Saturday, August 31, 2013

Your vote is important

It is that time of the year again when I am called on to cast my final vote in the Australian Rules Football Gay Footy sexiest player competition, and I need your help. Many have been eliminated and we are down to four, with the most popular of the below winning.

You may use your bias towards one team or another or your dislike for that matter. I don't know which team they play for, so I am totally unbiased. Actually, by the names on their jumpers they all seem to play for various commercial entities.

This is Shaun Hampson. Good hair, nice lips and by his neck, he is of a solid build.

Angus Monfries. He looks a bit more slender. His hair has potential in that it very thick and a lot could be done with it. The moustache may not have been a good idea.

Marc Murphy. He even looks Irish. He looks like he would play in the rover position to me. Is that still a position on the field?

And finally, Josh Thomas. R's choice. He looks a bit goofy but cute. He has a very modern hair style which is not to say I like it.

Now I am not going to make my choice solely on these photos as I will look at some other photos of them. Bare topped would be a bonus, speedos most excellent. Later: After looking at some other photos, I am very inclined towards Angus. My Scottish heritage has nothing to do with it.

Friday, August 30, 2013

A fracking disaster

I watched this quite mesmerised. Nature hates a vacant space. Just my own theory but if you take water out of underground aquifers they must eventually want to refill themselves.

Remember the Bob Newhart sketch about tobacco with the line something like, 'you roll a piece of paper around some dried leaves, put it into your mouth and set fire to it'.

How about this one. You pump water, sand and chemicals into the ground at pressure and gas or petrol comes out. Hehe. Well, not so funny, because apparently it works. It's known as fracking and I consider that to be a great name, although not a great practice.

Mining where you dig things up is one thing, but I find extracting oil, gas and water from underground very disturbing and I very much doubt it is sustainable. So far so good, perhaps. But blowing the earth apart by fracking is surely going down a bad path.

Fracking has been a fracking disaster in some parts of the United States. In spite of promises of cheaper energy bills in England, the general public is fighting against it. In Australia it has caused an unusual alliance between The Greens and farmers. Governments and miners seem to be the only people keen on it, which says to me something to me very clearly.

We are already abusing our planet to a shocking degree. I don't think it is a good idea to be blowing it apart underground. What is to stop these chemicals getting into aquifers? What is to stop a lake or a water storage dam to empty? Do they really know what goes on underground and the connections between things?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Where's me bus?

I noticed the other day that Melbourne Bus Link, the company that runs the buses that pass the Highrise, has removed its name from the sides of the buses and has been replaced by the imaginative and evocative name, Transdev (insert emoticon here to illustrate a certain way of saying the name, flat vowels, excessively drawn out). It seems MBL did more than remove its name, MBL itself was removed and replaced by another company who won a bid to run around a third of Melbourne's bus fleet. Why wasn't I told?

I am a frequent user of the buses and I don't have much in the way of complaints about them. Quite unlike me. In the time we have lived here, the buses are noticeably carrying more people and all the really noisy old models, albeit with brilliant air conditioning, have been replaced.

I have been looking at Transdev's website and it seems they have a lot of fingers in public transport pies in Australia.

Transdev proposes to deliver the following benefits to customers in the first two years of the franchise

Wow, customer benefits. I am liking the sound of this.

Additional services across the network, including the addition of Sunday services on some routes


Increased hours of operation on both weekdays and weekends

Motherhood is good.

A simplified network, particularly through the CBD

Whoa. What does simplified mean? I am alert.

A reduction in route duplication

Never mind duplication, we have triplication with three routes passing by that we use to go to Prahran or the city. While their suburban termini vary, from the city to Prahran  they follow the same path, which makes for an adequate level of service such that we can just walk out door and wait for one. While we can just easily catch a tram, they are always so crowded. There is always a seat on the bus.

I am officially alert and alarmed now.

I will give the company some advice to improve the service. Take away the control of the air con from the driver and have it set to a comfortable level. Do something about right turning cars in St Kilda Road blocking the buses. Even out the gaps between buses.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A visit to the Bellarine

Little Jo's Spanish is coming along and ever so much better than mine or Sister's or anyone else we know. Pore favour?

How many bicycles do two women and a child need? Six, plus two blade scooters and a child bike extension. I have Sister's old bike and it must be nearly twenty years old, which I could suggest as a reason for not riding it. Sloth may be another. I did ride it South Melbourne to get a hamburger and chips a couple of years ago. Exercise is so good for one.

Sister and Bone Doctor are both inclined to be thrifty, except with spending on bicycles and anything sporting related, but I noticed the price on this jar of peanut butter is $8. It came from a local farmer's market and after trying some, it is probably worth it. I calculated it down the 23.0198 cents per peanut.

The man who lives behind Sister is building a boat. Apparently he has been at it for years and been building his boat for years too. Occasionally boat building noises can be heard. It is very large and his driveway small, so will probably have to be craned out. I look forward to the You Tube vid of boat falling on house.

The local medical practice adds a metal disc with the child's name engraved on the face if they are clients of the clinic. Yes, Little Jo's is there. Of course the disc is promptly removed if the child dies, medical malpractice or not.

This bird and another of the same breed were either squabbling or their antics was mating related. What a ruckus as they dived, darted and dodged. They were quite unperturbed by the three of us and a dog. I don't have a clue what breed they are. I think they were probably sex crazy. The filth of them.

