Saturday, September 29, 2012

Maintenance of your machine

Our friend in Japan thought her computer was on its last legs.

Our newish notebook sized computer started up very smartly when it was brand new. It hadn't done much work but it had slowed down to an intolerable start up time. I gave it attention. I looked at all the things it was loading on start up and stopped them. I don't know how they all got there, but they did.

I stopped everything except the operating system and the virus checking from loading on 'start up' and lo and behold, it started up fast once again.

A friend of our friend in Japan gave her computer some attention and stopped many things running and cleared the 'furball' from the fan. Her computer is now working perfectly. Fingers crossed it still is.

To put it bluntly, you don't want unnecessary rubbish loading up when you start your computer. Crush, kill, destroy. You stay in control of your computer and what it does.

Little Jo and the Grannies

For each of Little Jo's birthdays Bone Doctor has made up a cd of music Little Jo liked or connected to over the preceding year. Upon Little Jo's arrival this evening, Little Jo wanted to hear our copy of the cd. We popped it on while we had a very, for us, early dinner.

"That's a good song Little Jo, but I can't understand the words".

"Andrew, that is because it is Russian. It is is the Russian Grandmothers".

"Who are they?"

"They were on a tv show, a singing competition show."

"X Factor or Australia's Got Talent?"

No proper answer.

I googled Russian Grandmothers. Ah, Eurovision. Now I remember. They were Eurovision competitors and I seem to recall, they went down quite well. But I had not seen them or heard them perform.

When I am no longer working, I may devote time to watching Eurovision, perhaps only the final. 

I was sent out to buy ice cream and meanwhile, with R's help, Little Jo had found a clip of them on You Tube. But Eurovision protects its property rights strongly and they couldn't find one showing the performance.

I am reminded of a period in my life when I became very fond of balalaika music.

"Andrew, it has cooking in it."

Eventually I found the official Eurovision You Tube channel and the clip. 

"Little Jo, do you know the Russian name for grandmother?"

Blank look.

"It is babushka. I will show you some net photos of babushka dolls".

"Andrew, I have babushka dolls at home."

R said, "She does, in her room."

Well, short of a full sized aeroplane, she has everything else, so why not babushka dolls.

Have a look and listen to the Russian Grandmother's performance. It is bright, boppy and great fun and you can see where the cooking came into it.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Phoenix

Must be time to visit way up north again, well write about it. Let me see. The last thing I can recall writing about Brisbane was about the Whisky au Go Go fire. No, later about two women breaking the no women in hotel public bars rule.

I'll go back further this time to another fire. On this day fifty years ago, the inner suburban Paddington tram depot in Latrobe Terrace was destroyed by fire, precipitating the closure of the whole tram system by 1969. Sixty five trams were destroyed in the fire, a quarter of Brisbane's fleet of trams.

It is rumoured ahead of the fire that the Mayor of the Brisbane at the time, Clem Jones, would find it very convenient if something dire happened to some trams. Mayor Jones had some financial interests in petrol stations. Should the tram system close, more people would be in cars, using more petrol.

With a fanfare of publicity, the mayor acquired some buses from Sydney to replace the destroyed trams, which was rather odd, as Brisbane had spare buses sitting in storage. Some older trams in storage were also brought back into service. Eventually eight trams were able to be rebuilt from what was salvaged at the depot. They were known as Phoenix Trams and had this gorgeous little emblem on a exterior panel.

A later quote from Mayor Jones was that  that the trams had to go because they were dangerous and that
there were many accidents involving trams.

Another was along the lines that he was a Labor man and he wanted Labor people to drive cars, like the rich folk, but the trams were in the way and so they had to go, to encourage his folk into cars. 

There is a great little video about the fire from Channel 7 in Brisbane. Apparently many of the ex tram drivers went on to become bus drivers, some less than successfully. Click here to see the 2.30 video. 

This photo has no more relevance than it is Brisbane and I like the photo. It is somewhat alarming that the tram is travelling along the wrong side of the road against oncoming traffic. The tram depot was in Ipswich Road, Buranda, now the site of a shopping centre. I think this is looking east in Cornwall Street with Ipswich Road crossing between the tram and the depot. Anyone confirm or deny? To say the scene looks quite different now is a massive understatement. I would guess the photo is about 1964. Funny, if you watched the video, you would have seen that the Paddington Depot also became a shopping centre, as did Sydney's huge South Dowling Street Depot when it closed.

Once the Paddington Depot burnt, it only left the Ispwich Road depot and another smaller one in Light Street, Newstead. The Light Street Depot seems to now have an Audi car showroom on its site.

I enjoyed putting this together. I hope you enjoy the smattering of Brissy history. OMG, I have written about the Paddington Depot fire before and it was only last year. How could I have forgotten.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The mighty HSBC

While I usually have a little knowledge about things, R trumped me when we were talking about the HSBC Bank. Its name is rather like saying PIN number that you use for your electric banking. As the the N in PIN stands for number, it is silly to say PIN number and it follows that is silly to say HSBS Bank. So just HSBS.

