Saturday, August 25, 2012

I am not superficial, all the time

The online site Gay Footy has been running a knockout competition. for the hottest player football player. I think this is the fourth round, the final. From 48 AFL players, we are now down to a single choice from three. I am having trouble deciding. Of course not being so shallow that I would just judge them on one photo, I looked at other online photos elsewhere. I have ruled out the middle one, David Zaharakis.

That leaves two to choose from. Initially I was inclined to the first, Shaun Hampson with his very attractive blue eyes, which may well be coloured contacts,  but after looking at some online photos of the last, Brett Deledio, I am torn (Victor and Lord Sedgwick, keep your fingers still). Perhaps I should look at their biographies. Which one has the best brain? But then I wasn't really thinking about their brains. Whaddya reckon guys and gals, mesdames and monsieurs, blokes and sheilas? Who should I go for?

Friday, August 24, 2012


Captcha is when you have to decipher weirdly written words to continue with a webiste. It could be for joining a site or just making a comment on a blog. I deal with spam on my blog. Blogger is now pretty good at sorting the chaff from the weeds. I hadn't checked my spam comment folder for over a week and there was about fifty spam comments there, none that should not have been marked as spam.

If you want people to comment on your blog, then I suggest you turn captcha off. I am experienced at captcha but it took me two attempts to log my comment on Hels' blog and seven tries to log a comment on Ad Rads' blog. Twice I can wear but seven???? It is not like I said anything important, just a comment, but  I am over it and I am not doing it again, no matter the cost of disconnection with blogmates.


This goes with this and that goes with that. Seems like an old tv ad that I can't remember and You Tube is not being helpful. Nothing goes with this analogue radio. It speaks about five seconds before the digital radios. (I remember now, an ad for the clothing store Suzanne)

Gloriously my bedside digital radio syncs with my portable digital radio which I use in my bathroom.

But this quite expensive digital radio does not go with the aforesaid digital radios. It seems to have superior processing power and brings the voice in less the a second earlier inferior processing power and brings in the voice less than a second later. As Victor has previously mentioned, it is rather annoying when you are moving from room to room and have more than one radio on.

Nevertheless, digital radio is marvellous and our ABC makes great use of it with umpteen stations to tune into. Today is the third anniversary of digital radio in Australia and it was celebrated in Melbourne by various radio stations broadcasting outdoors at Federation Square.

You can listen to Sydney blogger and ABC person James O'Brien chat to broadcaster Adam Spencer about digital radio by going to James' blog where there is sound file available.

More from the canals of the Netherlands

Those canals of the Netherlands just keep on giving. This is third YT featuring Netherlands canals, this time not in Amsterdam but Utrecht.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A day with Mother

Since R has 'retired', he has been taking Mother out each Thursday. But today he had a training course to do and it was my day off, so I had to step up to the crease.

Mother had three lists of what she wanted to do, or me to do. Clean hall mirror, check. Vacuum  and empty the the dust container of about one kilo of talcum powder, check. Tradie Brother's staff pruned Mother's roses, but not to her satisfaction. I know how to prune roses. I fixed them up. His pruning was almost ok, except he left the dead wood.

To the shops son.

Lunch at Vanilli. Very nice and cheap compared to Melbourne cafes for some great food and most excellent coffee. Instead of later taking Mother to Subway to buy her dinner, she saved half of her roast beef foccacia for dinner.

Walk across the road for medical prescriptions to be filled. I examined the mobility scooter in the window in great detail. I want one. It has electronic buttons and levers and LED lights and a dial for speed. It looked totally go fast and able to mow pedestrians down.

Drive to another chemist for Mother's blood pressure to be checked. She did not take her midday blood pressure medication. She knows full well that blood pressure medication takes a couple of weeks to work, but she wanted an instant result. Her fave chemist lass stuck her in the blood pressure taking room for her to relax, aka, the boxes of stock room, and forgot about her. When after sitting for 15 minutes playing with my phone, a staff member asked if I was waiting for something. That would be my mother who's blood pressure you are taking. Haha, they had forgotten about her in the box room. I continued to play with my phone until a staff member came and told me, 'she's gone thataway'. What an uncaring son I am. No wonder she prefers R to take her out.