We visited a nearby housing development which is undergoing a massive expansion. I thought the houses would have been somewhat larger and grander, however, they actually suit the locality. I found what look like driveways running straight into the lake amusing. I guess they are for launching boats. I would so not want to be a visitor who might attempt to drive home while a little tipsy. It was quite windy, so no boats were out. I was hoping to rant about McMansions in ecologically sensitive areas. Fail.

There was swan or two, and some cygnets. They have their own sheltered island in the centre of the lake, yet the mad critters were out in the wind doing purposeless things such as eating.

And a pretty good kid's playground, of which I took no photos. You can google image child's playground if you aren't quite sure what one might look like. It has a rather good spinning dish that you sit in and propel yourself. We were warned. Don't let Little Jo stay in it long and not too fast. The last time she vomited over the dog.

I thought this house number surround was great, perhaps better without the number which rather spoils it.

We came home loaded with vegetables from Sister's garden, most of which were thrown out, except for the spinach (not pictured) which R has tried to insert in every dish since. Lamb loin chops with three veg and spinach. Omlette with spinach. Frittata with spinach. Curried chick peas and pumpkin with spinach. Steak, Greek salad with spinach on the side. A couple of leaves were left. I chucked them out before they were used to top a pavlova.

With Sister somewhat incapacitated post surgery, we didn't venture very far, only to the local Sunday Market. R had made a salmon and dill quiche, which we was nice and light for Sunday lunch, and he left them with a Sheperds Pie for later in the week. Things were quite under control and we did little more to help than bring some washing in from the clothes line. Sister has decided to employ a cleaner for a couple of hours a week until she is fully recovered. What the bet the cleaner stays on.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Oh my Gok

Gok Wan first came to my attention on tv in England in 2008. I never imagined I would see him Australia, but here he is, advertising Target. He is on tv ads, buildings and public transport vehicles. He is nice enough looking and looks impossibly well groomed and clean. I really haven't taken much notice though. I think he known for his sense of style and as a style adviser. I just know the style queen of Wales John sups up Gok's every word of fashion advice. Here he is on the side of a tram taken from the Highrise.

I am sure gays invented it in the seventies, but as Gok does, if you want to put on a bit of side and sound posh in an ironical manner, Target can be pronounced as tarjay, soft j. I expect gays were also responsible for the pronunciation of, or Priceline as Pric e leeney.

(Well that was the plan. He is on the side of tram 3529. But 3529 has either been in a horrible accident or its engines are broken. I keep checking my Tram Tracker phone app and 3529 has just disappeared. However, here is a photo taken by Ian Green)

But wait, three weeks after I wrote this post, there is no need to use Ian's photo. 3529 went past the Highrise today. I will take my own snap.

Wow, Gok was once 21 stone. That is 133 kg in Celsius. Poor Gok. Although once voted the 100th sexiest man in the world by voters of a woman's magazine, he isn't married and doesn't have children. Ah, his mother is Anglo English. Now if he had a good Chinese mother, she would make sure the right girl was lined up for him. Now don't you be saying anything suggestive about him. He just hasn't met the right lassie.

Seems Target has received some homophobic feedback from the great unwashed.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What's your history

I Facebooked my and R's ex. He has no internet presence. His younger brother does though. I mentioned this to R. R told me the brother was mega hung and liked to show it off. He would proudly get it out upon request and was always happy with the admiring remarks. We discussed it a bit and then R shut the conversation down stating that he was not interested to know, had no reason to think about it and he did not like to remembering things he would rather forget.

But it is your history, I argued. Don't care and don't want to remember, was reply. One of our ex Brother Friends was the same. When I found his ex had an internet presence on FB, the friend was just not interested in knowing anything. He had already stated the same when I used to see his ex out and about in town.

It is so curious to me. I don't flatter myself that I am an amateur historian, yet I am so interested in history. Historians have to verify constantly. I come at it from more a gossip angle.

It's all very well to say the past is the past, but it is history. Our history is what makes us what we are today. How can you ignore that and not be interested? Some of us inhabit a different planet.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Selections

River's Sunday Selections are as reliably posted each Sunday as we are all so excited by the prospect of voting for our favourite candidates in the forthcoming Federal Election.

Dog Jack is staying with us for a couple or weeks. Two of us were in the car, so both seats were equally warm. Why do they always chose the driver's seat?

Jack says no to Aldi's Julius Gold, but yes to My Dog. He wouldn't eat for the first couple of days, which has never been a problem before. We changed to My Dog and he was fine then, perhaps because it had vegetables in it and he loves broccoli and cauliflower. Thoughts of vet bills and a twisted bowel did pass through my head. Or maybe he was fretting for his mummy.

Keeping with the animal theme, I have never seen a cat with these markings before. Wonder what it would look like as a stole.

A friend has budgies and they have been making little budgies that become big budgies. Getting a bit crowded.

The same friend has green thumbs and fingers too. He seems to be able to force things to grow quickly, but for mine I would rather see daphne grow more slowly and be more bushy.

We took Jack for a walk to his old stomping ground, Alma Park. The park is bisected by the Sandringham train line. It looks like there has been some recent track repairs.

It is a park to walk through on the way to somewhere and for dogs. You could not call it a beautiful park but it does have some grand old trees.

Window etching is the curse of the 21st century. To the stocks, I say.

A Magnolia Soulangeana beside St Francis' Church in the Elizabeth Street. I call it the slanger magnolia.

I suppose some people would not know what this is. It is new steamer as our old one broke. It folds out and sits in a saucepan of boiling water and you put whatever, usually vegetables for us, on the blades. This would be the fourth one we have had in about thirty years. The centre handle usually fails, probably from dishwasheritis.