Friday, June 17, 2016

Pets are good

Cats are queer creatures. They at times seem to be very smart and manipulative. At least the three we saw to their grave were. There are many negative adjectives applied to cats, yet, I quite like them.

Birds are just a bit dumb. unless they are parrots, where they are a bit smart.

Dogs are without artifice. What you see is what you get. They have such an exuberant joy for life. In a park I walk through often enough, at times there is an informal large gathering of dogs and owners, with the dogs off leash and to watching them run and chase each other fills me with pleasure.

This clip is not hilarious, as suggested but just a three second glimpse of dog fun.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Movie Maker

Little Jo stayed with us last Sunday night. What should we do to entertain her on a long weekend? As I had a free family pass for Melbourne's aquarium, Sea Life, and she loves going to the aquarium, we along with every child, their parents, extended families and they dead relatives in Melbourne made a visit on the Sunday. Remember how I said she did not have access to devices until she was six, well she did have a personal dvd player earlier than that, used mainly on long road trips. Aside, I am astonished at what she can do on this desktop at the age of eight.

She mentioned this before but I had no idea of what she was talking about. 'Andrew, I have seen on your computer you have Movie Maker.' 'Maybe Little Jo, I don't know.' There are many things on my computer, my phone, my tablet and any other electronic device I don't know about.

She chose the photos from the shots I had taken and put this together, entirely on her own aside from checking the spelling of a couple of words. With some guidance it could have been really first class, but nevertheless, I am very impressed. It runs for 2.55.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Yarra River Walk Day 1 Pt 2

Smaller versions of these used to be seen around the city and were called pissoirs. The were generally for men only and there were not sitting down facilities. I don't even know if they had water for hand washing.

I am now approaching the next bridge across the Yarra, Morell Bridge. I can remember when it carried cars but is now pedestrian and bicycles only. It is a two lane bridge at the bottom of the steep Anderson Street which runs down the eastern flank of the Botanic Gardens. We have always called it the Anderson Street Bridge.

Botanic Gardens landing.

Then the Anderson Street fishing landing.

Lovely old lamps and you can see some of the bridge detail.

On the far bank, a Y shaped litter trap with the open part of the y facing upstream.

The next river crossing is the Punt Road Bridge. It carries thousands of cars, trucks and buses on the main north south road. It's four lanes wide and is at the bottom of the steep Punt Road hill. While it is a nice bridge, it badly needs painting and I don't understand why it is so neglected. Those who used to catch a punt across the river would not have imagined how the bridge changed Melbourne.

The Nylex clock is visible from The Highrise but unfortunately has been switched off for a number years, although it did briefly light up one night when some lads broke in and switched it on. For as long back as I can remember, the clock informed people of the time and temperature and is non operational state is lamented by many. I think there is a preservation order on the clock, but not on the silos themselves. A developer is in dispute with the local council about the number of apartments that can be built on the site. I suggest that apartments can built within the silos and at the base and the development's body corporate become responsible for the cost of operating the clock.

A nice South Yarra apartment building.

 Here I go, under the Punt Road Bridge.

Punt Road does not look steep in my photo. I can assure you it is, like inner eastern Sydney suburbs steep.

At the corner of Punt Road and Alexandra Avenue this most wonderful monster Golden Elm seems to thrive on the fumes of millions of vehicles.

Punt Road Landing.

Lots of Peppercorn trees lining the path.

Above me are what are known as the 'Hollywood flats'. They line Alexandra Avenue and are impressive. I have photographed them all and they can be seen via this link.

Fishing from the Caroline Street Landing.

The highly decorated  roof of this apartment building intrigues me. It is visible from The Highrise and I once swung off Alexandra Avenue in a brief and failed attempt to see the building close up. I must go on foot.

I had never noticed this Our Magic Hour before. Google tells me it is a sculpture and originally sat atop the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

This is a major train bridge in Melbourne, carrying passengers on the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines, the Sandringham line, freight trains and The Gippslander country train.

Melbourne High School is a selective entry government school for boys. It has had a hard battle fighting against the impact of high rise developments and seemingly it lost on all counts.

The playing grounds.

Steps up from Alexandra Avenue.

Chapel Street to the south changes its name to Church Street as it crosses the river. This is known as the Church Street Bridge.

It is a very nice bridge, carrying vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles and trams over the Yarra.

No crocodiles warming their cold blood on this patch of exposed river bed. The river is tidal for quite a distance upstream and it appears the tide is out. This is a man made bifurcation in the river with Herring Island in the centre.

Once past Chapel Street, some very modern and expensive properties appear.

In the distance is the landing for the punt needed to visit Herring Island. We once went onto the island for a picnic with friends. I think our Friend in Japan was with us.

On the other side of the road is Como Park, now home to the South Yarra Cricket Club but once part of the grounds of the historic Como Estate.

Herring Island is not large, just over three hectares, eight acres.

We must visit the island again soon.

It is time for me to take a well earnt (earned?) break for a cup of excellent coffee at Kanteen.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Awfulness in Orlando

What can I say about the awful crime committed in Florida? At my age I don't feel much of a connection now with mostly Latinos in gay nightclubs. People kill people? Guns kill people? It is moot point in a way, as people with guns kill people, so why not just make sure no one who does not need a gun does not have one? You can't remove people, so the obvious is to remove the guns.

Oops, I was watching this almost dispassionately like any other horrible mass shooting on the tv news but when I just saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge lit up in the colours of the rainbow, it was the straw that broke the back of the camel. I shall attempt to compose myself and continue.

