Saturday, December 19, 2015

Mud Bath

There was a tradie in the lift with me as I arrived home late morning. He left the lift at my floor and remarked that our hot water may off for a short time. "Mainline pipe leaking", he said. I thanked him for telling me. Shortly after he knocked at the door and asked if our hot water was off. No, I replied. Oh, I need to turn more valves off. Yes, he does. I remember that from when I replaced tap washers with ceramic discs.

Maybe half an hour later he again knocked at the door and asked if he could check the sink tap. I let him and he is obviously experienced at highrise homes where Asian people might live and took his boots off. He turned on the kitchen sink tap and asked me if the pressure was normal. I replied, I think so but it normally delivers clear water, not mud. Yes folk, the water was very brown and at times very dark brown. I could see heaps of sediment coming through. The plumber explained that the header tanks had been stirred up and it would soon clear. I told him that there is no aerator or restrictor at the bath. We will turn that on. I turned the bath taps on and brown water just kept flowing and flowing. At some point it was clear the water was so heavy with sediment that the plumber said, I will go down to the gym shower and run the water off there. Good, I thought. We are paying for this hot water.

I sluiced most of the sediment in the bath away with a couple of buckets of cold water but obviously not that well and R later had to clean his bath. When I arrived home that evening I asked R if the hot water was clear and he said yes, but it is cold. Oh, this late means it won't be fixed by the morning and I will have to just have a wash in the morning instead of a shower. R says I am such a disbeliever and will never take his word for anything and that is partly correct. Nevertheless I went to my bathroom, turned on the hot tap and lovely clean hot water flowed, much to our relief. Cinderella did have a lovely hot and clean shower next morning. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Cunning Plan

Beat the heat by getting into town early. Too late, she cried. For you unmetricated foreigners, that is 97F. Tomorrow's forecast is for 41 (106F) and it is weekly grocery shopping morning. Household management will say, 'let's get the shops early to beat the heat and before it gets too busy'. Half of the rest of Melbourne will say the same thing. It will be hot and busy.

Btw, just as an interest, Melbourne's highest ever official temperature is 46.4, 116F recorded in February 2009. Nothing to do with global warming though. I also remember snow falling on Christmas Day.

More Mr Rumbold and Mrs Slocombe

I wish I had found this clip before last Friday's You Tube post of a humorous clip from Are You Being Served. Mrs Slocombe's expressions are just brilliant at times. The second clip today I have posted before but it was removed, so here it is again. I am sure you will agree we have heard quite enough about Mrs Slocombe's pussy, so this will be the last. I thank you for your patience.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Heat Maps

I was looking at a heat map of Melbourne, clearly indicating by the glowing red bits where children weren't immunised. Some parents think they know better than centuries of science and medicine. I will leave the adjectives out.

I looked at a heat map of London children who play freestyle in London parks. No, you won't find a kiddie snuggled up in their cubby under a tree on Hampstead Heath. It used to happen but does not now.

I then looked at a heat map telling of internet and Tweeting activity when the Lindt Cafe in Sydney siege took place and murders happened. There was lots of activity in  Britain, India, China. To be expected. I forgot to look at Canada, but I did look at that US. I was surprised. I can only conclude that we are well connected to New Youk and the east coast of the US, but it seems we are of little of interest to San Francisco and Los Angeles. The east coast of the US, New York etc was aglow with red but just small blobs on the west coast of the US.

I did not read any interpretation of the stats but take it from m me, we Australians are on the east coast of the US in larger numbers and the east coast is more comfortable for us, no matter how much movies tell us of wonderfulness of the west coast.

Later edit: I am not sure how these stats are recorded. Could the US oddness be because of time differences between the US east and west coasts?

Lego and lunch

Pants from That's So Pants was in town and on her way elsewhere. She had time to catch up with us for lunch and I made the time during my work break. We spent a very civilised hour at Riverland on the banks of the Yarra having a bite, a drink and a yarn.

Beforehand R and myself took a look at the Lego Christmas tree in Federation Square.

They are larger than normal sized Lego blocks.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A town hall Christmas

Melbourne Town Hall with its Christmas decorations applied. Would you like to see it with its night time illumination? Country Mum, a minor media celebrity in the bush and of the blog [Farm-ily] fame, recently visited the big smoke and took this photo of the town hall with its night time illuminations.  Pretty good photo and pretty good effort by the illuminators.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Madame, please produce your license

Are Asian born people in Australia bad car drivers? It is a stereotypical view but most stereotypes happen for good reasons.

I find many Asian drivers to be overly cautious, hesitant, slow to react, inclined to stay a lot below the speed limit and at times generally puzzling in their road behaviour. Does that make them bad drivers? No, it only cites them as cautious and careful and I suspect the crash stats of the aforesaid are below average. Some may say in the manner of Mr Magoo, they might leave a trail of destruction behind them, caused by frustration.

