Saturday, December 03, 2016

A journey to Geelong

Mrs Worthington has allowed Little Jo to perform on stage in Geelong. We are going to see her perform tomorrow, Sunday. I thought of it but then dismissed it. Then R mentioned it so here we go, we will get the train to Geelong to see Little Jo perform.

We are to meet Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo for lunch at a cafe at 1pm.

We would catch the 10:34 tram 55 to the corner of William and Collins Street, arrive 10:44 and walk to So Cross Station and catch the 11:10 to Geelong, arriving about 12:10. We would look at the new Geelong library and either walk to the cafe, or catch a bus or a taxi or call Sister to pick us up for our 1:00pm cafe booking.

I am already annoyed because the train takes longer than it does to drive in the car to Geelong. Nevertheless we like travelling by train, even if it takes a bit longer.

I called it and killed it. We are taking the car.

Little Jo performs at 3:00pm and the show goes for 45 minutes, meaning it will finish at 3:45. We won't be able to make the 3:52 back to Melbourne and would have to wait for the 4:52., meaning arrival at So Cross at about 5:50, plus tram home, after 6:00pm.

By car, we will be home before or about 5:00pm.

Given our trains and trams are already overloaded, I don't think the private companies really want to encourage train and tram travel, and they are going the right way about it.

The clincher is that it will be 34 degrees tomorrow. While some trams and all trains are air conditioned, you have to get to them in the heat.

So if we leave at 11:30 in the car, it will give us time to look at the library and we will be home by 5:00, five and a half hours.

If we do it by train and see the Geelong library, we leave home at 10:30 arrive home at about 6:30, eight hours.

That is five and and a half hours against eight hours. Which would you choose if you had the option? The only qualification I can add is that maybe the traffic will be bad on the way home and it may take a little longer, especially as The Great Victorian Bike Ride finishes in Geelong tomorrow.

Cloudy Saturday

I am sick of these clouds hanging around, for a couple of months, so today with nothing scheduled to post, I will blow the clouds away.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Hooning in a Hoffmann

We seem to have a three wheel car theme happening here with the last car video being the football match using three wheel Reliant Robins. Is this really the worst car ever made? I can't imagine one much worse than the German made Hoffmann. Video is four minutes and contains an expletive.

Andreas Schmitt commented about the car's proper name:

It's a little hard to find on Google, but I've got it: a "Auto-Kabine 250" built by the Hoffmann-Werke Lintorf. It was a shameless copy of the Isetta and the bad design decisions were made to avoid patent infringements, but didn't help, the company was sued by BMW and sold only a little more than 100 of those things.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

A simple thing for our critters

This was inspired by Sandra's fox post. My father could be quite cruel to animals. His absolutely most favourite and loyal cattle dog, Cindy, was once hung in a hessian bag on the clothes line for a number of hours as punishment for a misdeed I cannot remember, but was probably just dog like behaviour. Cindy lived to be quite old and one day Father had to do the deed and it was the only time I saw tears in my father's eyes.

Cruel to animals he could be, but not different to other farmer in the 1960s. Any death meted out to animals was quick and clean. There was one thing Father always insisted upon, that the tops of tin cans be squeezed together before disposal. Disposal of rubbish back then was probably dumping in the bush. Most of what was dumped was biodegradable, except for oil based products, which would last a long time.

I don't like rats, I don't like snakes, I don't like seagulls, I am not keen on pigeons (sorry Merle), doves or horses but I don't want to see them suffer. I takes about one second and why not do it just in case. Squeeze together the top of your empty cans before disposal. You don't know where they will end up but by squeezing the top, you may well prevent a creature dying a most awful death with its head stuck in a can. Dogs are especially prone but I imagine foxes and some of our native animals are also prone.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Merging two posts

When we returned from our holiday, our second car was covered in a thick layer of dust and had to be washed. It hadn't been moved for over six weeks. Our usual car wasn't that much better and it too had to washed. When Mother is no longer around and I retire I can barely see that we will need one car, let alone two.

Friday I had some errands to do. 72 tram to Prahran, 220 bus home. 219 bus to Southbank Boulevard, 1 tram to South Melbourne, 12 tram to Spencer Street, train to Flinders Street, tram up to QV, tram home. I didn't have to wait more than about 5 minutes each time.

We need two cars on Thursdays (Mother Day), Fridays (R's volunteer job) and if I am working, Saturday (large food shopping day).

Could we manage without the second car? Yes, I could take the tram to work Thursdays, a larger time chunk out of my day. Friday R could get a taxi or public transport to his volunteer place. That would be a tram into town and a tram and another tram to his volunteer place. The shopping could be done more frequently and so no need for the second car on Saturday. Bit of a luxury, really.

I had the second car serviced last week. I was relieved of $600 for the privilege, but that is not so bad given it is about  28 months since it was last service. A couple of belts needed replacing and a wheel alignment, wiper blades and some nice clean new oil.

