Saturday, April 20, 2013

It's all in a name #157

I call it crass commercialism and I very much dislike losing the names of historic and more recent sporting venues.

Melbourne: Docklands Stadium. Telstra Dome still gets a gig and is on some tram destinations but now Etihad Stadium.

Hobart: Bellerive Oval. Such a beautiful name for a lovely ground, now Blundstone Arena.

Geelong: Kardinia Park, was Skilled Stadium, now Simonds Stadium.

Perth: Subiaco Oval, now Patersons Stadium.

Carlton: Princes Park, now Visy Park.

North Melbourne: Arden Street, now Aegis Park.

Launceston: York Park, now Aurora Stadium.

Canberra: Manuka Oval, now Star Track Oval.

It is not just football grounds.

Melbourne Tennis Centre (part). Let the government name it and you get Multi Purpose Venue. In this case Vodafone Arena was preferable, now Hisense Arena. Most people still refer to it as Vodafone Arena.

Do you have any more to add to the list?

Another just occurred  to me in Sydney, the Olympic venue Homebush Stadium, now known as ANZ Stadium. Blah!

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Daddo here, a Daddo there, see the Daddos everywhere

There was a time in Australia when the Daddo brothers were omnipresent on our televisions screens. They were absolutely everywhere and it mattered little which channel you might tune into, there would be a Daddo not far away. They were nice looking blokes, all three of them. Where have they all gone? There was an Andrew Daddo...........that is all I can remember. Wait, Lochie. Cameron? Shall google be my friend?

Andrew has a  twin brother, Jamie, who is an artist it seems. Well, not many will know him.

An old photo of Lochie Daddo and a more recent one below. At 43, he is still nice enough. When he was young, I thought he was a cutie.

My favourite was Cameron. What fabulous hair he had and while it may be shorter now, but there is still plenty of it. At 48, I can still see some hotness. I am pleased to see his furrowed brow has reduced as he has aged!

Andrew, now 46, was not my favourite, but I did see him on tv not so long ago. This is the only photo of his younger self that I could find online. Very odd. Can one obliterate one's old photos on the internet? Thankfully Aussie tv historian Andrew to the rescue (did I hear him on PM last Monday talking about the demise of Days of our Lives on free to air tv?)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Aussies do racism well

So sayeth a visitor from the US. Apparently we don't like like Lebbos, people from the Lebanon. Well there were the riots in Cronulla, principally between old style, yet young Anglo whites and people of Middle Eastern appearance, yes mostly Lebanese, possibly 2nd generation immigrants, that is born here but their parents were not.

Apparently, so said US visitor, we are very selective about out racism. Those from this country and that country are ok, but not those from that country are not. Yes, I plead guilty.

Years ago, two work mates, one a short and plain looking guy from Manchester who was about 28 and the other a  22 year old christian immigrant from the Lebanon, who was drop dead gorgeous. Let me call them Alex and Andre. It was so long ago, it doesn't matter that I use their real names. Alex was openly gay. Andre was openly straight. Yet they hooked up as friends and I expect did the biz. I accompanied them for a Sunday drive down the Mornington Penisular. I flirted outrageously with Andre. Andre flirted back, with skill. He knew how to play the game. He cleaned Alex out for thousands. I was not left with a great impression of Lebanese.

My Sydney plastic friend was into enacting out fantasies. He went to Tel Aviv to meet a hot Israeli army boi and to Beirut to meet a hot Leb guy. He had a great time in Tel Aviv with the army boi. The Lebanese guy beat him up badly.

There were the two Lebanese brothers at work, both very sexually aggressive towards women in the workplace, in spite of them both being married. The more aggressive one was of a diminutive size and balding but the other, very nicely built and handsome.  Sadly my conversations with the latter eventually drifted to him saying sotto voice 'fucking poofta' as we passed by. In thirty plus years, it was the only overt homophobia I recall at work.

And then there is Lebanese Mustafa at work. I thought he was christian, but apparently not. He is Muslim. I have worked with him nearly as long as I have been in the same workplace. Oddly, he seems to like me and makes a big effort to chat. I don't like him. I don't like his vitriol towards women, gays (yes he is dumb), people from other countries. I have Asian friends at work, proper friends. I don't like the way he talks about them.

So, visitor from the US, I am one of those Australians. I don't like Lebbos, but of course it is a gross generalisation, only based on nearly a working lifetime of personal experiences. I will keep an open mind though, should I come across Lebanese in the future. I would love to be proved wrong.

Apologies to Daniel who retweeted a tweet and stimulated this post. He is not guilty by association.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Just another Sunday

I can't say I swapped work shifts to be home when Sister asked us to look after Little Jo while she went to the football, but given I had worked three Sundays in a row, it seemed like a good idea to have a Sunday off. While we knew she would be quite content to stay at home here doing craft, making food and watching dvds, we all needed some outside stimulus. I saw some kiddies in the City Square watching something on a stage. Something to do with the Comedy Festival. Google was my friend. Family friendly performances at Fed Square. Family friendly yes, but a good does of double entendre involved for adults at the show.