Drive back to where we parked so she could go to the IGA Ritchie's supermarket to get some specials. It does save ABI Brother doing it on Friday night. I left her there and drove a distance to chemist warehouse for my own prescription to be filled. I had a couple of other things to get there, so it was good I was given a beeper to alert me to when my 'script was filled.

Perfect timing to return and collect Mother and her groceries. Take some lemons from the tree for R's voddys and diet coke son. I did and they were rather fine looking lemons and low on the tree to pick.

I drove home in storm and rain bursts. Interesting.

When I arrived at Mother's, she said she was nervous as she wanted to ask me something. Could I organise 'extras' for her health benefits that we children already pay. We've looked at this a few times already and concluded while it is worth it for Mother if we pay the premium, it is not financially sound. She has worked out a list of what she could get attended to if she had extras. I give up. I will do it. I suppose I will get money out of my siblings.

Sister terrifies Mother. I think it is a mother daughter thing that I don't understand. Sister would complain if Mother was not ready to go out or delayed for some reason for going out, so therefore she hid her nail polish down behind a cushion so that Little Jo would not want Nanny to paint her nails. Us boys tolerate Mother's dithering, but Sister will not. Have I mentioned Sister school teaches senior boys. Her school teacher bossiness does not work on me, but it does on Mother up to a point. Little Jo arrived and immediately pulled away cushions and asked Nanny why she had hidden her nail polish.

I noticed Mother only had two ciggies today while I was in her company. Her bestie is giving up and is down to ten a day. Never too late I suppose.

Learnin' to Jap Junk in one easy lesson.

It is of some concern that the Readers Feast bookshop in the centre of our fair town has been replaced by the Japanese giant Daiso. Literacy to consumerism in one fell swoop. Every item for sale in Daiso is priced at $2.80. There are some real bargains to be had, for sure. I enjoy perusing the shelves, especially wondering what certain things are for when there is not an explanation in English.

Could I go in and come out empty handed? Of course not. They are like $2 shops. You don't intend to buy, but end up spending $10.

We just had to have the glue. We will try these cheap batteries to see if they are any good. A mouse mat for the laptop. The old one is too 'fast'. Liquid hand soap for topping up the dispenser in my en suite. The wrapping paper was rather nice and a bargain. The last thing is a room deodoriser. The scent is a bit old lady, but tolerable.

All useful items and they will get used.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Your rioting pussys

Hey girls, nudge nudge.

I know a bit more about Russia than your average world punter, possibly less than many of my readers. Due to the pussy riots in Russia, now the whole world who knows little of Russia,  thinks Russia very bad. Pussy Riot good. Putin, the Russian bloke who likes to show off his muscular but aged body, bad. The world is pretty well disgusted with Russian government.

Kremlin media machine, fail.

Entertaining the Young'un

Well, you know who is around when a mess like this occurs. R has been asked to be Little Jo's guest at either kindergarten or playgroup for the Dad's or Friends (adult male) afternoon tea. Playgroup is his choice and it will mean he will have to travel down to the Bellarine on his own for a daytrip.

It was Sister's dog's second visit to the Highrise. This time she became quite possessive and barked at a neighbour who was barbecuing on his balcony. Eventually I closed the blinds to make her shut up. In spite of Sister's assurances that the dog is perfectly housetrained, and in spite of making three trips downstairs with her in as many hours, still it happened. No probs, I am old hand at cleaning up after dogs.

Little Jo once again repeated that I am lazy because I sit at the computer. I called her Square Eyes because she lies in R's bed and watches too much tv. 'Andrew, the tv screen is not square, it is rectangle'. Hmm Miss Smarty Pants, your want war, 'Little Jo, it's rectangular, not rectangle'. That round to me, but as she gets older, I suspect I may lose a few rounds.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


The late and great ABC radio broadcaster Peter Evans used to argue the point about unique. He would not tolerate any adjective to go with unique. It was either unique or it was not. Someone or something cannot be a little bit unique.  I would argue that something can be almost unique. He would argue, you can't be a little bit pregnant. You are either pregnant or you are not.

