Saturday, March 19, 2016

Jaded person surprised by You Tube clip

Two You Tube clips in successive days. I really know how to make original content. Let me just mention about You Tube clips I use. I probably never put up a clip after a single viewing. I tend to watch them about half a dozen times over a few days (and now with much self aggrandisement) before I decide if they are worthy of being on my blog. This clip I have watched that many times and will watch it at least once again, just to make sure it is true.

Everyone knows of steam trains and I know just an iota about steam trams, but I never knew there were such things as steam buses. I can't believe how much like a steam train it sounds. The video was filmed in Lindale-in-Cartmel, county of Cumbria. I suspect you could have walked faster, but English people do like to catch a bus, especially if they have a bus pass.

I was gripping the arms of my chair, willing her or him to get over the hill. If you are Australian or American, can you imagine being delayed in your car by such a contrivance?


Friday, March 18, 2016

Sophie (rude, vulgar, swearing)

I have headlined this rude, vulgar and swearing so that there will be great interest in this clip. Nevertheless the warning is quite valid.

Born of Jewish Ukrainian parents, Sophie Tucker was a female performer of a plain appearance in the early to mid twentieth century . The BBC has a brilliant podcast about Sophie online here somewhere.

After Sophie died, no one would have remembered her if not for Bette Midler, who began her career as a performer in gay bath houses in the US, bathhouses being places where gay men would visit to connect.

Bette Midler is just great, with the only blight on her brilliance being the song Wind Beneath My Wings, but I expect she has made a lot of money from that. I can't bear the song.

Bette took over the Sophie persona and repeated many of Sophie's performances and jokes with great aplomb. As adorable as Sophie must have been and Bette is too, this clip is quite vulgar. I ran it past R and he laughed a lot. The jokes are old and tired now, but Bette's delivery is just great. Hard to believe how Sophie got away with such stuff in the early to mid nineteen hundreds. I did not know Joanna Lumley hosted a talk/performance show. I don't think we saw it here.

Clasp at your pearls in mock horror as you must girlfriends, but don't tell me you didn't laugh. The jokes are ones I have heard before, so therefore I think I laughed more at the apology to the English.

The clip is 4:22 and I think the music and singing adds to it, so do watch the whole thing. It's your own brief cabaret experience at home.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Apocalyptic Kitchen

Ohhhh, Hyacinth.

Within a few hours measurements were taken and doors and fittings removed. Will life ever be the same again?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

New Kitchen

Our kitchen is 17 years old and tired. We have never liked the faux timber cupboards. The oven door is falling apart. The tap is dripping. While I love the black granite benchtop that sparkles and shines when it polished with a window cleaner, since R has retired and now does the cooking and the after dinner clean up, keeping it sparkling is driving him crazy.

Our initial thought was to just get the cupboard doors recoated with a gloss white. A man called to give us a quote. 'The shelves above the 'fridge will be difficult. May I suggest you have them closed in like a normal cupboard?' "The inside of your cupboard doors will still be brown, or if you choose, a dull white. It will be cheaper to replace the doors and get rid of the old fashioned rounded corners'. 'Do you want new handles?' Yes, yes and yes, we answered.


Chosen handle, bottom left, one that won't hook sleeves.


Then it was our turn for questions. 'Can we have some cupboards built to go in front of the bar, which is not used?' 'Can you also give us two quotes, the second being for including new modern stone benchtops'. This was no problem. The quote with new benchtops was double but I convinced R that we should have them, not because I particularly wanted them but I knew he would never be happy with the black granite.

A new sink was not essential but we felt a new tap was. I am increasingly impressed by the company The Good Guys in Brighton. We attended and were well served. There was some sticker shock for me when I saw the prices of a decent sink and a smart new mixer tap. There was much botheration about a new sink but eventually we chose one, a superseded double bowl model without a draining board at about half price. We chose a tap, but that seemed a bit rushed. It is safe to say, we weren't well mentally prepared. We also bought a new Ilve electric oven and gas hotplates at a bargain price.

That was last Friday and over the long (public holiday) weekend we sweated about our choices and discussed them endlessly. Three different 'absolute' decisions were made about the the sink. We realised the tap was too tall and would stick up over the top of the higher bench. 

We returned yesterday and hoped that we could change our order, given we had already paid. We chose a lower tap and a quite large single bowl sink. We thought our former choice looked too industrial for us. Changing our minds was no problem and and even ended up being a little cheaper. We are now happy with our choices.

Today our cupboard doors will be removed, along with drawer fronts and the oven surround panel, along with a few other bits. The kitchen will still be functional, with the bar propped up at the end.

Next week someone will attend to measure up the bench tops and about two weeks after that, all will be installed.

It looks like an overseas holiday is not on the horizon this year.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Australian Medical Care

I am cross as patch about this.

Three blokes have swum from the Geelong Sea Baths to the Brighton Sea Baths, across Port Phillip Bay, nearly double the distance of swimming the English channel. Later note: They did not all make it. It was a fund raiser for a lad who became a paraplegic after diving off a pier. Apparently his care comes at a cost of $300,000 per year.

Why is this so? I have experienced this weirdness of fundraising myself when a friend's nephew was injured in a car crash. Almost before he reached hospital in an ambulance, a Face Book fund raiser page was set up for him.

