Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Libs love to Slash and Burn

Managing Director of the ABC has decreed;
The Health Report
The Law Report
The Media Report
The Science Show
are probably safe from the cuts at ABC Radio National, RN.

Not so
Rear Vision (brilliant, and should be broadcast to the world. Oh, it is already)
By Design
Bush Telegraph (a terrible loss to country people and people who interested in rural matters)

I expect they are all gone.

On the Media Report boss bloke of RN, Deb Leavitt, tried to play a role as as spin doctor about the cuts and she failed miserably. I hope she is a better boss than she is a spinner.

The loss of these programmes are due to funding cuts to our ABC by The Abbott. As usual I was a bit behind on podcasts but on my way home from work, stuck in traffic, I listened to Communication Minister's wife Lucy on the podcast By Design. Once home, I heard on our ABC Communication Minister Turnbull try to explain why PM Abbott's promise to not cut funding to the ABC had been fulfilled. The duplicitousness of Turnbull explaining away cuts to our ABC when his own wife appeared on one of the shows to be cut, galled me.

Ultimately it is up to the boss of our ABC to decide how the ABC budget is spent. The decision to cut certain programmes seems quite political to me, and good on him, in some ways.

Another of Mark Scott's decisions was to end the local state editions of 7.30 on Friday nights. I have seen it now, but the last edition of 7.30 Victoria was seen as it was broadcast by R. Did he blame Mark Scott over ABC budget allocations? No, he said that ****ing Abbott needs shooting. I hope everyone thinks like that, justified or not.

I will remain sanguine about the cuts to ABC RN and watch and see, no, listen to the new style of content, promised by Ms Leavitt.

The loss of ABC TV local editions of 7.30 is a tragedy and I will write about that separately.   

Friday, December 12, 2014

Bus Update

How bad is the running of Trandev's buses past our place? Last night I noticed two buses travelling together at 10.17pm. Were the buses the 9.50, the 10.09 or the 10.14? I would guess the 10.09 and the 10.14 running 8 minutes and 3 minutes late respectively.

Meanwhile, our tram system seems to be near collapse with constant breakdowns and tram arrival times bearing no relationship to the posted times at stops or the online timetable. Even the live time indicators at stops can't seem to be anywhere near accurate. An inside source at Yarra Trams tells me that for the pre Christmas rush and extra traffic, Yarra Trams has cut the timetable running time for trams. Nice work Yarra Trams, not.

Perplexed in Paddington

 What is this thing called, love?

Is it a wheel like sculpture? When we exited from the wrong end of Paddington Station and became slightly confused, I saw the 'sculpture'. Ok, while I've showed you the Rolling Bridge in Paddington Basin before, there is a better video now. The bridge raises to allow boats access to a mooring area and operates for tourists one day a week.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mother and the Blackies

We caught up with Non Dreaded Nephew and his partner at a family celebration for the first time since they returned from their five month trip in South America. It was great to see them and hear their traveller tales. While the nephew spends his weekdays in Gippsland preventing and fighting fires, he and his partner have moved from their shared North Carlton house to their own flat in Footscray and are quite happy there.

While chatting about Footscray food and changing demographics, the subject of the African immigrants who are populating the area came up. Mother had briefly paused from talking about her medical issues with someone else and she chipped in, "We have them". Indeed she does. Quite a number have moved into Mother's town. But oh dear, where is she going?

"My friend Margaret's street is full of blackies, the really dark ones, you know." Margaret lives close to Dandenong on a long road. Oh, mother, not in front of your grandson. Where is Mother going with this? Hmm, must check if Mother knows nephew's partner is Jewish, lest she say anything untoward in front of her. While mother's choice of nouns could well be called into question, she went on to say,

"I've always liked bright coloured clothing and the blackie women do too. They are getting very involved in the local community organisations and oh how they adore their children and seem to just overwhelm them with love, and they always dress them so beautifully."

Not so much the two younger of us siblings, but ABI Brother and myself were always dressed in very expensive clothing. That we didn't like our clothes was beside the point. The point being, well dressed children impress Mother.

When Mother first met her neighbour's new mail order bride from the Philippines, she described her as 'one of those Philippino Thai type people'. Yet as the years went on, they both became widow neighbours and looked out for each other.  Sadly Remy suicided and we never really found out why.

Mother was born in 1934 and grew up in a very conservative tea total society of honest lower middle class church going people of the land (never mind their black market trading during the war and post war). R and myself once had a freestanding wardrobe stamped with the manufacture date being the year of Mother's birth and also stamped, European Labour Only.

Mother's choice of words may be poor and she is full of the old prejudices, but she is not an unkind person and treats everyone with kindness and respect if she thinks there is something in it for her.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Waiting for the bus, and waiting, and waiting

With a choice of trams and buses running past home, some may think I am spoilt for choice. Our apartment cost a lot of money and the main reason is its location and part of that is good public transport.

So if we lose some transport, we are disadvantaged and potentially the value of our home is reduced, not that I care about that as I don't intend moving.

Transdev now operates the bus service passing The Highrise, routes 216, 219 and 220. They have plans to reduce the service. All three routes travel from western suburbs to southern suburbs via the city. They travel over a common route through the city in Queen Street, through Southbank, along St Kilda Road, Prahran to Hawksburn.

Transdev plans to entirely change the routes and numbers. One route will run from the city to the southern suburbs and the other from the Alfred Hospital to the southern suburbs, meaning only one route will  pass by The Highrise instead of three.

