Saturday, December 31, 2016

I am Tap Tap Man

That is how R describes me. It seems I tap tap tap away at the computer keyboard.


ORQ = Old Rice Queen, an older white guy who likes younger Asian guys. Any connection I have ever had with Asian guys has been very mutual.  It pains me to say that there are some older gay white men who very much take advantage of younger Asian guys, who might or might not be gay. Often it is quid pro quo deal

I am on speed and the ham bone

If you are reading this, we are now connected to the National Broadband Network and it works. This is a hybrid system, an invention of our present government, where some will have first class fibre to home internet, and some won't. Ours is fibre to the building and then comes through our copper telephone wires. We have chosen to go with TPG, the company that wired up our building for fibre and installed electronic boxes in our basement. Mind, the NBN has boxes there too, as does another company and then a new empty electronic box appeared just before Christmas, but it is empty.

I will digress a little. Mother had her medical alert system connected to the NBN for free and she did not request it. NBN has run past Mother's place for some time and as I understand it, once you can connect to the NBN, you have 18 months to connect and then your copper phone system will be shut off. I called up about Mother's phone and when it might have to be switched to the NBN. The person I spoke to wanted her details, but I refused, saying I was just making a general enquiry. I received the appropriate answers. All good. In a remarkable coincidence?, the next day Mother was called and told by a technician he would visit her home on a date in February and connect her phone line to the NBN. She will be given a new phone at no charge and I think she may pay less for her phone service.

It was quite a simple process for us to connect to the NBN. It will cut our phone/internet bill from about $130 a month to $70. There is a one off charge of $30 and the modem was free with an 18 month contract. The data is unlimited and the speed up to 100mbs. I have just checked and mid afternoon on school holidays when it is unbearably hot outside, it is about 70mbs and the upload instead of Telstra's miserly at best 5mbs, is nearly 40mbs.

I ordered the service on the 23rd, the modem arrived on 28th and later that day a tech person sent me a text saying to call him when we received the modem. I called and he could do it the next day, the 29th. He arrived promptly at midday, plugged in the modem and the phone into the modem and then went to the building's basement and perhaps twisted some wires together and voila! We have NBN.

We keep our phone number, although it may take 24 hours before it is back to working order. Six hours after the changeover, we can call out but can't receive incoming calls. We have free calls to all Australian phones including mobile phones, with the exception of 1300 numbers, and 100 free minutes overseas calls.

While I am pleased to be free of the Telstra shackles, it was with some sadness I called and cancelled our Entertainment Super Bundle. I've been a Telstra customer for 40 years and an internet customer since they gave a very cheap deal on cable internet connection in the late 1990s when we lived in Balaclava. I am also a very minor shareholder. But unless Telstra can offer us something better, our mobile phones will be next.

This cable around the corner will disappear.

And it has. It is an expensive cable but very stiff and hard to store. To the rubbish room.

Sitting in this corner of the kitchen makes the new modem not so visible to guests. It can broadcast to the west wing of our apartment, that is my bedroom. Off topic, but what can you do with a leftover Christmas ham bone? Pea and ham soup, hence the soaking dried peas and amazingly I will be cooking.

Too big missy. It won't fit. I have handy hacksaw at the ready. Cleanliness in the kitchen is so important, don't you think.

It is now the Friday the 30th. R was banging on and on about why we could not receive calls on the home. Around 10.30am I called TPG. The technician said if our phone did not work 24 hours later, we should call. It was 22 hours later. After about 45 minutes on the phone, I was finally advised that the porting of our phone number could take up to 5 working days and I should be patient. We then went out. By the time we were home, a little after 1pm, the phone was working correctly. We should have trusted the technician. 

Yesterday after two failed attempts a month or two ago, and a fail by Mazda Service because of a change of our email address, finally I rid our computer of any programme that said Mazda and downloaded their latest application to update our sat nav and finally it worked. No longer are we warned after crossing the Sandringham train line in Greville Street Prahran that there is a level crossing ahead. The outbound red light camera in Dandenong Road at Chapel Street was removed many years ago, so it will be interesting to see if I still get a warning about that. I like Gattina's name for her GPS, Madame GPS, or something like that. We now call ours that.  