Apparently a United States Senator thinks you can you can be a little bit raped. In this case I don't think there is a qualifying adjective. Is there an opposite to being legitimately raped? Not properly raped? Weird huh. I won't lump all old white men into the picture, but a good many of them need to have a good hard look at themselves.

Rape victim, don't worry. The worst won't happen. The senator assures us that after taking advice from doctors that it is very unlikely that you will conceive from a sexual assault. Apparently your eggs go and hide until those nasty rape sperm critters die off.

We in Australia hear enough clangers from our own politicians, but I am not sure they go quite so far. I am thankful that the US has President Obama and via the internet, I know there are some very sensible people in the US.


I was travelling past a park. Some white blobs in the park attracted my attention. They looked like cockatoos from a distance, grazing on grass seed. But then I noticed about a dozen geese wandering towards the cockies. They were white too, but with fawn markings. I was in a vehicle, so I could not stop to take a closer look. A gaggle of geese is not so common in the inner suburbs.

The next day I started to tell R about the sighting and I stopped midway. Which park? What kind of vehicle was I in? What was the time? Cockies only eat on the ground in open land, not under trees. The shade made it hard to spot the geese initially.

I kept running the previous day's happenings through my mind. Why can't I remember the detail?

This is how I remember the goose looking although I can't remember the black head and there was somewhat less fawn. This is a Canadian goose.

I'm thinking I dreamt it. If that is so, it the most vivid dream I have had since I was a  child. I could even describe the geese in detail. Meanwhile, I will still run it through my head to see if I can remember. I'll republish this if I do remember.

Update: I've remembered now. It was Caulfield Park.

When to keep your trap shut

I think the word 'duh' (doh?) came from The Simpons tv show. It is quite a useful word. Here a few of my duh word moments.

Hyperbole, a word that I mispronounced in my head every time I read it until I was well into my twenties. I never embarrassed myself by saying the word out loud until I learnt it was not said hyperbowl.

Hermione, oh so tragic. While I know the word now, I am still unsure of the precise pronunciation. Do the lips go out after the m?

Eloise. It defies the vowel sound pronunciation I learnt as a kid. One day the light bulb moment arrived.

Place names remain problematic. Before we went to Vietnam, I told a Vietnamese born workmate that we were going to stay a night in Hue. Me saying Whoee, had him express a very blank face.

Before we went to Japan, at a party a Japanese guy asked where we were staying in Tokyo. I replied Uno, mispronouncing Ueno. I tried some pronunciation variations and he finally worked it out.

Once up in the north of Japan, I put the wrong emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABle  of Aomori. Place names are fraught.

I did well enough in England, knowing enough to pronounce Cholmondeley correctly and how to say the suffix 'shire. I even managed to understand Geordie, slightly toned down for my benefit, the toning down which invariable disappeared after a few drinks by our various hosts. English/Eastern Europe accent in London, no problem. Sad that we met only one English English person in London. I'm afraid the broad Lancashire accent got me though. I had to call on R to help, and even being English born, he struggled.

Food menus are the perfect way to embarrass yourself. I do now confidently pronounce bruschetta correctly and confidently, although few others seem to in Australia. If I don't know, I will say, 'Sorry, I am not sure how to say this', as I point. I would rather do that than get the word wrong.

Many of you are or were school teachers. At least teach your kids about a few of these hard words. Although while I have never had anything to do with Harry Potter books or films, I don't think kids will have such a problem with Hermione now.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Westgarth Town

'Shall we go to the shops, my sweet?'
'Again? Let's not'.

Right, on the second Sunday of each month Westgarth Town is open. Oddly Westgarth Town is not in Westgarth, but in Thomastown. Where is that? I knew enough to know it was on the Epping train line. I looked at an electric map. Too far from the station to walk. Ah, direct driving route is along very busy roads. Freeway then, although a longer a distance, it will be easier and probably quicker. It was about a half hour's drive.

Westgarth Town is the remains of a German settlement. There are a few houses remaining, privately owned and occupied, except for one which is an historic site.

