Friday, September 04, 2015

Train Wreck

I vividly remember the Boxing Day Tsunami. What surprised me was how hard it hit Sri Lanka. The force of the water overturned things such as trains in Sri Lanka. Trains are big and heavy yet even they are susceptible to extreme weather events, such as this video taken during a tornado in the US state of Illinois shows.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

A change is flagged

You know this flag.

I am sure you know this one, using my own photo.

 How about this one, also my own?

But to which countries do these flags belong? Yes, I am writing to an international audience. They are clearly former English colonies which have not cut the cord to their origins. Well, one of the below has actually. I am not sure if it has been formalised.

The first flag is New Zealand's, the second Australia's and the third, Fiji's.

New Zealand is going to vote on a new flag and here are their options if the change goes ahead. I am afraid the second one is a non runner, for me at least, and the choice is down to three terrific contenders.  I'll go for the first, which encompasses the red and blue of New Zealand's recent British heritage, the fern leaf, perhaps tenuously suggesting its earlier settlers and certainly its flora and the southern cross star constellation. As just a flag that doesn't represent much, I like the third one too.

There have been murmurs in the past about our own flag. In fact it was once high on the political agenda but the political will died and general apathy set it in. There is always an almost dead soldier who can be good for a news grab who will say in a tremulous voice, I fought for this country under this flag. I ask you foreign types, what could represent Australia on a flag? and don't say a spider or snake. S'pose Australian opinion is welcome too. No prisoner image in shackles please but I think we need to include in the flag a reference to those who have been here longer than than we more recent settlers.

Disappointingly, it seems by opinion polls of those who will vote, that there is not a clamour to change the flag in New Zealand. Seems like New Zealand's change the flag was just political posturing. Shame really.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015


I am not particularly pedantic. I like written words to be correct but to me it is far more important that people write, no matter how badly they do so. They will improve with experience, as I have over the period of my blog. I cringe at times when I read some of my early posts. Yet still in almost every blog post of mine, I make a mistake, mostly typos now. English is not easy. Sometimes I change one word in my blog and suddenly sentences become nonsense. So much else has to be changed to get the tense and grammar correct.

I am rather bemused by the title Melbourne Writers Festival.  Shouldn't there be an apostrophe in Writers? Shouldn't it be after the s? For any other festival I would not think it odd, as stylistically and on signage it looks nicer without punctuation. But you know, these are writers and surely professional writers should have their writing right and the apostrophe should be used?

The Melbourne Writers' Festival banners have come down and Melbourne Spring Fashion Week has cleverly avoided any apostrophe issue.

Within these temporary walls erected at great expense is a catwalk for models to parade. I await the tv coverage of the male underwear parade.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Selections

I haven't participated in River's Sunday Selections for a bit. Here is this Sunday's contribution of a mixture of photos.

Work on the new building behind and attached to the old Albert Park Manor continues in a leisurely manner. As we can't find any mention of apartments for sale at this address, we assume it will return to being a boutique hotel.

I removed the cheap dvd player with a non functioning remote control.

I replaced it with our new cheap dvd/blue ray player. But why is it so far back?

The tv is wall mounted and to hide wires between the cabinet and the tv, the wires go into the wall behind the unit and then out of the wall behind the tv. A professional did this and there was one more piece of equipment once connected when it was done. I removed the excess wires with great difficulty and dragged the HDMI cable I already had through the wall and out again. That sounds so simple, but it wasn't. It took about half an hour and a lot of sweat. It is tight space within the external wall and with obstructions. Now there are just three HDMI cables and one power cord in the wall. I wish they would advance with wireless in a hurry.

Anyway, job done I thought, but then I realised the HDMI cable was too short and that is why the dvd player is at the back. I didn't want to go through dragging a longer cable through. I found I had another one but can you join them? My friend the internet told me you could. I was in town the next day and after trying two major stores who did not have joiners, the third place at a prominent city location but underground, had them. But, two in a packet and $24. I don't need two! Oh well, just pay and whinge later. I can be so English at times.

I'd better test that it works. I grabbed the first dvd that came to hand, that would be the last one played and it was fine. Then I realised there were two discs in the box, the other a blue ray disc of the same. I can compare the picture quality.  I swapped them back and forth several times. By me saying that, you can guess something. One swap would have been all it would take if there was something dramatically better with the blue ray. I just could not tell the difference.

Is there a more recognisable symbol than the London Tube roundel?  It really is a masterpiece of branding and a quick think comes up with nothing more recognisable to me than perhaps Coco Cola. This is not London though but a newsagency near Melbourne Central Station.

Reflected light  from the setting sun.

We don't interfere with Little Jo's spelling unless she asks. We do interfere with her cooking and presentation. These turned out rather nicely.

Sister and Bone Doctor went out for a three hour cycle along the beach road. Firstly we had to wrestle Little Jo away from the screen to get her in the shower and her hair washed. Then another wrestle to get her to go out for a walk and some exercise. It like she is wearing invisible noise cancelling head phones. She does not hear when she is watching the computer screen. Eventually I decided R needed to be more serious about getting her out and I switched the monitor off and she does not know how to turn that on.

My favourite magnolia had not bloomed yet. It must be the last one in Melbourne. You can make do with my second favourite. Although I don't know how to write it properly, magnolia denudata alba, commonly the white magnolia.

Like Merle who abbreviates certain plants she has as 'broms' (This might be cryptic for some, so something like bromeliad) because she can't be bothered checking the spelling, I will abbreviate the name of  this plant to 'rhodie' for the same reason.

We rewarded Little Jo for her walking effort with a hot chocolate while we had coffee among the rich and elite in Domain Road. "Little Jo, we will show you our secret lane," which is three joined walking lanes linking a couple of streets in South Yarra. Anxious to get back to her screens, "Is it the quickest way home?"

Three photos showing the new sitting comfortably or uncomfortably with the old. Personal taste, really. Up to you. First two, Hope Street, South Yarra. Second, Flinders Lane, Melbourne.