I really felt we were on top of matters tech.......until I decided to log in to the TPG website to change our generic password, as I had been told to do. About an hour later, the internet was not working. I spent the next hour on the phone to TPG tech support as she followed her script in front of her. It seemed I should have changed the password for the modem as well. The password was reset to the old one and I ain't touching that again. To note, TPG's tech support is vastly superior to Telstra's. I spoke to about four different people, and from their accents, they were all in the Philippines, but they were great and I could understand them. It was so much quicker to talk to someone than Telstra's laborious phone tech support. 

The desktop, the printer, two mobile phones, two tablets and the tv are now all connected to NBN. Is it in practice faster? Yes, for downloading video files. The very naughty Sven's videos arrive much faster, but for web browsing, not noticeably so, remembering that our cable internet was very fast.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Word Censorship

Moments earlier, the man stopped outside Revellers Bar when he heard James Bruce say "my n-----", Melbourne Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday.

This is a snip from The Age. James Bruce and his brother beat a black man severely. They are before the courts and the legal system and given they have pleaded guilty, we can only hope they are dealt with severely. A third brother tried to stop the assault. 

Still, what could be worse than a foster father killing his twelve year old foster daughter, as is alleged happened in Queensland. Also alleged is that she may have been pregnant to her foster parents' son. Twelve years old, she was. Horrid.

We had our own words to describe our native population for which we should be ashamed, such as boong, gin, lubra and more but so far as I know, nigger has not generally been used in Australia, aside from as a reference to American blacks. Perhaps American blacks is now too unacceptable. I probably should say, those of African American heritage.

But what I take issue with is The Age reporter, or The Age editorial committee, or the sub editor, which I believe has been outsourced to a New Zealand company,  not printing the word nigger as part of reportage. Clearly nigger is an ugly and loaded word, but that is not a reason not to print the word when quoting. 

Elaine Moir

(I had no text here. I think she died and in the 70s organised the air lift of orphans to Australia from Vietnam)

Boxing Day Christmas

Boxing Day had us headed along the M1 freeway to the Mornington Peninsula for another Christmas dinner. As we approached Warrigal Road, the road leading to largest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere, Chadstone, the two freeway exit lanes were stationary for about a kilometre before the exit. As we passed over Warrigal Road, cars were stationary in all directions. It was worse once we passed Warrigal Road. The traffic coming in from the east was single lane banked up for about five kilometres. Boxing Day sales were on, but on everywhere. Why would people put themselves through such as misery, never mind actually finding parking, to save a few dollars.

The traffic was quite heavy on the roads and we arrived late to Ex Sis in Law's. R had made the requested coleslaw and we had Sister's left over Christmas pudding to contribute. The afternoon was a mix of fine food eaten casually and much amusement. As said R on the way home, it takes children to make a good Christmas Day. We had bought a bottle of expensive Scotch and and box of chocolates for Ex Sis in Law as a thank you. In return they gave us a bottle of boxed champagne cuvee. What a pity the champers within the box was so much cheaper than the box indicated, the names were very similar. In fact the bottle did not perfectly fit the box. We didn't come down in the last shower but always remember it is the thought that counts.

I can't show many photos as they were nearly all of people. Little M received a bubble machine as as a Christmas present and wow, could it pump out the bubbles, that is until the fluid ran out or the eight batteries went dead. (R is suspicious about their agenda. I don't care)

Middle, pregnant with twins, Niece interrupted the celebration with for a sex reveal of her yet to be born children. She and her partner brought two large tall boxes and the sex of the twins was told by the colour and words of balloons released from the boxes. The first box was opened and up went pink balloons and It's a Girl. Chanting happened for the second box, boy, boy, boy, but it was another pink balloon release.

We had only been to Ex Sis in Laws abode once before, for Middle Niece's birthday, but I clearly remember how Ex Sis in Law's nasty dog attacked the party balloons. It seems the collective memory did not remember this. So no sooner were the balloons released than the dog attacked and deflated them. Fortunately someone was filming and the video is probably worthy of funniest home video entry. I might put it on You Tube so you can all see it. I have to think that through. The last of six balloons to deflate.

