Saturday, June 01, 2013

Teenage Lust

I always thought I preferred Batman to Robin, but after seeing them out of costume, no longer. Isn't Robin so sweet.

Straight away I knew it was Shirley Jones in the centre of this photo. Son David knew how to play to the camera at a young age. The younger Shaun did not. Someone at school in the seventies asked me if I liked David Cassidy. I think I went bright red. I adored David and old photos of him remind me how much. I was then told Derek, who a year above me, wanted to marry him. That sent my mind abuzz and some hormones racing, not that they weren't already.

Both photos from

Friday, May 31, 2013

Busy stations

What fun. I have been to four of the 24 most busy railway stations in the world, ok, three were in Japan.

8. Tokyo (we just followed the signs. So simple)

17. Omiya ( it did not seem big. We were on our way to the transport museum, on from Omiya on a rubber tyred guided driverless train)

22. Ueno (yes, it is big and busy, but not crowded and user friendly)

24. Gare du Nord (I don't think it should be on the list, only there because it seems really busy because of British passport control for Eurostar)

I am not saying the stats are dodgy but if you want a feeling of a busy station that is not coping with the numbers travelling, try Melbourne's South Yarra Station at 8am or Sydney's Town Hall Station, also at 8am. Forget the stats. Australia does the perception of crowded and busy stations in first world countries better than anywhere else in the world, methinks.

Flashing at Melbourne Central

I haven't showed any flashmobs for a while. I think they have become a little passé. I think the word passé had become a little passé. Melbourne Central seems to be a popular place for flashmobs.

Hallelujah Chorus is presented by a group called Skin Opera.

This rendition of the popular chorus from La Traviata is by Opera Scholars Australia.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

My horn going off

I had my car in for a service a couple of months ago. I do it annually. It is wasteful to do it more often. There is always a call from the garage when the car is being serviced. Ok, yes change the timing belt. That is important. I can see my tyres and I will be the judge of my tyres, thank you very much. They don't need replacing yet. Happened on our watch but sorry, your passenger window winding mechanism has failed. What do you want us to do? We could just prop it up and it won't work anymore. Perfect, go ahead.

But when I got up to speed, the window whistled. Most annoying. I tried to push it up and jammed a wad a paper in but that failed. I could have lived with that but then there was the horn. Horns can be so troublesome.

I horned some stupid motorist in the lane that gives access to the Highrise carpark. Then the horn sounded twice on its own. Odd. I parked in the carpark at work and when I was a good distance from the car, I could hear a continual horn blasting. I returned to see who the culprit was and it was me. My horn was stuck (I could slip in more double entendre, but enough already). I went back to the car and pressed the horn button a couple of times and it stopped.

I took a look at the underdash fuse box and I could not see a fuse marked horn.

The next morning I googled Hyundai Lantra horn fuse and apparently it is under the bonnet. Btw, how is Michelle's car of the same vintage going?

That same day  when I was out of the office, I received a call. Your alarm is stuck on and driving people crazy. By the time I got there it had stopped. It was the heat from the sun that caused it to go off, but clearly the horn spring is weak or broken. I looked under the bonnet and sure enough, there was a box with more fuses and with the help of what I had seen in the car manual, a fuse puller, I removed the horn fuse.

Father's cars often did not have a working horn, or speedo, or fuel gauge, or indicators etc etc. But I find a horn a necessary thing. That with the whistling window has made me call the garage.

All very well, but a few years ago some white powder fell out of the steering wheel. Might that be something to do the sole airbag near where the horn button is located? I am expecting a big bill because there will be a call when they start mucking around with my horn, do you know the airbag in your steering wheel is not serviceable?

I really should get a new car, but new carpet and an overseas holiday is far more important.

Later edit: Two hours labour, $200. Window and horn are fixed and nothing wrong with the airbag.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It's all in a word #595

The Highrise can be shockingly politically incorrect, but only if you are Australian, American, British or French, if you are gay, straight or somewhere in between. Actually,  in between cops it the most. Yes, if you are religious, Moslem, Christian or Jewish. We leave the Buddhists alone, but have a good go at Hindus, as we are close to one.

If you are a white picket person, fair game, along with outer suburban types and leftie inner city latte sipping socialists. We don't leave out Camry drivers, or 4wd drivers, or Prius drivers. Don't let us get started on taxi drivers.

But this evening we had a sensible conversation about this matter. We generally agreed on the wrongness, but went on to disagree.

