Saturday, May 19, 2012

Was I drunk?

No, not me. I am a person of sober habits. This piece of music was played on our ABC's Science Show. It is quite a catchy tune and I had not heard it before, although R says he has. The recording I heard was by Peggy Hill and I could not find it online as some selfish person has not uploaded it, I guess. My search was further stymied by there being some pop culture figure of the same name.

This recording is by Lil Johnston and has the clearest vocals of what I found to choose from. It is rather risqué, which of course is what caught my attention.

Was I drunk
Was he handsome
And did my ma give me hell.

Did I get a thrill
And am I still acquiver.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Guverments taken me Myki money

I am obliged to Daniel Bowen of the Public Transport Users Association for clarifying this to me and others. Although as clearly as he wrote it, just as surely did we misread it.

I almost felt sorry for the boss of our Melbourne's public transport ticketing system a couple of mornings ago when he was taking calls about Myki while on the public radio. Mr Carolan certainly had a job on his hands to convince people about the truth of the 90 day, your Myki will no longer work myth. People are clearly very confused and somewhat obstinate about understanding it.

Think of you Myki card as a bank where you keep your money. You withdraw from the bank by using your Myki card on public transport. You deposit to your Myki card by topping up the balance, at a Myki machine, in a shop, over the phone or online.

If you top up your card using a machine or at a shop, your card is physically involved and at it knows the new balance immediately.

If you do it over the phone or online. You are only topping up your account, not the card itself. Next time you use the card, the new balance will be told to your card, from your account by the Myki reader or machine.

Right, so if you top up using a machine or shop, your money is there forever, or to the end of Myki, whichever comes first. I expect politicians may well want this system to outlast living memory.

Now, here is the tricky bit. If you top up online or by phone, when you next use your card, the balance will be updated, unless you don't use your card for travel for ninety days after you make the top up. After the ninety days the new balance is not immediately available for travel usage.

What happens is when you try to touch on with your card after the ninety days, cogs will whir in the background and gears will mesh while something sorts something out in the background and possibly the next day, the new balance will be available to use when you touch on with your card.

Hopefully you will have had enough money on your card already for that previous day's travel until your new balance registers on your card. Once it has registered the new balance, like a cash top up, it is there forever.

In essence, don't top up your Myki card online or by phone if you don't intend to use it for ninety days. If you do and your balance before the ninety day period was already very low, you may not be able to  travel that day.

As to why this happens, well dig for yourself. I don't want to confuse the matter.

This is how the Myki brochure explains it, which is clear to me.

If you don’t use your myki and collect your top up within 90
days, your top up request will be suspended and will not
be available when you next travel. It will be reactivated and
ready to collect within 24 hours after your next touch on.

It was interesting to hear Mr Carolan to talk about an alternative to Myki. Perhaps for about $15 tourists will be able to buy a pack, which might include vouchers or discounts to attractions, perhaps a map and most certainly a Myki card. I don't think the amount of pre paid value, if any, has been decided. Too bad if they don't want the extras. They can buy a Myki card.

For everyone else, you will have to buy a Myki if you want to use public transport. As Mr Carolan said, there is no sugar coating it. People will need a Myki card.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Not so jolly Hockey

In earlier days my feelings about conservative politician Joe Hockey were fairly benign. Later I started to feel rather uneasy about his economic views, reinforced recently by his suggestion to cut welfare payments to cut taxes. So, I don't like him at all. That is quite irrelevant to whether he may or may not be an honourable person. I certainly have a view on that now after he insults my sister, her girlfriend and their child, who are imperfect parents, just like everyone else.What is not in doubt is that she is a child being brought up with love by two people in love. Oh that more children were as fortunate as she.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Respect the art man

V, our friend from Japan and I walked the length of Hosier Lane when she was last here in Australia. We were looking for Banksy's rat, a piece of graffiti art. I kind of knew the story though. Council maintenance workers had mistakenly painted over the world famous graffiti artist's work. This is a photo of Banksy's rat, from blog The Banksy rat is cool. The scrawl and the tag are not.

Graffiti is rather topical at the moment, well so sayeth Kath in Geneva but from the time she was in Melbourne. There is graffiti art and then there is vandalism of public and private property. I know the difference.

Dearest V, I am sorry to report that another Banksy has bit the dust, courtesy some plumber knobs. It was on a building at the corner of Greville Izett Streets, Prahran. I did not even know about it. Even if the plumbers had no idea who Banksy was, did they not think, this is rather cute. Let's work around it. I am thinking of a nasty punishment involving a soldering iron. Photo from

A Parkville Stroll

When I went to see the house Wardlow, used in the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries on our ABC, I walked a few of the streets and admired the buildings. (By the way, for those who asked, I could not find any photos of the interior of Wardlow, except some very old black and white. It was as you would expect.) Most houses were either well kept, under renovation or had been renovated, usually to a high standard. Here are a few of the ones I thought enough of to take their photo.

The wide and divided Park Drive.

These may be called a row of houses, but in Melbourne they get the rather loose title of terrace.

Here is one for David.

Still in Park Drive, this one is possibly my favourite.

Around the corner in Morrah Street, I think. In this style of house, access to the upper balcony is usually via the windows, that is you raise the lower one, duck and step out. It is a little alarming to see a chair on the upper balcony of one of these.

