Saturday, July 27, 2013

It's all John's fault

That would be the too scruffy to be gay John Gray in Wales, who lives in a village with a name I cannot pronounce. Is anything in Wales pronounceable? Tradie Brother has a Welch name and that is pronounceable at least and Bone Doctor's brother has the same same name. Anyway, John kept banging on about Scotch Eggs. He confessed he may well be slim and trim if he held off on the Scotch Eggs. R used to cook Scotch Eggs for dinner at times, some 25 plus years ago. We had a deep fryer then and they were plunged into the hot fat and they were delicious. Essentially they are a boiled egg, surrounded by I think a mixture of sausage meat and mince meat and bread crumbs and then deep fried.

Well, with John continually mentioning Scotch Eggs, I had developed a hunger for them. I wanted to revisit the past. Sweetie, you work in and around Port Melbourne. There is a Thomas Dux store there. Can you see if they have pre made Scotch Eggs? (nb Thomas Dux may sound like a posh independent store, but it is owned by Woolworths).

The store did have them, at $6 each ouch (labour intensive I guess), and..........well, they really should been best left as a great memory. They were rather ordinary and nothing like I remember them. Maybe it was because they were pre cooked and did not get into the hot fat at home. They really need to be home made, with a pinch of love added.

Photo from the ScentOfGreenBananas. The breadcrumbs are too thick though.

Friday, July 26, 2013

It is all in the data

What a spectacular but terrible train crash in Spain, with such a loss of life. Theories abound as to the reason the train was travelling so fast. No doubt the all will become clear in time. I found this European train accident data in The Guardian quite fascinating. You are certainly pretty safe if you travel by train in the UK. The stats also show that trains are very dangerous for people trying to commit suicide.

Without belittling the severe train crash with tens of people dead and many injured, do keep in mind that more people are killed in or by cars in Spain in a month.

Is is a bus? Is it a tram? Doesn't matter, it broke

The pompous git looks very smug and self satisfied. I am glad his weird machine went so wrong and it was never heard of again. We have trains, trams and buses and the weird should never be built. The worn out O-Bahn in Adelaide is a prime example. Buses on tracks are stupid. If it needs to run on tracks, it should be a train or a tram. Don't let me mention monorails.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

$1.6 million wasted by our government

I am cross with our State Government, more so than usual. They invited architects to submit plans to revamp Flinders Street Station. It has a fine edifice and it hard to find a time when no on is taking a snap of its fa├žade. Inside it is a mish mash of old and new but as Melbourne's major public transport train station, I think it works well enough.

The submitted plans are laughable. They are all so futuristic and take over much land that is not part of the station. God knows what the brief was, but the plans are all absurd.

The general public can vote for which they like, however  the government has already chosen one of the plans and is talking about a ten year time line. I read into that, it is not going to happen, but I think the $1,000,000 prize money to the winning entry will be paid out, plus another $600,000 for whatever. What a shocking waste of money. If you don't like any of the plans, don't vote.

One of the very nice aspects of the station is from the south as you come over Princes Bridge, or from Southbank. Most of the proposals seem to obscure the view. I was going to write more about it, but no need to reinvent the wheel when Daniel has done a fine enough job here with photos.

Later edit: Marcus tells you why voting is so pointless.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

That boy

A little royal news is ok, but do we expect so much from The Guardian? It is wall to wall baby king news. Ah, that is until I found the 'republican' button and poof, all the baby news disappeared. You can alternate between between the republican and royalist button. It is on the right just down from the top. You can see it here.

Front pages around the world are featuring baby photos with clever and not so clever headlines. I prefer Private Eye's front page.

Speed is all

The quality of your writing does not matter. If it is a mega long closely written post, I am not going to read it, or skim through it, at best. I have the attention span of a twenty year old. That is not a good quality. Chop it into bite sized chunks, and I will find it easy to read. These bite sized chunks are probably called paragraphs, but my idea of paragraph may not be yours.