Nephew and his betrothed had bought Tradie Brother an inflatable Superman suit. They helped him put it on and slowly he inflated to a huge size. He pranced around and I can't really paint a word picture of how funny it was. His cigarettes were confiscated but he did get awfully near a rosebush. He did not accidently deflate, but purposely did so when he wanted to smoke. R wittily remarked to Nephew's betrothed, he will wear that to your wedding next year. He would if allowed, and if you hear reports of an inflated superman wandering on the Mornington Peninsula, that would be my brother.

We laughed and laughed the whole afternoon among maybe thirty direct and indirect family. Mother was going to go but then called it off as ABI Brother was going to the Boxing Day cricket test and transport was difficult and it was supposed to be hot. It was not hot and a cool sea breeze dominated and had some of us reaching for our stoles. We nearly bought the same bubble machine for Little M. Lucky we did not as someone else did.

We will get Sister's pudding bowl and our coleslaw bowl back later. We left at about four after saying goodbyes. The preggers Niece was cuddled up in bed with her Best Friend Forever as we said goodbye to her.

Cute guy count for the day, 0.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

La Morte

We saw the late Debbie Reynolds perform at The Palais in St Kilda many decades ago. She was a brilliant performer and I think seeing her for me was one of my very early adult experiences at seeing someone on stage. These days, 84 is a youngish age to die, no better than average. What can you do but deal with it with some black humour I came across on FB.

I was sitting at the tram stop at RMIT. Ok, There were plenty of trams I could catch home, but I just sat for a while, judging people. Yes, yes, no, no, yes, maybe, perhaps on a desperate night. It only happened a couple of times, where I said to myself, oh yes, oh yes, please. Take me, marry me. I want to have your babies. One of my school teachers once told me I had a good imagination. Not sure that I am putting it to good use. I didn't leave women out either. The highest compliment I could pay would be that, she looks interesting. My judging of men is much more base.

I think that while in this world there are some stunning looking people, ninety percent or more are just average looking. I being among the very average looking can take solace in the phrase, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. I never had far to fall and so looking older does not worry me overly much. Being too big around the girth does though but are skinny old men that appealing really? Oops, a blog mate's husband who we have met is older and I shall say he is trim and slim, not skinny.

It only remains for me to insert a picture of a good looking man and/or a woman, or both. I need to think about this. Personal taste is important but I don't really have personal taste in men so far as skin colour, blond or dark, hairy or smooth or whatever.

Ok, I lie. I like Latin looks. Smooth skinned and coffee coloured. Black haired and with a Spanish or Portuguese accent. Madonna has excellent taste in men. But really, I like a lot of looks, from cute blonde to punks, to Asian guys, to (get your dictionary out) scallies. Oh, and then there are African Americans with huge appetites and huge.....whatever. Imagine being 'bothered' by them in the middle of the night, constantly. Stereotypical yes, but a nice thought.

That is all quite instinctive, but what about women? I become much less superficial and look for quality but still attractive.
It is a bit funny that am considerate of my core readership and don't go too far when I am talking about men, gay matters, and sex, and even general life. The aforesaid core readership is around an average of 60 years old, so I don't want to offend my middle aged and older readership.

Except, I suddenly realised, I am nearly of that age. Hels gave me that clue, that my older female readership is not prim and ever so proper. These are not older women to whom I should show a dignified respect, but my equals. They have grown up in the same era I have. They have had the same experiences.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Machines and sexism

Does it apply in other countries too, where so many machines are known in the female form. I've given the matter serious consideration for ten seconds and have come up with the emphatic conclusion that knowing machines as female is very sexist.

Our last two new cars have been so characterless that they were never given names. Our previous cars all had names, male name but cars often received female names, so much more useful to use for swearing when the car won't start.

A few years ago local tv games show host Andrew O'Keefe, nephew of Mother's lust object singer the late Johnny O'Keefe, was filmed when drunkenly falling into a Chapel Street gutter with a cigarette in his hand.

O'Keefe is quite a high achiever by what I see on the tele box (I think that is Fen Speak) yet how interesting it was to see him humanised, fallible and susceptible to vices no less than the rest of us.

Perhaps in inanimate objects I like perfection but to be human is to fail at times. Our brains are huge and within our brains is not only what we have learnt, what is instinctive but our also emotions, our foibles and our weaknesses. The human brain is truly extraordinary, far above that of any other animal, yet in spite of that, it does not always work so well.