I think bringing a racist comment by 13 girl who probably knew no better to the fore and condemning it was a good thing. I think a careless comment such as McGuire's should be condemned. While neither incident should have happened, when they did, people, especially football goers, but not only them, have learnt some boundaries about what is acceptable to say in public. Ultimately, I think they have done public good.

It is hard to believe the person linked above could have screwed up so badly. While he is an early morning radio person, I can only think one suggestion by a commentator that it being very early might be relevant makes sense on that occasion. Perhaps a touch of the Stefanovics post Logies.

The victim in both cases above was a footballer who has less than obvious Aboriginal heritage. Yet the victim felt hurt, real hurt, in both situations. I never really got the monkey comment against a cricketer and nor do I get the ape comment, but if it is offensive or hurtful to people, why do it?

If  you hurt people by saying offensive things in public, personally I think you are pretty uncivilised, impolite, unmannered, not up to speed with this modern world and frankly, a dinosaur!

PS We don't make fat jokes in the Highrise for good reasons.

PPS I know people who have been very hurt by both subtle and extreme racist comments. Just think before opening your gob.

Where did that hour go?

While visiting the north of England in 2008, we stayed with two of R's three sisters but also one sister had a caravan at the country village of Hexham. I adored Hexham and loved staying there. Out of the blue today I recalled a building I liked in Hexham that straddled Cockshaw Burn. I found it using Google Maps Street View. We walked and drove past it many times during our stays there. I thought it might have been some kind of old mill house, but seems not.

Ah yes, the entrance must be on the other side of the creek. Let me check. I think so but no street view. I will look at satellite coverage.  Oh, let me look at the caravan park where we stayed. Ah, this house sitting above the caravan park. Oh look, there is a photo of Hexham Gaol, quite modern really, constructed in 1330.

Why is there a horrible modern clock on the tower? I am looking, looking. No stupid. The clock is on Hexham Abbey, not the gaol. The clock still looks modern. Further investigation, no, the clock was added in 1821. The face looks blue in some photos but white in others. Why would a clock face be blue? Apparently many church clocks in England are blue. Why? It was a hard colour to come by in centuries past, so it indicated wealth.

Further links popped up. How has the opening of Tescos affected local business? Not as badly as was thought.

Ah, voted the most popular market town in England.

Tory MP for Hexham has a blog. He is banging on about parking fees in Hexham.

Right, a property site tells which are the best Hexham streets to live in.
Hmm, a train every half hour to Newcastle, every hour to Carlisle. A frequent bus service to Newcastle.

I didn't really find out about the house I was originally curious about and why it straddled the burn but I enjoyed the education.

Air con units now sit on the exterior of the property that weren't there in 2008, but at the other end.

Would you like to see the abbey? This photo by Steven Fruitsmaak, so much better than my own. I still think the clock looks odd and out of place.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Werribee Zoo visit

Werribee Zoo is part of Melbourne Zoo in Parkville, along with Healesville Sanctuary. Healesville is exclusively? Australian animals. Melbourne Zoo has both Australian and exotic animals that can cope with captivity, even elephants who have a large areas that resembles a jungle.  Werribee Zoo specialises in animals from the open plains of Africa, along with some Australian animals. It is well set up and we enjoyed our visit very much. There are walking routes, of which we did one, and included in the price is a tour on an open window bus.

While waiting for Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo, I tried something I have never done before, a close up outdoor flora photo.

Our tour bus arrived. You can't see the second trailer but it was a vehicle of three parts.

The day was cool with a southerly breeze, keeping at bay any possibility that at some point during the day I could slip gorillas in the mist into the conversation. At one point we did see one of the three? gorillas standing and chest beating.

Resting ostriches. They are keeping a lookout rather than burying their heads in the sand. I do both, as the situation requires.

Rhinos, and don't ask me to write the longer name. The seemed rather dumb.They were eating hay which keeps them away from from the giraffes who were feeding too. The zebras weren't shy of ducking in and grabbing a bit of hay but beating a hasty retreat.

I find cheetahs are always very active. I am sure they are not always, but they do tend to prowl and pace a lot.

Hippos, another word I am not going to fully spell, are very dangerous creatures and are responsible for more deaths in Africa that any other animal in Africa. I read that on the internet, so it is true.

Sister more than once proclaimed that these African dogs are horrible looking. I can only agree with her. They seem to like their meat, but I have been accused of the same before! They are not hyenas.

Two lions slept while the third one stayed watch, except complacency had the watching lion nodding to sleep then suddenly becoming alert.