It was slightly surreal. On one side of the street it suburbia and the other side a very old house and open land.

This is the shed on the boundary. Not much in there but a model of the settlement and an old horse cart. As well as the house there is a washhouse and meat curing shed.

The house is constructed of local bluestone, basalt if you like. There is still plenty of bluestone lying in the open areas. It makes cultivation very difficult. The house is the oldest German immigrant building in Victoria. I think it is now owned by the City of Whittlesea. The council certainly is responsible for the maintenance.

The outhouses and a forty feet deep well.

The Ziebell family built the house and developed the dairy farm.The last of the direct family died or moved out about 1970.

This garden would look a picture in the spring. It is tended by one of the Ziebell descendants. The bare rose in the foreground is perhaps 150 years old. The garden is part of Victoria's Open Garden Scheme.

Within the cavernous roofspace was the daughters' bedroom. It is a huge area but not so good if you are more the five feet tall.

The wind was bitingly cold, so we did not examine every grave in the nearby Lutheran Cemetery.

Descendants have a right to be buried in the cemetery. This grave is dated 2011.

This rather grand one is going to disappear soon, if the bushes are not cut back.

Across the field is the Lutheran Church. It was getting really cold by then, so we did not visit the church. We returned the car as some of the nearby local feral yoof exercised their best and extensive knowledge of some very old English expressions. I was amazed how many of these words they could fit into one sentence. I use sentence advisedly. The area of Thomastown seemed to be mostly developed in the 1970s and the houses are mostly neat enough but I've never seen so many old cars in an area. My twelve year old car would look very modern on the streets of Thomastown. Four wheel drive and SUV mania has not hit the area yet.

I've not had one for years, but suddenly I desperately wanted an apple pie from the Scottish Restaurant. As we drove towards the city along High Street, we saw every kind of takeaway food outlet except the one I wanted. But I knew we would eventually get to Clifton Hill. It makes most of the other restaurants in the chain look rather modest.

We needed something from the supermarket, so down Smith Street we drove and up onto the rooftop Woolworths carpark. Look V, there is Dance Cats.

Facadism can work if done properly. This case does not even approach properly. It looks just as absurd from 'inside' the building as is does looking at the outside. Just dreadful.

Now, how to get home by car from Smith Street. I wanted to go via Hoddle Street and Punt Road, but R suggested going via the City. Me? Drive in the City? Oh dear. Let me think. Can you turn right from Spring Street into Flinders Street? I didn't think so. We'll go down Lansdowne Street. Ha, you can't turn right at the bottom there either. Oh well, past the MCG and Punt Road it is.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Doing your mate

I was in a sauna once, a bath house if you like, but if you haven't quite got what they are, a male on male sex on premises venue. I came across two young guys who were clearly friends. They were standing next to each other chatting away, as friends do, but they were also playing with each other, if you get my drift.

They were interested in me and brought me into their 'conversation'. Except  it wasn't conversation I had with them. While I was included, I wasn't included in the conversation. They just kept on chatting between themselves. Quite a weird experience.

Twenty five years or so ago, I think I had sex with a friend. I am not really sure. It was at dance party at the old South Melbourne Cricket Ground. It was quite dark and there were private areas.  It was the magic of the moment and there was a third person involved (I remember him clearly. He was hot as, and wearing a bridal veil) but at some point, I 'woke' up and reality kicked in and I departed, no doubt to search for R to see what he was up up to.

There may well have been other experiences in my life that taught me that there aren't rules about relationships, sex and friends; that there doesn't have to be a delineation but the first mentioned experience was salient. They were friends firstly and had sex if they felt like it, but they were not a committed couple.

Without any reflection on my and R's relationship, I am well over sex. There were days when I found it a mind blowing experience and I have certainly had my share. Sex can be absolutely fantastic and a beautiful thing. For mine now, it is a base animal lust that has to be satisfied. There is no magic in it anymore for me. Some men are troubled by this when they get to a certain age, but to lose one's appetite when one gets older is quite a natural thing.

It is a blessed relief really. I just can't be bothered and it gives me more time for other things. The pig with its snout in the trough is sated.