Sister was meeting friends for a pre game drink at Rivergarden.We caught the tram in together. We were early and watched the excellent busker on a uni cycle at Fed Square. Sister went off to see her mates and we gathered at the Fed Square stage. We sat on our bums at the far left of the stage and saw some excellent performances. These were supposedly for kids and not something we would have gone to see on our own, but the performances were great. R and I enjoyed ourselves, as did Little Jo. Of course Sister had to reappear to check all was well. Yes Sister, your precious daughter is safe with us.

I could not sit on the ground any longer, so I adjourned to the background. One's back can only take so much. Not too much later R and Little Jo joined me. I thought one of the performances was based on an opera. The performer had used three audience members and it was very funny. How does a five year old know about mime? "Andrew and R, that mime performance was based on the story of Pocahontas". I hate kids being smarter than me but having just read an outline of the movie, she is correct.

We had kind of bribed Little Jo about coming into town to see the show with the promise of an ice cream. We went to the Scottish restaurant place in Swanston Street and bought ice cream and chips, and Little Jo showed us how chips can be dunked into ice cream. We sat in the gloomy and depressing upstairs area. I didn't go but Little Jo did, and judged the toilets as disgustingly filthy.

Little Jo was very talkative. 'Mummy's stomach is going to be cut open from here to here in August.' We knew nothing about it.

'Mummy won a ticket to Dream World and I am going there with my cousins in June.' Little Jo's cousins are the grown up Non Dreaded Nephew, Teacher Niece and Chain Saw Niece. Obviously not them. I pressed the point, who are these cousins? They are real cousins Andrew, and live in Geelong.

Little Jo does have a connection with her biological father. Is that what is about? When Sister returned from the football, she said they are just friends.

Sister is taking some posh school lads midyear to a camp to do good works in Alice Springs for some Aboriginal kids and then she will go to the Gold Coast to meet up with a friend who has kids and the friend will have flown up with Little Jo along and after that, once home, Sister will have her surgical procedure.

Sister: 'Did Mother tell you about my operation?'
Me: 'No, but Little Jo did today.'

It is awful. Sister has some huge fibroid growth and has to have a hysterectomy and the growth removed. The recovery period is very long. Trying to say something positive, I said, well at least you won't have to go through menopause. She said they are not taking her ovaries so I don't know if that means she will still have menopause or not. Later, I asked Mother and she said yes, she will still have menopause.

Once home with Little Jo, she got all crafty, read messy with paper, glitter glue and paints, and then she and R made pizzas while I walked our guest dog Jack. Later she was watching a dvd and blurted out, "That is the music 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy', and so it was. I can't bear the music. I think it is one of scariest pieces of music ever, and I have a feeling it was used in another movie when something bad happened. But honestly, how does the child know so much?

The busker performing at Fed Square. I dislike the way they plead for money at the end of their performances. It is a more recent thing, but it works. You should have seen the money he collected. I picked up the wrong camera when left home, so the photos aren't so great.

This performer was German and had been here for the Comedy Festival. He was excellent and very funny.

This was the mime performance, also excellent and very entertaining. As you can see, there was quite a crowd, but shortly after we left, a brief shower of rain cleared many away.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hand Held

With much confidence, I am sure I am able to link back to when bought our last hand held vacuum cleaner, which we use to pick up crumbs and dead insects, as opposed to the Big Kahuna, the Revolta, that expertly picks up sock fluff. Got it. Wow, I had forgotten about the even older model.

Vacuuming cleaning is my business, not R's, yet once he took it upon himself to empty the hand held cleaner and chucked out a vital part in the rubbish. I had not neglected my duties and there was no need for him to empty it, but there you go. He did, and a critical part went down the rubbish chute with the dust. I patched it up, but it was never quite the same, and then the batteries started to die. We knew we needed a new one and I had been looking for bargains, but on sheer impulse, we stepped into the vacuum cleaner shop in Chapel Street.

The old one.

The salesman tried to talk us into some small upright cleaner. Yes, ok, you have one and just in case we thought you were a sister, you are straight and need to pick up child food droppings around the dinner table.  Aren't you a lovely straight married chap and gay friendly, no less. (fingers in throat. I get sick of these performances, just because we are an old gay couple.)

But R and I agreed, this other one is a good hand held model and I was already clued up about prices, so we bought it. I only look, behave and seem like I am stupid. I am actually, but don't spread that around.

The salesman assured us it could be wall mounted and sure enough, once home, it had the mounting points. The old one came down from the wall, painfully initially, until we recalled we had a once used cordless screwdriver. To our surprise it had enough charge and made the screw removal fast work.

