of course by default, and it rather snowballed from there. So that is about five years I have known these people via the net, or latterly actually meeting them.

And while I might not be the most attractive person at brunch, I will be the youngest, the toy boy, so to speak.


A SOUTH Korean Christian pastor has been jailed for 18 months for having a decade-long affair with a woman whose wedding he had officiated at, a court said.

Adultery in South Korea is a criminal offence punishable by up to two years in prison, but most offenders usually receive only suspended jail terms and imprisonment is quite rare.

Gaol for adultery! Wow! Wouldn't SERCO love that.

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal was repeated beaten with baseball bats when walking home and lapsed into unconsciousness and almost died. He was one of 23 victims attacked by three young men, for no apparent reason. The attackers received 18.5 years, 16.5 years and 9.75 years. They appealed and had their sentences reduced. They could be out in 13.5, 10.5 and 7 years. They are just very bad men. It was not a crime of passion, nor as a consequence of a robbery. It was pure violence for the thrill of it. I don't think they deserve to ever be released and the world will not be a better place when they are released.

430,000 people use Melbourne's train City Loop daily, but how many want to? Many must be like me who think, dam, train is going around the loop, extending my journey time.

Old people and desktops

A friend who was holidaying in Malaysia called. He had some ringit credit remaining on his phone card. He had just travelled on the recently reopened tourist train that travels up into the hills of Penang. 'I'll mail you the brochure', said he, knowing I would be interested. Of course I was, but I was already familiar with the train via the internet. Yes, the internet, that thing that our friend uses often and yet he thinks I need a brochure.

Actually, it was nice to get to brochure. It had a map showing all sorts of things I would have never seen or noticed on the internet website for the train, such as a Hindu temple atop the Penang hills? Ah, butterfly enclosure. Interesting.

It reminds me of times when Mother and my late step father and us used to meet up on a Sunday for a picnic or barbeque. Mother would tell me where the place was and then hand the phone over to Step Father to give me precise directions, in spite of me already telling Mother that I will look it up on a map, usually the street directory. Step Father would give precise directions, turn left, turn right, travel to the end of, when you see the locked gate....

The directions went in my right ear and out my left ear, not pausing at the brain at all. I looked the place up with the street directory and got us there.

On a promote the Victorian town of Walhalla website, I read that you should not trust your sat nav car device to get you there. They only really work well in the city. Right, satellites cover the world but not Walhalla? They are hardly fool proof in the city either.

Young people seem quite adept at surfing the information super highway, the net, very well by just moving their finger around and tapping on a pad. Older people, such as moi, need a mouse and it seems to boil down to a generational divide.

Oh, and apparently, if you are over fifty and use the internet, you are a Silver Surfer. Given that the dudes who invented the internet are now pretty well dead, I am not sure that I am happy to be classed as a silver surfer. Mother at the age of seventy something, has never used the net directly, but she has benefited from it and writes down web site addresses for one of us to look at and print out what might be of interest to her.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Note to self

Dearest Andrew, like you have learnt to not send late night emails and texts, like you have learnt not to publish late night blog posts, so you need to learn not to place orders over the internet late at night.

Wait for the cold hard light of day before deciding that you simply must have some fresh coffee from Paris, and is the diary with photos of old posters from The Tube really necessary.

Hehe, of course the diary is essential and it's half price. Even though I don't use a diary, I saved £7. I didn't buy the coffee.

Having bought a few things over the net of late, it seems that the companies make most of their money on the 'postage'.

Queen Victoria Gardens

Not so long ago R and I took a stroll around the Queen Victoria Gardens. It is the first time we have taken a proper look and it was very pleasant.

This just planted bed will look very fine when the plants grow.

I think it was after we had a very wet Friday and some of the roses had been quite spoiled.

I am not sure why the pond was an almost empty mud hole.

Queen Vicky, gazing upon an important city in one of her colonies.

A bit closer.