I have forgotten the name of this variety of monkey, but monkeys are always cute.

Should I try to explain to Little Jo about one hump or two? Should I try to remember the names of one hump or two camels? No. Look Little Jo, a camel.

I can't remember what these were, but they certainly have decent horns.

Feeding of the giraffes by the general public, who probably paid a good bit for the privilege.

Back at the Highrise, I asked Little Jo which photo from the day she wanted printed to put into her Highrise scrapbook. She chose this one.

Australian's of a certain age will get the name Ozzie.

These two are for you Wombat. I doubt anyone does not know what they are called.

Back at the Highrise to greet visiting Mother on Mothers Day, we amused ourselves with time trialled children's play. I fared not too badly as I quickly saw method. Little Jo had my camera and took hundreds of photos, none of them focused. I must give her a  lesson about camera focus when picture taking. Well, ok, maybe her photo of me is focused.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Harry Hotness, Single X post

I was forced to watch a football match on tv last week, but it wasn't all bad. It was a monster screen. 65" inches comes to mind. Why have we gone backwards on matters metric? Manny, our fried from Malaysia is here. We caught up at a friend's place for a meal last weekend. I am sometimes silly when watching Aussie Rules and make remarks to provoke like, that was a great catch, when mark is the word. Manny called it a tied match when the correct word is draw. Coffee is Manny's business and Melbourne takes its coffee very seriously. We are on our way to educating the rest of Australia about coffee. Last time we were in Sydney, we found a place that served good coffee, more than one actually, which is a huge improvement over our previous visit. Oh dear, a couple of sentences in and I am already off on tangents. I will wrap the coffee thing here.

A seriously big event at the Showgrounds.


Back to the footy. I think my last favourite footballer was Andrew Swallow.

Me: "R, Andrew Swallow is rather hot."

R: "Yes, he is nice."

Me: "Of course the question arises as to whether he does?"

This is Andrew Swallow. Nice, hey.

But I am nothing if not fickle and can switch from nice blond to smouldering black at the drop of a hat. I assumed he was of Australian Aboriginal heritage but apparently not.

According to WikiWagnell, Harry O'Brien has a Brazilian mother and a Congolese father. He was accused of making a homophobic remark last week, but he denied it and nothing came of the story.  I would not mind if he made homophobic remarks while we try to make coffee coloured babies together.  Imagine those lips, better not.

Our dyke friend expressed surprise that I liked him. She is from Tasmania. Tassie dealt with its black population in a quick and clean manner.

S'cuzy, can I bite those nips.

He looks very serious in the photos above. Does he not have sense of humour.

Yeah, he does. Who would want someone who you could not have a laugh with. Only the most base(insert accent). Who me?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

We won at Chelsea

We won Best Show Garden in this years Chelsea Flower Show and I don't think it is the first time Australia has won it. I rather liked this effort depicting London's Tube Map. Even the colours of the lines appear to be correct.

Unrelated, but a link to the video was retweeted on Twitter. Thanks D. It is quite well made although there seems to be a lot I would have included that is not there and rather too much of Docklands, aka Cocklands, aka Divorcelands. By most peoples' judgement whacking up a forest of cheaply built and poorly designed highrise residential and commercial buildings on prime waterfront land with vast empty spaces has not been a success. Anyway, take a look at the City of Melbourne. I rather like the place.

Here is the link.

A long life?

Tradie Brother is hopeless in some ways. He is your atypical Aussie male. He won't go to the doctor for basic health checks. He hasn't been to dentist for years. He drinks and smokes far too much. His diet his heavily meat based.  He recently said on telephone to me, that he does not care if he dies at an early age as he considers he has had a good life. That was somewhat challenging to hear.

His older brother, ABI Brother, is the opposite,with a strong focus on fitness and diet and sees his doctor regularly, as required.

My dyke sister is a large lass but it is all muscle. She is incredibly fit from walks, swims, surfs and cycling.  Yet she has the most immediate medical problems.

I go to the doctor regularly and take my blood pressure, cholesterol controlling, low dose aspirin and vitamin D and fish oil supplement as ordered  

My diet is quite good, but I am unfit and need to drink less, yet I don't feel compelled  to do anything about drinking less and exercising more. There is a lot of things I want to stay alive to see and do things I haven't done, but I am a bit like Tradie Brother. I am not sure I care too much. It might be nice to live to be one hundred years old, but I am not sure that it is for me.