I noticed myself doing something the other day when I was reading the electric newspaper. No matter how interesting the matter was, I was not reading to the end of the article. When I have a proper newspaper, I usually read to the end of an article I am interested in for all the detail. I find it quite difficult to read anything very long on the computer screen

I would do better to print long reads out with the printer, but I am mean with paper and ink. It is not for any reason of eyesight, or being uncomfortable in my chair. It is my trigger ready finger poised on the mouse button ready to move to whatever is next. Speed is all. Speed gets me through what I think is essential but often isn't. How much I actually absorb is open to question. Is this really the way I should be when I sit at the computer? Very much a rhetorical question.

Let me ask you a couple of questions. Do you get stressed when you get behind on matters of the internet? Do you ever have moments at your computer like when the dirty washing basket is empty, as temporary as that always is?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Block, the Royal and MU

I apologise if I get the Block Arcade and the Royal Arcade mixed up. They are both wonderful. The Block Arcade turns 120 years old this year.

The entrance to the Block Arcade. Guided tours are available on some weekdays. I will join one when a day off co-incides with a tour. The woman who conducts the tours is very passionate and a wealth of information.

Testiliclated Tessellated tiled entrance. 


I think this is the roof of Block Arcade. What a clever use of pink.


Straight to your hips darlin'. Our friend in Japan took afternoon tea in the Hopetoun Tea Rooms during her last visit to Melbourne.


 I am in Royal Arcade now.

Gog and Magog strike the time. See the video below.

The Manchester Unity building is one of my absolute favourite buildings in the city.
Yes, it is nerdy, but I like riding in old lifts.

It can't really be a skylight, just an illuminated dome.

A lovely art deco clock in the building's extensive entrance hall. The time was wrong.

Low light was not good for taking photos and the distance made using the flash pointless. There were a lot of reliefs and and pictures, some of which looked somewhat homoerotic to me.

I left the lift at random floor and came across this nice stained glass.

This is the old cage lift well, now used for pipes and ducts.

It was probably a serious mistake to not get there at twelve noon rather than 1pm. The video would have been much livelier. At about 20 seconds Magog strikes the gong. Given it was nearly two minutes past the hour when he struck the gong, you are doing well to not sit there staring at nothing for two minutes. I kept turning the recorder on and off.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Matters digital

Mother's hairdresser has her in terror of tv set top boxes. Mother, what we are giving you is not exactly a set top box. More like like a digital recorder that will do the job of a set top box, but it is sophisticated. R says we kiddies should just buy Mother a digital tv. We will see how she goes with this machine. We may have to buy her a digital tv when the analogue signal is shut down at the end of the year.

My pocket digital radio had gone wrong. I switch it on and it is on my usual radio station, 774 Melbourne,  but then it starts scanning. If I want to change stations, like to News Radio or Desi Pop when I get fed up with 774 playing music on a talk station, I have to press the button and catch the station as it is scanned past. This might take me five minutes. It is like hitting a totem tennis ball as it passes you by. Timing is everything.  Painful.

I hadn't used my bedside digital clock radio for a week or so. I set it to wake me. The alarm went off at 6.00. I switched the radio on. The digital radio corrected the time and the alarm went off again as the time was corrected backwards.

Our last tv channel scan had multiple ABC and SBS stations of the same. Every station was there twice. When selecting recording from the programme guide, it chose the weak signal second station.  It was ridiculous that it happened. I deleted the superfluous stations and all was well again, but I shouldn't have to do that. 

I am not so sure about all this digital stuffs.

News from the home front

I am in the middle of working ten days without a day off. Tiny bit grumpy, but I won't let it show. Nevertheless life goes on around me.

Our travel companions went to seminar last week about our Euro river cruise next year. We were invited but we both finished work too late to attend. People at the seminar were offered $500 off any listed cruise price. Our travel companions contacted our travel agent and managed to get $250 off each for themselves, even though they had already booked. We were not eligible as we did not attend. We are always such losers in the bargain stakes. 