Even closer, close enough to see busted limbs and particularly vile graffiti.

It's worth clicking some of the photos to see the roses a bit better.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Banned Music

I don't know of too many songs that were banned from radio airplay in Australia. I certainly remember Snoopy vs the Red Baron being played with a beep censoring out the word bloody. I doubt the beep version is online but it is not a bad tune. I can't listen to it without mentally adding in the beep.

Skyhooks walked a fine line at times and I believe Smut was banned.

One eighties song I liked very much was Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Relax. It was banned by the BBC. Not sure about here, but I can't remember hearing it on air.

What about Lou Reed's Take a Walk on the Wild Side? Was that banned?

All pretty mild stuff compared to what now passes as music known as rap.

I can't think of any more. There was probably a good bit of self censorship by radio stations, especially those with conservative owners. Do you know of any other banned songs?

Why the nuances of English can never be taught

Not an original thought but never mind. I have adapted it.

A bride is in bed with her bloke and she grasps his excitement and asks, 'What is this thing called love?'

Or did she say, 'What it this thing called, love?', which has an entirely different meaning and even so can still have two meanings.

Try explaining that to anyone who is trying to learn English. I am often queried at work by workmates who have English as a second language, and quite regularly all I can say is, that is how it is.

20/09/10 Yes, I am clearing some old posts.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bracks the Younger

Something strange happens to R when he sees our former State Premier's son on tv. R normally prefers blonds. Personally, I dunno what people see in Nick Bracks. S'pose he does have nice hair.

Tags and labels

Don't expect labels on my posts to always make sense to you. They make sense to me and help as an aide de memoire. eg 'gay outing' does indicate the sexuality of a person mentioned in a post.

Having just written a post and used the above label, just thought I'd better mention that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

De Faino

Jon Faine. I remember him from years ago on ABC tv, and on ABC Melbourne in the afternoon. I remember him from RN's Law Report. A couple of years ago I sent him an email, and busy as he is, he responded.

Now he is being described as a veteran broadcaster, in his 8.30 to midday radio timeslot, and I suppose he is.

Other ABC radio morning broadcasters only seem to last until 11 am, yet Faine goes on until noon.

I know nothing about radio broadcasting, but I expect talking and thinking on your feet for three and a half hours, five days a week, is a quite intense experience and one that you could easily burn out from, never mind the off air time for researching. Yet Faine just goes on and on year after year. Please Jon, knock off the last hour. Much less reading and life will be better for you. No one else does does 3.5 hours and I don't want you to burn out.

But I do worry about who might replace him should he burn out. Oft time Late Line presenter Ali Moore did a fine job when de Faino swaned around the world, from Melbourne to London by car (just finished reading his book). There is a lot to like about Waleed Aly when he stands in on radio. As hot and sexy as I think Waleed is, the latest replacement for de Faino's absence is a clear winner. I could get to like Raphael Epstein.

Between when I wrote the above and now, Epstein has been hired to present the drive time show, 3 to 6pm.

Gina Reinhart

Better get her name right, Gina Rinehart..........Her father Lang Hancock was a larger than life self made mining magnate. Her step mother is the very self made almost celebrity Rose Porteuous, formerly Lang's Filipina nurse before they married. Rose and Gina had a right barny over the division of spoils when Lang died. It is safe to say they don't get along. It also seems Gina does not get along with her own children either. Here is Gina protesting against a mining tax. She believes her companies should pay very little tax for what they extract from the ground, that is our common ground. She doesn't seem to be the most glamorous woman.

You know, I quite like paying tax, especially when it wisely spent for the benefit of my fellow citizens. I like good health care, good education systems, well, the list could be long. But apparently Australia's richest woman is not keen on paying her share.

The very rich American Warren Buffett thinks he doesn't pay enough tax. Many rich French people don't think they pay enough tax. But not our Gina.

Here you go. I am clearly not the only one who has issues with Gina. Compare yourself to Gina. She earns in six minutes what takes me a year to earn.