How odd. In Post Office Lane was a car upholstery business. Very unusual for there to be a business among the houses in Parkville.
It is undergoing serious renovation by the look of it from the front.

It is truly a wonderful little pocket of Melbourne and you have to be very rich to live there, which I am sure is nothing to do with the proximity of Royal Melbourne Hospital, seen here in the distance, where medical specialists can earn a motza. No, we don't even have electrical wires on display here in good Parkville. Well in some parts as I just noticed wires in an earlier photo.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Exhibition Walkway

If you look at the content of the report, it all sounds marvellous, but I lost concentration when this grabbed me, even though I think an tunnel might be a great thing. I do like an nice tunnel.

The Museum also wants to extend an tunnel — dug in 2000 when the car park was built — underneath the Exhibition Building to connect with a lift, which would whisk visitors up to the first floor - where there would be a permanent exhibition on democracy in Australia - and then upwards to the roof.

Filling in time

I had caught up and run out of podcasts from ABC RN, Joy Melbourne and Absolute Radio. Panic!!! I have nothing to listen to while I while away my idle time at work. Let me look at the BBC.

Like you foreigners can't watch our ABC from overseas, nor can we we watch the BBC here via the internet. But you can listen to our Radio National podcasts, as we can listen to podcasts from the BBC. I downloaded a few I liked the look of and they fantastic. Oh that our ABC had the resources of the BBC.

I heard this not so long ago and I believe it. Our Radio National is very worthy. Worthy does not make money nor make huge radio ratings, yet for its tight audience, it is an absolute treasure. It was suggested that perhaps it should be for the chop, yet then happened podcasting. Radio National's wonderful programmes that are sprinkled throughout a week, where you may or may not be able to catch them are suddenly accessible  at your personal convenience. The point that podcasting saved Radio National may or may not be true, but I download heaps of podcasts from RN and heard programmes that I wouldn't have listened to when they went to air or even the repeats.

One thing R and I used to always try to catch in pre internet days from Radio National was the late
Alistair Cooke's Letter from America.

As I said though, the BBC is wonderful. I listened to a few, around twenty minute podcasts. Twenty minutes is brief by our standards, but their brevity makes them very bite sized.

I learnt about:

What it is like to be a Catholic in the Royal Ulster Constabulary of Northern Ireland. The force has another name now and is no longer purely a protestant force from England.

The English language in Malaysia? They are dropping it in schools now, in favour of Chinese. They are seeing their bread buttered by a different country. Meanwhile, kids are bussed across to Singapore to learn good English.

Yet Vietnam is taking on the language of their defeated enemy. English is the be all and end of languages in
Vietnam. Forget their former colonial master's French language, forget their funded Russian languages. The most precocious twelve year old Vietnamese lad  spoke American English very very well. He is teaching his mother English, but she is not a good student.

The native peoples of Canada are heavily addicted to a prescription drug called oxy... something. It rang no bells for me. How they deal with, how they cure the addiction, how they treat people and how they get it.

If you are a homosexual in Turkey, you can get a pink certificate and don't have do your national army service. Showing a photo yourself having sex with another man is the easiest way. A photo of you kissing another bloke or a photo of you in drag or if you are effeminate, you are home and hosed. Yet you may well be homosexual and don't quite want to make pornographic pictures, or personal ones, and you are not effeminate and don't do drag. What to do? The army medical people will decide. Men being men, things happen too. In the Turkish army, if you the passive person who is caught in a compromising position with another male, you are considered gay and you get he pink slip. If you the top person in a sex act, you are labelled a deviant and subjected to army discipline. So many are caught, it is perhaps not such a big deal for them.

Whatever, in Turkey, whenever you go for a job, your discharge from the army and the reason will be visible to your prospective employer will be visible. Absolutely horrid for gay bois from little Turkish villages who have close knit family circles.

The BBC is not like our ABC. The BBC is stuffy and very conservative and I haven't forgiven them for not allowing our ABC to cover the last royal wedding in a lightly satirical manner.  But still, the BBC makes wonderful programmes. And then there is Al Jezeera, but that is a story for another day.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Is suburbism a word or did I just make it up?

This was in the window of  a Balaclava real estate agent. The last sentence reads, "Half the people who see it will fall violently in love with it, and the rest only deserve to live in Glen Waverley".

Apparently Glen Waverley doesn't do Boho chic. Of course it could be rephrased, "Half the people will hate it and much prefer a comfortable and large freestanding house in the pleasant and quiet tree lined streets of Glen Waverley".


Myself, R, Mother, Tradie Brother, ABI Brother, Sister, Bone Doctor, Little Jo, Chainsaw Niece and her beau celebrated Mother's Day at our place.

The rain came and went, the wind howled and gusted and yet occasionally the sun peeked out. Rain interrupted  tennis play on a sodden court.

Over one hundred dollars worth of food was consumed and I will be right for lunch for a few days with left overs. The living area was destroyed ten minutes of everyone's arrival and became worse as the afternoon wore on, but put back together in ten minutes. Best of all though, we laughed.

Even Little Jo stirred from her favourite position, in R's bed watching ABC for Kids, to come and see the rainbow.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Caffiene Hit

I love Kopiko but I don't think they are very good for you, so I don't eat them often. I was given this one at a restaurant instead of an after dinner mint. Nice.