HSBC is the second largest company on the London Stock Exchange. We have HSBC in Melbourne and I have seen it in many parts of the world.

Oh yes, R trumped me by saying the bank has something to do with Hong Kong. He was quite correct. HSBC is the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. It took over the huge English bank, Midland.

I now know what HSBC stands for. I don't care to research any further.

The hottest AFL player winner is...

I wavered between choosing Shaun Hampson(top) and Brett Delidio(bottom) out of the three final contenders at this year's hottest AFL player at Wouldn't you know it, neither won, instead the prize going to David Zaharakis(middle). I better have a another look at him. More photos. No, I'm afraid he just does not do it for me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Apparently IOS6 is something to do with the latest iPhone. I suppose it is an operating system. No longer is Google Maps to be found on an iPhone. Users are acquainting themselves with the new Apple built maps included with the phone. But things aren't quite right in the new map system.

Many have contributed faulty maps and directions to the Tumbler website, ironically called The Amazing IOS 6 Maps. I did not read them all, but I did see one that had the Queensland city of Cairns misplaced.

The lack of accuracy of the map system has become rather a joke. In Pants old stomping ground of Hackney Wick, the station staff are ever so helpful. Photo from Going Underground's Blog.

Jack being butch

Jack is anything but prim and prissy little dog. An hour before he was collected my his Mummy after his recent visit, he discovered Little Jo's teddy bear on the spare bed. Fortunately he did not damage it in the short time he gave it a good shaking and chewing.

Jack slept on R's bed each night. While I arose long before R, Jack ignored me and stayed on the warm bed with R.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Because it amused me

Pumpkin soup cooling. There wasn't even steam happening.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Our friend who was a policeman in the Northern Territory has always said, if there is murder, look very closely at the family. From when he told me that, I have observed that he was pretty well on the mark. While I am not suggesting, only thinking, maybe this is apt re the Irish born ABC lass. Regardless, it is highly probable that she met with foul play and that is terribly sad.

And in other news, should a posh private school pay the wages of the school Principal's live in same sex lover/house keeper/child carer?

Eight years later...

On this day eight years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Eight years later, I still manage to find things to say. Over the period I have shared some of the 15,000 odd photos I have taken. It has been and is a wonderful experience. I have met some blog mates and I will no doubt meet some more in the future.

Blog stats tell me I have post an average of 1.65 times a day. Too much. I think 1.25 would be good.Surely eventually I will run out of things to say.

I read something in The Guardian a while ago which made me think. Well, The Guardian often makes me think, a thing I am not normally keen on doing.

If I translate what I read in The Guardian to my blog, I have gathered around me people who I like, and people who seem to like me because they read my blog. A few readers have come and gone over the years, but there are some significant stalwarts.

The point of the Guardian article was, that is how it is. Of course no one who dislikes me or what I write reads me. Why would they?

There is no doubt in my mind that having a blog is all about approval. That is rather the opposite to what I normally say; my blog, my online diary, I will write regardless. I wouldn't still be writing in detail after eight years later if it wasn't for the comments and the people I interact with.

Some time ago Dina in the United States mentioned me in a post. She thought I was ninety percent trustworthy as a real person who blogged, rather than a fake blogger who made their life up, of who she has had some experience. I lost some percentage because she had not seen a photo of me. She has now, although she is politely doubtful about my earlier claim that I resemble her lust object, Julian McMahon.

No, I am pretty much real. I may well have used dramatic license at times, but not much and not often.

Thanks for reading me. Appreciate it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Saturday night after dinner at a pub with friends

R is talking on the telephone to his sister in England. At the last minute we bought a phone call card to give us a cheap call to a mobile in the UK. Ten cents per minute. Telstra? What are you doing? Apparently R's sister and husband are coming back here next year.

R started off talking to his sister in Geordie speak, but he has been alternating between his Aussie accent and Geordie. Hehe, by the end of the call he was pretty well back to Australian.

Coffee Hopping Pt 2

Our last coffee stop was at St Ali's in South Melbourne. Some punters are just leaving.

This sign is all there is to identify its frontage.

I do like the orderly rows of pots on this nearby medium rise apartment block.

This is the menu. There seems to be a boxing connection. I would guess the a former use of the building was as a boxing gymnasium.

I grabbed the short black all for myself.

More boxing memorabilia.

It was another place I just never knew existed, hidden away down a lane. It was buzzing with atmosphere and people. The service was good enough.

The coffee bean roaster.

A nearby Indian restaurant. I tried three times to take photos, but they came out looking like the glass was wet when it wasn't. Perhaps my lens was. No, because a few minutes later I took the ones below.

It is a very colourful street.

I'm afraid I made some naughty hand movements at the figure on the left. Manny was very amused.

It was too late to visit this cafe, which I think also had three stars. Dead Man Espresso is an intriguing name.

Dimattina Coffee, a wholesale supplier which has a large market share in Perth, so Manny informed us.

The nearby Star Hotel, once a gay venue in the eighties where we spent quite a number of nights.