Sister has her surgery tomorrow afternoon. It was going to be in the morning, but as she told me, her surgeon has a funeral to attend in the morning. I'm afraid I made the obvious inappropriate remark. Little Jo thanked R over the phone for posting down the programme from the show they saw, Room on a Broom, and her crystals, a couple of small stones, which she had left here. I had to buy the post bag for the crystals but no thanks for me. Sister didn't ask why the post bag had an Altona Post Office stamp on it. The reason for that will become evident this week. Sister has no faith in Bone Doctor's ability to keep their house somewhat tidy during her convalesce. There will be a cleaner hired. They have spent the weekend in Healseville in a motel, a last time away before the surgery.

R called Mother early last week with an offer to take her out to buy a new pair of shoes to replace her only going out shoes, which have a broken strap. Unfortunately the only place Mother can now buy shoes is in Glen Huntly, a 40 minute drive from her place, which would make it for R a fifty minute drive, two forty minute drives, and then another fifty minute drive. Her feet are wide and one is a size larger than the other. Only my mother.........  R doesn't have much money but he was prepared to pay for them and obviously I would give him half. I told him, just offer to pay half. Mother had other plans. She did her dying swan routine about her forthcoming electric bill, which is delayed because she changed electric companies and then changed back. I gave her $100 towards it and Sister gave her $500. But that has long gone. R made a huge mistake by saying, well, we won't see you sitting in the cold and dark. With my lips pursed and tightened, I said to R, we might. Mother decided the shoes can wait and had R take her around to various shops for bits and pieces.

Off to bed early for another day in the salt mines tomorrow.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dead Journo

I cannot detail nor explain Andrew Denton's interview with journalist Helen Thomas a few years ago, beyond it being heart wrenching television when he unintentionally brought her to tears. I don't know if it is available on the net or not. You can search.

Helen Thomas has died at the age of 92. Born of US/Lebanese parents, I suppose she came from a certain mindset, but her 2010 remark about Israeli Jews going back to Europe was a foolish remark that taints people's memory of her. Better that you read the Hoopla obituary here. Otherwise, she was truly marvellous and she went back to when Kennedy was elected. She was in there doing things that women didn't normally do somewhat before Germs started to pontificate.

Sunday Selections

River will no doubt have her Sunday Selections up this Sunday.

Someone squished the moon a little and made it a funny colour.

You need to click on this one to see the odd vertical cloud.

Whose house was I in, I thought when I was looking at this photo. Then I remembered, Basement Books in town. From the corner of my eye, the fabric cat had me fooled.

Nice spot for a greenhouse. It is part of Flinders Street Station and I recall the roofing material appeared to be asbestos. I am not sure what all the junk there is about.

The ambos, sorry, paramedics are revolting.

When they save your life you wish they were exceptionally well paid. I would suggest that if they earn $93,000 a year, as the minister has suggested, then they are underpaid, because this includes penalty rates and a lot of overtime. Their base rate is much lower and their hours very anti social.

A less often snapped view of the western end of Flinders Street Station. I lay on the middle of Flinders Street to take this photo!!!

There are men down there and no way to get to them. I think there are only a couple of underground toilets left in Melbourne. I hope they cover them before they fill them in. I like the idea of them being an archaeological dig in the future, but what of interest could be found? Nothing but a penny in a coin slot.

I'm in South Yarra now. I have a life and cheap dishwasher powder at Big W was my focus. What a fine reuse of of an old tramway electricity substation. I wrote a bit about Le Louvre back here. The sale sign looks cheap and rather detracts.

Stop the cuts to our ABC. It needs bigger OB vans.

Should I have really spent $8 on this? It's a toenail clipper and the clipping part swivels. It does make cutting one's toenails somewhat easier but could be improved by having a detent at 45 and 90 degrees to stop it moving as you clip.