Tradie Brother recently ran into the back of a Chinese born driver. He said she slammed her brakes on in the middle of an intersection because she thought it looked like someone was going to turn in front of her. Tradie Brother saw enough to say that the other driver was trying to bluff his way around the corner. He readily admitted guilt, bent her car's rear mudguard off her tyre and both were on their way. Insurance paid. All very amicable.

Tradie Brother is not an aggressive driver and nor is ABI Brother. Sister and myself are the aggressive drivers in our family, me mostly when I am on the way home from work. That I can't buy a Kalashnikov  in Australia has saved many lives. I can tolerate bad driving. It is the stupid driving that gets under my skin. Mostly I am fairly relaxed. I make sure I leave plenty of time so that I am not in a rush and can tolerate fools who drive at 40km/h in a 70 zone. Though I do rather tire of having to toot the horn to alert the driver in front that the light has turned green, unnoticed by them because they are doing something with their phone. That is when a need the Kalashnikov.

I am acquainted with a person who sells new European cars in an area growing with wealthy Asian born, mostly Chinese mainlanders. One such good customer brought her ever so expensive car in for servicing and asked the person of my acquaintance to reverse park her car into an available space. He obliged and the car had all the bells and whistles, reversing cameras, audible signals for close proximity and front sensors.  Madame, he asked, why do you find reverse parking so difficult? She replied, I have never reverse parked. He asked, but what about for your driving license test?

And here is the the crunch. Although she is an Australian resident and has been for some time, she doesn't have an Australian driving licence. She uses an international driving licence, which I understand are only valid for three months in Australia, and then you have to sit a driving license test.

While there is corruption in Australia, it is ever so much worse in other countries and China is a shining beacon. The said lady orders her successive  international driving licences from China, always dated appropriately so that she never has to sit an Australian driving licence test. She pays to circumvent our law and it is very wrong that money can buy a person a position above the law.

In contrast  a few years ago, an Asian student friend was so very proud of getting his Victorian driving license. He left Australia, back to Singapore, soon after and I can't see him needing his Victorian driving license in the future.

Clearly I am becoming a grumpy old man, if I am not already, but I just don't like our laws to be so laxly enforced. By golly, if I had a little bit of power, I'd be a little dictator, I would.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Musical Monday

Proper music, like innit.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday Selections

Just some random photos for Sunday Selections. River and others join in.

Owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise, the Celebrity Solstice begins its journey down Port Phillip Bay from Melbourne's Station Pier towards The Rip, where she will then enter the open ocean of Bass Strait and sail on to a destination unknown. She was berthed in Sydney when we visited in March.

I can be sitting at the desk and out of the corner of my eye I see movement and invariably it is a balloon.

This one settled nearby in Fawkner Park.

The upmarket Cafe Vue, owned by celebrity chef Shannon Bennett closed and re-opened with a new name. It was just as expensive but we did not try it as we received such bad service there over three separate visits when it was Cafe Vue. It is now up for lease again. Note the French flag, in support of France after that terrible Paris assault last month. Bennett is a known lover of French cuisine.

For the first year in many I did not make a Christmas cake, but R did under my guidance. So far as we can see, it turned out very well. The skewer is to put holes in the surface to allow the whisky to soak in. Later it will get a layer of marzipan and then one of white icing. It was only cooked at 150C degrees and the layer of brown paper around the outside stops it becoming overcooked at the edges.


Dog Jack was visiting and we decided to go out for some lunch and give him some exercise. Our balcony can give us a deceptive impression of the weather. It felt quite cool so we wore jackets. They were quickly discarded once we reached St Kilda's West Beach. We had a bite to eat and coffee at the Bathers Pavilion.

It was anything but cool.

Dog Jack chased the ball then would not bring it back, as he does at times. He decided after one chase of the ball, that it was quite enough and found some shade.

Then he was off like a rocket to greet a family sitting on the beach. Eventually he returned. He is a bad dog to let off the leash, so it was back on with the leash.

All the shaded areas were taken, so we sat at a shaded table up on the footpath. A man and his young son were talking about the cute little white dog tied to our table. The man asked if the boy could pat the dog. Of course we said yes. Go on Jack, the man said to the boy. Give the dog a pat. I said to the man, guess what the dog's name is.

I am bit rusty with Roman numerals, but something about this told me it was not a Roman numeral and I was correct. Not sure what it is.

Since Jack was not going to behave on the beach, and we were wearing shoes making it hard work to walk on the sand, we strolled along the beach path and then crossed over to the other side and admired a few buildings as we returned to the car. I had just found the vivid setting on the camera. A bit too much vividness.