Looking at weekday daytime frequencies, which is when I mostly use the buses,

216, 30 minute service

219, 30 minute service

220, 15 minute service

That is eight buses an hour we can use to get to Prahran or the city.

We will only have one route, the 249, to use if the proposed plans go ahead and it will be a fifteen minute service. This means a halving of the service to four buses an hour.

Naturally I am not happy with this but it may not be such a bad thing. The present buses are very unreliable especially from the city. I have heard they are badly affected by traffic in the Footscray area where they travel before reaching the city and continue on to the southern suburbs. Now, if only coming from the city and travelling to Gardenvale and then returning to the city to make the trip again, we may see a very reliable 15 minute service. I am not sure this will happen though. I expect it will become part of another route. Buses need to go past the depot in Footscray to change to a new driver. While I have filled in the Transdev survey, their reply to my queries about the new 249 route were unanswered and suggested I attend one their Community Information Sessions.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Little Jo posts R's letter to Santa. She had already sent hers but she wrote R's as he dictated.

The Christmas tree has been erected in the City Square but the area did not open until the following weekend.

We visited Dymocks book store in Collins Street. Little Jo could have spent the whole afternoon there, but we moved her on with the promise of McDonalds for afternoon tea. We walked through Royal Arcade....

to the animated Myer Christmas window display. This year's theme is Santa and the Three Bears.

These decorations have been used for a few years. The old General Post Office, GPO, clock tower is in view.

The exterior of Royal Arcade.

The Myer window display is a series of maybe ten windows each continuing the story. The queue was long, managed by two staff. It takes about twenty minutes to see every window show.

Plenty of atmosphere and people and it was only still November.

A quite nice display for Christmas.

Busy, busy, busy. I want to go home and we did. But it was nothing compared to the following weekend's visit to the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere, Chadstone. We thought we get there early and have easy parking and avoid the crowds. So did everyone else.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Vale Lynne & Stella

Former Minister for Transport and for Education in the Bracks Labor government Lynne Kosky died last week. She was a warm and compassionate person and committed to the betterment  of society and after listening and reading about what people she came in contact with said, she seemed to me to be a rare breed that was not corrupted by politics and power. She died at the ever so young age of 56 after suffering from cancer. The news was not a surprise but sad nevertheless.

But I don't think anyone saw the death of disabilities advocate, comedian, writer and media performer Stella Young coming. She was entertaining, clever, humorous, challenging and such a no nonsense person.  She was only 32 and many will mourn her death and society is poorer for the loss. Some of her quotes are terrific, such as being a wheelchair bound person, she stopped believing in religion when she heard there was stairway to heaven. Bye bye Stella.

Later edit: Stella wrote a letter to her eighty year old self.

Köln is good

The lovely Fen has been swanning around the best places in Europe and London. I adored Cologne in Germany and six months later Fen walked the same streets as we did. I am fairly sure it is the same street, Hohe Strasse, but comparing Fen's photo to mine, the weather looks a degree or two cooler. Poor Fen. As this is published, she is probably in the air and on her way back to Australia and she is not happy to be returning. I get that.

My photos:

Fen's photo:

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Sunday Selections

Check out River's Drifting Through Life for her Sunday Selections. Mine today is a collection of random photos.

I don't always sleep with my blinds open, but I do quite often. Balloons were going up as I regained consciousness.

Under New Management? Seems to have failed.

All the hanging straps in this tram had been 'woven'. Quite clever really but don't they look grimy.

Surrounded by modern buildings of the urban renewal of an industrial area, this house remains at the corner of Malcolm and River Streets in South Yarra, now used as dog grooming business.

I thought the car in front of ours in a carpark was identical to ours, but after looking at the photo, it has fog lights and ours doesn't. Our last car had fog lights and only once when up in the Dandenong Ranges at night did I feel the need to use them, but I could not remember how to turn them on.

This sculpture in the City Square has been moved a couple of times. Kids love to hop on the doggie and go for a ride. Little Jo has when she was younger.

Bill Posters will be Prosecuted, is how I think it is supposed to go, often accompanied by a scrawl, Bill is innocent.

Sunset from The Highrise. We don't see the actual setting sun.

The window cleaners had been two days earlier and then it rained quite heavily and messed my bedroom window up badly.

Gosia, note, the weather is not always so good here.

I  lay on my bed with the notebook feeling very cozy as heavy rain fell. I expect I may have dropped off for a minute, or thirty.

Remnants of my less conservative days, now used when painting or heavy duty cleaning.

Why did I have the old tees out? I went to the service station and half filled this bottle with petrol to clean down the back of the external air con unit.

When it is on and the barbeque on top of it is being used, greasy smoke is sucked through the fins. Last year I used kerosene to clean it but kero is too greasy and messy. Petrol did the job much better and with less mess. Even so, I put on some old clothes to clean. The tees still fit me of course, just differently to how they used to. :-P  Of course I switched the unit off at the mains. You don't want to chance sparks and petrol, but petrol really takes a naked flame to ignite unless fumes are in a contained area.

Your trivia for the day, you know how sometimes the fins on air con units become flattened, maybe after being hit by a ball or a lad's foot? You can buy a 'fin comb' to comb them out straight.

Merle's Beer Fairy might appreciate this photo I came across.

Cute, but what on earth is it?