I told R the newer car would need servicing before Christmas. Sure enough, an email arrived from Mazda telling us such. R called to book it in and the lass said, wait for 30,000 kilometres. Last Mother Day, R said the Istop had stopped working, the techie thing that shuts the engine down when you are stopped at traffic lights. He decided to book it in for a service regardless of the advice. Then a spanner symbol came up on the dashboard, an indicator that it needs to be serviced or taken to the service place for attention.

I wrote a short note for R to take. Handbrake travel is excessive. Yes Sir, that is part of the normal service. R felt patronised. The other thing I wrote was, The first of the free sat nav updates was fine. We have tried to update the sat nav a second time and it wouldn't work. Oh, did that put the cat among the pigeons. On our password list I had the log in, password and in brackets (maybe changed). It is hard to think clearly when someone is yelling at you about how the password 'maybe changed'. Once I thought about it, I realised the note I made was about changing the email address. I changed our email address with Mazda, but still emails were coming from Mazda to the old email address. To say R was cross is an understatement and it was all my fault. He had multiple calls from the car service place with requests for login details and the password to update the sat nav.

R collected the car at lunchtime and I am not game to ask if the sat nav was updated or not. I took the car back to work in the afternoon and as I opened the door what sounded like a phone ring chimed. Ok, must be part of the software update for the car itself that was done. Halfway to work, I head the same tone again. It sounded like a phone but I couldn't see one. At a red light I checked in the glove box. Once at work, I found a phone, no doubt a mechanics phone, jammed in down beside the seat. I called R to tell him to call the service place and let them know where the phone was and it could be collected after 7:30 at our home. I quote, 'How has a simple car service turned into such a fucking nightmare?'.

A thankful Sikh lad mechanic turned up at The Highrise at about 8pm and collected his phone.

R is going out for lunch tomorrow with two old workmate friends who he likes. They will chat, laugh and gossip. He will be in a good mood tomorrow night....I hope.

Oh yes, 30,000 kilometre service $360.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rolling your Jaffas

I thought maybe Lombard Street in San Francisco might be a contender for the steepest street in the world, as Diane shows in this post but no, the world's steepest street is in Dunedin, New Zealand. Baldwin Street is made of concrete, as asphalt would just slide down the hill on a hot day. (Do they get hot days in Dunedin? It was cold and wet when we were briefly there) The street is much visited by tourists.

I wonder if your rubbish bin will stay upright when you put it out? Residents of the street have been studied by medical authorities and yes, one of their legs does become longer. (I should have saved that for April Fool's Day)

If you can read The Age online, you can see more photos here, including yoof making the street even weirder by standing at strange angles. 

There is an annual charity fundraiser held in the street, a Jaffa lolly roll competition down the Baldwin Street hill. What great fun. About thirty years ago, Mother and her friend were in town at a cinema and Mother dropped a bag of Jaffas as they were finding their seats. It was a timber floor and Mother caused much disruption as Jaffas rolled down stairs. Did she do it deliberately? I don't know, but quite possibly.  

Go on then, watch a little of the one minute video.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sad, touching but nice

I must be desperate to be posting a cat video, but never mind. It was meant to be saved for a desperate moment. This video is quite touching and many people feel sad for Elephant's Child who recently had to make a horrible decision about her loved Jewel. So many of us have been through it with our pets and it is just the worst thing. There is text in the vid so you don't really need the sound on unless you want to hear the accompanying music . 4:20

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Bunjil and So Cross Station

Bunjil is mythological eagle, seen by Australian Aboriginal people as a creator god and an ancestral connection. This 23 metre tall representation by artist Bruce Armstrong was sited in part of Docklands, an urban renewal area on the western edge of the city.

In my opinion and that of many people, Docklands planning has been a classic example of how not to go about urban development. Some even call it a disaster, where developers have been allowed to build tall towers with little restriction. Nevertheless, attempts are being made to retrofit what should have been part of building the development. Docklands is far from complete.

Bunjil on his plinth sat on some nice grass, with a few trees around him but I believe he is to be moved. Poor Bunjil, forlorning surveying the avarice of mankind.

An effort to be interesting with this office building at least separates it from many others at Docklands.

Flinders Street Station is much loved and is about to undergo some renovations and a repaint. It is primarily used by suburban trains. The Spencer Street Station for country and interstate trains that I remember was never loved. It was replaced and renamed Southern Cross Station and it is not loved either, although it is not a bad place for trainspotting with its raised walkways. Here is one of the platforms with quite adequate lighting.

For some strange reason this platform has inadequate lighting, hence the generator. I think there used to be more generators running lights than what there are now. I do not understand why there is not proper lighting and I reckon generators have been powering lighting at the station for over a year. Lordy, as if the diesel fumes aren't bad enough at the station, let's add even more fumes. Not even the non-professional public transport experts Daniel Bowen and Marcus Wong seem to know.