It sounds like I am about to establish an apologetic reason for Hitler's behaviour, but at least he and his cronies had conscious thought and it was a plan carefully thought out in an almost clever plan. Unfortunately for him, other clever brains stymied his efforts, eventually. Worse still is thrill kill. What on earth is in their brain that makes that happen?

Perhaps they have inferior brains, more akin to lower mammals, like the Australian dingo (a dog like creature) who once have sated their hunger by killing sheep, will continue to kill sheep, but not for the reason of hunger. They will abandon their dead prey and not return. Cats, not content to kill and eat, will slowly torture their prey to death.

(Well, that is interesting. I wonder what point I was going to get to? I must have been drunk)

Christmas 1

Christmas has gone on and on. I must break it into bite sized chunks. Christmas Day went down well. Nine people dined well, gave out gifts and then had pudding. Milky coffee coloured twin bearer niece cancelled the night before. Five months preggers with twins and you are not feeling well! How dare you! Her bright and bubbling personage was missed. Her half finished sentences and bumbling and blabbing speech were too.

R cooked a splendid feast. Our Hairdresser Friend gave R a tip. Cook the roast vegetables in duck fat. It worked. There was leftovers of everything, except for roast vegetables, much to my disappointment.

Mother asked what temperature we had out aircon on, as it was 36 degrees outside and quite ok inside. It wasn't really ok. It was too warm inside, the aircon was working at maximum and three times I pressed the 'powerful' button to get extra cooling. The oven was pumping out the heat, as were the human Highriser bodies who were very busy.  R and Bone Doctor argued nastily about the air con blowing on the dining table. R snapped and told me to turn the air con off. I refused. Nevertheless, Bone Doctor was wrong and R won a point score. Yes, the air con was blowing on a couple of people. I would have quite happily sat at those seats instead of at the head of the table :-P, and commanded a brother or two to do so also. Ah, they were sitting in those seats. I am not sure how it went so wrong between R and Bone Doctor. After everyone left, R was calling her for everything. Partly perhaps because she scooped up all the silver and gold foil wrapped chocolate dollar coins on the table into her bag to take home, as she did a couple of years ago. Charitably, I suggested maybe she gives them out to poor kiddie patients at her doctor practice. (Three days later, R got cheapskate BD to pay for our dinner. Tale to come)

Photos are important for blog posts. Dog Jack's mum has gone home for Christmas to be with her family in Launceston, so Jack is with us. Within the Highrise, he is great. Out on the street, not so much, as he tries to lift his leg on a bicycle, a car wheel, a building or a motor bike instead of grass and trees, and likes to take on a Rottweiler or two.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016



There is no doubt our Victorian State Government under Labor leader Brumby panicked about the drought in the noughties. A desalination plant was built in haste and the workers to build it named their price, via their union. Isn't that what conservative politics is about? Supply and demand?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Vale George

A very sad day. Even to my untrained ear, he sounded like a very fine singer. About ten years ago I bought my last cd, Ladies and Gentlmen The Best of George Michael.

One loves to wallow in memories

Tim Watson has a nice enough looking son, , who got into a spot of bother over drugs. Tim Watson in now a Melbourne Channel 7 tv sports presenter, but although he is now quite old, he was once a cute and hot AFL football player.

My Bucket List

My bucket list is not nearly as ambitious as that of Fun60 in London, but is is a list of things locally I want to see. It is here to remind me.

Victoria Gardens in Prahran. (done)

50 minute free tour of Federation Square.

River ferry upstream from Princes Bridge. We've done downstream to Docklands, the Williamstown ferry and the Sorrento to Queenscliff ferry.

Audio guided walk of Melbourne University (done).

See the meerkats at Royal Childrens Hospital.

Backstage tour of Hamer Hall.

Holocaust Museum in Elsternwick.

Boating on Botanic Gardens lake.

Walk the old Rosstown railway route.

Walk the length of Merri Creek (done).

My dear American and unfinished posts

While on holidays instead of posting a Flood Friday with unfinished posts I have become bored with, over a week I will post them all. The internet addicted Highriser on holidays is a dangerous creature. I was going to say, we kick off here, but that doesn't sound very Australian, so, we bounce the ball here. Don't feel obliged to comment, but please do so if you are inspired. Normal posts will not have the Flood Friday tag.

Votes NY, San Fran, LA.