Donald Trumpet quickly attempted to use the the massacre to political advantage. Would you vote for this man? He looks like a criminal.

Ok, I will say this. I am not going to suggest that the numbers of deaths from guns in the US or people who have ready access to guns in the US is going to change much in my lifetime. What I do suggest is practical and surely doable. Unless a Moslem works on the land, farm, logger whatever, they can't legally buy a gun. Include all extreme religious types, if you want balance. It is racial discrimination but will appeal to Trumpet type voters and be politically popular. Any mental illness on record, no gun. A record of violence, no gun. Les than the age of 25, no gun. Guns are needed by hobby animal shooters, but amateur animal shooters are not needed and so they don't need guns either. Get these things into place and I will see in my lifetime a reduction of gun murders in the US.

 Of course the idiots in the US only have to look at laws across the border to Canada to find out how gun deaths and massacres can be of a very small number.

But then after a gunman shot twenty kids under the age of ten to death at a Sandy Hook school and nothing changed, is there really any hope that there will ever be change in this western world anathema that is the United States?

Later edit: Nice work here.

Monday, June 13, 2016

A post when there is no post

Little Jo arrived this morning, dropped by her mothers, or parents as she calls them. She is ever so fond of computers and the internet, which is not surprising. Little Jo did not have any contact with devices until about the age of six. Little Jo's niece Little M at two years old can control videos on her mother's phone. At the end of the day it seems to have made no difference and I am relegated to my own devices in my ensuite.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Victorian Lust

I know gay men think of the male anatomy and I know straight men think of female anatomy. I am watching a English period drama on tv. There is a very handsome man and as usual in a drama set in Victorian times, the female was behaving in a coquettish manner. Did Victorian women think of the male anatomy at such times? Do women now think of male anatomy with any kind of lust and not just 'an emotional connection'? Do woman lust after after the male body and all that comes with it? Is lust the wrong word? In Victorian times women would visit a doctor who with an instrument could relieve their 'tension and hysteria'. Do woman think that a male can relieve their stress and tension?

I don't have a clue. Girlfriends, cast your minds back to your youthful years and what you thought then. I am really interested to know and you can email me anonymously if you don't want to say publicly.

Yarra River Walk Day 1 Part 1

After concluding my walk of the length of Merri Creek, I intended to continue the walk from the junction of Merri Creek along the Yarra River to the city. I seem to recall the distance was 14 kilometres along the lazy and winding Yarra. It might be three kilometres if you flew as a crow.

Instead I began the walk upstream from the city towards where Merri Creek met the Yarra and here are some photos from the start.

The southern bank below Princes Bridge has rowing sheds and an entertainment venue. Behind the rowing sheds are the Alexandra Gardens.

On the northern bank below Federation Square at Federation Wharf is the lovely venue, Riverland. It is a perfect place on a sunny day and quite a good nightime venue too, so I have heard. Riverland operates from old vaults once used to store bananas and other produce.

Those photos were taken from Princes Bridge and I am now walking through Alexandra Gardens.

Looking back up at Princes Bridge with the spire of St Pauls visible. the green dome of Flinders Street Station and the much higher dome of 333 Collins Street.

On the far side of the River are the buildings of Federation Square.

To the south, the spire of the Arts Centre and Australia's second tallest building, Eureka.

Boat sheds of Melbourne Rowing Club.

Mercantile Rowing Club, and I think St Catherine's and Brighton Grammar.

Melbourne Grammar.

Banks Rowing Club.

And Caulfield Grammar.

There are a lot of boat sheds. This time, Yarra Yarra Rowing Club.

And the delightful and quite American looking, Melbourne University Rowing Club.

Across the river in Birrarung Marr is Angel, a large sculpture by Deborah Halpern and it so does not look like River's Angel. Angel was installed in the moat around the National Gallery of Victoria in 1985 and moved to the new park in 2006.

I have no idea what this old structure if for. Maybe for measuring water levels?

Most of Melbourne's palm trees, and we have rather a lot of them, have metal bands around them to prevent our native possums climbing them and transferring disease.

A massive stormwater outlet with various sporting grounds in behind, including the 'fly swat' lights at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

This next bridge along the Yarra is the Swan Street Bridge, even though this part of Swan Street has been renamed Olympic Boulevard. It carries huge volumes of traffic and pedestrians and is to be expanded, I think with more traffic lanes using up the pedestrian space and a side addition for pedestrians and cyclists. It is quite a simple and elegant structure and quite a bit more modern than most of the bridges over the Yarra.

More sporting infrastructure and a pedestrian walkway.

The rear of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl In the Kings Domain is visible.

The sunlight reflecting off the water illuminated the underside of the Swan Street Bridge.

Sports crazy in Melbourne. There is a plethora of sporting venues and I have been to only one once, the MCG.

Looking into the greenery and trees of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

As you can see, the trees are still quite green and it was a good bit earlier this year when I began the walk and I have forgotten my rough barbeque number count, but there are many (maybe 30) and you just try to get one on a warm sunny day.

Did I mention sporting venues?

The Nylex Clock in the distance. More about that later when I get closer.


I should know what this structure is the Botanic Gardens but I forget.

This is perhaps the newest sporting structure. A prominent morning radio broadcaster refers to it as The Not Round Ground. I think that means it was built for rugby games.

There was a lot to see and photograph on the first day of my walk and we are only one third through Day 1. Day 2 and 3 will be shorter and I haven't walked the final leg yet, Day 4.