Now, I would really like someone to explain to me why this fundraising is necessary? In Australia, we get free medical care paid through our taxes which includes rehabilitation. Then there are various amounts of assistance available for extras over three tiers of government. It can be problematic finding out about them as there is no central co-ordination but the services are there. Somewhere in government is a department that will pay for alterations to your home to cater for your disability. If you need an electric wheelchair, you will get it. It may not be the latest and flashiest model, but it will be supplied. You will get home nursing care if it is required.

I think the rolling out of the National Disability Scheme will address these co-ordination problems with whole of care packages. 

Yes, there are extra expenses that won't be covered by government. Your mortgage should you have one won't be paid. But if you rent privately, you will get a rent subsidy. You will not be compensated for a loss of potential earnings but forced to rely on a government pension which is just adequate for basic living.

Let me use my brother as an example.

ABI Brother received a serious head injury when he rode his bicycle across a highway from a side street in front of cars. He has no memory of the event and we only speculate that it may have been a suicide attempt.

He was a close call to death, but our public health system treated him exceptionally well, followed by a year or more of rehabilitation.

He received a payout for his injury from the Transport Accident Commission, enough to seriously contribute towards buying a house in the area where he grew up. He later got a job where he still works. He has subsequently paid taxes, contributed to the community by football and cricket umpiring and looks after Mother on a daily basis. He was fortunate because his incident was classed as a traffic accident. An injury from diving off a pier may not be quite the same.

Nevertheless, my point stands. We have good public medical care in Australia. I have received it in the past and R has very recently. Of course it is not perfect and things can go wrong. Our dyke friend had a successful heart transplant under our public system. Bone Doctor who has worked in St Mary's and St Thomas Hospital in London reckons our health care is better than that of England.

So please do tell me why this quadriplegic lad needs $300,000 worth of private care per year? My hackles really rise when I hear of fundraisers for people who have been injured. Of course we feel sorry for them and have concerns about their futures, but there is absolutely no need for fundraising on such an extreme scale. There are many permutations and different circumstances of course, but there is a basic that remains, high quality medical care provided by our taxes is a right and that is pretty close to what we get.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Census Time

Apparently from after the census this year, we will be identifiable. In the past the census was anonymous which led to honest answers because it was never connected to you as an individual. Our government promises that the census information connected to you will not be used against you. But our unknown governments of the future cannot promise any such thing.

What a perfect census this would be for a Hitler type.

So therefore I will just lie on the census form and risk prosecution. I will be a old single working man living in a a cheap rented flat with a minimal income. At a minimum, just watch the number of gay couples in Australia drop immensely.

I urge you to do the same and very obviously corrupt the information so the Australian Bureau of Statistics realises the error of its way.

The census provides invaluable information for a multiplicity of government departments, organisations and far too many places to list. It's reliability is about to be wrecked for no good reason.

Musical Monday

River will have a Musical Monday. River posted various clips of Jon English but here is mine that has a special meaning to me.

My life could have take a couple of paths. I fell into a very conservative one but I was very tempted by a free living and a hedonistic lifestyle. Maybe conservative types are right and music corrupts youth, although that does seem to be a thing from the past and I think they gave up after they heard the horrid rapper lyrics.

But hey, how good would it be to be in Hollywood and renting a room for $7 a night. One can dream and wonder about what might have been.

Jon English died last week, and he would not deny he was a hedonist who lived life to its full. Hollywood Seven is what I remember him for most. Curiously, the song is totally American in its references. Here is a link to the lyrics, mentioning Hollywood of course, but also Syracuse and Omaha.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday Selections

I usually join with River and some others in Sunday Selections. This week, again an assortment of odds and sods.

I remember it was a Saturday, maybe around four o'clock and the parking area at Station Pier for travellers on the Spirit of Tasmania seemed rather chaotic.

The appointed time to begin loading cars began and slowly cars moved onto the ship but more kept arriving.

There were a large number of motorcycles, most with Queensland number plates, travelling on to Tasmania.

The adjacent Princes Pier is not a working pier but it has been restored. The chimney belongs  to the gas fired Newport Power Station, normally only used to supplement the power supply

Midnight one New Year's Eve was spent on the rooftop of a nearby highrise block of apartments. We could see many different fireworks going off around the city, but my favourite was the one going off at this small lighthouse.

Something about this bird looked familiar. I was sure I had looked it up before so why could I not remember what it was? It has a very distinctive beak and once home I realised it is a Pacific Gull, but a juvenile, hence the brown colouring instead of being black and white.

Back home and oh no, it is that time of the year again. Blasted Grand Pricks. Extreme traffic congestion during the set up/take down process. Noise from cars and helicopters. Gattina's Mr G will be glued to his television set. I'll wave to him from my bedroom window.

We were at the back of the clock in Melbourne Central, a place I loath, and I never knew there was little faux animated feature at the back of the clock.

Fortunately we still have some normal toy shops around. I hate the way the big department stores are just dominated by kid's movie characters. There is little else to buy in such stores than something related to a tv show or a movie. I'd like to smash her with a sledge hammer and see her fall apart into individual blocks. But oh, I suppose the kiddies would cry.

Dear tree woollie makers, your efforts are grand, but better you do it for winter and keep the sap warm than in summer.