But people are never satisfied with money only. They want power too. So our Gina buys a large stake in a television station and it is rumoured that she was instrumental in installing discredited right wing media commentator Andrew Bolt in his own programme.

The sad thing about Gina, for us anyway, her battle cry of 'axe the tax' was somewhat successful with our government watering down the proposed tax significantly.

Gina: 1
Australian people: 0

Post start dated 30/06/11. I get there eventually.

Monday, November 21, 2011


This is a bottle bag of sorts. We seem to have rather a lot of them, given to us with the gift of a bottle of wine. So when we give a bottle of wine, we had plenty of bottle bags to choose from. I received a bottle of wine from a friend for my birthday in October in the bag above. But, it is quite a distinctive bag and we clearly remember giving a bottle of wine to the same person in that same bag, so it has boomeranged back to us. Come the friend's birthday, guess which bottle bag she will get her wine in?

What happened to Little Jo?

Indeed, what did happen to Little Jo. Apparently accommodation at the Highrise off football season is not in high demand. Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo stayed last week at a caravan park down on the far west coast. We hadn't heard from them for awhile, so I called on Saturday evening to no answer. Next morning my phone range as I was just leaving to go to work and I declined the call. It was Sister. As I was stepping into the lift, I heard the home phone ringing. R answered it. Sister said she was returning my call from an hour before. She didn't have her am or pm right. My call was the night before.

She told R they were packing up to leave and was somewhat short with him. Now let me tell you, if R likes you and you are a nice person, he is the most wonderful person in the world. But if you slight him, or he even thinks you may have slighted him, then it is all over Red Rover. When Sister asked what we wanted and said she was busy packing up, R jumped in with, Ok, bye, and hung up.

I expected a conciliatory call or text during the week, but none was forthcoming. R and I have argued about Sister more than once. All I can say is, she is my sister. What can I do? None of us siblings have ever really fallen out with each other. Perhaps it is that we just don't care too much? I don't know. We all tolerate each other's foibles without complaint and minimal bitching behind backs. I suppose we care, but not enough to get hurt by character failings.

But we have not seen Little Jo for four weeks and we miss her. Me being the hard nosed practical person, suggested well it was going to happen sooner or later. Once she gets to school age, we won't see too much of her. Little Jo is very like her mother, and will run Sister ragged when she becomes a teen. I say that with no glee. Hehe, or maybe I do.

I am sure Little Jo still loves her Uncle R, but we all have to move on. Perhaps we are entering a new phase.

Meanwhile, I observe mothers and fathers with their 18 month to three year olds with some envy. It is surely the best time. Well, it was the best time for us and Little Jo.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lap or Ipad

We will be travelling overseas next year, destination undecided as yet. One thing we have decided is that we are not carting the heavy laptop, that is me with it in my backpack, again. Although the mouse to go with it weighs little, the charger is heavy too.

So, what shall we get? It will be used for some web browsing, some email and to back up photos.

The choice is a light weight modern laptop, a net book or an Ipad or Android equivalent.

Factors to consider

We prefer to use a mouse.

An Ipad or non Ipad would need a case as well I guess.

We already have Android smart phones and will use them for the rare o/s phone call.

It is easy to plug the camera in a computer via a usb port. I am wary of anything more complicated.

Think I have talked myself out of an Ipad or non Ipad. Your opinions would be most welcome though.

This week's flowers

Actually last week's, this week's and next week's!

I don't know what these are. Bit boring but there wasn't much on offer that week.

Iris are ever so reliable.

Friends were going overseas, so before they left, they raided their garden and gave us this bunch of strelitzia.

Panic, surprise visitors coming and I had just thrown out the finished and ragged cyclamen from the balcony the day before (that should perhaps be rephrased). We grabbed what we could at a nearby nursery and the petunias have turned out rather well. We'll get a couple of months out of them. I tried to be smart by taking an overhead shot, but a side shot would have been better to show them.