How to put the new one up? Plaster screws are not adequate. We needed butterfly bolts. Surprise. I had two, different sizes, different lengths, but they will work. Oh, you need a half inch hole. We will drill to 3/8ths and enlarge the hole by running the drill bit around the holes in the plaster. Drill bit was not happy and kept loosening. Our five minute job had turned into a one and a half hour job, but we have done it. The old one is down and the new one is up. Except, when we sat the unit on the charging point, the base sagged and it lost contact and so could not charge.

I immediately went through the possibilities of not vertical walls, flat walls, bad alignment, poor installation and no, it was correctly installed, but did not work.

Old holes and new.

We moved the washing machine a bit and found a place for it to sit on the floor. The new hand held vac works well. It has a high voltage motor and you feel the thrust as you turn it on.

I sent an email to Hoover, hoping they would not ask what I wanted. I don't really want anything. I am happy with the machine, just disappointed we could not wall mount it. It is not the end of the world. Two days passed and there was no reply. I will have to write a letter. Then things moved quickly. Someone replied and forwarded my complaint to a development team who asked what the serial number was. Then I was asked my home address to send the new rib reinforced base to and a request that we return the old one in a pre addressed and paid package.

Firstly, the problem should not have happened. Secondly it did, and Hoover quickly stepped up to the crease. Well done them.

I shall say nowt about the pushy salesman and I hope this post is useful to someone in Malawi or Chad who is having a similar problem with their cordless vacuum cleaner.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Train not stopping at Helensburgh

These photos look like the could be from a deserted English railway line, but they are not. They are of the old Helensburg railway station. I thought Helensburg was somewhere like Bowral, on the NSW highlands, but no. It is just a mere 45 kilometres south from the heart of Sydney. Helensburgh has a newer station, which does not seem to be actually in Helensburgh but Lilyvale. Oh, next station is Waterfall, the scene of a terrible train accident. Trains so rarely go wrong, but when they do, ouch.

Let me see what else I can find out about the old railway station at Helensburgh. The line opened to Helensburg in 1888 with the intention of continuing on to Illawarra.  It was only used for less than three decades and closed in 1915. Slowly the platform became overgrown and started to disappear, but at some point volunteers cleaned it up.

I think this the Helensburgh Tunnel (no. 3). It is a short one, 80 metres long and one of a number in the area. Some of the other tunnels were nearly a kilometre long and had very steep 1 in 40 grades and it was not unknown for a steam train to stall in a tunnel, whereby it would return to the previous station and offload some carriages and have another crack at getting through. Now imagine if you were a passenger, or train crew, crawling along or stalled in a narrow tunnel with the steam engine belching out smoke, soot and steam. A less than successful ventilation shaft was added to the Metropolitan Tunnel (no. 4) in 1891. Later a monster steam driven blower was installed at one end of the tunnel which effectively cleared the smoke and soot.

The most famous disused train tunnel in the area is the Otford tunnel (no. 7), one and a half kilometres long.

The line became too busy for single track operation so new tracks were laid on a different route between Waterfall and Coalcliff. South the line continues on to Illawarra and if you catch it north to the end, you will be at Bondi Junction.

These photos came from Tumblr and I don't know whose they are as they were reposted there, so I can't credit them.

This appears to be the old railway station platform. I doubt the sign is original. A short length of track leads into the tunnel.

This must be the other end of the tunnel, somewhat less overgrown but it could be one of a number of tunnels in the area. Any corrections welcome.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Selections

I seem to have enough photos to do another Sunday Selections, just as River does each Sunday.

At easter R and Little Jo made these decorated eggs. You boil the eggs, put the shrink wrap around and boil them a bit more. Bought, Prahran Market.

I can't recall where this very old fashioned bin is, maybe Caulfield. It has no base, so what is thrown in comes straight out the bottom.

No, the new South Yarra building is not on fire, although by the smoke haze, something is.

The gecko on my wall has given birth. The baby will lose its bright colouring as he grows and end up with the same colouring as his mum. Bought, Melbourne Garden Show.

No, I haven't been tram spotting in Calcutta. This is an iconic Melbourne tram. We, or rather Yarra Trams, do look after our trams, not. Phone photo.

My late father built my late maternal grandmother's house in North Road, South Oakleigh. It was fully furnished by Mother with her father's open check book at Malcolm Reid. No expense was spared. The dressing table mirror is attached to the hall wall of the Highrise. Phone photo.

The authorities are 'burning off', or properly known as a 'controlled fire fuel reduction burn'. This one did stay in control but they don't always. With the wind in the right direction, Melbourne smells of smoke. I love the smell of burning eucalyptus leaves in the morning.

Goats  milk soap is supposed to have wondrous properties but it not powerful enough to rejuvenate my ageing skin. I'll go back to the Cussons Imperial Leather once it is finished. Bought, St Kilda Esplanade Sunday Market.

It is for you judge whether an effective photo can be taken by snapping in the direction of the sun.

An old building with a very old roof vent. Note the flood lamp, painted to not shout modernity at the building. Phone photo.